The story of Jimi Hendrix's album recorded for the BBC

The album "BBC Sessions" saw the light of day decades after Jimi Hendrix's death. Nevertheless, it influenced many followers of the iconic guitarist and was a pleasant surprise for fans.

The story of the BBC Sessions album: idea, tracks, significance

"BBC Sessions." - album Jimi Hendrixrecorded with his band "Jimi Hendrix Experience". It came out in the summer 1998 and quickly attracted the attention of the public and critics. The thing is that the record includes tracks recorded back in 1967 during the band's live performances as part of radio programmes from BBC (talking about transmissions "Saturday Club." or "Top Gear.").

"It's a pity that all this music will go to waste," Hendrix once said of these recordings. Fortunately, they did see the light of day, albeit after the virtuoso's death.


Jimi Hendrix with members of his band, the Jimi Hendrix Experience
Jimi Hendrix with members of his band, the Jimi Hendrix Experience

Radio sessions "BBC." imply a rather curious practice that exists on British radio to this day: the band is obliged to record fresh material on location, in the studio of the radio itself, with limited overlap. That is, the team must rely solely on live sound. It is worth noting that some bands prefer to record according to this principle.

"BBC Sessions." - it's a fresh take on craftsmanship "Jimi Hendrix Experience"A unique example of Hendrix's live sound and a magnificent legacy to all his fans and followers. The album shows an early composition in a new light "Killing Floor." and the studio's most popular cover of the "Can You Please Crawl Out Your Window?" Bob Dylan.

Today, this may shock listeners and performers, but in the distant 60s it was common practice to lose such material forever. Yes, the public would enjoy this music - once, as part of a programme. But that was the end of the record's life, and no one could prevent it. And few people wanted to.

As for the BBC Sessions, the debut album was released shortly before that "Jimi Hendrix Experience"which reached the top 5 on both sides of the Atlantic. At that time, Hendrix was still an aspiring artist, so he could not expect a wide audience. At that time, almost all of his colleagues played electric guitars in an orderly manner. And Jimi was in their background a fire-breathing dragon who presented music as a striking physical thing. His playing was stunning and his chords seemed incredibly alive.

Jimi Hendrix with members of his band, the Jimi Hendrix Experience
Jimi Hendrix with members of his band, the Jimi Hendrix Experience

"BBC Sessions." - is much more than just an album. These are bold tunes embodied in the blues, most of which have been recorded for several BBC radio programmes. It's interesting to hear Hendrix playing so passionately in the 1967 year, before he became an international icon and widely recognised virtuoso. This record also shows how his mastery of improvisation developed.

About the tracks

Jimi Hendrix with members of his band, the Jimi Hendrix Experience
Jimi Hendrix with members of his band, the Jimi Hendrix Experience

The album is two discs, each containing about 20 tracks. On "BBC Sessions." three versions are presented "Hey Joe."as well as three smooth versions of the instrumental "Driving South."and in each one the trio changes tempo.

In addition to live studio versions of Hendrix's well-known tracks, there are also unique studio recordings on the album. Prime examples are. "Driving South." (three versions at once), which contains guitar lines borrowed from "Frosty" and "Thaw Out" by Albert Collins; "(I'm Your) Hoochie Coochie Man."; "Catfish Blues"; "Hound Dog." and others. The most recent creation is a curious parody of the BBC Radio 1 jingle "Radio One."and a joint improvisation with a young Stevie Wonder on drums ("I Was Made to Love Her").

There are some colourful surprises on the album, namely covers of "Day Tripper." groups "The Beatles", "Can You Please Crawl Out Your Window?" Bob Dylan. As for the interpretation "Sunshine of Your Love" team "Cream."Hendrix's hot solo makes Clapton's original seem understated compared to his playing. At least, that's what many critics and listeners think.


Album "BBC Sessions." saw the light of day decades after his death. Jimi Hendrix. Nevertheless, he influenced many followers of the iconic guitarist and was a pleasant surprise for fans. This record shows the future idol at the very beginning of his journey: his early mastery was already at an all-time high, and it makes you truly admire this man.


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