Jimi Hendrix / The Jimi Hendrix Experience

Experience [Original Soundtrack]

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This single disc in a beautiful gatefold cover, Experience (subtitled "Original Soundtrack from the Feature Length Motion Picture 'Experience'") is material culled from the Jimi Hendrix appearances at Royal Albert Hall in London during February 1969. As with the sequel to this outing, 1972's More Experience, the liner notes -- quoting both Hendrix and his contemporary, Eric Clapton -- claim the material is from the February 18, 1969, concert, though it is more likely that this is the second show that happened on February 24 of that year. It is mere fragments of the program and should have been combined with the follow-up or other selections from the performance. Steven Roby's excellent book Black Gold: The Lost Archives of Jimi Hendrix refers to this album as having "horrid sound quality on highly edited official recordings from this show." If one doesn't have the bootleg to compare, the album is quite listenable, though much too brief. "We'd like to blast your eardrums one more time," Jimi says during a lengthy tune-up prior to a title the producers call "Smashing of the Amps" -- which is actually the intro to "Purple Haze" mutating into a very brief "Star Spangled Banner." The cut takes up one half of one side of this recording but delivers very little. "Sunshine of Your Love" is fun and "Room Full of Mirrors" is also a delight, at least performance-wise, Hendrix acknowledging the presence of Chris Wood and Dave Mason of Traffic on the track -- though they aren't credited anywhere on the album jacket. With the Experience Hendrix company releasing so much other high-quality material, this one is definitely for the completists/fanatics.

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