Valleys of Neptune, the Newly Curated Jimi Hendrix Album of Unreleased Studio Recordings, Debuts at #4 on Billboard Top 200
Four Additional Hendrix Catalog Deluxe Editions -- Are You Experienced, Axis: Bold As Love, Electric Ladyland, and First Rays of the New Rising Sun -- Among America's Top 100 Albums
Mar 19, 2010
Valleys of Neptune, the long-awaited album of previously unavailable Jimi Hendrix studio recordings, has debuted on the Billboard 200 best-selling albums chart at #4, while four additional Hendrix catalog titles -- Are You Experienced (#44), Electric Ladyland (#60), First Rays of the New Rising Sun (#63), and Axis: Bold As Love (#67) -- have returned to the Billboard 200 four decades after their original release dates, a testimony to the enduring vitality and importance of the trailblazing artist-guitarist-performer.
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A newly curated album of 12 fully realized studio cuts, more than a hour's worth of previously unheard Jimi Hendrix music, Valleys of Neptune, the centerpiece of the historic 2010 Jimi Hendrix Catalog Project, rocketed to #1 on Amazon in anticipation of its release. The album debuted at #1 at Barnes & Noble, B&N.com, Borders, J&R Music World, Newbury Comics, Fred Meyer, Easy Street (Seattle), Bull Moose; #2 at Amoeba and Music Monitor; #3 at Target and Best Buy. Approximately 20% of first week's sales have been in the digital realm.
"The consumer response to Valleys of Neptune and the Jimi Hendrix catalog has been phenomenal," said Adam Block, Senior Vice President and General Manager, Legacy Recordings. "It reminds us that his spirit still speaks to so many and inspires and motivates fans of all ages."
"It's really gratifying to know that my brother's music is still playing as vital a role in the culture today as it did when he recorded these tracks," said Janie Hendrix, CEO of Experience Hendrix LLC. "The acceptance of Valleys of Neptune and the classic catalog albums underscores the fact that his innovation and creative force are truly transcendent."
Legacy Recordings have issued deluxe CD+DVD editions of the three studio albums released during Hendrix's lifetime -- Are You Experienced, Axis: Bold As Love, Electric Ladyland -- as well as First Rays of the New Rising Sun, an acclaimed posthumous album reconstruction drawn from recordings Hendrix worked on from 1968-1970. Each of these essential titles in the Jimi Hendrix catalog available now on Legacy includes a bonus DVD featuring a newly created "making of the album" documentary directed by the Grammy award winning Bob Smeaton [Beatles Anthology, Festival Express, Beatles: The Studio Recordings], featuring interviews with Experience members Noel Redding, Mitch Mitchell, Billy Cox, original producer Chas Chandler and engineer Eddie Kramer.
Experience Hendrix LLC and Legacy Recordings are celebrating the release of Valleys of Neptune and the launch of the 2010 Jimi Hendrix catalog campaign with an array of online activity. The official Jimi Hendrix website, JimiHendrix.com has been redesigned for the catalog relaunch and will contain exclusive content with new features being added throughout the year.
Debuting today on JimiHendrix.com is the Jimi Hendrix Messenger, JimiMessaging.com, an interactive messaging tool that enables new and experienced fans to send messages to friends and family from their front row seats at Jimi's historic 1970 performance from the Isle of Wight Festival.
Acclaimed British film director Julien Temple ("The Filth & the Fury," "Absolute Beginners," "Joe Strummer: The Future is Unwritten") lensed a visionary music clip for "Bleeding Heart," Jimi's cover of an Elmore James blues, placing Jimi on-stage in a surrealistic Glastonbury Faire of the mind. "I saw Jimi's first showcase gig in London and I never thought I would work with him," said Julien Temple. "Making this video felt like completing a circle." The Julien Temple-directed "Bleeding Heart" and the music video for Valleys of Neptune's title track may be seen on the dedicated Jimi Hendrix VEVO channel on YouTube.
Centered around tracks recorded during a pivotal and turbulent four-month period in 1969, Valleys of Neptune unveils the original Jimi Hendrix Experience's final studio recordings, as the group lays down the foundation for its follow-up to Electric Ladyland, alongside the guitar superhero's first sessions with bassist Billy Cox, an old army buddy he'd recruited into his new ensemble.
Valleys of Neptune provides an essential, compelling, and up-til-now largely unheard listen to what Jimi Hendrix was up to musically in the critical period between the release of Electric Ladyland in October 1968 and the 1970 opening of his own Electric Lady Studios, the state of the art facility in Greenwich Village where he would begin his final project, the ambitious double album First Rays of the New Rising Sun.
The initial press response to Valleys of Neptune has been rhapsodic on both sides of the Atlantic. Jimi Hendrix will be the cover story on Rolling Stone's issue #1101 (April 1, 2010).:
"'Valleys of Neptune'... is perfection" - ROLLING STONE "Like a gift from the rock heavens..." - PEOPLE
"... a glimpse of the guitarist extending his reach beyond the Experience trio, it's thrilling." - ROLLING STONE
"'Valleys of Neptune' has a raw, muscular sound... This may be as close to a new Hendrix album as his fans will ever get." - WALL STREET JOURNAL
"VON is satisfying and illuminating..." - BILLBOARD
"...reminder: Jimi Hendrix still is and will forever be the coolest rock star of all time.... Hendrix's music, 40 years later, remains essential." - SEATTLE TIMES
"Valleys of Neptune is legit -- not quite a lost album, but darn near close in that it compiles 12 previously unreleased studio recordings, most from a key 1969 phase in the guitarist's career." - CHICAGO TRIBUNE
"... treats us to a locked-in-and-grooving Experience -- plus, we catch some glimmers of where Jimi might have headed in the years to come. On the whole, the album feels right..." - JAMBANDS
"No filler tracks or incomplete cuts are included here; every minute has been carefully vetted and listeners will show their appreciation of that effort by giving Valleys of Neptune the repeat spins it merits." - antimusic.com
"Valleys of Neptune sounds fantastic, and yer man is on top of his playing game pretty much from start to finish" - WORD (April 2010)
"James Mitchell Hendrix continues to weave his extraordinary spell, thanks to the persistence of his sister Janie and Experience Hendrix company" - SUNDAY EXPRESS (March 7, 2010)
"This marks a significant addition from one of the most important people in music and poses the question: why did no one release this sooner?" - SHORTLIST (March 4, 2010)
"A righteous slab of blues and funk from the greatest guitarist, like ever. Sold!" - TOTAL GUITAR (March 2010)
"... it's clear that Valleys of Neptune, centred on the drifting cosmic pop of its long-lost title track, has been a labour of love" - Q (April 2010)
Experience Hendrix Tour 2010, the fourth edition of the biennial concert tour that features an all-star line up of music greats paying homage to the music and legacy of Jimi Hendrix, is currently underway with the current run of performances sold-out across the country.
Featured artists who will be performing music written and inspired by Jimi Hendrix include some of the best known and most respected artists in contemporary rock and blues including Joe Satriani, Jonny Lang, Eric Johnson, Kenny Wayne Shepherd, Brad Whitford (of Aerosmith), Doyle Bramhall II, Ernie Isley, Living Colour, Double Trouble's Chris Layton, along with bassist Billy Cox. Cox, who first befriended Hendrix when the two were in the 101st Airborne Division of U.S. Army, played in both the Jimi Hendrix Experience and Band of Gypsys and performed with Hendrix at such landmark festivals as Woodstock and the Isle of Wight. Cox commented, "It's a thrill for me to play Jimi's music for audiences now as it was in the 1960s."
March 17 -Minneapolis, MN -Orpheum Theater (1, 2, 3) 18 -Chicago, IL -Chicago Theater (1, 2, 3) 20 -St. Louis, MO -Fox Theatre (2, 3) 21 -Milwaukee, WI -Riverside Theater (2, 3) 23 - Akron, OH - Civic Theatre(2) 24 -Montclair, NJ -Wellmont Theatre (2) 25 -Red Bank, NJ -Count Basie Theater (2) 27- Atlanta, GA - Fox Theatre (2) 1 = David Hidalgo and Cesar Rosas appearing 2 = Sacred Steel featuring Robert Randolph appearing 3 = Susan Tedeschi appearing For more information, visit www.jimihendrix.com About Legacy Recordings
The multiple Grammy-winning Legacy Recordings, Sony Music Entertainment's catalog division, produces and maintains the world's foremost catalog of historic reissues, an unparalleled compendium of thousands of digitally re-mastered archival titles representing virtually every musical genre including popular, rock, jazz, blues, R&B, folk, country, gospel, Broadway musicals, movie soundtracks, ethnic, world music, classical, comedy and more.
About Experience Hendrix L.L.C.
Founded by James 'Al' Hendrix, Jimi's father, in 1995, Experience Hendrix, has been managed since its inception by the family members handpicked by Al during his tenure as Chairman. It is the official family company charged with managing the music, name, image and likeness of Jimi Hendrix. As a part of their daily operations, Experience Hendrix and Authentic Hendrix oversee Jimi's timeless legacy on a worldwide basis.
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