Sunday, July 1, 2012

Make love on my dyin' bed (Jimi Hendrix)

The purdzilla-pod shuffle threw up the distinctive start to Midnight Lightning recently. It was the posthumously released live version from the Isle Of Wight live set rather than the after the fact appearance of the song in 1975 on another posthumous release, also called Midnight Lightning. Get all that?

It's such a brilliant song and I think those are the only two appearances of it in the Hendrix collection. As it appeared in Jimi's 1970 set at IOW it must have been performed elsewhere but I don't recall any other appearances of the song on Hendrix albums. Happy to be proved wrong.

Anyway - the live version is where it's at. The lyrics of the song are nothing to write home about - calling long distance on a public saxophone? Not Jimi's most considered work.

So why is it so special? Four reasons - the guitar solos are outrageous - even for Jimi, his singing is impassioned, Mitch Mitchell plays the hell out of it on drums and Billy Cox is the perfect bass foil.

The other thing I love about it is the low fi nature of the recording, the radio feedback on the track and the fuzzy bass sound. It all makes for a cinema verite effect. Magic!

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