Music Review: Jimi Hendrix – People, Hell, and Angels

The great Eddie Kramer explains that Jimi Hendrix himself came up with the title People, Hell and Angels on a YouTube video worth watching.

Kramer notes that Jimi Hendrix is “stretching out the boundaries” on the 1968-1969 recordings and what would be essential would be an entire video special from Kramer on every track on the disc.  John McDermott’s always essential liner notes are a superb supplement to keep things in order, especially for the die-hard fans who have heard different variations of some of these titles.

What I love about “migrating catalogs” is that the major labels need more unreleased classic rock.  The Rolling Stones go to Universal Music Group (UMG) and we get the long-lost Exile on Main Street outtakes, including a reworking of producer Jimmy Miller’s unfinished “Alladin Song.”   Hendrix moves from Reprise to Ryko Disc to UMG to Sony and the beat goes on, more Jimi.

Kramer is spot on when he considers the beautiful wah wah Jimi provides, and you can sing Neil Young’s “Ohio” to “Hear My Train A-Comin’”, a plodding blues-riff for sure, but maybe Neil (who recorded his in May 21, 1970) heard Jimi playing with the riff?  A unique insight into the Neil Young/Jimi Hendrix “sounds contemporaneous” (as in Sounds Orchestral) is that Hendrix’s old band, the Isley Brothers, actually recorded both Neil Young’s Ohio and Jimi Hendrix’s Machine Gun as a medley.

That Jimi Hendrix has created a textbook for acts major and minor to explore and re-explore goes without saying.  I could spend the next few hours…or days…giving my thoughts on how the music moves me, perhaps the finest compliment to Jimi’s genius and staying power.

With the Alan Douglas session-men overdubs and the early Warners/Reprise albums in our collections these new releases give a new look, a new clarity which makes for the merger, the closing of the distinction between entertainment and the study of musical history/appreciation.   It’s just a great new addition to the Hendrix legacy.

Some Notes: For those of us who cherish the artistry that was able to break through the after-his-tragic-passing of Jimi, there are a group of essential releases that beg to be heard again The Cry of Love, Voodoo Soup, Crash Landing, First Rays of the New Rising Sun, the stunningly beautiful Rainbow Bridge bootleg (on yellow translucent plastic), the Reprise Rainbow Bridge “soundtrack”,  the terrific Purple Haze Records release from 1992 The Rainbow Bridge Concert (2 CD limited edition) 

etc. etc. etc. People, Hell and Angels is – along with being a musical delight – another link in the chain which we hope will continue to pour forth more nuggets and fun!

 Jimi Hendrix: People, Hell, and Angels – Somewhere

Joe Viglione is the Chief Film Critic at He has written thousands of reviews and biographies for,, Gatehouse Media, Al Aronowitz’s The Blacklisted Journal, and a variety of other media outlets. Joe also produces and hosts Visual Radio, a seventeen year old variety show on cable TV which has interviewed Jodie Foster, director/screenwriter David Koepp, Michael Moore, John Cena, comics/actors Margaret Cho, Gilbert Gottfried, Gallagher, musicians Mark Farner and Don Brewer of Grand Funk Railroad, Ian Hunter of Mott The Hoople, Ray Manzarek, John Densmore, Felix Cavaliere of The Rascals, political commentator Bill Press and hundreds of other personalities.