Get the Both Sides Of The Sky CD here
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Let me start by saying, I have always been a hard core Hendrix fan. I have been listening to Hendrix albums for almost as long as I can remember. So I was super excited to get my hands on the album even though these types of releases are usually nothing more than fast cash grabs. But as a fan, I am just drawn to each one dropped.
Right from the start, I am hit with an amazing un-released song ‘Mannish Boy’ and in true Hendrix form it was guitar driven, funk loving, groove. Now I’m not saying it was this other worldly new direction, but in true Hendrix fashion I was mesmerized. Surprisingly though, there wasn’t much of a solo and it was near the end of the song, but the groove kept 100% of my attention. Also, it was never released, so for a fan it was like hearing him for the first time.
The next track hits you with another previously un-released jam in ‘Lover Man’ and from the first few notes I was drawn in. Just as funky, maybe a bit more to the rock side, but that’s not a bad thing at all. It’s a short song at about 3:03, but it really showcased his diversity.
I enjoyed the un-released track for the most part though there were a couple like “Cherokee Mist’ that sound more like jam sessions than anything. No vocals and a lot of experimental guitar, but again, if you’re a true fan, it can be overlooked.
There were a few collaborations on this album, my favorite being ‘Things I Used To Do’ with Johnny Winter. Basic blues, but when you consider it is Hendrix and Winter, it becomes much less basic and more on the amazing side. ‘Woodstock’ which he recorded with Stephen Still from Crosby, Stills and Nash, wasn’t anything more than your average rock song from that era, no fault of Hendrix though as he only played bass on it. But if you pay attention, you can totally tell it is him.
The bottom line here is, if you are a Hendrix fan, you want to add this to your collection for sure, but keep your expectations realistic. Classic Hendrix, some new, but unfortunately overall, it just falls short.
I really wanted to get this album and have my socks blown off and I do this every time there is some new ‘Release’ or ‘Compilation’ and for the most part I walk away with my frown in tow. It’s not bad, but not good, somewhere in the middle of the road, but again, for a fan, it really is a must have.