Band of Gypsys

( 13 )

Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Sean Westergaard
Band of Gypsys was the only live recording authorized by Jimi Hendrix before his death. It was recorded and released in order to get Hendrix out from under a contractual obligation that had been hanging over his head for a couple years. Helping him out were longtime friends Billy Cox on bass and Buddy Miles on the drums because the Experience had broken up in June of 1969, following a show in Denver. This rhythm section was vastly different from the Experience. Buddy Miles was an earthy, funky drummer in direct contrast to the busy, jazzy leanings of Mitch Mitchell. Noel Redding was not really a bass player at all but a converted guitar player who was hired in large ...
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Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Sean Westergaard
Band of Gypsys was the only live recording authorized by Jimi Hendrix before his death. It was recorded and released in order to get Hendrix out from under a contractual obligation that had been hanging over his head for a couple years. Helping him out were longtime friends Billy Cox on bass and Buddy Miles on the drums because the Experience had broken up in June of 1969, following a show in Denver. This rhythm section was vastly different from the Experience. Buddy Miles was an earthy, funky drummer in direct contrast to the busy, jazzy leanings of Mitch Mitchell. Noel Redding was not really a bass player at all but a converted guitar player who was hired in large part because Hendrix liked his hair! These new surroundings pushed Hendrix to new creative heights. Along with this new rhythm section, Hendrix took these shows as an opportunity to showcase much of the new material he had been working on. The music was a seamless melding of rock, funk, and R&B, and tunes like "Message to Love" and "Power to Love" showed a new lyrical direction as well. Although he could be an erratic live performer, for these shows, Hendrix was on -- perhaps his finest performances. His playing was focused and precise. In fact, for most of the set, Hendrix stood motionless, a far cry from the stage antics that helped establish his reputation as a performer. Equipment problems had plagued him in past live shows as well, but everything was perfect for the Fillmore shows. His absolute mastery of his guitar and effects is even more amazing considering that this was the first time he used the Fuzz Face, wah-wah pedal, Univibe, and Octavia pedals on-stage together. The guitar tones he gets on "Who Knows" and "Power to Love" are powerful and intense, but nowhere is his absolute control more evident than on "Machine Gun," where Hendrix conjures bombs, guns, and other sounds of war from his guitar, all within the context of a coherent musical statement. The solo on "Machine Gun" totally rewrote the book on what a man could do with an electric guitar and is arguably the most groundbreaking and devastating guitar solo ever. These live versions of "Message to Love" and "Power to Love" are far better than the jigsaw puzzle studio versions that were released posthumously. Two Buddy Miles compositions are also included, but the show belongs to Jimi all the way. Band of Gypsys is not only an important part of the Hendrix legacy, but one of the greatest live albums ever.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 9/30/2008
  • Label: Capitol
  • UPC: 077771631917
  • Catalog Number: 16319
  • Sales rank: 3,598

Tracks

Disc 1
  1. 1 Who Knows (9:32)
  2. 2 Machine Gun (12:33)
  3. 3 Changes (5:10)
  4. 4 Power to Love (6:53)
  5. 5 Message to Love (5:22)
  6. 6 We Gotta Live Together (5:46)
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Album Credits

Performance Credits
Jimi Hendrix Primary Artist, Guitar, Vocals
Buddy Miles Drums, Vocals, Background Vocals
Billy Cox Bass
Technical Credits
Buddy Miles Composer
Wally Heider Engineer
Jimi Hendrix Composer
Eddie Kramer Remixing, Remastering
George Marino Remastering
Heaven Research Producer
John McDermott Liner Notes
Heaven Research Audio Production
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 13 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(9)

4 Star

(2)

3 Star

(2)

2 Star

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1 Star

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Sort by: Showing all of 13 Customer Reviews
  • Posted October 1, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    This was replace by a two CD set

    This short version of the concert was replace a few years back by a 2 CD set titled "Hendrix live at the fillmore east". You ought to seek out that greatly expanded version of this great concert.

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  • Posted October 1, 2010

    Hendrix Rules!

    Awesome jams! The solo on "Machine Gun" still sounds great after 30+ years! There's an awesome solo in "Message To Love" as well! Enough said.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    This is only the 2nd most overlooked Hendrix album

    The stories swirling around the creation of this album, recorded on New Year's Eve 1969/70, pretty much explain why it has a tossed-off, casual approach when compared to Hendrix's studio albums. Apparently, Hendrix had signed a recording contract with a small label before shipping off to the U.K. After Hendrix became a star in 1967 that label, now owned by Capitol Records, came calling. A compromise was worked out in that Hendrix would provide Capitol Records with an LP that would contain only original Hendrix songs. As Hendrix was in the middle of trying to complete the building of the Electric Lady recording studio and come up with a successor to Electric Ladyland, he apparently kept some of his stronger material for the next studio album and included two tunes by Buddy Miles. He also made sure that the album would be recorded live, in order to cut down on recording budgets and the like. So, there's the story of the album's genesis in a nutshell.

    However, Hendrix never lets up for ten seconds in his playing or singing. You won't find him coasting at all. It may be in response to his bandmates, who keep the music moving along like a well-oiled machine. The classic on the album, of course, is "Machine Gun", which, like Hendrix's classic version of "The Star-Spangled Banner", evokes the war raging in Vietnam in the time. It's a song in which Hendrix seems to meld funk and rock so easily, you wonder why someone hadn't tried it yet (Funkadelic were right behind him). So, what you have here is an excellent live album, with a few lesser Hendrix songs. However, remember that the least of Hendrix's recordings is far more interesting than almost anything else being done at the time. In the new liner notes, engineer Eddie Kramer notes how many songs recorded were deemed "off limits" by Hendrix, who as I stated earlier was working on a follow-up to Electric Ladyland. It's a pure shame that, after all these years, Capitol or the Hendrix family couldn't allow a fuller recording with all of the songs played being issued. One can hope that Capitol/Experience Hendrix will follow the lead of definitive, exhaustive, extended versions of live albums by the Who, Derek and the Dominos and the Allman Brothers Band and give the public all the Hendrix they might want and then some.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    Great

    This is possibly one of Hendrix finest performances, and a great album. I don't really see any reason to rate it badly other than having only 6 tracks. But these are the original tracks from the 1970 album BOG. Power to Love (Power of Soul) is one of the best jams by the band. The Fillmore East album also has some good songs from this concert. But none that I know of have his versions of "Ezy Ryder", which was played at the Fillmore East. The 2-CD set is only some highlights. "Band of Gypsys" is an amazing album.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    Not the best Hendrix, but still very good.

    This album is really for hard core Hendrix fans. If you dont have any of his albums start with Are you Experienced, or Electric Ladyland. As far as the music on this album goes the best song by far is Machene Gun. The Guitar solo in it is among the best I have heard. the rest of the album is pretty good to but there is somthing missing, that is why I cant give it 5 stars, so Ill give it 4 instead.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    Power of SOUL!

    Hey TimFromDetriot: The original 70's vinyl release of "BOG" had the track in question titled "Power Of Soul." Trust me on this. I was 16 at the time, and a die-hard Jimi fan by then.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    Kind of Flat

    There is no bad Hendrix. But even when I bought the vinyl in 1970, I always thought the mixing on this record was flat, like Capitol wanted it to sound more like a studio LP than a live one. There are much better live LPs, the "Live at Fillmore East" sounds better than this one. But this is great stuff nonetheless. "Machine Gun" and "Who Knows" are the classic standouts. 34 years later, and I could do without the Buddy Miles songs, same as I thought in 1970. As to the name of the "Power to Love" song, I'm sure it was supposed to be "Power of Soul", which is what they eventually called it on the "Live at Fillmore" compilation. On "Crash Landing" it was called "With the Power". It is called "Power to Love" on the original LP, which I just looked at to check (someone else posted it as "Soul", it is not.) Bet Capitol didn't want the album to look too "black" and purposely left out the "Soul" reference.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    Jimi @ his peak!!!!!!

    Without a doubt, this album was the pinnacle of Jimi's career. If you want a record by Jimi that fully represents his raw and matchless talent, this is it. Every track represents an epiphany of musical genius. Lenny Kravitz once said, "Every time I listen to 'Machine Gun', I have to take a nap." Yes folks, it's that heavy. Countless artists and musicians have been heavily influenced by this record. Jimi was contractually obligated to make this record and it became the final "official" album he recorded before his untimely passing in September of 1970. Jimi never got to realize the strong influence and impact this record has become. There is no question that it will continue to expand the musical horizons of current and future generations.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    Machine Gun

    From a long time Jimi fan, Machine Gun is the best there is. This album is a 5 star for Machine Gun alone. The feeling of Vietnam is expressed vividly through his guitar and his rhythm is right on. This is a live album and I usually hate live recordings but there's no better way to feel the emotions of Jimi's guitar playing than through his live performances.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    The best line-up

    The drumming of Buddy Miles is much tighter than the jazzy style of Mitch Mitchell. I know Jimi wouldn't agree, but I think it was the best line-up ever. By the way: why in the world is everybody talking about "Power To Love" when the song is called "Power Of Soul" (I still have the original albumcover - the one you can fold open - form the early seventies to prove it!!). Probably, a nitwit secretary made a type-error once and here we are..thanks! Jimi says on this album: "I am what I am, thank God. Some people just don't understand. Well, help them, God." Better than this he can't explain his vision on life (he was still so young..). It still feels like I lost my brother. Even after all these years. I reckon that true love never dies.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    I wish I could give it 5,000,000!

    I can't tell you how much I adore this album. It's still Jimi Hendrix, but with a whole new style. In the intro, the announcer says, ''And now we're proud to welcome back some old friends with a brand new name. . .a Band Of Gypsys!'' This Hendrix album is totally unlike any other. ''Who Knows'' is an amusing track, and when I heard ''Machine Gun'' for the first time, I was blown away. I would definately give ''Band Of Gypsys'' 5 stars, but I wish I could give it 5,000,000! You are not a true Hendrix fan until you've heard this album.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 11, 2009

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted January 5, 2010

    No text was provided for this review.

Sort by: Showing all of 13 Customer Reviews