.
http://assets-s3.rollingstone.com/assets/images/album_review/287e8d9dc75e59e9c5b2bc8abbd09c1c02a33017.jpg Blue Wild Angel: Live At The Isle Of Wight

Jimi Hendrix

Blue Wild Angel: Live At The Isle Of Wight

Rolling Stone: star rating
Community: star rating
5 0 0
November 19, 2002

"A bit more volume on this one, Charlie, it's going to need it," says a roadie testing microphones — and then Jimi Hendrix comes onstage and proves him absolutely right. This live album captures a thrilling Hendrix gig in the U.K. at the Isle of Wight Festival, on August 30th, 1970 — between sets from Jethro Tull and Joan Baez. Unlike many Hendrix repackagings, this record is not just for wonks who want to pore over every note of the "Red House" solo — it's an amazing document that will grab your ears and twist them.

The show starts with an incendiary version of "God Save the Queen" — no, not the Sex Pistols song, which came seven years later, but the British national anthem, a sequel to Hendrix's take on "The Star-Spangled Banner." (One can only hope that continued archival work will uncover Hendrix doing "La Marseillaise" and "O Canada.") Since this concert marked Hendrix's return to the United Kingdom, where he made his name, he plays like he has something to prove. Even a short cover of "Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band" is imbued with real passion.

The Isle of Wight show was among Hendrix's last concerts; three weeks later, he was dead. If you want to find clues as to where he was headed musically, you won't find many here. He performs "Dolly Dagger," slated for inclusion on his never-completed album First Rays of the New Rising Sun, and although it's a solid up-tempo song, it doesn't break any new ground for him.

This concert has been released before, but only on woefully truncated discs. The show's centerpiece, previously unavailable, is "Machine Gun": twenty-two astonishing minutes of Hendrix fireworks, encompassing both a savage guitar assault and improvisation that stretches out like Silly Putty. It's a worthy final testament.

prev
Album Review Main Next

ADD A COMMENT

Community Guidelines »
loading comments

loading comments...

COMMENTS

Sort by:
    Read More
    Around the Web
    Powered By ZergNet
    Daily Newsletter

    Get the latest RS news in your inbox.

    Sign up to receive the Rolling Stone newsletter and special offers from RS and its
    marketing partners.

    X

    We may use your e-mail address to send you the newsletter and offers that may interest you, on behalf of Rolling Stone and its partners. For more information please read our Privacy Policy.

    Song Stories

    “Long Walk Home”

    Bruce Springsteen | 2007

    When the subject of this mournful song returns home, he hardly recognizes his town. Springsteen told Rolling Stone the alienation the man feels is a metaphor for life in a politically altered post-9/11 America. “Who would have ever thought we’d live in a country without habeas corpus?” he said. “That’s Orwellian. That’s what political hysteria is about and how effective it is. I felt it in myself. You get frightened for your family, for your home. And you realize how countries can move way off course, very far from democratic ideals.”

    More Song Stories entries »
    www.expandtheroom.com