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Music / Electric Ladyland

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"Well it's too bad our friends can't be with us today."
The photo the band wanted to be used for the cover. 

Electric Ladyland is the third and final studio album by Anglo-American Psychedelic Rock band the Jimi Hendrix Experience, released in 1968 through Track Record in the UK and Reprise Records in the US. 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.


LP One

Side One
  1. "...And the Gods Made Love" (1:21)
  2. "Have You Ever Been (To Electric Ladyland)" (2:11)
  3. "Crosstown Traffic" (2:25)
  4. "Voodoo Chile" (15:00)

Side Two

  1. "Little Miss Strange" (2:52)
  2. "Long Hot Summer Night" (3:27)
  3. "Come On (Let the Good Times Roll)" (4:09)
  4. "Gypsy Eyes" (3:43)
  5. "Burning of the Midnight Lamp" (3:39)

LP Two

Side Three
  1. "Rainy Day, Dream Away" (3:42)
  2. "1983... (A Merman I Should Turn to Be)" (13:39)
  3. "Moon, Turn the Tides...Gently Gently Away" (1:02)

Side Four

  1. "Still Raining, Still Dreaming" (4:25)
  2. "House Burning Down" (4:33)
  3. "All Along the Watchtower" (4:01)
  4. "Voodoo Child (Slight Return)" (5:12)

CD releases since 1990 are on a single disc.

Principal Members:

  • 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:

  • Alternate Album Cover: 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.
  • Atlantis: Mentioned in "1983... (A Merman I Should Turn to Be)".
  • Badass Boast: "Voodoo Child (Slight Return)"
    Well I stand up next to a mountain
    And I chop it down with the edge of my hand
  • Car Song: "Crosstown Traffic", with its traffic jam simile.
  • 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: 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 Gag: 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".
  • 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.
    • Traffic keyboardist Steve Winwood and flutist Chris Wood contributed their parts to "Voodoo Chile" and "1983" respectively.
  • 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 Track Records for a mistake in the first UK pressing, which bore the title 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.