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Jimi Hendrix - Cry Of Lov - LP -

Price per Unit (stuk): €14.95

The Cry of Love is the genuine article, Hendrix' final effort, and it is a beautiful, poignant testimonial, a fitting coda to the career of a man who was clearly the finest electric guitarist to be produced by the Sixties, bar none. This record seems more complete than the album Janis left for us, but like Pearl, it too seems strangely foreshortened, a venture caught in the process of becoming and suddenly halted. The fact that The Cry of Loveis still as good as it is must serve as some sort of reminder as to just how large looms the shadow of its creator.

As a pure musician — and this is not even touching his grace as a performer, or his role as the first non-Top 40 superstar — Hendrix was strangely unique in a field bred on familiarity. He was an intense craftsman, of course, as one of his earliest sides, "Red House," attested; a fluid-fingered picker who could ripple off runs with an unexpectedly perfect style, bursting out with phrases that filled up every loose chink in a song as if they had been especially inscribed for the occasion. But more than that, Hendrix was a master of special effects, a guitarist who used electricity in a way that was never as obvious as mere volume. He took his bag of toys the fuzz-tone, the wah-wah pedal, the stack of Marshalls and used them as a series of stepping-stones to create wave upon wave of intense energy, proper settings for a scene of wrath and somehow healing destruction. It was rock and roll that was both quite in tune with and yet far ahead of its time, and in a way, I'm not sure that we've ever really fully caught up.

Still, and it's important to view The Cry of Love in this light, it seems that Hendrix found it hard to sustain his creativity once he had made his initial breakthrough. His first album, Are You Experienced?, was as near a total statement as he made, each cut caught in its prime and done in a way that allowed for no waste or superficiality, and try as he might, he was never able to come as close to that completeness on any of his subsequent releases. Indeed, the strengths that Hendrix displayed in his debut effort were to remain his strengths throughout his career. For one, he showed off an astonishing ability to construct a song: the opening lines to "Purple Haze" are not only remarkable in their dumb simplicity but for the fact that they set the stage for the mayhem which logically follows. For another, his music had an incongruous element of lyricism, a tender second side that could hardly be explained in the context of "Foxy Lady," such things as "May This Be Love" or "The Wind Cries Mary." And last, and probably most significant, he built a magnetizing presence, an overwhelming personality which totally dominated each cut, creating a flesh and blood image that had to stay with you long after you had left the record and gone home.

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