Jimi Hendrix: Valleys of Neptune

Unreleased material from the axe hero’s final recording sessions

Jimi Hendrix
Valleys of Neptune
Sony

“Previously unreleased” Hendrix material surfacing 40 years after the great man’s death arouses suspicions. But Valleys of Neptune is a cut above the many posthumous cash-ins released in his name.

Culled from his final recording sessions in 1969, when the Jimi Hendrix Experience were on the verge of disintegration, it’s a surprisingly substantial collection of curios, staples of Hendrix’s live act and hints of the axe hero’s unrealised future.

A revisiting of the B-side “Stone Free” flows by with loose, sloppy riffs and exuberant choruses. “Valleys of Neptune” is a psychedelic gem with choppy wave-like riffs, surging vocals and a drawn-out trippy middle section. “Bleeding Heart” points to the funkier direction of his short-lived post-Experience trio Band of Gypsys, while bassist Noel Redding and drummer Mitch Mitchell show no sign of the Experience’s impending split in the telepathic rhythms they bring to “Lover Man”.

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