Voodoo Soup is a posthumous compilation album by American rock musician Jimi Hendrix, released in the United States on April 11, 1995, by MCA Records. It was one of the last Hendrix albums produced by Alan Douglas, who was also responsible for the posthumous Hendrix releases Midnight Lightning and Crash Landing in the 1970s.
|Compilation album by Jimi Hendrix|
|Released||April 11, 1995|
|Recorded||1968-1970; 1995 (overdubs)|
|Studio||Electric Lady, Record Plant, and Olmstead Sound Studios, New York City; TTG Studios, Hollywood|
|Jimi Hendrix American chronology|
Voodoo Soup was Douglas' attempt at presenting Hendrix's planned fourth studio album. The first attempt in 1971, The Cry of Love, produced by drummer Mitch Mitchell and Eddie Kramer (with a credit to Hendrix), was then out of print (last released on the compact disc format in 1992; re-released in 2014). After Experience Hendrix, a family company, gained control of his recordings, First Rays of the New Rising Sun was released in 1997 as another attempt to realize the album Hendrix had planned. Since then, Voodoo Soup has remained out of print.
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Douglas is a controversial figure amongst Hendrix fans, as on his previous releases he had heavily edited and re-mixed most tracks, wiped the original backing tracks and brought in musicians who had never worked with Hendrix to overdub new backing vocals (where none existed previously), drum, bass, rhythm guitar and even some lead guitar parts. He then claimed co-composer rights for several of these tracks. For the production of this album, two tracks' drum parts were overdubbed by Bruce Gary of The Knack, "Room Full of Mirrors" and "Stepping Stone". Most of the tracks on this album were released - in one form or another - on the Jeffery, Kramer and Mitchell produced LP's: The Cry of Love, Rainbow Bridge and War Heroes, (these tracks were later released on First Rays of the New Rising Sun) or on South Saturn Delta, with the exception of the instrumentals "The New Rising Sun" and "Peace in Mississippi". A portion of the instrumental released on this album as "The New Rising Sun" can be heard in the song "Captain Coconut" on the Crash Landing album, originally released in 1975. The version of "Peace in Mississippi" included on Voodoo Soup is the original version of the song (although in edited form), as recorded by Hendrix, drummer Mitch Mitchell and bassist Noel Redding in 1968, and different from the version of "Peace in Mississippi" included on Crash Landing, in which Mitchell and Redding's contributions were supplanted by overdubbed drum and bass parts performed by other musicians in 1975; the version on Crash Landing also included overdubbed guitar and percussion parts performed in 1975. In addition, the version on Voodoo Soup is about a minute longer than the one on Crash Landing. The version of "Peace in Mississippi" included on the "Valleys of Neptune" CD single that was sold exclusively at Walmart has the unedited version of the song.
In a contemporary review for Entertainment Weekly, music critic David Browne gave Voodoo Soup an "A" grade and said that unlike other assorted compilations of Hendrix's music, Voodoo Soup coheres and sounds "as fluid and cohesive as a preconceived record, without a bad song in the bunch". Vibe magazine called it a valuable release in Hendrix's discography in spite of Douglas's questionable decision to overdub newly recorded drums to some songs, while a reviewer from Melody Maker said the overly detailed liner notes cannot change the fact "it's opened my ears to the near God-like genius of Jimi Hendrix". Greg Kot gave the album three out of four stars in his review for the Chicago Tribune and believed its mostly exceptional songs suggest Hendrix was considering a variety of paths in his music before dying in 1970.
Voodoo Soup was later praised by Hendrix biographer Charles Shaar Murray, who claimed it "more than earns its place in the pantheon of great Hendrix albums" as it "brought the Hendrix studio quartet -finally!- to a satisfactory conclusion". In The Rolling Stone Jazz & Blues Album Guide (1999), contributor Paul Evans gave it three-and-a-half out of five stars. AllMusic editor Stephen Thomas Erlewine was more critical in his two-and-a-half star review: "For most fans, the re-recorded drum tracks by the drummer of the Knack was the most unforgivable sin, yet the album is also poorly sequenced and lacks several important tracks."
All songs written by Jimi Hendrix.
- "The New Rising Sun" – 3:21
- "Belly Button Window" – 3:34
- "Stepping Stone" – 4:07
- "Freedom" – 3:25
- "Angel" – 4:18
- "Room Full of Mirrors" – 3:09
- "Midnight" – 6:01
- "Night Bird Flying" – 3:46
- "Drifting" – 3:53
- "Ezy Ryder" – 4:08
- "Pali Gap" – 4:42
- "Message to Love" – 3:33
- "Peace in Mississippi" – 5:22
- "In from the Storm" – 3:39
- Jimi Hendrix – vocals, guitar, piano
- Billy Cox - bass guitar, backing vocals
- Mitch Mitchell - drums (his drums were replaced on "Stepping Stone")
- Juma Sultan - percussion
- Buddy Miles - drums on "Ezy Ryder" (his drums were replaced on "Room Full of Mirrors")
- Noel Redding - bass on "Peace in Mississippi"
- Bruce Gary - re-recorded drum track on "Room Full of Mirrors" and "Stepping Stone"
- All of the songs Douglas chose for this release have a different mix, some use different takes, or are more (or less) complete than the ones found on their original releases. Most of the songs also have a delayed echo effect making them unique to the ones previously released.
- Track 1 re-released on West Coast Seattle Boy: The Jimi Hendrix Anthology in full length (with a different mix)
- Track 13 was re-released in its unedited form (7:02) (with a different mix) as a non-album bonus track on the "Valleys of Neptune" numbered limited edition CD single sold exclusively at Walmart in North America
- McDermott, John; Kramer, Eddie; Cox, Billy (2009). Ultimate Hendrix: An Illustrated Encyclopedia of Live Concerts and Sessions. Hal Leonard Corporation. p. 225. ISBN 0879309385. Retrieved August 11, 2015.
- "The Cry of Love’ & ‘Rainbow Bridge’ to Be Reissued on CD & LP September 16". JimiHendrix.com (official website). Retrieved September 19, 2016.
- Browne, David (April 21, 1995). "Review". Entertainment Weekly. New York (271): 54. Retrieved January 24, 2015.
- "Review". Vibe. New York (August): 130. 1995. Retrieved January 24, 2015.
- Melody Maker (May 27): 37. 1995.
- Kot, Greg (1995). "Voodoo Soup (MCA)". Chicago Tribune (May 11). Retrieved January 24, 2015.
- Murray, Charles Shaar (2001). Crosstown Traffic: Jimi Hendrix and Postwar Pop. Faber and Faber. p. 272.
- Evans, Paul (1999). "Jimi Hendrix". In Swenson, John. The Rolling Stone Jazz & Blues Album Guide. Random House. p. 305. ISBN 0679768734.
- Allmusic review
- Sexton, Paul (1995). "Rare Material, Altered Tracks Mark MCA's New Hendrix Set". Billboard. New York (April 15): 42.