Jimi Hendrix’s career was a flash of brilliance, yet it managed to leave behind a lasting and seemingly endless legacy of recordings. The release of a brand new, premium quality compilation of Both Sides Of The Sky continues to prove this true, but what else is hiding in his treasure chest?

If we listeners were expecting the newly negotiated agreements between the inheritors of the late musician’s estate to be followed by a satisfying slew of releases, it seems as though Janie Hendrix, Eddie Kramer and John McDermott would rather exhume their inheritance in piecemeal fashion under the Experience Hendrix L.L.C banner. While more voracious fans might feel shortchanged by the newest release listing of a mere 13 tracks, this highly anticipated Both Sides Of The Sky delivers on the main expectation: first-class brand new tracks for all audiences, with a high-quality recording to boot.

It is true that Hendrix showed himself capable of putting out more voluminous releases with Electric Ladyland, his third studio album and a double record, an extraordinary choice of its kind in October 1968. Its length, however, is mainly attributed to Hendrix’s anxiety that his newer compositions would fall out of fashion if he put them on the backburner. What would he say if he knew that, 50 years later, his recordings from that time are sought after more than ever? Both Sides Of The Sky is a stylistic sequel to People, Hell and Angels (2013), and thus falls in line with the series of posthumous compilations that started as soon as March 1971 with Cry Of Love. You will find a dozen novelties and rarities assembled on it, drawn from sessions spanning the better part of three years (from 1968 to 1970). It’s worth reminding you at this point that the Hendrix estate gatekeepers are sitting on more than 900 hours of recordings. As his manager, Chas Chandler, has explained, in his three years assisting Hendrix the left-handed musician barely put down his instrument. It was as if he was preparing an album he was unable to let himself finish: « There was no beginning and no end to recording the album, it was just a matter of when the band was available to go to a studio and record… » Even when the pressing needs of his record company forced him to release albums or singles, the falsely laid back perfectionist often felt the need to return to tracks whose « definitive » versions didn’t satisfy him.

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