Capitol Records and Universal Music will celebrate a major musical milestone next month.
The companies will celebrate the 50th anniversary of the original release of Jimi Hendrix’s seminal live album Band of Gypsys March 27 with a new vinyl reissue of said album. The all-analog presentation was mastered from the original analog stereo tapes of the recording. The mastering work was handled by famed Hendrix engineer Eddie Kramer.
The new vinyl reissue will be available on two different pressings — a black, 180-gram pressing from Quality Record Pressings, and a translucent cream, red, yellow and green swirl 180-gram pressing available exclusively through AuthenticHendrix.com.
Each pressing will feature an eight-page booklet filled with rare images from the Band of Gypsys concert and an essay penned by John McDermott. They will also feature a 24″ X 36″ reproduction of the original poster used by Capitol Records to promote Band of Gypsys. Pre-orders are open now for the reissue.
Jane Hendrix, Jimi’s sister and Experience Hendrix CEO, spoke highly of the forthcoming reissue in a recent interview.
“This is more than the commemoration of an anniversary that is, of course, something momentous, but it is also the celebration of a cathartic event in Jimi’s life…a sort of changing of the guards,” she said. “He demonstrated that there was no limit to his musical landscape. It was broad and beautiful, and like the leader of a true band of gypsies, Jimi could go anywhere on the spectrum of genres and be at home there musically! This is our way of celebrating that part of Jimi’s journey.”
Hendrix’s Band of Gypsys live show was originally recorded Jan. 1, 1970 at New York’s famed Fillmore East. His then bassist Billy Cox recalled what led to the release of the concert recording during his own recent interview.
“There had been a lawsuit against him and the only way out of that was to give them something,” he said. “Jimi came to me and explained what had happened. Then it was decided to give them an album. I said let’s go for it. At the time, Mitch [Mitchell] was in England, but [Buddy [Miles] would frequent the studios with us and he decided the same thing; let’s help our friend in need. Ultimately we became the Band of Gypsys.”
The lawsuit of which Cox referenced reached back to 1965 when Hendrix was still an unknown artist. He worked at the time on a series of recordings from Curtis Knight & The Squires. He was signed to Sue Records at the time, but had signed a deal with PPX Industries, binding his services not only for his work with Curtis Knight & The Squires but in general for the next three years.
That contract with PPX Industries led to the release of two 45 rpm singles that were licensed to RSVP Records by PPX Industries in early 1966. Neither release gained any traction, leading Knight and Hendrix to part ways. Hendrix’s agreement with PPX Industries was still in effect when Hendrix became famous as his own star. A series of recordings that Hendrix had done with Knight was released at the time of Hendrix’s fame, competing with Hendrix’s own successful records Are You Experienced and Get That Feeling.
The competing recordings led to litigation, which was settled in 1968. The settlement required Hendrix to deliver an album of original content to Capitol Records for distribution. That recording was the now timeless live recording Band of Gypsys.
Band of Gypsys features six then unreleased songs — ‘Machine Gun,’ ‘Message To Love,’ ‘Power of Soul,’ ‘Who Knows,’ ‘Changes’ and ‘We Gotta Live Together.’ The recording’s track listing is noted below.
JIMI HENDRIX – BAND OF GYPSYS 50th ANNIVERSARY EDITION TRACK LISTING
1) Who Knows
2) Machine Gun
Recorded January 1, 1970 Early Show
2) Power To Love
3) Message To Love
4) We Gotta Live Together
Recorded January 1, 1970 Late Show
More information on Band of Gypsys and other Jimi Hendrix releases is available online at:
To keep up with the latest entertainment news and reviews, go online to http://www.facebook.com/philspicks and “Like” it. Fans can always keep up with the latest entertainment news and reviews in the Phil’s Picks blog at https://philspicks.wordpress.com.