JIMI HENDRIX — Electric Ladyland

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JIMI HENDRIX - Electric Ladyland cover
4.05 | 29 ratings | 4 reviews
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Album · 1968

Filed under Proto-Metal


1. ...And the Gods Made Love (1:21)
2. Have You Ever Been (To Electric Ladyland) (2:11)
3. Crosstown Traffic (2:13)
4. Voodoo Chile (15:01)
5. Little Miss Strange (2:52)
6. Long Hot Summer Night (3:27)
7. Come On (Part 1) (4:09)
8. Gypsy Eyes (3:43)
9. Burning of the Midnight Lamp (3:39)
10. Rainy Day, Dream Away (3:42)
11. 1983... (A Merman I Should Turn to Be) (13:39)
12. Moon, Turn the Tides... Gently Gently Away (1:01)
13. Still Raining, Still Dreaming (4:25)
14. House Burning Down (4:33)
15. All Along the Watchtower (4:00)
16. Voodoo Child (Slight Return) (5:13)


- Jimi Hendrix / Guitar, Lead Vocals, Bass, Electric Harpsichord, Percussion, Backing Vocals, Kazoo
- Noel Redding / Bass, Backing Vocals, Acoustic Guitar, Lead Vocals on Little Miss Strange
- Mitch Mitchell / Drums, Percussion, Backing Vocals, Lead Vocals on Little Miss Strange

- Jack Casady / Bass on Voodoo Chile
- Steve Winwood / Organ on Voodoo Chile
- Mike Finnigan / Organ
- Al Kooper / Piano on Long Hot Summer Night
- Cissy Houston / Backing Vocals
- Larry Faucette / Congas
- Brian Jones / Percussion
- Freddie Smith / Tenor Saxophone
- Buddy Miles / Drums on Rainy Day, Dream Away and Still Raining, Still Dreaming
- Dave Mason / Acoustic 12-string Guitar, Backing Vocals
- Chris Wood / Flute

About this release


Disc 1:
1. ...And the Gods Made Love (1:22)
2. Have You Ever Been (To Electric Ladyland) (2:11)
3. Crosstown Traffic (2:25)
4. Voodoo Chile (15:02)
5. Still Raining, Still Dreaming (4:25)
6. House Burning Down (4:33)
7. All Along the Watchtower (4:00)
8. Voodoo Child (Slight Return) (5:13)

Disc 2:
9. Little Miss Strange (2:51)
10. Long Hot Summer Night (3:27)
11. Come On (Part 1) (4:10)
12. Gypsy Eyes (3:43)
13. Burning of the Midnight Lamp (3:40)
14. Rainy Day, Dream Away (3:42)
15. 1983... (A Merman I Should Turn to Be) (4:49)
16. Moon, Turn the Tides... Gently Gently Away (9:54)

Thanks to Time Signature for the addition


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Specialists/collaborators reviews

siLLy puPPy
THE JIMI HENDRIX EXPERIENCE may have had a short shelf life having only existed for four years and crafting three albums but they really knew how to make things count and take things to the next level on each subsequent release. The final chapter of the power trio that consisted of JIMI HENDRIX on vocals and guitar (and various other instruments such as comb and tissue paper kazoo!), Noel Redding on bass and Mitch Mitchell on drums resulted in one of the most complex and enduring albums that the late 60s had to offer. In addition to the trio’s dominate instrumental prowess on the third and final album ELECTRIC LADYLAND, there was a whole army of guest musicians and production personnel involved making this one of the most expensive albums to have come out in 1968 and with eleven musicians and vocalists adding touches of flute, saxophone, Hammond organ, piano, 12-string guitar, congas and backing vocals, it’s also one of the most diverse and magnanimous sounding albums of the band’s three album career.

Keeping things in the same cosmic flow as their previous two albums, the EXPERIENCE continued in the lines of the psychedelically fueled blues rock that alternated between hard rock, blues and funk that added jazz touches. The indefatigable JIMI HENDRIX himself spent countless hours recording and re-recording tracks and then polishing them into pure perfection to the point where his perfectionist tendencies which coupled with the open invitation for friends to join in on the studio time led to a break in the professional relationship between HENDRIX and the man responsible for his initial success, Chas Chandler. The track “Gypsy Eyes” alone took 50 takes in 3 sessions to record. Despite the magnanimous nature of what went into the recording and production values, ELECTRIC LADYLAND sounds as if it was created in an impromptu performance as it flows fairly naturally from beginning to end, production techniques excluded of course.

So fertile was HENDRIX’s output that there was enough material to create a double album and at a playing time of over 75 minutes, was quite the commitment for the fans to wrap their heads around but nonetheless ELECTRIC LADYLAND instantly shot to the top of the charts and generated the band’s only top 40 hit in the US with the Bob Dylan cover of “All Along The Watchtower,” a track that Dylan himself has admitted to being a vast improvement over his original. While the public enthusiastically supported the new album, the critics who had trouble finding a way to relate to the album weren’t so kind but was the decades have elapsed and new generations have discovered the ambitious nature of this album, it has since been deemed one of the greatest rock albums of all time as it effortlessly coalesced the disparate elements of funk, blues, hard rock, jazz and psychedelia under one anthemic banner.

ELECTRIC LADYLAND crafted a much denser and sophisticated compositional approach than either “Are You Experienced?” or “Axis: Bold As Love.” While clearly still rooted in the bluesy heavy rock riffing and guitar soloing showmanship style that had propelled HENDRIX into the limelight, the album shows a rock band evolving past the limitations of what a rock band was considered to be and much like The Beatles’ “Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club” which changed the musical landscape the year prior was in the forefront of experimental techniques that included extensive use of backmasking, chorus effects, echoing and flange. Likewise the 15 minute long “Voodoo Chile” presaged the entire progressive rock revolution that would become official once King Crimson launched their ground zero detonating “In The Court Of The Crimson King” the following year. In short, ELECTRIC LADYLAND had the simplicity and hooks to draw in the crowds and the subtle complexities to keep them coming back for more.

Eclectic and diverse, ELECTRIC LADYLAND showcased HENDRIX’s own sundry stylistic approaches. While some tracks like “Voodoo Chile” exorcised his deepest inner blues, others like “Come On” focused on R&B whereas “Crosstown Traffic” was more in the acid hard rock camp. “Little Miss Strange” was one of the few tracks to feature Mitch Mitchell on lead vocals and is a strange little 60s beat pop song tucked into the layers of psychedelically tinged externalities that provide the unifying factor. HENDRIX seemed to realize that this would be his magnum opus as his attention to this exhaustive labor of love only became apparent to the world that his works were indeed the makings of a mad genius who ceaselessly toiled over his worktable to create the next addition to his musical canvas. With a message presented in the album’s final track “Voodoo Child (Slight Return)” that said “If I don't meet you no more in this world, then I'll meet you in the next one, and don't be late, don't be late” makes you wonder if HENDRIX didn’t know on a higher level that his days on Earth were limited.

Having not been around for the original release of this magnificent album has been one of my biggest hurdles in appreciating its brilliance as i’ve had to work my way back through the timeline to wrap my head around the mindset that launched the whole 60s psychedelic rock scene in the first place. While any progressive rock or metalhead who delves deep enough in the way back machine will ultimately end up here, it does not mean for a second that the album will be regarded in such high esteem. The album has to be not just heard but EXPERIENCED on a higher plane to truly understand. It’s almost a transcendental meditative experience in its own right once the left-brained antics of comparison to those who were influenced by this era are allowed to dissipate. Overall the album comes off as a dream sequence at rock concert where the performers exist in multiple dimensions simultaneously and are able to connect on a cosmic level superseding the 3D limitations of the Earth plane. Something struck a chord with the fans. ELECTRIC LADYLAND remains the JIMI HENDRIX EXPERIENCE’s most successful album of the mere three album career and one that may not transcend the time it was created but on the contrary takes the listener back to the best aspects of what made the era so great.
The Jimi Hendrix Experience's final album captures the band just at the moment it disintegrated - when Jimi's soaring ambitions finally reached the point where Noel and Mitch simply couldn't keep up any more. Nowhere is this more obvious than on Noel's sole composition on the album, "Little Miss Strange" - an unambitious slice of 60s pop which shows absolutely no songwriting progress or development over "She's So Fine" on Axis: Bold as Love. But even as the structure of the trio disintegrates before your very ears, wonderful things come out of the cracks. The epic "Voodoo Chile", a sprawling improvisation encompassing a whole range of blues styles, doesn't even feature Redding on it - Mitch is still on drums, but Jefferson Airplane's Jack Casady is on bass, and Steve Winwood guests on organ.

The album also sees Hendrix moving away from the songwriting approach that dominated his first two albums and going for increasingly long songs, no longer content to confine his ideas to brief two-to-three minute bursts. It's not that he's forgotten how to produce fast-paced and punchy short tracks - this album includes Crosstown Traffic, one of Hendrix's best songs in that style - it's just that he's less interested in it. This does mean that some of the shorter songs on the album aren't quite up to the standards of the epics - Long Hot Summer Night seems kind of shallow, and the cover of Come On (Let the Good Times Roll) is a bit of fun but doesn't strive to be much more than a bit of fun. Whilst Mitch seems game for this new direction, Noel isn't featured on either of the album's big epics (Voodoo Chile and 1983...A Merman I Should Turn To Be), both of which result from jam sessions which Noel wasn't sitting in on. But that isn't to say that the epics on the album aren't the only attraction, or that Noel isn't a presence at all - songs like Voodoo Child (Slight Return) (a heavy, proto-metallic summarisation of Voodoo Chile), and the awe-inspiring and definitive cover of Dylan's All Along the Watchtower show the trio in full flight. But it was more than clear at this point that Jimi not only didn't need the trio structure any more, he positively needed to branch out and experiment with other artists and band configurations in order to give full expression to his many ideas. The album isn't perfect - again, Little Miss Strange just doesn't seem to belong - but as far as a swansong for the Experience goes, it's a truly fine one.
I completely understand self-indulgence in music, after all we're in a Progressive Rock website and that happens VERY often round here. But in this case, is really sad! Jimi Hendrix was a great artist, a revolutionary and a guitar hero. But that's not all, he had a touch for writting good songs and his first two albums prooves that.

The problem with Electric Ladyland (1968) is that he went too far with experiments. Many of them completely nonsense. If the album had been released as a simple album, not double, it would have been his masterwork, his best album. But, the way it is, as a double album it becomes boring around the middle.

Program your stereo to: 'Have You Ever Been (To Electric Ladyland)', 'Crosstown Traffic', 'Burning of the Midnight Lamp', 'Rainy Day, Dream Away', 'All Along the Watchtower' and 'Voodoo Chile (Slight Return)' and you'll be fine!
"Electric Ladyland" is an essential Jimi Hendrix album, one of the most discussed and revered in rock history. One glance at the track listing will provide a reason, as it boasts some of the Hendrix classics such as the bustling rhythmic 'Crosstown Traffic', the extended 'Voodoo Chile', both versions simply blaze and smoulder with infernal power, the psych rock of 'Burning of the Midnight Lamp', and wonderful lead guitar standard, the blues drenched Dylan penned 'All Along the Watchtower.' This last song is essential Hendrix, with some amazing guitar interplay with the poetic lyrics such as the infamous, "there must be some way outta here, said the joker to the thief." The wah-wah guitar lead is hugely influential and well known by guitarists.

It is also an album with some incredible psychedelic bursts such as the floating, trippy '1983... (A Merman I Should Turn to Be)' clocking just under 14 minutes. After a haunting slow start it moves into an improvised percussion segment and some chilling celestial atmospherics, with minimalist guitar and heartbeat bass. 'Voodoo Chile (slight return)' is brilliant, and a staple for guitar enthusiasts that has blasted the radio airwaves ever since it saw the light of day. The lead break is quintessential Hendrix, with slices up and down the frets and soul chilling sustained string bends that pierce like arrows. 'Burning of the Midnight Lamp' has a recognizable guitar signature and Hendrix' voice is saturated with Acid influenced venom. There are also weird experimental pieces such as '...And the Gods Made Love' and 'Moon, Turn the Tides... Gently Gently Away' that are more confounding then welcome additions.

Some of the lesser known songs are the ultra bluesy 'Have You Ever Been (To Electric Ladyland)', uptempo fast riffer 'Gypsy Eyes', blues rocker 'Come On (Part 1)', saxophone, Hammond and guitar driven cruiser 'Rainy Day, Dream Away', the sizzling riffing Bolero rhythm influenced 'House Burning Down', and the jazzy, simmering 'Long Hot Summer Night'.

It is the last studio release for Hendrix and came out at the peak of the flower power counterculture era, 1968. The album became the soundtrack for the Vietnam War that was raging strong, and it was the album to play as one was ingesting hallucinogenic psych drugs. This was an era of immeasurable change; Man was about to land on the moon and Woodstock on Yasgur's Farm was still in its planning stages. The front cover was banned in some countries, and photographer David Montgomery's artistic license was not embraced by Hendrix who expressed embarrassment at the naked women adorned all over the cover leering at the music buying public with enticing delight. This cover was quickly replaced with the original design of Hendrix singing in close up, but of course it is the "naked ladyland" cover that everyone remembers and that appears in album cover books.

Overall, the album is a showcase of all that made Hendrix great and as a double album of considerable length, over 75 minutes, it delivers quite a bang for the buck. It features some incredible musicianship from members of Jefferson Airplane and Traffic among others. The extended improvised jam session features Steve Winwood burning gloriously on his keyboard, and there is a massive drum solo, as well as Hendrix taking control with blues power finesse, and a lot of congratulatory cheering and applause. It is moments as these that make the album a milestone of classic rock. Hendrix connoisseurs herald it as one of the best of 1968, and it has gone down in history as an essential rock treasure.

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