Album Artwork

From the upcoming (March 5) new album — People, Hell and Angels from Experience Hendrix/Legacy, the Billboard #1 Sales Single ‘Somewhere’. Check out John McDermott’s liner notes below:

“Somewhere” was created during Hendrix’s first session in America where he assumed the dual role of artist and producer outside the direct control of Chas Chandler—his co-manager and producer of both Are You Experienced and Axis: Bold As Love. Jimi seized an opportunity in March 1968, squeezing in time at New York’s Sound Center Studios between performance dates on the extensive North American tour that the Experience had undertaken. Hendrix called upon friends Stephen Stills and Buddy Miles for this recording. This would not be a Jimi Hendrix Experience session, but instead an opportunity to explore new creative possibilities.

Work on “Somewhere” began with just Hendrix and Miles and no bass guitar. Stills, normally a guitarist, accepted Jimi’s request to play bass. The trio ran through the song numerous times in an effort to perfect the arrangement and tempo Hendrix desired. This effort led to more structured takes and an exceptional song began to take shape. Jimi then separately overdubbed lead guitar and vocals before work concluded.

Despite its obvious promise, “Somewhere” was not put forward for inclusion as part of Electric Ladyland when sessions for that album resumed at the newly opened Record Plant in April 1968. The master reels created at Sound Center [which would also include “My Friend,” later featured as part of Cry Of Love and more recently, First Rays Of The New Rising Sun] were simply tucked away within the guitarist’s fast expanding tape library.

After Hendrix’s death in September 1970, Eddie Kramer, Mitch Mitchell and assistant engineer John Jansen began to comb through the hundreds of multi-track reels the guitarist had recorded. The first two posthumously issued studio albums—1971’s Cry Of Love and Rainbow Bridge—drew largely on material Hendrix had been working on at Electric Lady Studios prior to his death. “Somewhere” was instead considered for War Heroes, the planned third album of studio recordings by Hendrix slated for release in 1972. Alerted to the song by Jansen, Mitchell overdubbed new drum parts at Electric Lady Studios onto take three from reel one in an effort to upgrade the master. Mitchell’s endeavor was hampered by a loping bass guitar part by Stills on that particular take that struggled to maintain time consistently throughout the song. Mitchell and Jansen ultimately abandoned the effort and set the overdubbed master aside. Mitchell’s effort remained unreleased for nearly two decades until it was included as part of the Jimi Hendrix Experience box set in 2000.

Producer Alan Douglas assumed control of the Hendrix tape library in 1974. His first project was the controversial compilation Crash Landing. For that album, Douglas removed nearly all of the original performances by Hendrix’s band members in favor of new overdubs from session musicians. Douglas located the third take of “Somewhere” that featured Mitchell’s overdubs and assumed this to be the working master. Douglas stripped the recording of everything from the original session save for Hendrix’s guitar and lead vocal and added all new instrumentation. This overhauled version of take three from reel one was then issued as part of Crash Landing in 1975.

The master of “Somewhere” presented here is wholly different than either of these previous versions. This is the sixth and final take from reel two. One of the most distinctive aspects of this particular recording would be Hendrix’s wah-wah drenched guitar tone and the assured rhythmic foundation established by Miles. The bass part by Stills is more precise and the playing by both Hendrix and Miles is more forcefully delivered than on any of the preceding takes.

Recorded At: Sound Center, NY, March 13, 1968
Producer: Jimi Hendrix
Engineer: Vincent Gagliano, Tom Mucchio, Lenny Stea,
A n g e l Sandoval
Mixed By Eddie Kramer
C a p i t o l Studios, Hollywood, CA
Vocal, Guitar: Jimi Hendrix
Bass: Stephen Stills
D r u m s : Buddy Miles

Purchase from Walmart

Keep up with all the latest on Jimi’s Official Site.