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4.7 out of 5 stars19
4.7 out of 5 stars
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on 4 March 2009
This is a good record of a show which had its highlights, and, as with almost any live Hendrix, it's worth having. There are some great versions, mentioned in other reviews, but there is some fairly ragged stuff, too.

The sound is improved compared to the old single CD Alan Douglas release but you can rarely hear the three additional musicians who joined Jimi, Mitch Mitchell (RIP Mitch) and Billy Cox.

Whether this is because of recording gremlins, or whether they were awful, I don't know, but it means that you're not getting the full sound of the show - which could be good or bad.

Additionally, the show is not complete, as the two numbers sung by second guitarist, the late Larry Lee - Mastermind and Gypsy Woman - aren't on the CDs. They were ragged and sung a little off key, but Jimi did some lovely guitar work on Gypsy Woman which deserves to be heard.

Packaging is good. Notwithstanding the reservations, this is very much worth having.
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on 8 February 2001
As any fan of Jimi Hendrix will know he is cosidered one or the most talented guitarists the world has ever seen and this album illustrates this very well.
I feel that the factor that makes this one of the greatest live shows that Jimi ever performed is the blend between the notes being blasted out at machine gun pace and the subtleness of the blues numbers on the album. Jimi also shows that he is able to just pick up a guitar and improvise and this is displayed in the track 'Woodstock Impoviseation' which i consider to be one of his finest works.
For any fan of Hendrix this album is a must.
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on 11 November 2005
Having disbanded the original Experience line-up, Hendrix was looking to put together a new band in order to afford him the opportunity to widen his musical scope. Although the expanded new group, the Band of Gypsies, are a little ragged round the edges, this is one hell of a performance from the main man. This is Jimi on top of his game, in total command of his axe and leaving every other player in the dirt whilst casually chatting to the audience of thousands between tracks. From the brutal "Voodoo Child" to a typically incendiary "Purple Haze", this whole album rocks. It also contains one of the most talked about pieces of music in the history of popular culture - his rendition of "The Star Spangled Banner". Thousands of words have been written about the cultural significance of this sonic burning of the Stars and Stripes over the years, but its power remains undiminshed and still gives me the shivers every time I hear it. An historical moment in the history of popular culture and a totally mind-blowing concert, it's a crime he's not still alive today.
Five stars, you won't hear many concerts as good as this one.
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on 26 August 2007
I borrowed a video of this concert from a friend and had to replace it with this CD when he made me give it back (in a distinctly more worn condition than when he gave it to me!).

This concert also introduced me to Jimi's post-Experience work. A life-changing moment.

Rather than reiterate much of what has already been written about this concert, I would simply like to draw attention to three particular tracks (I'm a bit surprised that no one has mentioned them yet, although I have seen references to them in reviews on other CDs):

Message To Love - this, in my opinion, must be the all-time greatest festival song ever performed! The superb riff, the pounding, driving rythm, the "come alive" refrain, the usual mind-bending guitar work. For the surviving swamp-dwellers at Woodstock, this must have been the perfect rallying cry and the most exquisite reward for their endurance and faith! To me, this song sounds totally contemporary and very reminiscent of modern blues of the garage- or basement- variety, by artists such as T Model Ford or Paul 'Wine' Jones (although with the benefit of having been performed by a virtuoso!).

Izabella - this was the only song that the band had fully rehearsed before the show, and is clearly one of the most orderly and structured of the entire set. IMO, it also happens to be one of the most brilliant guitar riffs ever, and is without question one of my favourite Hendrix numbers. Given that this was the only song that Jimi felt entirely happy with prior to the performance, I like to think that this song represents the essence of the musical shift that he was making by leaving The Experience and by hooking up with his old army buddy, Billy Cox (on bass).

(More significantly, I think that these two tracks reveal, unambiguously, that the shift that Jimi was making was away from the melody-based material of the JHE, and towards a much more rythm-based sound - more in keeping with Jimi's true love, the blues.)

Hear My Train A Comin' - I think Jimi had a deep lonely streak in him, (arising from his difficult childhood and the death of his mother while he was still only a wee lad) and that this lonliness left him with the ability to feel and communicate powerful emotions through his music. Hear My Train is a beautiful, emotion-drenched, classic blues song, that, IMO, epitomises the true genius of Jimi Hendrix and the priceless gift that he left us, ie. the combination of traditional and pyschedelic blues, with virtuoso guitar-playing, deep deep feeling, and great great soul.

"Music is Magic, Magic is Life" -JH-
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TOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICEon 21 September 2008
I grew up in the Woodstock era and was actually stationed in nearby West Point after my Viet Nam tour. So this collection or documentary "The Road to Woodstock" directed by Bob Smeaton also holds a piece of me history.

I must say I almost did not watch this film as the front have was a packed with sound bites of people doing just what I did in the first paragraph of this review; they spent too much time telling how great they were and then some antidote about Jimi.

Hang in there you will be carried away. This is as close to live as you are going to get. Jimi is one of those performers that when let lose can perform rings around his formal recordings. Some times I think it is an acquired taste. I have to confess besides his adaptation of "Starspangled Banner" I was taken back more by "Hey Joe" written by Billy Roberts. Of course everyone has their favorites.

No mater how you look/listen to it this production deserves a place in your collection.

Electric Ladyland
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'Live at Woodstock' is a great showcase of Jimi playing live. This was the first outing with this line up and you can tell in the freshness and rawness of the music. The best way to describe it would be loose, the playing is very loose and free and different to other Hendirx live albums i've heard. As a kid I never really 'got' the Woodstock version of 'The Star Spangled Banner', but as i've gotten older and definitely hearing it in context with the complete concert, I really understand the power behind taking a traditional, sacred (to Americans) piece of national music, deconstructing it and then rebuilding it in a new and mind blowing way. You'd have to hear it to see what I mean. This is a great performance and shows Jimi's unique and moving talent. The selection of songs are pretty great and you can get some feel for the audience atmosphere. Well worth a try if you're a fan of Jimi and want a piece of music history.

Feel free to check out my blog which can be found on my profile page.
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on 18 February 2014
Its seems like its been a long time coming but at last with the release of the full set from The Jimi Hendrix Experience, well Band of Gypsies or Gypsy, Sun and Rainbows at any rate its Jimi Hendrix et al playing the last set of the Woodstock Festival.

With previously un-released songs from the set and incidentals from the man himself this is well worth paying for even if you already have Experience Woodstock which was the closest release to the full set previously available.

Highly recommended as a must have for any Hendrix fan or fan of The Woodstock Festival.
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on 3 February 2001
From Jimi's studio albums, he came across as a talented guitarist and competent songwriter. From his live material he comes across as what he really was. A majestic guitarist, who played the thing at times with a subtle touch that was quite beautiful, and (most of the time) faster, more amazing and better than any other guitarist that has ever, or will ever live.
Maybe not as good as his Isle Of Wight performance, it remains the best ever performance by anyone at a festival n the US. If you are too young to have gone to Woodstock (like myself) hear what you missed out on, if you were there, you probably can't remember it (it was '69 after all!) so jog your memory with this wonderful concert. BUY IT NOW
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on 16 June 2002
Woodstock is undeniably one of the most prominent moments in rock history. The sun rose on the third day with people leaving - sore and tried for their trip home - whilst others lay sleeping in their tents with a hangover from the music. Hendrix was playing classics such as: Red House, Foxy Lady, Voodoo Child (slight return) and the Woodstock improvisation, not forgetting the most famous performance ever of the anthem "Star Spangled Banner". The double CD release is electrifying and mesmerizing, integrating all jimi's live techniques in one concert. Despite the fact that there are features still missing from this double CD, it still remains one of the best live CD's around. Most people had left by the time Hendrix took to the stage, yet he is one of the only names people can link to the original 69 Woodstock festival. So if you want to hear a true live genius on guitar then look no further than the double CD of "Jimi Hendrix: Live at Woodstock".
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on 12 July 2010
Woodstock, or at least the Star Spangled Banner/Purple Haze/ Instrumental Solo part was released in Hendrix's lifetime, so it has some authenticity that the large amounts of posthumous dross do not.

The tracks released on the original Woodstock albums are by far the best here, and to be honest they sit far better on the single disc CD "Woodstock" prepared by the much maligned Alan Douglas a couple of years earlier.

The truth is 2 CDs of this concert is just too much. As Hendrix voices throughout the concert, they have not rehearsed much and are jamming.

So the Star Spangled Banner section is one of rock's greatest ever moments, the other originally release tracks Izabella/Beginnings & Gettin' My Heart Back Together are very good. Only Voodoo Chile reaches these heights.

Buy the single disc version.
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