25 September 2023

Electric Ladyland Deluxe Edition 50th Anniversary

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Reviewed by Ian Phillips.

By Jimi Hendrix Experience, Experience Hendrix L.L.C. Legacy Recordings/Sony Music Australia 2018.

A couple of weeks ago I commented in a review of Lukas Graham’s album 3 about the naked woman on the cover and changing attitudes to nudity. I mentioned that Jimi Hendrix’s Electric Ladyland album cover caused considerable consternation and resulted in the record company changing it.

And here we have the 50th anniversary of that particular album commemorated by the Hendrix family via the latest in their remastered releases.

You’ll notice that they have avoided the controversy by once again producing a different cover.

The content of this deluxe edition contains the remastered original double album plus an album of demos and studio outtakes.

Also included are eight songs from the band’s legendary Hollywood Bowl concert performed on 14 September 1968, although I question why they did so because the sound quality of these tracks is very poor when compared to the rest of the content on the discs.

I have commented before that the Legacy re-recordings of Jimi’s albums presents his work with the attention to detail and quality of sound that they always deserved.

Listening to this seminal work once again makes me wonder at the potency of Hendrix’s imagination and the incredible skill of his band.

It also makes me contemplate what we have missed due to his untimely death.

The live take of Voodoo Chile is absolutely incredible.

The way the band reads the direction that Hendrix is going and tailors their playing to suit is wonderful to experience.

And the excited talking amongst the band members and the studio audience suggests that the atmosphere was truly electric.

Electric Ladyland contains Hendrix’s take of Dylan’s All Along The Watchtower.

Dylan himself said of this interpretation of his song that on hearing Hendrix’s version he realised that he’d been playing it incorrectly all the time.

Indeed, Hendrix’s version is the definitive version.

I have been collecting all of the Hendrix family’s re-releases of Jimi’s work.

If you’re a Hendrix fan give yourself a Christmas present of this album.

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