on January 19, 2004
As far as film accounts of Jimi Hendrix go, this is absoluetly the best from every conceivable perspective. Camera work is terrific: none of the poor lighting that mars Berkley or Band of Gypsies, none of the dental examination that comprises all but a few minutes of Woodstock. The opening sequences are informative. Mitch Mitchell and Billy Cox give a very solid account of how truly beyond pop stars they had become by that point, heading towards a jazz-blues fusion that only Miles Davis and John McLaughlin would be able to assume with any respectability.
It is very clear from backstage chatter thru the comments of his tour manager and band mates that Hendrix was not keen on performing at this concert and had begun to feel that he was, in fact, beyond rock and its infantile approach to artists. That said, he had enormous respect for the people who had paid money to see him and so tore into this concert with enormous brio. His fingerwork is among his most dazzling. The camera crew captures three men feeding off each other with visual ques that also point to how sober, clean and focused Jimi was by this time. He and Mitchell were as in sync with each other as Coltrane and Elvin Jones. Cox has been unfairly glossed over in music and this film and soundtrack illustrate that he was the best bass player for the best guitarist of all time.
If you are a fan, pick this up. If you are curious, I'd suggest this as theplace to start. Many thanks to the Hendrix family for releasing an incendiary performance. In a matter of weeks, Jimi would be dead. You'd never guess it from here: one listen to Voodoo Chile would convince you.
I might also add that this DVD is far superior to the CD, whose sequencing made no sense and gives the listener the impression that Hendrix wants to get out as soon as possible. For the future: stick with Jimi's sequencing. He knew what he was about, and this DVD proves it.
on June 29, 2004
Judging from the clips of Hendrix's Isle of Wight performance that I've seen in other documentaries, I always thought that this 1970 show in front of 600,000 people represented the sad end of Jimi's career. True, Hendrix wrestled with numerous technical problems and an audience obnoxiously yelling for hits, but that's only the half of it. The other half, to my delight, consists in moments of humor, a great set list and a relentless series of "jaw meet floor" guitar moments. In fact, of all the Hendrix DVDs available, this should be at the top af any true fan's list.
Since this is a complete concert, you get a real sense of Hendrix's ability to shape the otherwise chaotic energy of a 1960s rock show into a series of peaks to which he gingerly leads the assembled and just as carefully brings them home from. It's not just the rapid-fire blues scale runs that impress; witness his driving rhythm playing in All Along the Watchtower, his fluttering double-stops and tasteful dominant-chord comping throughout. The "Machine Gun" here rivals the version from the original Band of Gypsys record, and as for the rendition of Red House...considering that Hendrix is the best electric rock/blues guitarist in history and that Red House is his best blues song, this is simply one of the greatest blues performances ever recorded - and I say that with all due respect to the originators of the form. Jimi's blues at that time were very real; the hellhound of death was on his trail, and his only refuge was another hotel room in another of his endless tour stops. But The Master was still vital, and this DVD should put to rest the myth that he was creatively burning out in 1970. So don't buy the hype - Isle of Wight was a great Hendrix gig, and Blue Wild Angel is your front row ticket.
on May 23, 2004
This is my favorite Hendrix show. At first I bought the 2 CD digipak and loved every minute of it. I listened to the whole concert over and over. One day I finally decided to buy the DVD, and I was amazed. I watched the whole show, gazing at my hero onstage tuning his guitar, giving gestures to his bandmates, adjusting the amps. This is an amazing show, it starts out with Hendrix doing his rendition of God Save The Queen, it's very entertaining I might add. But the one song that made my jaw hit the floor was MACHINE GUN, sure I was amazed when I heard it, but actually seeing it is another experience. Electrifying. I love seeing Hendrix play Ezy Ryder, Freedom, and Dolly Dagger, since they weren't released during his lifetime. I'm not sure whether the crowd was more into the concert or I was, but this one blew my mind as far as Hendrix performances go. Other highlights include Spanish Castle Magic, Red House, Foxey Lady, Message To Love, and In From The Storm. Get this DVD it's amazing.
First off the show it's self is good. Not Jimi on his best night but still good. For that I would have given 4 stars but the Blu ray version is, well....sad. First of the screen has bars down the side (which is the norm on Blu ray) but it shrinks the modern interviews to a square in the center of the screen. It has a bright bar of light down the side of the frame at times. It even has a section where little white dots appear and disappear across the screen (checked it on two Blu ray players and it did it on both). To tell you the truth it could pass as a bootleg. I am one of those people who loves music Blu rays be it Audio only or concerts but I wish the had left this one as a DVD release only. Too bad Hendrix deserves better.
on November 3, 2003
HENDRIX BLUE WILD ANGEL
This is one of my favorite Hendrix DVDS. In the mist of the 1970s Hendrix was trying to create new music. This concert proved to be one of his best performences ever other than the woodstock concert. Hendrix opened up with God Save The Queen an amazing thing bout the opening song was that Hendrix forget the song and asked one of his road managers before he went on How Does God Save The Queen Go? And his road manger sounded it out. Hendrix then went on stage and played it creativly great. Hendrix then had his Marshall Stacks bout 5 of them all go dead I mean no sound what so ever. Finally the roadys or whatever you like to call them fixed the amps and Hendrix started Spanish Castle Magic wow this was a differnt solo then Hendrix usually played. Hendrixs version of all along the wacthower took place next to me I loved wacthing Hendrix play this song Live it was a dream come true it was great. Hendrix went on with alot more songs I loved seeing Hendrix also play his new material like Freedom, Dolly Dagger, also In From The Storm. When Hendrix played Machine Gun that night he played his heart out running over 20 minutes I think this song was better played live at The Isle Of Wight than The Fillmore East. Hendrix played on Lover Man, and Message to Love. All together Hendrix played about 17 songs and this concert marked to be one of the latest and best concerts ever. BLUE WILD ANGEL:LIVE AT THE ISLE OF WIGHT ON DVD is a must have for a Hendrix fan better than all the rest DVDS ENJOY
on June 18, 2003
JIMI HENDRIX live at the Isle Of Wight documents the guitarist's legendary performance before 600,000 people at this massive outdoor music and arts festival in August 1970. This unforgettable concert film experience draws heavy upon Academy Award winning director Murray Lerner's vast archive of previously unseen performance footage and presents some of HENDRIX'S finest ever concert performances, including extended takes of "Machine Gun," "Red House," and other faviorates such as "All Along The Watchtower," "Voodoo Child (Slight Return)." New interviews with JIMI HENDRIX Experience band members Mitch Mitchell, Billy Cox, and others set the stage for the concert footage that follows. In addition to providing the definative look at one of the landmark events in HENDRIX'S storied career. Blue Wild Angel features both a stereo and 5.1 audio surround soundtracks newly mixed by HENDRIX'S original recording engineer Eddie Kramer!
154 Minutes, Stereo, Color, Exclusive 5.1 Surround Sound Mix! View Jimi's legandary concert in it's original sequence as filmed. Hear Jimi's legendary concert in either stereo or 5.1 surround audio. DVD extra features include: Multiple camera picture in picture, wich allows for simultaneous viewing of multiple camera angles for "Spanish Castle Magic'" "Machine Gun," "Red House" and "Foxey Lady." A behind the scenes interview with director Murray Lerner. Rare artifacts and memorbilia including original tickets, festival posters, and even HENDRIX'S own handwritten directions to the festival site! Get this entire concert, and three more tracks not featured on here, on the special 2-CD edition digipak!
1.)God Save The Queen
2.)Sgt. Pepper's Lonley Hearts Club Band
3.)Spanish Castle Magic
4.)All Along The Watchtower
11.)Message To Love
14.)Voodoo Child (Slight Return)
15.)In From The Storm
on June 7, 2003
I said that when I was thirteen years old, and I say it now at thirty eight years old. If anyone wants to see what it was all about instead of hearing what is played on the radio from "Are You Experienced" this DVD is it! An absolute master of his instrument, this footage shows his control, mastery and his limitless imagination of what the electric guitar is capable of. No one did it better. He layed it all down for future generations. This is Hendrix the musician as opposed to the rock star image that is portayed on radio and the media. His adventurous musicianship can be compared to saxophonists Eric Dolphy, Anthony Braxton, and Roland Kirk, to name a few, in his creative blend of sounds and notes.
A small edit glitch! Check out during "Ezy Ryder" you will briefly see the headstock of his Gibson Flying V come into veiw when he was playing the tune with his Black Fender Stratocaster!
Not to much footage of Billy Cox and Mitch Mitchell though. These two were great contributors to the music as well.
Five stars also must go to Eddie Kramer for his excellent remastering of the video and audio. Great sound and video footage.
Everyone that has even a remote interest in Jimi should own this. Check it out!
on April 22, 2003
Finally, the complete film footage of the last major concert performance by Jimi Hendrix at the 1970 'Isle Of Wight' festival is now available. This historic show has been available through the years under different names and permeations, but never as the complete concert and in proper sequence. This errors have now been thoroughly corrected with the release of the superb DVD "Blue Wild Angel".
Reputedly, this is supposed to be a sub-par performance by a tired and burnt-out Hendrix, and if that's the case, even a sub-par Hendrix is still a marvel to behold. Regardless of his physical and mental conditions that night, Jimi still managed to deliver scintillating versions of "All Along The Watchtower", "Red House", and the always inspiring "Voodoo Child (Slight Return)". The ferocious, anguished "Machine Gun" alone makes this DVD essential. Finally, there's the rare, and to best of my knowlege, unavailable elsewhere, live renditions of "Freedom", "Message To Love", and "In From The Storm", great new compositions that pointed the musical directions Hendrix was headed just before he sadly died.
The sound and picture quality are very good for a film this old and just recently restored. I would have enjoyed the footage a bit more if there was less facial close-ups and fast-cut editting, especially during the guitar solos, but overall it's still enjoyable, especially if you're a Hendrix fan.
Overall, "Blue Wild Angel" is the best Jimi Hendrix concert film capturing one of the true guitar geniuses of all time in a last performance. No Jimi Hendrix fan should be without this DVD.
April 22, 2003 lr**
on March 3, 2003
This DVD contains a short documnetary on the concert (events leading up to it, the preperation that went into it, etc..) then it gets right to the concert. The film is very clean (great remastering job) and the new 5.1 audio mix (coutersy of Eddie Kramer himself) must be heard to be believed (it's so good you can hear all the little flaws). The show is for the most part in tact, you never get the sense that anything was clipped for the purpose of saving time, you get to see Hendrix walk over and adjust his amps between songs, hear him talk to the stage people, etc.. it's a very real picture of what this concert was. This is in my opnion the best of the Hendrix DVDs when all is consered (definately the best sound quality),
The only negitive thing I have to say about this DVD, and really the combination of all the Hendrix DVDs are that they prove this legend was human. Not to take anything away to his contributions to the guitar and rock music, but in this DVD we hear a perfectly sober Hendrix making quite a few mistakes in his songs, ocassionally hiting wrong notes and struggling with a few songs to pull off acceptable live renditions of what was studio magic (e.g. All Along The Watchtower). These issues are not unique to this DVD, if you're a Hendrix fan it's best to just accept this. The passion, and the amazing execution of Hendrix guitar work is captured best here.
on December 20, 2002
Hendrix died when I was 14, then I started playing guitar. While not virtuoistic myself, all the famous axemen cite James as their major influence (SRV, Satch among others). To be able to see James up there on that primative stage, with all those 1970 faces, clothing, and James with his Strat, Marshalls and those 3 (wow only 3!)ancient technological legendary music-changing guitar-effects-pedals wailing for 2 hours is mesmerizing. It is also the single-most high-octane source of inspiration I own to gas me up to play again. Just to be able to see him perform for so long, uninterrupted, on a DVD in 5.1 is so great and beyond comprehension I am continually amazed and more impressed with each viewing. Despite the (mainly unnoticable) flaws mentioned in other reviews about the sound synching, the poor 5.1 quality, etc, hey, we're talking about Hendrix in 1970, and the ease with which we can see it today just so overcomes any minor technical glitch. This is as effective as it gets. While others may not think this treasure is delivered efficiently, how can one quibble when you can see this legend at work, at 2AM, kicking butt bigtime. This material is so hard to find, and I'm SO HAPPY I can click a few buttons & see this 28 yr old doing his God-given gift: performing and entertaining several hundred thousand people and enchanting them all (and me 32 yrs later)!!
I suppose actually filming that set at 2AM took a lot of work. My hat's off to those cameramen and those that transferred the film into DVD format. And how about those Marshalls ?
James would have turned 60 in Sept 2002. He was the greatest, most innovative, bring-it-to-the-front/in-your-face guitarist ever, not to mention Seattle's biggest contribution to world culture.