Jimi Hendrix Valleys of Neptune is a mystic experience for the initiated. First of all, this is not a bootleg or a compilation of already available material. It is all new unheard takes on vintage tracks. Some of the tracks have been added to later but much of it is the original experience. One does get a bit of Noel Redding and a bit of Billy Cox, and you can distinctly make out how they held Hendrix differently with their lines and their rhythm. Most of the tracks are structured more like a studio jam session than as cuts for an album release and therein lies the magic. Hendrix is absolutely relaxed and absorbed, and the band backs him up with perfect balance.
If you are a Hendrix head, you will have already got your hands on this album. There is a lot of Hendrix lore in the tracks, and one has to listen to the opening bars of a song to realize that it is an earlier version of a song in the making. The time of this recording is also significant as it captures the evolution of the experience and how they shaped the unique sound that they came to be known for in the course of time.
If you are not a student (or stalker) of our man, you will wonder what is special about this album. For one, you have never heard sunshine of your love played the way it is played on this release. Clocking at under 7 minutes, t is electrifying and keeps you on your toes to see where it goes. Hear My Train a Comin is another fabulous rendition. Mr. Bad Luck (Look over yonder) is smooth and rocking at the same time. Valleys of Neptune is a beautiful track too. The Stone Free version here is going to interest the fan, the musician and the first time listener.
Overall, a brilliant release. It will be waking you up for a while to come.