Top Artists – JImi Hendrix

Jimi Hendrix – Electric Ladyland

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  • A superb copy of Electric Ladyland with roughly solid Double Plus (A++) sound on all FOUR sides of this UK import
  • Forget the Track originals – they can’t hold a candle to the Hot Stamper reissues like the one we are offering here
  • Big, clear, tubey, sweet ANALOG sound – we played it good and loud and it was ROCKIN’!
  • Probably the best-recorded of Hendrix’s studio albums – huge studio space and the Tubey Magical richness of analog are key to the best sound
  • 5 stars: “…not only one of the best rock albums of the era, but also Hendrix’s original musical vision at its absolute apex.”
  • If you’re a fan of Jimi and his band, this UK import of his 1968 classic belongs in your collection.
  • The complete list of titles from 1968 that we’ve reviewed to date can be found here.

Some of Jimi’s best songs can be found here, including “Crosstown Traffic,” “Voodoo Child (Slight Return)” and his incendiary cover of Dylan’s “All Along The Watchtower.” All four sides have truly killer sound, big and full-bodied with a MUCH better low end than you’ll find on most. You get enough energy and weight to make the rock songs really ROCK, and enough clarity and transparency to bring out the more spacey, psychedelic elements that Jimi and Eddie Kramer worked so hard on.

Ready to go on a trip? You’ve come to the right place. While the sound is not Demo Quality on every track, the acid-drenched soundscapes created by Jimi and producer Eddie Kramer are certainly going to be exciting to the kind of audiophile who still digs Classic Rock. Unfortunately, most copies are missing a lot of the magic — the space, the tubes, the ambience, the size, the weight.

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Jimi Hendrix – War Heroes

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  • Outstanding Double Plus (A++) sound from the first note to the last on this Hendrix classic
  • The material here is unusually well-recorded by Hendrix’s longtime engineer, Eddie Kramer – with sound that is competitive with, maybe even better than, Hendrix’s “real” albums
  • Features top-tier Hendrix rarities such as “Izabella,” “Highway Chile,” “Bleeding Heart” and “Stepping Stone”
  • “One of the few consistent compilations of unreleased Hendrix.”

Drop the needle at the start of either side and prepare to be floored. You won’t believe the big-time presence, the mindblowing energy, or the massive WHOMP factor. Here’s a copy with the kind of big, three-dimensional sound we wish we heard on more Hendrix records. You’ll know what I’m talking about as soon as the needle hits the groove.

The vocals are full-bodied and present with lots of body and breath. The bottom end is tight and punchy with more weight than we heard on other copies. You could play a good-sized stack of copies and you’d probably still not find one as open, spacious, and transparent as either of these sides.

The guitar — obviously a key element of any Hendrix recording — absolutely FLIES out of the speakers here. The bottom end is strong and solid, and the overall sound is big, rich and open.

Bridge of Sighs

Note that the guitar sound on the first track of side two appears to have acted as the template for Robin Trower’s sound throughout his career. We love Robin Trower — wish we could find more copies of Bridge of Sighs that sound good — but his guitar sound was all over this album years before it was on any of his own.

It’s beyond difficult for us to find killer copies of Jimi’s first three or four albums, so I advise you Hendrix fans to give this one a chance. It’s the real deal.

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Letter of the Week – “It just begs to be cranked up to sound its best.”

One of our good customers had this to say about some Hot Stampers he purchased recently:

Hey Tom, 

As you know, I have been picking up quite a few live album hot stampers recently. Here is another great example of having to turn the volume up loud to get that “I’m at the concert” feeling.

The sound on the LP is so well balanced tonally top to bottom with absolutely no grittiness. It just begs to be cranked up to sound its best. That tubey magic is oozing from the grooves.

And what a performance from Jimi. I play guitar as a hobbyist and there is a reason why we crave the tones from old tube amps and those Marshall cabs with Celestion pulsonic coned speakers. That tubey magic we love in the recordings just accurately captures what was being played. Superb in every way!!

Thanks as always,
Rob

Band of Gypsys is yet another in the long list of recordings that really comes alive when you Turn Up Your Volume.

Reviews and Commentaries for Records that Sound Their Best on Big Speakers at Loud Levels


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Jimi Hendrix – The Cry of Love

  • Big, bold Hendrix sound — powerful energy and presence plus huge size and space
  • The first and probably best of the posthumous Hendrix albums, with Angel, Ezy Rider, Freedom, Drifting and more
  • VH1 called it “the greatest posthumous classic rock record of all time” and they just might be right!

With Eddie Kramer and Robert Ludwig on the payroll, doesn’t this record have to be spectacular? Good, yes, but spectacular? Not really. Some copies just don’t rock, and those copies lose a huge number of points for that shortcoming, especially on a Monster Rock record such as this.

Some are leaned out, some have no real top end — as Murphy’s Law makes clear, if something can go wrong it will go wrong.

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Various Artists / Woodstock Two

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  • This early Cotillion pressing ROCKS with KILLER Shootout Winning Triple Plus (A+++) sound or very close to it throughout
  • With Mint Minus Minus vinyl and no marks that can be heard, you will have a VERY hard time finding a copy that plays this well
  • We guarantee there is dramatically more richness, fullness, vocal presence, and performance energy on this copy than others you’ve heard, and that’s especially true if you made the mistake of buying whatever Heavy Vinyl pressing is currently on the market
  • Fifteen amazing live tracks from Jimi Hendrix; Jefferson Airplane; The Butterfield Blues Band; Joan Baez; Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young; Melanie; Mountain; and Canned Heat
  • “If anything, this set, more concise and more focused, is a better bet than its predecessor.” — All Music

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Jimi Hendrix – Band of Gypsys

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  • Truly exceptional sound – these Ludwig-mastered Capitol pressings are the only way to fly
  • Tons of bass, smooth vocals, and an overall freedom from distortion characterize the overall sound of both sides, and that’s unusual, because most copies of this record are just plain dreadful
  • Trust me on this one – you’re going to have a difficult and (and expensive!) adventure trying to find a great sounding copy of this one on your own
  • 4 1/2 stars: “Although he could be an erratic live performer, for these shows, Hendrix was on — perhaps his finest performances… not only an important part of the Hendrix legacy, but one of the greatest live albums ever.”
  • If you’re a fan of Jimi’s, this 1970 release belongs in your collection.

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Jimi Hendrix – Nine to the Universe

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  • This Hendrix instrumental compilation has Shootout Winning Triple Plus (A+++) sound or close to it on both sides
  • The five jams contained herein may be for fans, but if you count yourself among those who bow before the amazing improvisational guitar playing of Jimi Hendrix, this is going to be the best sounding copy you will likely ever hear
  • In a contemporary review for The Village Voice, Robert Christgau gave Nine to the Universe a “B+” and called it “bracing progressive” rhythm and blues showcasing Hendrix’s most jazz-oriented improvisations
  • According to music scholar Craig Hansen Werner, “Nine to the Universe was one of the few works that suggested the direction Hendrix and [Miles] Davis would have explored had they worked together.”

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Various Artists / Woodstock

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  • We guarantee there is dramatically more richness, fullness, vocal presence, and performance energy on this copy than others you’ve heard, and that’s especially true if you made the mistake of buying whatever Heavy Vinyl pressing is currently on the market
  • “As potent a musical time capsule as ever existed, it captures the three-day, 1969 concert event that united close to half a million members of what came to be known as the ‘Woodstock Generation’. It topped the Billboard Charts for four weeks and sold two million copies.”

You will have a very hard time finding a quieter copy!

Folks, it was a struggle, let me tell you! Not as much of a struggle as putting on the concert itself to be sure, but a struggle for those of us charged with finding good sound on this famously badly recorded album.

First off there are six sides to play for every copy.

Secondly the sound is problematical at best; figuring out what the best copies do well that the run-of-the-mill copies don’t takes quite a bit of concentration, and one has to stay focused for a long time (most of the day in fact). After a while it can really start to wear on your nerves. (more…)

Jimi Hendrix / The Jimi Hendrix Concerts – Huge, Powerful Live Rock Sound

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This live album, taken from concerts recorded from 1968 to 1970, is wonderful sounding on the best tracks. If you’re in the market for live Hendrix on a Hot Stamper, you’ll be hard pressed to do any better. The bass on this recording is huge, which is exactly what this kind of music needs most. At the levels we were playing this album it was really rockin’.

That’s the true test of a good live rock record — the louder you play it the better it sounds!

Sonically, this recording has the key elements that a good live album needs: correct tonality, powerful dynamics, and Rock and Roll ENERGY.

TRACK LISTING

Side One

Fire 
I Don’t Live Today 
Red House

Side Two

Stone Free 
Are You Experienced

Side Three

Little Wing 
Voodoo Chile (Slight Return) 
Bleeding Heart (Blues in C Sharp)

Side Four

Hey Joe 
Wild Thing 
Hear My Train a Comin’ (Gettin’ My Heart Back Together Again)

AMG 4 Star Review

Out of several live Hendrix albums, The Jimi Hendrix Concerts stands as one of the very best. Taken from shows at Winterland, The Royal Albert Hall, and from various venues in New York, Berkeley, and San Diego, the set includes hits like “Fire,” “Voodoo Chile,” and “Hey Joe,” as well as fine blues like “Red House,” “Bleeding Heart,” and “Hear My Train a Comin’.” 

Highlights include a definitive version of “Little Wing” and one of the most assured and driving versions of “Voodoo Chile” (these and four other stellar tracks come from what must have been an amazing concert at Winterland in the fall of ’68). Another standout is “I Don’t Live Today,” which features a fine mix of jazz-inspired soloing and various feedback and distortion “tricks” (tricks that figure into Hendrix’s way of “playing with the electronics,” and which make up one of the more innovative aspects of his guitar playing). Hendrix gets adept and sympathetic support throughout from bassist Noel Redding and drummer Mitch Mitchell (Band of Gypsies’ bassist Billy Cox replaces Redding on “Red House” and “Hey Joe”).

With top-notch performances, consistently inspired solos, and excellent sound, this is probably the best introduction to Hendrix’s live recordings. ~ Stephen Cook

Jimi Hendrix – Hendrix In The West

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  • Hendrix in the West finally returns to the site with outstanding Double Plus (A++) sound from first note to last
  • This is a fun live album with stellar performances by Jimi – the best of his many posthumous releases
  • The awesome version of Little Wing is just killer on this copy – it’s Jimi’s best performance of the song
  • 4 stars: “. . . it’s a hodge-podge, made of live tracks largely from 1969 and 1970. But it’s a bunch of great live tracks, including some real rarities. . . In the West is a great sampling of Hendrix’s late-period live material (and his sense of humor) making its long awaited appearance.”

We’re still surprised at how well recorded the album is. It takes a pressing like this to really show you the live Jimi Hendrix magic Eddie Kramer got onto tape. Drop the needle on Little Wing and you are going to be FLOORED.

The size and space here are really something, miles beyond most. The resolution and clarity of the open live sound of this copy bring out all the instrumental textures and details of the recording like few we played. More importantly, the extended top keeps the highs from getting hard or harsh the way they do on so many pressings we’ve played.

As these performances are culled from different concerts the sound varies a bit from track to track, but every track on here sounds good and the best tracks sound amazing. (more…)