Rainbow Bridge is an album by American musician Jimi Hendrix. It was the second posthumous album release by his official record company and is mostly composed of recordings Hendrix made in 1969 and 1970 after the breakup of the Jimi Hendrix Experience. Despite the cover photo and subtitle Original Motion Picture Sound Track, it does not contain any songs recorded during his concert appearance for the 1971 film Rainbow Bridge.
Continuing in the vein of The Cry of Love, the first official posthumous Hendrix album, Rainbow Bridge explores new guitar styles and textures. All the songs, except for a solo studio version of "The Star Spangled Banner", are written by Hendrix and mostly performed with Mitch Mitchell on drums and Billy Cox on bass.
The songs on Rainbow Bridge represent material in various stages of development and were never finalized or approved for release by Hendrix. Four of the songs on the album, along with the ten songs from The Cry of Love and three from War Heroes, were planned for Hendrix's followup album to the live Band of Gypsys, released in March 1970. These songs were later included on First Rays of the New Rising Sun in 1997, which is the most fully realized attempt at completing the double album Hendrix was working on at the time of his death.
- 2 Critical reception
- 3 Track listing
- 4 Recording details
- 5 Personnel
- 6 Songs included on later releases
- 7 Notes
"Look Over Yonder" began as "Mr. Bad Luck" while Hendrix was performing in Greenwich Village, New York City, with his group Jimmy James and the Blue Flames in the summer of 1966. The version included on Rainbow Bridge was recorded by the Experience in 1968. Two songs by the Band of Gypsys, "Roomful of Mirrors" and "Earth Blues" date from 1969, although the latter has subsequent drum overdubs by Mitchell. "The Star Spangled Banner" is a 1969 solo studio recording by Hendrix. The remainder of the songs were recorded with the "Cry of Love" group (Mitchell and Cox) in 1970: "Dolly Dagger", "Pali Gap", and "Hey Baby (New Rising Sun)". "Hear My Train A Comin'" is a live recording from the first show on May 30, 1970, at the Berkeley Community Theatre. An edited version appears in the 1971 concert film Jimi Plays Berkeley.
The album was the second to be produced by Eddie Kramer and Mitch Mitchell, with John Jansen assisting. It was released in October 1971 in the US, and the following month in the UK where it reached numbers 15 and 16 respectively in the album charts. "Dolly Dagger" with "The Star Spangled Banner" as the B-side was released as a single in the US in October 1971. It appeared at number 74 in theBillboard Hot 100 pop chart.
In a contemporary review for Rolling Stone magazine, music critic Tony Glover wrote favorably of the songs on side one, particularly the "really majestic version" of "The Star-Spangled Banner". Robert Christgau gave the album an "A-" in a retrospective review and felt that, while The Cry of Love (1971) highlighted Hendrix's abilities as a songwriter, Rainbow Bridge showcased his guitar playing: "Rich stuff, exploring territory that as always with Hendrix consists not merely of notes but of undifferentiated sound, a sound he shapes with a virtuosity no one else has ever achieved on an electric instrument."
All songs written and composed by Jimi Hendrix, except where noted.
|4.||"Room Full of Mirrors"||3:17|
|5.||"Star Spangled Banner" (John Stafford Smith, arr. Hendrix) (Studio version)||4:07|
|6.||"Look Over Yonder"||3:28|
|7.||"Hear My Train A Comin'" (Live)||11:15|
|8.||"Hey Baby (New Rising Sun)"||6:05|
- Tracks 1, 3 and 8 recorded at Electric Lady Studios, New York City, July 1, 1970
- Track 2 recorded at Record Plant Studios, New York City, December 19, 1969 and Electric Lady Studios, July 1970
- Track 4 recorded at Record Plant Studios, November 17, 1969 and Electric Lady Studios, July 1970
- Track 5 recorded at Record Plant Studios, March 18, 1969
- Track 6 recorded at TTG Studios, Hollywood, October 22, 1968
- Track 7 recorded at Berkeley Community Theatre, Berkeley, California, May 30, 1970 (first show)
- Jimi Hendrix – guitars, lead vocals, backing vocals (tracks 1, 2)
- Mitch Mitchell – drums (all tracks except 4, 5)
- Billy Cox – bass guitar (all tracks except 5, 6)
- Juma Sultan – congas, percussion (tracks 1, 3, 6)
- Buddy Miles – drums (track 4), backing vocals (track 2)
- Noel Redding – bass guitar (track 6)
- The Ghetto Fighters (Albert Allen and Arthur Allen) – backing vocals (track 1)
- The Ronettes (Veronica Bennett, Estelle Bennett, Nedra Talley) – backing vocals (track 2)
All of the songs on Rainbow Bridge have been reissued on later Hendrix albums. These include:
- "Dolly Dagger" – First Rays of the New Rising Sun (1997)
- "Earth Blues" – First Rays of the New Rising Sun
- "Pali Gap" – South Saturn Delta (1997)
- "Room Full of Mirrors"– First Rays of the New Rising Sun
- "Star Spangled Banner" (studio version) – The Jimi Hendrix Experience (Box set) (2000)
- "Look Over Yonder" – South Saturn Delta
- "Hear My Train A Comin'" – Blues (12:08 version with Hendrix intro, 1994), Voodoo Child: The Jimi Hendrix Collection (11:00 Rainbow Bridge edit without intro, but quicker fade, 2001)
- "Hey Baby (New Rising Sun)" – First Rays of the New Rising Sun