Sunday, March 14, 2010

Jimi Hendrix Double Post

The Jimi Hendrix Experience - "Electric Ladyland" 2 LP (2010 Remaster)
88697 62398 1
Experience Hendrix/Legacy
No. 1,772

I was skeptical about these Jimi Hendrix remasters until Sam down at Randy's Records told me they were the real deal. They certainly are. The entire Hendrix studio library has been re-released and remastered from the original source tapes on CD, and vinyl. I have been able to pick up "Electric Ladyland", "Valleys of Neptune" and "Are You Experienced".

"Electric Ladyland" is the the third album from The Jimi Hendrix Experience and it was released in 1968, at the hight of the counterculture revolution. By 1968, Hendrix was already a cultural icon, known for his revolutionary guitar style and psychedelic musical stylings. "Electric Ladyland" was released with considerable success, and includes classic Hendrix tracks like "Crosstown Traffic", "Voodoo Child (Slight Return), and "All Along The Watchtower".

I'm ashamed to say it, but before this I really only listened to Hendrix on MP3 (terrible, I know). So I expected to notice a difference in the sound quality. I was shocked at the improvement, not only does the vinyl sound great, but I feel like I am listening to the albums for the first time (well in the case of "Valleys of Neptune" I am). The sound is amazing, and the detail on tracks like "Voodoo Chile", and "Still Raining, Still Dreaming" is nothing short of a revelation. The mixing sounds great and balanced, the low end is much more present that in the CD or mp3, and his voice sounds much more pronounced and authentic. Like I have said before, the hallmark of an excellent vinyl pressing is feeling like you are sitting in the studio, and listening to this puts you right there in London with him.

This pressing of "Electric Ladyland" is numbered (Mine is 1,772) and is housed in a double LP gatefold with a booklet included. The booklet has liner notes, and pictures of original letters from Hendrix to his record company regarding the cover art. The vinyl is pressed on 180 gram black vinyl that sounds great, it really brings these recordings to life, and they jump out of your stereo. I could not be happier with these remasters, and they are very affordable. Recommended.

Album - A

Vinyl - A

The Jimi Hendrix Experience - "Are You Experienced" Vinyl LP (2010 Remaster)
88697 62395 1
Experience Hendrix/Legacy
No. 4,568

"Are You Experienced" was the first album released by The Jimi Hendrix Experience in 1967. This is one of the iconic albums of the time period, and is regularly referenced in various "greatest" album polls and lists. This is one of the albums that helped define a generation. I am a huge fan of the introduction of this album on the back cover:
Be forewarned. Used to be an Experience meant making you a bit older. This one
makes you wider. With the assistance of Mitch Mitchell (on drums) and Noel Redding
(on guitar), Jimi Hendrix breaks the world into interesting fragments. The reassembles
it. You hear with new ears, after being Experienced. Those who've only seen him
perform know only part of This Experience. They rave about a young man who
plays a guitar in more positions than anybody before him. Now, this debut album will
put the heads of Hendrix' listeners into some novel positions.

Be forewarned.

I wish a band today would put something half as cool on the back of an album. This album is indeed an Experience in every sense of the word. It is an example of an album that was made and released during a time in history when the "album" in a traditional sense was king. An exploration of ideas and themes through music.

"Are You Experienced" contains some of the most recognizable Hendrix tracks recorded during his short time on earth: "Purple Haze", "Hey Joe", "Fire", and "Foxey Lady". It also contains "The Wind Cries Mary" which is a classic Hendrix track that has been beautifully restored here on this vinyl remaster. My favorite track here is "Are You Experienced" which has been restored beautifully, its warm and full, a track to convert your friends to vinyl with for sure.

This remaster is housed in heavy duty cover that is colorful and vibrant, the vinyl is pressed on heavy duty black 180 gram vinyl and as with "Electric Ladyland" sounds stellar. I would recommend these to anyone who A) loves Hendrix or B) Is new to Hendrix but wants to explore him more. Recommended.

Album - A

Vinyl - A

No comments:

Post a Comment