Jimi Hendrix is generally hailed for reinventing rock guitar but he also broke new ground in the field of posthumously released albums. He was truly the 2Pac of classic rock. At the time of his death in 1970 he’d been working on a new album for over two years, recording dozens of tracks.
These started to emerge the following year on the albums The Cry Of Love and Rainbow Bridge, both of which were well received despite their lack of direction from Hendrix. But his third posthumous release, 1972’s War Heroes, scraped the bottom of the barrel. The album sold poorly and critic Robert Christgau complained it was heavy on “filler.”
This is too bad, as the album showcases some clear highlights, including a blistering take on bluesman Elmore James’ “Bleeding Heart,” a great take on Hendrix’s “Highway Chile” and a rare studio version of his awesome cover of Swedish composer Bo Hansson’s “Tax Free,” a thrilling diversion at his live shows. Hendrix’s further posthumous albums were way worse, with session musicians hired to overdub the original instrumentation to make the material sound more contemporary.