Hendrix’s first posthumous album, Cry of Love, popped up in my new releases list today, so I guess there is a rerelease going on.
I’d probably heard this disk when it came out, but not since then. It’s pretty good. Hendrix was great, as long as you like having no space between guitar noises. Then he was really great. So this disk is good, entertaining, I’m not nearly enough of a scholar to say anything about the history, except that when the song Astro Man came on I was caught short.
This is a tune that starts like a punk song, with airy autobiographical mythmaking, without guitars for maybe the first 20 seconds. Incredible.
But even when it settles into a more jamming groove, the sound of the twining guitars (both Hendrix, I’m pretty sure) gets close to Television. Especially the more upfront lead, which invents Richard Lloyd’s sound while he was a boy in short pants.
Not a great song, I suppose, but a different sounding one, with great playing.
I don’t think Hendrix ever made an album without waste cuts, but Cry of Love is my favorite. Face it, he started out self-indulgent and he was worse on Axis: Bold as Love and Electric Ladyland. On this album he is focused, playing to the songs instead of off the songs. This is one of his very best, and he is underrated as a songwriter. Dylan never did better in this lyrical vein that he invented.
And BTW, yes on the Television guitar on Astro Man, I never noticed that. Another killer from Cry of Love:
I’m far from the world’s greatest Hendrix fan, but this stuff is very good.