Welcome back to the WEEK OF SINGLES 2! Yesterday we took a look at Dream Theater’s “Lie” — click here if you missed it.
JIMI HENDRIX – “Valleys of Neptune” (2010 Experience Hendrix, Record Store Day release)
I’m just a casual fan, certainly not an expert on the labyrinthine Hendrix back catalog of songs. There are so many takes both released and “previously unreleased” of so many songs. Anyway, bottom line, here is “Valleys of Neptune”, a previously unreleased 40-year old take of a Hendrix song, the title track to the 2010 album it comes from. This is via the official Hendrix-family-approved reissue program. It’s a pretty cool looking single, with suitably 60’s cover art suiting the title, and painted by Jimi himself. The tune itself is a catchy toe-tapping Hendrix rocker performed with Mitch Mitchell and Billy Cox. It’s pieced together from recording sessions in 1969 and 1970.
The B-side is a previously unreleased version of “Cat Talking To Me”. This one was not made available on Valleys of Neptune, not even as a digital download bonus track. You can only get it on this single. Jimi cut this one with the Experience in 1967, but Mitch Mitchell and Noel Redding returned to the studio in 1987 to add the bass and drums. Why it wasn’t released in ’87, I don’t know. I like this one better than the A-side. It has a good little groove going, at times anticipating where Aerosmith would take American rock and roll in the 1970’s. The lead vocal is by Mitchell.
For something cool to add to your collection, you can’t go wrong with “Valleys of Neptune”. It looks neat, it sounds great, and the cover art and rare track are sure to make this a collectible.