Stone Free

Album: Smash Hits (1966)
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  • Released as the B-side of his first single "Hey Joe," this was the first song Hendrix wrote for his band The Jimi Hendrix Experience. According to Hendrix: Setting the Record Straight, Jimi did not write it willingly. He wanted to use a cover of "Land Of 1,000 Dances" as the flip side to "Hey Joe," but his producer Chas Chandler ordered him to sit down and write a new song, which he did that night.
  • By 1969 this declaration of independence had taken on new meaning thanks to the frustrations Hendrix felt about his management. He recorded a new version with an old army buddy Billy Cox, replacing Noel Redding on bass. This version can be heard on the 2010 Valleys of Neptune album. John McDermott, a co-producer of Valleys of Neptune, explained to why Hendrix felt the need to re-work this: "With Jimi, it was all context. Stone Free, he felt, was recorded too quickly, and it was never released in the States; it was only issued as a B-side to Hey Joe outside the US. As an American, it was an important song to him - it was the first song he wrote for the Experience. So his attitude in 1969 was, 'OK, we've played this live a bunch of times. Now I can record this and really get it right.' What happened then, of course, was that Reprise included the original version on Smash Hits in the US, so the '69 recording sat there; the label thought it was unnecessary."
  • Hendrix engineer and producer Eddie Kramer recalled to Toronto's The Globe and Mail March 5, 2010: "It was not only hard to play, because of its dynamic range, but it presented all kinds of difficulties in the studio."
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Comments: 2

  • Kevin from Los Angeles, CaGreat extended live versions on "Live at the Fillmore East"( with the Band of Gypsys) and with the Experience on the deleted "Jimi Hendrix Concerts" LP ( recorded at the Royal Albert Hall).
  • Clint from Mount Vernon, MoFor being forced to make it in a night, this is a pretty sweet song.
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