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HENDRIX IN THE WEST

Jimi Hendrix

Proto-Prog


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ZowieZiggy
PROG REVIEWER
4 stars First of all, I would like to thank Morgova for his immense work on the Hendrix discography and additions.

This is another emotional review for me. I was offered this album in a cassette format in May 1972 while I was recovering from a serious leg injury and was laying in my bed since January of the same year (this will be prolonged till November).

This album was supposed to be a collection of songs played live by the master while performing ''In The West'' (meaning Western US). This is not entirely the case since two tracks were recorded in the Royal Albert Hall: the great version of ''Voodoo Chile'' (only topped by the unique Woodstock performance) and Little Wing'' and two from the Isle of Wight concert.

Some tracks though were taped during the famous Berkeley concerts: the cover from the rock'n'roll classic ''Johnny B. Goode'' which is quite remarkable here: a lot of punch, enthusiasm and of course maestria.

I can't be as laudatory about ''Blue Suede Shoes''. It also comes from the Berkeley evening but was apparently played outside the official concerts (repetition or so). The result is indeed some sort of loose version with little interest (except the solo work of course).

Since this album was released in 72, it sounded interesting to Michael Jeffery to release the Isle of Wight version of ''God Save The Queen''. Even if parts of this concert were already released a year before this one, this specific track was not. I guess that it was placed here on a commercial purpose since his huge Woodstock version of ''Star Spangled Banner'' was so unanimously praised by the critics and fans. But this one is shy compared to ''Star?''.

The cover from the Beatles ''Sgt. Pepper's?'' also comes from the Isle of Wight concert (August 30th, 1970). Punchy and wildly rocking, it is quite conform to the original version for most of it, would you except the lead guitar play of course (but who could doubt about this).

The second highlight (the first one being ''Voodoo?'') is an extraordinary (the best ever?) version of ''Red House'' recorded in San Diego. A long and juicy blues-rock marvellously interpreted by ''The Experience''.

In all, this live album is quite good and since London and the Isle of Wight are geographically located in the Western world, the title of this album is not an usurpation.

Seven out of ten; rounded up to four stars based on pure emotion and nostalgia.

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Posted Sunday, May 31, 2009 | Review Permalink

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