Hendrix Collection To Offer Most Extensive Experience Yet

Four hours of previously unreleased tracks are making their way to the public.

As the 30th anniversary of the death of trailblazing guitarist Jimi Hendrix approaches, his fans have a lot to look forward to.

The biggest collection yet of previously unreleased material will be available Sept. 12, and in Cleveland, Hendrix is the subject of an extensive Rock and Roll Hall of Fame exhibit due to open that same day.

The four-CD box set, The Jimi Hendrix Experience, will offer a surprisingly large amount of alternate takes and live cuts from the prolific and much-revered guitarist, who has been thoroughly chronicled in the decades since his death at 27, on Sept. 18, 1970.

Of the collection's four-and-a-half hours of material, all but a half-hour's worth has never been available before, according to Janie Hendrix, Jimi's sister and the president and CEO of Experience Hendrix, which oversees his music.

The alternate "versions and new songs [are] so powerful and creative, it may bring many to tears," she said.

The collection is filled mostly with unreleased recordings of Hendrix and the bands he played with throughout his solo career.

Included are songs by the Jimi Hendrix Experience that date back to their fourth gig, in October 1966 in Paris, when the Experience (including bassist Noel Redding and drummer Mitch Mitchell) performed live versions of "Hey Joe" (RealAudio excerpt) and blues great Howlin' Wolf's "Killing Floor" (RealAudio excerpt).

Of the 56 tracks, only eight have previously been issued, and one of those, a version of "Fire" (RealAudio excerpt), was available only on an obscure bootleg. The other previously released tracks were culled from such albums as In the West, Stages and Loose Ends.

Also included is material recorded by Hendrix's Band of Gypsys in the last year of his life, including "Earth Blues," which features an appearance by classic girl group the Ronettes.

The set concludes with live versions of "In From the Storm" and Bob Dylan's "All Along the Watchtower" (RealAudio excerpt) recorded with bassist Billy Cox and drummer Mitchell at the historic UK Isle of Wight Festival on Aug. 30, 1970, just weeks before Hendrix's death.

The box set offers "a window into a life of a genius, showing how Jimi's music evolved during his lifetime," Hendrix said.

"I am extremely pleased with the music we have chosen. Jimi is at the top of his game throughout," co-producer Eddie Kramer said in a statement. "It is a representation of how one can express one's self to the fullest, using every technique known to man and more. It's just stunning, that's all I can tell you."

The Hendrix family fought a nearly three-year legal battle over the right to Hendrix's music with the estate of Chas Chandler (the Animals), who was Jimi's manager and mentor. The family prevailed on July 26, 1995, Hendrix said, and the majority of the source tapes for The Jimi Hendrix Experience "came from the Chandler estate."

Experience Hendrix, an MCA Records imprint, will offer the album in a purple velvet box, with extensive liner notes, reproductions of Hendrix's hand-written lyrics and rare or never-before-published photos by Linda McCartney, Jean Pierre Leloir, Karl Ferris and Dave Sygall. Also included will be essays by rock critic Dave Marsh and Hendrix associate John McDermott, who co-produced the album. The Jimi Hendrix Experience also will be available on vinyl as a limited-edition, eight-LP set.

The track listing for the box set is as follows (more details can be found at the Experience Hendrix Web site, jimi-hendrix.com):

Disc 1:

"Purple Haze" (Jan. 11, 1967)

"Killing Floor" (Live at Olympia Theater; Paris; Oct. 18, 1966)

"Hey Joe" (Live at Olympia Theater; Paris; Oct. 18, 1966)

"Foxey Lady" (Alternate recording; Dec. 13, 1966; Feb. 3 and 8, 1967)

"Highway Chile" (Alternate recording; April 3 and 4, 1967)

"Hey Joe" (Alternate recording; October 1966)

"Title #3" (April 3, 1967)

"Third Stone From the Sun" (Jan. 11, April 4 and 10, 1967)

"Taking Care of No Business" (May 4 and 5, 1967)

"Here He Comes (Lover Man)" (April 4, 1967)

"Burning of the Midnight Lamp" (May 9, 1967)

"If Six Was Nine" (Alternate recording, May 4 and 5, June 9, 1967)

"Rock Me Baby" (Alternate mix, recorded live at Monterey International Pop Festival; June 18, 1967)

"Like a Rolling Stone" (Alternate mix, recorded live at Monterey International Pop Festival; June 18, 1967)

Disc 2:

"Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band" (Sept. 5, 1967)

"Burning of the Midnight Lamp" (Sept. 5, 1967)

"Little Wing" (Oct. 25, 1967)

"Little Miss Lover" (Oct. 1 and 3, 1967)

"The Wind Cries Mary" (Recorded live at Olympia Theater; Paris; Oct. 9, 1967)

"Catfish Blues" (Recorded live at Olympia Theater; Paris; Oct. 9, 1967)

"Bold As Love" (Oct. 5, 1967)

"Sweet Angel" (Alternate recording; Nov. 13, Dec. 28, 1967)

"Fire" (Recorded live at Clark University; Worcester, Mass.; March 15, 1968)

"Somewhere" (Alternate version; March 1968)

"(Have You Ever Been to) Electric Ladyland" (June 14, 1968)

"Gypsy Eyes" (Alternate version; April 22, 24 and 29, May 1 and 17, June 17, 1968)

"Room Full of Mirrors" (Aug. 12, 1968)

"Gloria" (Oct. 29, 1968)

"It's Too Bad" (Feb. 11, 1969)

"Star Spangled Banner" (March 18, 1969)

Disc 3:

"Stone Free" (Alternate version; April 7, 9 and 14, 1969)

"Spanish Castle Magic" (Feb. 17, 1969)

"Hear My Train a Comin'" (Feb. 17, 1969)

"Room Full of Mirrors" (April 21, 1969)

"I Don't Live Today" (Recorded live at Los Angeles Forum; April 26, 1969)

"Little Wing" (Recorded live at Royal Albert Hall; London; Feb. 24, 1969)

"Red House" (Recorded live at San Diego Sports Arena; May 25, 1969)

"Purple Haze" (Recorded live at San Diego Sports Arena; May 25, 1969)

"Voodoo Child (Slight Return) " (Recorded live at Royal Albert Hall; London; Feb. 24, 1969)

"Izabella" (Aug. 29, Sept. 23, 1969)

Disc 4:

"Message to Love" (Alternate version; Dec. 19, 1969; January 20, 1970)

"Earth Blues" (Alternate version; Dec. 19, 1969; Jan. 20, March 24, 1970)

"Astro Man" (Jan. 21, 1970)

"Country Blues" (Jan. 23, 1970)

"Freedom" (Feb. 16, 1970)

"Johnny B. Goode" (Recorded live at Berkeley Community Theatre; Berkeley, Calif.; May 30, 1970)

"Lover Man" (July 20, 1970)

"Blue Suede Shoes" (Recorded live at Berkeley Community Theatre; Berkeley, Calif.; May 30, 1970)

"Cherokee Mist" (June 24, 1970)

"Come Down Hard on Me" (Alternate version; July 15, 1970)

"Hey Baby/In From the Storm" (Recorded live at Maui, Hawaii; July 30, 1970)

"Ezy Ryder" (Alternate version; Dec. 18, 1969; Jan. 20, June 15, 1970)

"Night Bird Flying" (Alternate version; June 16, July 19, Aug. 22, 1970)

"All Along the Watchtower" (Alternate mix, recorded live at Isle Of Wight, United Kingdom; Aug. 30, 1970)

"In From the Storm" (Alternate mix, recorded live at Isle Of Wight; Aug. 30, 1970)

"Slow Blues" (Aug. 20, 1970)