Alright folks, it's that time of year again. Just one day passed Christmas and we're already thinking what can we add to next year's Christmas list. Like Jim Morrison said "We want the world and we want it NOW." So what do the Hendrix fanatics here have on their wish list for 2021 and what do we think we might realistically see released? EH's track record over the last decade or so has them pretty much releasing new material in every calendar year usually in the fourth quarter, but often we see additional releases earlier in the year either reissues or Record Store Day product. Last year we saw Band of Gypsys get a 50th anniversary re-release, A Dagger Records release of more PPX material and The Maui set that saw two legendary shows released complete for the first time a long with accompanying video and documentary. Pretty great year in my opinion. I'll brag a little and say I accurately predicted the last two years fourth quarter releases in the Gypsy's material (although I thought we would probably get the second show, not an entire box) and Maui. But I basically looked at what material was entering into expired copyright's that was known to be in more than one persons hand, so it made those choices seem far more likely. 2021 is going to be harder as in a few days the 50 year copyrights will expire on the last music Hendrix wrote, yet didn't release in his lifetime, so EH's hand will no longer be forced by any of that, they've released or screened what they most wanted to secure, and the other material they must feel confident is in their possession only and won't be bootlegged out from under them, or material that they feel their version will be so superior to they don't care if it gets bootlegged. Either way 2021 will be a much more difficult prediction, here are some of the likely candidates. 1) 50th anniversary box set of Jimi's final album Let's face it EH enjoys anniversary releases. Just in the past 3 years we have gotten ELL 50th, BOG 50th, Groovy Children for the 50th anniversary of those concerts, and Maui shortly after the 50th anniversary of those concerts. Both Cry of Love and Rainbow Bridge will turn 50 in 2021 and First Rays will celebrate it's 25th anniversary in early 2022, so it seems feasible we might see some sort of set commemorating the album Jimi was working on recording and sequencing when he died. Both Cry of Love and Rainbow Bridge received excellent reissues in 2014 and First Rays did in 2010, so it seems unlikely we will see straight up reissues of any of these albums. However I could foresee something similar to the ELL 50th boxset being considered here. For one it would give EH a chance to finally release First Rays with decent sound quality as it has always been derided by fans for that aspect with many preferring to listen to Cry of Love and Rainbow Bridge instead because of it. Another option would be for Kramer to do a 5.1 mix of the material as was done with ELL. We know Hendrix was writing and recording furiously throughout 1970 and a good deal of that material remains unreleased officially that could certainly be an interesting and insightful look into Hendrix's creative process in the final days of his life. EH likes to add in live material to these boxes, so if they choose to go that route most of the professional live recordings from this time have been used, so it would likely be some form of Dagger release if included, but Copenhagen stands out as an excellent show from this time frame that has never been released in any form by EH that could be utilized on the Dagger label for inclusion similar to Hollywood Bowl. 2) Royal Albert Hall 1969 If this one waits any longer EH might have to attach a tagline similar to Jurassic Park: 65 Million Years in the Making." Perhaps no material is so frequently cited at the top of fans wishlists, nor has anything being so long hinted at or speculated upon. Reading old articles from 2009 it seemed the release of RAH was imminent, then it vanished without a trace. Maui was another long rumoured show that finally saw release last month and with it out of the way RAH now stands along as the longest awaited Hendrix release by a long shot. Years of bitter disputes have kept this one from becoming a reality, but in 2019 EH surprised everyone by hosting a one off screening at Royal Albert Hall with all involved parties presumably getting along, making many speculate that 2020 would be the year we would finally see this one released. Of course once again it has vanished without a trace. Those who saw the screening were unified in stating the film was labeled as a work in progress and that it clearly wasn't a final cut. It seems obvious then that the screening was done to secure the film's copyright and allow EH time to polish and release it on their own schedule. It seems Goldstein is still adamant about a theatrical run which means this film will likely be pushed back even further as the effects of COVID 19 have made it impossible for such a screening to take place and likely will make such a thing unlikely throughout much of 2021. If a theatrical run is a non negotiable stipulation, RAH and perhaps the best footage of Hendrix will almost certainly not see release until 2022 at the earliest. It is possible the audio and video may see release separately, but with Maui having it's video component solely available in the box with the audio it could be that EH no longer see's stand alone video releases as financially viable, which in this case means the audio will likely be held hostage to the fate of the film. In addition there is material from the 18th that could be used to make an amazing box set of two complete shows with audio and video. 3) Berkeley 1970 Maui did such a great job of combining existing video elements with nearly complete audio for both shows that it naturally leaves one salivating for the same approach to be taken with the Berkeley material. The complete second set was released back in 2003, parts of the first set have been spread out on various releases over the years, but some parts remain unreleased and of course there is the soundcheck material as well. Then there is the video which has been released on DVD, then again on Bluray with additional footage. EH has still not claimed to have given us "all existing footage" the way they did with Maui, causing some to speculate more Berkeley footage exists. Because of the film coming out shortly after Hendrix death and the quality of the performance, Berkeley is probably Hendrix's most heralded material from 1970. It's a shame 50 years on a definitive set has not come to light. There is enough material here that hasn't be released officially to make this set worthwhile, and if any unseen video exists it's a major bonus, but even just to have both sets and video footage in one place would be refreshing instead of having to cherry pick from numberous releases including bootlegs to recompile Jimi's notorious sets at Berkeley 4) Black Gold The infamous bandana tapes given to Mitch Mitchell as some of Hendrix's last known original compositions to be written, existing solely in demo form these tapes have been deemed by many fans as a holy grail of Hendrix material for decades now. Back in 2010 Janie Hendrix made the bold claim we would see Black Gold released by the end of the decade. It even started out promising with the release of a solitary track "Suddenly November Morning" on the 2010 compilation West Coast Seattle Boy, giving everyone their first taste of this material and it's quality. But then not a single peep since. No additional songs, no real talk about forth coming release, Black Gold it seems slipped back into a black hole. Obviously this tape has commercial appeal among diehard fans, but many disagree on how it should best be released. A stand alone album? A Dagger album? Part of a larger compilation? Regardless of what form it takes, all fans agree this is material that needs to be out there. However because of it's uniqueness and because it's really the only thing of it's kind, it's also likely EH recognizes the value in it and that it's continued presence in the vault may be helpful in future contract negotiations. So for that reason it may stay hidden away for some time yet. 5) The 1969 USA Experience Shows Both the LA and San Diego shows were professionally recorded to be included in a potential live album that nearly came into existence back in 1969. It didn't and the material has been parceled out in many forms over the years. Many of these releases however were incomplete, were lacking in fidelity or were scarce, expensive or hard to find. EH has been at the helm now for 25 years and it's somewhat shocking that some of the best recorded and best played material of Hendrix's career have been largely ignored. When In The West was reissued 2011 the track listing was change, several tracks from San Diego were added and Voodoo Child from RAH was replaced with the San Diego version. This meant a large part of San Diego could be had on In The West, but it was still incomplete, fragmented and out of order. LA on the other hand has just seen bits and pieces released on compilations and nothing even close to definitive has been released by EH. I was thinking about the best way to handle this material. San Diego would likely be seen as an exploitation if released as a stand alone, but what about if EH released a box focusing on the Spring 1969 US tour and the breakup of the Experience? This set could include both the San Diego and LA shows as well as material from Newport (which if we're honest is probably too spotty to be a stand alone release, but does have some great moments between the normal set and the secondary jam set). This could also allow for a video component to be added where footage from both San Jose and Newport could be sensibly utilized and perhaps even a documentary on the final days of the Experience from the last recording sessions and live shows through the final date in Denver. That approach seems like the best of both world's which would allow video footage not suitable for a stand alone release, LA and San Diego to get complete releases without feeling like too much of a double dip and a way to utilize highlights from Newport. If not this approach, perhaps RSD releases of LA and San Diego would be the best way to get that material out there in complete form. 6) Large Compilation Box EH has seen pretty good reception of their large compilation boxes The Purple Box and West Coast Seattle Boy. Previously these had been utilized at the start of each decade to release a wide swath of material from alternate takes and unreleased songs to samples of live material that hadn't yet received stand alone releases. Both of these boxes were career spanning retrospectives that offer particularly interesting looks into all areas of Hendrix's career. As we are now into a new decade another one of these sets would probably be a welcomed release. There is still unreleased Hendrix originals, still unreleased early Hendrix material, still unreleased alternate takes and jams and unreleased live material that would be more than enough to compile another very strong box set comparable to the two that have come before. This could also be perhaps an appropriate landing space for the Black Gold material if a stand alone release isn't considered viable. 7) Stockholm 1967 Few live tapes survive from the Experience in 1967 even less are in suitable sound quality for official release. Naturally Experience Hendrix has made a point of releasing most of this material, from the BBC stuff to Monterey to Paris. Stockholm stands as the one exception. It was released on the now out of print Stages compilation 30 years ago. EH has released complete shows of two of the four stages concerts, and nearly all of the San Diego concert, but has released just a few tracks on a compilation from Stockholm. Because it has decent enough sound quality and is perhaps the last known 1967 tape of releasable quality it is surprising this one still rests in the vault. 8) Randall's Island 1970 A bit of a rowdy audience, a bit of a rough show but a pretty decent recording. Randall's Island is one of the last unreleased 1970's shows for which a better recording exists than a fan made audience recording. However in 2013 EH released some of the footage they have of the show on the Hear My Train A Comin' bluray, so it seems that may be their final statement on this material. 9) Dagger Releases During it's first decade with MCA at the helm Dagger Records was a well serviced outlet for Hendrix material, averaging basically one release per year it was a steady stream of new Hendrix from live and rehersal material to studio outtakes and jams, many amazing things have been released under the Dagger label. When Sony took over in 2010 however Dagger fell by the wayside. For the first six years of the Sony contract, just one release "Live at Cologne" was released on Dagger records, it seemed all but dead. But in the last few years Sony and EH have shown a bit more love to the label releasing three titles in the last four years under the Dagger banner. They've even done a promotional youtube video displaying the back catalog, so it could be a sign Dagger will continue to factor into their long term plans. If so the label opens the possibility for many left field releases. While two of the last three releases have focused on pre Experience Hendrix there are still many studio outtakes, jams, home recordings and live tapes that could be utilized by Dagger in the future. 10) Euro 1969 Box Experience Hendrix seldom mentions it, but several shows on the 1969 European tour were recorded/filmed. While the one set in Stockholm is a common one on youtube it is one of the weaker shows of the tour. The tour largely got better as it progressed and the final three dates were filmed and recorded professionally by the crew as a warm up for the RAH shows a month later. Despite this, none of this has leaked out. We don't have any of this footage, or audio from these concerts. Yet as recently as 2009 in his book Ultimate Hendrix, McDermott confirms they exist. Even if the films aren't complete shows, there still should be enough here from multiple camera men and at least 5 different sets of music to compile a pretty amazing release. Back in 2015 Eddie Kramer alluded to the fact that the Hendrix vault possessed quite a bit of unreleased film and that he thought it would be utilized in the near future. Around that time Atlanta came out, but then no other footage was released until the Maui set this year. Clearly Kramer was suggesting there was more than just the Maui material in the vaults and it stands to reason some of the most releaseable video material in the vault collection would probably be these Euro 1969 shows. It is really the most thoroughly documented yet unreleased portion of his career at this point. The question has to be what are they waiting for? Perhaps this material is tied up in similar issues as the RAH footage, and maybe there is a stipulation the RAH footage has to be issued first, whatever the case, it seems absolutely bizarre so much could exist from this time period and almost nothing has slipped out in any way. The above ten suggestions are all items that do exist and seem to be in EH's possession making them the most realistic for release. Some have been released partially, some have been teased, some have merely been mentioned, but they all do exist and seem legitimate candidates for future release, and also goes to show just how much more Hendrix material still stands to be released, and when you look at it a good deal of it is still absolute prime material, if you factor in one release per year and some Dagger releases I think EH will have no problem lasting another 10-20 years and still be releasing some pretty damn interesting material. Of course there are also rumours, things like Dallas '70 that existed at one point may someday resurface and there really isn't much information out there on what may exist in soundboard form from over the years, or what may be contained in Bill Graham's archives, it does seem a bit odd how many times Hendrix played Graham venues and relatively little has surfaced beyond professional recordings when Graham was known to tape many artists over multiple night stands. Then you have the material that EH is somewhat coy about. Where they seem to be withholding material, we've seen two Dagger releases focused on the Ottawa 1968 material and it still seems we haven't heard all that exists of it, and there are several other examples of this where we may not have been given the complete versions of tapes that add more to the speculation pool. Either way it will be fun to speculate and hear everyone's thought, opinion, gripes and wishes for 2021. For my prediction, I think we will get some sort of expanded box set themed around Jimi's unreleased fourth album.