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on 27 October 2011
Like a number of the other reviewers of this box set, I was thrilled when I first heard that Hendrix' Winterland concerts were to receive an official release, but I was puzzled and disappointed when the tracklisting was confirmed, as we were only to be offered edited highlights of the 6 shows, from the three nights, as all of the shows bar the last 3 songs from the 3rd performance, are available as good quality soundboard recordings, which are freely available elsewhere.

As this box is only likely to be of interest to established Hendrix fans, who would almost certainly have preferred to have the 6 shows in full, the logic of Experience Hendrix' decision seems confused, at best.

This isn't to say that Experience Hendrix and Eddie Kramer haven't done a good job in preparing this release (and let's please not forget that unlike Eddie's many armchair critics, he actually knew Jimi and worked extensively with him) as the balance is good and noise reduction has been sensitively applied. As with all of the official Experience Hendrix releases it is also attractively presented and fairly priced.

However, I also have the Winterland Night 2CD set from Purple Haze, produced by Alan Douglas which, if you can find it at a sensible price, "flows" better as a compilation than this and has a crisper, more dynamic sound.

Completists can also obtain the complete 3 Nights at the Winterland 6CD set from Reclamation Records, which has better sound than some reviewers of that set have suggested, although there is more tape hiss than on this official release and the balance is not quite as good.

The music does, of course, deserve a five star rating, but I have knocked a star off because of the bizarre decision to omit the missing bits, which are definitely worthy of inclusion.

You pays your money and you takes your choice...
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TOP 1000 REVIEWERon 22 November 2011
I had the vinyl back in the eighties with the crappy poster and always liked it (The music not the poster). When I saw this was being released I immediately ordered it even though some of the more recent Experience Hendrix releases have been less than awe inspiring. I have not been disappointed, it is an excellent set. I know many of the songs are repeated but Hendrix's improvisational skills mean that there are more than enough differences to make them all interesting. The sound is clear and I have no issues with the mix. My only complaint is that I could have done without the interview. Hendrix was the greatest rock guitarist for me and a wonderful song writer, but his interviews do ramble a bit. My advice, if you love Hendrix buy this, it's well worth the outlay.

By the way if you're getting the version with the bonus disc this at the upper end of bootleg quality and is worth searching out.
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on 9 October 2011
I am going to say this box could have been a lot better (including a decent booklet that tells us who played on all the tracks and better info on what set each CD contains)however I am mostly satisfied with the the sound, especially the drums which are vastly improved over the Rykodisc version from 20 years or so ago.

The bass sound could have been boosted a bit more, listen to Tax Free and it really needs that bass kick that I always loved on the original CD version.

What makes this set great is the overall mix of great songs and the clarity you now have of Jimi and his 'Live' guitar and voice. The performances are incredible, sure would have been great to be there.

One thing I will say that made me angry is Amazon.UK was unable to ship my pre-order of this set. I ended up getting this from [...] as they had plenty of them with the bonus CD.

The bonus CD is a very raw sounding concert from Feb 1968, the performance of 'Dear Mr Fantasy' is extraordinary, very sad 1/2 of it was missing.
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TOP 100 REVIEWERon 16 September 2011
This is a robust package of 4CDs plus 1 in a hardback format. Solid. Well-illustrated. Reported in compact style by David Fricke. The music is beyond words. Bits and pieces of this legendary weekend of concerts in Winterland have appeared on bootlegs and LPs over the years. Here we have the whole warts and all performances including announcements, tuning problems, band conversations. 4CDs cover 10/10/68 12/10/68.Just over two years after the Experience formation. This is Hendrix in concert form. We have his studio albums. We have his other live performances. Some on film. This is a weekend of completeness and it is not just for 'completists' as the trio are there as it happened. The music is exemplary. Disc 1 starts with Jimi describing a jamming session on 'Tax Free'. This is a loosener to the later numbers. Disc 4 contains an interview with Jimi with some trite questions including his influences. He mentions Muddy Waters, Eddie Cochrane, Howling Wolf. When pressed he says "I'm not trying to copy what I heard before", and when asked what's ahead he says he is into his "own personal history". Never a truer summary of his career.

This really needs many hearings as when Hendrix stretches himself there are so many pieces of unmatchable brilliance. The longer he plays the more the ideas and improvisations unfold. Versions of 'Red House', 'Hear my Train a Comin' introduced as "Get my heart back together or something like that", heart wrenching versions of 'Little Wing', expanded versions of his other classics 'Foxey Lady','Are You Experienced', 'Hey Joe', 'Purple Haze' confirm his genius. Doing his own thing is what he said and what he does! The First version of 'Like A Rolling Stone', (Disc 2), is so sweetly and gently introduced that pays obvious affectionate homage to Dylan. Similarly' 'Sunshine of Your Love' nods to the "Woolly Cats" he calls Cream.
The Fifth CD is stuck on the front of the packing and will need re-housing. Recorded at the Fillmore on 02/04/68 we get superb renditions of Howling Wolf's 'Killing Floor', extended 'Red House', bluesy 'Catfish Blues' and instrumentals (engaging to say the least) of Traffics' 'Dear Mr Fantasy'.
There are additional contributions in the collection from Jack Casady on 'Killing Floor', Herbie Rich on Hammond Organ with ' Rolling Stone', and Buddy Miles on 'Mr Fantasy'.

There is enough material here to last a lifetime for his elder followers and the fortunate newer ears to this incredible prodigy. A final word or two. This is 'The Experience'. The amazing strength, power and awsome drumming of Mitch Mitchell are forever driving Jimi. If the tempo flags (rarely), Mitch is there. Noel Redding always wanted to be lead guitarist but his solid bass is consistently present.
Absolutely brilliant. This is essential. Welcomed at last in a 'note by note' format revealing the craft and artistry of the band. Exhausting it must have been for the players. At least we can keep revisiting at pleasure and leisure. A Must Have. The sound is generally excellent.
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on 7 November 2011
Jimi and his band were playing several consecutive evenings. I thought I had heard most of the material he had recorded and then, forty years after his death, some more comes out of the woodwork.
This collection is for fanatics, not the casual admirer of Jimi Hendrix musicianship.
Jimi was at his most creative, having just released Axis Bold as Love and about to embark on recording Electric Ladyland, two of my favourite albums. The recordings capture the aural excitement of the greatest electric guitarist the world has ever witnessed.
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on 30 September 2011
Most Hendrix fans would be aware of the quality of these famous shows and probably have some tracks from the concerts on one or other LPs/CDs. The Jimi Hendrix Concerts, Live at Winterland and Winterland Night all contain some of the music from the concerts.

There's also a 'semi official' 6 CD release through the Michael Jeffery Estate called `Three Nights at Winterland' which is available from Amazon or other sources. I don't own this set and haven't heard it so can't comment, but it's cheaper than this official release and contains more music. Amazon reviews of this set are mixed.

With this official `Estate' release, the set lists include the rarely performed Manic Depression and Are You Experienced, plus Like a Rolling Stone, in which Jimi remembers the third verse, unlike at Monterey. The rest of the tracks can be gleaned from Amazon's helpful track listing.

The CDs show an artist of almost effortless virtuosity, a sense of humour and a band at the top of its form. There's necessarily some duplication of songs over the discs but I enjoy this because you can hear how the band sounded and played on different nights. For example, the version of Foxy Lady on disc four is quite unlike any other and a great listen.

Sound is full, with bass and drums further up in the mix than some other released Hendrix shows, perhaps in slightly `warmer' acoustic than the Alan Douglas productions of these shows. There's a real sense of being at a concert, with stage banter, amp buzzes and hums plus the occasional off-mic vocal etc adding to the atmosphere.

The material on the fifth `bonus' disc has already been released on Dagger, and is of reasonable soundboard sound quality. It features Buddy Miles playing on `Dear Mr Fantasy', a selfless Mitch giving up his place on the drum stool.

Packaging is good, similar to the `purple box' and West Coast Seattle Boy in format. There's not that much text, only two photos with Mitch in them and none with Noel: they were in the band, weren't they?

Should you buy this? If you are a fan: yes - the additional versions of Like a Rolling Stone and Are You Experienced etc are most welcome and well worth the damage.

If you're not a fanatic and already have Winterland Night - a semi-legal and elusive release from the Jeffrey Estate - you probably won't need to buy this. But you probably will anyway.
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on 19 September 2011
If your a Hendrix fan and remember like me the excitement of the Jimi Hendrix Concerts way back in 1982, you should love this. If you thought `Hear My Train A Comin" sounded good on that release, here you get the way Jimi performed it, unedited and pristine.
The whole package is just classic live Hendrix with brilliant drumming and bass from Mitchell and Redding, a totally honest look at The Jimi Hendrix Experience over three nights in Oct 1968 in probably the best city to be in the world at that time, San Francisco. A couple of other guys join in the fun like Airplanes Jack Cassidy on a brilliant version of Killing Floor with a cool bass solo midway backed up with classic Hendrix Wah wah.

I'm no live sound expert but these performances have a real authentic brilliant soundboard remastering feel to them, with Mitchell's cymbals vibrating or the buzz of Jimis amps in between songs clearly audible. The discs are nicely packaged in plastic digipak style trays and the outside of the box has a high-gloss finish, with a glossy booklet inside along with photos of Jimi onstage at the actual event.

Side 4 alone with Foxey Lady, Are You Experienced? and Voodoo Child (Slight Return)
are just supreme live rock guitar performances. (If you pick up the extra disc-"San Francisco 68", it includes a loose but brilliant jam of Traffics Dear Mr Fantasy).

I know theres complaints already about why every single second of the Winterland shows have not been released, but compared to what I remember from the early 1980s when all you really had was Hendrix in The West, Band of Gypsies and The Jimi Hendrix Concerts, this is Christmas come early for Hendrix fans.

"On bass, Mr Noel Redding.......
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on 10 October 2011
5 STARS for the music!

I've been waiting for this box set for years. No matter how the members felt about each other by this period of time, the JHE (and Hendrix, too) peaked on stage on these Winterland concerts, warts and all. It wouldn't have been a bad idea to release all the concerts in one giant box set.

1 STAR for the mixing of the album!

Eddie Kramer has completely lost the plot with this set. No idea of the real JHE, a fiery live band that all the time violently pulled into three different directions. That was the strenght of their live playing. No silky beauty, only raw and dangerous over the edge power sound. This album sounds lame because of the unbelievably polished and flat mix.

You can hear Hendrix and Mitchell, sure Mr. Kramer (should have guessed that!). But where is Noel Redding with his thunderous bass (or Jack Casady on Killing Floor)? There's simply no bottom end on this album. On some numbers you can hardly hear the bass being played. And the bass playing on these Winterland concerts is the mighty force that kept the the thing going strong and even somewhat together.

You can easily compare these mixes with the gorgeous mix of "Winterland Night" a 2 cd set by Purple Haze Records taken from these same concerts. Now there's a sound that really thunders and rumbles like it did in the actual concerts. And it sounds sublime on your home equipment.

I encourage Experience Hendrix Company to relieve Mr. Kramer from the main responsibility of the future live mixes. He may have been there where the music happened ages ago, but now it is high time for him to go.
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on 11 January 2012
This latest Hendrix re-issue certainly has far superior sound, when compared to a previous issue entitled "Live at Winterland" and is like being at the front of the audience; whereas the other disc had a more distant sound. In this single disc issue we get 75 minutes highlights from the legendary concerts recorded at the Winterland Theatre, San Francisco concerts in October, 1968. There are 11 songs on offer including, powerful versions of "Fire", "Foxy Lady", "Hey Joe" and " Manic Depression"; extended versions of "Like a Rolling Stone" and "Hear my train a coming" with nicely judged guitar solos. Also included is a jam version of "Sunshine of your love", alongside "Are you experienced" with an extended intro and a fine version of "Little Wing". Finally, "Voodoo Chile" and "Purple Haze" are added to make a great finale to this issue. The sound mix clearly identifies all the band members contributions to each of the songs and shows the original Experience at the peak of it's live performances at this time. The track times for the music tend to include some stage chat Jimi had with the audience and for me seems to hint that he was feeling the strain of the continual touring the band undertook in 1968.
I feel a bit mixed about this new disc, in that songs chosen are slightly less varied, when compared to set list offered on "Live at Winterland"; although I suspect the marketing ploy of offering the complete concerts on 4 disc set has more to offer. The playing of the Experience is very good throughout, although some of Jimi's solos sometimes end earlier than expected and maybe due to tiredness. A very good representation of Hendrix live then, but I still feel that there were better live performances recorded after this time, in particular with the Band of Gypies concerts and the live shows at Berkeley in 1970.
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on 19 October 2016
Well what can I say it's jimi live, and although Jimi sounds much better in the studio, some of his live stuff when he didn't go over the top was good and this album has to be (some) of his best live recordings, considering the recording technology of the 1960's is nowhere near as good as todays tech it's good for it's time and in that way it makes it special, I think if Jimi would have had access to todays tech he would have truly blown our minds for sure, but this is as good as it gets.
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