12 of 14 people found the following review helpful
By A Customer
This review is from: Electric Ladyland (Audio CD)
One of the greatest double albums ever made, most tracks are stunning. Hendrix was the greatest player who ever has or ever will lift an electric guitar (yes I've said it again!). The friends and passengers are all top class. But what have they done with the cover?! I can't understand why the otherwise excellent Experience-Hendrix team have done a great job of reproducing his hand-written sleeve notes, and then totally ignored them! When originally released the album had poor sound quality, the infamous gatefold ladies, and the title was printed as 'Electric Landlady'! Why can't anyone get it right....
And as an aside, why do people insist on doing 'Hey Joe' as "a tribute to Jimi Hendrix"? He hated the song!!
What I like as much as the music are all the stories that go with it (I would recommend the 'Classic Albums' TV documentary). Chas Chandler walked out during the sessions for 'Gypsy Eyes', fed up that Hendrix had tried 40-odd takes of the song to try and get it 'right'! Certainly it is a total departure from the previous two (mostly) radio-friendly sets. I think one of Jimi's most underrated guitar parts is that of 'Have You Ever Been...', when heard on its own is up there with 'Little Wing' in my opinion!.
'Crosstown Traffic' fades into the long blues jam of 'Voodoo Chile', Hendrix trading riffs with Steve Winwood on organ; apparently Jimi was too scared to ask Steve to start a band with him! Noel Redding's 'Little Miss Strange' provides relief from the heaviness of the other songs.
'1983...' - 13 more minutes of Jimi's unique blend of guitars, drugs and pulp science-fiction, the lyrics crack me up every time! Some of the sounds have not aged that well (eg the 'underwater bells') but the tone of the guitar in the spaced-out part is beautiful. Unbelievably fast drumming from Mitch Mitchell.
Weaker parts of the album for me are 'Come On (pt 1)' and 'House Burning Down', but forget about that because the closing two songs are pure, undiluted genius; 'Watchtower' has perfect guitar solos, 'Voodoo Child' has the best riff ever. The slide parts of the former being played with a cigarette lighter! Jimi also played the bass part on Noel's right-handed bass while Noel was 'pissed off' in the pub! The latter mixed from about six different guitar takes. Yes, this song defines rock. Check out the live version of this from Woodstock, his hands are moving faster than the frame rate of the camera.
If you are new to Hendrix, buy this or 'Are You Experienced?', also the 'Ultimate Experience' compilation is excellent.
I will not be late!