Monday, January 28, 2013

"The Cry of Love" by Jimi Hendrix (1971)

View the Premise & Ground Rules for Revisiting Vinyl

"Bourbon-and-Coke-possessed words and 'Haven't I seen you somewhere in Hell?'"

My Favorite Tracks:
Freedom, Night Bird Flying, Angel, Belly Button Window

My Overall Rating of the Tracks Separately:
REQUIRED LISTENING (4/4 stars).  Seriously, if you haven't heard every song on this LP, you owe it to yourself to check them out.

What could I possibly say about Jimi Hendrix that hasn't been said already?  Absolutely nothing, that's what.  Along with Chuck Berry, he's the most influential electric guitarist of all time.  We all agree he's awesome - except for one friend of mine who shall remain nameless.  This friend makes the following statement about Jimi's music: "I really dig his voice, I just don't care for his guitar playing."  It should be noted that said friend also says the EXACT OPPOSITE thing about Led Zeppelin.  To each his own I guess...

So, instead of trying to write something new about Jimi Hendrix, I'm gonna tell you how I happened to pick up "Cry of Love" on vinyl.

Every year, I check out my town's tiny section of the multi-state "world's largest yardsale."  I have always found titles that just don't pop up on the cheap at our local peddler's malls and used record stores, and I am always faced with some impossible decision like do I get "I Love Rock 'n' Roll" by Joan Jett or do I get "Forever Your Girl" by Paul Abdul.  Seriously, that was a really hard decision.  (I ended up choosing JJ and now have a good degree of buyer's remorse.)

Point is, there's always good music to be found.  Last year started slow.  The first area we hit was full over vendors who were overpriced and understocked.  But then when we popped into the next shanty town of folks selling the crap they didn't want anymore, I hit paydirt.  I noticed a small stack of about twenty LPs on a table.  The small stacks are the best.  You can flip through them quickly and move on if there's nothing to be found. 

I asked the guy how much his records were.  I always base whether it's worth my time on the price point, not the which artists I see on top.  It's been my experience that EVERYBODY who bought records always had that one left-field LP that was not like anything else in their collection.  So, even if it's 95% Andy Williams and Sha-Na-Na, a small stack is always worth checking out if the price is right.  Sometimes it doesn't pan out; sometimes it's Pink Floyd's "Meddle."

So, I asked the guy how much his records were.  "A buck each."  A dollar is my sweet spot (I have literally spent hours at a time flipping through piles of dollar records) so I dove in.  Within the first three I found the Beatles' double LP collection of later singels.  JACKPOT!  At this point, the day is already a success.  But I kept digging.

I found Lynyrd Skynyrd and Kiss LPs that I didn't already have.  I'm a passive Kiss fan, but I pick up pretty much anything of theirs at the right price.  I don't know what it is about Kiss, but they trigger something deep in the lizard brain of the dirt mall population.  I swear, I have heard this statement at least three times.  "My records all cost (x), except for the Kiss records.  They're all (some multiple of x)."

I was a happy lad.  And then I came across a loose record in the pile.  I'm not usually big on sleeveless vinyl, but this one was Jimi.  "Would you take fifty cents for this one without a jacket?" I asked.

"Depends.  Who is it?"

My brain sighed.  "Um... Jimi Hendrix?"

There was a long pause.  "Sure."

Me out loud: "Cool."  Me inside my head: "AWESOME!!!!"

I gave the guy a five and got a buck fifty back.  I used the buck at the next place I stopped to pick up "Purple Rain" still in the shrinkwrap.  They also had "Hotter than Hell," which is one Kiss record I do really want.  Unfortunately, the lady told me that everything was a dollar except for the Kiss records.  They were all ten.

Up next, we keep rockin' the early seventies with Aerosmith's self-titled debut.

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