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Band Of Gypsys [VINYL]
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Format : LP 180 gram / Sleeve : Gatefold Includes 8-page full-colour booklet (12 inch x 12 inch)
About the Artist
The Jimi Hendrix Experience disbanded after 3 albums, but Jimi quickly formed a new band with bassist Billy Cox and his drummer friend Buddy Miles; the Band of Gypsys. Musically the Band of Gypsys leaned more towards Jimi's funk/R&B roots than the psychedelic rock sound of the Experience. The Band of Gypsys made their live debut at the Fillmore East on New Year's Eve 1969, for a series of four shows spread over two nights. A compilation of these shows saw the light as the eponymous live album 'Band of Gypsys'. Containing definitive versions of 'Machine Gun' and 'Who Knows'
Top Customer Reviews
The high-point on this album, recorded live on New Year's Eve, 1969, is "Machine Gun", Jimi's musings upon the Vietnam War, made shockingly real by the guitarist's otherworldly playing and Buddy Miles' onamatopoeic percussion. Other classics are the groovesome opener "Who Knows" and Miles' effervescent "Changes".
As well as being arguably the most successful live album of all-new material ever issued, "Band of Gypsys" shows Hendrix as less of a band-leader and more of a band-member. Furthermore, it grooves, it rocks, and it's excellent. Anyone who cares a jot about rock, funk or twentieth century popular music in general ought to purchase this.
But let's not forget about the true star here: Hendrix. He is amazing here; his soloing and storytelling transcends anything I've heard and his sound is amazing. Considering the era in which this album was released his sound is unbelievable, almost superhuman. The bass and drum serve as his canvas and he's painting effortlessly and freely while still keeping his interaction with Cox and Miles intact. It really is incredible how wide the sound is, considering it is just a trio.
I think Machine Gun is the best take on the album and the greatest piece of rock ever recorded. The way Hendrix sets the mood and tells the story is really second to none. Machine Gun is a trip in itself, just raw expression from Hendrix. But don't worry, the music on this album isn't all abstract. Who Knows will satisfy anyone with a thirst for rhytm and Power of Love is just a great, intense rock song(listen to Miles' shout at the break after the intro. Woo!). We Live Together also features one of the best riffs ever.Read more ›
The album has been criticised as being a contractual obligation to Ed Chalpin, but in all honesty, who cares? However, Hendrix is on the record as being underwhelmed with Band of Gypsys and to my ears the real problem is that the trio (Hendrix, Cox, Miles) didn't really work. This is even more obvious on the Fillmore double CD.
The one exception to some fairly ordinary music, is Machine Gun, Miles got the drumming right, and subsequently Mitch Mitchell never seemed to be capable of matching it. It's set in a certain context, (Vietnam war, Kent U student deaths) and in its own way it's up there with Star Spangled Banner.
In some ways the album demonstrates by counter example just how well the JHE worked. Redding, for all his challenges drove better than Cox, and Mitchell's jazzy drumming interacted with Hendrix better than did Miles' whom I found to be too heavy handed. Mitchell was quickly back in the band and it was suggested at the time there was a possibility of a Hendrix/Redding reconciliation.
If you haven't got any of the music already, get the cheapest version of any of them for the Hendrix compositions, particularly M Gun. Buddy Miles is no composer to this listener.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
For me, this album is about a 4.5, but i've rounded up. This album is great. Hendrix playing with his final band at one of the great rock venues, the Fillmore east delivers one of... Read morePublished 15 days ago by 70's rock lover!
I have bought this cd without ever hearing it and the music just blew me away i love Hendrix music and I can't believe that i have never heard it what a legendPublished 10 months ago by emmavedgen
My sister bought me this album in 1970 when I was 12. It was my very first LP I ever owned. Now 45 years later it is still as refreshing and original as it was then. Read morePublished 13 months ago by Ken jones