This recording from 1968 captures Hendrix in ferocious form, his use of feedback is merciless and the power he unleashes is by any standards totally epic. It opens with two minutes of howling guitar which slowly calm down and turn into ‘Hey Joe’, but those two minutes have been emulated by every aspiring and many successful guitarists since. The studio albums give some idea of what to expect but they involved a fair amount of extra guitar tracks, even a second bass track on one occasion, so they have more finesse but less intensity. If you’ve not heard this live onslaught before, I suggest adopting the brace position when playing this ‘in anger’ for the first time. The next track, ‘Foxey Lady’, is nothing short of astonishing. If the question were how much heavier could it be the answer would have to be none. All heavy metal acts since sound tame by comparison.
The original recording was by Hendrix’s engineer of choice Eddie Kramer and the same man was involved in producing this release, he clearly knew his stuff then because it’s a remarkably good sounding album given its origins. The bass has been amped up somewhat but not to excess and much if not all the energy has been preserved. Not one for the faint hearted.