- Electric Ladyland
Electric Ladyland Studio album by The Jimi Hendrix Experience Released October 25, 1968 Recorded Olympic Studios, London and Record Plant Studios, New York, July 1967, December 1967, January 1968, April–August 1968 Genre Psychedelic rock, blues rock, acid rock, hard rock Length 75:47 Label Reprise, Track, Barclay, Polydor Producer Jimi Hendrix The Jimi Hendrix Experience chronology Smash Hits
Electric Jimi Hendrix
Electric Ladyland is the third and final album of new material by the Jimi Hendrix Experience, released in October 1968 on Reprise Records, catalogue 2RS 6307. It is the only Hendrix studio album professionally produced under his supervision. It topped the Billboard 200 album chart for two weeks in November 1968. The original North American-only Reprise release album cover featured a "fiery" photo of Hendrix' head. The slightly later Track/Polydor International album release cover, controversially, was a photo of group of nude women, which was only replaced after Experience Hendrix took control of Hendrix' recordings. In most Francophone parts of Europe, Barclay Records used a cover showing a downward pointing arm at a very small photo of Hendrix' head.
Released as a double album, Electric Ladyland is a cross-section of Hendrix's wide range of musical talent. It includes examples of several genres and styles of music: the psychedelic "Burning of the Midnight Lamp", previously a U.K. single in the summer of 1967; the extended blues jam "Voodoo Chile"; the New Orleans-style R&B of Earl King's "Come On"; the epic studio production of "1983... (A Merman I Should Turn to Be)"; the social commentary of "House Burning Down"; and the Sixties-era Britpop of Noel Redding's "Little Miss Strange". The album also features an avant-garde reworking of the Bob Dylan classic "All Along the Watchtower", which has been well-received by critics as well as by Dylan himself, as well as "Voodoo Child (Slight Return)", a staple of both radio and guitar repertoire.
Recording and production
Following the first tranche of recordings to be included in the album from Olympic Studios in London, including part of "All Along the Watchtower" and the aforementioned 1967 single, production moved during the spring of 1968 to the newly opened Record Plant Studios, situated close to Hendrix's favorite New York clubs. Recording there was by Jimi's favorite engineers Eddie Kramer and Gary Kellgren. Despite a claim by Record Plant engineer Chris Stone that Kellgren engineered "90%" of Ladyland, the studio records show that most of the work was done by Kramer, only three tracks including the one by Redding having Kellgren as engineer.
During the recording of the album, Hendrix fell out with producer Bryan "Chas" Chandler and bassist Noel Redding. Pressured by a hectic tour schedule, Hendrix still wanted to have a life, so he combined work with pleasure by inviting his friends and acquaintances to the studio. Chas Chandler hated spending so much time in the studio and partly blamed it on these guests, but Jimi was determined to have his way. Chandler complained that Hendrix's insistence on doing multiple takes of every song, combined with what he saw as Hendrix's drugged incoherence, led him to sell his share of the management company to his partner Michael Jeffery. Chandler quit in May 1968, leaving Hendrix sole producer on the project.
Hendrix' studio perfectionism was legendary – he and Mitchell recorded well over 50 takes of "Gypsy Eyes" over three sessions, Hendrix generally insecure about his voice and often recording his vocals hidden behind studio screens. Hendrix sings all the backing vocals himself on the title track and on "Long Hot Summer Night". He was said to be very happy with the vocal results on "Have You Ever Been to Electric Ladyland."
Many of the album tracks show Hendrix's vision expanding far beyond the scope of the original trio and saw him collaborating with a range of outside musicians including Dave Mason, Chris Wood and Steve Winwood from Traffic; future Band of Gypsys drummer Buddy Miles; Jefferson Airplane bassist Jack Casady; former Dylan organist Al Kooper; and members of 'the Serfs': Mike Finnegan on organ, Freddie Smith on saxophone, and Larry Faucette on congas. Cooperation between Hendrix and bassist Noel Redding, who was of the same opinion about time spent in the studio as Chandler, was strained during production. Hendrix plays bass on many tracks, including the bass solo on "1983". At times Hendrix recorded bass tracks simply to make things proceed faster. Redding plays acoustic guitar and sings lead vocals with Mitchell on his own track, "Little Miss Strange."
Release and reception
Professional ratings Review scores Source Rating Uncut  Allmusic  Blender  Rolling Stone  BBC (favourable) Robert Christgau 
The UK edition reached #6 on its release amid considerable controversy. A letter Hendrix wrote to Reprise described exactly what he wanted for the cover art, but it was mostly ignored. He expressly asked for a color photo by Linda Eastman of the group sitting with children on a sculpture from Alice in Wonderland in Central Park, NY, even drawing a picture of it for reference. The company instead used a blurred red and yellow photo of his head, taken by Karl Ferris. Track Records had its own art department, which produced a cover depicting 19 nude women lounging in front of a black background taken by photographer David Montgomery, who also shot the inside cover portrait of Hendrix. Later reissues for compact disc in 1997 and 2010 feature the Ferris cover worldwide, and the Hendrix family has indicated that they will no longer use the nudes cover since Hendrix himself expressed his opinion against nude-cover saying that it was rather an opposite to what he had wanted.
In 2005 Q magazine readers voted Electric Ladyland the 38th greatest album of all time; in 2003 the TV network VH1 placed it at number 72. In 2003, Rolling Stone declared it the 54th greatest album of all time. The album is included in the book 1001 Albums You Must Hear Before You Die. Also, The Source magazine ranked it #40 on their Critics Top 100 Black Music Albums of All Time list in 2006.
US cover release
All songs written by Jimi Hendrix except where noted.
Side one No. Title Writer(s) Length 1. "...And the Gods Made Love" 1:21 2. "Have You Ever Been (To Electric Ladyland)" 2:11 3. "Crosstown Traffic" 2:25 4. "Voodoo Chile" 15:00 Side two No. Title Writer(s) Length 5. "Little Miss Strange" Noel Redding 2:52 6. "Long Hot Summer Night" 3:27 7. "Come On (Let the Good Times Roll)" Earl King 4:09 8. "Gypsy Eyes" 3:43 9. "Burning of the Midnight Lamp" 3:39 Side three No. Title Writer(s) Length 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" (instrumental) 1:02 Side four No. Title Writer(s) Length 13. "Still Raining, Still Dreaming" 4:25 14. "House Burning Down" 4:33 15. "All Along the Watchtower" Bob Dylan 4:01 16. "Voodoo Child (Slight Return)" 5:12
UK cover release
Disc one, Sides 1 & 4 No. Title Writer(s) Length 1. "And the Gods Made Love" 1:22 2. "Have You Ever Been (To Electric Ladyland)" 2:11 3. "Crosstown Traffic" 2:25 4. "Voodoo Chile" 15:02 5. "Still Raining, Still Dreaming" 4:25 6. "House Burning Down" 4:33 7. "All Along the Watchtower" Dylan 4:00 8. "Voodoo Child (Slight Return)" 5:13 Disc two, Sides 2 & 3 No. Title Writer(s) Length 9. "Little Miss Strange" Redding 2:51 10. "Long Hot Summer Night" 3:27 11. "Come On (Part 1)" King 4:10 12. "Gipsy Eyes" 3:43 13. "Burning of the Midnight Lamp" 3:40 14. "Rainy Day, Dream Away" 3:42 15. "1983... (A Merman I Should Turn to Be)" 4:49 16. "Moon, Turn the Tides... Gently, Gently Away" 9:54
As was common with some multi-LP albums, sides one and four were pressed back to back on the same platter, likewise sides two and three. This was called "auto-coupling" or "automatic sequence" and was intended to make it easier to play through the entire album in sequence on automatic record-changers. In this case it has led to some CD releases of Electric Ladyland that have the sides in the incorrect one-four-two-three order. The cassette tape version altered the running order to keep both sides of the tape as equal as possible, a standard practice.
On the original LP version, "1983... (A Merman I Should Turn To Be)" is 13:39 and "Moon, Turn the Tides... Gently, Gently Away" is 1:01, the total being 14:40. On the Nudes version, "1983" is 4:49 while "Moon, Turn the Tides" is 9:54, the total being 14:43, just three seconds longer than the original.
Credits taken from the 1993 MCA compact disc booklet.
- Jimi Hendrix – vocals, electric guitar, piano, percussion, comb and paper kazoo, electric harpsichord, bass on "Have You Ever Been (To Electric Ladyland)", "Long Hot Summer Night", "Gypsy Eyes", "1983", "House Burning Down", and "All Along the Watchtower"
- Noel Redding – backing vocals, bass on "Crosstown Traffic", "Little Miss Strange", "Come On (Let the Good Times Roll)", "Burning of the Midnight Lamp", "Rainy Day Dream Away", "Still Raining Still Dreaming", and "Voodoo Child (Slight Return)", acoustic guitar and lead vocals on "Little Miss Strange"
- Mitch Mitchell – backing vocals, drums except as below, percussion, lead vocals on "Little Miss Strange"
- Jack Casady – bass on "Voodoo Chile"
- Larry Faucette – congas on "Rainy Day Dream Away" and "Still Raining Still Dreaming"
- Mike Finnigan – organ on "Rainy Day Dream Away" and "Still Raining Still Dreaming"
- Brian Jones - percussion on "All Along the Watchtower"
- Al Kooper – piano on "Long Hot Summer Night"and organ on all tracks
- Dave Mason – twelve string guitar on "All Along the Watchtower", backing vocals on "Crosstown Traffic"
- Buddy Miles – drums on "Rainy Day Dream Away" and "Still Raining Still Dreaming"
- Freddie Smith – tenor saxophone on "Rainy Day Dream Away" and "Still Raining Still Dreaming"
- The Sweet Inspirations – backing vocals on "Burning of the Midnight Lamp"
- Steve Winwood – organ on "Voodoo Chile"
- Chris Wood – flute on "1983... (A Merman I Should Turn to Be)"
- Producer - Jimi Hendrix
- Engineers - Eddie Kramer and Gary Kellgren
- Mixed by - Jimi Hendrix, Eddie Kramer, and Gary Kellgren
- Arranged by Jimi Hendrix
- US cover liner note by Jimi Hendrix
- US cover design - Karl Ferris
- US cover inside photos - Linda Eastman and David Sygall
- US art direction - Ed Thrasher
- UK cover design - David King, Rob O'Connor
- UK cover inside photos - David Montgomery
First CD remaster by Lee Herschberg (Reprise 6307-2)
Second CD remaster by Alan Douglas - Remastering by Joe Gastwirt, Liner notes by Michael Fairchild
Third CD remaster by Experience Hendrix - Remastering by Eddie Kramer and George Marino, Art direction by Vartan, Liner notes by Jeff Leve, Essay by Derek Taylor
Year Chart Position 1968 Billboard Top 200 Albums 1 1968 UK Albums Chart 6
Year Single Chart Position 1967 "Burning of the Midnight Lamp" UK Singles Chart 18 1968 "All Along the Watchtower" Billboard Hot 100 20 UK Singles Chart 5 "Crosstown Traffic" Billboard Hot 100 52 1969 "Crosstown Traffic" UK Singles Chart 37 1970 "Voodoo Child (Slight Return)" UK Singles Chart 1 1971 "Gypsy Eyes/Remember" UK Singles Chart 35 1990 "All Along the Watchtower EP (with "Hey Joe" & "Voodoo Child (Slight Return)") UK Singles Chart 52 1990 "Crosstown Traffic" UK Singles Chart 61
- ^ Billboard Archives retrieved 22-10-10
- ^ Dimery, Robert. 1001 Albums You Must Hear Before You Die, ISBN 0-7893-1371-5, p.136
- ^ McDermott, John with Cox, Billy, and Kramer, Eddie. Ultimate Hendrix: An Illustrated Encyclopedia of Live Concerts and Sessions. Milwaukee: Backbeat Books, 2009, passim.
- ^ McDermott et al., Ultimate Hendrix, pp. 98-100.
- ^ Electric Ladyland, MCAD 10895, 1993, liner notes.
- ^ Appleby, Carol, and Redding, Noel. Are You Experienced? - The Inside Story of The Jimi Hendrix Experience. London: Fourth Estate, 1990, passim.
- ^ MCA 1993 liner notes.
- ^ Uncut Review
- ^ Allmusic Review
- ^ Blender Review
- ^ Rolling Stone Review
- ^ BBC Review
- ^ Robert Christgau Review
- ^ Electric Ladyland. Experience Hendrix/MCA 11600, 1997, liner notes.
- ^ Electric Ladyland. Track Records 613 010, 1968, cover photo.
- ^ Critics Top 100 Black Music Albums of All Time retrieved 22-10-10
- ^ "UK chart history - The Jimi Hendrix Experience Electric Ladyland". www.chartstats.com. http://www.chartstats.com/release.php?release=36664. Retrieved September 5, 2011.
- ^ a b c d e f The Jimi Hendrix Experience in the UK Singles Chart, The Official Charts.
- ^ Jimi Hendrix Album and Song Chart History, Billboard.com.
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The Jimi Hendrix Experience Studio albums Live albums Compilations Official bootlegs Singles Songs"1983... (A Merman I Should Turn to Be)" · "Are You Experienced?" · "Bold as Love" · "Castles Made of Sand" · "Come On (Part 1)" · "Highway Chile" · "I Don't Live Today" · "If 6 Was 9" · "Little Wing" · "Manic Depression" · "Red House" · "Spanish Castle Magic" · "The Stars That Play with Laughing Sam's Dice" · "Third Stone from the Sun" · "Voodoo Chile" · "Wild Thing" · "You Got Me Floating" Related articles
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