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Olympic Studios London, England Midnight Lightning
Working alone, Jimi arrived at the Record Plant intent on realizing a more traditional Delta blues arrangement of “Midnight Lightning” than he had previously attempted. Singing and playing live as he sat on a chair, Jimi utilized a finger picking style he rarely incorporated on his recordings. The song’s slow beat was accented, in the tradition of such blues men as Lightnin’ Hopkins and John Lee Hooker, by the steady tapping of his foot on the floor. One of his favorite blues themes, Jimi would later make several attempts to complete a group version with Cox and Mitchell that summer at Electric Lady. Sadly, his untimely death in September 1970 came before “Midnight Lightning” and many other scintillating works in progress could be completed.
Hendrix began this session joined by an unidentified drummer [likely Steve Angel] and together the two players recorded a quick rendition of “Bleeding Heart”. This was followed by three takes of “Midnight Lightning.” Bassist Billy Cox joined the session and s the tandem ran through four takes of “Bleeding Heart,” the later of which was flagged as the master and later transferred to Jimi’s own Electric Lady Studios where additional guitar and a new drum part were overdubbed by Jimi and Mitch Mitchell. Although Jimi never fully completed “Bleeding Heart” prior to his death, it has since been issued as part of First Rays Of The New Rising Sun (Experience Hendrix/MCA, 1997).
Returning to Electric Lady Studios after a series of West Coast tour dates, Hendrix jumped right back into a series of strong recordings kicked off by a playful series of takes of “Astro Man.” As the night progressed Hendrix guided the group through recordings of “Rollin’ Stone,” “In From The Storm,” and a rendition of Cream’s “Politician.” Hendrix then tore into a 26-minute untitled jam before breaking into “Beginnings,” “Hey Baby (New Rising Sun),” “Straight Ahead,” “Midnight Lightning,” and finally “Freedom.”
Today’s session proved one of the most fulfilling for Jimi at his new studio. Here, recordings focused on “Dolly Dagger,” “Bolero,” “Hey Baby (New Rising Sun),” “Drifting,” and “Slow Part,” which would posthumously be retitled “Pali Gap” by Michael Jeffrey who wanted to craft a stronger tie with that song and the title of his Hawaiian film, Rainbow Bridge. The session later included work on “Midnight Lightning” and “Beginnings” before returning to “Dolly Dagger” before night’s end.
In returning to Electric Lady Studios Jimi records “Come Down Hard On Me,” “Bolero,” and “Midnight Lightning.” Despite the work accomplished on this night, Hendrix had the tape boxes marked DO NOT USE.
Hendrix and crew travel from the Isle of Wight to Stockholm, Sweden where Klas Burling of Swedish radio interviews him. Olle Jonsson of Aftonbladet also interviews Hendrix for a September 1 article. That night, The Experience perform at Stora Scenen in Tivoli Gardens, Stockholm. Their set includes “Lover Man,” “Experiencing The Blues,” “Midnight Lightning,” “Ezy Rider,” “Red House,” “Come On (Let The Good Times Roll),” “Room Full Of Mirrors,” “Hey Baby (New Rising Rising Sun),” “Message To Love,” “Machine Gun,” “Voodoo Child (Slight Return),” “In From The Storm,” “Purple Haze,” and “Foxey Lady.”