The Jimi Hendrix Experience: BBC Sessions (1998)

FrontCover1BBC Sessions is an album of recordings by the rock group The Jimi Hendrix Experience, released on MCA Records on June 2, 1998. It contains all the surviving tracks from their various appearances on BBC radio programmes, such as Saturday Club and Top Gear, recorded in 1967. At a BBC radio ‘session’, a practice still alive in British radio today, a band is required to record material in a studio quickly with limited overdubbing, largely limited to and relying upon their live sound. Many groups as part of this tradition choose to record some songs that are not part of their main repertoire. The album also includes the only two surviving Hendrix UK TV soundtracks (both BBC) Late Night Line Up (“Manic Depression” only survives) and the 1969 Lulu Show (complete).

BBC Sessions therefore offers its own unique example of the Experience sound, and a revealing glimpse of a song from their early repertoire Howlin’ Wolf’s “Killing Floor” and their only known studio recording of Bob Dylan’s “Can You Please Crawl Out Your Window?”.

Inlay1Apart from the “live” in studio versions of well-known Experience songs, there are several unique studio recordings of songs, i.e. “Driving South” , which includes several licks derived from Albert Collins’ “Frosty” (1962) and “Thaw Out” (1965), “Hoochie Coochie Man”, “Catfish Blues”, “Hound Dog”, “Hear My Train a Comin'” and a couple of novelty tracks: the amusing parody of a BBC Radio 1 jingle “Radio One”, and a recording with a young Stevie Wonder on drums (a cover of Wonder’s own “I Was Made to Love Her”). It also includes the sound track from the band’s infamous appearance on Lulu’s television show in 1969.

The Top of the Pops references were overdubbed by Brian Mathews onto Top Gear recordings for the BBC produced Swedish (English language) radio show of the same name. The original recordings minus Brian no longer exist.

Booklet-7AThis collection has been re-released as part of the Hendrix Family’s project to remaster Jimi’s discography in 2010 by Experience Hendrix and Legacy Recordings. The re-release contains 2 digitally remastered sound discs with “Burning of the Midnight Lamp” bonus track from August 24, 1967, and 1 DVD videodisc of footage from recording sessions, and 22 pages of program notes.

Some of this material had previously been released by Rykodisc in 1988 on an album titled Radio One. (by wikipedia)

Booklet-10AThese are the recordings that Jimi Hendrix made for BBC radio in the late ’60s. As such, they’re loose, informal, and off-the-top-of-his-head improvisational fun. These versions of the hits “Foxey Lady,” “Fire,” two versions of “Purple Haze,” and “Hey Joe” stay surprisingly close to the studio versions, but the tone of Hendrix’s guitar on these is positively blistering and worth the price of admission alone. There’s also a lot of blues on this two-disc collection, and Hendrix’s versions of “Hoochie Coochie Man” (with Alexis Korner on slide guitar), “Catfish Blues,” “Killing Floor,” and “Hear My Train A-Comin'” find him in excellent form. But perhaps the best example of how loosely conceived these sessions were are the oddball covers that Hendrix tackles, including Stevie Wonder’s “I Was Made to Love Her” (featuring Wonder on drums), Dylan’s “Can You Please Crawl out Your Window?,” The Beatles’ “Day Tripper,” and, in recognition of his immediate competition, Cream’s “Sunshine of Your Love.” No lo-fi bootleg tapes here (everything’s from the original masters and gone over by Eddie Kramer), the music and sound are class-A all the way, making a worthwhile addition to anyone’s Hendrix collection. (by Cub Koda)

Jimi Hendrix: vocals, guitar
Mitch Mitchell (drums)
Noel Redding (bass)
Alexis Korner (slide guitar on CD 1: 05.)
Stevie Wonder (drums on CD 2: 07. + 08.)


CD 1:
01. Foxy Lady (Hendrix) 2.59
02. Alexis Korner Introduction 0.27
03. Can You Please Crawl Out Your Window? (Dylan) 3.31
04. Rhythm and Blues World Service 0.12
05. (I’m Your) Hoochie Coochie Man (Dixon) 5.31
06. Traveling With the Experience 0.22
07. Driving South (Collins) 5.30
08. Fire (Hendrix) 2.43
09. Little Miss Lover (Hendrix) 2.57
10. Introducing the Experience 0.51
11. Burning Of The Midnight Lamp (Hendrix) 3.43
12. Catfish Blues (Petway) 5.28
13. Stone Free (Hendrix) 3.25
14. Love Or Confusion (Hendrix) 2.54
15. Hey Joe (Roberts) 4.01
16. Hound Dog (Leiber/Stoller) 2.42
17. Driving South (Collins) 4.49
18. Hear My Train A Comin’ (Hendrix) 5.00

CD 2:
01. Purple Haze (Hendrix) 3.17
02. Killing Floor (Burnett) 2.29
03. Radio One (Hendrix) 1.34
04. Wait Until Tomorrow (Hendrix) 2.57
05. Day Tripper (Lennon/McCartney) 3.24
06. Spanish Castle Magic (Hendrix) 3.07
07. Jammin´ (Hendrix) 3.20
08. I Was Made To Love Her (Wonder/Hardaway/Cosby/Moy) 3.04
09. Foxy Lady (Hendrix) 2.43
10. A Brand New Sound 0.54
11. Hey Joe (alternate take) (Roberts) 2.57
12. Manic Depression (Hendrix) 3.10
13. Driving South (alternate take) (Knight) 3.21
14. Hear My Train A Comin’ (alternate take) (Hendrix) 5.02
15. A Happening for Lulu 0.19
16. Voodoo Child (Slight Return) (Hendrix) 4.08
17. Lulu Introduction 0.22
18. Hey Joe (Roberts) 2.43
19. Sunshine Of Your Love (Bruce/Brown/Clapton) 1.17

CD2A* (CD 1)
** (CD 1)

* (CD 2 + artwork)
** (CD 2 + artwork)

JimiHendrixIn other words: He was one of the greatest !