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Jimi Plays Monterey
(1) Live


Jimi Plays Monterey (rec. 1967, rel. 1986)
- Perhaps the most essential live Hendrix recording, if only for its historical importance - when Hendrix took the stage at Monterey in June, 1967, he was an unknown in the US; when he left it, the American rock industry had been turned on its head. It's also a good sampling of Hendrix's early repertoire, with minor obscurities like the old blues number "Rock Me Baby," making other live releases somewhat redundant. And it contains two classics that he performed only rarely: a mind-blowing take on Dylan's "Like A Rolling Stone"; and the burning-guitar version of "Wild Thing." Unfortunately, the set is somewhat short. (JA)
- This is great fun for fans, and "Rolling Stone" shows a side of him rarely seen. But the unvarying trio format (Redding contributes almost nothing, Mitchell is more subdued than on the studio recordings) and note-for-note renditions of several album tracks ("Foxey Lady") make this less than a huge priority. And as attention-grabbing as the guitar-burning thing was, how often do you want to listen to it? (DBW)
Jimi Hendrix