Jimi Hendrix

Voodoo Child: The Jimi Hendrix Collection

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Wading through the repackagings of Jimi Hendrix musical legacy is a daunting task which has not been made any easier in the digital age. This double-CD set features a disc of "studio" and "live" performances, including several alternate and hard-to-find recordings of familiar classics. While nearly impossible to include everyone's favorites, this collection is a superior primer for those seeking a thumbnail sketch of Hendrix in both a studio and concert environment. Disc one cuts a chronological path through nearly 70 minutes of peak moments from Hendrix studio recordings as the leader of the Jimi Hendrix Experience and the Band of Gypsys. The sound is impeccable and the song selection hits most of the highlights. Conspicuously absent are vital contributions such as "If 6 Was 9," "Manic Depression," and "Can You See Me." In their stead are alternate versions of "Highway Chile," "All Along the Watchtower," "Stone Free," and "Spanish Castle Magic" -- all of which are available elsewhere. The rare 45 featuring the Band of Gypsys on "Isabella" and "Stepping Stone" is a nice inclusion for collectors. Disc two highlights Hendrix concert performances, including several generation-defining moments -- such as the reinvention of the electric guitar during "Wild Thing" at the Monterey Pop Festival as well as his inimitable "Star Spangled Banner" solo from the Woodstock Music and Arts Fair. Other highlights include a couple of oft overlooked later-era pieces featuring the Band of Gypsys. "Red House" from the New York Pop Festival and the previously unissued -- on CD at least -- "Foxey Lady" from Maui, HI, are both stellar performances from July of 1970. All in all, Voodoo Child: The Jimi Hendrix Collection is a great touchstone for anyone wishing to begin their Jimi Hendrix experience.

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