Jimi Hendrix, three successive legatees… and a frenzy of posthumous albums

Between Brian Jones and Janis Joplin, he is the second rock celebrity to join the “club of 27”, in reference to the age of his death. On September 18, 1970, Jimi Hendrix died in London, asphyxiated by a massive ingestion of barbiturates. In three years, he established himself as the most revolutionary guitarist of his time, whose influence extends from psychedelia and blues rock to metal and funk. The “Voodoo Child” leaves three studio albums during his lifetime (Are You Experienced and Axis: Bold as Love in 1967, the double Electric Lady Land in 1968) and the live Band of Gypsies (1970). Added singles, already gathered in the compilation Smash Hits, and excerpts from his appearances at the two festivals that accompanied his rise, Monterey (1967) and Woodstock (1969).

Over the decades, his discography has swelled into a plethora. Without taking into account the multiplicity coming from the pirate market, it was increased by thirteen studio albums, often competitive, about forty live recordings, nearly twenty anthologies and volumes made up from scraps : everything Hendrix has played, even sketched, is destined to be published. This abundance is explained by the existence of three successive heirs: the manager Mike Jeffery, the producer Alan Douglas, the family of the musician. All wanted to leave their mark on this legacy published after the death of the musician. These proofs of love ended in a big mess, like in the song of Hendrix Love or Confusion.

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The exploitation of this aura did not wait for the death of the guitarist. It began in 1967 when New York producer Ed Chalpin released songs by the rhythm’n’blues group Curtis Knight & the Squires, to which Hendrix, then unknown, had contributed during the previous two years. Despite her (oral) promise not to use her name, the new star alone occupies an anachronistic cover using a photo taken in Monterey. a single, Hush Nowis edited, in which Curtis Knight spares no effort to imitate Hendrix’s voice and fool the listener.

A new age pseudo-documentary

Jimi Hendrix himself, former 101 paratroopere Airborne, is partly responsible for this original chaos. He signed three contracts, a first, exclusive and for two years, in July 1965, with Sue Records, the New York label which launched Ike and Tina Turner, a second, three-year, in October, with Ed Chalpin, before to land in London in the fall of 1966 to bond with Chas Chandler and Mike Jeffery, bassist and manager of the Animals. There, he put together his trio, The Jimi Hendrix Experience, and initialed a third engagement with the Track Records label..

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