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4.8 out of 5 stars
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4.8 out of 5 stars
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The third album from The Jimi Hendrix Experience was released in 1968 and, more than 40 years on, justifiably finds its place in most people's top ten greatest rock albums of all time.

However the fame/notoriety of EL doesn't really do it justice: to realise just how ground-breaking and innovative this project was, how revolutionary in concept and execution, you need to listen to it against other music from the period. Hendrix re-defined what could be done with the electric guitar and his excellent song-writing, experimentation with sound and uniquely creative lyrics offer a rewarding experience to anyone interested in the evolution of modern music.

The original 2-disk album had 16 tracks of varying length (of course on the vinyl - the only format available until the 1980s - this meant four `sides' of music). The running order chosen by Jimi and put out on release was:

Side 1
1. And the Gods Made Love
2. Have you ever been to Electric Ladyland?
3. Cross Town Traffic
4. Voodoo Chile (the long, bluesy version)

Side 2
1. Little Miss Strange (composed by Noel Redding)
2. Long Hot Summer Night
3. Come on (let the good times roll)
4. Gypsy Eyes
5. Burning of the Midnight Lamp

Side 3
1. Rainy Day, Dream Away
2. 1983: A Merman I should turn to be...
3. Moon, turn the Tides

Side 4
1. Still Raining, still Dreaming
2. House Burning Down
3. All along the Watchtower (Jimi's seminal and definitive version of Bob Dylan's original song)
4. Voodoo Chile slight return (the 5-minute full-on version with that famous intro)

Now, this album contains everything: first-class electric blues (`Voodoo Chile'); experimental soundscape (`And the Gods...', `Moon turn the Tides'); gospel-derived/choral-driven ballads (`Long Hot Summer Night', `Burning of the Midnight Lamp'); crisply executed danceable rock (`Cross Town Traffic', `Come On', `Gypsy Eyes'); extended, spaced-out experiment in psychedelia (`1983...' listen to Pink Floyd's `Echoes' from 1971 and speculate where the inspiration came from); the powerful and mind-expanding (`VCSL'); a first-class hit single in an unusual minor key inspiring a shiver-down-the-spine feel (`All along the Watchtower').

Hendrix was a virtuoso musician and a visionary, never afraid to experiment with the new. Here on EL, in one timeless project, you have it all. His guitar style, frequently imitated, has never really been equalled: he was a one-off, a fountain of creativity cut off in his prime.

Now you have several versions of EL to choose from. The main choice is between:

1. The original 2-disc set from Polydor with sides 1&4 on one disc and 2&3 on the other, as with the 1968 vinyl release (however because of the CD format you'll hear sides 1&4 run together, then 2&3 on the second disc which doesn't work so well when listening to the whole work). This version has the original nude cover art, which you might feel worth having if you care for authenticity (though of course it's not the astounding 24" x 12" size of the vinyl cover)

2. The `Authorised Hendrix Family Edition' with its tell-tale yellow and purple rectangular sticker, which claims to be `digitally remastered' but it's hard to tell the difference in sound quality - in fact to these ears, there is virtually no difference. Here you get the whole album on one disk with the correct 1-2-3-4 running order as originally intended, plus a DVD of questionable value titled `An Inside Look' and a few photos of the trio relaxing. You'll likely pay a bit more for this version, as the royalties go to the extended family (all three of the JHE are now deceased, Mitchell as recently as 2008, and Jimi had no known children to inherit anything)

3. Or you can download it, track by track

So, take your pick. But regardless of which version you choose, if you care about the history of rock music and want the classic and the best in your collection, you should buy `Electric Ladyland.'
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on 24 August 2014
I was 12. After badgering my Mum she'd bought me a cheap Spanish Acoustic guitar for my birthday. I'd driven the family mad plinking away at the damn thing, but had mastered some basic chords and a couple of easy songs. Then my brother, then 18, came home with a copy of this album; with its original cover of 19 naked women on it. Teenage male hormones beginning to assert themselves in me, I took an interest in said album cover. Further inspection showed it to be a double album. Never one to do things in order I put on side 4 first. 'Well! Hello!' a wah wah guitar perfectly intoned. What! I was hooked. The up beat but still laid back funk of Still Raining, Still Dreaming gave way to House Burning Down with wonderful fills and impeccable soundpainting throughout (especially Jimi's wonderful giant boat from space landing with eerie grace). Next up was all Along The Watchtower, and to wrap it all up Voodoo Chile (Slight Return) that was, and still remains utterly astounding. How was guitar playing like this possible? I soon learnt that everyone has always asked the same question since late1966.
This is Jimi's magnum opus. If Are You Experienced, Axid Bold as Love, The Woodstock Star Spangled Banner, that killer live version of Johhny B Goode from Berkeley; if none of those existed but this did, he would still be considered the most gifted musician ever to pick up the electric guitar.
If you're used to modern heavy metal with often somewhat scary looking gentlemen performing feats of considerable technical skill on the guitar but haven't heard any Hendrix, give this a go. This is what happens when technical mastery and limitless musical imagination combine. Our scary looking gentlemen might be technical skilled, but often lack in imagination - this is what true guitar genius sounds like. And do you think thrash metal can sound angry? Ah well, try the aforementioned Voodoo Chile (Slight Return), the guitar is so threatening it tattoos itself onto your audio memory! Just as Beethoven turned music into his own, personal language in his late quartets and piano sonatas so too does Hendrix on this album with the guitar. He was and still remains utterly unique.
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on 4 June 2014
After getting back into vinyl after much resistance through the years, due to hidden regret at selling my collection (vinyl) off some 15 or so years ago I decided I wanted this album at any cost, either an original or reissue, I did not want the redone artwork I wanted the original, original as was meant to be as I remember in the late 80's & 90's friends playing this album with the original nudes cover cd or vinyl, I always felt the revised artwork (replacement) was a complete bail out, it just did not feel right having something second best. The music itself is as mesmerizing as it is amazing and putting needle back onto wax took me through that again. Don't get me wrong there is nothing wrong with CD's ( I own 1700 of them) but the sound is on this album somewhat better enjoyed I feel on vinyl.
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on 6 March 2014
Hendrix delivers his third (and final) Experience album and it is hard to argue against giving it a 5-star rating. Several of 'Ladyland's' brilliant tracks were released as singles ~ 'All Along The Watchtower', 'The Burning Of The Midnight Lamp', 'Crosstown Traffic', 'Gypsy Eyes' and 'Voodoo Chile (Slight Return).

For those looking for a juicy blues workout the 15 minute version of 'Voodoo Chile' will definitely satisfy you, whilst '1983...(A Merman I Should Turn To Be) demonstrates Jimi becoming increasingly experimental and progressive in his musical leanings. Personally, I find the shorter material more satisfying; 'House Burning Down', for instance' is direct and immediate - full of fire and fury. This 1968 release is a must for rock music fans of all ages.
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on 9 January 2009
Most people will know about Jimi's classic Electric Ladyland album but I would imagine that many are more interested in the DVD content. Its not the Classic Album DVD but a new documentary, circa 90 minutes long with archive footage, and interviews from different eras with the main protagonists in the Jimi Hendrix Story. Some of the Classic Album footage is within the content but there's enough of interest to make getting this collectors edition worthwhile, in my opinion.
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on 17 January 2014
£1.99 as an MP3 it was a double vinyl back in the day and would have been more than 2 quid, I never did buy it on vinyl then probably couldn't afford it , but I can now. This is an Excellent Album. If you haven't heard Hendrix before this is a good introduction as the Great Man has been gone for over forty years a lot of people won't have listened to him. Buy this MP3 you cannot go wrong
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on 30 January 2012
This latest incarnation of Electric Ladyland (it is unclear whether this is a new remastering or not) comes with a DVD of the 1997 Classic Albums documentary, expanded to 85 minutes (around twice the length of the televised version).
That the album is a masterpiece is not in question. That it, along with Sgt Pepper, heralded the-way-that-an-album-should-be-made lends it a slightly dubious legacy to those who favour the get-it-down-quick approach to rock'n'roll.
The documentary consists of Ladyland engineer Eddie Kramer revisiting the original 8-track tapes song by song at a mixing desk. The bearded, pony-tailed Kramer does a good job of hosting the piece, though his resemblance to Eric Idle's character from The Rutles is uncanny. The usual suspects are interviewed, including Mitchell, Redding, Chandler, Winwood, Dave Mason, Buddy Miles and Jack Casady (clutching the most beautiful gold-coloured semi-acoustic Gibson bass guitar).
The film, however, gives insight into the necessity of this new, time-evaporating approach in this particular instance with this particular genius. Kramer sheds light on the painstaking but innovative experimentation Jimi took to get the sound exactly how he envisioned; the mandolin effect on `Burning of the Midnight Lamp'; the comb kazoo on Crosstown Traffic. He highlights Jimi's virtuosity; arranging and layering multiple vocal and guitar tracks to make, well, beautiful timeless music.
We know that the sessions were full of hangers-on, which pissed-off both Noel and Chas, who, with hilarious Geordie logic, observes that "if you were a car mechanic you wouldn't take your friends along to watch you fix a car."
The film's gem, for me, is a hauntingly beautiful unreleased demo of `Gypsy Eyes', with a completely different melody and structure from the finished version.
The booklet is disappointing; its photos are of varying quality, and accompanied by Derek Taylor's stream of (hippy) consciousness. Of great interest, however, are Jimi's handwritten instructions for the album's artwork. Jimi hated the cover. The naked ladies were the work of Lambert and Stamp.
There can scarce be a Hendrix fan/rock music fan who doesn't know this album. Whether you'll want to fork out for it yet again depends just how Experienced you are.
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on 23 September 2012
Every time I hear this album, I hear something new!
Upon recently rediscovering "Electric Ladyland", I find many, if not most of the tracks could have been released anytime within the last 40 years! It seems ironic though, that the recording techniques used, to give a sci-fi/modern theme, ie varispeed, tape reversal etc, actually date the tracks on which its used!
This was Jimi's third album and the first to use outside musicians. "Long Hot Summer Night" contains some fantastic piano by Al Kooper, and great backing vocals by Jimi, providing a great gospel vibe to the whole track. Jimi's rhythm guitar absolutely shines. Jack Casady (Jefferson Airplane) provides Bass, and Steve Windwood (Traffic) Organ, to "Voodoo Chile" Mike Finnigan and Buddy Miles provide Organ and Drums to "Rainy Day Dream Away/ Still Raining Still Dreaming. Chris Wood and Dave Mason, both of "Traffic" are also on the album, providing Flute and Guitar. Even Brian Jones (The Rolling Stones) manages to add Percussion to "All Along The Watchtower".
I can very highly recommend this absolute classic. Try it with headphones for a true 60s Experience!!
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on 15 December 2012
WOW!!!! This is Jimi at his best.....There's no other albums out there where you can hear blues , rock , punk , grunge , soul & funk all on one album. That's what makes Electric Ladyland so great..... The guy was years ahead of his time and there was no one doing this sort of stuff in 1969!!! You can really hear Jimi's blues side on this album with songs such as voodoo Chile and house burning down...If those song's had been done by Muddy Waters then the blues mafia would have said that they were some of the greatest blues tracks of all time!!! Jimi just took the blues and moved it forward and put his own spin on it....If you dont own it then buy it!!! The compilations really dont do the man justice!!!! I will say however that while I consider Electric Ladyland to be Jimi's greatest album I do actually prefer listening to Axis Bold As Love....Only because I prefer that soul/funk vibe and some of the mellow stuff!!
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on 11 July 2015
Jimi Hendrix third album recorded in New York was his greatest and most ambitious album.Incorporating everything from Blues to Hard Rock to Psychedelia this was an album full of treasures.Crosstown Traffic,Voodoo Chile(which gave him a posthumous no.1 in 1970),Burning of the Midnight Lamp,Gypsy Eyes are just some of the highlights but it's his cover of Bob Dylans All Along the Watchtower which is better than the original that really stands out in this collection.The infamous nude cover(which Hendrix allegedly hated)has now been replaced by a boring head shot presumably not to upset the politically correct brigade.And how did they get that weird harpsichord sound on Burning of the Midnight Lamp?
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