The Jimi Hendrix Experience : Detroit Rock City
(ATM 231-232, 12/XII/2004, 2CDR)
- 1st source: Audience recording (low generation) ; Digitally restored & pitch corrected
- 2nd source: Audience recording (1st generation) ; Digitally Restored
Disc 1 (1st Source):
01. Intro / Fire (41)
02. Spanish Castle Magic (19)
03. I Don't Live Today (23)
04. Sunshine Of Your Love (13)
05. Voodoo Chile (Slight Return) (34)
06. Red House (34)
Disc 2 (2nd Source - Foley):
01. Fire (41)
02. I Don't Live Today (19)
03. Sunshine Of Your Love (13)
04. Red House (34i)
05. Foxy Lady (48)
06. Hey Joe (40)
07. Purple Haze (57)
Total time - 38:58 / 46:45
- 1st source of this show is the tape originally thought to be from the 2/V/1969 Detroit concert. This tape captures the first
part of the show but misses the remainder. That's yet another tape that has mostly circulated incomplete. Many sources end with the first minute of "Voodoo Chile (Slight Return)" (34i) followed by 3-minute portion of "Red House" (34i). Check Joel Brattin's article in UniVibes issue 28, p.27-32 (April 1998) about all Detroit recordings.
- Details about the 1st source::
The tape is a real mess! It's a mono recording, but somewhere during the analog copying many problems were introduced. Phase between channels had a large offset that wasn't constant (large enough that it must have been intentional, to give a fake stereo effect), so even when the average offset was corrected, some variations in phase remained that made the sound wobble back and forth.
The two channels have also been treated with different EQ, with the right channel more trebly and the the left channel more bassy. There was no feasible way to remove these problems (and additional ones described below) completely and combine the channels without losing sound quality, so the right channel of the recording was used, with some small patches from the other channel. Not knowing which channel (if either) has the more correct EQ, the average value was used and applied to the right channel.
The tape gets 1 minute into "Voodoo Child (Slight Return)" (34), then the audio cuts and jumps into the middle of "Red House" (34).
After "Red House" (34) reaches its end, there's another cut and we're back to "Voodoo Chile (Slight Return)" (34) to capture the end of the song.
Apparently what must have occurred is that the taper got to the end of the tape, but wanting to record some of the "Red House" (34), rewound the tape and recorded it over the part of previously taped "Voodoo Child (Slight Return)" (34). As the tape progresses past the start of "Voodoo Chile (Slight Return)" (34), the technical problems get worse. The pitch starts to droop substantially; this gets worse during "Red House" (34) (especially after a cut in the song at around 3-minute mark). By the end of the tape, it is an unbelievable (and totally unlistenable) 75% slow. Since this pitch slowdown gets worse during the running of this source, but the original tape has a later-recorded song ("Red House" (34) before the end of "Voodoo Chile (Slight Return)" (34), it's clear that the slowdown occurred during the transfer stage (!!!) and was not on the master. Also during this last part of the tape, there are speaking voices (recorded at different speed, very high-pitched) overlaid on the music, mostly in the left channel (another reason for using the right channel). When slowed down, one of these can be heard to say "put that down and get your ass in here!". Because of this it seems likely that an early transfer was done by microphone rather than by cable (!!). There are assorted other sounds, wobbling in the volume, dropouts galore, and one channel quits altogether at the end of the tape. It's really a total mess. The gigantic speed slowdown is probably the reason that the end of the tape isn't included on most transfers. But it's valuable, since neither "Voodoo Child (Slight Return)" (34) nor the end of "Red House" (34) are included on the 2nd (Foley) source.
It's probably safe to assume that the master would have been in substantially better shape than this tape (it must have been an excellent sounding tape in fact) and that most of the technical problems (and deliberate alterations) came in at later stages, but sadly the master may no longer exist. A variable pitch correction was used to fix the speed at the end. "Red House" (34) was removed and placed after the two parts of "Voodoo Chile (Slight Return)" (34), to restore the actual recording order. Some EQ was applied to two off-speed tracks because the original EQ on these two was substantially different from the rest of the tape, maybe some effect of the pitch sag. Sudden volume changes (some of these apparently not on the master) were corrected. It is still a rough tape, but it sounds a lot better now. At least a majority of the technical problems have been improved. Other than removal of one several second long portion of a tape where high-pitched voices are all that's heard, this is the complete source and includes about 3 minutes of "Voodoo Child (Slight Return)" (34) and 2 minutes of "Red House" (34) that aren't on most other transfers.
- Details about the 2nd source:
The 2nd source is the tape recorded by Randy Foley. It skips some songs during the concert but captures the later part of the show. Most of the copies of this tape (aka. The "Detroit Fire" Tape) have been circulated without "I Don't Live Today" (23), which was recorded but left off of those transfers. The source used here is probably the best available, and is complete. It is a digital copy of a transfer of the master onto videotape. Randy made a videotape transfer and a handful of cassette transfers, all 1st gen from the master. The master has since been sold to Experience Hendrix, and apparently no direct digital transfer of the master was made before the sale. In Foley's article in UniVibes, he implies that a digital transfer from the master was done, but that was probably an incomplete recollection. Very little has been done to this source. The CDR has index gaps (from Randy's comments it appears that his original digital transfer onto CDR has these too). These were removed. Tape speed sounds right so pitch wasn't altered.
- A 1st & 2nd Source composite is available on ATM-143 "Tomorrow We'll Do Our Last Gig In The States".
- A Stereo effect mix (merge) of "Fire" (41) "I Don't Live Today" (23) "Sunshine Of Your Love" (13) "Red House"(34i) is available on the Collector's Disc "Merge Vol.4".