"I used an upgraded Michell Gyro / 309 SME / Lyra Delos through a Trichord Dino, LFD reference silver inter’s, LFD Mk V, LFD Spiroflex speaker cable, Harbeth 30.1 monitors [on stands] for this listening.
Crosstown Traffic / Burning Of The Midnight Lamp b/w Gypsy Eyes
Yes, the same EP45 as in the thread title! This is the first anomaly regard this issue and I’m not alone in wondering why. Just why the record is presented as “Burning Of The Midnight Lamp” and the title track is the second track of side A with Gypsy Eyes presented as a single title of side B!
I’ll begin with the out of sequence title track as that is the only true mono mix on this set, "Burning Of The Midnight Lamp", despite the misleading soundbite wrapper sticker!
I played this new pressing on orange vinyl against my Track Records 604007* which is the A side to “The Stars That Play With laughing Sam’s Dice”, [reaching number 18 in the UK charts at time of release]. For those who are unsure of Track Records history, this true mono cut was also issued in stereo both on Electric Ladyland and also as the B side to Track Records 604033 “Let Me Light Your Fire”.
While there are some differences between the Track Records pressing and the current pressing the real noticeable issue being that the Track Records 45 is cut considerably louder. I had to notch up the volume to match them. Horses for courses and far be it from me to say which one you should enjoy the most by calling one “better” but I personally enjoy my original Track a tad more. It is a very clean playback with minor wear noise. The new issue has one single slight pop, right in the middle of “BOTML” which is not an issue, at least for me! Both pressings sound good to me though certain instruments appear to have a different emphasis between pressings, there is nothing from my playback set up that suggests an imbalance on either of them. Instruments are clear as is the vocal and there is a nice separation to those instruments on both mastering’s.
Reprise Records  issued a mono version of “Burning Of The Midnight Lamp” [2nd or 4th September 1968] backed with “All Along The Watchtower”, managing to reach a high of 20 in the US charts.
The same can be said of the “Gypsy Eyes” B side, another fake mono mix from Reprise Records. This appeared on Reprise 0792 with the flip side being “Crosstown Traffic”. With this issue never breaking the US top 50 after being released 30th October 1968.
As has been stated elsewhere by Experience Hendrix, this pair are simply mastered to mono from the stereo mix, to put it bluntly, fake mono mix’s.
Given the endless comments regard not second guessing or rewriting Hendrix’s issued recordings we do have a 5.1 surround mix in the newly issued box set. Something Jimi never did, for obvious reasons. So my question would be, why could we not have true mono mixes for this EP 45 as opposed to two fake mono issues? If guides were required to mix to mono then look no further than Axis. Bold As Love for as clear a guide as required. Clearly it’s easier and no doubt quicker and cheaper, to not follow the “fake” route to present these “mono” tracks in true mono format.
Well at least for those new to Jimi records, especially in mono, fake or otherwise, this is a fine pressing and a lovely reproduced picture sleeve. For those who don’t do vinyl, nothing here to get one’s underwear in a twist about!
And finally …………………..
Is the new issue sourced from or has a footprint in the digital world? Does it matter would be more of a pertinent question I feel But if that initial question is the case, seek out a clean Track original and those fake Reprise pressings, otherwise this pressing is as good as you will ever need.
*for the anal of you reading this! This Track Records pressing has a slightly different variation, not that of audio content but of type of record. While one has a solid centre and small punched hole the other has the larger centre hole with punch out tri inner. Otherwise they are identical to each other. Or maybe there is a gram or two difference in weight?
The new issue does look sexier though."
"Don't get me wrong, I'm one of them there millionaires, bucko, and I could buy anything I wanted..." - S.H. 10/22/16
No to get SHiTey, but I was gonna look for a download of this. But if those tracks are just the same old fold-downs, I won't waste a megabyte on 'em. Looks like I'll only be on the lookout for one RSD release this year.
"The king is gone but he's not forgotten. This is the story of Stevie Hoffman"