Song of the Week – Them Changes, Buddy Miles

Ignored           Obscured            Restored

Drummer Buddy Miles is mostly recognized because of his affiliation with Jimi Hendrix’s Band of Gypsys.  Hendrix, Miles and Billy Cox released one album together, recorded live at the Fillmore East on January 1, 1970, and it holds up almost 50 years later.

But Miles’ career had much more to it than the Hendrix connection.  He was a founding member of The Electric Flag, along with guitarist Mike Bloomfield and vocalist Nick Gravenites, that released two albums in 1968.

In 1970, Miles released a couple of solo discs.  The first came out a few months before Hendrix died and was titled after his signature song, “Them Changes” (which was also on the Band of Gypsys album).

“Them Changes” is a terrific, funk rock rave-up, fueled by the Memphis Horns (Stax Records’ Steve Cropper produced the album).  Miles delivers a strong vocal too.

(For a goof, check out the Bobby McFerrin a capella version recorded on his Simple Pleasures album — the one that also had the insipid “Don’t Worry, Be Happy”.)

Them Changes is a very good album that included a few interesting covers of prominent artists like The Allman Brothers (“Dreams”), Neil Young (“Down by the River”) and Otis Redding (“Your Feeling is Mine”).

Enjoy… until next week.

3 thoughts on “Song of the Week – Them Changes, Buddy Miles

  1. Hi! Was just listening to this Albert King performance in Chicago, 1968. Notice that the riff the opening horn band plays as Albert walks on is the riff and bass line from ‘Them Changes’. Do you know when Buddy wrote it?

    • Yeah, I just listened to the concert: At about 6:45 the band definitely is playing “Them Changes” so he must have written it by ’68. Since Miles was based in Chicago with the Electric Flag in ’68 it’s no surprise the band knew it.

  2. VERY cool. God bless Buddy. Buddy Miles wrote the great song Them Changes featured on the Band of Gypsys album. But here’s a song that came our 6 MONTHS BEFORE THAT by a band Buddy AND Hendrix both saw performing live in concert. You tell me if there’s a similarity in the riffs to Them Changes or not? I say yes!

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