Electric Ladyland is the third album by The Jimi Hendrix Experience.  Packed with experimental songs and longer tracks as a result of the departure of producer Chas Chandler from the previous two albums, this album shows Jimi at his most creative.Jimi Hendrix Electric Ladyland

This review is on the 2010 re-issue of Electric Ladyland which also includes a bonus DVD.

  1. And The Gods Made Love – Another experimental sound track by Jimi consistent with EXP on Axis: Bold As Love.  Weird and interesting sounds.
  2. Have You Ever Been (To Electric Ladyland) – A song that reminds you of a bit of Motown soul.  Slow paced and soulful.  The title track off of the album and an excellent introduction to the this “experience.”
  3. Crosstown Traffic – A funky, fast moving song.  One of my favorite tracks on the album.  Beautiful harmonies in the course make the song really groove along.  Jimi humming with some of the guitar work shows his infatuation with the melody and for good reason, this song rocks.
  4. Voodoo Chile – An incredible blues composition that clocks in at 15 minutes long.  However, even at 15 minutes, this song doesn’t get anywhere near “boring.”  Jimi’s vocals bring us into one of his more blues ridden compositions which he excels at, full of emotion.  Mitch Mitchell’s drums provide a structured environment for Jimi to let his guitar roam.  Slow, yet powerful solo work make this track easy to listen to.  Stevie Winwood contributes the signature organ keys to the song which make the song extremely unique.  Mitch also gets the opportunity to let his classical drum style shine with a drum solo that rocks.
  5. Little Miss Strange – Noel Redding penned piece that has that Beatlesque sound.  Interestingly enough, Jimi’s guitar reminds me of a hint of The Guess Who’s guitar sound.  A solid track that doesn’t veer too much into the unknown but keeps a great tempo.
  6. Long Hot Summer Night – The song starts off giving you the vibe of a blues club kind of song but also includes plenty of rock influence.  Jimi’s vocals are bluesy and the background vocals add to their effectiveness on the song.
  7. Come On (Let The Good Times Roll) – A classic song.  Classic guitar by Jimi with distortion and fast moving flavor.  Solo’s that rip through the track and command immediate attention.  Subtle but consistent drums by Mitch Mitchel.  Incredible finger work on the fretboard by Jimi.  You can just picture him with his eyes closed, really engulfed in the guitar.  A 50’s rock foundation layered in Jimi’s unique rock style make this track truly unique.
  8. Gypsy Eyes – Clunky, garage style drums set the stage for this song.  Jimi’s vocals are searing and have a cool effect on them.  Jimi’s guitar is rhythmic and has a unique, distant effect on it.  Jimi’s vocals reflect his still fairly young age at the time he recorded this track.  The solo work is fast paced and has hints of Jimi’s signature space like sound effects.
  9. Burning Of The Midnight Lamp – A soft song with female choir style backup vocals in the background that add to the songs smooth feel.  A very relaxed track with a classic guitar sound.  Jimi gets into his vocals which brings his soulful roots to the forefront of the song.
  10. Rainy Day, Dream Away – Smooth saxophone grooves gives this song an immediately jazzy feel.  The shots of organ throughout also add a bit of jazzy funk to the song.  Jimi’s vocals are smooth and his guitar work is rugged and compliments the track perfectly.  The song fades out with Jimi still singing.
  11. 1983…(A Merman I Should Turn To Be) – The second of two songs that clock in at nearly 15 minutes.  A softer song with driving drums guiding the song.  A smooth and wavy guitar riff by Jimi gives the song a head bobbing quality.  Jimi’s vocals are softly emotional and touch on love and making love (in the sand).  Jimi’s solo guitar work comes to the front and takes command of the song.  Midway through the song breaks with wind & chime sound work adding an eerie ambiance.  There is also what sounds like backwards guitar in places in a very melodic fashion accompanied by Jimi’s soft guitar work.  Mitch Mitchel has the opportunity to show his drum skills on some solo work which is excellent.
  12. Moon, Turn The Tides…gently, gently away – A short, experimental sound track that sounds like a spaceship cruising in and out of star belts in the galaxy.  Interesting and a testament to Jimi’s desire to try new things and push the limits of what could be done in the studio.
  13. Still Raining, Still Dreaming – An interesting effect on Jimi’s guitar starts the song with his guitar talking in an almost dog like fashion.  A funky riff and excellent finger work by Jimi make this song rock.  Much like Rainy Day, Dream Away, the organ adds a unique sound to the track.  Very funky and a killer guitar track.  One of my favorites on the album.  Mitch Mitchel provides energetic drums to the composition.
  14. House Burning Down –  This song starts off with Jimi’s signature, searing guitar work and them dumps into an energetic band track.  Jimi’s vocals have an almost talkative style to them during the verses.  A steady moving song with repetitive drums.  Background vocals add depth to the course.  The song ends with Jimi ripping through some solo/experimental sound work.
  15. All Along The Watchtower – An all time classic.  A Bob Dylan original that Jimi made his own.  Jimi’s vocals are smooth but heart filled and powerful at the same time.  His guitar licks sing, jump, and emotionalize the track.  This song is one of many testaments to Jimi’s ability to make a song his own and make it truly unique, even if he didn’t write it.
  16. Voodoo Child (Slight Return) – A strong guitar riff give this song a masculine feeling.  Jimi’s finger rolls are perfect and his vocals are powerful, taking charge of the song.  Jimi’s solo work beautifully wonders and Mitch Mitchel matches him blow for blow with following drums.

The Extras…

The DVD…

The DVD is short at around 12 minutes and is in documentary form.  Even thought the DVD is short, it is still excellent and led by Eddie Kramer, Jimi’s engineer.  Discussed are the turning points in Jimi’s musical direction as well as the friction and eventual departure of Chas Chandler during the recording of Electric Ladyland.  Also covered is the friction beginning to come to a head with bassist Noel Redding over Jimi’s extended stays in the studio.

The Booklet…

The booklet is packed with pictures, hand written notes about the album by Jimi, alternate album covers, and an editorial by Derek Taylor.  One of the more interesting inclusions is the European album cover which features a dozen nude women, some holding pictures of Jimi.  An excellent accompaniment to the album and DVD.

Conclusion

Electric Ladyland is another step up the pyramid of greatness for The Jimi Hendrix Experience.  With the departure of Chas Chandler on this album, Jimi was free to experiment and create songs that Chas would have deemed “too long”, or “of little commercial value” and truly expand his musical horizons.  An incredible feat for Jimi musicale and an easy 5 stars…

5 Star Chris Elliott Rated

Amazon has this deluxe CD/DVD set pretty cheap.  You can order through the Amazon link below and Amazon will kick me back a few cents if you found this review helpful…

Until the next review,

Chris Elliott Signature

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