Electric Ladyland is the third and final studio album by The Jimi Hendrix Experience, released in 1968. It is also the band's only double album (though Hendrix himself had several double albums released under his name - posthumously). It scored huge hits with songs like "Crosstown Traffic", "Voodoo Child (Slight Return)" and, of course, the immortal cover of Bob Dylan's song "All Along the Watchtower" from John Wesley Harding, famous for the iconic epic introduction.
A documentary about the creative process behind the making of this album can be seen in the Classic Albums TV documentary series. It was listed at #55 in Rolling Stone's 500 Greatest Albums Of All Time, and at #26 on Acclaimed Music's 2018 compilation of critics' lists.
- "...And the Gods Made Love" (1:21)
- "Have You Ever Been (To Electric Ladyland)" (2:11)
- "Crosstown Traffic" (2:25)
- "Voodoo Chile" (15:00)
- "Little Miss Strange" (2:52)
- "Long Hot Summer Night" (3:27)
- "Come On (Let the Good Times Roll)" (4:09)
- "Gypsy Eyes" (3:43)
- "Burning of the Midnight Lamp" (3:39)
- "Rainy Day, Dream Away" (3:42)
- "1983... (A Merman I Should Turn to Be)" (13:39)
- "Moon, Turn the Tides...Gently Gently Away" (1:02)
- "Still Raining, Still Dreaming" (4:25)
- "House Burning Down" (4:33)
- "All Along the Watchtower" (4:01)
- "Voodoo Child (Slight Return)" (5:12)
- Jimi Hendrix - lead vocals, guitar, piano, percussion, kazoo, harpsichord, bass
- Mitch Mitchell - drums, percussion, backing and co-lead vocals
- Noel Redding - bass, backing and lead vocals, guitar
So let us not trope falsely now, the hour is getting late:
- Atlantis: Mentioned in "1983... (A Merman I Should Turn to Be)".
- Badass Boast: "Voodoo Child (Slight Return)"Well I stand up next to a mountainAnd I chop it down with the edge of my hand
- Car Song: "Crosstown Traffic", with its traffic jam simile.
- Contemptible Cover: The "naked woman" album cover, used for UK release.
- Cover Version:
- "All Along the Watchtower", a Bob Dylan cover so excellent that even Dylan himself considers it to be superior to his own version.
- The band also covered Earl King's blues song "Come On".
- Epic Rocking: "Voodoo Chile" and "1983... (A Merman I Should Turn to Be)" are both longer than ten minutes.
- Face on the Cover: The American version shows a close-up of Hendrix' face in profile.
- Fanservice Cover: The album cover with all the naked women was intended that way, without the band's approval. Hendrix in particular disliked it because he saw it as perpetuating a swinging-black-stud image that made it harder for him to be taken seriously as a musician.
- Fictional Country: See the album title.
- Instrumentals: "...And the Gods Made Love", "Moon, Turn the Tides...Gently Gently Away".
- Last Chorus Slow-Down: Noticeable in "Voodoo Child".
- Mondegreen: Hendrix couldn't find the lyrics for "All Along the Watchtower" and wound up getting some lines wrong. Nobody has really complained.
- Out-of-Clothes Experience: The album cover shows a group of nude white and black ladies as shameless fanservice girls.
- Questioning Title?: "Have You Ever Been (To Electric Ladyland)".
- Rearrange the Song: "Voodoo Child (Slight Return)" started as a version of the far longer and bluesier "Voodoo Chile".
- Refuge in Audacity: The original cover of Electric Ladyland was simply a large group of nude women (that's front and back cover). This cover somehow managed to survive being used in the UK, but the USA (and later CD) version of the album uses Karl Ferris' psychedelic portrait. Interestingly enough, neither of these were approved by the band: Hendrix had explicitly told his record label that for the cover he wanted a photo of him with some children, which was taken by Linda Eastman (later Linda McCartney). However, both of the band's labels (Track Records in England, Reprise Records in America) proceeded to ignore them and pick what ended up on the final product.
- Sexy Packaging: One of the album covers shows a group of nude women.
- Shameless Fanservice Girl: The original album cover featuring a bunch of naked women was replaced in the U.S.A. by a picture of Hendrix' face.
- Shout-Out: In an episode of Futurama Bender visits a topless bar for female robots called "Electric Ladyland".
- Siamese Twin Songs: It wouldn't have made a difference if "Moon, Turn the Tides" were listed as part of "1983".
- Special Guest:
- Brian Jones of The Rolling Stones plays percussion on "All Along the Watchtower". He had also originally played piano on the song, but as he was intoxicated during recording, his superb natural musical abilities failed him for once, and his piano playing was eventually mixed out in favor of some percussion parts that he played as well.
- Steve Winwood of Traffic plays organ on "Voodoo Chile".
- Step Up to the Microphone: Noel Redding and Mitch Mitchell sing lead vocals on Redding's "Little Miss Strange".
- Textless Album Cover: Indeed.
- Title Track: "Have You Ever Been (To Electric Ladyland)"
- Triumphant Reprise: "Voodoo Child (Slight Return)" to "Voodoo Chile", "Still Raining, Still Dreaming" to "Rainy Day, Dream Away".
- Tyop on the Cover: Hendrix successfully sued the band's British record label for a mistake in the first pressing of the Electric Ladyland records that had them issued as "Electric Landlady".
- World War III: "1983... (A Merman I Should Turn to Be)" is about a young couple escaping nuclear war by going to live Under the Sea.