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Jimi Hendrix - The Jimi Hendrix Experience: Electric Ladyland CD (album) cover

THE JIMI HENDRIX EXPERIENCE: ELECTRIC LADYLAND

Jimi Hendrix

 

Proto-Prog

4.02 | 394 ratings

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Ivan_Melgar_M
Special Collaborator
Symphonic Prog Specialist
3 stars When I saw the name of JIMI HENDRIX added to Proto Prog, I felt disappointed, there's no doubt the guy was influential for everything that came after him, but not especially to Prog, so got my old LP copy complemented with a CD a friend lend me of Electric Ladyland and my opinion changed a bit.

Still not totally convinced that the guy is so influential to Prog, but hey, his music was far more advanced than most of the musicians of his time, he was really crossing through uncharted territory, and that's one of the main characteristics of Prog, and at the end, Blues or not Blues, his music was ascribed to Psychedelia, and that's one of the main sources of Prog, so his addition can be accepted as logical, but would feel more comfortable at Prog Related, but that's not my call.

Now, after my attack of honesty comes the second part, Do I believe he was so great as people say? Not so sure, I find huge skills with the guitar but his music normally says very little to me, find no coherence, sense of melody or great compositional skills, but lets go track by track:

...And the Gods Made Love opens the album, but there's not much to say, it's just a collection of distorted sounds and voices, the best I can say is that' it's as weird as some RIO compositions. Have You Ever Been (To Electric Ladyland) is an improvement, even when still sounds terribly dissonant there are hints of melody, the guitar work is outstanding, not accepting this would be silly and a lie, but the composition is some sort of distorted Blues and Soul. Crosstown Traffic is a classic, played on several TV programs so it's easier to get used to it, some good changes, but IMO it has just a basic structure with nothing that justifies the addition, but at least is a good song.

Voodoo Chile presents us a well known musician as Steve Winwood, playing a delightful Psyche organ, lets be honest, it's just a Blues, but the guy goes further than expected, entering into new territories, exploring more possibilities than any Blues player ever did before, if a song justifies his inclusion, is this one, really an excellent epic in which the interplay between Hendrix's guitar and Winwood's organ is out of this world. Don't expect many radical changes, the song flows from start to end but hey the sonic explosions are outstanding.

Little Miss Strange is a Noel Redding song makes me feel that I must eat some of the words I wrote in the forum, not especially complex or elaborate, with clear early Beatles influence, but how I wish The early Beatles sounded like this, the guitar work is outstanding and the vocals are ideal to keep this early 60's spirit, another good track with excellent keyboards.

Long Hot Summer Night takes us back to the trippy and acid style of Jimmy Hendrix compositions, but this time the track cause no impression on me, yes is well performed, but nothiung special. Come On (Let the Good Times Roll) is a blues based Rock & Roll by Earl King, with all the flavor of the late 60's, except for the guitar solo, nothing really transcendental or innovative, still a fun track.

Gypsy Eyes is another all time classic, but this time much more Psyche oriented with lots of experimentation, honestly I don't like it at all, always found this track repetitive and dull, but it's innovative.

At last something that sounds really revolutionary, Burning of the Midnight Lamp could had been another simple Soul track, but Hendrix added almost everything he had, some oriental chords and excellent chorus, this is one of the few times in which I believe his tremendous skills with the guitar were a bit too much, the song was already outstanding without them.

Rainy Day, Dream Away sounds like a Jazz jamming session, nothing particularly special, so will pass immediately to the spacy 1983... (A Merman I Should Turn to Be) which is by far one of the most advanced tracks of his repertoire, closer to Hawkwind than to early Floyd, despite the peaceful spirit there's a lot of aggressiveness in this song, love it from start to end.

Moon, Turn the Tides... Gently Gently Away is another spacy jamming track with an excellent drum work, not much to say, so again I will pass to the next track. Still Raining, Still Dreaming marks the return to the classical Hendrix sound and a chance for him to prove how skilled he was, not my cup of tea, but would lie if I denied that you can feel the touch of a genius.

House Burning Down is a passive aggressive song with calmed sections and sonic explosions, the radical changes are one of the main characteristics of Prog and you can find a lot of them in this song.

All Along the Watchtower is supposed to be a Bob Dylan song, but to be honest, this is the worst version I ever heard, Hendrix makes it his track, taking all the roots from the author, a real disappointment and IMO Hendrix ruins it.

The album ends with Voodoo Child (Slight Return) a great closer, with strength and originality, much more aggressive than the second track of the album, another high point.

Now I reach some conclusions, Jimi Hendrix is not a bad addition for Prog Archives, even when I would feel more comfortable with him in Prog Related or Psyche, haven't seen him in many other sites, but hey, we are Nš 1 Prog website and it's good to take the lead.

I believe Electric Ladyland is a good album, not outstanding but good, the correct rating would be 3.5 stars, but this is not possible, so I will go with 3 stars, due to the fact that I rated more essential albums (From a Prog perspective) with 4 stars.

Ivan_Melgar_M | 3/5 |

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