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Electric Ladyland
The Jimi Hendrix Experience

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Electric Ladyland, The Jimi Hendrix Experience Electric Ladyland by The Jimi Hendrix Experience ranked # 54 on Rolling Stone Magazine's 500 Greatest Albums list.

Electric Ladyland by The Jimi Hendrix Experience, was released in 1968. This album is seen as the peak of Hendrix's mastery of the electric guitar, and it is frequently cited as one of the greatest rock albums of all time. Not only the last Jimi Hendrix Experience album, it was also the last of Hendrix's studio albums to be professionally produced under his own supervision. After Electric Ladyland, Hendrix spent the remaining two years of his life attempting to organize a new band and recording a large number of musical tracks.

Released as a double album, Electric Ladyland is a cross-section of Hendrix's wide range of musical talent. It includes samples of every type of his music, ranging from psychedelia ("Burning of the Midnight Lamp") to soul-turning, bluesy guitar jams (the live recording "Voodoo Chile"), 1950s-style rock and roll ("Little Miss Strange"), and the epic studio production "1983 (A Merman I Should Turn To Be)" that can be afterwards seen as an early example of progressive rock. Hendrix also recorded a cover version of Bob Dylan's "All Along the Watchtower" that is seen by many (including Dylan himself) as its greatest rendition.

The recording of the album was extremely problematic. After a troubled tour of Scandinavia and England, Hendrix decided to relocate back to the United States from England. Frustrated by the limitations of commercial recording, he decided to establish his own state-of-the-art multitrack studio in New York, to which he could have unlimited access to realise his expanding musical visions. Construction of the studio, called Electric Lady, was beset with problems and it was not finally completed until mid 1970. As a result, he recorded the bulk of Electric Ladyland at The Record Plant.

Hendrix's formerly disciplined work habits were also becoming erratic, and the combination of interminable sessions and studios filled with hangers-on finally led regular producer Chas Chandler to quit in May, 1968. Chandler later complained that Hendrix's insistence on doing multiple takes of every song ("Gypsy Eyes" apparently took 43 takes, and he still wasn't satisfied with the result), combined with what Chandler saw as Hendrix's drugged incoherence, led him to sell his share of the management company to his partner Mike Jeffrey. Hendrix's studio perfectionism was indeed legendary -- he reportedly made guitarist Dave Mason do over 20 takes of the acoustic guitar backing on "All Along the Watchtower" -- yet he was always insecure about his voice and often recorded his vocals hidden behind studio screens. Despite the difficulties of its recording, many of the album tracks show Hendrix's vision expanding far beyond the scope of the original trio (it is said that the sound of this record partially inspired Miles Davis' Bitches Brew) and saw him collaborating with a range of outside musicians including Mason, Chris Wood and Steve Winwood from Traffic; drummer Buddy Miles; Jefferson Airplane bassist Jack Casady; and former Dylan organist Al Kooper.

Co-operation between Hendrix and bassist Noel Redding was not working very finely during the production of the album. Hendrix plays bass tracks (with right hand bass guitar) on many tracks including bass solo parts on "1983". While recording "All Along the Watchtower" Redding went to a nearby bar for a beer and Hendrix took his bass. Sometimes Hendrix recorded bass tracks just in order to make things go on faster. Redding plays acoustic guitar on his own track, "Little Miss Strange".

In the final stages of the album's production, a studio technician renamed the album "Electric Landlady." The album was almost released under this title until Hendrix noticed it, which upset him considerably. The title was quickly changed back.

Electric Ladyland was first released in the US in September 1968 and became Hendrix's only #1 album. The UK edition reached #5 upon its October release, came with a different and very controversial cover. With the artwork not reaching the UK in time to press the album, a cover of naked women lounging in front of a black background was issued in its place, causing considerable reaction. The US cover, what Hendrix had intended, has since become the official cover of Electric Ladyland internationally. Hendrix's family, who own the rights to the album and most of his catalogue, has stated that the original UK cover will not be used anymore since Hendrix did not himself like it. There exists a rare CD issue from 1980s that features the original UK cover.

Track Listing

  1. ... And The Gods Made Love
  2. Have You Ever Been (To Electric Ladyland)
  3. Crosstown Traffic
  4. Voodoo Chile
  5. Little Miss Strange
  6. Long Hot Summer Night
  7. Come On (Let The Good Times Roll)
  8. Gypsy Eyes
  9. Burning Of The Midnight Lamp
  10. Rainy Day, Dream Away
  11. 1983 ... (A Merman I Should Turn To Be)
  12. Moon, Turn The Tides ... Gently Gently Away
  13. Still Raining, Still Dreaming
  14. House Burning Down
  15. All Along The Watchtower
  16. Voodoo Child (Slight Return)

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