With endless Hendrix live albums available, you may be justly skeptical about this concert recording. However, one attraction is its modern remix, with a level of audio detail that lets us hear the Experience with enough clarity to visualize the musicians onstage, as experienced on a screamin’ “Red House.” The concert was also re-mixed by Jimi’s favorite engineer, Eddie Kramer, now a spry 80 years old.
For proto-metal thrills, “Foxey Lady” and “Spanish Castle Magic” remain ferociously funky slabs, with Jimi’s Strat captured in its brutal glory – listen to the hellacious quack of those Fender single-coils. Only a few months after Cream broke up, the Experience jams through an instrumental “Sunshine Of Your Love,” with Jimi’s guitar in the left channel and Noel Redding’s fat, fuzz-tone bass on the right.
Another bonus is improved stereo separation – even the audience’s cheering has been spread across a spectrum, adding more realism. You can hear this effect in “Voodoo Child” before the trio explodes in psychedelic fury, led by Jimi’s wah pedal. All told, you don’t have to own Los Angeles Forum: April 26, 1969, but you really should.
This article originally appeared in VG’s December 2022 issue. All copyrights are by the author and Vintage Guitar magazine. Unauthorized replication or use is strictly prohibited.