Release Date

March 25, 1970

“Machine Gun” is a song written by American musician Jimi Hendrix, and originally recorded for the 1970 Band of Gypsys album, with Billy Cox and Buddy Miles. It is a lengthy, loosely defined (jam-based) protest of the Vietnam War, and perhaps a broader comment on conflict of any kind. Hendrix’s 12-minute performance of “Machine Gun” for the Band of Gypsys is often lauded as his greatest, and is considered a stunning display of guitar virtuosity. Hendrix’s long guitar solos and percussive riffs combine with controlled feedback to simulate the sounds of a battlefield, such as helicopters, dropping bombs, explosions, machine guns, and the screams and cries of those wounded or grieving. Although a proper studio recording was never realized, several other live recordings exist.