Robert Christgau: Dean of American Rock Critics

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Consumer Guide Album

Jimi Hendrix: Hendrix in the West [Reprise, 1972]
Despite the introductory mini-medley of "God Save the Queen" and "Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band" from Isle of Wight--a great in-concert idea that doesn't have any business on a record--these San Diego (with the Experience) and Berkeley (with Cox and Mitchell) performances make a better live album than Band of Gypsys. Not all of it is historic, but "Red House," done as a long blues jam marred briefly by a lazy unaccompanied passage, and "Little Wing," stronger and freer than on Axis: Bold as Love (or Layla), are definitive. And so, heh heh, is "Johnny B. Goode." A-