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4.7 out of 5 stars
4.7 out of 5 stars
Format: Audio CD|Change
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on 28 June 2017
love it
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on 12 March 2017
Everything OK
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on 9 February 2011
2010 was a great year for Jimi Hendrix re-mastered releases from the excellent `Music on Vinyl' label. This particular recording from a series of concerts at Fillmore East, NYC at the end of 1969, start of 1970 was done to resolve an earlier legal contract issue. Jimi teamed up with Billy Cox on bass and Buddy Miles on drums.

The packaging of the album is excellent. My copy came in a plastic sealed cover, which with care can be re-used to protect the album. The cardboard double gatefold cover is reinforced to hold the heavy weight vinyl. A large four-sheet (8 page) 12inch colour booklet is provided with photographs and extensive notes on the background to the concerts.

The record weight is 184g packed in an antistatic, plastic coated heavy weight paper inner sleeve. Perfectly flat with minimal background noise direct from the sleeve, a great example of how vinyl should be pressed and presented.

The sound quality is excellent, instruments and vocals are crystal clear with a high volume level. The audience background noise is low but the atmosphere in the recording is still electric like a live performance. The high frequency end on the guitar appears to all be in tract indicating that there is at least no obvious evidence of sound compression like so many other re-mastered releases. The label on the front cover advertises it was recorded from the original 2-track master tapes and the evidence from the excellent sound quality supports this. It sounds like it was recorded very recently rather than 40 plus years ago.

Another positive point of the album is that the track selection is not the normal greatest hits format and takes Jimi in a different direction. It is more soulful and bluesy than previous material. The stand out track for me is `Machine Gun', a brilliant interaction of all 3 instruments (simulated machine gun sounds) and the structure/intensity of the song. The overall playing on the whole album appears tight and together, illustrating the high skill quality of the musicians and the amount they spent practising prior to the concerts, truly amazing.

In conclusion, a classic live album on vinyl with audiophile quality sound. The format made for the true Hendrix experience. Highly recommended.
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on 27 December 2007
One of the greatest `what if's of 1960's rock music must be if the all black, 1969 Hendrix project Band of Gypsies had survived more than a few weeks and developed their own dynamic mergence of rock, soul and blues even further. 1969 showed that the arbitrary divide between rock and soul music could be breeched, with Ike and Tina Turner touring with the Rolling Stones, Sly Stone and Ritchie Havens performing at Woodstock. Sadly this trend was not to continue into the 1970's. The one off meeting of the extraordinary guitar playing of Hendrix alongside a more soul/jazz influenced drummer Buddy Miles, who also shared vocals, makes this album exceptional. The ability of Billy Cox on bass, also really shines through. Some absolutely stunning work here, Six tracks recorded on New Years Eve 1969/1970 , two tracks written by Miles, four by Hendrix. The most known offering, the anti-war standard `Machine Gun'- at approaching 13 minutes - features some brilliant but indulgent musicianship ,and its worth remembering that both Hendrix and Cox had served in the US army. `Power To Love' and `We Gotta Live Together' `Who Knows`, are sublime, imagine Sly Stone or the Isley Brothers at their best being fused with hard rock. The crowning height is `Power To Love', ferocious guitar work added to a funk rhythm. No tracks here could have been lifted to release as singles, none of the songs drift into the heady realms of psychedelic. Just ground breaking music.
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on 19 March 2002
Joe Satriani once described jimi's playing on this album,as the best live guitar work ever.Machine gun the centerpiece of this album sends shivers down your spine,pure genius.Together with miles (Buddy) power drumming.And (Cox) Billy steady bass lines.Hendrix seems free to just play from within. Anyone who likes MUSIC MUST OWN THIS.
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on 2 April 2002
"Band of Gypsys" is a fine album, and the blueprint for funk-rock, funk-metal and a hundred other funks which, ironically enough, languish in the CD players of a multitude of twenty-first century white kids. Buddy Miles' soulful songs of love and life are a refreshing contrast to Hendrix's new-found didacticism (witness "Message to Love"), and the whole thing is spolighted in an uncluttered performance, Cox and Miles a solid rhythm section a million miles from the flashy Experience.
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.
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on 27 November 2004
This is quite simply the most amazing live guitar album ever. Everything on this album is perfect..I cannot find a single fault and I've listened to it many many times. Jimi's masterpiece Machine Gun is the most amazing piece of guitar work I've ever heard in my life......and the bass and drums throughtout the entire album are spot perfect. If you like Hendrix...or a big fan of guitarists like me....you just have to own this album. It's like a law of the universe.
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on 4 January 2006
In this version of the Band of Gypsies Hendrix returned to the guitar, base drums trio format but with Buddy Miles and Billy Cox in place of the Experience players. Gone also was much of the extravagent feedback and wild sounds, and in its place is cleaner guitar sound with vituoso playing, and effects used in a more restrained manner. The first side has two long tracks, and the latter is a version of Machine gun that other guitarists have called the greatest playing ever heard. The second side is four more upbeat tracks. It is unlike his other studio and live albums in sound and with a funkier sound. Well worth getting. I've loads of Hnedrix albums and after Electric Ladyland this is my favorite
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on 20 August 2010
This original Live Hendrix album gets five stars becuase of Machine Gun, one of the greatest live rock guitar performances ever and Power Of Love, one of Jimis best funk-rock songs you will never tire off.
The rest is a bit miss-mash with Buddy Miles getting a song of his own along with a lot of whoooing and whoaing from Buddy on other tracks. (When Jimi was editing this album he cringed at Buddys background hollering).
Message Of Love has a brillant guitar solo, but We Gotta Live Together shoudnt have been on this album at all.
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on 8 October 2009
What did Jimi Hendrix do best?I know,quite a leading question but in respect of this album an important one I think.In my opinion it isn't so much the plug my soul into the cosmos style of guitar playing or even the very direct almost preternatural song writing.More than any other artist I get very possesive of Jimi and when people ask me why do I rate him so highly I always end up calling him the Mozart of popular music.For me his single greatest ability was to absorb and reinterpret not just all the music he had around him but also a specific sense of time and his place in it.

Star spangled banner at dawn anyone?

This particular album loses that feeling for me.It sets a template of sorts for early seventies funk.Think Eddie Hazel and a below par Bootsy Collins here.Basically too much of one thing and not enough of the other.I could be wrong here but to my ears Hendrix live at least found his imagination fired by the space affored to him by Mitch Mitchell and Noel Redding.On this album there's a controlled four to the floor vibe going on.As a result Jimi plays in a far more regimented style than on earlier takes.

No more axis and maybe no more dawn.
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