Jimi Hendrix – “Gloria” 7″ (1979)

I came back from our long weekend in Los Angeles with way more vinyl that anticipated, enough so that I’m actually feeling mildly stressed out about how much stuff is sitting on my “I need to listen to this” shelf. Not only is the entire LA haul there, but so are at least half the albums I brought back from Ireland, plus the records I ordered from Philly’s FDH label that arrived right before the Ireland trip. And let’s not forget that I’ve picked up a few CDs along the way too, and even some tapes. I could built a fort in the living room with all the stuff I haven’t listened to yet.

I started kind of small today. I was working from home, which isn’t really conducive to absorbing new albums… but isn’t so bad when it comes to spinning a single or two. So I kicked off my clean-up effort with this Jimi Hendrix one-sided 7″ that I picked up down in LA. This record had a lot of things going for it: (1) It’s Jimi Hendrix, (2) it’s a cover version of “Gloria,” and (3) the B side is just a checkerboard pattern that’s kind of cool. So for a few bucks, why not.

There are a lot of versions of “Gloria” out there. The song was originally the B side of a 1964 7″ by the band Them that featured “Baby Please Don’t Go” as the main track. That’s a pretty impressive little single. The guy who wrote the song went on to much greater fame as a solo artist: Van Morrison. Perhaps the best known covers were done by The Doors and Patti Smith, though it seems like everyone and their mother has recorded it over the years. I was pretty sure when I bought it that I’d never heard the Hendrix version before, and after listening to it I think that’s indeed the case, unless I happen to have randomly heard it on the radio somewhere along the way.

This sucker lists the run time at over 8 minutes, which seems about right; I’m not sure how they crammed all that music onto this little 7″ disc, though it does spin at 33 1/3 which probably helps. It’s an excellent live recording featuring the normal Hendrix flourishes and crowd banter, all while still remaining recognizable for what it is. The record was originally included as part of 1979s The Essential Jimi Hendrix Volume Two as an extra, and I’m pretty sure that’s the origin of this copy. Normally I don’t spend much time looking through the 7″ section… so I sort of lucked out to find this a few records into the first row I looked at.