RATINGS: A = must own B = buy it C= average D = yawn F = puke

Jimi Hendrix Experience – Freedom: Atlanta Pop Festival
Legacy Recordings
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Rating: B+

There is a Georgia Historical Society plaque placed 600 yards east of the location where the Second Atlanta International Pop Festival was held at the beginning of July, 1970 that says, “Over thirty musical acts performed, including rock icon Jimi Hendrix playing to the largest American audience of his career...”  

The crowd that came to see Jimi that day was estimated between 300,000 and 400,000 fans that night.

Jimi was no stranger to festivals, as he proved in 1967 at California’s Monterey Pop Festival... and of course his legendary performance in 1969 at Woodstock.   Still, none of his American performances were to a crowd as big as this throng in Atlanta, and Hendrix and his band put on a classic performance… just look at the set list below!

Like Woodstock, there were enough gate crashers to have the show declared a free event.  Also like the Woodstock, the people -more or less- behaved themselves, as they were there to celebrate musical and human diversity, not create a riot.   Many viewed this show as the last of its kind; a huge concert where tickets were not outrageous and the music was way more important than the business of music. 

Sony Legacy has captured the magic on a 2-CD set featuring the Jimi Hendrix Experience.   The music swoons with bluesy perfection on songs like “Red House” and get maniacal with the craziness of “Voodoo Child (Slight Return).”  Both sets that evening dripped with passion. 

On that night, with no idea of his coming death within the next few months, Jimi did what Jimi always did… make love to his guitar onstage and make believers of all who witnessed his unique interpretations through his instrument. 

Often, we critics tend to say a release from the past is ‘historic’.  This release is one of those… a true slab of Rock ‘n’ Roll history that celebrates a time long-gone, that will never come again.   


Track Listing:
Disc 1

1) Fire
2) Lover Man
3) Spanish Castle Magic
4) Red House
5) Room Full Of Mirrors
6) Hear My Train A Comin’
7) Message To Love

Disc 2
1 All Along The Watchtower
2) Freedom
3) Foxey Lady
4) Purple Haze
5) Hey Joe
6) Voodoo Child (Slight Return)
7) Stone Free
8) Star Spangled Banner
9) Straight Ahead

By Jeb Wright

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