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Date d'inscription : 04/06/2010
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MessageSujet: Prof Stoned    Lun 12 Juil 2010 - 15:22

Avec l'accord de l'intéressé, que je tiens à remercier, je vous propose ses notes consacrées aux enregistrements de Jimi Hendrix. Ses remarques concernant les divers pressages sont particulièrement intéressantes. Même ceux qui ne parlent pas anglais devraient comprendre cette petite explication de texte préliminaire :

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3Gmex_4hreQ

Bonne lecture !
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MessageSujet: Re: Prof Stoned    Lun 12 Juil 2010 - 15:24

Jimi Hendrix Experience - Are You Experienced? - The UK Mono Version
24bit/96kHz (DVD-A Burnable)

01. Foxy Lady
02. Manic Depression
03. Red House
04. Can You See Me
05. Love or Confusion
06. I Don't Live Today
07. May This Be Love
08. Fire
09. Third Stone From the Sun
10. Remember
11. Are You Experienced?

Produced by Chas Chandler
Engineers: Eddie Kramer & George Chkiantz (Olympic Studio), Mike Ross (CBS Studio)
Dave Siddle (De Lane Lea)


All tracks Mono
All of these mixes are officially unavailable on CD except Tr. 03 & 10.


Prof. sez:

I'm proud to present you -what I believe is- the best sounding mono version of this album that you have probably heard so far. Let me tell you why...

Like any other vinyl lover and Hendrix fan, a reasonable well preserved copy of the original UK Track pressing (available in mono only) of this album has always been on my wish list. Until I picked up a French 1970 re-issue of AYE recently (with a picture of Hendrix at the Isle of Wight), aware that Barclay had been using the mono mix for this release. Unlike what I expected, it didn't sound like the crummy & dark recording that I had heard on various needle drops from the UK Track LP (or worse: the UK Track mono 'Smash hits' LP that I once had). It sounded a lot closer in fidelity to the best sounding CD issues of the stereo mix.

So I did an A/B with a flatly mastered 24/96 UK Track needledrop and my suspicions were confirmed; the UK Track LP had practically all of its high-end stripped off. Basically, it was mastered to sound like AM radio but then with huge bass. The Barclay revealed a previously unheard brilliance and snap in the higher frequency regions, a far more natural soundstage. Not to say it is not compressed ('Fire' still sounds pretty squashed) but compared to the UK Track this source has plenty dynamic range and it's mainly the drums sound that benefits from this. There can be no doubt that this is a lot closer to what Chas Chandler, Hendrix & Eddie Kramer heard in the studio while mixing the album.

So far 'Experience Hendrix' has failed to re-release the mono mix of this album in any format. There were plans to do so in 2002 when they did an audiophile mono pressing of Axis: Bold as love in cooperation with Classic Records but it did not materialize. This may have something to do with the fact that some of the 1967 mono master tapes are missing in action, among them the tracks that were done at the CBS studio in 1966. Eddie Kramer used two inferior sources on the 1997 AYE UK re-master: the fake stereo version of Stone free & the mono Red House needledropped from the UK Track. In 2006, a new 45rpm box set called 'The Classic Singles Collection Vol. 2" once again demonstrated that EH had not yet succeeded in finding the missing tapes or a better alternative. Stone free was replaced by (the mono version of) Foxy Lady as the B-side of the Hey Joe single but it appeared to be a needle drop from the UK Track. Finally, you will be hear be able to hear Red House & Foxy Lady and the other tracks in a much better sound quality.


Mastering note:

After applying Click Repair, I manually de-clicked the remaining pops and crackles. Although the original source is mono, the record was cut in stereo from a 2-track tape, as the channels are slightly different sonically. (Therefore I worked with only one of the channels because folding the channels together resulted in phase problems.)

I carefully EQ'd the tracks individually. Overall, the whole thing needed some more low-end and more body because most the time the sound was too pinched and thin. I used the Universal Audio Precision 4-band parametric EQ at 24/96. This is a piece of hardware that -IMO unlike most digital EQ's- manages to maintain the warmth of the analogue recording, even when tastefully boosting the high end (which I didn't do). After exporting the tracks, I adjusted the volume of each track to get a coherent listening EXP.

(Additional note: although it's safe to say that this is a huge upgrade to every needledrop of the original UK Track, I recognise that this source has its own sonic shortcomings. The high does sound a little bit gritty compared to the EH stereo CD and there is some distortion on the vocals on some tracks that is also not present on the EH CD. This problem seems coherent to the original recordings; the main offenders being the tracks that sound the most pinched on the record. I'm not sure whether these artefacts come from the record, stampers, the Barclay mastertapes or even the mixdown mastertapes. I can only assure you that they do not come from my system.)

For those interested, here's another sample with the same fragments. This is how the Barclay tracks sound on the record, without any EQ.


Some info on the album:

AYE is still regarded by many fans as Jimi's best LP.
The album was recorded over six months in different low-budget studio's and finally finished off in the Olympic studio, all of them based in London. Despite the fact that the album had been recorded over such relatively a long period, it was very much a touch-and-go job. During the first months, money issue's simply had made it impossible for Hendrix and his new manager/producer Chas Chandler to spent hours and hours in the studio. But when the Experience started recording in the Olympic Studio in February 1967 things were looking better for the group and their mentor. The first single 'Hey Joe' was riding high on the British charts and the business manager of the group, Michael Jeffrey, had secured a monster deal for the US market with Warner Brothers. The advance that Warner Bros had paid was immediately used to continue recording the album, and finish off the 2nd single 'Purple Haze' (of which the basic tracks had been recorded earlier).

Chas had little experience as a producer, and was more or less dependent on the skills of the house engineer in the studio's he rented. Therefore some of the early recordings sound quite different to the ones that were done at Olympic. It was there that Hendrix & Chandler met employee/engineer Eddie Kramer, the man who would become one of Hendrix' most trusted associates during the rest of his life. Kramer quickly proved to fit in great with the team, helping Hendrix to realise the sounds he heard in his head and helping Chandler to learn about recording and mixing. The threesome would continue recording (and mixing the albums) in the Olympic until early 1968.

The album was finished near the end of April and released in June 1967 in the UK in mono only. The mono mix was supervised by Chandler, Hendrix & Kramer. But shortly after its UK release, Reprise demanded true stereo mixes for the US release of AYE. So Eddie Kramer was sent back to the studio to quickly remix the album tracks and the A-sides of the first three singles in the summer of 1967. Supposedly neither Chandler nor Hendrix attended these mixing sessions. Kramer (mistakenly or deliberately) chose to use a different take of 'Red House' while his remix of 'Can you see me' featured a previously unheard vocal line (treated with ADT to create a vocal doubling effect). Ever since the early 70's, the stereo version has been the standard for any commercial re-issue. But it is the mono version that should be considered the one true version of AYE since it was produced under Chandler's & Hendrix' supervision.
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MessageSujet: Re: Prof Stoned    Lun 12 Juil 2010 - 15:25

Jimi Hendrix Experience - Are You Experienced? (US Stereo Legacy 2010 + 4 bonus)
24bit/96kHz (High Resolution Audio for DVD-A burning)

01 - Purple haze
02 - Manic depression
03 - Hey Joe
04 - Love or confusion
05 - May this be love
06 - I don't live today
07 - The wind cries Mary
08 - Fire
09 - Third stone from the sun
10 - Foxey lady
11 - Are you experienced?
Bonus:
12 - Can you see me?
13 - Remember
14 - Red house
15 - Highway chile

Produced by Chas Chandler
Engineers: Eddie Kramer & George Chkiantz (Olympic Studio), Mike Ross (CBS Studio)
Dave Siddle (De Lane Lea)
Remastered by Eddie Kramer & George Marino at Sterling Sound, New York City

Line up:
Jimi Hendrix: Vox, Guitars
Noel Redding: Bass, Backing Vox
Mitch Mitchell: Drums

Sources:
Tr. 01-11 - Side 1: 88697623951-A STERLING 187631(3) / Side 2: 88697623951-B STERLING 187632(3)
Tr. 12-14 - Side 4: MCA-11608-LP2B-1 RJ (= Ray Janos) STERLING 17727.4(3)
Tr. 15 - Side 1: RTH 2016-A BG (=Bernie Grundman)

Hardware:
- Technics 1210mk2 Turntable
- Jelco SA-750D Tonearm (w/ JAC 501 cable)
- Audio Technica 150MLX stylus
- Yamaha CA-1010 amplifier
- RME ADI-2 A/D Interface (conversion to 24 bit, 96kHz)

Software:
- Audition 3.0 used for adjusting DC bias, editing, (incl. manual removal of clicks
and pops), adding gain and making the cue points.
- Click Repair used with setting Cl: 5, Cr: 0
- CueListTool v1.7 & Mediaval CueSplitter used for generating the .cue's & .m3u's.

Vinyl Transfer & Restoration by Prof. Stoned

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Prof sez:

Finally after many years Experience Hendrix has offered us all-analog vinyl versions
of Hendrix first three masterpieces. So following my previous Hendrix drops, which I believe attempted
to present these recordings in their best sonic incarnation, I've now decided to tackle these three titles.
But not without extensively listening & comparing the sound quality with previous issue's, of course.
I have to say, considering the limitations of the source material, I'm very pleased with the Legacy's.
For the record, I'm talking about the US pressings only. The Music on Vinyl label that covers the European
market has not been using the same metal parts from Sterling Sound and apparently insisted on cutting
their own metal parts. The results are significantly less stunning than their US counterparts and the question
whether they used analog sources is debatable.

But back the Legacy's. This is the first time that 'Are You experienced?' has gotten an all-analog
vinyl cutting directly from the mastertapes, or so we are told.
When Universal/Back2Black did the vinyl reissues of AYE & Axis last year, a digital source was
used for AYE. The reason for this -Eddie Kramer explained- was that some of the individual mastertapes
had not been properly aligned during the recording and this was easier to correct in the digital domain.
But analog or not, the results for this new pressing easily outdo the otherwise fine sounding B2B version.
It is brighter and more hissy than all previous reissues but also more detailed in the high-end.
The highs do not sound unbalanced or boosted to me. Quite the opposite; I have a feeling that all previous
issues' had the highs slightly rolled off. Do keep in mind that this album was not an audiophile masterpiece
to begin with and so this new mastering reveals the limitations and flaws in the original recording
more evidently than ever before. Personally I applaud this bare bones approach but it may not be for everyone.
One minor critical point from me is that "Manic depression', 'Love or confusion' & 'I don't live today' are a bit
too heavy on the uppermids. I guess that's mainly how these songs were recorded & mixed because the mono
mixes have the same problem.

Because the Legacy replicates the original US configuration without the remaining UK album tracks
and the first three UK B-sides, I have added all the existing true stereo mixes from the best sounding vinyl
sources. Naturally, Tr. 12-14 were taken from the Back2Black pressing which was also cut at Sterling Sound.
Although this pressing was sourced from a 44.1 kHz file, it slayed my original US Smash Hits on which
these tracks appeared for the first time in stereo. When viewing the whole master wavefile for this release in
a frequency analyzer, these tracks appear to have somewhat less information above 20 kHz, which backs up
the claim that the Legacy is indeed all analog (or at least from a high resolution file).
The last track is the 1999 first-time-in-stereo remix of Highway Chile and this was taken from the vinyl
version of Voodoo Chile: The JH Collection on Classic records.
Although this 4 records box set was cut by mastering genius Bernie Grundman, it did not offer the huge
sonic improvement on the CD version I had hoped for. This has everything to do with the sources he was
provided with (probably digital). But still, it is marginally better sounding.

This was transferred from NM copies.
The records are breathtakingly quiet and after a light declick, folding the two mono channels together
and some manual restoration work, I think I've achieved an almost tape like quality.
Some tracks have some tape flaws. The title track for example has dropout on the right channel
in the beginning of the song. Because of the new clarity of this recording, this sticks out a lot more here
than on the older releases. But it was always there. 'Can you see me' suffers from glitches that were
induced by a panning knob. This is most clearly heard during the breaks with the 'flying' guitar notes.
The first 5000 copies of the Legacy are numbered. Mine is No. 3477.

Quelques images :

http://i932.photobucket.com/albums/ad162/jimicoltrane/Front-6.jpg

http://i932.photobucket.com/albums/ad162/jimicoltrane/Back-3.jpg

http://i932.photobucket.com/albums/ad162/jimicoltrane/SideTwo.jpg

http://i932.photobucket.com/albums/ad162/jimicoltrane/SideOne.jpg
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MessageSujet: Re: Prof Stoned    Lun 12 Juil 2010 - 15:25

Jimi Hendrix Experience - Axis: Bold As Love (US Stereo Legacy 2010)
24bit/96kHz (High Resolution Audio for DVD-A)

01 - EXP
02 - Up From The Skies
03 - Spanish Castle Magic
04 - Wait Until Tomorrow
05 - Ain't No Telling
06 - Little Wing
07 - If 6 Was 9
08 - You Got Me Floatin'
09 - Castles Made Of Sand
10 - She's So Fine
11 - One Rainy Wish
12 - Little Miss Lover
13 - Bold As Love

Produced by Chas Chandler
Engineers: Eddie Kramer with George Chkiantz, Andy Johns & Terry Brown (Olympic Studio)
Remastered by Eddie Kramer & George Marino at Sterling Sound, New York City

Line up:
Jimi Hendrix: Vox, Guitars
Noel Redding: Bass, Backing Vox
Mitch Mitchell: Drums

Sources:
Side 1: 88697623961-A STERLING 18782.1(3) / Side 2: 88697623961-B STERLING 18782.2(3)

Hardware:
- Technics 1210mk2 Turntable
- Jelco SA-750D Tonearm (w/ JAC 501 cable)
- Audio Technica 150MLX stylus
- Yamaha CA-1010 amplifier
- RME ADI-2 A/D Interface (conversion to 24 bit, 96kHz)

Software:
- Audition 3.0 used for adjusting DC bias, editing, (incl. manual removal of clicks
and pops), adding gain and making the cue points.
- Click Repair used with setting Cl: 5, Cr: 0
- CueListTool v1.7 & Mediaval CueSplitter used for generating the .cue's & .m3u's.

Vinyl Transfer & Restoration by Prof. Stoned

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Prof sez:

Finally after many years Experience Hendrix has offered us all-analog vinyl versions
of Hendrix first three masterpieces. So following my previous Hendrix drops, which I believe attempted
to present these recordings in their best sonic incarnation, I've now decided to tackle these three titles.
But not without extensively listening & comparing the sound quality with previous issue's, of course.
I have to say, considering the limitations of the source material, I'm very pleased with the Legacy's.
For the record, I'm talking about the US pressings only. The Music on Vinyl label that covers the European
market has not been using the same metal parts from Sterling Sound and apparently insisted on cutting
their own metal parts. The results are significantly less stunning than their US counterparts and the question
whether they used analog sources is debatable.

This is the second time in one year time that 'Axis: Bold As Love' has gotten an all-analog vinyl cutting
directly from the mastertapes. The Universal/Back2Black vinyl reissue from last year contains
a different mastering than the Legacy. I did buy the B2B when it came out but returned it to the store
after one listen. The reason was a huge boost in the low-end which had previously not been there.
The mastering was done by Ray Janos, an engineer who works at Sterling Sound.
But now, an ample year later, EH fortunately has corrected this problem with a sublime new mastering.
IMO, this is the best sounding version of the stereo mix so far. But it is a close match. Most of the
previous vinyl (or CD) releases sound excellent, in contrast to 'Electric Ladyland and especially
'Are you experienced?'. If you want to pick up a vintage pressing, the ones on Reprise (original up to mid 80's)
are your best bet IMO. They sound much like the Legacy but are a little more shy on the mids.
The original UK Track is ok but has some funky EQ'ing going on in the lower-mids in an attempt to give it
somewhat more body. All copies on Polydor (UK, German, Dutch, etc.) contain an entirely different stereo mix,
which is another story altogether.

This was transferred from a NM copy.
The records are breathtakingly quiet and after a light declick and some manual restoration work,
I think I've achieved an almost tape like quality.
One side 1, you also may hear a soft frequency tone inbetween the songs which is on the mastertapes
(i.e. not there because of my equipment).
However, there is a mastering flaw in the Legacy pressing that does not appear on any other version.
Right after 'it didn't really have to stop' in Tr. 9 there is this 'unmusical' noise in the left channel.
I thought it was so distracting that I have replaced this part with 5 seconds of a late 70's Reprise pressing.
Luckily it sounded almost identical and to my ears it's impossible to hear the edit but you can see the exact
positions of the patch when viewing the Hi-Rez version with a frequency analyser.
The first 5000 copies of the Legacy are numbered. Mine is No.1683.

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MessageSujet: Re: Prof Stoned    Lun 12 Juil 2010 - 15:27

Electric Ladyland



We have come to what IMO is Hendrix most important & best album. While working on this I was
once again awestruck at how a record can have so much musical
variety and yet retain such a
consistent quality and unity overall. Hendrix was at the top of is game while making this and no one
was going to stop him from creating this benchmark. While Electric Ladyland is a logical follow-up to
Axis, Hendrix had made an enormous personal & musical growth in the meantime.
'Are you Experienced" & 'Axis: Bold As Love' were the albums that established him as a songwriter
& performer but it was 'Electric Ladyland' that officially made Hendrix an artist of genius proportions.
It seemed and still seems perfect in every way, apart from the production which is about the only thing
reminding you this was created in 1968.

Sound wise, this album is kind of a mixed bag, even though the majority of it was recorded at the
same studio. Some tracks actually sound like they were recorded at the Benjamin Franklin studio in
1733, as Jimi once joked during a live concert when the Experience was about to play on older track.
At the time when the recording started, The Record Plant Studio in New York City had just opened
and Eddie Kramer -who coincidently had been hired to make it operational- struggled to get a
decent sound. The main reason why Hendrix had abandoned the Olympic Studio in London for the
Record Plant was of course having moved back to N.Y.C. But it's 8-track facility, as opposed to
Olympic's 4-track, was a feature that seemed like a major improvement. Still, the initial recordings
done at the RP are downright crummy compared to what Kramer had achieved at Olympic with
Axis: Bold as Love. It also didn't help that Hendrix himself was getting more involved with the recording
process, insisting on recording every track in the red and wanting to mix the finished tracks himself.
Kramer, a mild mannered guy who knew the importance of a working relationship with the artist,
wisely kept himself out of trouble by not interfering with Jimi's wishes but he probably wasn't too happy
with this new development. Chas Chandler, on the other hand, recognized that his days as a producer
and mentor of the Experience were over and abandoned the recording sessions in New York City
after one month. Despite being the producer of several tracks, he got no credit on the album sleeve.

Now, this new release by EH/legacy presents the recording in its best possible sonic form.
All the edits between the songs are intact (in contrary to most vinyl pressings) and the sound is clearer
and more defined than ever. This also means that the tapeflaws and distortion on the original recording
are more obvious than ever. Somehow, this album never sounded right on vinyl before. The original
UK Track is an abomination (IMO). The Polydor's that followed were ever so slightly better but still a
long shot from the quality heard here. In the US, Reprise -reportedly- screwed up the mastering of the
first pressing by correcting all sorts of phase issue's that were deliberately added by Kramer and Hendrix.
Still, the Reprise pressings from the early seventies managed to correct this problem and as far as I'm
concerned was the best vinyl version for a long time, until this one.

This was transferred from NM copies.
The records are breathtakingly quiet and after a light declick and some manual restoration work,
I think I've achieved an almost tape like quality. Like I pointed out, there is quite some distortion in these
recordings, and will be able to hear it in its full unaltered glory.
The first 5000 copies of the Legacy are numbered. Mine is No.3166.

Tout le monde n'est pas aussi content que Profstoned des nouvelles éditions US en vinyle. Le point de vue d'un professionnel reconnu (Joe Gastwirt) :
I had a listen to the new vinyl of Electric Lady, and as I was listening I thought that it sounded awfully bright and too much mid-range frequency's, the bass sounded filtered, without the swirly beautiful low end that made the listening experience a very physical one. I then pulled out my original vinyl copy from 1968/9 and it sounded like I remember.
All the ugly mid-range and added high end was gone, the bass sounded big and surrounded the listening environment with a beautiful warmth. It felt like the sound was coming from all around the room instead of just from the speakers. Once again the new release is not even as good as the original 42 years later.
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MessageSujet: Re: Prof Stoned    Lun 12 Juil 2010 - 15:28

Band Of Gypsys

Because John McDermott wrote some excellent liner notes for the EH 1997
CD/LP version of this album -which are included in the artwork- I won't bother to tell the whole story again. But I would like to give some additional background information.

The Band of gypsys LP was an contractual obligation, and Hendrix weakest album to come out during his lifetime (aside from the ones he didn't approve for release).
Four shows were recorded over two nights, but effectively only two shows were used.
The album has its good moments ('Machine gun' and a rough but spirited 'Message of love') but also some glaring low points with 'Them Changes', a strongly edited version of the Buddy Miles' soul circus 'We gotta live together' and a light-hearted jam called 'Who knows' which does contain some GREAT guitar playing, but also some embarrassing cooings from Buddy in the middle (he sounds like a drunken pigeon). The song was never played again live after these shows.

The reason why Hendrix opted to choose two Buddy Miles tracks is simply because he wanted he keep his best new material for a future studio release. It was also a small personal revenge against Ed Chalpin, the man who had signed him as an artist four years earlier and the man who Hendrix owed the album to. Hendrix' soul was not fully into this record; it was a formality that had to be handled as quickly as possible. Afterwards, Chalpin was not too pleased with the album either; claiming that according the contract he should have been the producer and that it should have been a Jimi Hendrix Experience album.

Buddy Miles -who was a few year younger than Hendrix- had been one of the few musicians to play with Jimi during his glory years who was also a close friend. Miles was light years behind Hendrix as a songwriter, musician and vocalist, but highly ambitious with Hendrix as his main role model, calling his own group the Buddy Miles Express after the J.H. Experience. Miles was even quoted saying he regarded himself the leader of the Band of Gypsys. Hendrix -a sensitive personality who hated to confront people with their own inhabitants- let Buddy have his way until he finally couldn't stand it no more.

That moment came on January 28 1970, the day of the disastrous gig when after three songs Jimi just sat down on the stage and refused to play on. Miles failed to see why Hendrix was so demotivated and that Hendrix took the easy way out by letting his manager Michael Jeffery sack him after this gig. Jeffrey and Miles never saw eye-to-eye about the Band of Gypsys adventure, and it was probably a lot easier for Buddy to blame him than his good friend Jimi. But the rumor that Miles spreaded afterwards about how Jeffrey had spiked Hendrix with bad acid before that last BOG's gig was just ridiculous and untrue.

It must have hurt Hendrix that he was forced to release this album, even though sales would later prove that it hadn't really lessened his audience. After his death, the album's reputation only grew and is often quoted to have been a strong influence on many funk, soul and (ferchristsakes) hip-hop artists. But despite its interesting background, and the typical mixture of Rock, RnB & Funk that the Band of Gypsys created, it remains a mediocre Hendrix album.

On 13 April 1970, Reprise released a Band of Gypsys single
"Stepping Stone" / 'Izabella' (Reprise 0905), and quickly withdrawn it again. These two tracks are included here as mystery tracks (shhh!). Both tracks were recorded in January 1970 in the Record Plant studio. Only few copies of this single leaked out, making it a ultra-rare item. According to Hendrix: "Some of the copies out there have no bass on them. I had to go out somewhere and tell the guy to remix it but he didn't. Sure, it matters..." The A-side is of such quality that it could have lifted up the whole BOG album. It reflects that Hendrix was not done rocking yet, and still had some great timeless songs in him. His feeling for the blues but also his wonderful sense of humor shine through in this song (listen to it on headphones!).

Both tracks later appeared in remixed versions on the posthumous album War heroes. During the summer of 1970, Jimi opted to erase Miles' drums from the multitracks of "Stepping stone" to be replaced by Mitchell's. However, the drums were never fully completed to Hendrix's satisfaction during his life and the single version included here remains definitive.

*** The Sound Quality Issue.

The Band of Gypsys album has had many LP and CD releases. However, there are only two issue's that really matter. The 1st US pressing on Capitol in 1970 with the RL (stands for Robert Ludwig) initials in the dead wax and the 1997 vinyl re-issue as cut by Eddie Kramer and George Marino from the original analogue 2-track mix down tapes which is used for this release. These two make all the CD's sound like dogshit. And all other LP's pressings are inferior compared to these two.

Among the CD's, there is only one that used the mastertape but that CD (the EH 1997 version) does not sound all too well thanks to the brickwall mastering. The first Polydor issue (813-xxx) suffers from high generation sources and lots of compression. The Polydor 847-xxx CD with the three bonus tracks from the 'Band of gypsys 2' release uses the same source, but in addition to that it has noise reduction and digital limiting. The pre-1993 Japanese Polydor CD's are similar if not identical to the W-German's. And the Capitol release on CD from 1995 used a 1st or 2nd generation production master and was digitally limited as well.

The first Capitol pressing by Robert Ludwig and the 1997 reissue on vinyl do not sound the same and each of them have their (minor) disadvantages. The RL has a more smooth sounding mid, but somehow misses the detail in the hi-end (the cymbals) that the re-issue has. The re-issue sounds brighter, and also a tiny bit more heavy in the low-end. Maybe it is a bit too bright and boomy at times (on 'who knows', for example). But it is without a doubt the one source that captures the information of the original mixdown tapes best.

It should be said -though- that even in its most purest form, this album is not among the very best sounding Hendrix releases. A lot of that has to do with bleeding through on the vocal channels, the feedback which comes from the stage monitors and also the fact that nearly every song was differently mixed.

The two mystery tracks are sourced from the EH/Classic 150 gram red vinyl release of Voodoo Child: The Jimi Hendrix Collection with the same equipment as described above.
I have decided to have them seemingly unaccredited here because I'm hoping for a sonical upgrade (from the original 7") in the future. But don't get your hopes up too high... The 4LP box sounds decent but not as dynamic & warm as it could have been, and it is very likely sourced from a digital master (unlike what the sleeve claims). It does blow the (brickwalled) CD version of this compilation out of the water easily though. The original mix of 'Stepping stone' was also released on the 1990 compilation 'Cornerstones' but that CD has noise reduction, and was therefore unqualified for this collection.

(NB: the tracks also appear on the recent Classic release 'The singles collection vol. 2" which probably uses the same source master, although I can't confirm that).
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MessageSujet: Re: Prof Stoned    Lun 12 Juil 2010 - 15:28

Researched and Written by the Prof.

'The Cry of Love' was the first posthumous Hendrix Studio album to come out under Michael Jeffery's (Hendrix' manager) supervision. Many people feel it is the only posthume album that Hendrix would have been satisfied with. But even though it is a great album, up there with his three 'holy works', that assumption is not near the truth. Hendrix' death had left a lot of recordings in various stages of completion. A couple of songs were already mixed down to (near-) perfection, but most of them were still incomplete.

Michael Jeffrey hoped to compile three albums out of the enourmous pile of tapes that Hendrix left behind. One of them would have to be a soundtrack album to a film called Rainbow Bridge, a project in which Jeffrey was deeply involved, and which he was desperate to turn into a commercial success. However, first there would have to be a regular album, containing the strongest recordings available. Jeffrey opted not to release a double album, because he needed to fullfill his contractual obligations with Warner Brothers.

Eddie Kramer, who was chief engineer of Hendrix' new Electric Lady Studio's, and who had been closely involved with the recording process untill Jimi's death, was given the unenviable task of completing the album that Hendrix had envisioned. Together with the ever-loyal Mitch Mitchell, he went through the many tapes that Hendrix had recorded over the past two years. A process that must have been very painful to these two people who had worked so closely with Hendrix over the last four years. Although a large share of tapes were not available at that point, (the sessions that Experience had done at the TTG studio's in Oct. 1968 and many of the Record Plant sessions from the spring and autumn of 1969 with the Band of Gypsys), it was -correctly- assumed that the best material was among the works from the last six months prior to Hendrix death.

But even though Hendrix had written some real strong material in this period, most of it had not been fully realised on tape yet. Therefore, Kramer and Mitchell decided to overdub drum parts on some songs in an attempt to upgrade them, and added vibes to 'Drifting', which was something that Hendrix had intended to do. A couple more studio tricks had to be pulled to get to a more finished sounding end result, but -unlike how Alan Douglas would do it later-
Kramer and Mitchell were very attentive not to disrespect Jimi's wishes.

The resulting album was and is great, but one cannot help but wonder how much better it would have been, had Hendrix lived. At the same time, 'The Cry of Love' does give a complete image of the musical direction that Hendrix was heading into, more than any other posthume album. Songs like "In from the storm", 'Freedom", "Drifting", to name only a few, are timeless masterpieces, and we should be happy that Hendrix lived to record these. It's just a shame that these songs hardly get played by those classic rock radio stations.

(...)

*** Sound Issue's

"The Cry of Love" has stayed in print for nearly 25 years. It got several CD releases. The Reprise 2034-2 CD used here came out circa 1985 and was the very first one. It was mastered by Lee Herschberg and used a 1st generation mastertape. Near the end of the eightties Polydor released different sounding CD's in Europe and Japan. These used higher generation mastertapes, and were additionally EQ-ed. Reprise also did a remastered version of COL (by Joe Gastwirt) for the US market at the same time, and thus deleted the 2034-2 from their catalogue. Although that CD also used the same 1st generation master, it was given a heavy no-noise treatment, and is therefore the worst sounding version of COL ever to appear.

'Cry of Love' went out-of-print in 1994 in favour of the disastrous "Voodoo Soup" compilation, which fortunately went out of print only two years later when Alan Douglas lost control over the Hendrix estate. Hendrix family took over, formed 'Experience Hendrix', reinstated Eddie Kramer as the sound engineer, and released 'First rays of the new rising sun' in 1997. It included the whole COL album plus a couple more tracks from 'Rainbow Bridge' and 'War heroes'. The CD-sleeve bragged about using the original mastertapes, but during the mastering the dynamics were completely squashed by mastering genius George Marino (with approval of Eddie Kramer), in order to compete with the ongoing loudness war (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3Gmex_4hreQ).

So shortly said, the 2034-2 is the CD that sounds closest to the original mixdown mastertapes of all the CD's issue's. Granted, it may need some extra EQ-ing in the low-end during a couple of tracks, but you can do that yourself on the computer or your amplifier. Bottom line is that CD sounds the least processed, and uses the cleanest tape source (apart from the EH release).
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MessageSujet: Re: Prof Stoned    Lun 12 Juil 2010 - 15:29

Rainbow Bridge

Written & Researched by Prof. Stoned

The story behind this album starts in late 1969 when Michael Jeffrey -Hendrix manager- had 'a vision' about a roadmovie which would equal the success & cult-status of 'Easy Rider'. Jeffrey had been impressed by both the scenario and commercial success of said film, and was determined to come up with something even better.

Michael Jeffery was a man with many faces. Legend holds him as the bold & untrustworthy manager who had made Hendrix a star, but who -in the end- milked his artist to the bone.
But there are two sides to every story. Jeffrey was indeed a very sly businessman, who had mastered the art of manipulation like no one else. But there was also a deeply insecure side to his personality. Jeffrey was scared of getting older, of becoming 'uncool' and he started using drugs in a attempt to keep up with the young hip people, including Hendrix. He also secretly envied Hendrix' ability to attract any woman he wanted, not in the least because Jimi slept with one or two of his girlfriend's.

In 1969 the relationship between Jeffrey and Hendrix had severely deteriorated. During the first years, Hendrix had been deeply grateful for everything that Michael & Chas Chandler had achieved for him. But as time went by, Jimi started to get more and more frustrated with the relentless tour schedule, the pressure to record new albums, and the eternal lack of privacy that comes with being a superstar. Jimi blamed Michael for all this, but failed to acknowledge that this was the life that he had always wanted, and that his own excessive lifestyle was taking its toll on his mental and physical health.

It was in this period that Jeffery realized that his contract with Hendrix wasn't going to last forever, and that he may needed to bet on more horses than one. Jeffrey had always gathered interest in the film industry. He met Chuck Wein, a former Yale student, who considered himself a filmmaker. Together they envisioned 'Rainbow Bridge', a movie that would throw the world of conventional filmmaking upside down, and become a blistering artistic and commercial success. Wein would be the director; Jeffrey would take care of the business side.
'Rainbow Bridge' was a vain-project for both men and was destined to become a failure, but Wein had considerably less to lose than Jeffrey.

Jeffrey managed to convince Warner Brothers to finance the project. And of course, there had to be a soundtrack album as well. Back in 1967, when Jeffrey had set up a record deal with Warner Brothers for the American market, he had managed to include a special clause into the contract. If Hendrix was to record a soundtrack album, Warner would not have the rights to release it, but they would be given the first option to buy the rights. It didn't seem important at the time, but when Jeffrey told the Warner executives (who were already hungry for a new Hendrix product) in early 1970 that the next Hendrix album was going to be the soundtrack to the film and asked whether they wanted to buy it, they exploded with rage. But needless to say, they were forced to come to an agreement with him. Of course, Hendrix had no idea what his manager was up to, and wished to steer clear from the whole 'Rainbow Bridge' project.

With a budget for the film secured, Chuck Wein started filming the movie on Hawaii in the spring of 1970, without a scrïpt... He indeed had very strange idea's about how to make a film.
To him and his crew, the vibrations of the environment he was filming were far more important than an actual story or plot. After a while, Jeffrey started to realize that the film was flushing thousands and thousands of his dollars through the drain, and left him without a satifying result. So in an attempt to save the project, he managed to convince Hendrix to
do open-air concert on the Maui crater which would be filmed. Hendrix was disgusted by Wein, his crew, and the whole project in general and it only drove another wedge between him and his manager.

After Hendrix' sudden death in September 1970, Jeffrey and Wein decided to change the accent of their film from a 'documentary about a spiritual journey' to 'a tribute to Jimi hendrix'. At this point, Jeffrey could no longer hide from the fact that the film was becoming a failure, and by upgrading it with all the film footage of Hendrix that he owned, he hoped to make the most out of it. At the end of 1970, the film had been more or less completed and was previewed at small cinema in New York. However, the full 123 minute version was edited down to 75 minutes on instigation of the Warner executives, to great frustration of Chuck Wein, who blamed the flopping of the film on the fact that the edit "lacked any coherence".

Meanwhile, Hendrix' engineer Eddie Kramer & drummer Mitch Mitchell, with help from assistant-engineer John Jansen had completed the first posthumous Hendrix album "The Cry of Love". It had been quite a struggle to complete this album, but Jeffrey was quick to send them off to work again on the second posthumous studio album, which would be the soundtrack to Rainbow Bridge. However, Kramer & Mitchell soon found they didn't have enough quality material to work with and told Jeffrey to convince Warner to send them the many multitrack reels that they still held in their archives. These included the sessions that Experience had done at the TTG studio's in Oct. 1968 and many of the Record Plant sessions from the spring and autumn of 1969 with the Band of Gypsys. Both Mitchell or Kramer had little idea what to expect from these recordings, but when Warner executive Mo' Ostin finally ordered the tapes to be sent to the Electric lady studio's in February 1971, they turned out to offer surprisingly little useable material. Only 'Look over yonder' and 'Star Sprangled banner' were selected for the album.

As with 'Cry of love', during the last phase of the production of 'Rainbow Bridge' two songs ('Stepping Stone' and 'Izabella') were omitted from the album. Instead, Michael Jeffrey wanted to have a version of "Hear my train a-coming" on it as the song could also be heard in the film. But the recording of the concert on Hawaii was marred by technical problems and regarded as an inferior performance, so Kramer & Mitchell choose to use the much better version from the 1st Berkeley set instead.

When the album finally came out in October 1971, it proved to be a much lesser commercial success than 'The cry of love' had been. A couple tracks on 'Rainbow Bridge' sounded (and were) incomplete and the album therefore simply wasn't as coherent. It would go on to sell about 44.000 copies in the next four years.

Together with 'War Heroes' & "In the West, 'Rainbow Bridge' was deleted from Warner's catalogue in 1975, after WB's chief Mo' Ostin decided that Alan Douglas was far more capable of maintaining the quality of Hendrix's posthumous discography than Michael Jeffrey and Eddie Kramer had been. A dumb & unnecessary move from Mo', as history has proven it. The fact that nearly all Warner executives at the time hated Michael Jeffery (who died in a plane crash in 1973) may have played a role in this decision. As the 'Rainbow bridge' album had been exclusively licensed to WB, it has stayed out-of-print in the states ever since, although the German division of Reprise started re-pressing the album on vinyl during the 80's. And thus 'Rainbow Bridge' never got a re-issue on CD.

But in 1997 'Experience Hendrix' finally released 6 of the 8 tracks on the CD's "First rays of the new rising sun" and "South saturn delta". In 2000, the 4cd box set was released, and it meant the CD debut of another 'Rainbow Bridge' track: 'The Star Sprangled banner'. The CD-sleeves bragged about using the original master tapes, but during the mastering the dynamics were completely squashed by mastering genius George Marino (with approval of Eddie Kramer), in order to compete with the ongoing loudness war (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3Gmex_4hreQ).

So, for this release I decide to work with vinyl, instead of a reconstruction from the existing CD sources. Rather than using the LP copy that I already had for years (the German re-press that I mentioned), I decided to invest in the very first US pressing on Reprise. Cut by Robert (a.k.a. Bob) Ludwig at Sterling Sound, this vinyl copy simply makes all later pressings with a different matrix code useless. Ludwig's LP cutting work is much praised among audiophiles, and not without reason. His work sounds dynamic, has depth, and does not suffer from distortion near the end of the LP sides. Besides, he worked with the mastertapes. My budget doesn't allow me to pay 150 USD for the occasional sealed/unplayed copy that turns up on eBay, but I found a nice EX+ copy, which I gave a long good clean with anti-stat. The results are quite stunning, I think. To my ears, this sounds a lot better than EH releases. But the final judge, of course, will be you - the listener.
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MessageSujet: Re: Prof Stoned    Lun 12 Juil 2010 - 15:30

Researched and Written by Prof. Stoned

'War Heroes' was the third posthumous Hendrix Studio album to come out under Michael Jeffery's (Hendrix' manager) supervision.

Had it been tough for Eddie Kramer and Mitch Mitchell to complete the 2nd posthumous studio album 'Soundtrack of the film Rainbow Bridge" to a satisfyting result, the compiling of 'War Heroes' was what Eddie Kramer called 'scraping the bottom of the barrel'. With only two recordings that Hendrix had more or less approved during his life (Izabella & Stepping stone) and two older recordings which had not been released in the States yet (Highway Chile and Stars that play with laughing's Sam's dice, which would eventually turn up on Loose ends from 1973), Kramer -now fully assisted by John Jansen- once again went through all the tapes in the hopes to find useable pieces of music.

The collection they came up with did indeed not live up to the standard that was set with Cry of Love, Rainbow Bridge & the live album In the west. But for a more than average fan, War Heroes does not disappoint. It has a few blistering instrumentals, that Hendrix may not have wanted to be released, but who demonstrate his fine talents on the guitar nonetheless. Only '3 little bears' and 'Peter Gunn/Catastrophe' are throwaway's. Apart from the fact that Kramer wanted to offer a glimpse of Hendrix working (and joking around) in the studio, he probably also had another motive for including these.

Kramer realized that Michael Jeffrey and Warner Bros. would want him to compile more studio albums, and by using these two tracks he was able to back-up his argument that there simply were no quality studio recordings left in the vaults. When Kramer delivered 'War heroes' to WB, he also made a silent statement by not delivering any background information on the songs for the sleeve. The gloomy front cover and the unexplained album title (was it supposed to be a link to 'Izabella'?) only added to the confusion. The album sold a moderate 180.000 copies, and reached 48 in the US charts.

Together with 'Rainbow bridge' & "In the West, "'War Heroes' was deleted from Warner's catalogue in 1975, after WB's chief Mo' Ostin decided that Alan Douglas was far more capable of maintaining the quality of Hendrix's postume discography than Michael Jeffrey and Eddie Kramer had been. A dumb & unnecessary move from Mo', as history has proven it.
The fact that nearly all Warner executives at the time hated Michael Jeffery (who died in 1973) may have played a role in this decision. The 'Rainbow bridge' album had been exclusively licensed to WB, and has been out-of-print in the states ever since, although the German division of Reprise started re-pressing the album on vinyl during the 80's.

Fortunately, 'War heroes' and 'In the west" remained in print in the rest of the world, thanks to Michael Jeffreys' clever 1967 contracts. Polydor did the CD release of the albums in the eighties in Europe & Japan. It was later re-pressed in Europe (1991/1992) with a different catalogue number and different mastering. The sound had noise reduction and limiting –though not as severe as we know it by today's standards- in order to make the CD louder & "cleaner'. The re-presses can only be clearly identified with by its number: 847-262-2
The original W-German 1988 CD (which was mastered from the same digital master as the Japanese P20P and P33P series) doesn't have any of this and is the source used here.

*** The tracks

"Bleeding Heart"
Recorded with the Band of Gypsys including Juma Sultan on percussion on 12 December 1969 at the Record Plant Studio in New York City. Overdubs were added on 24 March 1970.
Previously played by the Experience as a slow blues (a sublime rendition can be heard on Reprise's 'Concerts'), this version takes a more funky approach. Originally produced by Jimi Hendrix.

"Highway Chile"
Recorded with the Experience on 3 April 1967 at Olympic Studios, London, UK. This song reflected on Hendrix' restless time as a traveling musician on the Chitlin' circuit. In Europe it became the B-side of the "Wind cries Mary' single (released: 5 May 1967 in the UK) and later appeared on the Track/Polydor version of 'Smash hits', but wasn't released in the States until 1972 when 'War heroes' came out. This track only existed in mono until 2000 when EH released a newly made (but disappointing, IMO) stereo mix on the box set. Engineered by Eddie Kramer. Produced by Chas Chandler.

"Tax free"
Recorded on 26 January 1968 at the Olympic Studios, London, UK and Record Plant, NYC, 1 May 1968. This was written by Sweden's Bo Hanssen and Janne Karlsson. Hendrix heard this instrumental while touring Sweden in 1967 and decided to record it. The Experience recorded five basic tracks, the fifth being successful. When production switched to over to the Record Plant Studio in New York, Hendrix worked on the track again there, trying to add some overdubs. The Experience added Tax Free to their set list during early 1968 and continued to play it live until early 1969. A live version can be heard on the now out-of-print "Live at Winterland" album. Originally produced by Jimi Hendrix

"Peter Gunn / Catastrophe"
Recorded mid-summer of 1970 at the Electric Lady Studios, NYC. 'Peter Gunn' was the first song that Jimi learned to play during his Seattle childhood days. 'Catastrophe' is a take-off by Jimi of the song 'Jealousy' popularized by Frankie Laine in late 1951. During the improvisation of 'Catastrophe' Jimi invented his own lyrics. This little ditty was added to the album by Eddie Kramer just to give a little insight into Hendrix's sense of humor, and is without a doubt the weakest selection. Maybe even the weakest Hendrix studio performance ever officially released. Engineered by Eddie Kramer. Originally produced by Jimi Hendrix.

"Stepping stone"
Originally recorded on 18 December 1969 with the Band of Gypsys at the Record Plant, NYC, and Electric Lady Studios, NYC. 1970. This recording was rush-released as a single with 'Izabella' on the B-side (Reprise 0905, Rel: 13/04/70), and quickly withdrawn again. Only a few copies of this single leaked out, making it a ultra-rare item. According to Hendrix: "Some of the copies out there have no bass on them. I had to go out somewhere and tell the guy to remix it but he didn't. Sure, it matters..." #
The single contained a mix with Buddy Miles on drums. Jimi -who was still working on the recording- later opted to erase Miles' drums from the multitracks to be replaced by Mitchell's. However, the drums were never fully completed to Hendrix's satisfaction during his life and therefore it's a pity that Kramer and Jansen did not use the original mix with Miles' drums for this album. While being a far more technically skilled drummer than Miles, Mitchell failed to lay down the steady beat that this track really needs. The original mix can be heard on the OOP compilation 'Cornerstones:
1967-1970' and the 2001 EH release 'Voodoo child; The JH Collection'. Engineered by Bob Hughes 1969 at the Record Plant and Eddie Kramer at Electric Land Studios 1970. Originally produced by 'Heaven Research Unlimited' (=Jimi Hendrix).

# (Hendrix was referring to the low-end rather than the bass guitar, PS).

"Midnight"
Recorded by the Experience during October 1968 at the TTG studio's, Los Angeles, CA. These October sessions were booked to record the fourth Experience studio album, which never materialized. Later on in early 1969, the group cut a similar instrumental called 'Trashman', that was eventually released (with lots of overdubs & editing) on the inferior Alan Douglas' produced 'Midnight lightning' album from 1975. Engineered by Angel Balestier. Originally produced by Jimi Hendrix.

"3 Little bears"
Recorded on 2 May 1968 at the Record Plant, NY. Another left-over from the 'Electric Ladyland' sessions. The first half of this extended jam was released on 'War Heroes'. The U.S. lp version had parts of Hendrix' frustrated comments censored by wiping them out or mixing them down very low ("Oh, fuck me" and "stop that shit, stop it"). In 1999 EH released the Jimi Hendrix "Merry Christmas and happy new year" EP, which made '3 little bears' available again. The complete extended version is only available on bootlegs; "The mixdown master tapes 1-3", for example. Originally produced by Jimi Hendrix

"Beginning"
Recorded on 16 June 1970 and on 1 July 1970 at Electric Lady Studios, NYC. This instrumental had previously been known as 'Jam back at the house' and was developed during the Woodstock rehearsal sessions in the summer of 1969. It first appeared as a strongly edited live version on the 'Woodstock 2' triple album in March 1971. It's not very likely that Mitch Mitchell actually composed this track. It seems more likely that Mitchell was given this credit in an attempt to compensate him financially for his tireless dedication over the 1967-1971 period. This version is slightly edited as well, and a complete version can be found on bootlegs. Originally produced by Jimi Hendrix.

"Izabella"
Recorded on 28/29 August 1969 at the Hit Factory, NYC, and featured the "Gypsy suns and rainbows" line up with Mitchell being replaced by Miles. It was released first as a B-side on a quickly withdrawn single (see 'Stepping Stone' details). However, unlike 'Stepping Stone' this recording was not further overdubbed, and appears here in a slightly different mix. The original mix can be heard on EH's 2001 release 'Voodoo child; The JH Collection'. Originally produced by 'Heaven Research Unlimited' (=Jimi Hendrix).

Sources:
'Setting the record straight' by John McDermott & Eddie Kramer
'Black gold' by Stephen Roby
'Electric Gypsy' by Harry Shapiro and Caesar Glebbeek
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MessageSujet: Re: Prof Stoned    Lun 12 Juil 2010 - 15:30

Crash Landing/Midnight Lightning

Hereby I present the two most controversial posthumous Hendrix releases ever. I do not personally recommend these albums, but since them have gone out-of-print and have become much sought-after, I decided to seed them. The man behind these projects is the much disputed former owner of the Hendrix estate: Alan Douglas.

Douglas was an experienced jazz producer (who had worked with various big artists in the 50's and 60's) and talent scout. He had also sort of made a name as a vulture, after he had compiled and produced posthumous albums by Lenny Bruce and Malcolm X. in the 60's. The albums were made up of selections from spoken word tapes that these two artists had left behind after their deaths. Douglas edited them in a way that he thought would make the artists appeal more to the audience. And indeed, those albums were quite successful.

Douglas had met Hendrix in mid-1969, through his wife Stella who was befriended with Hendrix girlfriend Devon Wilson. 1969 was a dark year for Jimi. The drug bust in Toronto in April 1969 and the scheduled trial had been hangin' over his head like a dark shadow. The Experience had been disbanded, Gypsy Sun and Rainbows had proved to be a logistic and creative failure, and on top of that Hendrix struggled with a writers block.
Douglas was about 15 years older than Hendrix, and Jimi had liked some of the jazz records that Alan had produced. But Hendrix was merely looking for someone to guide his career rather than another producer. The relationship between Hendrix and his manager Michael Jeffrey at this point had been severely deteriorated, and by more or less using Douglas as his personal spokesman, Hendrix thought he could escape any contact with Jeffrey.

In the autumn of 1969 Douglas oversaw a couple of Band of Gypsies studio sessions. Hendrix was still struggling with his new idea's and for him the sessions were just an excuse to jam all night long with Buddy Miles and Billy Cox. After a failed attempt to couple Hendrix with Miles Davis and Tony Williams for a one-off album, and a lot more structureless Band of Gyspies sessions, Douglas gave up in November 1969, and continued to work on his own projects. He remained befriended with Hendrix, but was not asked again to be involved in the recording process, when the Electric Lady Studio's opened in 1970.

After Hendrix death, Douglas more than once tried to work himself in the position of becoming the producer/compiler of new Hendrix records. But Hendrix' manager Michael Jeffrey deeply disliked Douglas and always made sure that it wasn't happening. But in 1973 Michael Jeffrey died on a plane crash, and Warner Brothers needed to find someone to take control of the Hendrix estate. The company had been unhappy with the record sales and quality of the latest posthumous Hendrix releases and were looking for people who "still had quality Hendrix tapes" in their possession. Leo Branton who was put in charge to sort this out, and he remembered Douglas had expressed his desire to take control and had also done sessions with Hendrix in 1969. This led to Alan Douglas being given control over the Hendrix estate in 1974.

Like Warner Brothers, Douglas was anxious to 're-establish the legacy'. So together with engineer Les Kahn he started to work his way through the thousands of multitapes that Hendrix had left behind. The same tapes that Eddie Kramer and John Jansen had gone through three years earlier to compile "Cry of Love", "Rainbow bridge", "War heroes" and the European only release 'Loose ends". Douglas strongly objected to these last three releases, and was convinced that Kramer & Jansen had taken the entire wrong approach. Of course, Douglas did not find any completed material that was directly suitable for commercial release. But he did find some interesting sketches of unreleased songs.

Douglas contacted Tony Bongiovi, an engineer he had worked with before and who had impressed him by fixing up a master reel that was practically unusable. Together they brainstormed about what it would take to make a commercially suitable album out of these tapes.
Bongiovi and Douglas started with choosing the material, then editing the songs to acceptable length and conventional structure, if necessary. They hired a musical director to write out all the drums, bass, guitars and vocals passages, a bunch of anonymous studio musicians to perform them, and basically spent months editing, overdubbing and directing what would become the 'Crash landing' album. Even Hendrix guitar tracks were 'corrected' with overdubs if Bongiovi and Douglas thought that was necessary.

Warner Brothers had a lot of faith in Douglas and an astounding budget of 100.000 USD was made available for this project. On top of that, a gigantic PR campaign led by -which started before the album had come out already- helped boosting the album's sales tremendously, making it reach no. 4 in the US Billboard and going on to sell a whopping 450.000 copies. 'Crash landing' was presented as if it was a 'newly discovered forgotten Hendrix album' and that it exclusively presented the new musical direction that Hendrix was heading into.

But not everybody was happy with the new album. Critics and fans disputed Douglas' seemingly lack of ethics, good taste and modesty. Douglas always claimed that the music on 'Crash landing' was not a interpretation, but an expansion of what Hendrix had intended. Despite that, the album sounds very slick, with even some disco influences and topped off with a very uncalled-for choir of female back-up singers on the title track. Douglas made matters worse with his self-centered attitude. He was quoted saying in the press that he had attended most of the original recording sessions of the songs on the album. In reality, he wasn't present on any of them. When asked if he had considered using Jimi's original rhythm section for the album, Douglas simply remarked that they weren't skilled enough and that they always were keeping Hendrix down musically. His message to all those who questioned his work ethics was basically "You don't like it? Too bad."

However, Warner executive Mo' Ostin was very impressed with the new album and decided to delete the posthumous Hendrix back-catalogue minus 'Cry of love' - which consisted of 'Rainbow bridge', 'In the west' & 'War heroes' - to Douglas’ delightment. A dumb & unnecessary move from Mo', as history has proven it. The motivation was that Warner wanted to keep up the quality standard that Hendrix had set during his lifetime.

Only the opening track 'Message to love' (Record Plant, NY 1969/12/19 & 1970/01/20) sounds more or less authentic, as it had only gotten a percussion overdub and the original drums and bass parts were left intact. The guitar solo is taken from an entirely different take, and skillfully pasted in by Bongiovi. Experience Hendrix released the unedited and overdubbed version in 2000 on the box set.
"Somewhere over the rainbow", (Sound center, NY 1968/3/?) is an outtake from the Electric Ladyland sessions. The unoverdubbed version of this demo was released in 2000 on the purple box set.
'Crash landing' (Record Plant, NY 1969/04/24&29) is obviously nothing more than a sketch, and suffers from the very misplaced backing vocals. The song is a not-so-flattering tribute to his girlfriend Devon Wilson.
'Come down hard on me" (Electric Lady, NY 1970/07/15) had previously been released on the 1973 Polydor release 'Loose ends', and was 'upgraded' here with a disco beat. The original mix made by Hendrix and Eddie Kramer in 1970 also appears on the box set.
'Peace in Mississippi" (TTG, LA 1968/10/?) was an instrumental jam by the Experience in strongly edited form.
'With the power' (Record Plant, NY 1970/01/21, 1970/02/03 & 1970/08/22) was another Band of Gypsies effort that was never seriously considered for Jimi's Fourth studio album, as it had appeared on the BOG live album. Nonetheless, Hendrix kept making adjustments during his last 9 months of his life. An unedited and overdubbed version appears on 'South saturn delta".
'Stone free again' (Record Plant, NY 1969/04/7, 9 & 14) was a useless remake that Jimi had intended for the American version of 'Smash hits'. The unedited and unoverdubbed version appeared in 2000 on the box set.
'Captain coconut' (Hit Factory, NY 1969) (Record Plant, NY 1969) (Electric Lady, NY 1970) was technically composed by John Jansen in 1971 when he had been searching the archives for suitable pieces of background music for the 'Rainbow bridge' film. It had been compiled from three different jams and Jansen had adjusted the running speed of certain parts to make them fit together. The tape operator had written MLK on the tape box of the original stereo master tape, but despite what is often claimed this was certainly not a reference to Martin Luther King. Douglas then simply overdubbed drums onto the stereo master.

Backed up by commercial success, Douglas and Bongiovi went on to work on a 2nd album using the same working approach. The album got the working title 'Multicolored blues', and was supposed to be a closer view at 'Hendrix the Bluesman'. But the material they had to work mainly consisted of unstructured jams and songs that had been rejected for 'Crash landing'. Again, the project took a whole lot of man-hours and a lot of patience. But in the end, the painstaking process of editing and overdubbing could simply not reveal that 'Midnight lightning' was an (even bigger) failure. Even Alan Douglas would later admit that it was not entirely up to par. Without the 'newly discovered tapes' story and without the gigantic PR campaign, the album sold poorly compared to 'Crash landing' and even compared to the albums from the deleted back catalogue. It reached only no. 48 in the US album charts.

'Trash man' (Ohlmstead, NY 1969/04/03) was an alternative version of 'Midnight' from the 'War heroes' album, but obviously less refined.
'Midnight lightning' (Juggy sound, NY 1970/03/23) was disgraced by the same female choir as used on 'Crash landing'.
'Hear my train a coming' (Record Plant, NY 1969/04/09) was another jam 'put back into shape' by Douglas. It is the only song on the album to feature its original drum tracks (by Mitchell).
'Gypsy boy' (Record Plant, NY 1969/03/18) is better known as 'New rising sun' and again the female choir makes a cringe-worthy appearance.
'Blue suede shoes' (Record Plant, NY 1970/01/23) had appeared on the 1973 'Loose ends' album before, which seemed odd as Douglas had to so clearly outspoken his averse against that album.
'Machine gun' (Hit Factory, NY 1969/08/23) & (Record Plant, NY 1969/09/23) was not the fully realized studio version that Hendrix fans had been hoping for, but rather an early run-through, originally recorded by 'Gypsy suns and rainbows'.
'Once I had a woman' (Record Plant, NY 1970/01/23) is a slow blues that Hendrix had tried in the studio with the 'Band of gypsies'.
'Beginning' (Electric Lady, NY 1970/07/01 & 1970/08/22) was an instrumental track that had already appeared in its original form on the 'War heroes' album.

Once again, fans and critics put the album to the sword. And Douglas -disappointed with the album sales and tired of the critism - decided to reconsider his strategy for future Hendrix releases.

'Crash landing' was reissued on CD in the early nineties by Reprise for the US market (2204-2). In Europe, Polydor re-released 'Crash landing' (827 932-2) and 'Midnight lightning' (825 166-2) on CD in 1988 & 1989 already. Although, Reprise had a lower generation master tape to work with, their CD has been treated with noise reduction and therefore sounds inferior compared to the Polydor version. Polydor did a second CD release of 'Crash landing' in the early nineties (847 263-2) which seemed to be a copy of the Reprise CD. 'Midnight lightning' never got a re-release on Polydor and no CD release in the States at all.
So, for this compilation I used the two early Polydor's, which preserve the sound quality of the original albums best on CD. As stated, all above CD's have been out-of-print for years and the ones used here have become very valuable. They also sound miles better than the Russian 2on1 counterfeit CD release that has occurred regularly on eBay since two years, and which has been digitally clipped.
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MessageSujet: Re: Prof Stoned    Lun 12 Juil 2010 - 15:31

Notes by the Prof. :

***History of the Hendrix IOW releases

The "Isle of Wight" LP was the first Hendrix album ever to be compiled and released from Hendrix' much debated Isle if Wight show. It came out in November 1971, just in time for X-Mas and was a project initiated by Hendrix' then-manager Michael Jeffrey.

Jeffrey had been inspired by a triple LP set called "The First Great Rock Festival Of The Seventies" that Columbia records was putting together at the time. It would eventually contain 3 Hendrix tracks from the same IOW show. These mixes were made under the supervision of Teo Macero, known for his producion work of Miles Davis. Macero was hired by Columbia to produce part of the album. His efforts sounded quite poor (especially the last two tracks), and were crudely edited but despite that, the triple box sold quite well.

So, Michael Jeffrey asked Hendrix' engineer Eddie Kramer to remix the whole Hendrix set, and evaluate the performance for possible release. After doing so, Kramer strongly objected against releasing any material from this concert, and demanded that his name was not in any way affliated with it. Jeffrey took the stereo mixes that Kramer had made to London and handed them over to Polydor's engineer Carlos Olms, who added the echo to the mix, selected the tracks, and basically made an album out of it. A surprisingly good album, considering the limitations of the recording and performance. And the songs were left intact, without any edits. The record only came out in Europe at the time, and after initial strong sales, it quickly disappeared from the UK charts.

In 1973, three more tracks from the IOW show appeared on vinyl. "In from the storm" and previously unheard versions of "Red house' & an edited 'Machine gun" were used on the Warner Brothers album "Soundtrack for Jimi Hendrix" They turned out to be lofi monomixes, taken directly from the original filmreels.

Almost twenty years later, Alan Douglas -who in the meantime had taken control over Hendrix' estate- released a new compilation called "Isle of Wight '70". This CD captured 9 titles of which only two had previously been available on the 6-track Polydor version. Polydor had re-released the original album on CD in '88, but it went out-of-print after the new compilation occurred, and has become hard to find these days. Douglas heavily edited the songs on his version, to make -what he thought would be- a listenable result. But all this editing and even crowd noise overdubbing, could not mask the fact that the material he used was below sub-standard quality.
The next and supposedly definitive IOW release came twelve years later in 2002. As we all know, by this time Hendrix' family had gathered back the rights to his work, and they decided it was a time for a complete version of this show..
Apparently, the years had made Eddie Kramer's opinion about this concert a lot milder, as he remixed the entire show both in stereo and 5.1, and was happy to have his name on the sleeves of the CD and DVD versions. The 2CD and DVD of 'Blue wild angel' make it all too obvious what a miserable performance (save from a few highlights) this really was.

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**** The Sound Issue's

Despite the fact the market has been flooded with material taken from this concert over the last 36 years, the original 6-track album is still best sounding one by a mile. It is also still the only album which offers a complete version of 'Midnight lightning', as the EH version abruptly fades this track out somewhere near the end. Despite the out-of-tune guitar, the performance of this song has a haunting quality to it that -imo- made it a perfect opener on the first IOW album.

So how can it be that the sound quality of the first LP was never improved? The answer to that lies in the fact that all later remixed versions tried to mask the rattling of the snares of the snaredrum - caused by the sheer volume of hendrix' guitarsound- by using a form of noise reduction on the drum tracks of the multitapes.

The consequence of that is that on both "Isle of wight '70" and "Blue wild Angel", the drums sound really dead. The sound doesn't breath and has no depth. Despite the noises, the drums sound as good as they get on the original LP. On top of that, the bass guitar on IOW'70 sounds really thin. BWA has more bass guitar, but still not that BIG beefy bass guitar sound of the original album.

The track selection of the original LP is terrific too.
Side B (Track 4-6) simply puts together the best performances from this show, while Side A is solid. Only 'Foxy Lady' drags on a bit too long and is marred by the radio interference with Hendrix' amps which made him stop playing for a while.

Tr. 1-6 are perfectly ripped straight from 1988 German CD version of the IOW album. Frankly, it sounds better to me than the original german LP version from 1971 that I have as well.

Tr. 7-9 are taken directly from a near mint copy of 1st pressing of the FGRFOTS triple album. While not included here for their sonic quality, they give an idea how well the original Polydor release was mixed and add a slice of extra music with "Message of love". The last two tracks sound quite distorted. This is something that occurred in the original Columbia master tapes.
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MessageSujet: Re: Prof Stoned    Lun 12 Juil 2010 - 15:31

Notes by the Prof. :

**** The Story Behind "Hendrix in the West"

"Hendrix in the West" is one the best albums that was released after Hendrix' death under the supervision of his original manager Michael Jeffrey. Compiled under the critical ears of Jimi's engineer Eddie Kramer w/protégé John Jansen, it is arguably also the best Hendrix live album that was ever released.

It was originally supposed to be a accompanying soundtrack album to the "Jimi Plays Berkeley" movie, hence the misleading title. Peter Pilafian and his crew had shot vision footage of the two Berkeley shows on 30 May 1970 on instigation of Michael Jeffrey, who -for years- had been considering making a Hendrix live movie. However, when Pilafian came to ask for his allowance for expanses afterwards, Jeffrey refused to pay a penny without having seen one single shot, causing Pilafian great financial debts.

Jeffrey's attitude changed after Hendrix died unexpectedly a couple months later. He came to terms with Pilafian. The film footage appeared to be a incomplete mish-mash job, but Jeffery was determined to make it work, and ordered the director to use every inch of film to get to a respectable length. Eddie Kramer & John Jansen were sent to work to mix, edit & sync the soundtrack for the film from the multitapes which had been recorded by Abe Jacob, Hendrix' long time live sound engineer.

Jeffrey wanted an album to accompany the film, preferably compiled from the two Berkeley shows. However, Eddie Kramer managed to convince Jeffrey that there were not enough performances among these two shows that where up to standard to fill an album, and suggested to use recordings of other shows as well.

Despite the many years of touring, Kramer & Jansen soon found that they didn't have that many multi-recorded Hendrix shows to choose from. They had to work with Isle of Wight '70, Berkeley '70, San Diego '69 & LA '69. Not all of them were equally inspired performances. Atlanta '70 & Maui '70 had simply been too poorly recorded & the Monterey '67 recording was not available at the time. They overlooked or didn't have access to the Winterland '68 tapes.

Kramer was especially interested in the multitrack recordings of the Royal Albert Hall show from 24 February 1969. But after the initial recording, there had been a legal battle going on between the initiators Gold & Goldstein (who had filmed more Hendrix concerts for an planned road movie) & Michael Jeffrey about who owned the rights to the audio and video footage. Jeffrey actually owned the multitapes of that show, even though he didn't own the legal rights to do anything with them.

So, one day he came walking in the studio with a few brown unmarked tape boxes, and handed them over to Kramer and Jansen. Both immediately knew what these tapes were, but Jeffrey reassured them and told them to use these. He would handle the business side. Kramer/Jansen choose two blistering performances from the London show, which tremendously helped giving the album more body.

When the album came out, it turned out that the credits of these two songs had been changed to "San Diego". But Michael Jeffrey soon found he had underestimated Gold & Goldstein because they filed a claim of millions against him, Kramer & Jansen. The charges against the two producers were dropped later though. Michael Jeffrey's untimely death in May '73 (plane crash), made sure he never got to court for his part in this case either. 'Hendrix in the west' was a huge success and went to 12 in the US charts.

"Setting the record Straight" by John McDermott & Eddie Kramer has been an invaluable source for the above information. It's also my favorite Hendrix book by a mile.
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

****About The Bonus Material

In 1974, after Michael Jeffrey's death, Alan Douglas managed to take control over Hendrix' estate. During his twenty years reign, Douglas was often (and IMO rightly) criticized for his lack of ethics & his seemingly disrespect for Hendrix' creativity & legacy.

Douglas released two highly controversial studio albums on which the backing band had been entirely overdubbed by the same session musicians who played on "I will survive" (!). Even Hendrix own guitar was replaced at times by a session musician. After that Douglas went on to release many lackluster Hendrix albums, and an occasional good one.

'Johnny B. Goode' & 'Band of Gypsys 2' -however- are both pretty weak efforts. Both lp's have tracks from the badly recorded and uninspired Atlanta Pop Festival Show from 1970 (which also can be found in its entire in the Stages box set from 1990). But JBG does contain two strong performances from the Berkeley shows; a great sounding remix of the title track and an inspired rendition of Machine Gun. Although it came out only on LP in the States and Europe, it was actually released on CD in Australia, and that is the source used for this compilation. Like the ITW CD, it is now long out-of-print.

'Band of Gypsys 2' suggests an album with Buddy Miles on the drums. But apparently, it didn't make much of a difference to Douglas whether it was Miles or Mitchell behind the drum kit.
Side A contained three live recordings, of which two from a lo-fi video source. In 1990, these three recordings appeared as bonus tracks on the Polydor CD version of the original Band of Gypsys album
Side B -however- only has the Mitchell/Cox line-up. Again, two 'new' tracks from Berkeley appeared; decent renditions of Ezy rider and Stone free. This album only came out on vinyl, and a near-mint copy was used for this compilation.

(N.B.: I played with the thought of adding 'Hear my train a-coming' from the 1st Berkeley set (found on the 'Rainbow Bridge' album) but decided to keep that for a future digital release of the RB album, which never came out on CD as an album either.)

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

***Sound Issue's

'Hendrix in the west' has not been re-issued on CD since the original Polydor cd went out of print in the early nineties. The best tracks have been reissued on the 2000 box set, and are probably from a lower generation tape source, but as with all EH releases these CD's are mastered pretty loud, compromising the dynamic range of the original recordings, unlike the CD version you have here. Your call.

As most of you know, Eddie Kramer remixed the 2nd Berkeley set for a new CD release 'Live at Berkeley, the 2nd show" in 2003. So, only 'Ezy Rider' remains officially out-of-print. The tracks from the 2nd show here are different mixes when compared to the EH album. Both of these mixes have their advantages, and personally I like the ones made under Alan Douglas' supervision as well as the remixes that Eddie Kramer did in 2003 for the EH release. But again, the main disadvantage of the EH versions is the compromised dynamic range.
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MessageSujet: Re: Prof Stoned    Mer 30 Mar 2011 - 0:15

Hendrix / Band Of Gypsys - Stepping Stone (Orig US 45rpm - Unplayed Copy)



Hendrix/Band of Gypsys - Stepping Stone 45rpm (Unplayed US Stock Copy)
16bit/44.1kHz (Redbook Audio for CD burning)

01. Stepping Stone
02. Izabella

These mixes do not appear officially on CD or any other vinyl release.

Producer: Heaven Research Unlimited (a.k.a. Jimi Hendrix)
Engineer: Jack Adams
Mastering: Robert Ludwig (his initials are on both sides of the deadwax)

Hardware:
- Technics 1210mk2
- Jelco SA-750D Tonearm (w/ JAC 501 cable)
- Audio Technica AT33PTG MC
- Pro-Ject Tube Box SE-2
- Yamaha CA-1010
- RME ADI-2 A/D Interface

Software:
- Audition 3.0 used for adjusting DC bias, editing, (incl. manual removal of clicks and pops), adding gain and making the cue points.
- Click Repair 3.4.1 used with setting Cl: 10, Cr: 0
- CueListTool v1.7 & Mediaval CueSplitter used for generating the .cue's & .m3u's.
- MBit dithering and Sox Resampler used for converting to standard wav format.

Transfer & Restoration by Prof. Stoned

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Prof. sez:

It's about time for a slice of seriously rare Hendrix.

This 45 rpm was released on April 8, 1970, shortly after the US release of the Band of Gypsys album. For some strange reason, it failed to sell and was allegedly withdrawn after Hendrix expressed his dissatisfaction about the mix.

Contrary to popular believe, the original 45 rpm mix of Stepping Stone as heard here was NEVER used again for commercial release, unlike what Alan Douglas and John McDermott/Eddie Kramer tried to have you believe.

There are no less than 5 mixes of the A-side in existence, three of which have Buddy Miles original drum efforts. The mix that first appeared on the 1982 compilation 'Kiss the Sky', then on 1990's Cornerstones, 2001's 'Voodoo Chile; The Collection' and most recently the limited edition Singles Box Vol. 2 is NOT the 45 rpm mix, although it has Buddy's drums. And then, there's yet another vintage mix containing Buddy's drums, which can be found on the Warner Bros 1971 3LP sampler Looney Tunes/Merry Melodies. This seems to be a much rougher mix that was never intended for release and has also never appeared elsewhere (see the other txt file for a weblink to a listening sample).

Exactly what was wrong with the 45 mix in Hendrix' view is hard to say. Hendrix would later revisit the multitrack of the A-side and have Mitch Mitchell overdub new drums but apparently -according to John McDermott's 'Ultimate Hendrix' book- Buddy Miles efforts were not wiped from the tape. It's unknown when exactly the 'Kiss the Sky' mix was made but it's 99.9% likely that it was made during the same mixdown session as the 45 version, as the mixes are very close with similar (though not entirely identical) stereo panning goin' on.

The mix on the B-side is also a rarity in that it was never used again. A 1971 remix of this track appeared on the album 'War Heroes' but unlike Stepping stone (which was remixed with Mitchell's drum part) this one still had its original drum part. But as with Stepping Stone, the version that did appear on 'Voodoo Chile; The Collection' and the limited edition Singles Box Vol. 2 is NOT the 45 rpm mix either but at the same time is also nearly identical. Confusing, huh?

All credit for these findings must be given to Steve E. If you wanna learn the exact details and differences, read page 1 5 of the following thread: http://www.stevehoffman.tv/forums/showthread.php?t=146795
I have also collected his posts in a .txt file included here for posterity.

This record came from a collection of unplayed stock copies and which I was lucky to find on eBay. It is in stunning near mint condition and has only been played two times ever (by me, after cleaning, to make sure whatever dirt was still in the grooves would be picked up). The quality is breathtaking as you might expect from an RL cut. Side A has some distortion which I believe originates from the mastertape, as it can be heard on the other mix as well.

The record was professionally and carefully cleaned in three steps using Audio Intelligent’s Enzymantic formula, Super Cleaner Formula, and Ultra pure water on a VPI 16.5 (using VPI brushes) and Nitty Gritty mini-pro 2. Then I spent time manually declicking the wave file (after Click Repair had already been applied with a medium setting) to make sure the cleanest and most natural sounding result possible was achieved.

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MessageSujet: Re: Prof Stoned    Aujourd'hui à 23:44

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