Hendrix- Cry of Love 2014 vs First Rays 1997*

Discussion in 'Music Corner' started by fooboo, Oct 12, 2016.

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  1. fooboo

    fooboo Member Thread Starter

    planet Earth
    Had a chance to listen to those two records recently. Never was happy with COL thin sounding
    versions. Reissue from 2014 was just perfect. To my even greater surprise, assuming digital MCA
    First Rays was good too, heavy and pleasent to my ears. Surprise, surprise. Jimi at his best.
    I'd like to know what other people on this site think about a difference. However 2014 COL
    might be final ersion, there is something in full, hard, out in your face FR from 1997.
    This site is known for fine Hendrix threads and I hardly wait to read posts.
  2. fooboo

    fooboo Member Thread Starter

    planet Earth
    Post moderation tends to annoy for newbies. No-one ever answers since no-one sees the post.
    Anyway, I'd like to learn about other folks opinion on those two records. I might get one and
    simply cannot get a decision. Low chance to hear them side by side again.
    Best regards all.
  3. Sarah S. The Hendrix Nut

    Sarah S. The Hendrix Nut Well-Known Member


    I have these two on cd. I prefer Cry Of Love 2014 and Rainbow Bridge 2014 (along with the original War Heroes cd) back to back to back as opposed to listening to First Rays. I am still hoping for a War Heroes reissue with the mastering we got with the COL and RB 2014 releases.
    Something about First Rays just doesn't work as well for me. I don't know if it's the running order or maybe the mastering. I haven't played it in quite a while.
    I was very glad to get it when it came out, but it's been replaced by the albums it replaced to begin with.
  4. PacificOceanBlue

    PacificOceanBlue Senior Member

    The Southwest
    I dislike the First Rays compilation for a number of reasons. The disc sounds fine (referring to the 1997 pressing), but the CD's contents could have been significantly improved as a more comprehensive, historically accurate presentation. I never play it -- just uploaded the songs to iTunes and create my own playlists. If I feel compelled to listen to most of this material via physical product, I go for the Cry Of Love and Rainbow Bridge reissues.
  5. tlake6659

    tlake6659 Senior Member

    The 1997 CD for First Rays sounds too compressed to my ears. The 2014 Cry of Love has a much better mastering.
  6. nicotinecaffeine

    nicotinecaffeine Forum Resident

    Walton, KY
    Didn't know much about how the historical aspect for that album was supposed to be - solely into AYE up to Cry Of Live - but, yeah it seemed cobbled together once I gave it a few spins back then. Has been sitting in my collection ever since. Maybe I'll pick up some of the newer ones in the future...the regular stuff I already have does plenty; Hendrix simply rocks.
    Pop_Zeus and Fonz like this.
  7. telepicker97

    telepicker97 Got Any Gum?

    Listen to the bass crackle in your speakers as Billy comes zooming in on the intro to Freedom and then throw the 1997 First Rays CD in the garbage.
  8. telepicker97

    telepicker97 Got Any Gum?

    No it doesn't. One of the worst offenders of bad digital limiting and compression ever. Again, listen to what happens as the bass guitar in Freedom kicks in, and tell me that "sounds fine".
    Mark L., Pop_Zeus, btomarra and 5 others like this.
  9. PacificOceanBlue

    PacificOceanBlue Senior Member

    The Southwest
    The "First Rays Of The New Rising Sun" history is a complex, in-depth story and certainly required more than a single disc, particularly a single disc that did not even accurately represent the state of the projected "First Rays" project in August 1970. Not only were some likely songs that were under strong consideration for inclusion such as Drifter's Escape, Bleeding Heart, and Bolero omitted, but other songs that likely would not have been part of "First Rays" were included.

    Of course, the reality is that no one really knows where Hendrix was going with the 4th studio album due to Reprise, so really, this release by EH should have been a double disc containing all relevant titles Hendrix was developing during the spring and summer of 1970. He had a couple of albums worth of material he was developing, and while it has been strongly speculated that First Rays was going to be a double LP, there is also the possibility that he may have had to compromise and release a single LP of completed tracks by the end of the year because if he indeed planned on a double LP, he had a lot of work to complete before the end of the fourth quarter and one senses that Reprise and Jeffery were losing patience (Hendrix had taken out significant advances and Reprise wanted product). Hendrix also had to deliver another album for the Rainbow Bridge soundtrack. And with Jeffery's non-stop booking of touring engagements, having months at a time to focus solely on completing an album was almost an impossibility.
  10. John Buchanan

    John Buchanan I'm just a headphone kind of fellow. Stax Sigma

    Cry of Love (either the 1989 Pre-RE1 Reprise CD or the 2014 EH version) and Rainbow Bridge are far better sounding on CD than First Rays. Bad mastering on First Rays kills it on CD - wayyyyy too compressed, even if the track listing is excellent, IMHO.
    Mark L., Pop_Zeus, warewolf95 and 4 others like this.
  11. Jimi Bat

    Jimi Bat Forum Resident

    tx usa
    For me the problem was both the running order and the mastering.
  12. harmonica98

    harmonica98 Forum Resident

    London, UK
    Can you share your playlists? I love Hendrix but am not enough of a Hendrix scholar to put together a better compilation.
  13. pool_of_tears

    pool_of_tears Searching For Simplicity

    Well said.

    Also, the first seconds of Ezy Ryder were inexplicably cut off the 1997 First Rays cd.
  14. hodgo

    hodgo Tea Making Gort (Yorkshire Branch) Staff

    East Yorkshire
    If I had to listen to the CD versions I would probably never play "First Rays" because the sound is really not good at all, this is the case for most of the Marino mastered EH releases before Bernie Grundman thankfully took over. Because of this I now only listen to Hendrix on vinyl and thankfully all the albums mastered by Ray Janos at Sterling have excellent sound, this means I listen to "First Rays" quite a lot and whilst I know it's not perfect I enjoy it very much indeed, I also still enjoy listening to my 1970's copy of "Cry Of Love" but both albums are for me highly enjoyable listening experiences.
    Former Lee Warmer and Pop_Zeus like this.
  15. musicalbeds

    musicalbeds Strange but not a stranger

    Ontario, Canada
    Yep, I was wondering how people could be lauding it on this thread..... it's terrible to my ears as well. I recall being super-angry at how bad it sounds..... "you expect me to listen to this?" kinda thing.
  16. Guy E

    Guy E Senior Member

    Antalya, Turkey
    I love the final chapter of Jimi's career, but I never play the official New Rays CD. I frequently play my own compilations of the material from this era.
  17. supernaut

    supernaut Forum Resident

    wasn't Bolero cut out of the tape and only recently re-discovered?
  18. Guy E

    Guy E Senior Member

    Antalya, Turkey
    There’s a tape box with a scribbled sequence for the first three sides that may (or may not) have been Hendrix’ intended work-in-progress. But it works really well to my ears:

    Side A
    Dolly Dagger
    Night Bird Flying
    Room Full of Mirrors
    Belly Button Window

    Side B
    Ezy Ryder
    Astro Man
    Straight Ahead

    Side C
    Drifter's Escape
    Come Down Hard on Me
    Cherokee Mist

    The main trick is in segueing Cherokee Mist (velour box set version) into Angel. There’s also room to add another track to Side 2 if you want. That leaves a lot of great material for a Side 4... so much so that I’ve opted for a hypothetical 3-LP set:

    Side D
    Midnight Lightning
    Power of Soul
    Earth Blues
    Pali Gap
    Hey Baby (New Rising Sun)

    Side E
    Villanova Junction Blues
    Lover Man
    Bleeding Heart (Blues in C Sharp)
    Hear My Train a Comin'

    Side F
    Look Over Yonder
    In From the Storm
    Bleeding Heart
    Stepping Stone
    Star Spangled Banner
  19. Purple Jim

    Purple Jim Senior Member

    I have the original vinyl of COL and RB since they were released and they are wonderful.
    I got a good sounding European COL on CD in the 90s after being very disappointed in Alan Douglas' Voodoo Soup.
    I disliked First Rays from the start. The sound was too harsh and the selection of tracks was too crammed with straight rock tracks in my opinion. The recent COL and RB reissues are terrific.

    I never play South Saturn Delta either - a rather messy compilation of great later tracks plus early Experience studio takes and an alternate Watchtower plus the same harshness as FROTNRS. So I stuck with my old War Heroes (LP + CD).
    More recently I made myself a CD of the most finished tracks that are not on COL and RB, (Bleeding Heart, Tax Free, Midnight, Power Of Soul*, Message To Love, Izabella, Lover Man, Beginning, Stepping Stone, Come Down Hard On me Baby, Drifter's Escape) - which is what Experience should release now and abandon SSD.
    * A version from a bootleg which has a better mix than the SSD version which a bizarre mess.
    Last edited: Oct 14, 2016
  20. slane

    slane Forum Resident

    What's wrong with it? It has a fairly disorientating echo/delay on the intro as I remember, but apart from that?
  21. telepicker97

    telepicker97 Got Any Gum?

    EH SSD reissue is much much better.
    Pop_Zeus likes this.
  22. MHP

    MHP Lover of Rock ‘n Roll

    Though unfinished, "Cry Of Love" remains the best Hendrix release after 1970.
    Give or take, "My Friend" could have been substituted by "Dolly Dagger", but that's it.
    The most important thing is that it works as an album and not a scattered patchwork.
    The 2014 re-release are fantastic, especially on vinyl.
    Mark L., Jam757, Kassonica and 2 others like this.
  23. John Fell

    John Fell Forum Survivor

    The EH version of First Rays is basically the Cry Of Love with bonus tracks since the entire Cry Of Love album is included. It's closer to some of the song lists left behind than either the Cry Of Love or Rainbow Bridge lps are but still not perfect.
    Last edited: Oct 14, 2016
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  24. John Fell

    John Fell Forum Survivor

    Actually the original track listing for the Cry Of Love contained Dolly Dagger and Room Full of Mirrors but they were held back for Rainbow Bridge and replaced by My Friend and Straight Ahead.
    Pop_Zeus likes this.
  25. fooboo

    fooboo Member Thread Starter

    planet Earth
    What puzzled me at the moment I listened to FR vinyl from 1997 was how modern and heavy rock
    it sounded. Something Deep Purple and friends would die to sound like.
    Live Jimi was more energetic and hard. It might not be his intention on FR vinyl. COL reissue is a beast,
    compared to original COL vinyls. If "Machine Gun" live show would be so balanced...
    How much I like to read your post, you just can't imagine!
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