Band of Gypsys is an album that must belong in every serious music collection. I think that it is the greatest rock album ever, live or studio included. There are many components that add to the overall success of the album, but what sticks out the most is just the raw, natural sound of music created by this amazing trio! Buddy Miles on drums and vocals is really on fire here: He's inventive, passionate and just all around in the music. His drive is incredible and his vocal solo on Who Knows is just classic, probably the best vocal solo I've heard outside of jazz. Billy Cox has a natural sound and time that really fits the overall expression of the group very well.
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.
When I listen to Band of Gypsys, I often sit and wonder what would've come if Hendrix hadn't died and I shudder, because, frankly, I think this album is out of this world. In my book it ranks as some of the most incredible, beautiful and touching music ever recorded. Put it on and you will realize that Hendrix lives.