- With stunning Triple Plus (A+++) sound or close to it on both sides, this British Polydor pressing was rockin’ like crazy
- This is a fun live album with stellar performances by Jimi – the best of his many posthumous releases
- The awesome version of Little Wing is just killer on this copy – it’s Jimi’s best performance of the song
- “Hendrix in the West is a collection of extremely good live Hendrix performances between 1968-1970. Three different concerts are sampled on this 1972 release, one of the few official live Hendrix releases following his death.”
*NOTE: A mark plays very lightly five times at the end of side one track three, Blue Suede Shoes. On side two a mark makes four light thumps at the start of track three, Red House.
We’re still surprised at how well recorded the album is. It takes a pressing like this to really show you the live Jimi Hendrix magic Eddie Kramer got onto tape. Drop the needle on Little Wing and you are going to be FLOORED.
The size and space here are really something, miles beyond most. The resolution and clarity of the open live sound of this copy bring out all the instrumental textures and details of the recording like few we played. More importantly, the extended top keeps the highs from getting hard or harsh the way they do on so many pressings we’ve played.
As these performances are culled from different concerts the sound varies a bit from track to track, but every track on here sounds good and the best tracks sound amazing.
Hendrix Live from 1968-1970
What the best sides of this Classic Hendrix Album have to offer is not hard to hear:
- The biggest, most immediate staging in the largest acoustic space
- The most Tubey Magic, without which you have almost nothing. CDs give you clean and clear. Only the best vintage vinyl domestic pressings like this one offer the kind of Tubey Magic that was still on the tapes when the album came out in 1972
- Tight, note-like, rich, full-bodied bass, with the correct amount of weight down low
- Natural tonality in the midrange — with the vocals, guitars and drums having the correct sound for this live recording
- Transparency and resolution, critical to hearing into the three-dimensional space of the concert hall
No doubt there’s more but we hope that should do for now. Playing the record is the only way to hear all of the above, and playing the best pressings against a pile of other copies under rigorously controlled conditions is the only way to find a pressing that sounds as good as this one does.
It’s hard to understand why this album isn’t more widely known. The performances are great and the sound is excellent for a vintage live recording.
Naturally not every copy sounds as good as this one. We heard a lot of pressings with too much grit and grain, and many that badly lacked presence. When I play a live album, I want to feel like I am there at the show (and to do that I set the volume accordingly, of course) but with most copies that just isn’t possible.
Thanks to Eddie Kramer’s amazing engineering, this album will have Jimi playing live in your listening room, and what a thrill it is to hear it all these years later (and on dramatically better equipment).
Johnny B. Goode
Blue Suede Shoes
The Queen (British National Anthem) / Sergeant Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band
Hendrix in the West is a collection of extremely good live Hendrix performances between 1968-1970. Three different concerts are sampled on this 1972 Polydor/Reprise release, one of the few official live Hendrix releases following his death. Standouts include “Red House” and “Voodoo Chile” from the San Diego Sports Arena, a great rendition of “Blue Suede Shoes” from the Berkeley Community Center, and the brief but entertaining coupling of “God Save the Queen” and “Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band” from the Isle of Wight.