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On New Year’s Eve 1969, Jimi Hendrix’s short-lived but instantly legendary Band of Gypsys made their live debut at Bill Graham’s Fillmore East in New York City. Now, for the first time, the complete recording of that performance, in its original sequence, is being released — in SACD and high-resolution digital formats, on CD, and as double-LP 180-gram vinyl set. Machine Gun: The Fillmore East First Show 12/31/69 comes out Sept. 30 via Experience Hendrix L.L.C./Legacy Recordings, but Yahoo Music is proud to premiere one of the album’s rare concert tracks, “Izabella,” today.
Band of Gypsys’ first four Fillmore East shows — two on New Year’s Eve 1969, two on New Year’s Day 1970 — were historic not just because the group, which included Billy Cox on bass and Buddy Miles on drums, pushed the boundaries of Hendrix’s signature psych-rock sound, incorporating new elements of funk and soul. Hendrix, as it turned out, passed away less than nine months later — making the original live album comprising performances from those four gigs, Band of Gypsys (released in April 1970), the last album Hendrix personally authorized for release.
“We had two shows New Years Eve and two shows New Years Day,” says Cox. “We didn’t know what to expect from the audience and the audience didn’t know what to expect from us, but from the time we hit that first note, they were in awe… It was incredible. There were people in the audience with their mouths open.”
Diehard Hendrix fans have, understandably, long sought the full recording of Band of Gypsys’ first-ever concert. Machine Gun: The Fillmore East First Show 12/31/69 was produced by Janie Hendrix/Eddie Kramer/John McDermott, mixed from the original 1” 8-track master tapes, and mastered by Grammy-winner Bernie Grundman; it is now available for pre-order on CD and vinyl. Full track listing is below.
1) Power of Soul
2] Lover Man
3) Hear My Train a Comin’
6) Machine Gun
8) Ezy Ryder
9) Bleeding Heart
10) Earth Blues
11) Burning Desire