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Jimi Hendrix BBC Sessions album cover
4.41 | 26 ratings | 2 reviews | 46% 5 stars

Essential: a masterpiece of
rock music

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Live, released in 1998

Songs / Tracks Listing

Disc one
1. Foxy Lady (Jimi Hendrix) - 2:59
2. Alexis Korner Introduction - 0:27
3. Can You Please Crawl Out Your Window? (Bob Dylan) - 3:31
4. Rhythm and Blues World Service - 0:12
5. (I'm Your) Hoochie Coochie Man (Willie Dixon) - 5:31
6. Traveling with the Experience - 0:22
7. Driving South (Curtis Knight) - 5:30
8. Fire (Hendrix) - 2:43
9. Little Miss Lover (Hendrix) - 2:57
10. Introducing the Experience - 0:51
11. Burning of the Midnight Lamp (Hendrix) - 3:43
12. Catfish Blues (Robert Petway) - 5:28
13. Stone Free (Hendrix) - 3:25
14. Love or Confusion (Hendrix) - 2:54
15. Hey Joe (Billy Roberts) - 4:01
16. Hound Dog (Jerry Leiber, Mike Stoller) - 2:42
17. Driving South (McNear) - 4:49
18. Hear My Train a Comin' (Hendrix) - 5:00

Disc two
1. Purple Haze (Hendrix) - 3:17
2. Killing Floor (Chester Arthur Burnett) - 2:29
3. Radio One (Hendrix) - 1:34
4. Wait Until Tomorrow (Hendrix) - 2:57
5. Day Tripper (John Lennon, Paul McCartney) - 3:24
6. Spanish Castle Magic (Hendrix) - 3:07
7. Jammin' (Hendrix) - 3:23
8. I Was Made to Love Her (Henry Cosby, Lula Mae Hardaway, Sylvia Moy, Stevie Wonder) - 3:04
9. Foxy Lady (Hendrix) - 2:43
10. A Brand New Sound - 0:54
11. Hey Joe (alternate take) (Roberts) - 2:57
12. Manic Depression (Hendrix) - 3:10
13. Driving South (alternate take) (McNear) - 3:21
14. Hear My Train a Comin' (alternate take) (Hendrix) - 5:02
15. A Happening for Lulu - 0:19
16. Voodoo Child (Slight Return) (Hendrix) - 4:08
17. Lulu Introduction - 0:22
18. Hey Joe (Roberts) - 2:43
19. Sunshine of Your Love (Pete Brown, Jack Bruce, Eric Clapton) - 1:17

Line-up / Musicians

Jimi Hendrix- Vocals, Guitar
Mitch Mitchell- Drums, except on tracks 25-26
Noel Redding- Bass
Stevie Wonder- Drums on tracks 25-26
Alexis Korner- Slide guitar on track 5

Releases information

Two disc set that contains all the surviving tracks from their various appearances on BBC radio programmes, such as Saturday Club and Top Gear.

Thanks to marktheshark for the addition
and to zowieziggy for the last updates
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JIMI HENDRIX BBC Sessions ratings distribution

(26 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of rock music(46%)
Excellent addition to any rock music collection(38%)
Good, but non-essential (12%)
Collectors/fans only (4%)
Poor. Only for completionists (0%)

JIMI HENDRIX BBC Sessions reviews

Showing all collaborators reviews and last reviews preview | Show all reviews/ratings

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by Muzikman
4 stars The Jimi Hendrix Experience BBC Sessions is now available as a two CD and DVD set. This package puts together all of the tracks from the BBC Hendrix archives, along with a fascinating account of the sessions in a booklet laden with pictures. In addition to that you get a DVD that sheds further light upon that time and those now legendary sessions.

The sound quality is excellent on this set given that they are live off floor recordings. While a full bodied sound is maintained the excitement and rawness of the tracks are still intact. All of this music was recorded in London at the BBC studios in 1967 prior to the release of the first studio release from the band Are You Experienced. If you stop for a moment and think about that, it is quite incredible that they had not released their first album yet. After listening to all the tracks you begin realize why everyone was so awestruck with Hendrix and what his band was doing at the time.

In addition to the music the Hendrix personality and sense of humor is on display on the recordings and footage provided from the BCC tapes with Lulu. The instant formation of the "Radio One (jingle)" on the air while recording or the barking on "Hound Dog" are good examples of the ongoing lightheartedness. Everything you will hear is impromptu jams on this session and several tracks that were never attempted live. It is also interesting to watch what transpires on the show with Lulu. Hendrix decided to ignore industry standards and the show guidelines while launching into a free form intro for "Hey Joe" that the rest of the band did not seem too sure how to follow but they managed to pull it off just the same. Then to make it more confusing Hendrix decided to suddenly abandon "Hey Joe" entirely and go into a tribute to Cream with "Sunshine of Your Love", all the while the director was waving his arms for the band to stop. We can witness here again the absolute genius of Hendrix playing these songs in such an "off the cuff manner" while still sounding so amazingly fresh and innovative. It was displays like this that prove my point that he was one of the progenitors of progressive rock, if not the man that started it all.

What I found so charming about Hendrix and this pre-studio recording time period was how much innocent fun Jimi and the boys were having while simultaneously driving everyone else from the shows crazy. Hendrix was laughing all way and then suddenly became a worldwide sensation after the release of their first album. Make no mistake about it though, this is what started the fire back in 1967 and it's a flame that has yet to be extinguished.

There is a litany of information and music to take in on this set. The video segment has a few things to be desired like showing footage of songs and playing the backing track that did not sync with Jimi's vocals onstage. Up to this point the DVD's that came along with these sets were very good however this one took something away from the quality of an otherwise outstanding set. The interviews were good and informative and made you think more about what was going on in those days, which I thought was important to be able to link yourself to that time and the atmosphere of the sessions.

Once again we get to enjoy the spontaneous combustion of the Jimi Hendrix Experience, a trio that made more noise than bands that were twice their size. Just listen to the version of "Driving South" and tell me who was making music that sounded this amazing back in 1967? In fact, is there anyone today that is even coming close to producing music like this? I think not so enjoy these Hendrix reissues all you can and make sure you listen several times to absorb it all. Excuse me while I go listen to some more Hendrix?

Key Tracks: Driving South, Hear My Train A Comin', Catfish Blues

Review by Eetu Pellonpaa
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
5 stars If I should choose only one Jimi Hendrix album for a recommendation, I would pick up this double CD. In my opinion it gives a great retrospective of the band's music performed aggressively live in a radio recording studio, containing material from their three first major studio albums and also many fabulous tracks not published on earlier official records. The live performing concept is an ideal observation angle to the music of this group if you seek a psychedelic perspective to it, and it is interesting to listen the balancing of musicians focusing to each other and their own playing same time, producing flow of both chaotic and controlled elements. The sheer power of the sound is an epitaph of psychedelic acid rock. Nearly all of the material here are from year 1967, so taste for late sixties sound is required for maximum enjoyment.

I would personally highlight from this release the wonderful version of Dylan's "Can You Please Crawl Out Your Window?". The stinging electronic guitar tones bring quite wonderful flow to this composition, and Alexis Korner's introductions are quite fun. I have understood Dylan being on of the encouraging examples for Jimi also to start doing his own stuff, so the tribute's great passion might be explained by this factor. The instrumental jam track Driving South is also just fabulous, guitar and drum freak outing with the help of combining bass guitar. There are three versions of this song on the CD, a loose track borne from one note scale and concluding to a drum solo.

"Fire" is one of the big hits of the group, wild drums driving the tune. I understood Deep Purple's "Speed King" was written with aim to do something similar. After short and funny group interview we get in my opinion the best version ever of "The Burning of The Midnight Lamp". The harpsichord intro of the original studio version is here played with wah-wah guitar, and as a whole the song sounds much more powerful as a live trio playing than form the careful studio sessions, lyrics catching the core of nocturnal solitary moody moments. This October "Top Gear" show had also rootsy "Catfish Blues", containing really fine musical blow-out exploration to the cosmos. Following February "Saturday Club" builds strongly on the hit songs, "Stone Free" which has great very aggressive version presented here, and also "Hey Joe" which is kind of borer for me as you can't escape that song anywhere. "Love or Confusion" is one of the gems from the group's first studio album, and the arrangement of double guitar lines slightly reduces the impact of the song here, though the performance is good and song fantastic psychedelic classic. Next "Top Gear" spins a basic rocker "Hound Dog", and also best version of "Driving South", here pre-defined bridge rises the key for another blow sequence. "Hear My Train A Comin'" goes also to a very high levels, the whirling chaos stays intact is wonderful storm to listen.

Second CD opens with great aggressive version of the stoner anthem "Purple Haze" from March "Top of The Pops", which is the best performance so far I have heard of this hit. I'm not sure if this was aired unlike the following "Killing Floor", which is really a killer, superb fast fuzz-treated scale runs and a wild jam between the verses create a wonderful flower power treatment of this rocker. A joke radio anthem leads to the December's "Top Gear" sessions; Highlights here are truly powerful version of Beatles "Day Tripper" shadowing the original version at least in trippyness and power, and also the "Spanish Castle Magic" is more intimate, impulsive and stronger than the fine studio album version. Following October's "Top Gear" is historically interesting as Stevie Wonder is playing drums in these tracks, which are free open improvisation and "I Was Made to Love Her", both tracks being instrumental. February's "Saturday Club" presents the top hit songs for the radio audience, good versions but also easiest choices and quite over listened songs at least for me. The next excerpt is from BBC "late Night Line Up", wonderful menacing song "Manic Depression", which here lacks little the punch it has on the "Are You Experienced?" album. Last 1967 tracks are yet one more version of "Driving South", being probably a not so well went version from same day as the second version in the end of first CD. The second version of "Hear My Train A Comin'" is quite different than their earlier presented version, this one being a quite hypnotic mantra. Last tracks contain cuts from January 1969 BBC Television show "Happening for Lulu", featured "Voodoo Child (slight return)" being quite trashy but powerful, also being found from video archive sources. Mandatory "Hey Joe" grows interestingly from a chaotic formless blast, this version is also otherwise very relaxed and free. Final song here is a version of Cream's "Sunshine of Your Love", an interesting tribute, though not in my opinion as good as the slow trashy performances of the original group - More like a good willing gesture than carefully thought performance I would think.

The only lack in this record could be that the most wildest experimental songs are not included to the shows, but remain in the studio records. Nevertheless the wild exploration of trio improvisation's boundaries are present strongly in this release. The merits of this group along with implementing influences from jazz and strong psychedelic elements to rock music are in my opinion arguments why this music can be justified as early factor affecting the development of progressive psychedelic and krautrock legacies. You would not have Manuel Göttsching's guitar sound without Jimi's influence as a concrete reference. In addition of the grand master I give great kudos to the magnificent drummer Mitch Mithcell, bringing essential presence to the sound with his jazzy, wild and precise battering. Noel Redding's role was mostly to keep the beat and back up this dominant duo, but he did this supporting fine too. If you wish all-freak out 60's acid rock trio where bass joins the improvisation more stronger, check out the live recordings of Cream from late 60's.

Castle Communications released also a tighter one CD packet of these recordings with name "Radio One", and also a vinyl EP with color print on the vinyl surface. If you want to place the tracks and shows in correct time line, you can program your player or burn own copies of the CD with guidance of informative booklet notes, which contain also essays about the musicians.

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