Monday, 8 March 2010



There is a real sense of fear and reservation attached to approaching this record. For years now the vaults have been raped as the reputation of Jimi Hendrix has been kicked to death by greeding associates in the music industry skimming off any piece of work that he scratched out during his career, be it in his sleep or at the top of his game. It is going to be weird now for me to watch people from my era get treated in such a way, people such as Kurt Cobain whose career has already gone through the ringer but not to the point (yet) that 40 plus year recordings (such as this) have emerged.

At the end of the day though Hendrix was Hendrix and what that meant was here lay one of the most innovative players in the history of guitar music.

For once though his legacy (or rather scraps thereof) have been treated with a decent degree of respect, packaged in a way fitting of his talent and influence. From a hot looking record sleeve through to a decent sound actually coming from the stereo this happily for once does not feel like some kind of cynical cash in (even though at the end of the day it is).

“Bleeding Heart” is a cover of an old Elmore James number that Hendrix unsurprisingly makes his own almost immediately which he then carries for over six minutes in a beautiful fashion with his legendary warm playing and underrated vocal talents. And boy does it sound good on vinyl. Often the bluesy moments were the ones that created least ripples for Hendrix but when he got in right he had the ability the make the sun shine brighter even if it made the listener feel bleaker.

Released for the collectors and not necessarily with view of snagging anyone new into the fold “Peace In Mississippi” is a more the classic, expected fare of Hendrix, a pounding exploration into the heights of sounds that his guitar was able to bring. With Redding and Mitchell backing him up these were the moments you sensed he lived for, the spring to satisfy his artist curiosity and needs with the ability to feed and thrill the listener along the way. To see and feel this music live must have been to touch base with a higher being.

Why is it than anybody else attempting this stuff can only ever fuck it all up? Class screams right through.

Thesaurus moment: learn.

Jimi Hendrix
Sony Music

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