Record #17

Electric Ladyland

The Jimi Hendrix Experience

Released – 16th October 1968

Label – Reprise Records

Track listing

Side 1

1. And the Gods Made Love

2. Have You Ever Been (To Electric Ladyland)

3. Crosstown Traffic

4. Voodoo Chile

Side 2

1. Little Miss Strange

2. Long Hot Summer Night

3. Come On (part 1)

4. Gypsy Eyes

5. Burning of the Midnight Lamp

Side 3

1. Rainy Day Dream Away

2. 1983

3. Moon, Turn the Tides…Gently Gently Away

Side 4

1. Still Raining, Still Dreaming

2. House Burning Down

3. All Along the Watchtower

4. Voodoo Child

20170520_083627

“Electric Ladyland” can be a difficult and pricey record to get a copy of. I was lucky enough to grab a copy at a decent price of £30 from eBay earlier this year. Its in great condition and plays very well.

“Electric Ladyland” is the third and final studio allbum by The Jimi Hendrix Experience released in October of 1968. This album was the only record that was produced by Jimi Hendrix himself.

Recording and writing began at the newly opened Record Plant Studios in New York City with producer Chas Chandler. However, Chandler didnt last long as he grew frustrated with Hendrix’s perfectionism and demands. Hendrix allowed groups of friends into the studio during recording sessions which annoyed Chandler and created a chaotic and party atmosphere. Following Chandler’s departure, Hendrix began mixing with and inviting musicians from other bands to join the sessions and they began contributing to the process of the album being recorded. These musicians included Stevie Winwood from the band “Traffic” and Jack Casady from “Jefferson Airplane”. 

Hendrix’s perfectionism became frustrating for most on this record with rumours he was wanting a large number of takes to get songs completed allegedy including 50 takes to get the song “Gypsy Eyes” finished.

20170520_083450The inside of the gatefold of “Electric Ladyland”

“Electric Ladyland” is an album that crosses over a number of musical genres. Is it a Rock and Roll record? Can it be considered in the Psychedelic category musically? The answer to both is yes but for me, its a blues album that has evolved into the rock and psychedelic genres. The album is full of Hendrix’s blues guitar riffs and solos and highlights the breadth of talent that Hendrix possessed.

The cover art ended up becoming arguably the most controversial in history. Hendrix had contacted the record company explaining the idea he had for the cover which depicted a group of children sitting at the Alice in Wonderland statue in “Central Park” in New York City. The record company instead used a blurry red and yellow photo of Hendrix performing live. The record company then exchanged the cover for a photo of nineteen naked women lounging around on a black background. This cover was immediately deemed pornographic and banned in many countries.

20170520_083429My copy of “Electric Ladyland” on Polydor

Upon its released, “Electric Ladyland” became a huge hit and became Hendrix’s only number one album. Over time it became acknowledged as his best ever work and has undoubtedly influenced countless recording artists since. It features on a number of critics top album lists ranking 54th on “Rolling Stone Magazines” top 500 albums of all time.

So why should you own this record?

This is Jimi Hendrix at his very best! In particular his guitar solos on “Voodoo Child” and the cover of Bob Dylan’s ” All Along the Watchtower” are sublime and gained Hendrix the tag of the worlds greatest guitar play of his era. Although difficult to obtain a good copy (particularly with the naked women cover) the chase for this record is so worth it when you drop the needle on this record!

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