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The College of Musical Knowledge (April 9)

Jimi Hendrix, "Red House" (from "Hendrix in the West.")

"Hendrix in the West" is the first Hendrix LP I bought, and it was out of print for decades. I finally tracked down a bootleg CD manufactured in Russia, and it was worth the effort.

"Red House" is the blues distilled into one song, with what I would argue are Jimi's two best-ever solos captured on record. They are solos of orgasmic anguish by the man who, as Carlos Santana observed, took the electric guitar from a black-and-white instrument to the world of Technicolor. And it's a live recording; there are no Jimmy Page-like major studio augmentations going on here.

I have been listening to these solos since I was in high school. This morning, "Red House" was playing as I was taking the trash out to the garage. I had to, was compelled to, stop and listen—again—before I could open the back door to finish that chore.

Fortunately, "Red House" and many of the other tracks from "In the West" were re-released several years ago as part of the splendid four-disc Hendrix box set, so fans don't need to reach into Russia to be reminded of just how titanic a musical figure Hendrix was.


( 3 comments — Leave a comment )
Apr. 10th, 2009 02:23 am (UTC)
oh the Russians and their silly imports.

so this is a live album im guessing, any idea of the orgin or anything? sounds like a good time.
Apr. 10th, 2009 02:45 am (UTC)
Yeah, it is a live record, but the songs are from different venues: the Isle of Wight, the Berkeley Community Center, and the San Diego Sports Arena, where "Red House" and a jaw-dropping version of "Voodoo Chile (Slight Return)" where recorded. Purists diss the record because it's not all from one show, but I don't care.

On the disc it says "For sale in Russia only," and its actually two records on one disc. The second is "Loose Ends," which marks the beginning of the bloodsuckers trying to squeeze every last dollar out of Jimi's corpse. He was extremely picky about the music he put out, and had he lived, there would be no way any of "Loose Ends" would have been released.

Apr. 10th, 2009 03:52 am (UTC)
while things get exaggeratted all the time, ive been told that a lot of the Hendrix live albums after he died were almost entirely studio creations that went so far as a live band just jamming over old demos and unused songs, or that the guy singing isnt Jimi at all
( 3 comments — Leave a comment )

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