You know, nobody claims to dislike Hendrix. It's just one of those things. He's got like, the most fantastic brand goodwill ever. Not that it does him any good.
But I'm actually one of those rare people: I'm a Hendrix Fan. I love all of his real albums (only 4), I like most of his posthumous work (almost as much), and I even treasure some of his early recordings with Curtis Knight and other soul dudes. I do NOT treasure all that much his drunken live recordings with the Doors or whatever.
Anyway, I was pretty excited to hear that they'd somehow dug up even MOAR posthumous recordings and were basically releasing a new album called Valleys of Neptune.
I've been able to give it a few listens and I'm pretty damn happy. It's a lot of re-recorded versions of songs in the more bluesy style he was starting to get into when he died, and a few unheard originals.
So, I thought I'd do a quick Hendrix tribute post and let you listen to some of my favorites, with a focus on the stuff he never got to release in his lifetime.
First of all, off the new album, I really am liking this great instrumental cover of Sunshine of Your Love:
[audio:http://thesweetsnob.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/03/06-Sunshine-Of-Your-Love.mp3|titles=Jimi Hendrix – Sunshine Of Your Love]
And a cool song called Mr. Bad Luck:
[audio:http://thesweetsnob.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/03/05-Mr.-Bad-Luck.mp3|titles=Jimi Hendrix – Mr. Bad Luck]
Then, moving back to songs released after his death in many different forms, but arguably the best on the one closest to what he wanted, a big album called First Rays of the New Rising Sun. This song is one of my favorite tunes ever, ever, ever, mostly due to it's magnificent and rueful lyrics. It's called My Friend. I recommend you listen to it several times.
A choice cut of the lyrics:
Now a lady with a pearl handled necktie
Tied to the driver's fence
Breathes in my face,
Bourbon and coke possessed words
"Haven't I seen you somewhere in hell,
Or was it just an accident?"
You know how I felt then, and so:
Before I could ask "was it the East or West side?"
My feet they howled in pain
The wheels of a bandwagon cut very deep,
But not as deep in my mind as the rain
And as they pulled away I could see her words
Stagger and fall on my muddy tent
Well I picked them up, brushed them off,
To see what they say,
And you wouldn't believe:
"Come around to my room, with the tooth in the middle,
And bring along the bottle and a president"
And sometimes it's not so easy,
Especially when your only friend,
Talks, sees, looks and feels like you,
And you do just the same as him
[audio:http://thesweetsnob.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/03/11-My-Friend.mp3|titles=Jimi Hendrix – My Friend]
Also, a little more of a minor work, I also love Belly Button Window, arguably a pro-choicey song?!
[audio:http://thesweetsnob.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/03/17-Belly-Button-Window.mp3|titles=Jimi Hendrix – Belly Button Window]
Then, I could sit here and lead you down the primrose path of Jimi's genius albums he released on purpose all day… really you can just listen to the whole albums and you're pretty much in good hands, but I'll just make one pick from each album that you may not have heard.
From his last album, a live album recorded with Buddy Miles: there's so many massive songs on this album, but I'm going to do Power to Love. I knew this kid when he was 5 who loved this song and called it "The Jellyfish Song" because of these lyrics:
It's so groovy to float around, sometimes even
a jellyfish will agree to that.
I said flotation is groovy and easy,
even a jellyfish will agree to that.
Yeah, but old jelly's been floatin' so long
and so slack, lord, ain't no kinda bone in his jelly back.
Floatin' ev'ry day and ev'ry night is a risk, sometimes
the wind ain't right!
[audio:http://thesweetsnob.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/03/04-Power-Of-Love.mp3|titles=Jimi Hendrix – Power Of Love]
From his crazy last double album with The Experience, I present the crazy, jazzy, Rainy Day, Dream Away, which I love for his little ad-libs that start the song, including some perhaps real joint-hitting noises:
[audio:http://thesweetsnob.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/03/10-Rainy-Day-Dream-Away.mp3|titles=Jimi Hendrix – Rainy Day, Dream Away]
From Bold As Love, which truly blew my goddamn mind at age 17, I present Jimi's way-cool story of an alien dropping back to earth to tell people how messed up things are in the future:
[audio:http://thesweetsnob.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/03/02-Up-From-The-Skies.mp3|titles=Jimi Hendrix – Up From The Skies]
And from Jimi's seminal Are You Experienced? which you'd otherwise think was a greatest-hits album, the groovy space-opera with crazy radio noises, Third Stone From the Sun. Let Jimi land his kinky machine a little closer to you, baby:
[audio:http://thesweetsnob.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/03/09-Third-Stone-From-The-Sun.mp3|titles=Jimi Hendrix – Third Stone From The Sun]
Ok, I'm glad we had this time together, Jimi.