Wednesday, 8 October 2014

"The Cry Of Love" by JIMI HENDRIX (September 2014 Sony/Legacy/Experience Hendrix CD Reissue - BERNIE GRUNDMAN Remaster) - A Review by Mark Barry...

"…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When CDs finally arrived - with the exception of a quickly withdrawn Euro version in 1991 on Polydor 847 242-2 - this posthumous album stubbornly refused to show in its original form.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 with was completely gone.

But at last in September 2014 - here it is again - and in original 10-track form - a brand new CD Reissue and Remaster for "The Cry Of Love" by JIMI HENDRIX on Sony/Legacy/Experience Hendrix 88843099652 (Barcode 888430996526)

The August 1970 lyrics from the original artwork are reproduced on the last page of the booklet and this time the reissue comes in a simple see-through jewel case rather than a fancy card digipak. Even through the 12-page booklet features a load of tasty live shots (the inlay beneath the see-through tray is the same) - there's only a credits page at the rear and no new essay on the album's place or its importance in his cannon of work. It's functionary at best when you would have hoped that a company called 'Experience Hendrix' would have actually honoured the man with some words you could 'experience'. 

But the real bee's knees here is a new BERNIE GRUNDMAN remaster from the original tapes and wow is the only appropriate response (40:20 minutes):

1. Freedom [Side 1]
2. Drifting
3. Ezy Ryder
4. Night Bird Flying
5. My Friend
6. Straight Ahead [Side 2]
7. Astro Man
8. Angel
9. In From The Storm
10. Belly Button Window

JIMI HENDRIX - Guitars and Vocals (all songs written by JH)

BUZZY LINHART - Vibes on "Drifting"
STEVE WINWOOD and CHRIS WOOD - Backing Vocals on "Ezy Rider"
BUDDY MILES - Drums on "Ezy Rider"
BILLY ARMSTRONG - Percussion of "Ezy Rider"
PAUL CARUSO - Harmonica on "My Friend"
KEN PINE - 12-String Guitar on "My Friend"
JIMMY MAYES - Bass on "My Friend"
NOEL REDDING - Drums of "My Friend"
EMERETTA MARKS - Background Vocals on "In From The Storm" 

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...

1 comment:

Henri Laborde said...

I've been looking for Brian Hartzler for over 10 years to work with him again in music. Can you help me find him?

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Spines of Exceptional CD Remasters

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