The third and final album from the Jimi Hendrix Experience, Electric Ladyland is surely THE definitive blues rock album. Reflecting new recording ideas and Hendrix’s improved techniques free from restrictions and having proved his worth, this is a tour deforce. Listening to it streamed the first time Electric Ladyland is simply stunning. It is so good I bought the vinyl version for my ultimate consumptive experience. And what sound, with deep bass lines, crazy dynamic production and the highest resolution this is simply guitar music heaven.
The original Electric Ladyland album was presented as a gatefold double album with nineteen naked women adorning the front and back cover, one of whom is holding a copy of ‘Axis:Bold As Love’, reminding the listener of the ‘blip’ in form from Hendrix, after the explosive entry of ‘Are You Experienced’. I prefer the album cover with the image of Hendrix in fiery red but the music blazes through wonderfully. I cannot imagine listening to ‘Voodoo Chile’ for the first time in the late 60s but it must have been incredible, so exciting, the stereo effects are rather cheese but they just work. It is odd thinking that I am buying vinyl records that my Dad bought nearly 50 years ago but this must be a definitive vinyl record in any collection. ‘Crosstown Traffic’ has always been a favourite Hendrix track of mine but hearing it in context like this is like listening to the Stones’ “Sympathy for the Devil” in context , it just has to be here.
I love the lyrics in Voodoo Chile, you barely notice them in the blaze of excitement but they shine through:
Say my arrows are made of desire, desire
From far away as Jupiter’s sulphur mines
(Way down by the Methane Sea, yeah)
This is an amazing piece of work from Jimi Hendrix, released year after my birth. It takes my highest score just.
Favourite Track – Crosstown Traffic, Voodoo Chile
Released – October 1968
Rating – 9.8, better than ‘Are You Experienced’? Yes, just amazing.
Sources – Tidal FLAC & Vinyl
Player/Streamers – Naim Uniti 2 & Michell GyroDec with Naim Phono Stage
Amplifier – Naim NAP 250
Output – KEF R700