First Rays of the New Rising Sun

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First Rays of the New Rising Sun
FirstRays.jpg
Compilation album by Jimi Hendrix
Released April 22, 1997
Recorded March 1968 – August 1970
Length 69:25
Label Experience Hendrix, L.L.C.; MCA
Producer Jimi Hendrix, Eddie Kramer, Mitch Mitchell, John Jansen
Jimi Hendrix chronology
Voodoo Soup
(1995)
First Rays of the New Rising Sun
(1997)
Experience Hendrix: The Best of Jimi Hendrix
(1997)

First Rays of the New Rising Sun is a compilation album[1] by American rock musician Jimi Hendrix, released in 1997 by MCA Records. It featured songs Hendrix had recorded for an unfinished double album before his death in 1970. Most of them were first released on the posthumous 1971 albums The Cry of Love and Rainbow Bridge, along with subsequent compilations in edited form, before they were compiled by audio engineer Eddie Kramer in 1997. Kramer selected and sequenced the songs in their original form to realize Hendrix's planned album to the best of his abilities, based on the latter's notes and the level of each track's completion.

Background[edit]

First Rays of the New Rising Sun was an attempt to produce the fourth studio album of the same name Hendrix was working on before his death in September 1970.[2] Recorded between March 1968 and August 1970,[3] most of the songs compiled on this compilation had previously been released on the posthumous 1971 albums The Cry of Love and Rainbow Bridge, which were themselves compiled by recording engineer Eddie Kramer and drummer Mitch Mitchell.[2] During the 1970s through the 1990s, the songs also appeared on other posthumous compilations supervised by producer Alan Douglas, who overdubbed other instruments into the recordings. For the 1997 compilation, Kramer instead used the original master recordings and sequenced the songs to realize Hendrix's plans to the best of his abilities.[4] He selected tracks based on their original level of completion and Hendrix's personal notes.[5]

Release and reception[edit]

Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
AllMusic 4/5 stars[4]
Blender 4/5 stars[6]
Down Beat 4/5 stars[7]
PopMatters 9/10[8]
The Rolling Stone Album Guide 4/5 stars[9]

When First Rays of the New Rising Sun was released in 1997, it charted at number 49 on the Billboard 200 in the United States,[10] and at number 37 on the UK Albums Charts in Britain.[11] In 2010, the album was remastered and re-released by Sony Legacy, on March 8 in the UK and March 9 in the US.[8]

According to Robert Christgau in Blender, First Rays of the New Rising Sun was Kramer's reimagination of Hendrix's projected double LP, which was not as remarkable musically as his last studio album Electric Ladyland (1968) and "not too profound lyrically".[6] Nonetheless, Christgau deemed it a suitable successor to The Cry of Love,[12] as well as "a powerful collection by a genius whose songwriting kept growing and whose solos rarely disappoint."[6] Sean Murphy from PopMatters believed it was more successful than The Cry of Love in realizing Hendrix's vision. He highlighted the "liberating presence" of bassist Billy Cox, whom he said was an improvement over Noel Redding, allowing the band to "spread out and chase the guitarist as he soars above, around and beneath them".[8] Rolling Stone magazine called the album "a cohesive cosmic missive", writing that it "illuminates what would have been a transitional phase for Hendrix".[13]

Track listing[edit]

All songs were written by Jimi Hendrix

  1. "Freedom" – 3:27
  2. "Izabella" – 2:50
  3. "Night Bird Flying" – 3:50
  4. "Angel" – 4:22
  5. "Room Full of Mirrors" – 3:20
  6. "Dolly Dagger" – 4:44
  7. "Ezy Ryder" – 4:09
  8. "Drifting" – 3:48
  9. "Beginnings" – 4:13
  10. "Stepping Stone" – 4:12
  11. "My Friend" – 4:36
  12. "Straight Ahead" – 4:42
  13. "Hey Baby (New Rising Sun)" – 6:04
  14. "Earth Blues" – 4:21
  15. "Astro Man" – 3:34
  16. "In From the Storm" – 3:41
  17. "Belly Button Window" – 3:36

Note: "Straight Ahead" used the music from the earlier "Pass It On" but has completely new lyrics.

Recording details[edit]

Track Location Recording date
Track 1 Electric Lady Studios in New York City, New York June 25, July 14 & 19, and August 14 & 20, 1970
Track 2 Record Plant in New York City, New York January 17, 1970
Track 2 overdubs Electric Lady Studios June 1970
Track 3 Electric Lady Studios June 16, July 19, and August 22, 1970
Track 4 Electric Lady Studios July 23, 1970
Track 5 Record Plant November 17, 1969
Track 5 overdubs Electric Lady Studios June, July, and August 20, 1970
Track 6 Electric Lady Studios July 1, 15, 19, 20, 1970 and August 14, 18, 20, 24, 1970
Track 7 Record Plant December 18, 1969 and January 20, 1970
Track 7 overdubs Electric Lady Studios June 15 & 18, July 2, and August 22, 1970
Track 8 Electric Lady Studios June 25 & 29, July 23, and August 20, 1970
Track 9 Electric Lady Studios July 1, and August 22, 1970
Track 10 Record Plant January 7, 17, 20, 1970
Track 10 overdubs Electric Lady Studios June 26, 1970
Track 11 Sound Center in New York City, New York March 13, 1968
Track 12 Electric Lady Studios June 17, July 19, and August 20, 1970
Track 13 Electric Lady Studios July 1, 1970
Track 14 Record Plant December 19, 1969
Track 14 overdubs Record Plant; and Electric Lady Studios January 20, 1970; and June 26, 1970 (respectively)
Track 15 Electric Lady Studios June 25, July 19, and August 22, 1970
Track 16 Electric Lady Studios July 22, and August 20 & 24 1970
Track 17 Electric Lady Studios August 22, 1970

[14]

Personnel[edit]

  • Buddy Milesdrums (on tracks 5 & 7 ), backing vocals
  • Albert Allen (The Ghetto Fighters) – backing vocals on "Freedom"
  • Arthur Allen (The Ghetto Fighters) – backing vocals on "Freedom"
  • Billy Armstrong – percussion on "Ezy Rider"
  • Buzzy Linhart – vibraphone on "Drifting"
  • Emmeretta Marks – backing vocals
  • The Ronettes – backing vocals
  • Steve Winwood (Traffic)– backing vocals on "Ezy Rider"
  • Chris Wood (Traffic) – backing vocals on "Ezy Rider"
  • Ken Pine (The Fugs) – 12 string guitar on "My Friend"
  • Stephen Stills – piano on "My Friend"
  • Paul Caruso – harmonica on "My Friend"
  • Jimmy Mayes – drums on "My Friend"
  • Eddie Kramer – producer, engineer, mixing, photography, remastering
  • Tony Bongiovi – engineer
  • Jack Adams – engineer
  • Bob Cotts – engineer
  • Bob Hughes – engineer
  • John Jansen – engineer
  • John McDermott – liner notes, remastering supervisor

References[edit]

  1. ^ Faralaco, John (2010). "Appendix 5: Selected Post-1971 Compilation Albums". The Jimi Hendrix Story: New Edition, Including Updated Discography. IPS Books. pp. 125–126. ISBN 1890988391. Retrieved August 11, 2015. 
  2. ^ a b DeGroot, Joey (August 20, 2014). "Jimi Hendrix Posthumous, Out-Of-Print Albums To Be Reissued". Music Times. Retrieved August 10, 2015. 
  3. ^ "Jimi Hendrix - First Rays of the New Rising Sun CD Album". CD Universe. Muze. Retrieved August 10, 2015. 
  4. ^ a b Eder, Bruce. Album review Jimi Hendrix First Rays of the New Rising Sun at AllMusic. Retrieved 6 September 2011.
  5. ^ Roby, Steven, ed. (2012). "Epilogue". Hendrix on Hendrix: Interviews and Encounters with Jimi Hendrix. Chicago Review Press. ISBN 1613743246. Retrieved August 11, 2015. 
  6. ^ a b c Christgau, Robert (December 2005). "Back Catalogue: Jimi Hendrix". Blender (New York). Retrieved July 1, 2014. 
  7. ^ Down Beat (Chicago) (August): 61. 1997. 
  8. ^ a b c Murphy, Sean (March 11, 2010). "God Is Not Dead: The Jimi Hendrix Re-Issues". PopMatters. pp. 1–3. Archived from the original on August 10, 2015. Retrieved August 9, 2015. 
  9. ^ Evans, Paul; Brackett, Nathan (2004). "Jimi Hendrix". In Brackett, Nathan; Hoard, Christian. The New Rolling Stone Album Guide (4th ed.). Simon & Schuster. pp. 374–75. ISBN 0-7432-0169-8. Retrieved July 19, 2014. 
  10. ^ Billboard album charts info - Jimi Hendrix First Rays of the New Rising Sun at AllMusic. Retrieved 6 September 2011.
  11. ^ "UK chart history - Jimi Hendrix First Rays of the New Rising Sun". www.chartstats.com. Retrieved 6 September 2011. 
  12. ^ Christgau, Robert (2000). Christgau's Consumer Guide: Albums of the '90s. St. Martin's Griffin. p. 357. ISBN 0312245602. 
  13. ^ Rolling Stone (New York) (August 7): 62. 1997. 
  14. ^ McDermott, John (1997). First Rays of the New Rising Sun (booklet). Jimi Hendrix. Experience Hendrix, L.L.C. pp. 7–33. 

External links[edit]