Jimi Hendrix Encyclopedia
January 21st, 1970
Juggy Sound, New York
As had been the case since mixing sessions began on January 14, Hendrix and Kramer huddled at Juggy Sound to continue their work on Band Of Gypsys.
Record Plant, New York
Message To Love
Following his work at Juggy, Hendrix joined Cox, and Miles at the Record Plant for an extended session that began with fourteen takes of “Power Of Soul” (still referred under the working title of “Crash Landing”) put to tape, and although takes 2, 4, and 6 were complete, no master track was flagged. Recorded three weeks after the group’s legendary Fillmore East concerts, the Band Of Gypsys meticulously crafted this prototypical illustration of sophisticated funk.
Hendrix would revisit the track on February 3, 1970, overdubbing guitar parts and creating a rough mix. At that stage, work on “Power Of Soul” drew to a close. Hendrix instead chose to feature a live version of the song as part of Band Of Gypsys, issued in March 1970.
The January/February 1970 studio recording of “Power Of Soul” was shelved until the marathon mixing sessions Hendrix staged at Electric Lady Studios in August 1970. As Jimi reviewed the many contenders for his projected double album First Rays Of The New Rising Sun, “Power Of Soul” was treated to a new rough mix, resulting in the unique delay effect heard during the song’s opening.
Because “Power Of Soul” had been featured on Band Of Gypsys, Jimi had not reserved a position for the song on First Rays Of The New Rising Sun. Although considered for The Cry Of Love, the first posthumous album of Jimi’s unissued studio material, “Power Of Soul” remained unavailable until a truncated version was overhauled and included as part of the controversial 1975 compilation Crash Landing. The original master was edited and remixed to accommodate overdubs recorded in 1974 by session percussionist Jimmy Maeulen. Lasting only 3:15 and retitled “With The Power”, the elaborate introduction and its two soaring lead guitar solos were scrapped.
The version featured on the 1997 compilation South Saturn Delta discards the posthumous additions, restoring the full-length version with all of its regal glory intact.
Jimi then presented the evening’s most pleasant surprise, seven takes of “Astro Man”. “This is gonna be fun!” laughed Jimi before launching into a enthusiastic rendition of “Astro Man”, his comic cartoon fable. The song’s inspiration was simple, drawing its roots from Jimi’s love for animated cartoons. “That’s what ‘Astro Man’ was all about,” laughs Cox. “We used to love watching cartoons at his apartment. He enjoyed Mighty Mouse and especially loved Rocky and Bullwinkle.” Take seven would later be featured as part of The Jimi Hendrix Experience box set.
Jimi closed the evening with a single, unsuccessful attempt at realizing a basic track for the promising “Valleys Of Neptune.”
In other news outside the recording studio, the January 21 issue of Variety magazine announced the upcoming Isle Of Wight Festival of Music, a five-day musical extravaganza slated for August on the small island located off the south coast of England. Of the event, Variety explains, “The first two days will be a film fest. It is hoped to premier a couple of films of the Easy Rider genre [Murray Lerner’s acclaimed Festival!, a documentary about the Newport Folk Festival, was one of the films scheduled]. The remainder will be a conventional progressive pop bash with about 30 acts taking part. Policy is to not book more than two big names as crowd pullers as they tend to overshadow other acts. No bookings have yet been made.”