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Jimi Hendrix The Jimi Hendrix Experience: Electric Ladyland album cover
4.06 | 458 ratings | 18 reviews | 47% 5 stars

Excellent addition to any
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Studio Album, released in 1968

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. ...And The Gods Made Love (1:21)
2. Have You Ever Been (To Electric Ladyland) (2:11)
3. Crosstown Traffic (2:13)
4. Voodoo Chile (15:01)
5. Little Miss Strange (2:52)
6. Long Hot Summer Night (3:27)
7. Come On (Part 1) (4:09)
8. Gypsy Eyes (3:43)
9. Burning Of The Midnight Lamp (3:39)
10. Rainy Day, Dream Away (3:42)
11. 1983... (A Merman I Should Turn To Be) (13:39)
12. Moon, Turn The Tides... Gently Gently Away (1:01)
13. Still Raining, Still Dreaming (4:25)
14. House Burning Down (4:33)
15. All Along The Watchtower (4:00)
16. Voodoo Child (Slight Return) (5:13)

Total time 75:09

Line-up / Musicians

- Jimi Hendrix / lead vocals, guitar, piano, electric harpsichord, percussion, comb and tissue paper kazoo, bass (2,6,8,11,14,15), arranger & producer
- Noel Redding / bass, acoustic guitar & lead vocals (5), backing vocals
- Mitch Mitchell / drums, percussion, lead (5) & backing vocals

- Dave Mason / 12-string guitar (15), backing vocals (3)
- Al Kooper / piano (6)
- Steve Winwood / organ (4)
- Mike Finnigan / organ (10,13)
- Chris Wood / flute (11)
- Freddie Smith / tenor saxophone (10,13)
- Jack Casady / bass (4)
- Buddy Miles / drums (10,13)
- Larry Faucette / congas (10,13)
- Brian Jones / percussion (15)
- The Sweet Inspirations / backing vocals (9)

Releases information

Artwork: Karl Ferris (photo) with Ed Thrasher (art direction)

2xLP Reprise Records ‎- 2RS 6307 (1968, US)

2xCD Polydor ‎- 823 359-2 (1984, Germany) Alternative cover
2xCD Reprise Records ‎- W2 6307 (1987, US) Remastered by Lee Herschberg
CD Reprise Records ‎- 6307-2 (1990, US) Remastered by Joe Gastwirt
CD MCA - MCAD-11600 (1997, US) Remastered by Eddie Kramer & George Marino

Thanks to abstrakt for the addition
and to Quinino for the last updates
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Buy JIMI HENDRIX The Jimi Hendrix Experience: Electric Ladyland Music

JIMI HENDRIX The Jimi Hendrix Experience: Electric Ladyland ratings distribution

(458 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of rock music(47%)
Excellent addition to any rock music collection(38%)
Good, but non-essential (11%)
Collectors/fans only (2%)
Poor. Only for completionists (2%)

JIMI HENDRIX The Jimi Hendrix Experience: Electric Ladyland reviews

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Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by Ivan_Melgar_M
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
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 Nş 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.

Review by ZowieZiggy
3 stars This third and unfortunately last studio album (actually a double album) is a return to the psychedelic roots shown in ''Are You Experienced''.

The start is quite slow and only from ''Crosstown Traffic'' one can find the Hendrix we all love, but again this track is really too short (but so there were on their previous album). The first two tracks are really some sort of hors d'oeuvre so to say.

The next track, ''Voodoo Chile'' is a quite extended (fifteen minutes) slow blues song which is some sort of long introduction for the better known (and also much better musically IMO) ''Voodoo Child (Slight Return)''. Interesting to mention, there is a huge organ part played by Steve Winwood in here. It is the first time that so many guests are present on an ''Experience'' album.

This album sounds therefore more sophisticated than any other one they have released.

We are brought back into the West coast psychedelia with '' Little Miss Strange''. But to be honest, even if this album holds a lot of good ideas and a more complex structure than usual, few songs from it will be remembered for the posterity. The proof being that very few of them will be included in the ''Experience'' live sets. Still, the guitar performance during ''Come On'' is exceptional (but Jimi IS one of the best guitar player of all times). Or is he THE best one?

His exceptional skills are highlighted in '' Voodoo Child (Slight Return)''. Obviously one of his all time best. Immortalized at the mighty Woodstock gig.

What's for sure is that Hendrix has to be SEEN. And then you will understand what I mean. Therefore his live performances and the videos/DVD available are of immense interest (more than his studio works IMHHO).

I would place this album (quality wise) between their excellent debut and their average ''Axis''. Three stars. There is also an interesting DVD about the making of ''Electric Ladyland''.

Review by Sean Trane
4 stars 4.5 stars really!!!

Jimi's wish to remain in America caused a few changes in the Experience. Indeed Chandler was resigned to leave his "discovery" to another manager, and bassist Noel Redding went home after a tour and would not really come back, as he was not on that friendly terms wiyth Jimi and the latter was also an accomplished bass player. Recorded in Jimi's custom-made studios (still under construction) in NYC, Electric Ladyland was a double album. As a sort of publicity stunt the album first came out with some 20 English naked girls holding his albums, but the US rejected the artwork (so did Jimi) and only a short series was put on the market, before a second artwork was issued. So this double album was made with mostly Jimi and drummer Mitchell, but also an impressive list guest stars such as Jack Casady, Stevie Winwood, Dave Mason & Chris Wood (Traffic), Buddy Miles, Brian Jones, Al Kooper amongst other.

Opening on toilet flush made from guitars scratching was certainly a better publicity stunt than naked girls on the cover?.. leading to the title track; where Jimi pulls one of his best vocal performance. After the short Crosstwown Traffic, the mood is right for a 15 mins blues jam Voodoo Chile where Winwood and Casady participates. Certainly one of the album's centrepieces, this was recorded in one take and live in the studio, with the witnesses commenting and applauding in the final mix. The flipside is made of 5 shorter tracks, which are definitely more accessible and probably aimed at AM radio airplay, most of which are of the calibre of the group's debut album. I'll point out Midnight Lamp and Little Miss Strange (sung and penned by Noel Redding) as the highlights of this side.

The second disc starts on coughing before Rainy Day takes into programmed boredom to lead us to the other centrepiece of the album, which was often butchered and considered as nonsense by experts and public alike. But 1983 and Moon Turns The Tides amount to 15 minutes of the most celestial and spacey music that have been recorded and show that Jimi had the capacity of writing longer tracks and think of constantly changing music. There is not one single minute of music in this "mother track" is wasted or redundant, most of it filled with soft spacey guitars and flutes. Grrrrrrrrreat stuff!! Although relegated on the flipside, Still Raining was probably meant to bookend the 1983 track with Rainy Day. Jimi Closes the album with three classic, House Burnin" Down (Buddy Miles singing), the fantastic Dylan reprise of All Along The Watchtower and the fabulous Voodoo Child, that makes him a god of the guitar.

Note that some of the changes are happening now, but will affect Jimi's career in the future, such as the unannounced sack of Noel Redding and the loss of Chas Cjandlmer as a manager to old Animals manager Michael Jeffreys. The album will come out as an Experience album, but Jimi was tired of the usuazl tricks and routine of his early days and was looking elsewhere. Once again although not progressive per se, JHE's EL is a stunning piece of music, one of the cornerstones of psychedelic rock and rock in general. Personally I still spin the third side of this album at least once a year, which is an achievement given my collection's continued growth.

Review by Chicapah
3 stars Jimi Hendrix will forever be one of music's most tragic characters. Whenever I listen to this album I get a strong sense that there's more frustration than creativity emanating from Jimi. At this point in his here-today-gone-tomorrow career he'd become the poster boy of the adage "beware of what you wish for, you just might get it." During the early 60s when he was bouncing around the country, picking up spare gigs with the likes of Little Richard, The Isley Brothers and Sam Cooke, it's easy to imagine the young Mr. Hendrix staring out of filthy tour buses and dreaming of someday being a big star. Of being adored by the masses. Of being worshipped as a God of the guitar. Alas, he got his wish. But after releasing two unbelievably successful albums back to back with The Experience, Jimi had become all too aware of the high price of fame. The record company pestered him for hit singles, not brave exploratory forays into the unknown. The rabid fans that filled arenas demanded he play his guitar with his teeth behind his head while ablaze. The throngs of backstage hangers-on were hell-bent to be able to brag that they partied with Hendrix and generously supplied all the dope he could ingest. Success had not brought him the fulfillment he expected. It had brought bondage. He was now a prisoner of perception.

Jimi once said "My goal is to be one with music. I just dedicate my whole life to this art." To which the label fat cats replied "Yeah, yeah, that's marvelous, Picasso, just try to crank out another "Foxy Lady," will ya?" So it should come as no surprise that "Electric Ladyland" is one schizophrenic collection of songs. On one hand you have an artist who's trying to appease the money men who helped make him a 20th Century icon and on the other a footloose rebel who only wants to submerge his consciousness in sex, drugs and rock & roll and have a good time making music with his talented buddies. Unfortunately too much of the latter invariably ends in tragedy. Just ask Jim Morrison. Or Janis Joplin. Or Syd Barrett. (Hmm. I guess we can't. Case closed.)

Booming drums not unlike those at the beginning of Aaron Copland's "Fanfare for the Common Man" greet your ears as the album starts. (The irony being Hendrix was anything but common.) ".And the Gods Made Love" is a short piece of psychedelia consisting of studio tricks involving strange voices roaming through swirls of white noise. (It was the tye-dyed sixties, kiddos.) "Have You Ever Been (to Electric Ladyland)" follows and the sloppiness of the basic track is well nigh unbelievable. It sounds like the first rough run-through in rehearsal. And the tune itself can only be likened to some kind of bizarre Motown R&B composed on sedatives. Each time I hear this one it baffles my mind as to why a man of his stature would select it as the opener, much less let it even appear on the album at all. Thank heavens for the loud face-slapper that is "Crosstown Traffic" to remind us that this is, indeed, a Jimi Hendrix product. While it's little more than an energetic radio rocker with a buzzy hybrid guitar/kazoo appendage it efficiently does the job it was paid to do, then goes straight home to be with the wife and kids.

The awesome "Voodoo Chile" is all the reason you need to own this recording. It creates the impression that you're walking down the hallway of a darkened smoke-filled studio at 3am, hearing ghostly amplified guitar notes echoing out from the main room. You get an unshakable premonition that you're about to witness something extraordinary. Jimi's thrown-together combo of Steve Winwood on Hammond organ, Jack Cassidy on bass and Mitch Mitchell on drums delivers precisely the kind of spontaneous combustion that exemplifies the freedom of expression that Hendrix so craved. To say they create a hypnotic atmosphere doesn't do it justice. Winwood's growling organ and Jimi's fierce guitar circle each other like sinewy predators, constantly feeding off each other's intensity. Mitchell can be easily overlooked but he's unquestionably the maestro here, his drums skillfully keeping this powder keg of kinetic energy from detonating prematurely. His jazzy solo tactfully allows the band to digress into chaos at exactly the right spot before righting the ship just in time for the final verse/chorus and the exhilarating climax. As an added bonus they allow the tape to continue to run, capturing the honest reactions and elation of the musicians as they bask in the afterglow of being part of pure magic.

Want a buzz kill? How about "Little Miss Strange." Perhaps the Redding family enjoyed this anemic possum but not I. It's too awful to talk about. Having said that, "Long Hot Summer Night" really isn't much of an improvement. Flat, lifeless tones plague this weak offering that has no discernable soul and comes off very much as an act of desperation on Hendrix's part to make the suits happy. The trio's hot cover of Earl King's "Come on (Part 1)" slides in right from the chitlin circuit that Jimi paid his dues on and at least provides a tight track and a spitfire guitar lead to relish. It's not even a distant cousin of prog but it's the kind of number that could be stretched out indefinitely in concert. "Gypsy Eyes" steers things back onto a more progressive path but it's a woefully disjointed, jerky affair that constantly loses momentum and flow. "Burning of the Midnight Lamp" is a delight, though. Its irresistible, springy intro with the unique blend of guitar and harpsichord provides a much needed change of pace at this juncture and Hendrix's wah-wah work is subtle and supremely understated throughout. The airy, ascending background vocals are excellent and the clever chord pattern makes this one of this best creations.

Once again Jimi breaks out of the bonds of conformity and presents impromptu music from yet another collage of musicians on "Rainy Day, Dream Away." It's a cool mix of blues and jazz where Hendrix's guitar engages in an animated conversation with Mike Finnigan's organ and Freddie Smith's saxophone that eventually evolves into an interesting verse and a tag-along instrumental segment. Then it abruptly changes gears and fades away. "1983.(A Merman I Should Turn to Be)" ensues and it has a dreamy, drifting aura built around a catchy theme and augmented by cosmic vocal effects. It's one of the proggier cuts on the album and quite a bit of thought was given to the arrangement. "Moon, Turn the Tides" offers a hearty slice of free-form improvisation with the flute of Traffic's Chris Wood flittering about. Mitch turns in a drum solo that's as smooth as still water, then they slyly return to the Merman theme ere to disintegrating gracefully into the ether. "Still Raining, Still Dreaming" picks up from wherever "Rainy Day" faded to earlier (kudos for the chutzpah to do that) but it's nothing more than a half-decent jam with some spirited wah-wah guitar.

"House Burning Down" is a stab at commercial accessibility and this odd jumble of song ideas very nearly works before collapsing under its own weight. The classic rendition of Bob Dylan's "All Along the Watchtower" is next and it's one of those queer songs (like the Beatles' "Drive My Car") that has an intro that I've never been able to grasp. It's some kind of freak of my nature, I reckon. But the tune is one for the ages for good reason. It's terrific and even the composer was blown away by its originality. Jimi's voice and his amazing guitarisms were custom made for this enigmatic song. Which brings us to the titanic closer, "Voodoo Child (Slight Return)," a no-holds-barred frontal assault that finds Hendrix totally immersed in his crank-it-up-and-floor-it rock element. He plays with such passion, such ferocity, such sublime ANGER that it's a wonder that the song wasn't deemed a fire hazard. As if to tell the planet's populace where they could shove his too-many-strings-attached notoriety he prophetically croons "If I don't meet you no more in this world/then I'll see you in the next one/don't be late." I think he knew that long-term existence in a fishbowl just wasn't going to work for him.

"My personal philosophy is my music. Nothing but music - life - that's all" he was quoted as saying. If he had somehow survived his romance with narcotics I suspect that Jimi Hendrix would've at one point dropped out of the rat race (much like Clapton did) to join up with a group of faceless musical vagabonds who just wanted to travel around and have fun making a joyful noise. He thought he wanted stardom (as we all do) but the Devil's blood-soaked contract had hidden clauses that robbed Jimi of his most prized possession - freedom. The music on "Electric Ladyland" is an uneven assortment of angst and ecstasy borne out of the predicament Hendrix found himself in. He was the ultimate shooting star. Gone but never forgotten. 3.4 stars.

Review by Rune2000
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
3 stars Electric Ladyland was the last and most ambitious album by the Jimi Hendrix Experience. Spanning four sides worth of material the band finally took an the opportunity to experiment with some new sounds and music directions among which were funk, psychedelia and rock & roll. But don't get your hopes up since this album ultimately remains an offspring of blues and the 15 minute blues jam on Voodoo Chile definitely makes the recording hard to swallow if you're not a fan of the genre.

I will do in fact consider it to be my favorite of the three classic Jimi Hendrix Experience albums but even this release drags on a bit too much on quite a few occasions. Unlike the flawed blues rock offered on Axis: Bold As Love, Electric Ladyland doesn't really have that many actual flaws for anyone who enjoys the genre. Therefore my main complaints are all based on difference of taste and opinion.

I was very surprised when I heard 1983... (A Merman I Should Turn To Be) for the first time because this track doesn't sound like anything that the band have done to that point. Instead this lengthy psychedelic rock piece brings to mind the classic the Doors compositions like The End or Riders On The Storm. The atmospheric science fiction lyrics and themes must have been a huge inspiration to future artists of the progressive rock era. I also like how a short piece titled Moon, Turn the Tides...Gently Gently Away was added at the end in order to make the transition to the final part of the album feel much smoother. Still these two marvelous compositions lack any proper context in relation to style featured on the rest of the album.

The forth side of Electric Ladyland is generally considered to be the strongest since it gives us three side-by-side classics in the shape of House Burning Down, All Along The Watchtower and Voodoo Child (Slight Return) that end the album on a high note. Unfortunately this is not enough to convince me that this release is worth more than a strong good, but non-essential rating since there were quite a few hits and misses along the way.

***** star songs: Crosstown Traffic (2:13) 1983... (A Merman I Should Turn To Be) (13:39) All Along The Watchtower (4:00)

**** star songs: Have You Ever Been (To Electric Ladyland) (2:11) Long Hot Summer Night (3:27) Come On (Let The Good Times Roll) (4:09) Gypsy Eyes (3:43) Burning Of The Midnight Lamp (3:39) Moon, Turn The Tides... Gently Gently Away (1:01) House Burning Down (4:33) Voodoo Child (Slight Return) (5:13)

*** star songs: And The Gods Made Love (1:21) Voodoo Chile (15:01) Little Miss Strange (2:52) Rainy Day, Dream Away (3:42) Still Raining, Still Dreaming (4:25)

Review by Muzikman
5 stars How was the Jimi Hendrix Experience going to top the previous release Axis: Bold As Love? Two albums had been released, Hendrix was already a legend, and everything he and his band did was groundbreaking and mind blowing. We all know now that the ride was not over yet - enter the incredibly progressive-psychedelic rock platter Electric Ladyland, appropriately named after the recording studio where all of this classic rock music was being created.

How does 1968, the original year of release of this record compare to 2010? Let me count the ways. Well just like all the other special edition releases that have been coming out of course. This package features the bonus DVD with Eddie Kramer taking us through the school of rock again and pulling apart this masterpiece (what wasn't a stroke of genius that this man recorded?) in an "Inside Look". "Cross Town Traffic", "Gypsy Eyes", "Voodo Chile" and "1983...(A Merman I Should Turn To Be)" was the subject of discussion and the professor's lecture time further exposing the pure mastermind of the Hendrix recording process and his dedicated work ethic.

This is my third installment of this series and I continue to find the sound absolutely jaw dropping, which again brings every track on this album up to date. Even though it is all timeless it sure sounds better than it ever has, which compels me to explore each track with more attention every time I hear it. I pick up on subtle sometimes obvious nuances that were buried in previous versions that turn out to be integral segments of the tracks. I also must say this is the first time I have paid more attention to the lyrics of Hendrix and what they could actually mean. What was Jimi singing about in "1983...(A Merman I Should Turn To Be)" as his guitar cried to the universe? The intro is unforgettable and that guitar hook grabs you by the shorthairs with conviction. This was 1968 and he was visualizing what it would be like to turn into a Merman in 1983? Come on now, was this a drug induced spoof or was this dude really from another world with hidden messages in his music? I guess we all need to keep listening and decipher what he had to offer or just brush it off as psycho babble and enjoy the music. I am more analytical and look for the reasons why and what makes an artist tick so there is more to it than just the music for these ears.

The Jimi Hendrix Experience delivered on all facets of one's listening experience all the way through Electric Ladyland. Excellent and varied musicianship was offered up with classic progressions of rock such as "Crosstown Traffic" and the blues barn burner "Voodoo Chile". The tracks etched an imprint on your soul and consciousness like a 21st century laser beam. The Dylan classic "All Along The Watchtower" was transformed into a rock anthem that made you believe that Hendrix actually wrote it for Dylan.

The enigma of Hendrix was that he was original and eclectic and technically light years ahead of his time, but even when he took someone else's song it became an entirely different psychedelic rock trip that you simply could not get out your head. If you listen to the transitions of a track like "Gypsy Eyes" it makes you shake your head in wonder how he pulled this off with the equipment had to use in that time period? all he really needed was his axe. The difference was Hendirx was technically brilliant and innovative in every way and he knew how to use the tools he had at his disposal.

Electric Ladyland was another triumph for The Jimi Hendrix Experience and unfortunately their last official studio album before his untimely death (did you ever hear anyone say "his death was right on time"?). 16 tracks of the ultimate Hendrix experience came right on the heels of the last head trip. Simply put this is amazing stuff that still holds you in its spell after all these years.

Key Tracks: Crosstown Traffic, Voodoo Chile, All Along The Watchtower

Review by Mellotron Storm
4 stars "Electric Ladyland" was a double album released back in 1968. For me this is a return to form as "Axis:Bold As Love" just didn't do a lot for me. And while this doesn't possess the power or monster tracks ("Foxy Lady" & "Purple Haze") that the debut "Are You Experienced" contained I do think this album is more consistant and is very strong overall. In fact the Gnosis site rates this higher than the debut. Hey you can't go wrong with either album and in fact should own both. It's cool to see the guests that helped out here from Winwood, Mason, Wood (TRAFFIC) to Casady (JEFFERSON AIRPLANE) to Buddy Miles and more.

"...And The Gods Made Love" is a short psychedelic and experimental piece. "Have You Ever Been" is like it's polar oposite.Very light and commercial sounding. "Crosstown Traffic" is more like it. Some attitiude here and I like the backing vocals too. "Voodoo Chile" is just a nasty track.Talk about attitude, it's all right here folks. Bluesy and I love the drumming. It was interesting reading a recent article with Nick Mason and how influenced he was by Mitch Mitchell having played on the same bill as the Jimi Hendrix Experience a couple of times back in 1967. Steve Winwood sounds great too here on organ. It really adds a lot to this track. Man this gets intense after 13 minutes.This is a live tune as well. "Little Miss Strange" is a Noel Redding composition and it's very 60's sounding. It's actually one of my favs. Noel also sings on this one. Catchy stuff. Al Kooper adds piano on "Long Hot Summer Night". "Come On (Let The Good Times Roll)" is a guitar / vocal led track.This is a cover of an Earl King track. Some ripping guitar before 1 1/2 minutes.

"Gypsy Eyes" has that prominant beat with guitar as vocals come and go. "Burning Of The Midnight Lamp" has such a great intro that will come and go in this one. "Rainy Day, Dream Away" opens with coughing and snorting as a beat with sax and guitar comes in. Spoken words then organ follows. Cool tune. "1983...(A Merman I Should Turn To Be)" is psychedelic with vocals. It reminds me of "Pipers..." a little. It settles down without vocals 5 1/2 minutes in then starts to pick up after 10 1/2 minutes. It settles and vocals are back a minute later. "Moon,Turn The Tides...Gently Gently Away" is a short spacey piece. "Still Raining, Still Dreaming" opens with the guitar talking then vocals join in. A great sounding track. "House Burning Down" is another one where Jimi lets his guitar light it up. He is a bad man. Amazing stuff ! "All Along The Watchtower" is a song i've claimed for years is the best cover tune I have ever heard. Jimi does Bob Dylan. How cool is this ! "Voodoo Child (Slight Return)" is the perfect way to end it. Kicking ass !

Legendary music from a legend. Talk about going out on top.

Review by Warthur
4 stars The Jimi Hendrix Experience's final album captures the band just at the moment it disintegrated - when Jimi's soaring ambitions finally reached the point where Noel and Mitch simply couldn't keep up any more. Nowhere is this more obvious than on Noel's sole composition on the album, "Little Miss Strange" - an unambitious slice of 60s pop which shows absolutely no songwriting progress or development over "She's So Fine" on Axis: Bold as Love. But even as the structure of the trio disintegrates before your very ears, wonderful things come out of the cracks. The epic "Voodoo Chile", a sprawling improvisation encompassing a whole range of blues styles, doesn't even feature Redding on it - Mitch is still on drums, but Jefferson Airplane's Jack Casady is on bass, and Steve Winwood guests on organ.

The album also sees Hendrix moving away from the songwriting approach that dominated his first two albums and going for increasingly long songs, no longer content to confine his ideas to brief two-to-three minute bursts. It's not that he's forgotten how to produce fast-paced and punchy short tracks - this album includes Crosstown Traffic, one of Hendrix's best songs in that style - it's just that he's less interested in it. This does mean that some of the shorter songs on the album aren't quite up to the standards of the epics - Long Hot Summer Night seems kind of shallow, and the cover of Come On (Let the Good Times Roll) is a bit of fun but doesn't strive to be much more than a bit of fun. Whilst Mitch seems game for this new direction, Noel isn't featured on either of the album's big epics (Voodoo Chile and 1983...A Merman I Should Turn To Be), both of which result from jam sessions which Noel wasn't sitting in on. But that isn't to say that the epics on the album aren't the only attraction, or that Noel isn't a presence at all - songs like Voodoo Child (Slight Return) (a heavy, proto-metallic summarisation of Voodoo Chile), and the awe-inspiring and definitive cover of Dylan's All Along the Watchtower show the trio in full flight. But it was more than clear at this point that Jimi not only didn't need the trio structure any more, he positively needed to branch out and experiment with other artists and band configurations in order to give full expression to his many ideas. The album isn't perfect - again, Little Miss Strange just doesn't seem to belong - but as far as a swansong for the Experience goes, it's a truly fine one.

Review by AtomicCrimsonRush
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars "Electric Ladyland" is an essential Jimi Hendrix album, one of the most discussed and revered in rock history. One glance at the track listing will provide a reason, as it boasts some of the Hendrix classics such as the bustling rhythmic 'Crosstown Traffic', the extended 'Voodoo Chile', both versions simply blaze and smoulder with infernal power, the psych rock of 'Burning of the Midnight Lamp', and wonderful lead guitar standard, the blues drenched Dylan penned 'All Along the Watchtower.' This last song is essential Hendrix, with some amazing guitar interplay with the poetic lyrics such as the infamous, "there must be some way outta here, said the joker to the thief." The wah-wah guitar lead is hugely influential and well known by guitarists.

It is also an album with some incredible psychedelic bursts such as the floating, trippy '1983... (A Merman I Should Turn to Be)' clocking just under 14 minutes. After a haunting slow start it moves into an improvised percussion segment and some chilling celestial atmospherics, with minimalist guitar and heartbeat bass. 'Voodoo Chile (slight return)' is brilliant, and a staple for guitar enthusiasts that has blasted the radio airwaves ever since it saw the light of day. The lead break is quintessential Hendrix, with slices up and down the frets and soul chilling sustained string bends that pierce like arrows. 'Burning of the Midnight Lamp' has a recognizable guitar signature and Hendrix' voice is saturated with Acid influenced venom. There are also weird experimental pieces such as '...And the Gods Made Love' and 'Moon, Turn the Tides... Gently Gently Away' that are more confounding then welcome additions.

Some of the lesser known songs are the ultra bluesy 'Have You Ever Been (To Electric Ladyland)', uptempo fast riffer 'Gypsy Eyes', blues rocker 'Come On (Part 1)', saxophone, Hammond and guitar driven cruiser 'Rainy Day, Dream Away', the sizzling riffing Bolero rhythm influenced 'House Burning Down', and the jazzy, simmering 'Long Hot Summer Night'.

It is the last studio release for Hendrix and came out at the peak of the flower power counterculture era, 1968. The album became the soundtrack for the Vietnam War that was raging strong, and it was the album to play as one was ingesting hallucinogenic psych drugs. This was an era of immeasurable change; Man was about to land on the moon and Woodstock on Yasgur's Farm was still in its planning stages. The front cover was banned in some countries, and photographer David Montgomery's artistic license was not embraced by Hendrix who expressed embarrassment at the naked women adorned all over the cover leering at the music buying public with enticing delight. This cover was quickly replaced with the original design of Hendrix singing in close up, but of course it is the "naked ladyland" cover that everyone remembers and that appears in album cover books.

Overall, the album is a showcase of all that made Hendrix great and as a double album of considerable length, over 75 minutes, it delivers quite a bang for the buck. It features some incredible musicianship from members of Jefferson Airplane and Traffic among others. The extended improvised jam session features Steve Winwood burning gloriously on his keyboard, and there is a massive drum solo, as well as Hendrix taking control with blues power finesse, and a lot of congratulatory cheering and applause. It is moments as these that make the album a milestone of classic rock. Hendrix connoisseurs herald it as one of the best of 1968, and it has gone down in history as an essential rock treasure.

Review by admireArt
4 stars In his 4/.6 legimate studio/live albums before 1969 (the year he took off; literally) Jimi Hendrix went his own way. He already was a well known talented young (very young) studio/guitarist at the time. Not unobserved in the scenes he moved through to pay the bill for whatever needed to be paid. (Well known to have pawned his guitar; more than once). This free-spirited natural born talented guitarist and composer; underline composer; saw no limits to the "Hippie Dream" or more politically correct nowadays; "Psychedelic" good life. As "far-out" as the character sounds; he was a natural musical genius; born in a lower-USA; economical class. The "wolves" knew it; and Hendrix himself could not care less about the whole thing; as long as he could pay the bills. Lets say he operated on an out of this world material frequency. So if a HUGE ammount of freedom and space is what he needs; that is what he gets! To make money you have to invest money. And that is what Jimi needed (the freedom; not the money; try to see it his way!) to get close to that always haunting progression of melodies, rhythms and sounds he never stopped imagining and chasing all thru his short life span. This huge freedom "given"; also meant the only Hendrix studio album professionally produced and engineered by Hendrix himself. TWO studios London/New York; all to his entire disposition. So Jimi flew off like never before even to his own infinite standards, . Lets´s say he transcended his own " industry Impossed format" (because yes; lots of "people" realized that they have found a "Goldmine" ( still is now) in the hands of this careless "Biz"; "money-unwise" artist) . But this free-spirited musician really had a very concrete idea of where he was heading and where wanted to go "music-wise". So in a tragic short discography; this is the closer he gets to the average understanding concept of progressive rock (not-funk; thank the gods!) . A virtous guitarist/composer who will haunt every guitar player of the world; forever and ever; in the most experimental, Avant/Garde Electronic Psychedelic Rock experience "America" and the world had never witnessed; up to that time. It still marvels; and yes! impossible to match. Additionally he is the guy who made the second best version known of the original composed Bob Dylans´s "All Along the Watchtower" So for newcomers this is like early "Ash Ra Tempel". USA made in 1968.- Full 4 Stars!......So why not 5; I meausure Hendrix with Hendrix; nothing else comes close.
Review by ProgShine
COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
3 stars I completely understand self-indulgence in music, after all we're in a Progressive Rock website and that happens VERY often round here. But in this case, is really sad!

Jimi Hendrix was a great artist, a revolutionary and a guitar hero. But that's not all, he had a touch for writting good songs and his first two albums prooves that.

The problem with Electric Ladyland (1968) is that he went too far with experiments. Many of them completely nonsense. If the album had been released as a simple album, not double, it would have been his masterwork, his best album. But, the way it is, as a double album it becomes boring around the middle.

Program your stereo to: 'Have You Ever Been (To Electric Ladyland)', 'Crosstown Traffic', 'Burning of the Midnight Lamp', 'Rainy Day, Dream Away', 'All Along the Watchtower' and 'Voodoo Chile (Slight Return)' and you'll be fine!

And, not, this cover here in Progarchives IS NOT the original, can be the one approved, but it's not the original.

Review by Prog Leviathan
4 stars Electric Ladyland is a diverse, moody, bluesy, and psychedelic slice of late '60's experimental rock. Today when we hear Hendrix on the radio we hear only the handful of hits, which are all great; but listeners to this, the last album by Hendrix, will hear the full scope of his musicianship and songwriting skills. This album has lots to like, from free-form spacey interludes, extended jam sessions, melodic rockin', and most of all - music with feeling. Hendrix's songwriting and playing accomplishes much more than "Purple Haze" would lead you to believe he was capable of making, and all of it exudes the soulful artistry of a real bluesman.

This is probably the reason that Hendrix's music has had the staying power we've seen, that and his straight up excellence on the guitar. Listen to the expressive singing and axework in the live recording of "Voodoo Chile" and you'll see what I'm talking about; music like this just isn't made any more. Very few songs can create the immediate reaction to rock within a few seconds like the opening of Jimi's rendition of "All Along the Watchtower" or the massive riff and solo introduction to "Voodoo Child". Incomparable.

The album as a whole has a lot to offer most any rock fan, though those who thrive on excess and experimentation may get the most of out it. Electric Ladyland has only three songs that are really "classics," the best songs are those that feel like pieces of expressionist art hidden behind the layers of melodic riffing, fuzzy bass lines, and organ textures.

Rounded up to four for historical impact and importance to all music, not just prog, because there's only one Hendrix, and modern rock owes him more than I think we realize.

Songwriting: 3 - Instrumental Performances: 4 - Lyrics/Vocals: 3 - Style/Emotion/Replay: 5

Review by siLLy puPPy
5 stars THE JIMI HENDRIX EXPERIENCE may have had a short shelf life having only existed for four years and crafting three albums but they really knew how to make things count and take things to the next level on each subsequent release. The final chapter of the power trio that consisted of JIMI HENDRIX on vocals and guitar (and various other instruments such as comb and tissue paper kazoo!), Noel Redding on bass and Mitch Mitchell on drums resulted in one of the most complex and enduring albums that the late 60s had to offer. In addition to the trio's dominate instrumental prowess on the third and final album ELECTRIC LADYLAND, there was a whole army of guest musicians and production personnel involved making this one of the most expensive albums to have come out in 1968 and with eleven musicians and vocalists adding touches of flute, saxophone, Hammond organ, piano, 12-string guitar, congas and backing vocals, it's also one of the most diverse and magnanimous sounding albums of the band's three album career.

Keeping things in the same cosmic flow as their previous two albums, the EXPERIENCE continued in the lines of the psychedelically fueled blues rock that alternated between hard rock, blues and funk that added jazz touches. The indefatigable JIMI HENDRIX himself spent countless hours recording and re-recording tracks and then polishing them into pure perfection to the point where his perfectionist tendencies which coupled with the open invitation for friends to join in on the studio time led to a break in the professional relationship between HENDRIX and the man responsible for his initial success, Chas Chandler. The track "Gypsy Eyes" alone took 50 takes in 3 sessions to record. Despite the magnanimous nature of what went into the recording and production values, ELECTRIC LADYLAND sounds as if it was created in an impromptu performance as it flows fairly naturally from beginning to end, production techniques excluded of course.

So fertile was HENDRIX's output that there was enough material to create a double album and at a playing time of over 75 minutes, was quite the commitment for the fans to wrap their heads around but nonetheless ELECTRIC LADYLAND instantly shot to the top of the charts and generated the band's only top 40 hit in the US with the Bob Dylan cover of "All Along The Watchtower," a track that Dylan himself has admitted to being a vast improvement over his original. While the public enthusiastically supported the new album, the critics who had trouble finding a way to relate to the album weren't so kind but was the decades have elapsed and new generations have discovered the ambitious nature of this album, it has since been deemed one of the greatest rock albums of all time as it effortlessly coalesced the disparate elements of funk, blues, hard rock, jazz and psychedelia under one anthemic banner.

ELECTRIC LADYLAND crafted a much denser and sophisticated compositional approach than either "Are You Experienced?" or "Axis: Bold As Love." While clearly still rooted in the bluesy heavy rock riffing and guitar soloing showmanship style that had propelled HENDRIX into the limelight, the album shows a rock band evolving past the limitations of what a rock band was considered to be and much like The Beatles' "Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club" which changed the musical landscape the year prior was in the forefront of experimental techniques that included extensive use of backmasking, chorus effects, echoing and flange. Likewise the 15 minute long "Voodoo Chile" presaged the entire progressive rock revolution that would become official once King Crimson launched their ground zero detonating "In The Court Of The Crimson King" the following year. In short, ELECTRIC LADYLAND had the simplicity and hooks to draw in the crowds and the subtle complexities to keep them coming back for more.

Eclectic and diverse, ELECTRIC LADYLAND showcased HENDRIX's own sundry stylistic approaches. While some tracks like "Voodoo Chile" exorcised his deepest inner blues, others like "Come On" focused on R&B whereas "Crosstown Traffic" was more in the acid hard rock camp. "Little Miss Strange" was one of the few tracks to feature Mitch Mitchell on lead vocals and is a strange little 60s beat pop song tucked into the layers of psychedelically tinged externalities that provide the unifying factor. HENDRIX seemed to realize that this would be his magnum opus as his attention to this exhaustive labor of love only became apparent to the world that his works were indeed the makings of a mad genius who ceaselessly toiled over his worktable to create the next addition to his musical canvas. With a message presented in the album's final track "Voodoo Child (Slight Return)" that said "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" makes you wonder if HENDRIX didn't know on a higher level that his days on Earth were limited.

Having not been around for the original release of this magnificent album has been one of my biggest hurdles in appreciating its brilliance as i've had to work my way back through the timeline to wrap my head around the mindset that launched the whole 60s psychedelic rock scene in the first place. While any progressive rock or metalhead who delves deep enough in the way back machine will ultimately end up here, it does not mean for a second that the album will be regarded in such high esteem. The album has to be not just heard but EXPERIENCED on a higher plane to truly understand. It's almost a transcendental meditative experience in its own right once the left-brained antics of comparison to those who were influenced by this era are allowed to dissipate. Overall the album comes off as a dream sequence at rock concert where the performers exist in multiple dimensions simultaneously and are able to connect on a cosmic level superseding the 3D limitations of the Earth plane. Something struck a chord with the fans. ELECTRIC LADYLAND remains the JIMI HENDRIX EXPERIENCE's most successful album of the mere three album career and one that may not transcend the time it was created but on the contrary takes the listener back to the best aspects of what made the era so great.

Latest members reviews

1 stars I think Jimi Hendrix hair was far better than his overrated Electric Ladyland. The provoking original album art (nudity included), the skills to improvise amazing guitar solos, the effects (I think you know that Hendrix was the father of guitar effects)... Most of you may say Hey, the hallu ... (read more)

Report this review (#1024802) | Posted by VOTOMS | Tuesday, August 27, 2013 | Review Permanlink

5 stars Electric Ladyland is Jimi Hendrix at his creative peak. It features Jimi's most experimental and innovative music recorded in his lifetime, as well as some of the best. This 75 minute journey will send you somewhere else, somewhere beautiful and strange. On this album, Jimi isn't just a guitarist an ... (read more)

Report this review (#873328) | Posted by smartpatrol | Friday, December 7, 2012 | Review Permanlink

4 stars Electric ladyland was quite a far reaching album for its time, and released as a double LP set, also fairly new in 1968. After two landmark albums of the psychodelic era, Hendrix reached even fresher heights of creativity, though those many touches are quite subtle. "And the Gods Made Love" ag ... (read more)

Report this review (#591118) | Posted by Frankie Flowers | Monday, December 19, 2011 | Review Permanlink

3 stars It's everything you love and despise about the man, in one extra-large package. The Jimi Hendrix Experience - Electric Ladyland (1968) Best Song: VOODOO CHILD (SLIGHT RETURN) or ALL ALONG THE WATCHTOWER Overall Rating: 10/15 He sprawls and sprawls and sprawls. I think that perhaps Jimi's ... (read more)

Report this review (#291037) | Posted by Alitare | Sunday, July 18, 2010 | Review Permanlink

4 stars One of the very first progressive rock albums of all time. Here the LSD takes hold of Jimi's musical direction and he floats into the studio with his guitar glued to his soul. The greatest guitar player of all time's magnum opus. Some weaker songs hold this back from the 5 star perfection, but overa ... (read more)

Report this review (#288686) | Posted by MasterShake | Wednesday, June 30, 2010 | Review Permanlink

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