- Album name: Blues
- Artist name: Jimi Hendrix
- Year: 1994
- Number of discs: two
- Label: MCA Records
- Collection: Essex
- Buy it on Amazon: $39.04
Level of familiarity before listening
I had no idea that this record existed until today, but I am more or less familiar with Jimi Hendrix:
- Stephen Stills (1970): 3/5
- Woodstock: Music from the Original Soundtrack and More (1970): 4/5
What I expected
What it was actually like
Like a lot of double albums, I felt that this one went on (and on) for a bit longer than was really necessary – not that there were so many songs on it, since each side only had two or three, but just that they tended to include really, really long guitar solos and jams.
In retrospect, the fact that it was released in 1994, 24 years after Hendrix died, gives a lot away about the material’s quality and whether or not it was suitable for release at all.
Not that it was bad or anything. Though I still think it’s accurate to call the style “electric blues” and that the title Blues wasn’t deceptive, a better title might have been “Guitar Solos and Jams.”
There was one acoustic song on the record, the opening track Hear My Train A Comin’, a big surprise since I don’t know that I’ve ever heard Hendrix playing an acoustic guitar. It sounded like a demo, however, as did a bunch of others, such as Catfish Blues.
Born Under a Bad Sign, which I know most as a Cream song, opened with a great mood-setting guitar solo, and should have been the first track. I loved how the very solid bass let Hendrix soar on the guitar, but I didn’t understand why it was just an instrumental, and wasn’t even certain that I would have recognized it. It also had some cool guitar effects, like when he used it to make a rippling sound. I don’t think that’s something that most guitarists can do.
Red House was probably the record’s most barbecue restaurant song, and one of just a few that I would have considered to be release quality; Voodoo Chile Blues was pretty drawn out and basically just a jam and way too long, though Mannish Boy was faster and more put together.
Jam 292 stood out as having a great tempo, and also for being (I think) the only song a with piano, and was another with outstanding bass guitar. Electric Church Red House was another that I thought could have been included on a “real” release record, but unfortunately was just a pretty straightforward blues song without much interesting about it, except that it was the only one on the record with an organ, and the occasional tempo changes were good.
3/5: interesting, but not for me