Wednesday, 8 October 2014
"The Cry Of Love" by JIMI HENDRIX - A Review Of His 1971 Album on Track Records - Remastered by BERNIE GRUNDMAN for 2014 CD...
“…Set Her Free….”
Like so many fans of "The Cry Of Love" - I came to the album via the original March 1971 vinyl LP housed in that tasty gatefold sleeve (Track Records 2408 101 in the UK). Even in cartoon form - Jimi Hendrix looked like the coolest being on earth. I loved it to bits at the time (especially the leap forward in his songwriting) and across the years I've had battered copies of it rotating on dusty turntables ever since.
When CDs finally arrived - with the exception of a quickly withdrawn Euro version in 1991 on Polydor 847 242-2 - this posthumous album stubbornly refused to show in its original form. Then in April 1997 the Hendrix Estate put out the double-album Hendrix had 'probably' intended onto a single CD - calling it "First Rays Of The New Rising Sun". It combined tracks from that other 1971 posthumous album "Rainbow Bridge" and another tampered set "War Heroes" from 1972. But the artwork was different and to me the original 'feel' of "The Cry Of Love" I'd grown up was completely gone.
But at last in September 2014 - here it is again on Sony/Legacy 88843099652 (Barcode 888430996526) - only this time with original artwork and in a simple jewel case rather than a fancy card digipak. The booklet's functionary at best - but the real bee's knees here is a new BERNIE GRUNDMAN remaster from the original tapes and wow is the only appropriate response.
3. Ezy Ryder
4. Night Bird Flying
5. My Friend
6. Straight Ahead [Side 2]
7. Astro Man
9. In From The Storm
10. Belly Button Window
Right from the moment "Freedom" leaps out of the speakers - the layered guitars and rhythm section seem so much clearer and not amped up for the sake of it. "Night Flying Bird" (one of my faves) is mind-blowing - those sliding lead in guitars and that funky backdrop - so cool and clever (lyrics from it title this review). Again Mitchell's cymbals and drums throughout "Straight Ahead" sound fabulous and the lovely "Drifting" has always been an equal for me to the more famous and revered "Angel" (which in itself sounds magical). I'd swear there's reduced hiss on "Belly Button Window" without compromising the space around the voice and guitar (which we now know was merely a demo) and that bass rattles at you on "Astro Man" with a renewed power. In facts it's so cool to just have it back as it was - and sounding this good.
"Back from the storm..." - Jimi sings on "In From The Storm". Indeed he is...and how...