Friday, January 27, 2006

"Happy New Year, First of All"

You may have hundreds of albums in your collection, a million songs may have entered your ears, but there's usually two or three albums that form your sonic foundation. (God, do I sound like a pretentious teenage rock critic or what?) But you know what I mean. These are the albums that become your "standard". It's how you measure all other recordings.

"Band of Gypsys" was my introduction to Jimi Hendrix. I was 15 at the time, and therefore this is how I measure all live albums. Play me a live album, and I will be comparing it, subconsciously, to "Band of Gypsys".

This concert is easily Hendrix's most soulful performance. Soul, R&B, funk and blues played extremely loud on a Stratocaster. "Band of Gypsys" is about Hendrix the Expressionist. "Machine Gun" is pure rock expression in all its glory and fury. Very little in rock music comes close to it (except maybe Metallica's "One", which should have really been titled "Son of a Machine Gun" ;))

BTW, if you've ever dreamed of reproducing that sheer blast of "Machine Gun" on your guitar and the cheesy practice amp, read some notes on the subject here.

B.O.G. is a fearless jam, but it is not so loose and vast that it loses you. Buddy Miles and Billy Cox keep the groove swinging and tight for Jimi to do his thing. And how he does his thing.

A couple of interesting album reviews, some of them dating back to 1970.

If you enjoy the occasional jab in the eye, read this site for a detailed account of the concert. BTW, that site is a crime against humanity and it gives angry fruit salads a bad name.


kundalini said...

:) band of gypsys was also my first.

km said...

"the first one now will later be last"? :)

kundalini said...

:) as the present now will later be past.

BOG was my first and last jimi purchase. great stuff, but not my "standard" in the same way :)

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