Electric Ladyland is the third and final studio album by English-American rock band the Jimi Hendrix Experience. Released by Reprise Records in North America and Track Records in the UK in October 1968, the double album was the only record from the band produced by Jimi Hendrix. By mid-November, it had charted at number one in the United States, where it spent two weeks at the top spot. Electric Ladyland was the Experience's most commercially successful release and their only number one album. It peaked at number six in the UK, where it spent 12 weeks on the chart.
Electric Ladyland included a cover of the Bob Dylan song "All Along the Watchtower", which became the Experience's highest-selling single and their only top 40 hit in the US, peaking at number 20; the single reached number five in the UK. Although the album confounded critics in 1968, it has since been viewed as Hendrix's best work and one of the greatest rock records of all time. Electric Ladyland has been featured on many greatest-album lists, including Q magazine's 2003 list of the 100 greatest albums and Rolling Stone's list of the 500 greatest albums of all time, on which it was ranked 55th.
Reprise Records (North American) album cover
|Studio album by|
|Released||October 16, 1968|
|Jimi Hendrix US album chronology|
|Jimi Hendrix UK album chronology|
|Singles from Electric Ladyland|
The Experience began recording Electric Ladyland at several studios in the US and UK in between July 1967 and January 1968. Recording resumed on April 18, 1968, at the newly opened Record Plant Studios in New York City, with Chas Chandler as producer and engineers Eddie Kramer and Gary Kellgren.
Hendrix was famous for his studio perfectionism; he and drummer Mitch Mitchell recorded over 50 takes of "Gypsy Eyes" over three sessions. Hendrix was insecure about his voice and often recorded his vocals hidden behind studio screens. He sang backing vocals himself on the title track and on "Long Hot Summer Night". As recording progressed, Chandler became frustrated with Hendrix's perfectionism and his demands for repeated takes.
Hendrix allowed friends and guests to join them in the studio, which contributed to a chaotic and crowded environment in the control room and led Chandler to sever his professional relationship with Hendrix. Bassist Noel Redding recalled: "There were tons of people in the studio; you couldn't move. It was a party, not a session."
Redding, who had formed his own band in mid-1968, Fat Mattress, found it increasingly difficult to fulfill his commitments with the Experience, so Hendrix played many of the bass parts. The album's cover states that it was "produced and directed by Jimi Hendrix". The double LP was the only Experience album mixed entirely in stereo.
Hendrix experimented with other combinations of musicians, including Jefferson Airplane's Jack Casady and Traffic's Steve Winwood, who played bass and organ on the fifteen-minute slow-blues jam "Voodoo Chile". Hendrix appeared at an impromptu jam with B.B. King, Al Kooper, and Elvin Bishop.[nb 4]
According to music journalist David Stubbs, Electric Ladyland is "undoubtedly a rock album, albeit rock on the point of evolving into something else." Uncut magazine's John Robinson said that its music reconciles the psychedelic pop of Hendrix's earlier recordings with the aggressive funk he would explore on his 1970 album Band of Gypsys. During its recording, Kramer experimented with innovative studio techniques such as backmasking, chorus effect, echo, and flanging, which AllMusic's Cub Koda said recontextualized Hendrix's psychedelic and funk sounds on the 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", a UK single the previous summer (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 electric reworking of the Bob Dylan classic "All Along the Watchtower", which has been well-received by critics as well as by Dylan himself, and also "Voodoo Child (Slight Return)", a staple of both radio and guitar repertoire. Rolling Stone's Holly George-Warren praised "Crosstown Traffic" for its hard rock guitar riff.
"All Along the Watchtower" became the band's highest-selling single and their only US top 40 hit, peaking at number 20; it reached number five in the UK. The album also included one of Hendrix's most prominent uses of a wah-wah pedal, on "Burning of the Midnight Lamp", which reached number 18 in the UK charts.
Hendrix had written to Reprise describing what he wanted for the cover art, but 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, and drew a picture of it for reference. The company instead used a blurred red and yellow photo of his head while performing at Saville Theatre, taken by Karl Ferris.
Track Records used its art department, which produced a cover image by photographer David Montgomery, who also shot the inside cover portrait of Hendrix, depicting nineteen nude women lounging in front of a black background. Hendrix expressed initial displeasure and surprise with this "naked lady" cover (but later told Rolling Stone Magazine that he "dug it anyway"), much as he was displeased with the Axis: Bold as Love cover which he found disrespectful. The cover was banned by several record dealers as "pornographic", while others sold it with the gatefold cover turned inside out, or in a brown wrapper.
Electric Ladyland was released in the US on October 16, 1968. It was a "hit psychedelic album", Richie Unterberger later wrote, and by mid-November, it had reached number one in the US, spending two weeks atop the pop charts. The double LP was the Experience's most commercially successful release and Hendrix's only number-one album. In the UK, it peaked at number six and charted for 12 weeks.
Electric Ladyland confounded contemporary critics; reviewers praised some of its songs but felt the album lacked structure and sounded too dense. Melody Maker called it "mixed-up and muddled", with the exception of "All Along the Watchtower", which the magazine called a masterpiece. In a negative review for Rolling Stone, Tony Glover preferred the less difficult "Little Miss Strange" to songs such as "Voodoo Chile" and "1983", which he said were marred by reactively harsh playing. Robert Christgau was more enthusiastic in Stereo Review, regarding it as an explosive showcase of rock's "most important recent innovation"—the "heavy" guitar aesthetic—and "an integrated work-in-itself in more ways than one". He found the production exceptional—"the best job of stereo for its own sake I know"—and was surprisingly impressed by the quality of the lyrics. While most guitarists in rock believed improvisation to be a straightforward endeavor, Christgau said "Hendrix achieves unique effects, effects you'll never get from Kenny Burrell", citing "Voodoo Chile" as an example. He later named Electric Ladyland the fifth-best album of 1968 in his ballot for Jazz & Pop magazine's critics poll.
|Retrospective professional reviews|
|Encyclopedia of Popular Music|||
|The Rolling Stone Album Guide|||
Over time, Electric Ladyland's critical standing improved significantly, with author and musicologist John Perry describing it as "one of the greatest double-albums in Rock." According to author Michael Heatley, "most critics agree" that the album was "the fullest realization of Jimi's far-reaching ambitions"; Guitar World editor Noe Goldwasser called it his greatest work. The record was also deemed an essential hard rock album in Tom Larson's 2004 book History of Rock and Roll, and Clash reviewer Robin Murray viewed it as a "true classic of the psychedelic rock era". In a retrospective review for Blender, Christgau wrote that it was the definitive work of psychedelic music, describing the record as "an aural utopia that accommodates both ingrained conflict and sweet, vague spiritual yearnings, held together by a master musician". In Charlotte Greig's opinion, much like Are You Experienced, Electric Ladyland was "groundbreaking, introducing audiences to a style of psychedelic rock rooted in the blues".
Electric Ladyland has been featured on many greatest album lists, including a number 10 ranking on Classic Rock magazine's list of the 100 Greatest Rock Albums Ever, and number 37 on The Times' 100 Best Albums of All Time. Music journalist and author Peter Doggett argued that it is very likely the greatest rock album of all time because of its exceptional concept, artful melodies, experimentation, and skilled musicianship, which he felt remains unparalleled by any other rock artist. The album was included in "A Basic Record Library" of 1950s and 1960s recordings, published in Christgau's Record Guide: Rock Albums of the Seventies (1981). In 2003, Q magazine included it on its list of the 100 greatest albums ever, while Rolling Stone ranked it 54th on its list of the 500 greatest albums of all time.
All tracks written by Jimi Hendrix, except where noted.
|1.||"...And the Gods Made Love"||1:21|
|2.||"Have You Ever Been (To Electric Ladyland)"||2:11|
|1.||"Little Miss Strange" (Noel Redding)||2:52|
|2.||"Long Hot Summer Night"||3:27|
|3.||"Come On (Let the Good Times Roll)" (Earl King; originally titled "Come On" on UK Track release[nb 5])||4:09|
|4.||"Gypsy Eyes" (Originally titled "Gipsy Eyes" on UK Track release)||3:43|
|5.||"Burning of the Midnight Lamp"||3:39|
|1.||"Rainy Day, Dream Away"||3:42|
|2.||"1983... (A Merman I Should Turn to Be)[nb 6]"||13:39|
|3.||"Moon, Turn the Tides...Gently Gently Away"||1:02|
|1.||"Still Raining, Still Dreaming"||4:25|
|2.||"House Burning Down"||4:33|
|3.||"All Along the Watchtower" (Bob Dylan)||4:01|
|4.||"Voodoo Child (Slight Return)" (Originally titled "Voodoo Chile (Slight Return)" on UK Track release)||5:12|
As was common with 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.
A new 50th anniversary edition was released on 28 November 2018. It features Hendrix's originally intended cover, and is available as a box-set with either a Blu-ray disc and 3 x CD or a Blu-ray disc and 6 X Vinyl. The Blu-ray includes a 5.1 surround mix by Eddie Kramer and a high resolution version of the album remaster. . The remastering was done by Bernie Grundman from the original master tapes. The box set also features early takes, demos and live concert from 14 September 1968 at the Hollywood Bowl plus a 1997 documentary "At Last...The Beginning: The Making Of Electric Ladyland" featuring Chas Chandler, Mitch Mitchell, Noel Redding and Eddie Kramer.
Credits taken from the 1993 MCA compact disc liner notes.
|Belgian Albums (Ultratop Flanders)||85|
|Belgian Albums (Ultratop Wallonia)||75|
|Dutch Albums (Album Top 100)||75|
|French Albums (SNEP)||96|
|German Albums (Offizielle Top 100)||12|
|Norwegian Albums (VG-lista)||13|
|Swedish Albums (Sverigetopplistan)||58|
|UK Albums (OCC)||6|
|US Billboard 200||1|
|US Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums (Billboard)||5|
|United Kingdom (BPI)||Gold||100,000^|
|United States (RIAA)||2× Platinum||2,000,000^|
*sales figures based on certification alone
"1983… (A Merman I Should Turn to Be)" is a song by American-English rock band The Jimi Hendrix Experience, featured on their 1968 third album Electric Ladyland. Written and produced by Jimi Hendrix, the song features flute player Chris Wood of the band Traffic, and at over 13 minutes in duration is the second longest track released by the group (after "Voodoo Chile").Come On (Earl King song)
"Come On" (often called "Let the Good Times Roll") is a song written by New Orleans rhythm and blues artist Earl King. He first recorded the song as "Darling Honey Angel Child" in 1960 for the Ace Records subsidiary Rex. Later that year, he recorded it as a two-part song for Imperial Records using some new lyrics. Retitled "Come On", it was released in 1960 with "Come On – Part I” as the A-side backed with “Come On – Part II” (Imperial 5713).The song's lyrics are based on "Let the Good Times Roll", the 1946 jump blues hit by Louis Jordan and his Tympany Five. However, instrumentally, it is a showcase for guitar playing. Music writer John Perry compares it to Freddie King instrumentals, such as "Hide Away" and "The Stumble". He adds that it is performed in the "guitar-friendly key of E ... specifically designed to cram as many hot licks as possible into a single number"."Come On" did not appear in Billboard magazine's R&B record chart, but gained a higher profile due to Jimi Hendrix. The song was one of the earliest songs played by Hendrix, starting with high school bands at the Spanish Castle music club south of Seattle. In 1968, he recorded "Come On" with the Jimi Hendrix Experience for their third album, Electric Ladyland. Hendrix follows King's rhythm guitar parts, but performs the song at a faster tempo, giving the song a more rock feel. Bassist Noel Redding and drummer Mitch Mitchell also provide a more driving rhythm, which adds emphasis during Hendrix's guitar solo. It was the last song recorded for Electric Ladyland. According to Redding, "that was done to fill out the album ... We just played it live and they took it".In 1977, King re-recorded an updated version at Knight Studios in Metairie, Louisiana. Titled "Come On (Let the Good Times Roll)", it shows Hendrix's influence and was released by Sonet Records. Several other musicians have recorded renditions of the song, including Dr. John (as "Let the Good Times Roll" for Dr. John's Gumbo in 1972); Freddie King (Burglar, 1974); Anson Funderburgh and the Rockets (Talk To You By Hand, 1981); James Booker (as "Let the Good Times Roll" for Live from Belle Vue, 2015); Stevie Ray Vaughan (as "Come On (Part III)" for Soul to Soul, 1985); and the Steve Miller Band (Bingo!, 2010). Diesel recorded a version for his EP 7 Axes (2011). In 2013, Flo Rida included a part of the chorus, credited, in "Let it Roll", which also sampled Freddie King's 1974 recording.Crosstown Traffic (song)
"Crosstown Traffic" is a song written by Jimi Hendrix recorded in 1967 and released in 1968. It was the second single released from the album Electric Ladyland by The Jimi Hendrix Experience. It peaked at number 52 on the Billboard Hot 100, and at #37 on the pop singles chart in the United Kingdom.Unlike many of the tracks on the album, this recording features the full line-up of the Experience with Hendrix, Noel Redding, and Mitch Mitchell. Hendrix also plays a makeshift kazoo made with a comb and tissue paper in tandem at points with his lead guitar, and backing vocals are performed by Redding along with Dave Mason. The song refers to Manhattan's traffic between the East and West sides infamously known for its thick congestion. With its hard rock riff, the song is an example and mixture of blues and acid rock.Cover versions of the song are numerous, having been recorded by Gil Evans, Charlie Daniels, Hed P.E., Shudder to Think, the Red Hot Chili Peppers, Living Colour, the Ariya Astrobeat Arkestra and played in concert by countless others. In 1991, it was recorded by Emily Symons and the Channel 7 Australia ensemble Farmhouse. The 1972 David Bowie song "Starman" guitar part before the chorus, has a similarity to the before chorus guitar parts of the Jimi Hendrix "Crosstown Traffic" 1968 originally recorded version.Electric Ladyland (museum)
Electric Ladyland is a museum located in the Jordaan area of Amsterdam, Netherlands. It is devoted to presenting art, minerals, and manufactured items that fluoresce under ultraviolet light. It opened on April 19, 1999 and was the first museum devoted to fluorescence.Gypsy Eyes
"Gypsy Eyes" or "Gipsy Eyes" is a song written by Jimi Hendrix and performed by the Jimi Hendrix Experience for the 1968 album Electric Ladyland. Subsequently, it was released as the B-side of the "Crosstown Traffic" single, which reached number 52 on the US Billboard Hot 100 and number 37 on the UK Official Singles Chart.Have You Ever Been (To Electric Ladyland)
"Have You Ever Been (To Electric Ladyland)" is a song by English-American rock band the Jimi Hendrix Experience, featured on their 1968 third album Electric Ladyland. Written and produced by frontman Jimi Hendrix, the song acts as the title track of the album, as well as essentially the opening track following the short instrumental intro "...And the Gods Made Love".In the Name of My Father – The Zepset – Live from Electric Ladyland
In the Name of My Father – The Zepset – Live from Electric Ladyland is a recorded album by Jason Bonham, released in 1997 under the name The Jason Bonham Band. The album consists entirely of cover versions of various songs by English rock group Led Zeppelin, as a tribute to the band's drummer, and Bonham's late father, John Bonham.The album evolved after Bonham's band began performing Led Zeppelin songs at their live shows. Bonham would occasionally tape a show to listen to, and impressed with the results, he decided to record a set live in-studio at Electric Lady Studios in New York City. All proceeds of the album were donated to the John Bonham Memorial Motorcycle Camp and the Big Sisters of Los Angeles.List of Canadian number-one albums of 1968
The Canadian Top 50 Albums, published in RPM, was a record chart that features albums in Canada. The first chart started on October 14, 1968, and the last issue was October 30, 2000. There were seven number-one albums in 1968: the first was Wheels of Fire by Cream, and the last was The Beatles by The Beatles. Jimi Hendrix's Electric Ladyland spent the most weeks at number-one, spending three weeks from November 18 to December 2. Wheels of Fire, Cheap Thrills by Big Brother and the Holding Company, and The Beatles all spent two weeks at number-one. Steppenwolf by Steppenwolf and Wichita Lineman by Glen Campbell spent one week at number-one.List of songs recorded by Jimi Hendrix
Jimi Hendrix was an American guitarist and singer-songwriter whose career spanned from 1962 to 1970. This list includes songs that he recorded as a group leader or a solo artist from October 1966 to September 1970 that have been officially released in various formats. They are issued in the name of his group, the Jimi Hendrix Experience, and in his own name (although sometimes referred to by the names of his interim groups, Gypsy Sun and Rainbows, Band of Gypsys, or the Cry of Love touring band).Of the 174 individual titles listed, Hendrix wrote all, except for 42 (band members Noel Redding, Buddy Miles, Mitch Mitchell, and Larry Lee are credited with six songs; Bob Dylan accounts for five). Sixty were issued between December 1966 to September 1970 and 114 have been released subsequently. Many of the posthumous releases are live recordings and alternate versions of songs already issued; several are demos, works in progress, and jams that Hendrix may or may not have completed.Hendrix often recorded more than one version of a song, both live and in the studio. Upon release, they were sometimes given different names or use different spellings. The songs are first listed here using the titles and spellings as they appear on the original releases ("Foxy Lady" rather than "Foxey Lady", etc.). These are followed by some of the alternate names and spellings. For the songs that were originally released on the various artists Cotillion Records Woodstock albums, the later more common Experience Hendrix-produced albums song titles are used first ("Villanova Junction" instead of "Instrumental Solo", etc.)Re-Experienced
Re-Experienced is a posthumous compilation album by Jimi Hendrix, released in the Netherlands in 1975 by Polydor Records. The album contains songs from Are You Experienced, Axis: Bold as Love, Electric Ladyland and The Cry of Love, as well as one track from War Heroes, one from Band of Gypsys and one live track from Hendrix in the West.Smash Hits (The Jimi Hendrix Experience album)
Smash Hits is a compilation album by the Jimi Hendrix Experience. Track Records first issued it on April 12, 1968, in the UK and included all four of the group's singles (eight "sides") released up to that time, plus four additional songs from the UK edition of Are You Experienced.
Reprise Records did not issue the album in the US until July 30, 1969, and it included some different tracks. It included two songs from Electric Ladyland and a stereo version of "Red House" from a different session than the original mono take found on the UK version of Are You Experienced.
The album was included in Robert Christgau's "Basic Record Library" of 1950s and 1960s recordings, published in Christgau's Record Guide: Rock Albums of the Seventies (1981).Smash Hits has been reissued several times on CD, including one paring in 1999 with the Live at Woodstock DVD by MCA Records.Stone Free (album)
Stone Free is a compilation album by Jimi Hendrix, released in 1981 by Polydor Records. The album contains songs from Are You Experienced, Axis: Bold as Love, Electric Ladyland and The Cry of Love, as well as one song from Loose Ends. It is currently out-of-print and has been replaced by newer compilationsThe Essential Jimi Hendrix
The Essential Jimi Hendrix is a compilation album released in 1978 that contains some of Jimi Hendrix's most popular songs. The US release also contained a 7-inch 331⁄3 rpm one-sided EP of the Jimi Hendrix Experience performing the song "Gloria".
In 1989 in the US, the album was combined with the follow-up compilation, The Essential Jimi Hendrix Volume Two, for the CD release The Essential Jimi Hendrix Volumes One and Two. All of the Essential albums have been replaced by later compilations.The Geist of Alec Empire
The Geist of Alec Empire is a 3 CD compilation album by electronic artist Alec Empire. While the majority of the album is tracks previously released on the Mille Plateaux label, some original material is present.The Jimi Hendrix Experience
The Jimi Hendrix Experience was an American-English rock band that formed in Westminster, London, in September 1966. Singer, songwriter, and guitarist Jimi Hendrix, drummer Mitch Mitchell, and bassist Noel Redding comprised the group, which was active until June 1969. During this time, they released three studio albums and became one of the most popular acts in rock. Starting in April 1970, Hendrix, Mitchell, and bassist Billy Cox performed and recorded until Hendrix's death on September 18, 1970. This later trio was sometimes billed as the "Jimi Hendrix Experience", but the title was never formalized.
Highly influential in the popularization of hard rock and psychedelic rock, the Experience was best known for the skill, style, and charisma of their frontman, Jimi Hendrix. All three of the band's studio albums, Are You Experienced (1967), Axis: Bold as Love (1967) and Electric Ladyland (1968), were featured in the top 100 of the Rolling Stone list of The 500 Greatest Albums of All Time, at positions 15, 82 and 54 respectively. In 1992, the Jimi Hendrix Experience was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.The Ultimate Experience
The Ultimate Experience is a 1992 compilation album of songs by songwriter and guitarist Jimi Hendrix. It includes 20 tracks, most of them recorded with the Jimi Hendrix Experience, and live renditions of "The Star Spangled Banner" and "Wild Thing".
It was released in the U.K. in November 1992, and later on April 27, 1993 in the U.S. The album reached No. 25 in the UK Albums Chart and No. 72 in the Billboard 200. It was certified as gold by the British Phonographic Industry, 3× platinum by the Recording Industry Association of America, and 2× platinum by Music Canada. In 1997, the album was replaced by the 20 track compilation Experience Hendrix: The Best of Jimi Hendrix.Voodoo Child (Slight Return)
"Voodoo Child (Slight Return)" is a song recorded by the Jimi Hendrix Experience in 1968 that appears as the final track on the Electric Ladyland album released that year. It contains improvised guitar and a vocal from Jimi Hendrix, backed by Noel Redding on bass and Mitch Mitchell on drums. The song is one of Hendrix's best known; it was a feature of his concert performances throughout his career, and several live renditions were recorded and released on later albums.
After his death in 1970, Track Records released the song as a single in the United Kingdom using the title "Voodoo Chile" (see confusion over title). It became Hendrix's only number one single on the British record charts, reaching the top position during the week of November 15, 1970. Several artists have performed or recorded versions of the song. Rolling Stone magazine included it at number 102 on their list of the "500 Greatest Songs of All Time".Voodoo Chile
"Voodoo Chile" is a song written by Jimi Hendrix and recorded in 1968 for the third Jimi Hendrix Experience album Electric Ladyland. It is based on the Muddy Waters blues song "Rollin' Stone", but with original lyrics and music. At fifteen minutes, it is Hendrix's longest studio recording and features additional musicians in what has been described as a studio jam.
"Voodoo Chile" was recorded at the Record Plant in New York City, after a late night jam session with Hendrix, Experience drummer Mitch Mitchell, organist Steve Winwood, and bassist Jack Casady. The song became the basis for "Voodoo Child (Slight Return)", recorded by the Experience the next day and one of Hendrix's best-known songs.
"Chile" is a phonetical approximation of "child" without the "d". In the UK, "Voodoo Chile" was also used as the title of the 1970 single release of "Voodoo Child (Slight Return)", that has caused confusion regarding the two songs.
Original 1966–1970 releases are marked in bold.
|Anthologies and |
|Are You Experienced|
(UK & US)
|Axis: Bold as Love|
(UK & US)
|Band of Gypsys|
at Monterey Pop
|The Cry of Love|
|Hendrix in the West|
|...And a Happy|