"Midnight Lightning" - the splendor of the talent of Jimi Hendrix

In fact, "Midnight Lightning" invites the listener to compare the pure creativity of Hendrix with the improvisations of Douglas' session players. What the result is is up to the public to decide.

Everything about the album "Midnight Lightning" by the cult virtuoso guitarist

"Midnight Lightning" - a great music album that saw the light after death Jimi Hendrix, in the mid 70's. It came out on both sides of the Atlantic and was produced by Alan Douglas and Tony Bongiovi.

The album features demos from the cult guitarist, with session musicians invited specifically to give this work the finishing touches. The most amazing thing about Midnight Lightning's history is that the guest musicians never played with Hendrix. For this reason, many critics and fans of the virtuoso did not take the album cordially, and this even though it included the famous "Hear My Train" and «Machine Gun». As a result, the disc did not even make it to the top 40.

History of creation

Jimi Hendrix
Jimi Hendrix

"Midnight Lightning" became the sixth and posthumous release Jimi Hendrix. For music producer Alan Douglas it was the second work on the material of the cult virtuoso, but Alan did not manage to prove himself well. Despite the dissatisfaction of the public, Douglas adhered to controversial methods: he invited session musicians into the studio who had never performed with Jimi in their lives. The producer had already done the same thing before, when working on "Crash Landing". Of course, many people did not share such ideas and were dissatisfied with Alan's folly. So, the only track with the original member of the Hendrix band became "Hear My Train" with Mitch Mitchell! To the small but still happiness of the fans, Douglas did not co-write compositions for "Midnight Lightning".

Jimi Hendrix
Jimi Hendrix

However, some critics noted that compared to the previous "Crash Landing" "Midnight Lightning" showed much better results in terms of sound. For Douglas, this was a kind of praise. The reason for the indulgence was the bright instrumental tracks, including "Trash Man". In turn, the AllMusic magazine reviewer emphasized that Hendrix's virtuosity was preserved, despite the fact that "Douglas's musicians jammed it."

List of tracks

The album contains works written by Hendrix after the split "Experience". There were eight tracks in total.

"Midnight Lightning"

"Hear My Train A Comin"

"Blue Suede Shoes"

«Machine Gun»

"Once I Had a Woman"


No audio:

  • "Trashman"
  • Gypsy Boy

Title track introduces a session drummer Alan Schwartzberg. As already mentioned above, Mitch Mitchell from "Jimi Hendrix Experience" appears here in only one composition - "Hear My Train". The main bassist of the disc was Bob Babbit, and the guitarists were Jeff Mironov and Lance Quinn. I wonder what they thought about it Billy Cox and Noel Redding?

Luckily for the fans, the "additional" guest musicians aren't very prominent here and their names didn't even make it onto the disc.

Gorgeous Jimi Hendrix...
Gorgeous Jimi Hendrix

In fact, "Midnight Lightning" invites the listener to compare the pure creativity of Hendrix with the improvisations of Douglas' session players. Of course, what the result is is up to the public to decide. But, based on the reviews on the Internet and the opinions of loyal fans and third-party critics, the answer is obvious.

Fortunately, after the failure "Midnight Lightning" by Alan Douglas no longer participated in the posthumous releases of the guitar virtuoso. This duty was taken over by Hendrix's favorite engineer. Eddie Kramer and John McDermott. Together they stubbornly and painstakingly pieced together studio jams and fragments, restored all the master tapes and delighted the listeners.

Regarding "Midnight Lightning", then such albums best demonstrate how the legacy of a legendary musician can vary if it is passed to the people through different hands.


Jimi Hendrix
Jimi Hendrix

Despite what he did with the album Alan Douglas, "Midnight Lightning" serves as a vivid proof that no one can take away his heritage from the great artist. Yes, session musicians were invited who had never played with Hendrix in their lives. Yes, there were a lot of edits and the like. But it's still Jimi Hendrix. On the contrary, such works perfectly demonstrate the magnificence and genius of the musician! And today this disc is successfully sold for decent money all over the world, and this suggests that the music presented on it is timeless. Despite Alan's wildness, this is another important take on Hendrix.

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