Exposé Online banner

The Jimi Hendrix Experience — Electric Ladyland
(Reprise 2RS 6307, 1968, 2LP)

by Mike McLatchey, Published 2017-11-16

Electric Ladyland Cover art

Are You Experienced? and Axis: Bold as Love provided the lion's share of Hendrix's songbook while he was alive, although there was certainly material on both albums that went well beyond the blues rock and pop he was so gifted in creating, but it wasn't until the landmark double album Electric Ladyland that Jimi began to stretch out and really show how innovative he could be in the long form. This is really one of the foundations (alongside Cream) of so much music to come, especially the guitar / bass / drums, post-blues, psychedelic rock bands that would start popping up all over Britain, the USA, and continental Europe in its wake. There is so much territory covered on this classic that you almost have to talk about the entire album, but I'll stick to some of my favorites, like the brilliant 15 minute “Voodoo Child” with Stevie Winwood that has to be one of the most cosmic pieces of music ever put on an album and it immediately follows on another of his many hits, the funky "Crosstown Traffic." There's of course the progressive side 3 anchored by the long “1983,” a suite that turns down many avenues in its moods and shading, a true journey of consciousness that none of the previous albums could have hinted at. There's also his seminal version of Bob Dylan's “All Along the Watchtower,” perhaps one of the few covers that surpasses the original. And it all ends with a distillation of the earlier jam with the monumental “Voodoo Child (Slight Return)” perhaps one of the greatest vehicles for the blues guitar solo ever written (I was too young to see Jimi do it, but did get to witness Stevie Ray Vaughan crushing it in 1987). After this album we got to see a lot more promise in what seems like an endless series of reels documenting where he might have gone next, but this was the last of his fully realized studio albums and it's one for the ages.


Filed under: New releases, 1968 releases

Related artist(s): Jimi Hendrix

Latest news

2020-07-22
Tim Smith RIP – Tim Smith, leader of the eccentric band Cardiacs, has died at the ago of 59 after many years of health problems. Cardiacs was known for intense and complicated music that combined punk energy with the rhythmic and harmonic sophistication of progressive rock. » Read more

2020-07-12
Judy Dyble RIP – Singer-songwriter Judy Dyble, who was a founding member of Fairport Convention and one of the distinctive voices of the 60s folk revival in Britain, has died at the age of 71. Her passing came at the end of a long illness, though which she continued to work. » Read more

2020-07-06
Ennio Morricone RIP – Famed composer Ennio Morricone has died at the age of 91. The creator of scores for more than 500 movies, some of his works have become the most recognizable sounds in the history of cinema. His soundtracks for Sergio Leone's Westerns made from 1964 to 1971, are iconic landmarks in film music, but he also composed for dramas, comedies, and other genres. He won the Academy Award for Best Original Score in 2016 for The Hateful Eight. » Read more

2020-06-14
Keith Tippett RIP – One of the giants of British jazz has left us. Keith Graham Tippetts, known professionally as Keith Tippett, died today at the age of 72. His work from the late 60s into the 70s and beyond includes some of the greatest jazz produced in the UK, and stands as an impressive oevre to this day. » Read more

2020-05-15
Phil May of The Pretty Things RIP – We were saddened to learn that Phil May, lead singer and founding member of The Pretty Things, has died at the age of 75. The band's 1968 album S.F. Sorrow is one of the enduring classics of the psychedelic era, and the group existed in various forms until finally retiring in 2018. » Read more


Previously in Exposé...

Naoki Ishida - Fazing Redust – Although one's initial reaction to this obviously low-budget recording (the hiss throughout is quite noticeable) of seemingly aimless sonic noodling might be rejection, the seven tracks herein do have...  (2008) » Read more



Listen & discover



Print issues