Shortly after the Hendrix family reacquired the rights to Jimi's catalog, they signed a long-term deal with MCA Records and pulled many of the compilations of unreleased material and rarities off the shelves, with the intent of re-releasing the material in better collections. First Rays of the New Rising Sun, an attempt at assembling Hendrix's uncompleted last album, was the first release from Experience Hendrix LLC, and it was followed months later by South Saturn Delta, a collection of rarities -- all but one of the 15 tracks were never officially released in the U.S. -- that spans his entire career. Its intent is to capture the full range of Hendrix's music through an alternate history, and it works pretty well. Among the highlights are tracks from the War Heroes and Rainbow Bridge Concert albums ("Look Over Yonder," "Tax Free," "Midnight," "Pali Gap," "Bleeding Heart"), "Sweet Angel" (an early version of "Angel"), an instrumental "Little Wing," a solo take on "Midnight Lightning," and a studio version of "Message to the Universe (Message to Love)." There are also alternate mixes of "All Along the Watchtower," "Power of Soul," "Drifter's Escape," "South Saturn Delta," and "The Stars That Play With Laughing Sam's Dice." It's an intelligently sequenced, listenable collection of some of the very best outtakes and rarities from Hendrix, and is another sign that Experience Hendrix LLC's restoration of Jimi's catalog will be smart, stylish, and logical.
Share this page
AllMusic Review by Stephen Thomas Erlewine