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Jimi Hendrix Experience: Freedom-Live at the Atlanta Pop Festival

Woodstock, Monterey, Isle of Wight, Miami Pop, Berkeley...there's no shortage of sizzling live albums documenting what a powerful force the Jimi Hendrix Experience were on a concert stage. Now, we can finally add the 1970 Atlanta Pop Festival as another official live release, and a great one it is. Recorded in Byron, Georgia on July 4th weekend in 1970, the Experience and a host of other bands played in the sweltering heat to over 300,000 rock fans, and literally tore the house down with a selection of older and newer songs from their repertoire. With a more stripped down line-up than Woodstock a year earlier, the band here consisted of Hendrix, longtime drummer Mitch Mitchell, and bassist Billy Cox, a holdover from the Band of Gypsies.

The sound quality throughout the 2CD set is stellar, and there's a mix of classic material and a few surprises. Jimi's playing is as explosive as ever, and while he probably doesn't quite reach the zenith of the Woodstock performance, this one ranks right up there with Monterey and Berkeley. Expected favorites like "Hey Joe", "Fire", "Foxey Lady", "Red House", and "Purple Haze" are spot on, but it's the wild "Hear My Train a Comin' ", heavy "Spanish Castle Magic", funky "Lover Man", hard rocking "Message to Love" & Stone Free", a scorching rendition of "Voodoo Child (Slight Return)", and a rampaging, quite metallic "Straight Ahead" that are easily the highlights here. "All Along the Watchtower" is slightly sloppy, and "Star Spangled Banner" pales in comparison to the Woodstock and Berkeley versions, but overall there's not much to complain about. Throughout Hendrix' guitar work is ferocious, with wah-wah, fuzz, uni-vibe, or feedback soaking his every lick, and the rhythm team holds it all together quite nicely.

Big props to the design of the this digipack, as it's adorned with awesome live photos from the concert, as well as a lengthy essay in the booklet packed with info on the event and even more photos. Just when you thought you had all the Hendrix live albums you ever needed, along comes another.

See more about this release on our recent YouTube show!

Track Listing
Disc: 1
1. Fire
2. Lover Man
3. Spanish Castle Magic
4. Red House
5. Room Full Of Mirrors
6. Hear My Train A Comin'
7. Message To Love

Disc: 2
1. All Along The Watchtower
2. Freedom
3. Foxey Lady
4. Purple Haze
5. Hey Joe
6. Voodoo Child (Slight Return)
7. Stone Free
8. Star Spangled Banner
9. Straight Ahead

Added: September 4th 2015
Reviewer: Pete Pardo
Related Link: Artist Facebook Page
Hits: 1368
Language: english

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