1968TheJimiHendrixExperienceElectricLadylandYesterday, I watched and reviewed the 2013 Jimi Hendrix biopic Jimi: All Is By My Side (which you can read here) and so after watching that I decided to review an album by one of the all time greats for the album of the week. The album that I chose was the very last record that Jimi Hendrix recorded, produced, and released right before his death in 1970 called Electric Ladyland which was engineered by Eddie Kramer and recorded at The Record Plant in New York City. The album features Jimi primarily playing guitar and bass on the whole record with Mitch Mitchel playing the drums. Noel Redding provided backing vocals for most of the songs and he even played acoustic guitar on Little Miss Strange. The album would hit number one on the US Billboard Top 200 charts in 1968, number 6 on the UK charts, and All Along The Watchtower was the highest charting single hitting number 20 on the Billboard Hot 100.

1. And The Gods Made Love– It’s the first song on the record, but it’s a little weird and it’s essentially an intro.

Inside Sleeve

Inside Sleeve

2. Have Your Ever Been (to Electric Ladyland)– The song is slow and kind of trippy in sound kind of in the vein of Spanish Castle Magic. The song is rumored to be about Jimi’s experiences with groupies who he called Electric Ladies. 4/5

3. Crosstown Traffic– This is truly an amazing rock song with Jimi playing the kazoo in the song. The song is supposedly about Manhattan’s congested traffic. 5/5

4. Voodoo Chile– This is one of the greatest blues oriented rock songs from Jimi that also features Traffic’s Steve Winwood on organs, Jefferson Airplane’s bassist Jack Casady, and jazz guitarist Larry Coryell on the track. Jimi would visit the clubs and he would jam with musicians and this was the result of one of those when he brought them back to the studio with him. This was the 15 minute version that he recorded with these guys. 5/5

5. Little Miss Strange– This is a track that features Noel Redding and Mitch Mitchell on vocals and it has that English rock, Beatles like sound to it. 4/5

6. Long Hot Summer Night– This is a decent R&B stylized rock track from Jimi Hendrix and company. 4/5

7. Come On (Let The Good Times Roll)– This is Jimi’s cover of the Earl King blues classic. 4/5

8. Gypsy Eyes– On the UK edition it’s known as Gipsy Eyes and it’s based on the Field Holler in the beginning and parts of the track which was a technique used by slaves in the Mississippi Delta area as a form of communication. 4/5

103-the-jimi-hendrix-experience-electric-ladyland-label-b9. Burning Of The Midnight Lamp– Hendrix commentators Harry Shapiro and Caesar Glebbeek describe the song as melancholy and they say that, “There are some very personal things in there. But I think everyone can understand the feeling when you’re travelling that no matter what your address there is no place you can call home. The feeling of a man in a little old house in the middle of a desert where he is burning the midnight lamp … you don’t mean for things to be personal all the time, but it is.” 4/5

10. Rainy Day, Dream Away– The bluesy song is pretty self explanatory as we dream away on rainy days. It’s a song that you can sit around and chill out with. 4/5

11. 1983… (A Merman I Should Turn to Be)– This was one of many tracks that Jimi wrote about his one time girlfriend Kathy Etchingham as she was the Katherina. The song itself is amazing in sound as it’s kind of moody and at times can be compared to some stuff Zeppelin did. 4/5

12. Moon, Turn the Tides… Gently Gently Away– The songs lyrics deal with a subject matter that Jimi loved which was the water as well as sand. Some believe that this song is actually a continuation of the last track. It’s an 8 minute epic track with several tempo changes and some bad ass blues playing. 4/5

13. Still Raining, Still Dreaming– Jimi makes his guitar speak in this track and this could be a continuation of the Rainy Day, Dream Away track. 4/5

14. House Burning Down– This was Jimi’s civil rights awareness track as he used to music to make a point. 4/5

jimi_hendrix_experience_-_electric_ladyland_(1968)-back15. All Along The Watchtower– This is probably the most famous Hendrix song that most people do not realize that it’s actually a Bob Dylan track. You hear this song and your mind literally escapes in the music. 5/5

16. Voodoo Child (Slight Return)- This was basically Jimi’s version of the song recorded with the Experience. Author Charles Shaar Murray said this in his book Crosstown Traffic about the tracck, “Voodoo symbolism and reference resound through the country blues, and through the urbanized electric county blues of the Chicago school … In Hendrix’s case, this is pure metaphor. He certainly was not a Voodoo inititate in any formal sense … Both with ‘Voodoo Chile’—and, most specifically, with the West African even-before-Bo-Diddley beat he percussively scratches from his guitar and wah-wah pedal at the beginning of ‘Voodoo Chile (Slight Return)’ [sic]—he is announcing as explicitly as possible that he is a man of the blues, and one who honours, respects and understands its deepest and most profound traditions”. 5/5

My Final Thoughts– Listening to this album you simply hear the brilliance that was Jimi Hendrix. He may be on the greatest guitar players of all time in the history of rock and blues. Check out this album and get blown away. I am giving the album 4.5 stars out of five for a final grade.


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