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Jimi Hendrix: Cry Of Love/Rainbow Bridge

Hear his train a comin’ – again.

Hastily compiled from dozens of unreleased studio recordings in the wake of Hendrix’s death, Cry Of Love and Rainbow Bridge left fans frustrated when they came out at each end of 1971.

While there were many great songs to get stuck into, it was obvious they were never supposed to come out this way – a fact reinforced by the clumsy titles and poor artwork. It wasn’t until 1997 that the full picture began to emerge, when Experience Hendrix assumed control and made a decent fist of second-guessing Hendrix’s intentions for his fourth studio album with First Rays Of The New Rising Sun.

Which makes these reissues difficult to fathom. If you have First Rays then you already have every track on Cry Of Love (610). That’s not to denigrate the glories of Freedom, Ezy Ryder, Angel, In From The Storm, Belly Button Window and the rest, but do you really need them twice?

At least Rainbow Bridge (710) – which, mercifully, has no connection with the acid-casualty movie despite spurious claims on the cover – has a few exclusive tracks, notably the inspired one-take instrumental Pali Gap, and a potent live Here My Train A Comin’; the cold studio concoction of Star Spangled Banner completely misses the point./o:p

Hugh Fielder has been writing about music for 47 years. Actually 58 if you include the essay he wrote about the Rolling Stones in exchange for taking time off school to see them at the Ipswich Gaumont in 1964. He was news editor of Sounds magazine from 1975 to 1992 and editor of Tower Records Top magazine from 1992 to 2001. Since then he has been freelance. He has interviewed the great, the good and the not so good and written books about some of them. His favourite possession is a piece of columnar basalt he brought back from Iceland.