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South Saturn Delta is a posthumous Jimi Hendrix album compiled by the Hendrix estate that consists of material such as demo tapes, unfinished takes and alternate mixes, previously released material, most of which Hendrix had been working on prior to his death in 1970.
When the Hendrix family acquired the rights for Jimi's catalog in 1995, they signed a contract with MCA Records (predecessor to the Universal Music Group) to release compilations of rare or newly discovered material. The first album that resulted of this contract was First Rays of the New Rising Sun, which was released in 1997 and was an attempt to rebuild the album left unfinished at Hendrix's death. South Saturn Delta followed it some months later and is a collection of unreleased material. It has been re-released by the Hendrix Family in a special CD/DVD digipak package on April 12, 2011. The track list includes tracks from out-of-print albums such as Rainbow Bridge ("Look Over Yonder", "Pali Gap"); War Heroes ("Bleeding Heart", "Tax Free", "Midnight"); and Loose Ends ("The Stars That Play with Laughing Sam's Dice", "Drifter's Escape") along with new mixes of songs ("All Along the Watchtower").
"Look Over Yonder" is an outtake from 1968 featuring the original Experience line-up. The incorrectly tagged "Little Wing" is a demo tape performed solely by Hendrix and Mitch Mitchell and musically identical to "Angel". "Here He Comes (Lover Man)" is a well known Hendrix concert staple song that never made it to any of his albums. "South Saturn Delta" is a horn-laden funk-jazz song while "Power of Soul" and "Message to the Universe (Message to Love)" are studio versions of two Band of Gypsys tracks, the latter performed by Hendrix's Woodstock band Gypsy Sun and Rainbows. "Tax Free" is a studio recording of the song written by the Swedish instrumental duo Hansson and Carlsson, occasionally played on stage by Hendrix. "All Along the Watchtower" is the same take that appears on the Electric Ladyland album, but this one is the earlier mix by Chas Chandler. The stereo mix of "The Stars That Play with Laughing Sam's Dice" (originally the B-side to "Burning of the Midnight Lamp") is taken from the Loose Ends album, which was released in 1974 in Europe and Japan. "Midnight" is an instrumental song from the Experience's sessions at New York's Olmstead Studios in April 1969. The Olmstead sessions, along with the band's Fall 1968 sessions at TTG Studios (where both "Look Over Yonder" and "Here He Comes (Lover Man)" were captured) were one of the few attempts the Experience made to come up with a follow up to Electric Ladyland. "Sweet Angel" is an early demo version of the song "Angel" featuring Hendrix using a primitive drum machine (the original tape had become slightly damaged some years back, although suspiciously, the same version remains intact on the Jimi Hendrix Experience box set). "Bleeding Heart" is a jam based on an old blues song that appeared in 1972 on War Heroes and in 1994 on Blues. "Pali Gap" is an instrumental. Hendrix' cover of Bob Dylan's "Drifter's Escape" also appeared on Loose Ends but in a posthumous mix created by John Jansen. The version that appears on South Saturn Delta uses the original mix prepared by Jimi Hendrix and Eddie Kramer in August of 1970. "Midnight Lightning" is a demo tape of Hendrix's delta blues song featuring Hendrix alone tapping his foot to keep time while playing.
All songs were written by Jimi Hendrix, except where noted.
- "Look Over Yonder" – 3:25
- "Little Wing" – 2:44
- "Here He Comes (Lover Man)" – 6:33
- "South Saturn Delta" – 4:07
- "Power of Soul" – 5:20
- "Message to the Universe (Message of Love)" – 6:19
- "Tax Free" (Bo Hansson, Janne Carlsson) – 4:58
- "All Along the Watchtower" (Bob Dylan) – 4:01
- "The Stars That Play with Laughing Sam's Dice" – 4:20
- "Midnight" – 5:32
- "Sweet Angel (Angel)" – 3:55
- "Bleeding Heart" (Elmore James) – 3:15
- "Pali Gap" – 5:08
- "Drifter's Escape" (Bob Dylan) – 3:05
- "Midnight Lightning" – 3:07
- Jimi Hendrix - Guitar, Vocals, Bass (tracks 4, 7 and 8)
- Mitch Mitchell - Drums (Tracks 1, 2, 3, 4, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 13 and 14)
- Noel Redding - Bass (Tracks 1, 3, 9 and 10)
- Billy Cox - Bass (Tracks 5, 6, 12, 13 and 14), Backing Vocals (Track 5)
- Rocky Isaac - Drums (Track 12)
- Brian Jones - Percussion (Track 7)
- Larry Lee - Guitar (Track 6)
- Dave Mason - 12 String Guitar (Track 7)
- Buddy Miles - Drums and Backing Vocals (Tracks 5)
- Juma Sultan - Percussion (Track 6)
- Jerry Velez - Percussion (Track 6)
- Track 1 recorded at TTG Studios in Hollywood, California on Oct. 22, 1968
- Track 2 recorded at Olympic Studios in London, UK on Oct. 14, 1967
- Track 3 recorded at TTG Studios in Hollywood, California on Oct. 29, 1968
- Track 4 recorded at Record Plant Studios in New York City, New York on May 2 and Jun. 14, 1968
- Track 5 recorded at Record Plant Studios in New York City, New York on Jan. 21 and Feb. 3, 1970 and at Electric Lady Studios in New York City, New York on Aug. 22, 1970
- Track 6 recorded at The Hit Factory in New York City, New York on Aug. 28, 1969
- Track 7 recorded at Olympic Studios in London, UK on Jan. 26 and 28, 1968 and at Record Plant Studios in New York City, New York on May 1, 1968
- Track 8 recorded at Olympic Studios in London, UK on Jan. 21 and 26, 1968
- Track 9 recorded at Mayfair Studios in New York City, New York on Jul. 19, 1967
- Track 10 recorded at Olmstead Studios in New York City, New York on Apr. 1 and 3, 1969
- Track 11 recorded at Olympic Studions in London, UK on Nov. 13, 1967
- Track 12 recorded at Record Plant Studions in New York City, New York on Mar. 24, 1970 and at Electric Lady Studios in New York City, New York in June 1970
- Track 13 recorded at Electric Lady Studios in New York City, New York on Jul. 1, 1970
- Track 14 recorded at Electric Lady Studios in New York City, New York on Jun. 17, Jul. 19-20 and Aug. 22, 1970
- Track 15 recorded at Record Plant Studios in New York City, New York on Mar. 23, 1970