I picked this 45 up on a whim at a local retailer. Its the first single of Jimi Hendrix latest posthumous album of the same name. Its also backed with “Cat Talking To Me” of which the vocals are provided by well known Hendrix drummer Mitch Mitchell.
The title track was recorded over several sessions up until just a few months before his death. I can honestly say I was not a fan of this track. It sounded very disjointed and hurried. The beats and lead riffs were all wrong and the Hendrix sounded like he was trying to find himself the entire time. It was like he was on the cusp of trying a new sound but could never take that next step. He was was tip-toeing back and forth and the ultimate result is a song that holds promise but was unrefined and unfinished.
The second track was a nice change. The immediate difference is that the vocals are not provided by Jimi Hendrix. This track has that classic bluesy Hendrix feel to it. This is not at all surprising since it was recorded in 1967 with original bassist Noel Redding. Mitchell’s ever so slight accent really pairs well with they lyrics and song. I find myself really getting into it, until the end. Towards the end it really just falls apart. Hendrix and crew start to experiment with individual solos all at once and revert to what sounds like an average garage band jam session. Again it feels unfinished. In 1987 additional drum and bass tracks were laid down and incorporated into the mix. Without hearing the original, I couldn’t tell you if it helped, but it certainly needs improvement.
Don’t get me wrong, it wasn’t all bad. The tracks are still listenable. I’ll likely replay them in the future when Im in the mood for something a little different. And as for the full album, I’ll save my review for when I review the full album. There are a few tracks I have some high hopes for.
As for the title track, Valleys of Neptune? There’s usually a reason unreleased tracks are just that, unreleased