Valleys of Neptune (song)

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"Valleys of Neptune"
Single by Jimi Hendrix
from the album Valleys of Neptune
B-side "Cat Talking to Me"
Released February 9, 2010
Format 7" vinyl, digital download
Recorded September 23, 1969 and May 15, 1970 at Record Plant Studios, New York City, New York
Genre Rock, blues rock, psychedelic rock
Length 4:02
Label Legacy
Writer(s) Jimi Hendrix
Producer(s) Jimi Hendrix
Jimi Hendrix singles chronology
"Can You Please Crawl Out Your Window?"
(1998)
"Valleys of Neptune"
(2010)
"Bleeding Heart"
(2010)
Valleys of Neptune track listing
"Stone Free"
(1)
"Valleys of Neptune"
(2)
"Bleeding Heart"
(3)

"Valleys of Neptune" is a song by American rock musician Jimi Hendrix, featured on his 2010 posthumous studio album Valleys of Neptune. Written and produced by Hendrix, the song was originally recorded between 1969 and 1970, and was released on March 8, 2010.

The song is featured as downloadable content in the video game, Rock Band, as a playable single. The song was released alongside his album Axis: Bold as Love on the week of March 30, 2010.[1]

Composition and recording[edit]

Hendrix began work on the musical composition for "Valleys of Neptune", under the title of "Gypsy Blood", in February 1969, with the first recordings taking place at Olympic Sound Studios in London on February 22 & 26, 1969 – three takes on guitar and piano and one take on guitar, respectively.[2] Hendrix wrote the lyrics for the song under the title of "Valleys of Neptune... Arising" on June 7, 1969 while staying at the Beverly Rodeo Hotel in Beverly Hills, California.[3] Bassist Noel Redding left The Jimi Hendrix Experience following a show on June 29, 1969 in Denver, Colorado, at which point Hendrix began to form a new band to continue work on his new compositions.

Hendrix wanted to play the song as the encore at Woodstock but could not remember the words. This can be heard just before the band go into Hey Joe on the album Live at Woodstock.

During and following the formation of The Jimi Hendrix Experience successor Gypsy Sun and Rainbows, "Valleys of Neptune" began to take more shape, and the first full-band recording of the song took place on September 6, 1969 at The Hit Factory in New York City.[4]

A few weeks later, on September 23, 1969, the first master recording of "Valleys of Neptune" was recorded at New York City's Record Plant Studios with bassist Billy Cox, drummer Mitch Mitchell (later stated by Hendrix and his management as the Experience in 1970) and percussionist Juma Sultan, in addition to seven instrumental takes of the track.[5] Another full take was completed a week later, featuring Hendrix on bass with Stephen Stills on guitar and piano, John Sebastian on guitar and Buddy Miles on drums.[6]

Gypsy Sun and Rainbows broke up in late 1969, and the Band of Gypsys was formed with bassist Cox and drummer Miles. The band recorded rough takes of the song on January 21, 1970 at the Record Plant,[7] but ultimately the song was left to the Mitchell/Cox rhythm section of the reformed Experience to complete later in the year. An instrumental take on May 15, 1970 provided the musical master track,[8] and the track featured on the 2010 album was completed. Further recordings took place on June 15, 1970 (with keyboardist Steve Winwood, flute player Chris Wood, drummer Dave Palmer and an unknown bassist),[9] June 16,[9] June 25 (with Juma Sultan),[10] and June 26, 1970 (15 takes).[10] Hendrix died in September 1970, ultimately without completing "Valleys of Neptune" to his satisfaction.

Music video[edit]

The music video for "Valleys of Neptune", produced by String Theory Design, is centered around a 1957 painting by Hendrix used as the cover for the single, and debuted on AOL's Spinner.com on February 18, 2010.[11]

Personnel[edit]

References[edit]

General references
  • Geldeart, Gary; Rodham, Steve (2007), Jimi Hendrix: The Studio Log, Warrington, Cheshire: Jimpress, ISBN 978-0-9527686-4-7 
Specific notes
  1. ^ "Classic Jimi Hendrix Album Coming to Rock Band". Rolling Stone. March 25, 2010. Retrieved March 25, 2010. 
  2. ^ Geldeart & Rodham 2007, p. 69
  3. ^ "June 7, 1969". The Jimi Hendrix Encyclopedia. Experience Hendrix, L.L.C. Retrieved January 13, 2010. 
  4. ^ Geldeart & Rodham 2007, p. 83
  5. ^ Geldeart & Rodham 2007, p. 84
  6. ^ Geldeart & Rodham 2007, p. 85
  7. ^ Geldeart & Rodham 2007, p. 96
  8. ^ Geldeart & Rodham 2007, p. 101
  9. ^ a b Geldeart & Rodham 2007, p. 103
  10. ^ a b Geldeart & Rodham 2007, p. 105
  11. ^ "http://www.spinnermusic.co.uk/2010/02/18/jimi-hendrix-valleys-of-neptune-video-premiere/". Spinnermusic.co.uk. February 18, 2010. Retrieved February 18, 2010.