J Carlo Gorgone | This Week in Vinyl: Electric Ladyland by The Jimi Hendrix Experience - J Carlo Gorgone
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Electric Ladyland

This Week in Vinyl: Electric Ladyland by The Jimi Hendrix Experience

This Week in Vinyl: Electric Ladyland by The Jimi Hendrix Experience

So I know it’s been a few week’s since my last installment, and I sincerely apologize for the delay. I thought I’d make it up to you folks by reviewing a truly killer record this week: Electric Ladyland by The Jimi Hendrix Experience. The third studio effort by this incredibly talented rock trio, Electric Ladyland is rife with rock hard riffs, classic blues licks, and enough experimental sound to thrill any flower child.

Album Packaging

This double album features a blown-up image of Hendrix’s face, eye’s shut, singing. His features are colorized orange-red, a complementary tone to the faded black background. The reverse features a promotional image of the trio donned in colorfully wacky suits and “Electric Ladyland” and “The Jimi Hendrix Exerience” positioned on either side. At center-bottom, the behemoth tack listing is typed in orange, tying all the colors, from Hendrix’s facial features on the obverse to the band’s delightfully whimsical clothes, together.

Electric Ladyland

The inside is a delightful collection of photos of the band members on tour as the outer border, while the center, rectangular space is filled with the track listing, and personal note from Hendrix himself, and the album credits. Fun fact: This is just the Reprise edition released in North America. The original UK release on Track instead featured a front and back cover that displayed a studio photo of naked female models. Eight out of ten.

The Music Inside

While Electric Ladyland received mixed reviews upon its release, the album has since been cemented as one of the greatest achievements in rock history and even the finest achievement in the history of psychedelic rock. After its release in the US, Electric Ladyland reached number one and remained in the top spot for two weeks. Among all the tracks on this monumental release, my favorites are “Voodoo Chile,” “Voodoo Child (Slight Return),” and “All Along The Watchtower.” The blues riffs in “Voodoo Chile” harken back to the stylings of John Lee Hooker and marry the psychedelic distortions of the Hendrix’s Stratocaster in ways seldom conceived. The Bob Dylan cover of “All Along The Watchtower,” however, is without a doubt the coup de grace. The Experience takes the acoustic folk fairy tale and breathes life into its words, painting a picture of distorted colors and sounds that transcends the music itself. It goes without saying that when the originator of a song starts playing the cover version at all of his shows, it’s pretty damn good. Ten out of ten.

My Verdict

This album has a lot to offer Hendrix fans, classic rock fans, and blues fans alike. The packaging is solid and the music is just spectacular. If you’re looking for a magic carpet ride through blues and acid riffs, Electric Ladyland is the record for you.

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