After hearing The Wind Cries Mary me and my dad used to listen to his Jimi Hendrix albums together. It was mind blowing to me then and it still is now. I read that Jimi wasn’t happy with the mix and hated the artwork on the British version. We’ll never get to hear it how he heard it, but it’s still my all time favourite album. It’s futuristic yet steeped in the blues, experimental but soulful. Overall it feels darker and deeper than his previous two long players. There’s so many influences pooled but it’s uniquely Jimi’s, an amazing document of his creativity at that time. In the title track and Long Hot Summer night you can hear his love of Curtis Mayfield, In Gypsy Eyes and House Burning Down, he’s bringing in funk. in Rainy Day/Still Rainin’ a jazz shuffle with wild talking wah wah guitar . In 1983 he’s experimenting with tape manipulation and phasing effects and with Voodoo Child and it’s reprise ‘Slight Return he’s taking Howlin’ Wolf, Muddy Waters and John Lee Hooker into outer space. Still the master of of fuzz, feedback, reverse tape effects and the wah wah pedal. To me there’s some of most most brutal and beautifully delicate guitar playing ever in this record, but Jimi’s ability as a songwriter and arranger are equally as potent. That’s what makes each note and beat count. Oh and he managed to cut one of the greatest cover versions of all time with All Along The Watchtower. A masterpiece. 

For number 3 in Little Barrie’s top 10 please go here

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Award winning journalist and boss of Louder Than War. In a 30 year music writing career, John was the first to write about bands such as Stone Roses and Nirvana and has several best selling music books to his name. He constantly tours the world with Goldblade and the Membranes playing gigs or doing spoken word and speaking at music conferences.


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