Jimi Hendrix: BBC Sessions

Jimi Hendrix
BBC Sessions
(Experience Hendrix)

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BBC restrictions back in the 60’s birthed some amazing pop music moments. Due to union rules at the time, the UK’s number one network had to take to showing a certain number of music acts live and forgo pre-recorded stuff.  It’s for this reason that The Jimi Hendrix Experience BBC Sessions exists at all and why I am so lucky to get this spectacular 3-disc set in my greedy little hands.

The music on the first two disks feature pretty much note-for-note reads on famous Hendrix tunes like “Foxy Lady,” “Hey Joe,” and “Fire” plus unusual numbers the band hardly played live like “Burning Of The Midnight Lamp” and two amazing versions of the super bluesy “Driving South” instrumental. What is apparent from these performances, which BBC producers have commented on, is how amazingly tight Jimi, Noel Redding (bass) and the amazing Mitch Michell (drums) were. As Noel himself says on the DVD (the third disc of this set is a DVD interview with the people who worked and played on the BBC sessions) there were no overdubs here and whatever they played was what the audience heard. And there are some surprising moments, like when the legendary Alexis Korner joins in playing slide on “(I’m Your) Hoochie Coochie Man” or when the band launch into “Day Tripper” or roll from the jam of “Jammin’” to an equally blistering “I Was Made To Love Her.”

The last few tunes are taken from the Experience’s infamous spot on the Lulu T.V. special, when the band launched straight into Cream’s  “Sunshine Of Your Love” as the show ended.

The DVD tells all these great stories and more with some good footage and even an interview with dear sweet departed Noel who, along with Mitch and Jimi, has long since departed these shores for a Spanish Castle In The Sky.

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