Both Sides of the SkyAs I pulled the vinyl from its jacket, sat it on my turntable, and placed the needle on it, I anticipated the first song. And as “Manish Boy” came blaring from my stereo’s speakers, I was instantly impressed. After listening to the entire album, I have decided to review “Both Sides of the Sky” in three steps. I hope my review arouses your intrigue, prompting you to purchase this album.
1. LP vs. CDAlthough you can download the entire album onto your phone, nothing beats the experience of an LP or a CD. But which is better? With a CD, you get a clear digitized sound that is crisp. With an LP, there is a slight hint of that nostalgic crackling as the record spins. So, which is better? It’s a highly subjective question. You’ll have to listen to both but either way, you won’t be disappointed.
2. Tightest Tracks
When it comes to Jimi Hendrix, you really can’t go wrong. Even on his off days, Jimi produced tight tracks. An avid listener can tell that Hendrix put attention into each piece. “Both Sides of the Sky” is full of tracks like that. Some of the tightest Jimi Hendrix tracks on this album are “Jungle” and “Cherokee Mist.” These two instrumentals tell a melodic story through a myriad of sounds that captivate the ears and speak to the soul.
3. Overall StoryLast but not least, the story that the album tells. In an interview that Hendrix gave once, he stated that his albums tell a story. Each track relies on the tracks that precede and follow it. I’ll admit that with “Both Sides of the Sky” I was worried that Experience Hendrix L.L.C. would not tell a story. I was highly impressed, however, with the story that they were able to tell.
All of the albums that Jimi Hendrix created in the studio told a compelling story. “Both Sides of the Sky,” however, is probably the most autobiographical–in the traditional sense–ever compiled. The album shows us the life of a man (Hendrix) who searches for love in the wrong places (“Lover Man”). He tries to get his woman back but decides against it (“Things I Used To Do”). But he just can’t live without her. She doesn’t seem to love him anymore, however, so he’s heartbroken (“Georgia Blues”). Finally, he has a dream/vision where an angel visits him (“Sweet Angel”). He dies, telling those around him to send his love to Linda, the love of his life (“Send My Love To Linda”). He ultimately becomes the “Cherokee Mist” (indicative of his Indigenous heritage) and then visits the other side of the sky. It’s an incredible album that I hope you choose to experience.