Review: Both Sides of the Sky by Jimi Hendrix

Both Sides of the Sky, Jimi Hendrix, album review, Rock and Blues Muse

By Randy Patterson

In conjunction with the Jimi Hendrix Estate, Sony’s Legacy Recordings has released Both Sides of the Sky. It is the third disc in a triad of recordings from the legendary icon’s vault of previously unreleased musical treasures.  The disc follows 2010’s Valleys of Neptune and People, Hell and Angels that came out in 2013.

Though Jimi Hendrix left this earth to kiss the sky almost forty-eight years ago, his impact is still felt. Both Sides of the Sky gives us yet another glimpse into what was burning from inside his creative being for release.

Raw. High-energy. From the heart and soul. None of those traits are new or surprising but they are somehow different this time. Maybe it’s that, with age and experience, we can hear Hendrix with a heart that’s closer to what his was at the time.

Engineered by the only person to ever engineer Jimi’s albums while he was alive, Eddie Kramer was also pulled in by the Hendrix estate to work his magic on Both Sides of the Sky. This masterful stroke only enhances Hendrix’s vibe and spirit.

Soaked with raw and gritty blues, enthusiasts will keep this collection on continual play with frequent slaps of the “Repeat” button on what will likely be many of their favorite tunes.

A large chunk of the album features Band of Gypsys. The synergy between Hendrix, Billy Cox and Buddy Miles is obvious and energizing. Many have said that Jimi was at his musical best when he played with Band of Gypsys. This album may convince many that this is the case.

That said, band members Noel Redding and Mitch Mitchell (from Experience) also appear on one cut, the classic, “Hear My Train A Comin’.”

While these band mates are, in and of themselves, an amazing experience to listen to, what knocks this disc out of the park is some of the other stellar contributors heard on Both Sides of the Sky.

Case in point number one: Johnny Winter lends his noticeable chops to “Things I Used to Do.” The unmistakable South Texas flavor of Winter’s work is prevalent but blends seamlessly with Hendrix’s signature sound.

Case in point number two: Stephen Still’s work on “$20 Fine” and Hendrix’s amazing treatment of “Woodstock.” The symbolism of this parring is breathtaking enough, but the sound will knock you back on your heels.

Case in point number three: Lonnie Youngblood’s performance with Jimi on “Georgia Blues” can be summarized by one word–wow. Lonnie’s voice and sax work, coupled with Jimi’s clean and pure blues chops, are pure magic. This song alone, is well worth the price of the entire CD. Yeah, it’s that good.

Hendrix fans and rock historians will, obviously, want this disc for their personal library. This disc is also an excellent example of phenomenal rock and blues as it really should be played.

We welcome your comments. Please comment in the section below.

For more information on Both Sides of the Sky:

Websitehttps://jimihendrix.com/news/new-jimi-hendrix-album-both-sides-of-the-sky-march-9/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/JimiHendrix/

Apple/itunes: https://itunes.apple.com/ca/album/both-sides-of-the-sky/1318808449

By | 2018-03-15T16:00:49+00:00 March 13th, 2018|Album & Single Reviews|10 Comments

10 Comments

  1. Stuart Harrison March 13, 2018 at 12:10 pm - Reply

    On my to buy list. A great review.

    • Martine Ehrenclou March 13, 2018 at 12:13 pm - Reply

      Stuart,
      Thanks for your comment. Let us know what you think when you’ve listened to it.

  2. Jimmy G March 13, 2018 at 7:02 pm - Reply

    Great solo on Hear my train a comin!

    • Martine Ehrenclou March 13, 2018 at 7:38 pm - Reply

      Jimmy,
      Thanks for your comment!

  3. Richard Durden March 13, 2018 at 9:46 pm - Reply

    Wow! Great video!!! I’m still awestruck by the things Jimi did. And to be quite honest, this song is great for the mere fact that it has been in “hiding” for so long. Jimi influenced so many musicians even to this day. And many blues-rock artists out there now, that maybe were even born AFTER 1970 are still mesmerized by his music. Very cool that more songs are seeing the light of day and the rock & roll lives on!!!??✔️

    • Martine Ehrenclou March 13, 2018 at 10:17 pm - Reply

      Richard,
      Thanks. We are awestruck by Jimi too. You’re so right about all the musicians he influenced. Agreed!

  4. Gym Blogs March 14, 2018 at 6:30 pm - Reply

    Sounds like a worthwhile album, unlike some other Hendrix “retrospectives”. Thsnks for this review and video.
    I’m always interested in the rare guest musician sessions, too. JH spurs them onto great things ( re-listen to Electric Ladyland!). Can’t agree though, on the core band. A free-ranging guitarist like Jimi is best with a time-solid but inventive drummer. Mitch was; Buddy wasn’t.

    • Martine Ehrenclou March 14, 2018 at 6:48 pm - Reply

      Gym Blogs,
      Thanks for your comment. You’re welcome.

  5. Tom Redfield March 15, 2018 at 6:51 pm - Reply

    Another Hendrix album to grace the living room wall with the other 60+ Hendrix albums I have collected.

    • Martine Ehrenclou March 15, 2018 at 7:11 pm - Reply

      Tom,
      Wow, 60+. That’s amazing. Enjoy.

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