“Have you ever been to Electric Ladyland?” Jimi Hendrix asked 50 years ago before rolling out a magic carpet into an iconic sonic experience. Experience Hendrix and Sony’s Legacy Recordings are releasing a deluxe edition boxed set the Jimi Hendrix Experience’s Electric Ladyland album on Nov. 9, according to Rolling Stone.
Electric Ladyland was released on October 16, 1968. It is only Hendrix album to reached #1 on Billboard. It was Jimi Hendrix’s third and last album recorded with the original Experience, which was the incendiary guitarist along with bassist Noel Redding and drummer Mitch Mitchell. Hendrix fleshed out the tracks with guest musicians like Al Kooper who played organ for Bob Dylan, and Dave Mason, Chris Wood and Steve Winwood from the band Traffic, and drummer Buddy Miles of The Electric Flag who would go on to play in Hendrix’s Band of Gypsys. Jefferson Airplane’s Jack Casady plays bass on “Voodoo Chile.” The collection also features Stephen Stills on previously unreleased takes of “Angel Caterina” and “Little Miss Strange,” which were recorded at New York’s Sound Center and Record Plant studios.
Freed from the production limits Chas Chandler and Eddie Kramer imposed on Hendrix, the guitarist/songwriter explored experimental studio effects and funked up the band’s psychedelic interpretations into a Wall of Sound which gave as nod to Phil Spector without looking backwards for one second.
The album that featured Hendrix’s reimagining of Dylan’s “All Along the Watchtower,” which was the only Jimi Hendrix Experience single to reach Billboard’s Top 20, also covers Earl King’s “Come On (Let the Good Times Roll).” “All Along the Watchtower” and “Crosstown Traffic” also came out as singles at the time. Hendrix rocks out on “Voodoo Child (Slight Return).” He lets his fingers ride commercial pop like “Little Miss Strange,” and the jazzy vibe of “Rainy Day, Dream Away.”
The box set includes Electric Ladyland: The Early Takes, which features demos and studio outtakes from the period. The cover art was shot by Linda Eastman, who would go on to become Wing’s keyboardist and Mrs. Paul McCartney. The photo was taken at the statue of Alice In Wonderland in New York’s Central Park. It was the cover Hendrix originally wanted.
The album features a new 5.1 surround sound mix of the entire original album by Hendrix’s original engineer Eddie Kramer. This is the first time this has been done with a Hendrix studio album. “It always felt to me as the perfect vehicle for the kind of adventuresome stuff that Jimi and I were trying to do in 1968,” Kramer said in a statement.
“The visceral thrill when we completed the first surround mix of ‘Voodoo Child (Slight Return)’ was palpable. We viewed this song as the surround test and the moment I heard it I flashed back on those moments when Jimi and I were mixing the stereo album, laughing at our attempts to find that ‘elusive’ sound.”
The box set will also include Jimi Hendrix Experience: Live At the Hollywood Bowl 9/14/68, which is part of Experience Hendrix’s Dagger Records official bootleg series.
The Deluxe Edition also includes a full-color, 48-page book containing Hendrix’s handwritten lyrics, poem and instructions to his record label, as well as never-before-published photos from the recording sessions that were shot by Eddie Kramer.
Electric Ladyland Deluxe Edition track list:
1) … And the Gods Made Love
2) Have You Ever Been (To Electric Ladyland)
3) Crosstown Traffic
4) Voodoo Chile
1) Little Miss Strange
2) Long Hot Summer Night
3) Come On (Part I)
4) Gypsy Eyes
5) Burning of the Midnight Lamp
1) Rainy Day, Dream Away
2) 1983….(A Merman I Should Turn To Be)
3) Moon, Turn the Tides….Gently Gently Away
1) Still Raining, Still Dreaming
2) House Burning Down
3) All Along the Watchtower
4) Voodoo Child (Slight Return)
At Last…The Beginning: The Making of Electric Ladyland: The Early Takes
1) 1983…(A Merman I Should Turn To Be)
2) Voodoo Chile
3) Cherokee Mist
4) Hear My Train A Comin’
2) Gypsy Eyes
4) Long Hot Summer Night [Demo 1]
5) Long Hot Summer Night [Demo 3]
6) Long Hot Summer Night [Demo 4]
7) Snowballs At My Window
8) My Friend
1) At Last…The Beginning
2) Angel Caterina (1983)
3) Little Miss Strange
4) Long Hot Summer Night [Take 1]
5) Long Hot Summer Night [Take 14]
1) Rainy Day, Dream Away
2) Rainy Day Shuffle
3) 1983…(A Merman I Should Turn To Be)
Jimi Hendrix Experience: Live At The Hollywood Bowl Sept. 14, 1968 (Dagger Records)
2) Are You Experienced
3) Voodoo Child (Slight Return)
1) Red House
2) Foxey Lady
1) Hey Joe
2) Sunshine of Your Love
3) I Won’t Live Today
1) Little Wing
2) Star Spangled Banner
3) Purple Haze
Electric Ladyland will be released on Nov. 9.
Culture Editor Tony Sokol cut his teeth on the wire services and also wrote and produced New York City’s Vampyr Theatre and the rock opera AssassiNation: We Killed JFK. Read more of his work here or find him on Twitter @tsokol.