Sound — 10
Recorded live at the Fillmore East on New Years Eve, 1969-70, Band of Gypsys (Gypsies, whatever) is Jimi Hendrix playing guitar, Buddy Miles on bass, and Billy Cox on drums. The concert was a year's-end gathering at the Fillmore with this trio. The actual sound of the music is awesome. The atmosphere the music generates is one of energy, and overall the disc is a pleasure to listen to. The trio work very well together in thier own musical aspects, with Jimi's soaring leads and Billy's driving beats, and Buddy Miles' rhythm work on bass is clearly audible, and a fundamental part of the music. There are 6 tracks on this CD. 01. Who Knows - a Hendrix original. Killer opening riff, awesome tone. About 9 minutes long, never gets boring. 02. Machine Gun - another Hendrix original. Another good guitar song. However, at 12 minutes long, this could be quoted as "an extended version". There are some parts in the song where you just might feel a pang of boredom. But, as with any long song, it happens. Still a great track. 03. Changes - a piece from Buddy Miles, a good song with multiple layers of music going on at once. A good track. 04. Power To Love - a Hendrix track. Not a outstanding track, but worth a listen. Good guitar work near the end. 05. Message To Love - this is where you just might feel like skipping. This is the only track on the CD that I don't want to listen to. Hendrix wrote it especially for the concert, but I'm not so sure he did a good job of it. It's up to the listener's ear, anyway. 06. We Gotta Live Together - a Miles composition. Great track. The overall compositional work in this song is great. The guitar, drums, and bass all work in conjunction perfectly. Awesome music, also one of the CD's big highlights.
Lyrics — 8
The lyrics, well, they're pretty good. However, most of the CD is based around instrumental prowess, and the lyrics aren't anything to make you go "Whoa, dude!" The guitar work, however, is.
Overall Impression — 10
Overall, this CD is a great listen for fans of Hendrix, fans of rock music, or guitarists in general. Even if you don't like Hendrix's music (dreadful taste if so), this CD is worth a listen. Compared to other works by Hendrix, this CD is a great buy. However, if you're looking for a "first Hendrix CD", I wouldn't recommend this until you get a little better accustomed to Hendrix's electrical awesomeness. I love the guitar tone, and the overall skill the musicians have in the musical sense. However, the only thing I don't really like about the CD is that some of the songs are very long for the content. Machine Gun, clocking in at 12 minutes is a great song, but I'm sure anyone would tire of it after a while. If it was stolen, I'd buy another. If I didn't find and bludgeon the thief to death. With a rubber chicken. But enough blabbering, go out and buy Hendrix - Band Of Gypsys!