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Jimi Hendrix - First Rays of the New Rising Sun CD (album) cover

FIRST RAYS OF THE NEW RISING SUN

Jimi Hendrix

 

Proto-Prog

3.60 | 34 ratings

From Progarchives.com, the ultimate progressive rock music website

ZowieZiggy
Prog Reviewer
3 stars This album is nothing that another release of ''The Cry Of Love'' which saw the light in 1971. The start of a neverending and useless (as far as I'm concerned) story. The end of the story being to cash in anyway...

In 1995, the Hendrix family took charge of the heritage of the master and decided was what genuine and what was not. IMO, this album is one out of many that is only good for the cash machine.

''The Cry Of Love'' was the first posthumous (or fourth) studio album from the man. It was well perceived at the time of release and even reached the top ten in the US charts.

Several tracks were practically finalized, while some others needed some editing for the project. Globally, I would say that this album was as close as one could get after his death. Mitch Mitchell participated extensively to the production of this work, which is a sign of quality IMO.

So, the Hendrix family thought it was wise to re-release this album, and they plugged some seven additional tracks (alternate versions of existing numbers) to the genuine ones from '''The Cry Of Love''. I wouldn't say that the effort is gorgeous, but at least it brings the early recordings back to life and it also makes it cheaper to the fan to buy this record than the original ''The Cry Of Love''.

There were some excellent tracks on the original recordings of which ''Night Bird Flying'' as well as a concert classic ''Ezy Rider'' that shows a powerful Hendrix all the way through. One of the highlights. There are even two rock ballads to temper the harder sounds (''Angel'' and ''Drifting''). Both of them being rather appealing and catchy. ''My Friend'' on the other end, is just a simple, straight and avoidable blues tune. A filler IMHHO.

One of my favourite, is ''Beginnings'' even if it might sound loose and somewhat incoherent between distinctive parts. It is a complex song (instrumental) that frequently changes from topic. A wild track for sure and another highlight. Maybe the best ''new'' song of the whole (re) work even if some might find it a bit too ''jammy''.

About the added tracks for this version of ''First Rays Of The New Rising Sun'', the funky ''Dolly Dagger'' can be considered as a filler. The version of ''Izabella'' featured here is not that great either. This song was already rehearsed in August '69 and belonged to the live sets regularly. Do listen to these ones instead.

My fave out the non- ''Cry Of Love'' ones is the fantastic ''Stepping Stone''. Another huge Hendrix tracks. Just as ''Hey Baby'' which is probably the easiest song for non-Hendrix lovers: sweet vocals (as he was singing most of the times), a fantastic and catchy melody and a smooth guitar play all the way through. Great ingredients for a great Hendrix track. But I'm biased. Still, A HUGE TRACK AGAIN.

The last three numbers are just average IMVHHO (in my very humble and honest opinion in this very special Hendrix review). ''Astro Man'' is particularly weak globally. And when I listen to these stupid backing vocals during '' In From The Storm'' I really believe that the master wouldn't have digested them either. The very average blues '' Belly Button Window'' is not a great moment of music either. As I have said, ''The Cry Of Love'' was a very good attempt to release the fourth Hendrix studio album. Bearing in mind that it is very rare (which means very expensive), this ''First Rays Of The New Rising Sun'' is the only, and good, and cheap option nowadays.

Three stars.

ZowieZiggy | 3/5 |

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