Jimi Hendrix - War Heroes (1972) from RARE & OOP W-German 1988 Polydor CD
01. Bleeding Heart (Elmore James) 3.12
02. Highway Chile 3.29
03. Tax Free (Bo Hanssen / Janne Karlssen) 4.56
04. Peter Gunn (Henry Mancini) / Catastrophe (Bloom / Gade) 2.20
05. Stepping Stone 4.09
06. Midnight 5.32
07. 3 Little Bears 4.10
08. Beginning (Mitch Mitchell) 4.11
09. Izabella 2.51
w. Artwork !
All songs by Hendrix except those indicated.
Produced by Eddie Kramer & John Jansen
Engineered by Eddie Kramer, John Jansen, Gary Kellgren,
Dave Palmer, Kim King, Bob Hughes, Angel Balestier & Tony Bongiovi
Remix at Electric Lady Studios by: Kramer / Jansen
Executive Producer: Michael Jeffrey
Jimi Hendrix: Vocals, Guitars
Billy Cox: Bass
Noel Redding: Bass on 2, 3, 6, 7
Mitch Mitchell: Drums
Buddy Miles: Drums on 1 & 9
Juma Sultan: Percussion on 1, 8 & 9
Jerry Velez: Percussion on 9
Polydor 813 573-2 -> EAC (Secure + Cue Sheet) -> Flac (8) > MP3
Researched and Written by Prof. Stoned
'War Heroes' was the third posthumous Hendrix Studio album
to come out under Michael Jeffery's (Hendrix' manager) supervision.
Had it been tough for Eddie Kramer and Mitch Mitchell to complete
the 2nd posthumous studio album 'Soundtrack of the film Rainbow Bridge"
to a satisfyting result, the compiling of 'War Heroes' was what Eddie Kramer
called 'scraping the bottom of the barrel'.
With only two recordings that Hendrix had more or less approved during his
life (Izabella & Stepping stone) and two older recordings which had not been
released in the States yet (Highway Chile and Stars that play with laughing's
Sam's dice, which would eventually turn up on Loose ends from 1973),
Kramer -now fully assisted by John Jansen- once again went through
all the tapes in the hopes to find useable pieces of music.
The collection they came up with did indeed not live up to the standard
that was set with Cry of Love, Rainbow Bridge & the live album In the west.
But for a more than average fan, War Heroes does not disappoint.
It has a few blistering instrumentals, that Hendrix may not have wanted
to be released, but who demonstrate his fine talents on the guitar nonetheless.
Only '3 little bears' and 'Peter Gunn/Catastrophe' are throwaway's.
Apart from the fact that Kramer wanted to offer a glimpse of Hendrix
working (and joking around) in the studio, he probably also had another
motive for including these.
Kramer realized that Michael Jeffrey and Warner Bros. would want him
to compile more studio albums, and by using these two tracks he
was able to back-up his argument that there simply were no quality studio
recordings left in the vaults.
When Kramer delivered 'War heroes' to WB, he also made a silent statement
by not delivering any background information on the songs for the sleeve.
The gloomy front cover and the unexplained album title (was it supposed to
be a link to 'Izabella' ?) only added to the confusion.
The album sold a moderate 180.000 copies, and reached 48 in the US charts.
Together with 'Rainbow bridge' & "In the West, "'War Heroes' was deleted
from Warner's catalogue in 1975, after WB's chief Mo' Ostin decided that
Alan Douglas was far more capable of maintaining the quality of Hendrix's
postume discography than Michael Jeffrey and Eddie Kramer had been.
A dumb & unnecessary move from Mo', as history has proven it.
The fact that nearly all Warner executives at the time hated Michael Jeffery
(who died in 1973) may have played a role in this decision.
The 'Rainbow bridge' album had been excusively licensed to WB,
and has been out-of-print in the states ever since, although the German
division of Reprise started re-pressing the album on vinyl during the 80's.
Fortunately, 'War heroes' and 'In the west" remained in print in the rest
of the world, thanks to Michael Jeffreys' clever 1967 contracts .
Polydor did the CD release of the albums in the eightties in Europe & Japan.
It was later re-pressed in Europe (1991/1992) with a different catalogue number
and different mastering. The sound had noise reduction and limiting -though
not as severe as we know it by today's standards- in order to make the CD
louder & "cleaner'.
The re-presses can only be clearly identified with by its number: 847-262-2
The original W-German 1988 CD (which was mastered from the same digital
master as the Japanese P20P and P33P series) doesn't have any of this
and is the source used here.
*** The tracks
Recorded with the Band of Gypsys including Juma Sultan on percussion
on 12 December 1969 at the Record Plant Studio in New York City.
Overdubs were added on 24 March 1970.
Previously played by the Experience as a slow blues (a sublime rendition can
be heard on Reprise's 'Concerts'), this version takes a more funky approach.
Originally produced by Jimi Hendrix.
Recorded with the Experience on 3 April 1967 at Olympic Studios, London, UK.
This song reflected on Hendrix' restless time as a traveling musician
on the Chitlin' circuit.
In Europe it became the B-side of the "Wind cries Mary
(released: 5 May 1967 in the UK) and later appeared on the Track/Polydor
version of 'Smash hits', but wasn't released in the States until 1972
when 'War heroes' came out. This track only existed in mono
until 2000 when EH released a newly made (but disappointing, IMO)
stereo mix on the box set.
Engineered by Eddie Kramer. Produced by Chas Chandler.
Recorded on 26 January 1968 at the Olympic Studios, London, UK
and Record Plant, NYC, 1 May 1968.
This was written by Sweden's Bo Hanssen and Janne Karlsson.
Hendrix heard this instrumental while touring Sweden in 1967 and decided
to record it. The Experience recorded five basic tracks, the fifth being successful.
When production switched to over to the Record Plant Studio in New York,
Hendrix worked on the track again there, trying to add some overdubs.
The Experience added Tax Free to their set list during early 1968
and continued to play it live until early 1969.
A live version can be heard on the now out-of-print "Live at Winterland"
album. Originally produced by Jimi Hendrix
"Peter Gunn / Catastrophe"
Recorded mid-summer of 1970 at the Electric Lady Studios, NYC.
'Peter Gunn' was the first song that Jimi learned to play during his
Seattle childhood days.
'Catastrophe' is a take-off by Jimi of the song 'Jealousy'
popularized by Frankie Laine in late 1951.
During the improvisation of 'Catastrophe' Jimi invented his own lyrics.
This little ditty was added to the album by Eddie Kramer
just to give a little insight into Hendrix's sense of humor,
and is without a doubt the weakest selection.
Maybe even the weakest Hendrix studio performance ever officially released.
Engineered by Eddie Kramer. Originally produced by Jimi hendrix
Originally recorded on 18 December 1969 with the Band of Gypsys
at the Record Plant, NYC, and Electric Lady Studios, NYC. 1970.
This recording was rush-released as a single with 'Izabella' on the B-side
(Reprise 0905, Rel: 13/04/70), and quickly withdrawn again.
Only a few copies of this single leaked out, making it a ultra-rare item.
According to Hendrix: "Some of the copies out there have no bass
on them. I had to go out somewhere and tell the guy to remix it
but he didn't. Sure, it matters..." #
The single contained a mix with Buddy Miles on drums.
Jimi -who was still working on the recording- later opted to erase
Miles' drums from the multitracks to be replaced by Mitchell's.
However, the drums were never fully completed to Hendrix's satisfaction
during his life and therefore it's a pity that Kramer and Jansen
did not use the original mix with Miles' drums for this album.
While being a far more technically skilled drummer than Miles,
Mitchell failed to lay down the steady beat that this track really needs.
The original mix can be heard on the OOP compilation 'Cornerstones:
1967-1970' and the 2001 EH release 'Voodoo child; The JH Collection'.
Engineered by Bob Hughes 1969 at the Record Plant and Eddie
Kramer at Electric Land Studios 1970. Originally produced by
'Heaven Research Unlimited' (=Jimi Hendrix).
# (Hendrix was referring to the low-end rather than the bass guitar, PS).
Recorded by the Experience during October 1968
at the TTG studio's, Los Angeles, CA.
These October sessions were booked to record the fourth
Experience studio album, which never materialized.
Later on in early 1969, the group cut a similair instrumental
called 'Trashman', that was eventually released (with lots
of overdubs & editing) on the inferior Alan Douglas' produced
'Midnight lightning' album from 1975.
Engineered by Angel Balestier. Originally produced by Jimi Hendrix.
"3 Little bears"
Recorded on 2 May 1968 at the Record Plant, NY.
Another left-over from the 'Electric Ladyland
The first half of this extended jam was released on 'War Heroes'.
The U.S. lp version had parts of Hendrix' frustrated comments censored
by wiping them out or mixing them down very low ("Oh, fuck me" and
"stop that shit, stop it").
In 1999 EH released the Jimi Hendrix "Merry Christmas and happy new year"
EP, which made '3 little bears' available again. The complete extended version
is only available on bootlegs; "The mixdown master tapes 1-3", for example.
Originally produced by Jimi Hendrix
Recorded on 16 June 1970 and on 1 July 1970 at Electric Lady Studios, NYC.
This instrumental had previously been known as 'Jam back at the house'
and was developed during the Woodstock rehearsal sessions
in the summer of 1969.
It first appeared as a strongly edited live version on the 'Woodstock 2'
triple album in March 1971.
It's not very likely that Mitch Mitchell actually composed this track.
It seems more likely that Mitchell was given this credit in an attempt to
compensate him financially for his tireless dedication over the 1967-1971 period.
This version is slightly edited as well, and a complete version can be
found on bootlegs.
Originally produced by Jimi Hendrix.
Recorded on 28/29 August 1969 at the Hit Factory, NYC,
and featured the "Gypsy suns and rainbows" line up with Mitchell
being replaced by Miles.
It was released first as a B-side on a quickly withdrawn single (see 'Stepping Stone'
details). However, unlike 'Stepping Stone' this recording was not further overdubbed,
and appears here in a slightly different mix.
The original mix can be heard on EH's 2001 release 'Voodoo child; The JH Collection'.
Originally produced by 'Heaven Research Unlimited' (=Jimi Hendrix).
'Setting the record straight' by John McDermott & Eddie Kramer
'Black gold' by Stephen Roby
'Electric Gypsy' by Harry Shapiro and Caesar Glebbeek
enjoy it !