Jimi Hendrix

Pop History, Vol. 2

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In the 1970s, some American audiophiles swore up and down that European vinyl generally offered better sound quality than American vinyl. Such audiophiles were willing to spend several more dollars on a European import, and if they were looking for a European collection of Jimi Hendrix's output, one of the options was Pop History, Vol. 2. This two-LP set, which was released by Polydor in Germany, isn't the ideal "best of Hendrix" collection, because not all the selections are essential -- well worth hearing, certainly, but not essential. Many of the choices, such as "Rainy Day, Dream Away" and the ten-minute, jazz-influenced "Moon, Turn the Tides...Gently Gently Away," are exciting if you're a seasoned Hendrix fan but aren't recommended for the more casual listener. However, Polydor does include some essential Jimi Hendrix Experience material, including "Voodoo Chile (Slight Return)," "Foxy Lady," and "All Along the Watchtower." Meanwhile, "Changes" is a fine representation of his work with the Band of Gypsys. Taken as a whole, Pop History, Vol. 2 doesn't work well if you're looking for a lesson in Introductory Hendrix 101. But if you're a seasoned Hendrix fanatic who is also an audiophile, this collection serves a useful purpose.

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