Stimmen Der Welt ( Dandelion DL 094 )
Intro / Come On ( Part One ) / Hey Joe / Fire / Getting My Heart Back Together Again / Spanish Castle Magic – Drum Solo / Foxy Lady / Stone Free / Purple Haze / Are You Experienced – Drum Solo / Fire / Lover Man / Sunshine Of Your Love.
Recorded Live at the Konzerthaus Wien, Austria, January 22nd 1969. Tracks 1 – 9 are from the first show, 10 – 13 are from the second show. (76:44)
“Stimmen Der Welt” was released at a time when the Dandelion Label ( Formerly Midnight Beat ) seemingly had a Jimi Hendrix CD to release everyday of the week – This CD is a superb relation to Midnight Beat’s “Up Against The Berlin Wall” – recorded on the 23rd of January 1969 – as Jimi was recording or at least performing nearly everyday of his all-too-short career someone was seemingly always on hand with their fingers on the record button to capture the magic.
This particular recording stems from the final European tour shows of the initial line up of the Jimi Hendrix Experience, prior to the famous Royal Albert Hall shows.
Apparently recorded by taper, the late Roland Grundmann, ( It would appear that if you look far enough around the internet these days then you can find the name of the taper of your requested Jimi Hendrix gig ) who attended both shows the tape is an excellent audience recording highlighting just how ramshackle shows back in the 60’s were. There also appears to exist a recording of the support band for tonight ‘Eire Apparent’ but Dandelion either didn’t have the tape available or chose not to include their set for space reasons.
The first voice we hear is Jimi’s apologizing for the delay in starting the show as the band are fixing up the drum kit – it’s not apparent if this is intended to be broadcast to the crowd or is for the ‘mixing desk’. The second voice we hear is the M.C. who appears to be extending his part a little longer just to make up for the delay ( Unfortunately this part is in German so I’m unable to tell you exactly what is being said .. ) after around three minutes though, Jimi and the Experience are ready to go. The tape features various other atmospherical attributes too such as chatter from the audience and even the sparking of a cigarette lighter from within the audience from someone who is stood very close to the microphone.
Carousing through a fast and furious version of “Come On ( Part One )” – a standard for the tour where Jimi uses the track as his “Sgt. Pepper” styled opener, presenting his party tricks early and putting his marker on the night with a series of triumphal licks, solos and showmanship giving the people what they came for.
The follow up, “Hey Joe”, suffers from the overloaded-amps-syndrome a little – crunching the air back and distorting but despite this it’s still very much as listenable as the rest of the tape and Jimi’s vocal is still apparent. The band take a few seconds to get themselves together before blowing straight through a boulderising take on “Fire” that features a great showdown between Jimi’s guitar and Mitch’s drums after the songs solo.
“Getting my Heart Back Together Again” slows the set down a little but retains the crunch of the rest of the show and when the track ignites it allows Jimi more chance to show off on the guitar. Backed by Noel’s ponderous bass and the steady, caveman-ish thump of the drums, it sounds like the perfect standpoint to the middle of the set.
The next song performed “Spanish Castle Magic”, replete with yet another explosive introduction, takes on many changes not least a long droning, rushing effect that takes on the sound of driving a break neck speed through a tunnel. Running at a fairly hefty 10 minutes it’s a monster of a song and features the set’s / rock’s trademark drum solo – this only runs out around two minutes though before Noel’s bass guitar joins in the fray and shortly after that, Jimi leaps back in to action to finish what he started.
“Foxy Lady” is dedicated to “Someone else’s girlfriend .. though we don’t know who it is yet.” and is another turn at thrashing the life out of the guitar for the song.
Unfortunately the sound quality deteriorates prior to “Stone Free” ( Or the amps have been turned up ) and things get much more distorted. This rectifies itself a little for “Purple Haze” but the clarity ( or what there was of it ) suffers a little although not to the detriment of the recording.
The second show is in marginally less quality than the first show, being a little more muffled and distant but one still has to make exceptions for historic concerts such as these. Unfortunately it is also less complete than the earlier set as it is missing a couple of the tracks that are also absent from the original tape. It begins / began with “Are You Experienced” and it’s extended opening, laced with tumultuous amounts of feedback. At 13 minutes it is also the longest track on the CD but this is again made up of Jimi’s request that the crowd be patient while the band tune up first.
The final two tracks “Lover Man” and “Sunshine Of Your Love” are the exceptions that never made the first set. “Lover Man” quickly escalates in to a whirlwind version of the song as Jimi plays as fast as his fingers will take him, his band mates competently keeping time with the rushed soloing ( Though past Jimi’s guitar playing and the distortion on the tape you can just about make out Mitch’s drumming. )
“Sunshine of Your Love”, a song that Jimi almost made his own if it wasn’t for the fact that the original was so strong in it’s own right, is almost bludgeoned to death as Jimi, after the songs main riff and diversions in to ‘Blue Moon’, goes too far playing a heavy, meandering blues riff, a la the Who’s ‘My Generation Blues’ nearly bringing the song to a complete standstill. As an excursion in to experimentation it sounds lackluster and odd and almost as if Jimi has given up and is playing up until his curfew when he can pick up the cheque. . It picks up towards the end by the return of the main body of the song but it’s difficult to get back in to gear after witnessing the thrashing it was given.
The artwork for this release, as with a lot of the Midnight Beat releases is very handsome – sometimes using the patchwork stitching under the art that was also used on “Historic Concert 3” the labels brother release to this CD – filed with various Hendrix on stage and Jimi promo shots, these are well selected and give an impressive and strong look to the overall effect.If you liked this review, buy me a cup of joe. (Suggested: $3 a shot or $7.5 for a double)