Jimi Hendrix’s immortal 1970 live album, Band of Gypsys, is one of his most influential releases, with the charismatic guitar icon testing the bounds of his creative approach to produce some of the most ambitious music of his career. Capitol/UMe will honor this landmark record on March 27, almost exactly 50 years from its original release, with special 50th anniversary vinyl editions of Band of Gypsys that recapture the album’s boundary-breaking spirit.
This new, all analog edition of Band of Gypsys has been mastered from the original analog stereo tapes by longtime Hendrix engineer Eddie Kramer and will be pressed on 180-gram audiophile black vinyl by Quality Record Pressings, along with a limited color pressing on 180-gram translucent cream, red, yellow and green swirl vinyl. The unique color vinyl edition will be available exclusively through AuthenticHendrix.com. All editions of the Band of Gypsys 50th anniversary LP will be packaged with an eight-page booklet filled with rare images from the concerts and an essay by John McDermott. This special edition will feature a 24″ x 36″ replica of Capitol Records’ original promotional Band of Gypsys poster.
“This is more than the commemoration of an anniversary,” said Janie Hendrix, President and CEO of Experience Hendrix, “that, of course, is something momentous, but it is also the celebration of a cathartic event in Jimi’s life…a sort of changing of the guards. 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.”
As the 1960s drew to a close, Hendrix was at the apex of his fame and influence. His first three albums with The Jimi Hendrix Experience—Are You Experienced, Axis: Bold As Love and Electric Ladyland—had established him as both a musical visionary and an international superstar. By the end of the decade, though, Hendrix was looking for new musical challenges and feeling the need to work with new collaborators. Towards that end, he assembled the Band of Gypsys lineup, with bassist Billy Cox, an old friend from Hendrix’s early days playing in R&B combos, and drummer Buddy Miles, already well known for his work with the Electric Flag and the Buddy Miles Express. The resulting album is a revolutionary fusion of blues, funk and rock that stands as a unique chapter in Hendrix’s seminal body of work.