I received a copy of this album for review purposes.
Legacy Records had reintroduced The Cry of Love and Rainbow Bridge, Jimi Hendrix remastered albums with original artwork and track orders. The Cry of Love was available on CD September 16th, 2014 and also has a vinyl version! Rainbow Bridge follows with a release on vinyl October 14th, 2014. I received both copies to review and like my past music reviews, I turned it over to my husband, the music critic of our household. I do not use the word “critic” lightly, he definitely has an ear for music and is often asked his opinions on albums from friends/family. Here is his thoughts on these albums:
Rock n’ Roll just ain’t what it used to be. Turn on any modern rock radio station these days, and you’ll undoubtedly hear blaring noise, mind numbing vocals, and the same tired, warmed over riffs and maudlin lyrics over and over again ad infinitum. One can only take so much before reverting back to the reasons why these musicians have a career at all, you know, the classics! Bands like Led Zeppelin, The Who, Black Sabbath, and Cream, featuring virtuosos like Jimmy Page, Pete Townshend, Tony Iommi, and Eric Clapton. But perhaps none of these greats could even come close to the juggernaut that was Jimi Hendrix….in fact, they mostly stood in awe.
Jimi Hendrix is to the electric guitar what Picasso is to the paintbrush, a master of his craft, blazing down trails none of their peers before and few since have been able to achieve. During his short 7 year career, Jimi shook up the world of rock music and became the highest paid musician of his time. Steeped in delta blues and cutting his teeth on the chitlin’ circuit backing up soul and R&B bands in the early sixties, Jimi honed his craft but never found success until he went to England where he formed The Jimi Hendrix Experience…and the rest is history! Jimi Hendrix only released 4 proper albums before his untimely death from asphyxiation in 1970, three with The Experience, and one live album, Band of Gypsys. Remarkably however, there have been over ten posthumous releases, and thankfully Legacy Recordings has brought back the first two, gloriously remastered on CD and LP.
Cry of Love is the first Hendrix album of unheard material to be heard since his passing, and what an album it is. From the opening track, “Freedom”, you get that raw bluesy rock he was known for. Immediately the album slows to a crawl with “Drifting”, sweet and mellow, sad and poignant. Then BAM! “Ezy Ryder” hits you like brick with true rock power! This roller coaster album of now classic hits has never sounded or looked better! Featuring original album artwork and out now on Legacy Recordings.
The second, Rainbow Bridge, has some really great songs as well with cuts like “Earth Blues”, “Room Full of Mirrors”, and the studio version of the infamous “Star Spangled Banner.” Although it doesn’t boast the same production polish as Cry of Love, Rainbow Bridge delights with a different sound, giving thought to the Jimi was heading before his end. Gathered from studio tapes left behind, they put this together and released it originally it would seem as a soundtrack to the movie of the same name. While a performance of Jimi’s was a big part of the film, none of these tracks were actually featured in the film. This one is for true fans, the best of what’s left in my opinion, but when you are Jimi Hendrix, the rest is still better than most.
Again Sony Music’s Legacy Recordings breathes new life into long forgotten classics, and fondly remembered tunes of yesterday. If you are a fan of Hendrix like most red blooded Americans regardless of whether you have copies of these albums or not, you owe it to yourself to update you collection, and grab these gems, tout suite!