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Jimi Hendrix Experience
Electric Ladyland (2LP) (October 1968)

Jimi Hendrix Experience — Electric Ladyland (2CD) (October 1968)  Jimi Hendrix Experience — Electric Ladyland (2CD) (October 1968)
•   Although it confounded critics upon its release, Electric Ladyland has since been viewed as Hendrix’s best work and one of the greatest rock albums of all time. It has been featured on many greatest–album lists, including Q magazine’s 2003 list of the 100 greatest albums and Rolling Stone’​s list of the 500 greatest albums of all time, on which it was ranked 54th.
Genre: classic rock, blues rock, psychedelic rock
Album release: October 16, 1968
Recorded: July and December 1967, and January and April–August 1968
Studio: Olympic Studios in London, and Record Plant Studios and Mayfair Studios in New York
Record Label: Reprise {Reprise 6307–2}
Duration:     38:54 + 36:40 => 75:34
01 …And The Gods Made Love     1:21
02 Have You Ever Been (To Electric Ladyland)     2:12
03 Crosstown Traffic     2:27
04 Voodoo Chile     15:01
05 Little Miss Strange (Noel Redding)     2:51
06 Long Hot Summer Night     3:28
07 Come On (Part 1) (Earl King)     4:11
08 Gypsy Eyes     3:45
09 Burning Of The Midnight Lamp     3:39
01 Rainy Day, Dream Away     3:44
02 1983….(A Merman I Should Turn To Be)     13:37
03 Moon, Turn the Tides….gently gently away     1:05
04 Still Raining, Still Dreaming     4:27
05 House Burning Down     4:33
06 All Along The Watchtower (Bob Dylan)     4:02
07 Voodoo Child (Slight Return)     5:12
•   Produced and Directed by Jimi Hendrix
Cover notes:
•   Hendrix had written to Reprise describing what he wanted for the cover art, but was mostly ignored. He expressly asked for a color photo by Linda Eastman of the group sitting with children on a sculpture from Alice in Wonderland in Central Park, and drew a picture of it for reference. The company instead used a blurred red and yellow photo of his head, taken by Karl Ferris. Track Records used its art department, which produced a cover image by photographer David Montgomery, who also shot the inside cover portrait of Hendrix, depicting nineteen nude women lounging in front of a black background. Hendrix expressed displeasure and embarrassment with this “naked lady” cover, much as he was displeased with the Axis: Bold as Love cover which he found disrespectful. The cover was banned by several record dealers as “pornographic”, while others sold it with the gatefold cover turned inside out.Personnel:
•   Credits taken from the 1993 MCA compact disc booklet.
•   Jimi Hendrix — lead vocals, guitar, piano, percussion, comb and tissue paper kazoo, electric harpsichord, bass on “Have You Ever Been (To Electric Ladyland)”, “Long Hot Summer Night”, “Gypsy Eyes”, “1983", “House Burning Down”, and “All Along the Watchtower”
•   Noel Redding — backing vocals, bass on “Crosstown Traffic”, “Little Miss Strange”, “Come On (Let the Good Times Roll)”, “Burning of the Midnight Lamp”, and “Voodoo Child (Slight Return)”, acoustic guitar and lead vocals on “Little Miss Strange”
•   Mitch Mitchell — backing vocals, drums (except on “Rainy Day Dream Away” and “Still Raining, Still Dreaming”), percussion, lead vocals on “Little Miss Strange”
Additional personnel:
•   Jack Casady — bass on “Voodoo Chile”
•   Brian Jones — percussion on “All Along the Watchtower”
•   Al Kooper — piano on “Long Hot Summer Night”
•   Dave Mason — twelve string guitar on “All Along the Watchtower”, backing vocals on “Crosstown Traffic”
•   The Sweet Inspirations — backing vocals on “Burning of the Midnight Lamp”
•   Steve Winwood — organ on “Voodoo Chile”
•   Chris Wood — flute on “1983... (A Merman I Should Turn to Be)”, on “Rainy Day, Dream Away” and “Still Raining, Still Dreaming”
•   Larry Faucette — congas
•   Mike Finnigan — organ
•   Buddy Miles — drums
•   Freddie Smith — tenor saxophone
•   Producer — Jimi Hendrix
•   Engineers — Eddie Kramer and Gary Kellgren
•   Mixed by Jimi Hendrix, Eddie Kramer, and Gary Kellgren
•   Arranged by Jimi Hendrix
•   US cover liner note by Jimi Hendrix
•   US cover design — Karl Ferris
•   US cover inside photos — Linda Eastman and David Sygall
•   US art direction — Ed Thrasher
•   UK cover design — David King, Rob O’Connor
•   UK cover inside photos — David Montgomery
•   First CD remaster by Lee Herschberg (Reprise 6307–2)
•   Second CD remaster by Alan Douglas — Remastering by Joe Gastwirt, Liner notes by Michael Fairchild
•   Third CD remaster by Experience Hendrix — Remastering by Eddie Kramer and George Marino, Art direction by Vartan, Liner notes by Jeff Leve, Essay by Derek Taylor.Awards:
Billboard Albums
•   2010 Electric Ladyland The Billboard 200      #1
•   2010 Electric Ladyland Top Pop Catalog      #3
•   1968 Electric Ladyland R&B Albums      #5
•   1968 Electric Ladyland The Billboard 200      #1
Billboard Singles
•   1968 All Along The Watchtower The Billboard Hot 100      #20
•   1968 Crosstown Traffic The Billboard Hot 100      #52
Sleevnote 1:
•   Electric Ladyland is the 1968 double album by the Jimi Hendrix Experience and is their third album. This is the first American digital release of this album, which Reprise released as a double CD in 1987 since most compact discs could not go beyond 74 minutes at the time. This is an unremastered version, or a “flat transfer”, from the existing master tape at the time and is different from the mastering that was released for the CD in England at the time. Unlike the Germany CD from 1984 which has songs in different order due to how it was made on vinyl (i.e. Side 1 and Side 4 for Disc 1; Side 2 and Side 3 for Disc 2), the American CD separated each record with their own individual disc and are in proper order.
•   Nearly four decades ago, a blazing comet crashed into London’s burgeoning music scene and exploded in a cloud of purple haze. Arriving from an entirely different artistic universe, that comet, better known as James Marshall Hendrix, single–handedly changed the face of ‘60s pop culture. Everything about this axe–wielding apparition was different: his looks, his playing style, his ability to create. Even the name of his band, The Jimi Hendrix Experience, foretold the sensory journey he was to lead. He was light–years ahead of his time, and quite possibly too good for his own good, as his visit proved to be a short one. What Hendrix did in his brief career, however, was raise the bar of creativity to impossible heights, while cementing a legacy as an innovator, visionary, and icon.
•   Hendrix’ prowess as a guitarist initially left Eric Clapton and Pete Townshend slack–jawed in disbelief, and nearly made them hang up their own instruments out of frustration. Yet Jimi’s talent was not predicated on mere physical dexterity, but more so on spirit. The guitar was a part of him; an appendage that was directly connected to his head and heart and channeled through his soul. The sounds and emotions emanating from his lefty–strung Fender Stratocaster and amps were by–products of what Hendrix could see and feel within himself. So profound were his musical and spiritual sensibilities that his accomplishments still elicit wonder and amazement all these years later.
•   The scope and breadth of the Hendrix catalogue belies the fact that only three studio albums were recorded during his lifetime. Beginning with 1967’s Are You Experienced and progressing through Axis: Bold As Love (also from 1967) to 1968’s Electric Ladyland, Hendrix matured as an artist at an unbelievably rapid rate. His debut recording showcased unbridled flair and flash; it was anchored by the classic psychedelic excursions of “Fire”, “Foxy Lady”, “Manic Depression”, and “3rd Stone From the Sun”, while also hinting at Hendrix’ deep affinity for American Delta Blues with the inclusions of “Hey Joe” and “Red House”. Axis went a step further as Hendrix deftly mingled the ethereal beauty of “Little Wing” and “Castles Made Of Sand” with the acid test mind expansion of “If 6 Was 9”.
•   Hendrix’s true genius was not fully recognized until his final studio album; Electric Ladyland was an exhaustive labor of love, one that blended aspects of Jimi’s past, present, and future into a bubbling cauldron of sonic energy and expression. Originally released as a double album, (adorned with a controversial gatefold photo of unclad female worshippers in the UK), its sixteen tracks ebb and flow with a precise irregularity that affords listeners a fleeting glimpse into the recesses of Hendrix' artistic psyche. It also features contributing guest artists including Buddy Miles, Jack Casady, Al Kooper, and Steve Winwood, and boasts the engineering wizardry of Eddie Kramer.
•   Beginning with  “…And the Gods Made Love”, Jimi’s uncanny ability to harness imagination is on full display. No one but Hendrix could conjure, much less transcribe, appropriate studio effects to approximate a deific act of intimacy.
•   Mixing board magic aside, the album contains the most thought–provoking and moving material Hendrix had written and performed to date. Painting a canvas with broad aural brush strokes, Jimi transitions effortlessly from the gracefully poetic “Have You Ever Been (To Electric Ladyland)” to the determined punch of “Crosstown Traffic” and “Long Hot Summer Night”, from the rollicking cover of Earl King’s “Come On (Let the Good Times Roll)” to the haunting melancholy of “Burning of the Midnight Lamp”, from the relaxed serenity of “Rainy Day, Dream Away” to the urgent charge of “House Burning Down”. Even the jaunty Noel Redding–penned “Little Miss Strange” is smartly contrasted against the blues–drenched “Voodoo Chile” and “Gypsy Eyes”, evidence that Hendrix was willing to deviate from the norm at every twist and turn, traveling in directions even he may not have initially expected.
•   As wonderfully diverse as Electric Ladyland’s material is, there are two moments that transcend the album’s greatness, albeit it in different ways. A devotee and admirer of the music of Bob Dylan, Hendrix chose to cover the classic “All Along the Watchtower” in tribute to his friend. What he did in the process was to reinvent the song, bettering the original and making it his own. The fervency of Hendrix’ playing and vocals make this version such a powerful statement that it has evolved into arguably the best cover of a rock song ever.
•   The album’s creative zenith, however, is reached with the track, “1983 … (A Merman I Should Turn To Be).” Not merely a song, it is a thirteen and one half minute epic wringed by pointed social commentary, optimistic dreams, and idealistic fantasy, all held together by mind–bending musical experimentation. It is a tale of love and life that showcases Hendrix’s skills as romance writer and passionately cerebral artist, one who could weave words and sounds into a vivid pictorial tapestry. A rare and exquisite composition that can transport a willing listener into another dimension, “1983” is as majestic in its grandeur as it is awe inspiring in its vision of Atlantean Nirvana.
•   Perhaps the ultimate significance of Electric Ladyland comes by way of Jimi's subconscious knowledge that it was to be his crowning achievement. He did, after all, leave a cryptic message amidst the soaring guitars of “Voodoo Child (Slight Return)” when he stated, “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”. It can be argued that after the album was recorded, Jimi was never the same. Frustrated by public expectations and professional obligations, he soon grew weary of the business of music, departing this world 18 September 1970 to continue on his cosmic travels. Although he moved on far too quickly, his energy and artistry still resonate in the recorded material that remains. For me, though, Electric Ladyland is far more than just an album. Over time, it has become an invigorating life force, one that courses through my veins with regularity. It represents hope and purpose and inspiration, and is a bittersweet reminder of that brilliant flashing comet known as James Marshall Hendrix.
•   My favorite? Just ask the Axis…
Sleevnote 2:
•   Go on, defy me!
•   Go on, smarty–pants, tell me where popular music would be without this man?
•   Yes, there are numerous clever retorts to that question but none that hold any relevance.
•   This guy was stone cold in the ground before I was even born. To say, that his music played an important part in my musical upbringing is an understatement. I have been surrounded by the music of Jimi Hendrix since I was a small lad running about the house playing ‘air guitar’ to ‘Voodoo Chile (slight return!)’ whilst in the process knackering a now highly valued Track edition of ‘Electric Ladyland’ (with the ‘nudey’ cover! a great cover for a small boy!) Twenty five years on and I’m still trying to perfect that solo. (I’ve managed to graduate from an air guitar to a real one in that time!)
•   This is, without a shadow of a doubt, one of THE most influential recordings of all time. Not just for the unimaginable beauty of the guitar playing but also for the use of one of the first 16–track studios to it’s full range of possibilities.
•   ‘Electric Ladyland’s influence can be heard on an array of classic albums from the 70´s through to last week’s new album releases. It is a stunning album, packed with some of Jimi’s best recordings and a glimpse into the workings of a mind of a natural genius.
•   You all know the stories. A black, left–hander, brought to Britain from America by Chas Chandler and turned into THE icon of psychedelic movements on both sides of the Atlantic and flogged back to America on a crazy touring schedule, suffer’s complete drug–hazed burnout, dies choking on his own vomit in 1970 at the tender age of just 27.
•   Since that fateful day in September 1970 Jimi Hendrix’s legend (and estate) has been kicked from pillar to post and treated with the same respect Paxo gives to a chicken. His legend is being carved up, repackaged, re–adjusted and re–sold to a new generation of kids wanting in on the wild ride Jimi had. Sad thing is, we’re all missing the point. It’s not about the drugs, the leary clothes or the ‘rock star death’. It’s about the music. Three albums in fact.
•   You can buy yourself the ‘Instant Jimi Hendrix Collection’ for under 30 quid. All you need is ‘Are You Experienced?’, ‘Axis: Bold As Love’, and this final masterpeice.
•   That’s it! That’s all you need.
•   Back to the task at hand though. 'Electric Ladyland’ finally presented Jimi in the context he wanted to be seen in. Yes, there are guitar histronics but there’s also some wonderful writing.
•   In his usual ‘over the top’ manner Jimi insisted that this album be a double release. Reprise records wern’t so sure but ran with the idea until it started to get expensive. The newly–completed ‘Electric Lady’ studios were being used for this album. One of the world’s top producer’s and engineer’s was in the chair. Eddie Kramer was having trouble understanding what Jimi wanted and hours of studio time was lost. Couple this loss along with amount of stoned jam–sessions of endless, pointless noodling (except for the jam that produced the subliminal 15–minute ‘Voodoo Chile’ with Steve Winwood that closed the original side one and the ‘Rainy Day’ double) and the fraught relationships of the Experience you can begin to see why the record company was nervous. To thier credit though, they had enough faith in their artist that they let these sessions continue.•   Recorded in 1968 at various times in between an absolutely stupid and draining touring schedule ‘Electric Ladyland’ was to be a blast.
•   The album contained such gems as ‘Crosstown Traffic’, ‘The Burning Of The Midnight Lamp’ Jimi’s take on Dylan’s ‘All Along The Watchtower’ and the aforementioned six minute guitar–a–thon of ‘Voodoo Chile (slight return). In between these tracks was the original 15–minute jam of ‘Voodoo Chile’ , the ‘Rainy Day’ double header interspersed between Jimi’s studio ‘symphony’ of triple and quadrupled tracked guitars on the truly unique ‘1983’ and ‘Moon Turn The Tides…’. There was social comment with ‘House Burning Down’ containing some ferocious guitar playing and there was even room for a Noel Redding composistion, the whimsical ‘Little Miss Strange’.
•   As mentioned above, relationships between Jimi and Noel were getting strained. Noel’s diaries of the 68/69 tours show a band on the brink of destruction. Mitch Mitchell on drums did his best, a jovial Englishman with an unbelivable telepathy with Jimi’s wild changes, even he was tiring of the endless hangers–on and endless shows. Noel would be gone by Woodstock, Mitch would hang on only to be replaced by Buddy Miles with Billy Cox filling in on Bass (the first black ‘supergroup’)
•   The short–lived ‘Band Of Gypsys’ played some fantastic shows caught on the album of the same name although the album was a bit rough. (saved only by the truly, truly, unique and never equalled guitar playing in ‘Machine Gun’)
•   All of this tension added to ‘Electric Ladyland’s appeal and overall feel. There is a nice balance between the hippy whimsy, sublime blues feel and the fire and passion of the Experience’s live performances.
•   Even the cover was controversial. The ‘Nude’ cover was criticised and eventually replaced after Jimi’s death. (Purist’s lp collectors will only take a ‘nudey’ cover on Track records instead of the later pressings on Polydor)
•   Y’know I could bash on all day about the merits of this album but the bottom line is if you are serious about your guitar playing or you love the sound of a guitar having its neck wringed for every last drop of emotion then you must have this album in your collection. If I lost my music collection this would be one of the first albums I would re–buy.
•   Without Jimi Hendrix, rock music would’ve been a less colourful and exciting place.
•   This is a real, genuine essential album. Go buy it, clear your head of all you know about Hendrix, and just let this album hit you as it was intended. With a whole lotta soul.
•   I promise you will not be disappionted.
•   Thanks for reading...
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Jimi Hendrix Experience
Electric Ladyland (2LP) (October 1968)


4. 4. 2020


3. 4. 2020

Andrew Swainson



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