Well, yes. I promised, and I keep my promises. And just so you remember this was psychedelic rock, NOT R&B, here's a picture.
Yes, two white guys. British guys at that.
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So, from the second album:
You don't hear this song that often, and it has everything that you admire Jimi Hendrix for. It's not even CLOSE to the best song on the album, though, (I'm planning to end this diary with that song), which demonstrates very well why you actually venerate him.
So, I give you The Jimi Hendrix Experience, who gained fame (or perhaps notoriety) at the Monterey Pop Festival in June, 1967. This is the closing number of the set, during which they performed one original song (Purple Haze) and a few covers of songs by performers like Bob Dylan and The Electric Flag. In case you don't know, they performed on Sunday, the last day of the festival, and they followed the Who, who at this point closed all their sets by destroying their instruments. How, you ask does one top that? Just watch.
The first album, Are You Experienced, had already been released in England, and they hurried it to release as soon as word of the Monterey performance got out. To keep this manageable, here are the first, next to the last and last cuts from the album.
"Purple Haze" has been memorably covered by the Cure and "Are You Experienced", by Devo, who improved one line of the song to "not necessarily stoned, but mutated."
None of this really prepared us for the SECOND album, Axis: Bold as Love, which was released January 15, 1968.
Eric Clapton covered this on his Layla and Other Love Songs album, and the cover is TWICE as long. And then there was this.
The penultimate cut is another take on the issues raised in Foxy Lady. I'm not playing it, and I'm also not playing the title cut from this album until the very end. If you know it already, you know why. If not, you'll find out but you have to listen to the whole thing. Remember what I've said about sequencing and determining your, um, mental state.
The third album, Electric Ladyland, a double album, was released October 25 1968. It's named after the studio where it was recorded, on West 8th Street in Greenwich Village.
Actually, the first clip I have in last week's Thursday Classical Music diary runs 20 minutes, so why not? Since you've undoubtedly heard Hendrix's cover of All Along the Watchtower, I'm giving you something else from the album here, and 1983... (A Merman I Should Turn to Be) it is. The person who posted this at youtube.com called it "very psychedelic," and so it is. Listen to it at your leisure, and pay particular attention to what happens at about 9:23.
It's a really rewarding album, too. If you like Hendrix and you're unfamiliar with it (which I have difficulty imagining, but hey, anything is possible), I recommend it.
Now, Wikipedia draws a REALLY bright line between albums that were released when Jimi was alive and albums that weren't, and his estate probably does too. They have both tried to make the fourth album, Cry of Love, disappear; this was recorded while he was alive. Since this was one of the three albums I listened to over and over again while I was writing my honors thesis at Cornell in the spring of 1971 (the other two were Who's Next and Nashville Skyline, probably exactly what you expected), I KNOW it was real. Three big deal songs on it, and I'll choose one:
You'll notice that I've emphasized the introspective side of his music. I think it shows off what he was about better than some of the more raucous or experimental electronic stuff. And speaking of that, as promised. It starts off slow, but listen to the whole thing and remember what I said about sequencing.
I'm sorry I never saw him in concert, but I was too busy chasing Janis Joplin around the Northeast. So, on March 27, I'll give you the four gentlemen and the great, great broad who composed Big Brother and the Holding Company (this, incidentally, is how they were introduced on their first major album, Cheap Thrills - I'm not being sexist here, I promise), and the great, great broad herself.
And now for the real reasons you come here:
Trust me, this selection was VERY carefully curated so if I left your favorite Hendrix song out it was intentional. That's what the comments are for! Cover versions too; my favorite cover of a Hendrix song is in the tip jar.