Warrior Of Love (Rattlesnake RS 257/58)
K.B. Hallen, Kobenhavn, Denmark – September 3, 1970
Disc 1: (61:10) Stone Free, Foxy Lady, Message To Love, Hey Baby (The Land Of The New Rising Sun), All Along The Watchtower, Machine Gun, Spanish Castle Magic/Sing A Simple Song/Drum Solo, Ezy Rider, Freedom, Red House
Disc 2: (55:46) In From The Storm, Purple Haze, Voodoo Child (Slight Return)/Sunshine Of Your Love/Outside Woman Blues/Calling All Devil’s Children, Hey Joe, Fire – Vejlby Risskov Hallen, Arhus, Denmark – September 2, 1970: Introduction/Tune Up, Freedom, Intermission by Jimi, Message To Love, Hey Baby (The Land Of The New Rising Sun)/Drum Solo
Warrior Of Love is the latest Hendrix release from Rattlesnake and features the band’s stop in Copenhagen on September 3rd, 1970. With no fewer than six unique sources for this concert it is difficult to know exactly which was used without having access to all of them. The source used is very good, albeit a tad overloaded in places, with Jimi and Billy Cox up front while Mitch Mitchell unfortunately gets lost in the mix for much of the recording. The drums bleed through more during the quieter sections but for the most part you get to focus on Jimi’s guitar and vocal.
This concert itself has been released on silver disc before on such titles as Welcome To The Electric Circus Vol. 2 (Midnight Beat MBCD 018) and Copenhagen ‘70 (Whoopy Cat WKP -0044/0045). Whoopy Cat is complete while Midnight Beat is only a single disc and is missing “Stone Free”, “Foxy Lady”, “Message To Love”, “Machine Gun”, “Spanish Castle Magic”, and “Freedom”. Live In Copenhagen 1968/70 (The Swingin’ Pig TSP-CD-220-2) contains only five tracks on disc two and features “Freedom”, “Red House”, “In From The Storm”, “Purple Haze”, and “Voodoo Child (Slight Return)”. Rattlesnake runs closer to the correct speed and in my opinion, sounds better than both Midnight Beat and The Swingin’ Pig. (Whoopy Cat not available for comparison)
Jimi rips out a few warm-up licks before his introductory harmonics give way to “Stone Free”. A wild version from the start, this sets the tone for the rest of the show. Hendrix tortures his Strat which leads into “Foxy Lady” perfectly. There are some slight speed issues with the tape but nothing too disturbing. The sound starts to clear up even more after Jimi’s solo and more of the drums come through as a result.
“Message To Love” is dedicated to all the brothers and sisters. The song ends with a breakdown in usual fashion and the sound of Hendrix’s guitar going through the Uni-vibe leads into the beautiful “Hey Baby” intro. The quiet dynamics allow for more of Mitch to come through. Hendrix launches unexpectedly into “All Along The Watchtower” and sounds like he catches Billy and Mitch by surprise. A difficult track for any three piece band, tonight’s version sounds rushed and a bit ragged.
Dedicated to anyone fighting over in Vietnam, Hendrix really begins to shine with “Machine Gun”. His playing is so loose here yet he is always in full control of his instrument and paints a vivid picture of wartime in the jungle. Reaching twelve minutes is still only average for this one and Jimi keeps everyone on guard for what may come next. While Jimi and Mitch simulate rapid gun fire around the ten minute mark, Hendrix appropriately features a bit of “Taps”. The band follows Hendrix into “Spanish Castle Magic” including a slightly out of tune guitar (common for this one). The main solo teeters between virtuosity and catastrophe before opening the gate to a smokin’ Mitch Mitchell drum solo. While the drums are a bit distant sounding the recording is clear and picks up his solo well.
More new unheard material follows with “Ezy Rider” and “Freedom”, two tracks that wouldn’t see the light of day until after Hendrix’s death. Both songs have great energy and translate very well in a live setting. The latter suffers in places from an out of tune guitar but contains one of the best ending riffs in Hendrix history. “Red House” closes disc one and features Hendrix right at home with the blues. He never seems to run out of licks and the track is extended beyond ten minutes to the audience’s delight (and mine too).
“In From The Storm”, another unreleased track, follows in what appears to be the final known live version performed. A quick but powerful “Purple Haze” complete with Jimi playing with his teeth leads non-stop into “Voodoo Child (Slight Return)”. Billy and Mitch lay down a solid rhythm while Hendrix rips it up and becomes one of the tightest sounding tracks of the night. Mitch gets another drum solo and about ten minutes in Jimi plays some great improv right before he gets into Cream’s “Sunshine Of You Love” and “Outside Woman Blues” riffs. Both are very quick references as is the riff for “Calling All Devil’s Children”. He introduces the band and finishes by returning to the main “Voodoo Child” theme. The show concludes with perhaps his two most popular tracks “Hey Joe” and “Fire”. During “Hey Joe” someone (Billy?) can be heard trying to emulate the female backing singers.
Rattlesnake includes the previous day’s concert from Arhus, Denmark as bonus tracks. The recording is a bit boomy and slightly distorted but is clear enough to hear everything and adequate enough to perfectly capture the event. This show was abandoned after only three tracks due to illness/exhaustion (drugs?) and rounds out this release perfectly. This fragment was previously issued on Welcome To The Electric Circus Vol. 2 (Midnight Beat MBCD 018) and as bonus tracks on Live At The Forum 1970 (Whoopy Cat WKP-0021/22).
Right from the start of “Freedom” it is apparent that something is wrong. The band is playing the track much slower than normal and Jimi sounds very erratic and even stops singing during the second verse. They take a minute to regroup and proceed with “Message To Love”. A rather sloppy rendition, Jimi is noodling around quite a bit throughout the track and doesn’t really follow the song’s arrangement. I even heard what sounds like the “Power Of Soul” riff in there. Hendrix’s attempt at “Hey Baby (The Land Of The New Rising Sun)” are somewhat pitiful and sounds like he is having trouble staying focused. They never even make it into the main part of the song before Mitch takes over with a drum solo and the show is abandoned immediately after.
Rattlesnake always does a really nice job with Hendrix releases and this is no exception. Packaged in a slimline jewel case, the discs each feature a picture of Jimi along with a nice booklet of live shots of the man himself in action. While it is always nice to have any Hendrix release, this one can be safely recommended as it captures two interesting performances just weeks before his death in decent sound quality.
I didn’t notice any source changes (at least none that I detected). If the label spliced in any alternate sources, they did a really good job concealing it as nothing jumped out at me. Sorry I don’t have more info for you. If anybody knows, please share your comments.
Would you tell us if this title comes from a multiple source merge or it’s sourced from main source and filled in parts with alternate recorders? I am asking ‘coz there’s a home made production that reveals a multiple source merge mix and I am curious if label just copied someone’s work or not…
Really enjoyable title, Jimi’s playing is infectious and sound quality is great. I love the 1970 live era and the “new” music adds an exciting vibe to the live shows