Hendrix’s Atlanta Pop Festival album ready

Jimi Hendrix at Atlanta Pop Festival

The Jimi Hendrix Experience’s “Freedom: Atlanta Pop Festival” is set for an Aug. 28 release.

The live album will be offered by Sony Legacy in double-disc sets, both CD and 200-gram vinyl. It will be followed by a fall video release.

Key tracks include “Straight Ahead,” “Lover Man,” “Message to Love” and “Stone Free.”

Atlanta Pop Festival posterThe track list appears to match the set list, and is in chronological order. “Hey Baby (New Rising Sun),” the final song Hendrix played at the fest, does not appear to be included, however. (Hendrix stopped played midway through the song.)

Hendrix performed July 4, 1970, at the second Atlanta International Pop Festival, which was in a field outside Byron, Ga. He was accompanied by Billy Cox (bass) and original Experience member Mitch Mitchell (drums).

As many as 400,000 people were there for Hendrix’s headlining set, which came off hours after it was scheduled due to the heat. Other acts at the festival included the Allman Brothers Band, Spirit, Terry Reid and Lee Michaels.

Hendrix’s performance — not considered one of his best — has been bootlegged on audio and released on VHS.

“Jimi Hendrix: Electric Church,” a new documentary about the Atlanta set “and the circumstances surrounding it” debuts Sept. 4 on Showtime, followed by a Blu-ray & DVD release Oct. 30. The disc will feature content not shown on Showtime, the Hendrix web site said. “The film contains breathtaking, color 16mm footage of Jimi Hendrix’s Independence Day appearance.”

Docu interviews include festival promoter Alex Cooley, Cox and Mitchell.

Hendrix was finishing an American tour at the time. He returned to Europe and died a little more than two months later.

A 7-inch single release of the Atlanta “Purple Haze”/”Freedom” was released for Record Store Day.

The first 5,000 vinyl copies of the Atlanta album will be numbered, the Hendrix web site said in confirming the release.

The Atlanta mix was done by longtime Hendrix sound wizard Eddie Kramer.

The “Freedom: Atlanta Pop Festival” track list:

Disc 1:
Lover Man
Spanish Castle Magic
Red House
Room Full of Mirrors
Hear My Train a Comin’
Message to Love

Disc 2:
All Along the Watchtower
Foxy Lady
Purple Haze
Hey Joe
Voodoo Child (Slight Return)
Stone Free
Star Spangled Banner
Straight Ahead

Personal note: I was there, sweating it out with the rest of the South’s hippie population. Hendrix went on way late, and sounded off the whole time. Or maybe we were just too exhausted to listen properly after three days of good times and great music. So many amazing bands — Hendrix’s wasn’t one of them that long day and night. …


  1. Michael says:

    How about a box set of these great festivals of the 70s. The long shelved box of the great Texas International Pop Festival is long overdue as well for re-release. Its time this one came out in full as well. So mant great bands were there! It would be amazing to hear them all! PLEASE

    • There was a Columbia set (three LPs) from Atlanta and the Isle of Wight titled “The First Great Rock Festivals of the Seventies” released in 1971. Hendrix, Miles Davis, Mountain. Pretty good as I recall. No CD except for an Italian knockoff.

      The Allman Bros. CD from Atlanta Pop 2 is outstanding. Includes the stage announcements when the fence came down.

      I agree, Michael — it would be great to have a box set focused on acts at Texas, Atlanta, Miami, etc.

  2. Those liner notes are bogus. No one who attended Atlanta Pop ’70 has any reliable memories of Jimi’s set. Too much time has passed. The best way to evaluate Jimi’s performance at Atlanta is by both listening to his set and watching what available footage we have of this concert. This is not an A+ performance by Jimi. Woodstock and Berkeley are superior. However, this isn’t a bad performance by Jimi by ANY MEANS. It’s very solid, just not as inspiring as Berkeley or Woodstock. I’d give his performance a solid B or B+. Highlights are definitely: Roomful of Mirrors, Freedom, Message to Love, and Straight Ahead. All of them are performed flawlessly. Other tunes are performed flawlessly as well but are not just not the most inspired renditions. I strongly recommend if you are a Jimi Hendrix fan to purchase this release when it becomes available. Eddie Kramer is a fine engineer and the sound quality and mix should be superb.

    • I was there. You watched some video. Got it. I would agree about the “B” grade. Thing is, a B wasn’t a passing grade at that festival.

      I tell people I saw Hendrix twice and he wasn’t all that great either time. Hendrix fans want to argue about that. But inevitably they weren’t there — and most likely never saw him.

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