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on 21 September 2014
Jimi Hendrix never quite got to finish the new double-album that he had been working on throughout the spring and summer of 1970, a record that was being widely touted as FIRST RAYS OF THE NEW RISING SUN. In the aftermath of his death, Hendrix's somewhat controversial manager Michael Jeffrey requested that the guitarist's long-serving engineer and co-producer Eddie Kramer compile two studio albums using the tracks which had already been recorded - albums which would ultimately be released as THE CRY OF LOVE and RAINBOW BRIDGE (a third collection entitled WAR HEROES would mop up the last remnants of Hendrix's original vision). Working at his new Electric Lady recording facility - outfitted by Kramer to a truly state-of-the-art standard - Hendrix, long-standing drummer Mitch Mitchell and bass player Billy Cox had amassed a treasure trove of new Hendrix compositions, the pick of which Kramer (with assistance from Mitchell) would assemble into THE CRY OF LOVE.

Released in the spring of 1971, THE CRY OF LOVE is a thoughfully constructed collection which bears none of the hallmarks that one might associate with that flotilla of cynical, tawdry cash-ins which proliferated in the years following Hendrix's passing. In fact, THE CRY OF LOVE captures Hendrix at the top of his game, with tracks such as the tight funkiness of 'Freedom', the graceful ballad 'Angel' and the dynamic 'In From The Storm' witnessing the guitarist forging a whole new sound that has a kind of ABBEY ROAD-like warmth and richness. Arguably, the only track that does sound a little out of place here is 'My Friend', an impromptu-sounding blues pastiche left over from the ELECTRIC LADYLAND sessions. Otherwise, THE CRY OF LOVE hangs together rather better than the "official" FIRST RAYS OF THE NEW RISING SUN CD, which this listener has always found too sprawling to work as a cohesive whole (it being simply a collection of the tracks Hendrix had completed before his death, rather than the actual finished album Hendrix himself would have no doubt envisaged).

Bernie Grundman's remastering for this reissue of THE CRY OF LOVE is very nice indeed, with all that aforementioned recorded richness preserved and, while the booklet contains no additional notes or essay, all of the original artwork has been nicely reproduced across its pages.

Perhaps the finest of the posthumous Jimi Hendrix releases, fans who bought the original CRY OF LOVE album back in 1971 will no doubt feel a heart-warming glow at both the sight and sound of its welcome reappearance.
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on 3 September 2008
The original LP release of Cry of Love (named after what Jimi had called his last US tour band) was the first album released after his death.

Mitch Mitchell and Eddie Kramer did a pretty good job of assembling an album from finished and unfinished material. However, Jimi had always planned a double album, usually known as 'First Rays of the New Rising Sun', which never received a final track layout. The Hendrix Estate CD of the same name features all the tracks on Cry of Love, plus several more from other posthumous Hendrix LPs.

Whatever, this has some great songs on it, such as Freedom, Drifting, Ezy Rider, Belly Button Window and In From the Storm; a joke (Astro Man); and a good song which doesn't really fit in (My Friend, a 1968 out-take). It's a good listen.

This CD is now out of print, but if you find it, make sure you get the second issue as the first CD version had poor sound compared to the LP. The second issue, on Reprise, has "RE-1" etched into the CD to show that it's been remastered.

Post Script: In mid 2014, Experience Hendrix announced that this album, along with its successor, Rainbow Bridge, will be re-released. I have not listened to either, but note that all the tracks for Cry of Love are already available on First Rays of the New Rising Sun, and Rainbow Bridge can be easily assembled by anyone with an iPod and the recent official releases! The original LPs, released in 1971 and 1972 respectively, were popular but unless there is something special about the new releases, why buy the tracks yet again?
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on 15 July 2004
The last real studio album that Hendrix ever did. Future releases were never sanctioned by the man and in the main are mostly dross except 'Rainbow Bridge'. This album is on a par with 'Axis, Bold as Love'. From the opening track you know you are in for something good. The best track is popssibly 'Angel'. The final track ' Belly button window'is prophetic and a little sad to listen to. A belter of an album get it if you can.
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on 26 June 2006
Angel, drifting, ezy rider, bellybutton window.... what more can u say? Some of the greatest Hendrix music ever released. Tracks appear elsewhere with other weaker material but this album is 100% pure class.
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on 2 December 2014
When I purchased The Cry Of Love in 1971, I thought it was the best album collection Hendrix had recorded. I still think that this gives a clear indication that Hendrix' multiple skills as a musician and songwriter had become more varied and ambitious, and that it demonstrates that his great ability had never diminished. Tracks released subsequently on other posthumous releases also reinforce this view.
It is desperately sad that he never realised his own vision of a double album, and all that might have followed. Some of these recordings sound far more complete than others. The best of them are hair raising; Drifting, Ezy Rider, Night Bird Flying, Angel, In from the Storm. However on this album, and other subsequent releases, there are tracks which Hendrix would likely have been unhappy to see released. Not neccesarily because the material was bad, but because some tracks are evidently incomplete or have guide vocals.
This is the dilemma faced when somebody as talented dies; what do you do with the remaining material? how do you package it, what should or should not be selected? How do you dignify Hendrix memory? Back in 1971 I was grateful for the release of this and
subsequent albums. I think this collection was appropriate back at the time of release, plus It was graced with nice packaging.
Today, this appears to be just another reissue of commonly available tracks. It would be better for Experience Hendrix to start compiling multi-cd box sets of Hendrix' entire unreleased studio output. This would afford the opportunity to release every take, breakdown and overdub for the songs. (as opposed to Jams). A substantial amount of unreleased material has already leaked from the Hendrix vaults, why don't they compile the studio complete recordings. It would be a more valid project for experience Hendrix to become involved in. Go On!
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on 22 April 2012
I have been searching for this for years with no joy. I rate this as THE BEST Hendrix album but I had my original vinyl version stolen. It was his last album and shows the massive loss to music that Jimi's early death was. This album indicates the direction he would have taken if he had lived.
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on 19 September 2014
At last on CD, better get it before it goes again...!!!

Classic album and rounds off my collection. The other releases over the years have been good, but this is the one that actually counts. If you want more Hendrix take a look at the Dagger Releases, better than the re-released stuff that has been put out under Hendrix name.
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Like so many fans of "The Cry Of Love" - I came to the album via the original March 1971 vinyl LP housed in that tasty gatefold sleeve (Track Records 2408 101 in the UK). Even in cartoon form - Jimi Hendrix looked like the coolest being on earth. I loved it to bits at the time (especially the leap forward in his songwriting) and across the years I've had battered copies of it rotating on dusty turntables ever since.

When CDs finally arrived - with the exception of a quickly withdrawn Euro version in 1991 on Polydor 847 242-2 - this posthumous album stubbornly refused to show in its original form. Then in April 1997 the Hendrix Estate put out the double-album Hendrix had 'probably' intended onto a single CD - calling it "First Rays Of The New Rising Sun". It combined tracks from that other 1971 posthumous album "Rainbow Bridge" and another tampered set "War Heroes" from 1972. But the artwork was different and to me the original 'feel' of "The Cry Of Love" I'd grown up was completely gone.

But at last in September 2014 - here it is again on Sony/Legacy 88843099652 - only this time with original artwork and in a simple jewel case rather than a fancy card digipak. The booklet's functionary at best - but the real bee's knees here is a new BERNIE GRUNDMAN remaster from the original tapes and WOW is the only appropriate response.

1. Freedom
2. Drifting
3. Ezy Ryder
4. Night Bird Flying
5. My Friend
6. Straight Ahead
7. Astro Man
8. Angel
9. In From The Storm
10. Belly Button Window

Right from the moment "Freedom" leaps out of the speakers - the layered guitars and rhythm section seem so much clearer and not amped up for the sake of it. "Night Flying Bird" (one of my faves) is mind-blowing - those sliding lead in guitars and that funky backdrop - so cool and clever (lyrics from it title this review). Again Mitchell's cymbals and drums throughout "Straight Ahead" sound fabulous and the lovely "Drifting" has always been an equal for me to the more famous and revered "Angel" (which in itself sounds magical). I'd swear there's reduced hiss on "Belly Button Window" without compromising the space around the voice and guitar (which we now know was merely a demo) and that bass rattles at you on "Astro Man" with a renewed power. In facts it's so cool to just have it back as it was - and sounding this good.

"Back from the storm..." - Jimi sings on "In From The Storm". Indeed he is...and how...
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on 16 June 2016
Excellent posthumous output by The Master Fender player - there is only one answer to the question.... Best guitar player? Jimi still sounds great after all these years - I got this album on vinyl as a gift when it was released after he died and thought it would be a thrown together but it still surprises me that the quality of the songs and recordings shines through.
Favourite - Angel
All the tracks, including Belly Button Window, are a brilliant farewell gift to us all - Jimi is God!
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on 21 December 2011
I bought this in the mid seventies and was entranced by some of the new directions Jimi was taking this and Rainbow Bridge featured some excellent new songs and new sounds both are worthy albums in any collection
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