First Rays of the New Rising Sun

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First Rays of the New Rising Sun
FirstRays.jpg
Studio album by Jimi Hendrix
Released April 22, 1997 (1997-04-22)
Recorded March 1968 – August 1970
Genre Rock
Length 69:25
Label MCA
Producer
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, featuring songs mostly intended for his planned fourth studio album. The 17-track album was one of the first releases overseen by Experience Hendrix, a family company that took over management of his recording legacy. MCA Records released the album in 1997 and it reached the album charts in the United States, United Kingdom, and four other countries.

Hendrix recorded most of the songs with former Jimi Hendrix Experience drummer Mitch Mitchell and bassist Billy Cox, who had performed for Band of Gypsys (1970). Also, most were recorded in 1970 at Hendrix's new Electric Lady Studios in New York City.

All of the songs had been released previously on Hendrix's first posthumous albums The Cry of Love (1971), Rainbow Bridge (1971), and War Heroes (1972). First Rays of the New Rising Sun superseded Voodoo Soup, the 1995 attempt by controversial interim Hendrix producer Alan Douglas to realize Hendrix's fourth album.

Background[edit]

At the time of his death in 1970, Hendrix was working on enough songs for a double album, with one proposed title First Rays of the New Rising Sun.[2][3] The tracks were in varying stages of development, with only about six believed to be near completion. Long-time Hendrix recording engineer Eddie Kramer and drummer Mitch Mitchell selected 17 of what they felt were the best tracks, which were first released on The Cry of Love, Rainbow Bridge, and War Heroes.[2] From the 1970s through the 1990s, the songs also appeared on other posthumous compilations supervised by producer Alan Douglas, who wiped bass and drums performances by Mitchell, Cox and Miles and overdubbed them with newly recorded by session musicians. He also added female backing singers to one track, and claimed co-composer credit on several tracks. 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
SourceRating
AllMusic4/5 stars[4]
Blender4/5 stars[6]
Down Beat4/5 stars[7]
Encyclopedia of Popular Music3/5 stars[8]
Los Angeles Times4/4 stars[9]
PopMatters9/10[10]
The Rolling Stone Album Guide4/5 stars[11]

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,[12] and at number 37 on the UK Albums Charts in Britain.[13] In 2010, the album was remastered and re-released by Sony Legacy, on March 8 in the UK and March 9 in the US.[10]

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,[14] 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, deeming him an improvement over Noel Redding. According to Murphy, Cox allowed the band to "spread out and chase the guitarist as he soars above, around and beneath them".[10] Rolling Stone magazine called the album "a cohesive cosmic missive", writing that it "illuminates what would have been a transitional phase for Hendrix".[15]

Track listing[edit]

All tracks written by Jimi Hendrix.

No.TitleOriginal releaseLength
1."Freedom"The Cry of Love (CoL)3:26
2."Izabella"War Heroes (WH)2:50
3."Night Bird Flying"CoL3:50
4."Angel"CoL4:21
5."Room Full of Mirrors"Rainbow Bridge (RB)3:21
6."Dolly Dagger"RB4:44
7."Ezy Ryder"CoL4:09
8."Drifting"CoL3:48
9."Beginnings"WH4:12
10."Stepping Stone"WH4:12
11."My Friend"CoL4:36
12."Straight Ahead"CoL4:42
13."Hey Baby (New Rising Sun)"RB6:04
14."Earth Blues"RB4:21
15."Astro Man"CoL3:34
16."In from the Storm"CoL3:41
17."Belly Button Window"CoL3:36

Recording details[edit]

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

[16]

Personnel[edit]

  • Jimi Hendrix – guitar, lead vocals, backing vocals, bass, piano, producer, mixing
  • Billy Cox – bass, backing vocals
  • Mitch Mitchell – drums, producer, mixing
  • Juma Sultan – percussion
  • Buddy Miles – drums (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 Linhartvibraphone on "Drifting"
  • Emmeretta Marks – backing vocals
  • The Ronettes – backing vocals
  • Steve Winwood (from 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. 
  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. 
  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. ^ Larkin, Colin (2011). "Jimi Hendrix". Encyclopedia of Popular Music (5th ed.). Omnibus Press. ISBN 0857125958. 
  9. ^ Coker, Cheo Hodari (May 2, 1997). "Another Chance to Experience Hendrix". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved May 26, 2016. 
  10. ^ 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 September 21, 2013. Retrieved August 9, 2015. 
  11. ^ 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. 
  12. ^ Billboard album charts info - Jimi Hendrix First Rays of the New Rising Sun at AllMusic. Retrieved 6 September 2011.
  13. ^ "UK chart history - Jimi Hendrix First Rays of the New Rising Sun". www.chartstats.com. Retrieved 6 September 2011. 
  14. ^ Christgau, Robert (2000). Christgau's Consumer Guide: Albums of the '90s. St. Martin's Griffin. p. 357. ISBN 0312245602. 
  15. ^ Rolling Stone. New York (August 7): 62. 1997. 
  16. ^ McDermott, John (1997). First Rays of the New Rising Sun (booklet). Jimi Hendrix. Experience Hendrix, L.L.C. pp. 7–33. 

External links[edit]