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Jimi Hendrix - Live at Woodstock CD (album) cover

LIVE AT WOODSTOCK

Jimi Hendrix

 

Proto-Prog

4.55 | 22 ratings

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ZowieZiggy
Prog Reviewer
5 stars In those days, Jimi was the top of the bill of most of the festivals. As a highly paid band (over 50,000 $) they had to close the biggest concert of all times (at least, this is my opinion) even if lots of people had already left the festival grounds on this Monday morning.

Even if Jimi and his band had to step on the stage round 9 AM on the next day of his original schedule the band played a fabulous concert. At least to my own standards.

For lots of us (I mean the teenagers from the early seventies), the only Woodstock stuff available from the master in 1970, was his thirteen minutes appearance on the triple album ''Woodstock''. Side six, second track. Oh boy! How many times did I listen to this one!!!

Then came the double album: Woodstock II with several additional tracks.

Then this double live album with the entire concert.

The band featured here is mixed one: some sort of combination between ''The Experience'' and ''The Band Of Gypsys'' (Hendrix, Cox and Mitchell).

This Woodstock concert is IMVHHO the best one I have been listening to. A great live documentary. The movie is even more expressive (but this will be the occasion for another review).

I discovered Jimi thanks to Woodstock. And like many others of the bands who played there, it was just their best ever set in their lives (Cocker, Canned Heat, The Who, CSN & Y, Santana, Ten Years After, Jefferson Airplane, Sly & The Family Stone). And Jimi of course.

I have always been nuts about this set, so be prepared for a laudatory review. But you know that I am not throwing these ones away, so.

The set list of this gig is just gorgeous. The best one you could ever expect from the giant. The improvisations here are just AWESOME. It starts all great with ''Message to Love'' and ''Hear My Train a Comin'' but it REALLY kicks off with a huge version of ''Spanish Castle Magic''. Wild, magnificent and powerful. A definite highlight of this set which holds several more.

What can I say about this release? That I was expecting this which every bits and parts of my body for soooooo many years? Of course, yes! I was like a shivering young boy while I listened to this CD some ten years ago.

As usual, some very short moments are less thrilling like the short version of ''Red House'' but it is instantly compensated with a superb ''Lover Man''. Outrageously wild and skilled. It is a fantastic showcase for our hero (one of the VERY few of mine- two or three perhaps). It is a magnificent performance from the man, more than anything else. The band is gorgeous as well (just like during the incredible ''Jam Back at the House'' which closes the first CD).

There is no ''Machine Gun'' on this live set, but Jimi is introducing the Vietnam War with ''Izabella''. As far as I am concerned, it is the best version ever released. Full of ''joy'' and dynamism. Crying guitar and heavy bass. A highlight (one more). You won't be surprised that this version of ''Fire'' is just a devastating one. Maybe to wake up all the junkies still attending.

The next trio of songs do belong to the rock history (and part of them were present in the medley of the original Woodstock soundtrack). Almost fourteen minutes of a sublime version of ''Voodoo Child''. The best ever of course. The sound coming out the band is just awesome, phantasmagorical. In one word: great, sublime (oups, there are two words here).

Even if part of the track is a band introduction, it has left an indelible mark on me. Having seen that lots of people were leaving, Jimi said: ''You can leave, we are only jamming. That's all''. These were the last words from the man.

And what to say about the huge ''Star Spangled Banner'' version? I'm just voiceless.The sounds of the bombs falling on (the Vietnam) ground. Timeless. This is flesh and bones for me. Difficult to describe really. Have a listen, enjoy and fall under admiration.

The violent '' Purple Haze'' is also a memorable moment of this legendary, monstrous live set. The studio version is just blown away. This one is a total disintegration, explosion. It is wild, wonderful, extravagant. SUPERB my friends. Do have a listen to the ''tranquil'' track which almost closes this FABULOUS set: ''Villanova Junction''. And then the encore (at 8 AM or so): ''Hey Joe''. What else do we need?

The good thing about this recording is that most of songs intro do appear here. They show a casual and friendly Jimi. A real pleasure for me and an integrant part of the concert (even if only about 10 to 15 percent of the audience was still attending his gig on this Monday morning).

It is a memorable moment of live music. One of the best that I have listened to. The most recommendable live album from this huge man. I wish I had seen him then.

What can I say? Five stars?

Yes!!!

ZowieZiggy | 5/5 |

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