Latest reviews

Jimi: All Is by My Side

September 25, 2014

It's a trade-off with biopics on dead rockers: You please the James Brown estate and get the music (Get On Up); or you go warts-and-all, like first-time director John Ridley in Jimi: All Is by My Side, and forego rights to "Purple Haze" and other...

Album Review

People, Hell & Angels

March 5, 2013

Jimi Hendrix made three historic studio albums in 1967 and '68. He spent the rest of his life laboring and failing to finish a fourth. But it was a rich if chaotic time, and we're not done with it. These studio jams and early stabs at evolving songs mostly...

Album Review

Winterland (Reissue)

September 13, 2011

Every posthumous Hendrix release fleshes out the tale of his genius and changes the way you hear his music – changes the way you hear music, period. These two reissued (and beefed-up) live collections are no exception. The four-CD box Winterland...

Album Review

Valleys of Neptune

March 18, 2010

Some grousing from fans greets most posthumous Jimi Hendrix studio releases. And fair enough: Hendrix can't offer his opinion anymore, and between past dubious product (i.e., the heavily overdubbed Crash Landing) and ongoing estate squabbles, there's...

Album Review

Live At Woburn

August 20, 2009

If the fucked-amp squeal that constantly disrupts this show annoys you, imagine how pissed off Hendrix was. But this raw '68 soundboard tape is notable for a vicious live debut of "Voodoo Child (Slight Return)" and a long free-rock intro to "Purple Haze,"...

Album Review

Blue Wild Angel: Live At The Isle Of Wight

November 19, 2002
Not Rated

"A bit more volume on this one, Charlie, it's going to need it," says a roadie testing microphones — and then Jimi Hendrix comes onstage and proves him absolutely right. This live album captures a thrilling Hendrix gig in the U.K. at the Isle of...

Album Review

The Jimi Hendrix Experience

September 28, 2000

Jimi Hendrix was a curious mixture of instinctive genius and crippling perfectionism. The guitarist took two years to make three landmark studio LPs — Are You Experienced?, Axis: Bold as Love and Electric Ladyland, a blizzard of magic — then...

Album Review

Live at the Fillmore East

March 18, 1999

This two-disc collection draws on four monumental sets that Jimi Hendrix performed with the Band of Gypsys (bassist Billy Cox and drummer Buddy Miles) at New York's Fillmore East on December 31st, 1969, and January 1st, 1970. Gripped by drug abuse, beset...

Album Review

South Saturn Delta

December 25, 1997
Not Rated

Oh, the temptation — to just say that Kettle Whistle blows, that it's the alt-rock answer to Led Zeppelin's Coda, But if these outtakes from one of the shortest, brightest careers in post-punk rock aren't all diamonds, they are solid evidence that...

Album Review

Radio One

February 23, 1989

The changes Jimi Hendrix wrought on rock & roll and its primary instrument, the electric guitar, were so cataclysmic that it is hard to imagine what it was like to be there as they happened. When Hendrix torched his Strat at Monterey in June 1967,...

Album Review

The Jimi Hendrix Concerts

November 11, 1982

The record industry probably has no greater sin on its conscience than the artistic and commercial rape of Jimi Hendrix. Unofficial releases of old hack studio sessions with Curtis Knight and the Isley Brothers dogged him during his lifetime. Since his...

Album Review

Hendrix In The West (Reissue)

September 13, 2011

Every posthumous Hendrix release fleshes out the tale of his genius and changes the way you hear his music – changes the way you hear music, period. These two reissued (and beefed-up) live collections are no exception. The four-CD box Winterland...

Album Review

West Coast Seattle Boy - The Jimi Hendrix Anthology Experience

November 25, 2010

For Jimi Hendrix fanatics, the selling point of this four-disc set is a full CD of songs on which the guitarist doesn't sing lead and barely solos. Instead, he plays sideman to Little Richard, Don Covay and others on 15 R&B smokers. The tracks offer...

Song Review

"Valleys of Neptune"

February 4, 2010

"Lord, I feel the ocean swaying me/ Washing away all my pain," Jimi Hendrix sings at the start of this magnificent discovery. The title track of a new album of previously unreleased Hendrix studio recordings, "Valleys of Neptune" was important to the...

Album Review

Axis: Bold as Love (Reissue)

June 12, 2003

"I wanna know about the new mother earth/I wanna hear and see everything," announced Jimi Hendrix on "Up From the Skies," the mission statement of Axis: Bold As Love, his second album with his band the Experience. Hendrix's delicate touch on the wah-wah...

Album Review

Smash Hits

September 4, 2002

First released in 1969, this remastered hits package features all of the Hendrix songs still played on classic-rock radio stations, and little else. This version restores the original vinyl's track listing, meaning that it lacks the bonus tracks placed...

Album Review

Live at Woodstock

August 19, 1999

Funny how the historic milestones can change over time. Consider Jimi Hendrix at Woodstock. Without even thinking, most would identify it as a pivotal moment, a culmination of the musical explosion that was the late Sixties. The magnificently restored...

Album Review

The BBC Sessions

July 9, 1998

During one of several spoken interludes on the two-disc BBC Sessions, Jimi Hendrix interrupts the radio-interview happy talk to wonder whether anyone is listening. "Be a shame for all that music to go to waste," he says. It seems incomprehensible now,...

Album Review

Variations On A Theme: Red House

May 3, 1990
Not Rated

Jimi Hendrix was many things – monster rock sex god, guitar genius, acid spiritualist, master improviser. But he was first and foremost a bluesman, obsessed with inner space yet consumed by the here-and-now hellfire of Robert Johnson, Son House...

Album Review

Jimi Plays Monterey

April 10, 1986
Not Rated

With the Rainbow Shriek of his flaming Stratocaster at the 1967 Monterey International Pop Festival, Jimi Hendrix dramatically announced the arrival of the new Aquarian age of peace, love and spiritual aspiration. At the same time, he liberated rock &...