Rainbow Bridge (album)

Rainbow Bridge is a compilation album[1] by American rock musician Jimi Hendrix. It was the second posthumous album release by his official record company and is mostly composed of recordings Hendrix made in 1969 and 1970 after the breakup of the Jimi Hendrix Experience. Despite the cover photo and subtitle Original Motion Picture Sound Track, it does not contain any songs recorded during his concert appearance for the 1971 film Rainbow Bridge.

Rainbow Bridge
Rainbow bridge 1971.jpg
Compilation album by
ReleasedOctober 1971 (1971-10)
RecordedOctober 1968 – July 1970
VenueBerkeley Community Theatre, Berkeley, California
Jimi Hendrix US chronology
The Cry of Love
Rainbow Bridge
Hendrix in the West
Jimi Hendrix UK chronology
Isle of Wight
Rainbow Bridge
Hendrix in the West
Singles from Rainbow Bridge
  1. "Dolly Dagger" / "The Star Spangled Banner"
    Released: October 23, 1971 (US)

Continuing in the vein of The Cry of Love, the first official posthumous Hendrix album, Rainbow Bridge explores new guitar styles and textures. All the songs, except for a solo studio version of "The Star Spangled Banner", are written by Hendrix and mostly performed with Mitch Mitchell on drums and Billy Cox on bass.

Rainbow Bridge contains five songs that Hendrix included on proposed track listings for his fourth studio album: "Dolly Dagger", "Earth Blues", "Room Full of Mirrors", "Hear My Train A Comin'" (as known as "Getting My Heart Back Together Again"), and "Hey Baby (New Rising Sun)".[2] "Room Full of Mirrors" was later added to Voodoo Soup in 1995 and all except the live "Hear My Train A Comin'" were included on First Rays of the New Rising Sun in 1997, which were attempts at presenting the double album Hendrix was working on at the time of his death.


Despite the title, Rainbow Bridge was not a soundtrack to the film of the same name but rather a compilation of one live song and studio recordings from a number of sources between 1968 and 1970, including some for his planned but unfinished double album First Rays of the New Rising Sun.[3] "Look Over Yonder" began as "Mr. Bad Luck" while Hendrix was performing in Greenwich Village, New York City, with his group Jimmy James and the Blue Flames in the summer of 1966.[4] The version included on Rainbow Bridge was recorded by the Experience in 1968.[4] "Room Full of Mirrors" had been performed live by the Experience, with one recording appearing on Experience (1971). "Hear My Train A Comin'" is another song that dates back to the Experience. They had attempted several studio recordings, but these were passed over (along with a version with Cox and Buddy Miles) and a live recording from the first show on May 30, 1970, at the Berkeley Community Theatre was used instead.[4] An edited version appears in the 1971 concert film Jimi Plays Berkeley.

A new studio recording of "Room Full of Mirrors" and "Earth Blues" are two of the few largely completed studio recordings with Cox and Miles, although Mitchell later overdubbed the drum parts on the latter.[4] Two additional songs, "Izabella" and "Stepping Stone" had been released as a single (listed as "Hendrix Band of Gypsys"),[5] but Hendrix wished to rework them for his proposed fourth album. However, just as "Dolly Dagger" and "Room Full of Mirrors" were withheld from The Cry of Love, these were pulled from the Rainbow Bridge track listing in the final stages. Instead they were used to improve the next posthumous release War Heroes. "The Star Spangled Banner" is a 1969 solo studio recording by Hendrix.[6] The remainder of the songs were recorded with Mitchell and Cox between June and August 1970: "Dolly Dagger", "Pali Gap", and "Hey Baby (New Rising Sun)".

The album was the second to be produced by Eddie Kramer and Mitch Mitchell, with John Jansen assisting. It was released in October 1971 in the US, and the following month in the UK where it reached numbers 15 and 16 respectively in the album charts.[7] The album also peaked at No. 9 on the U.S. Best Selling Soul LP's chart.[8] "Dolly Dagger" with "The Star Spangled Banner" as the B-side was released as a single in the US in October 1971.[9] It appeared at number 74 in the Billboard Hot 100 pop chart.[9] In 2014, the original Rainbow Bridge album was reissued in both CD and LP formats.[10]

Critical receptionEdit

Retrospective professional reviews
Review scores
AllMusic     [11]
Christgau's Record GuideA–[12]
Classic Rock7/10[13]
Encyclopedia of Popular Music     [14]
Mojo     [15]
The Rolling Stone Album Guide     [16]
Tom Hull – on the WebA–[17]

According to AllMusic's Sean Westergaard, "when Rainbow Bridge was originally released, it was actually among the best of the posthumous Hendrix releases ... a mix of excellent, finished studio tracks and a couple of live tracks."[11] In a contemporary review for Rolling Stone magazine, Tony Glover wrote favorably of the songs on side one, particularly the "really majestic version" of "The Star-Spangled Banner".[18] In Christgau's Record Guide: Rock Albums of the Seventies (1981), Robert Christgau said while The Cry of Love (1971) highlighted Hendrix's abilities as a songwriter, Rainbow Bridge showcased his guitar playing:

Rich stuff, exploring territory that as always with Hendrix consists not merely of notes but of undifferentiated sound, a sound he shapes with a virtuosity no one else has ever achieved on an electric instrument.[12]

Track listingEdit

All songs written by Jimi Hendrix, except where noted.

Side one
1."Dolly Dagger"4:45
2."Earth Blues"4:20
3."Pali Gap"5:05
4."Room Full of Mirrors"3:17
5."Star Spangled Banner" (Public domain, studio version)4:07
Side two
1."Look Over Yonder"3:28
2."Hear My Train A Comin'" (live)11:15
3."Hey Baby (New Rising Sun)"6:05

Recording detailsEdit

Track Location Recording date(s)
"Dolly Dagger" Electric Lady Studios, New York City June 25, July 14 & 19, and August 14 & 20, 1970
"Earth Blues" Record Plant & Electric Lady, New York City December 19, 1969; January 20 & June 26, 1970
"Pali Gap" Electric Lady July 1, 1970
"Room Full of Mirrors" Record Plant, Electric Lady November 17, 1969; June, July, & August 20, 1970
"The Star Spangled Banner" Record Plant March 18, 1969
"Look Over Yonder" TTG Studios, Hollywood, California October 22, 1968
"Hear My Train A Comin'" Berkeley Community Theatre, Berkeley, California May 30, 1970 (first show)
"Hey Baby (New Rising Sun)" Electric Lady July 1, 1970


From the original Reprise LP liner notes[19] (supplemented with details from the First Rays of the New Rising Sun CD booklet):[20]

Band members

  • Jimi Hendrix – lead vocals, guitar, backing vocals on "Dolly Dagger" & "Earth Blues", production, mixing on "Dolly Dagger", "Room Full of Mirrors"
  • Billy Cox – bass guitar on all tracks (except "The Star Spangled Banner", "Look Over Yonder")
  • Mitch Mitchell – drums on all tracks (except "The Star Spangled Banner", "Room Full of Mirrors"), posthumous production

Additional musicians

Additional personnel

  • Michael Jeffrey – executive production
  • Eddie Kramer – posthumous production, engineering on all tracks (except "Earth Blues", "Look Over Yonder", "Hear My Train A Comin'"), mixing on all tracks
  • John Jansen – posthumous production, mixing on "Earth Blues", "Pali Gap", "Look Over Yonder", "Hey Baby (The New Rising Sun)"
  • Tony Bongiovi – engineering on "Room Full of Mirrors"
  • Angel Balestier – engineering on "Look Over Yonder"
  • Abe Jacob – engineering on "Hear My Train A Comin'"
  • The Pineal Playhouse – album design
  • Daniel Tahaney – still photography



  1. ^ Moskowitz, David (2010). The Words and Music of Jimi Hendrix. ABC-CLIO. p. 91. ISBN 978-0313375927. Retrieved August 11, 2015. The Rainbow Bridge album was a true compilation.
  2. ^ McDermott, Kramer & Cox 2009, p. 240.
  3. ^ Unterberger, Richie (2009). "The Legacy: 1970–Present". The Rough Guide to Jimi Hendrix. Penguin Books. ISBN 978-1405381093. ...the Rainbow Bridge album, which despite its title was not a soundtrack to the film of the same name. Instead, it was a rather hodgepodge compilation of 1968–1970 studio material (and one live track) from various sources, including but hardly limited to tracks in the running for First Rays of the New Rising Sun, among them the aforementioned "Dolly Dagger" and "Room Full of Mirrors".
  4. ^ a b c d Shapiro & Glebbeek 1990, pp. 542–543.
  5. ^ Shapiro & Glebbeek 1990, pp. 535–536.
  6. ^ Shapiro & Glebbeek 1990, p. 543.
  7. ^ Shapiro & Glebbeek 1990, p. 542.
  8. ^ "Chart History: Jimi Hendrix – R&B/Hip-Hop Albums". Billboard. Retrieved July 10, 2020.
  9. ^ a b Shapiro & Glebbeek 1990, p. 541.
  10. ^ "The Cry of Love & Rainbow Bridge to Be Reissued on CD & LP September 16". JimiHendrix.com (official website). September 16, 2014. Retrieved September 29, 2014.
  11. ^ a b Westergaard, Sean. "Rainbow Bridge". AllMusic. Retrieved January 26, 2015.
  12. ^ a b Christgau 1981, p. 174.
  13. ^ Fielder, Hugh (November 5, 2014). "Jimi Hendrix: Cry Of Love/Rainbow Bridge". Classic Rock. Retrieved May 2, 2019.
  14. ^ Larkin, Colin (2006). Encyclopedia of Popular Music. 4. Oxford University Press. p. 249. ISBN 0-19-531373-9.
  15. ^ Alexander, Phil (November 2014). "Jimi Hendrix Rainbow Bridge". Mojo. p. 112.
  16. ^ Evans, Paul; Brackett, Nathan (1992). "Jimi Hendrix". In DeCurtis, Anthony; Henke, James; George-Warren, Holly (eds.). The New Rolling Stone Album Guide (3rd ed.). Random House. pp. 374–75. ISBN 0679737294.
  17. ^ Hull, Tom (n.d.). "Grade List: Jimi Hendrix". Tom Hull – on the Web. Retrieved July 22, 2020.
  18. ^ Glover 1971.
  19. ^ Rainbow Bridge (Album notes). Jimi Hendrix. Burbank, California: Reprise Records. 1971. Inside cover. OCLC 7144291. MS 2040.CS1 maint: others (link) CS1 maint: ref=harv (link)
  20. ^ First Rays of the New Rising Sun (CD booklet). Jimi Hendrix. Universal City, California: MCA Records. 1997. pp. 5–20. OCLC 173216743. MCAD-11599.CS1 maint: others (link) CS1 maint: ref=harv (link)


External linksEdit