The Cry of Love

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The Cry of Love
Jimi Hendrix -The Cry Of Love.jpg
Compilation album by Jimi Hendrix
Released March 1971 (1971-03)
Recorded March 1968 to August 1970
Studio Electric Lady Studios, Record Plant, and Sound Center in New York
Genre Rock
Length 39:48
Label Track
Producer Jimi Hendrix, Eddie Kramer, Mitch Mitchell
Jimi Hendrix American chronology
Historic Performances
The Cry of Love
Rainbow Bridge
Jimi Hendrix British chronology
Band of Gypsys
The Cry of Love
Singles from The Cry of Love
  1. "Freedom" / "Angel"
    Released: March 8, 1971

The Cry of Love is a posthumous compilation album[1] by American rock musician Jimi Hendrix. It was released in 1971 by Track Records and featured songs he had been working on for an album before his death. All of the songs were written by Hendrix and include some of his last studio work. Its tracks were mixed and selected for the album by recording engineer Eddie Kramer and drummer Mitch Mitchell, who performed in Hendrix's band with bassist Billy Cox and percussionist Juma Sultan, among others.

The Cry of Love was the first in a number of other posthumous releases that were released in the following years.[1] When it was released in 1971, the album became a chart success in both the United Kingdom and the United States, eventually being certified platinum by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) in 1998. Critics responded favorably to the album, viewing it as an impressive tribute to Hendrix. Several of the songs on The Cry of Love were later featured on other efforts to recreate the album Hendrix had been working on, including Voodoo Soup in 1995 and First Rays of the New Rising Sun in 1997.

Recording and production[edit]

The Cry of Love featured songs Hendrix had been working on at the time of his death and was the first attempt at presenting his planned first studio recording since the breakup of the Jimi Hendrix Experience.[2] The Cry of Love is composed mostly of songs which Hendrix recorded in 1970 at his new Electric Lady Studios in New York City with drummer Mitch Mitchell and bassist Billy Cox.[3]

About half of the album's ten songs were nearly completed with mixes prepared by Hendrix.[4] The balance were in varying stages of development and were mixed (and some overdubbed with new parts) after his death.[4] The album credits Hendrix as a producer, as well as long-time recording engineer Eddie Kramer and Mitchell, who prepared the final mixes and track selection, with input from manager Michael Jeffery.[4]

Seven of the songs on The Cry of Love were later included on Voodoo Soup, the 1995 attempt by producer Alan Douglas to present Hendrix's planned album. In 1997, all were included on First Rays of the New Rising Sun, along with seven other songs, in Kramer's most realized effort to complete Hendrix's last studio album.[2]

According to Setting The Record Straight by John McDermott with Eddie Kramer, Dolly Dagger and Room Full of Mirrors were pulled from the original track listing and held back for the Rainbow Bridge soundtrack lp. They were replaced by Straight Ahead and My Friend on the final track listing.

Release and reception[edit]

Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
AllMusic 4/5 stars[5]
Christgau's Record Guide A[6]
Down Beat 4.5/5 stars[7]
Encyclopedia of Popular Music 3/5 stars[8]
Music Story 4/5 stars[9]
The Rolling Stone Album Guide 4/5 stars[10]
The Sydney Morning Herald 4.5/5 stars[11]
The Village Voice A–[12]

The Cry of Love was released by Track Records in March 1971. It charted at number two in the United Kingdom and number three in the United States,[13] where it had sold 500,000 copies by April.[14] In 1998, the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) certified the album platinum, which indicated sales of one million copies in the US.[14]

In a contemporary review for Rolling Stone, Lenny Kaye hailed The Cry of Love as the authentic posthumous Hendrix album, his last work, and "a beautiful, poignant testimonial, a fitting coda to the career of a man who was clearly the finest electric guitarist to be produced by the Sixties, bar none".[15] Robert Christgau originally wrote in The Village Voice that the album is an "excellent testament" and may be Hendrix's best record behind Electric Ladyland (1968) because of its quality as a whole rather than its individual songs,[12] finding it free-flowing, devoid of affectations, and "warmer than the three Experience LPs".[6] He was more enthusiastic about the songs in retrospect:

"It isn't just the flow—these tracks work as individual compositions, from offhand rhapsodies like 'Angel' and 'Night Bird Flying' through primal riffsongs like 'Ezy Ryder' and 'Astro Man' to inspired goofs like 'My Friend' and 'Belly Button Window.' What a testament."[6]

In the Encyclopedia of Popular Music, Colin Larkin later called The Cry of Love a "fitting tribute" to Hendrix,[8] while Paul Evans wrote in The Rolling Stone Album Guide that it "showed the master, playing with Cox and Mitchell, at his most confident: 'Ezy Rider' and 'Angel' are the tough and tender faces of the genius at his most appealing."[10] Dan Bigna from The Sydney Morning Herald believed although all of its songs were compiled on the more comprehensive First Rays of the New Rising Sun (1997), "there is something satisfying about having this first posthumous Hendrix release as a distinct object that illuminates the brush strokes of a genius".[11] In 2014, VH1 deemed The Cry of Love "the greatest posthumous classic rock record of all time". That same year, it was reissued in both CD and LP formats by Experience Hendrix.[16]

Track listing[edit]

All tracks written by Jimi Hendrix.

No. Title Length
1. "Freedom" 3:24
2. "Drifting" 3:46
3. "Ezy Ryder" 4:09
4. "Night Bird Flying" 3:50
5. "My Friend" 4:40
6. "Straight Ahead" 4:42
7. "Astro Man" 3:37
8. "Angel" 4:25
9. "In from the Storm" 3:42
10. "Belly Button Window" 3:34



Chart (1971) Peak
UK Albums Chart[13] 2
US Billboard 200[17] 3
US Top R&B Albums[17] 6


  1. ^ a b Huxley, Martin (1995). Psychedelia: The Long Strange Trip. Friedman/Fairfax. p. 14. ISBN 1567992285. The following year saw the release of The Cry of Love, a compilation of songs that were at varying points of completion at the time of Hendrix's death. That album proved to be the first in a flood of posthumous (and generally marginal) Hendrix products that would continue to saturate the market. 
  2. ^ a b McDermott, John (1997). First Rays of the New Rising Sun (CD booklet). Jimi Hendrix. MCA Records. p. 16. MCAD-1159. 
  3. ^ Shapiro, Harry; Glebbeek, Caesar (1995). "Appendix 1: Music, Sweet Music: The Discography". Jimi Hendrix: Electric Gypsy (3rd ed.). St. Martin's Griffin. pp. 537–538. ISBN 978-0-312-13062-6. 
  4. ^ a b c McDermott, John; Kramer, Eddie; Cox, Billy (2009). Ultimate Hendrix. Backbeat Books. pp. 249–250. ISBN 978-0-87930-938-1. 
  5. ^ Westergaard, Sean. "Jimi Hendrix: The Cry of Love". AllMusic. Retrieved September 29, 2014. 
  6. ^ a b c Christgau, Robert (1981). "Jimi Hendrix". Christgau's Record Guide: Rock Albums of the '70s. Da Capo Press. p. 172. ISBN 0-306-80409-3. Retrieved September 29, 2014. 
  7. ^ "Jimi Hendrix - Cry of Love CD Album". CD Universe. Muze. Retrieved January 26, 2015. 
  8. ^ a b Larkin, Colin (2006). Encyclopedia of Popular Music. 4. Oxford University Press. p. 249. ISBN 0-19-531373-9. 
  9. ^ "The Cry of Love". Acclaimed Music. Retrieved December 26, 2016. 
  10. ^ a b Evans, Paul (1992). "Jimi Hendrix". In DeCurtis, Anthony; Henke, James; George-Warren, Holly. The Rolling Stone Album Guide (3rd ed.). Random House. p. 315. ISBN 0679737294. 
  11. ^ a b Bigna, Dan (2014). "Album review: Jimi Hendrix - The Cry of Love is a first-rate reissue". The Sydney Morning Herald (October 9). Retrieved January 26, 2015. 
  12. ^ a b Christgau, Robert (1971). "Consumer Guide (16)". The Village Voice (March 11). New York. Retrieved January 26, 2015. 
  13. ^ a b Strong, Martin Charles (2006). The Essential Rock Discography. Canongate U.S. p. 494. ISBN 1841958603. Retrieved January 26, 2015. 
  14. ^ a b "Jimi Hendrix: Gold & Platinum". Recording Industry Association of America. Retrieved September 29, 2014. 
  15. ^ Kaye, Lenny (April 1, 1971). "Album Reviews – Jimi Hendrix: The Cry of Love". Rolling Stone. Archived from the original on January 16, 2009. Retrieved September 29, 2014. 
  16. ^ "The Cry of Love & Rainbow Bridge to Be Reissued on CD & LP September 16". (official website). Experience Hendrix, L.L.C. September 16, 2014. Retrieved September 29, 2014. 
  17. ^ a b "The Cry of Love - Jimi Hendrix : Awards". AllMusic. Retrieved January 26, 2015. 

External links[edit]