Jimi Hendrix 'Black Gold' (lost album; 1970)


Artwork of Jimi Hendrix.

We all should know who Jimi Hendrix is at this point. He is one of the many legendary guitarists of the 1960s. Known for his erratic noisy and bluesy style, Hendrix has cemented himself with influenced artists ranging far and wide. He had a bevy of unreleased material, of which most has seen the light of day.

One particular major recording, titled Black Gold still hasn't seen release. In 1970, Hendrix recorded a series of 16 songs of just him on his acoustic guitar in his apartment. At least 9 of these songs were unique recordings that had never before been heard. The songs contain lyrical content that were unusually autobiographical for Hendrix. The last 2 songs were a 2-part funk rock song, "Astro Man", which contained humorous references to Mighty Mouse and Superman.

Hendrix reviewed the recordings with his drummer, Mitch Mitchell. The two talked about expanding the tracks and releasing them. Unfortunately, Hendrix would pass away at the age of 27 due to asphyxiation before he would get to do so. Mitchell would forget about the tapes until 1992 when an avid Hendrix collector named Tony Brown asked him about any unreleased material during an interview. Mitchell remembered the tapes and invited Brown to listen to them. Brown made the tapes' existence publicly known for the first time afterwards. He claimed that the tapes were an expansion of Hendrix's sound.

Despite massive fan demand, Black Gold has never been released. Hendrix's rights owners have expressed great interest in getting the tapes released, but with the death of Mitchell in 2008, the whereabouts of the tapes are now even more uncertain. Only a handful of individuals have heard the recordings and all claim the guitar and vocal work are among some of Hendrix's finest. Bootlegs have been rumored, but of course they have not surfaced.

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