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Jimi Hendrix - Valleys Of Neptune CD (album) cover


Jimi Hendrix



3.20 | 67 ratings

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2 stars Certainly not the place to begin with Hendrix - and it seems unlikely that many people would start here - I do believe that Valleys of Neptune really is for fans only. Despite the rush of excitement that came with this album's release, even for a collection of rarities, it's not all that fascinating. First Rays... and South Saturn Delta are compiled in a similar vein and are far superior.

'Previously unreleased' to some extent, many of the tracks here are alternate or early versions of well-known songs. For the bootleg collector, it is nice to hear the tracks, especially those extremely rare, presented in a higher quality - Eddie Kramer was on board for this project at least.

Mostly recorded around the Electric Ladyland sessions, there are a few highlights in the compilation. 'Hear My Train A Coming' is pretty good stuff and the version of 'Fire' is rough and ready, and of course, the title track is nice enough but probably the real show stealer for me is the closer, 'Crying Blue Rain' which is a loose jam that demonstrates what comes off as the casual genius of Hendrix.

Otherwise the songs don't all offer a lot on their preexisting counterparts. Admittedly, this collection makes for a fine inclusion to the completionist's catalogue, or someone interested in seeing early versions of some of his songs, but if you don't feel like you fall into either category or are looking to start things off, go for the studio albums released during his lifetime or the 90s compilation Ultimate Experience.

dreadpirateroberts | 2/5 |


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