Published on August 29th, 2023 | by AlexandreG.0
The Final Song Jimi Hendrix Ever Recorded in the Studio: “Slow Blues”
In the final chapters of Jimi Hendrix’s illustrious life, a profound emphasis was placed on evolving his musical legacy. The renowned artist, who died at the young age of 27, dedicated most of his last days to relentless creativity in the studio. At the pinnacle of his career, Hendrix’s last studio recording came just a few weeks prior to his sudden demise.
In a visionary move, he had initiated the creation of a cutting-edge recording facility at Greenwich Village’s core. Electric Lady Studios was envisioned as his ultimate creative sanctuary. Yet fate played a cruel hand. After the studio’s completion in 1970, Hendrix could only immerse himself in its ambiance for a mere ten weeks before he met his end. Yet, in that brief window, his genius was undiminished, producing exceptional tracks.
For years, the world remained oblivious to “Slow Blues.” It wasn’t until the year 2000 that the song saw the light of day, taking its place in the compilation, The Jimi Hendrix Experience. Raw and spontaneous in its essence, the track retains an enigmatic charm. Although some historians assert that Hendrix’s ultimate studio moment was on August 22nd with a demo for “Belly Button Window”, others believe he returned to Electric Lady and created the instrumental, “Slow Blues.”
Conflicting accounts blur exact dates, with some resources suggesting the recording happened on August 20th. Yet, irrespective of dates, the magic persisted. Sadly, less than a month later, after a memorable performance at the Isle of Wight Festival, the world lost this gem, with “Slow Blues” symbolizing his last dance with the studio.
What was the final single released by Jimi Hendrix before his death in 1970?
Before his untimely death, Jimi Hendrix released “Stepping Stone” as his final single. The track was a product of Hendrix’s Band of Gypsys, a collaboration that featured the talents of Billy Cox and Buddy Miles. Recorded between January and February 1970 at the famed Record Plant in New York City, the song was both penned and produced by Hendrix himself. “Stepping Stone” was officially released alongside “Izabella” by Reprise Records on April 8, 1970. This release was notably the last single during Hendrix’s lifetime.
Interestingly, traces of “Stepping Stone” were evident during Hendrix’s monumental performance at the Woodstock Festival on August 18, 1969. Playing with an interim band, sometimes dubbed Gypsy, Sun, and Rainbows, Hendrix wove the song’s distinct rhythm into his extended rendition of “Voodoo Child (Slight Return).” This integration hinted at the evolving nature of Hendrix’s creative process. Although posthumous albums would later feature other versions of “Stepping Stone,” the original single remains a pivotal representation of his artistry in the closing moments of his life.
What was Hendrix’s last performance?
Jimi Hendrix final public appearance as a musician was not at one of his own shows but as a guest artist. On September 16th, 1970, Hendrix graced Ronnie Scott’s Club in London, where he collaborated with Eric Burdon & War, delivering memorable renditions of “Blues For Memphis Slim” and “Tobacco Road” towards the end of the set. Anyone familiar with Hendrix’s style can identify his guitar strokes in the recording, even though they are subtler than his typical electrifying performances. These last public chords he played offer a poignant homage to this legendary artist. Thanks to a devoted fan from London, Bill Baker, the performance was captured and is available for playback on YouTube.