This rockumentary was first released three years after Hendrix's death, and only now is it given a long-overdue remastering onto these two discs thanks to the sonic fiddling of original Hendrix engineer Eddie Kramer, who has made it sound fantastic. Produced by Joe Boyd (former producer of Pink Floyd, amongst many others), this profile is up there with the best of its kind and an infinitely better purchase than the somewhat laborious extended film of Hendrix's frustrating Woodstock performance, released last year.
Equal time is given to Hendrix's most spellbinding live sets, expertly selected, and interviews with his many friends and admirers. As we all know, his manipulation of the electric guitar was truly poetic - rarely seen performances of Machine Gun and Like A Rolling Stone at the Monterey Pop Festival are particularly transcendent, juxtaposed with a more sober 12-string acoustic version of Hear My Train A Comin'.
Only in Hendrix's hands could Wild Thing become more of a phallic anthem than it was already, while his demonic concerts would often end with this genuinely retiring and affable man making frenzied love to his amplifiers. While people do more shocking things on stage nowadays, the pagan burning of his guitar is as sinister as ever.
Black and white stills of the great man from his younger days prove his conventional musical beginnings as a jobbing guitarist round the United States, his appearance utterly unnatural with smart suits and sensible hair. What's more, he did a stint in the military (you're not so special, James Blunt) and is spoken of with great affection here by his former comrades.
On the whole the interviews provide a great deal of insight into Hendrix's personality. His deep obsession with Dylan is described by various girlfriends, while it emerges that Hendrix was acutely self-conscious about how the black community regarded him as he, as Germaine Greer says, made his way in a rock world dominated by white men. Black radio stations often refused to play him.
Pete Townshend and Eric Clapton address their friendship with their peer and awkwardly confront the competition between them all. An animated Little Richard waxes a bit too lyrical about how Hendrix stole his fashion style. Although many of the interviews drag on without saying much and, generally, little structure to the whole film, the sprawling nature is in harmony with the colourful subject himself, and adds to the DVD's appeal.
Extras include even more interviews - where a little editing may have been in order to cut a good deal of vacuous reminiscing - and a technical consultation with Mr Kramer about the making of the splendid Dolly Dagger.
The most poignant element to the film is discussion of Hendrix's death. It is suggested he died of frustration at the media circus that was his life and the feeling he was as much a guitar-wielding machine as an artist. For someone who couldn't sing and was no great songwriter, it remains remarkable that he, along with The Beatles, has left the greatest musical legacy of the past fifty years.