The Jimi Hendrix Experience: Electric Ladyland – [Record 4]

The Jimi Hendrix Experience Electric Ladyland.

Electric Ladyland: is the third and final studio album by the Jimi Hendrix Experience, and the only one of the band’s LPs that was produced by Jimi Hendrix. Released on October 25, 1968, on Reprise Records, by mid-November it had reached number one in the US, were it spent two weeks at the top spot. The double LP was the Experience’s most commercially successful release and their only number one album. It peaked at number six in the UK, where it spent 12 weeks on the chart.

Electric Ladyland included a cover of Bob Dylan’s song, “All Along the Watchtower”, which became the Experience’s highest-selling single and their only US top 40 hit, peaking at number 20; the single reached number five in the UK. The album also included Hendrix’s first recorded song to feature the use of a wah-wah pedal, “Burning of the Midnight Lamp”, which reached number 18 in the UK charts.

In 1989, Noe Goldwasser, the founding editor of Guitar World magazine, described Electric Ladyland as “Hendrix’s masterpiece”. According to author Michael Heatley, “most critics agree” that the album is “the fullest realization of Jimi’s far-reaching ambitions.” In 2004, author Peter Doggett commented: “For pure experimental genius, melodic flair, conceptual vision and instrumental brilliance, Electric Ladyland remains a prime contender for the status of rock’s greatest album.” Doggett described the LP as “a display of musical virtuosity never surpassed by any rock musician.”

Electric Ladyland has been featured on many greatest album lists, including a number 10 ranking on Classic Rock UK’s list of 100 Greatest Rock Albums Ever and number 37 on The Times’ 100 Best Albums of All Time. In 2003, the TV network VH1 ranked it as the 72nd greatest album of all-time, and in 2005, Q magazine readers voted it number 38. In 2005, Rolling Stone ranked it the 55th greatest album of all time.

Record 1, Side 1.
1, And the gods made love.
2, Electric Ladyland.
3, Crosstown traffic.
4, Voodoo Chile

Record 1, Side 2.
5, Little Miss Strange.
6, Long Hot Summer Night.
7, Come On.
8, Gipsy eyes.
9, Burning of the Midnight Lamp.

Record 2, Side 1.
10, Rainy Day, dream away.
11, 1983 (A merman i should turn to be).
12, Moon, turn the tide…gently gently away.

Record 2, Side 2.
13, Still Raining Still Dreaming.
14, House Burning Down.
15, All Along the Watchtower.
16, Voodoo Child (Slight return).

The Wiki

Recording and production: Recording for the Experience’s third and final studio album, Electric Ladyland, began at the newly opened Record Plant Studios, with Chandler as producer and engineers Eddie Kramer and Gary Kellgren. As the sessions progressed, Chandler became increasingly frustrated with Hendrix’s perfectionism and his demands for repeated takes. Hendrix also allowed numerous friends and guests to join them in the studio, which contributed to a chaotic and crowded environment in the control room and led Chandler to sever his professional relationship with Hendrix. Redding later recalled: “There were tons of people in the studio; you couldn’t move. It was a party, not a session.” Redding, who had formed his own band in mid-1968, Fat Mattress, found it increasingly difficult to fulfill his commitments with the Experience, so Hendrix played many of the bass parts on Electric Ladyland. The album’s cover stated that it was “produced and directed by Jimi Hendrix”. The double LP was the only Experience album to be mixed entirely in stereo.

During the Electric Ladyland recording sessions, Hendrix began experimenting with other combinations of musicians, including Jefferson Airplane’s Jack Casady and Traffic’s Steve Winwood, who played bass and organ respectively on the fifteen-minute slow-blues jam, “Voodoo Chile”. During the album’s production, Hendrix appeared at an impromptu jam with B.B. King, Al Kooper, and Elvin Bishop.[nb 1] Electric Ladyland was released on October 25, and by mid-November it had reached number one in the US, spending two weeks at the top spot. The double LP was the Experience’s most commercially successful release and their only number one album. It peaked at number six in the UK, spending 12 weeks on the chart.

Hendrix’s studio perfectionism was legendary – he and Mitch Mitchell recorded well over 50 takes of “Gypsy Eyes” over three sessions. Hendrix was generally insecure about his voice and often recorded his vocals hidden behind studio screens. Hendrix sang all the backing vocals himself on the title track and on “Long Hot Summer Night”. He was said to be very happy with the vocal results on “Have You Ever Been (To Electric Ladyland)”.

Music: Released as a double album, Electric Ladyland is a cross-section of Jimi Hendrix’s wide range of musical talent. It includes examples of several genres and styles of music: the psychedelic “Burning of the Midnight Lamp”, a UK single the previous summer (1967), the extended blues jam “Voodoo Chile”, the New Orleans-style R&B of Earl King’s “Come On”, the epic studio production of “1983… (A Merman I Should Turn to Be)”, the social commentary of “House Burning Down”, and the Sixties-era Britpop of Noel Redding’s “Little Miss Strange”. The album also features an electric reworking of the Bob Dylan classic “All Along the Watchtower”, which has been well received by critics as well as by Dylan himself, and also “Voodoo Child (Slight Return)”, a staple of both radio and guitar repertoire.

Electric Ladyland included Hendrix’s cover of Bob Dylan’s song, “All Along the Watchtower”, which became the band’s highest-selling single and their only US top 40 hit, peaking at number 20; the single reached number five in the UK. The album also included Hendrix’s first recorded song to feature the use of a wah-wah pedal, “Burning of the Midnight Lamp”, which reached number 18 in the UK charts.

Cover: 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.

Release and reception: Electric Ladyland was released on October 25, and by mid-November it had reached number one in the US, spending two weeks at the top spot. The double LP was Hendrix’s most commercially successful release and his only number one album. It peaked at number six in the UK, spending 12 weeks on the chart.

In 1989, the founding editor of Guitar World magazine described Electric Ladyland as “Hendrix’s masterpiece”. According to author Michael Heatley, “most critics agree” that the album is “the fullest realization of Jimi’s far-reaching ambitions.” In 2004, author Peter Doggett commented: “For pure experimental genius, melodic flair, conceptual vision and instrumental brilliance, Electric Ladyland remains a prime contender for the status of rock’s greatest album.”Doggett described the LP as “a display of musical virtuosity never surpassed by any rock musician.”

Electric Ladyland has been featured on many “greatest album” lists including a number 10 ranking on Classic Rock UK’s list of 100 Greatest Rock Albums Ever and number 37 on the Times’ 100 Best Albums of All Time. In 2005 Q magazine readers voted Electric Ladyland the 38th greatest album of all time; in 2003 the TV network VH1 placed it at number 72. In 2003, Rolling Stone declared it the 55th greatest album of all time. The album is included in the book 1001 Albums You Must Hear Before You Die. Also, the Source magazine ranked it number 40 on their Critics Top 100 Black Music Albums of All Time list in 2006.

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