Fans of Jimi Hendrix have a lot to be excited about this week. A collection of previously unreleased tracks, now over 40 years in the vault, are to be released Tuesday under the album title People, Hell and Angels.
More than just a collection of deep cuts, B-sides or rehearsal tracks geared mostly for obsessed fans and collectors, these songs were originally slated as a follow-up to Hendrix’s popular Electric Ladyland, but were never released. Recorded between 1968 and 1970, these tunes represent his venture away from the Jimi Hendrix Experience as he enlisted the help of a variety of different musicians in the studio, including bassist Billy Cox and drummer Buddy Miles. And with these tracks being well preserved on analog tape, combined with the meticulous work of modern producers polishing up the tracks while maintaining their integrity, People, Hell and Angels may very well be the highest quality Hendrix recording fans have heard to date.
It’s fair to say that this is not Hendrix unlike you’ve heard him before—nothing groundbreaking or different, and in fact you might have heard other versions of some of these songs in other posthumous releases. However, with Hendrix sharing production credits with his sister Janie on these recordings, the tracks do showcase Jimi’s underrated abilities as a music producer—and of course, it’s still some of the best guitar work you’ve ever heard, just because it’s Hendrix. That counts for something in and of itself.
If the performance of the advance single “Somewhere” is any indication, People, Hell and Angels is not just set to be a hit with current Hendrix aficionados, but may also introduce him to a whole new generation of fans. The record officially drops March 5, but if you don’t want to wait, you can stream the entire album on NPR’s First Listen until the release.