Those familiar with Jimi Hendrix‘s song catalog might be amused by the quirky decisions made in various ‘foreign’ (i.e, non-US or -UK) markets around the globe — that’s right, it’s another romp through the 45Cat database not unlike the previous piece with The Beatles.
Let us begin our quest with “Burning of the Midnight Lamp,” Hendrix’s fourth UK single and an ‘important’ early composition — right away, we note that Germany produced a playfully expressive picture sleeve for this 1967 A-side release.
Norway, on the other hand, would take Hendrix’s ‘wild man’ stage persona and run with it.
Barclay of France (previously celebrated here), meanwhile, would present Hendrix in a slightly more regal fashion in this 1967 picture sleeve.
Tragically humorous to see “Burning of the Midnight Lamp” as a B-side in 1969, paired with “Fire” for the UK market, however with the A-side mistitled as “Let Me Light Your Fire”!
New Zealand, Yugoslavia, and Germany would also confuse “Fire” with The Doors’ big breakout hit also from 1967 – pop music’s peak year – along with Spain, whose picture sleeve release (below) wins an award for most imaginatively literal interpretation.
“Light Your Fire” / “Midnight Lamp” Polydor 45 from unknown country – possibly Singapore.
“Burning of the Midnight Lamp” would also be used as a B-side on this 4-track EP from Portugal that was released in 1968.
“Burning of the Midnight Lamp” would receive somewhat of a promotion in Bolivia, where the song was sequenced as the second track (side A) of a four-cut EP from 1970 that features “Come On (Pt. 1)” in its first and only starring role as an “A-side” (EP also notable for “Love or Confusion” – a recording otherwise found only on Are You Experienced).
“Come On (Pt. 1)”: first & only A-side appearance
4-song EP from Iran (with one Hendrix track) sold for $180
Some of Hendrix’s more adventurous songwriting efforts, such as “Are You Experienced”; “Third Stone from the Sun”; “Little Wing”; “Castles Made of Sand”; “House Burning Down”; “Rainy Day Dream Away” and “Still Raining Still Dreaming” (et al.) would not end up on a 45 release – or, at least, during his lifetime.
However, there are a couple unlikely Hendrix compositions that found themselves being issued in 7-inch format, such as side one’s ambitious (5 minutes and 29 seconds) closing track for Axis: Bold As Love – “If Six Was Nine” – chosen for the US & Australian markets in 1969 as the B-side to “Stone Free” (no doubt prompted by the song’s inclusion in the soundtrack to that same year’s classic counterculture film, Easy Rider).
“If Six Was Nine” — unlikely Australian B-side
Another unlikely Hendrix track found on a 45: “Have You Ever Been (To Electric Ladyland)” selected as the B-side for “Crosstown Traffic” in 1968 for the Australian market, while serving the same role in 1970 for the Yugoslavian market (although paired instead with “Voodoo Chile”) — the song’s only non-LP releases thus far known.
“Have You Ever Been” — unlikely Australian B-side
But without a doubt, the oddest Hendrix composition to end up on either side of a 45 is the epic underwater fantasy that fills an entire album side on Hendrix’s finest long-player — “1983 (A Merman I Should Turn To Be)” — which Barclay saw fit to release in 1972, along with another Electric Ladyland cut, “Come On (Part 1),” that, aside from Bolivia, could not be found on a disc measuring less than one foot in diameter [in fact, hilarious to discover that Iran beat everyone else to the punch when bootleggers issued “Come On” on this EP from 1968, the year of Electric Ladyland‘s release].
French 45 – 1972
This French 45 release from 1972 would be the sole non-LP release of beautiful ballad, “Drifting” (with nice vibraphone work from Buzzy Linhart), from the first posthumous LP, 1971’s The Cry of Love.
French 45 – 1972
“Spanish Castle Magic” – otherwise confined to Axis: Bold As Love – would find itself loudly liberated in Japan, where it would be released on 7-inch (and nowhere else) in 1968.
Japanese 45 – 1968
This pair of 45s from 1967 – Italy (left) & Spain (right) – shares the same design template, if not typography.
The cover design of this “Purple Haze” EP from Mexico (1968) also wins for ‘most literal’ — includes three tracks from the debut album, plus one (“Up From the Skies”) from the ‘new’ one, curiously enough.
“Freedom” b/w “Angel” 45 picture sleeve – Japan – 1971
1971 EP from Singapore — rare non-LP appearance of “My Friend” from The Cry of Love.
“Hej Joe” 45 picture sleeve – Yugoslavia – 1975
This Hendrix piece would not be complete without bootleg EP releases from Thailand, beginning with this 4-song Are You Experienced sampler (title track + 3 others).
Axis: Bold As Love would likewise get packaged as a 4-track EP sampler — includes rare instance of “Wait Until Tomorrow”; “You Got Me Floatin'” & “Little Miss Lover” on non-LP.
4-track EP (1969) includes 2 tracks each from Hendrix’s Experience & Clapton’s Cream.
Another noteworthy 4-track bootleg EP from Thailand with a familiar cover montage — includes Jimi’s “Freedom” plus three non-Hendrix (!) tracks.
Jimi appears on the cover of another 4-track EP, albeit with only one Hendrix recording — this one a bootleg from Malaysia, however.
Iran would produce other bootleg Hendrix product, such as this 4-track Smash Hits EP.
Iran would also boldly pair two musical giants – James Brown and Jimi Hendrix – for the first and last time ever on this split EP that includes “Let Yourself Go” (a song previously celebrated in Zero to 180’s salute to Brown’s brave and patriotic Vietnam tour in 1968).
Distinctive green-vinyl EP from Iran includes “House Burning Down” — plus “Mr. Soul” from Buffalo Springfield (not to mention “Grits and Corn Bread” – a 1966 soul instrumental previously celebrated here).
Hendrix releases on obsolete playback formats are available for purchase, go figure.
Zero to 180 is stunned to discover that all three Jimi Hendrix Experience albums received radically different covers and sleeve designs when released in France on Barclay imprint, Panache, as shown below.
1967’s Axis: Bold As Love
1968’s Electric Ladyland
Hendrix, incidentally, would only merit one picture sleeve in his lifetime for the US market — debut 45, “Hey Joe” b/w “51st Anniversary” (released April, 1967 on Reprise).