Jimi Hendrix


This review is sponsored by


Details At A Glance

Category Music Featurette - Popside
Featurette - Number Nine
Music Video - Hey Joe
Featurette - Olympia
Music Video - Dolly Dagger
Rating g.gif (1187 bytes)
Year Released 2001
Running Time 68:00 Minutes
RSDL/Flipper No/No
Cast & Crew
Start Up Menu
Region 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6 Director Peter Neal
Experience Hendrix, LLC
Universal Home Video
Starring Jimi Hendrix
Noel Redding
Mitch Mitchell
Case Flexbox
RPI $36.95 Music Jimi Hendrix
Pan & Scan/Full Frame Full Frame English (Dolby Digital 2.0, 448Kb/s)
Widescreen Aspect Ratio None
16x9 Enhancement No
Original Aspect Ratio 1.33:1?
Macrovision Yes Smoking Yes
Subtitles None Annoying Product Placement No
Action In or After Credits Yes

Plot Synopsis

    Rather than get into the specifics of who Jimi Hendrix, Noel Redding, or Mitch Mitchell were (or in the case of the latter two, still are), I'll point you in the direction of my previous of previous Hendrix DVDs. Electric Ladyland, Band Of Gypsys/Live At The Fillmore East, or Live At Woodstock should be perfectly sufficient, although I definitely recommend the last of those three due to its superior quality. A fourth DVD that focuses mostly upon the man himself, rather than his music, and fittingly titled Jimi Hendrix, is also available.

    This particular feature is a documentary that was "filmed in London", or rather, it was cobbled together in London from various segments of live performances, interviews, and general behind-the-scenes footage with the Jimi Hendrix Experience. Featuring live performances of such numbers as Wild Thing, and studio versions of such classic numbers as Castles Made Of Sand, this documentary basically purports to be a look inside the psychedelic world of Hendrix and his bandmates. It is, however, about as insightful about Hendrix and the times he was a product of as your average MTV special, and really disappointing. There isn't much more I can say about this, so I will get on with the transfer quality.

Transfer Quality


    This DVD is encoded in an interesting manner. Rather than have the feature and the extras encoded as separate titles, the feature and the extras are encoded as a singular title, divided into chapter stops. The main feature's actual running time is twenty-seven minutes and fifty-one seconds.

    The main feature is presented in an aspect ratio of 1.33:1, and it is not 16x9 Enhanced.

    The source materials used to create the feature and the subsequent transfer must have been of dire quality, as there is nothing ever approaching what I would call sharpness here. The shadow detail is equally poor, although the footage that makes up the majority of the feature rarely calls for it. Low-level noise is also a slight problem, with blacks not being quite black, and reds in particular not being quite red.

    The colour saturation of this transfer is often monochromatic in nature, with numerous clips of footage that look as if they were shot in black and white, then transferred through a bright, primary-coloured filter. Although colour bleeding and composite artefacts are never problematic, the colour saturation still looks as if it were thrown up all over the screen.

    MPEG artefacts were not a problem in this transfer, which is surprising when you considering the shocking state that some of the materials were in. There were no problems with film-to-video artefacts, mostly because the transfer never really has the resolution needed to make them apparent. Film artefacts litter most of the footage comprising this main feature, with numerous black, white, and even slightly brown marks on the picture that pop up in numerous places with a sort of rhythmic frequency.


    There is only one soundtrack on this DVD: the original English soundtrack in Dolby Digital 2.0 with the unusually high bitrate of 448 kilobits per second. As you might imagine, this results in a soundtrack that sounds much better than the picture looks.

    The dialogue and the vocals in the music were always clear and easy to make out, with little or no trouble separating the instruments from the vocals. There are no discernible problems with audio sync.

    The music in this film is mostly written by the Jimi Hendrix Experience, with a few numbers written by others for good measure. The best way to describe Jimi Hendrix's music is as a fusion of old blues and soul music with the new psychedelic influences that were all the rage at that time. One of Hendrix's most notable abilities in a musical sense was to blur the line between playing a solo and a rhythm figure. Coupled with a nice, soulful voice that never gets in the way of the other instruments, this is an excellent demonstration of everything that modern-day guitarists lack.

    The surround channels are not used by this soundtrack, but we do get better stereo separation and clarity than is usually the case thanks to a much higher bitrate than is the norm for Dolby Digital 2.0 soundtracks. However, fuzz and distortion that wasn't in the original sound recordings still becomes apparent from time to time, although it wouldn't surprise me to learn that this was introduced by the ageing of the source materials. The subwoofer was called upon for some redirected signal, supporting the drums and bass without calling attention to itself.


    As I mentioned earlier, these extras are encoded as chapters in the main feature, rather than as separate titles.


    The menu is static, not 16x9 Enhanced, and silent.

Featurette - Popside

    Consisting of two numbers, The Wind Cries Mary and Purple Haze, this Full Frame, Dolby Digital 2.0 featurette is taken from one of those MTV style shows from when there was no MTV. The picture quality is much better than the documentary footage, although it still never really approaches greatness.

Featurette - Number Nine

   Consisting of another two numbers, namely Red House and Sunshine Of Your Love, this Full Frame, Dolby Digital 2.0 featurette was filmed at a live show in Stockholm, Sweden. Again, the picture quality is much better than the documentary footage, although still not particularly great. Some hiss can be heard in the higher frequencies of the soundtrack.

Music Video - Hey Joe

   One of the great Jimi Hendrix numbers, this one has stood the test of time well, and even spawned a few covers such as Type O Negative's hilariously retitled Hey Pete. Clocking in at three minutes and twenty-eight seconds, this music video scrubs up a thousand times better than the main feature or the two previously mentioned featurettes. Determined completists will be able to justify purchasing this disc just for this particular video, it looks and sounds that good.

Featurette - Olympia

   A live rendition of Wild Thing in Paris, France. Although the video and audio quality are a step backwards from Hey Joe, this four minute and seventeen second video is still of better quality than the main feature. Some hiss is evident in the soundtrack, and the volume seems a tad louder than the rest of the programme, but it is still well worth listening to.

Music Video - Dolly Dagger

   Clocking in at four minutes and sixteen seconds, this music video is a 1997 music video production featuring a digitally remastered version of the Dolly Dagger number. Not surprisingly, this music video features the best quality video and audio on the entire disc.


    There are no specific censorship issues with this title.

R4 vs R1

    Like most music video titles, this disc is pretty much the same all over the world, except that the Region 1 disc is NTSC formatted.


    Experience is definitely not the best place to start when seeking a documentary video about Jimi Hendrix and his music. I'd seriously recommend that only determined completists get this particular title at all, and that they get it last, as a matter of fact.

    The video transfer is mostly appalling, thanks in part to poor source material.

    The audio transfer is okay, with the higher bitrate minimizing some potentially serious flaws.

    The extras are better than the main feature, especially the Hey Joe music video.

Ratings (out of 5)

Video sr.gif (100 bytes)sr.gif (100 bytes)
Audio sg.gif (100 bytes)sg.gif (100 bytes)sg.gif (100 bytes)
Extras sg.gif (100 bytes)sg.gif (100 bytes)sg.gif (100 bytes)
Plot sr.gif (100 bytes)sr.gif (100 bytes)
Overall sg.gif (100 bytes)sg.gif (100 bytes)sgh.gif (874 bytes)
© Dean McIntosh (my bio sucks... read it anyway)
May 13, 2001 
Review Equipment
DVD Toshiba SD-2109, using S-video output
Display Samsung CS-823AMF (80 cm) in 16:9 and 4:3 modes, calibrated using the NTSC DVD version of Video Essentials.
Audio Decoder Built In (Amplifier)
Amplification Sony STR-DE835, calibrated using the NTSC DVD version of Video Essentials.
Speakers Yamaha NS-45 Front Speakers, Yamaha NS-90 Rear Speakers, Yamaha NS-C120 Centre Speaker, JBL Digital 10 Active Subwoofer