… on bass and Johnny Winter on guitar:
… on bass and Johnny Winter on guitar:
… to his father, just before ‘Hey Joe’ topped the charts:
Jimi Hendrix & his father:
… Wilson Pickett backed by Jimi Hendrix & Cornell Dupree, New York, 1966:
In his brief four-year reign as a superstar, Jimi Hendrix expanded the vocabulary of the electric rock guitar more than anyone before or since.
Hendrix was a master at coaxing all manner of unforeseen sonics from his instrument, often with innovative amplification experiments that produced astral-quality feedback and roaring distortion.
His frequent hurricane blasts of noise and dazzling showmanship — he could and would play behind his back and with his teeth and set his guitar on fire — has sometimes obscured his considerable gifts as a songwriter, singer, and master of a gamut of blues, R&B, and rock styles.
Recorded on March 17, 1968 at the Cafe Au Go-Go in New York, these half-dozen largely instrumental jams feature Jimi Hendrix playing with Paul Butterfield (vocals and harmonica), Elvin Bishop (guitar), Harvey Brooks (bass, though his name is misspelled “Marvey Brooks” on the cover), Herbie Rich (keyboards and sax), and Buddy Miles (drums). If this technically speaking isn’t a bootleg, it certainly isn’t part of what’s commonly considered to be his official catalog, the misspelling of Brooks’ name, crude graphics, and nonexistent liner notes being three tell-tale indications. So, too, is the sound quality, which isn’t so bad on the instruments, but certainly isn’t great, with the few vocals there are recorded faintly and the sound balance hardly optimum.
Five of the six tracks are five- to ten-minute bluesy jams that are far from proper songs, as titles like “Beginning of a Jam,” “Monday Jam,” and “Funky Jam” indicate, with the equally imaginatively titled “Jimi Jam” lasting nearly 15 minutes. For the most part the musicians stick to basic blues progressions around which to improvise, and though the playing is flashy and solid, really the pieces — it’s hard to call them “songs” — aren’t developed enough to be memorable. It does get more interesting as the disc progresses, and Jimi finally takes off into some truly inspired soloing on “Jamming Wing,” probably so named for its resemblance to “Little Wing.” Still, most Hendrix fans will be disappointed in this record owing to its lack of strong songs (and singing by Jimi) and subpar sound quality, though serious aficionados will find some interesting things to study here and there. (by Richie Unterberger)
Elvin Bishop (guitar)
Harvey Brooks (bass)
Paul Butterfield (harmonica, vocals)
Jimi Hendrix (guitar)
Buddy Miles (drums)
Herbie Rich (keyboards, saxophone)
01. Beginning Of A Jam 6.25
02 Monday Jam 7:39
03 Jimi Jam 14:47
04 Swing Jimi Jam 5:48
05 Funky Jam 8:02
06 Jamming Wing 8:40
There is no Bill Graham Presents poster more iconic than the infamous “Flying Eyeball” image for the series of February 1968 concerts headlined by Jimi Hendrix. Topping a sold-out eight show/four night run that began and ended at the Fillmore Auditorium and which featured two nights at the larger Winterland sandwiched in between, this legendary run also included openers of a very high caliber, including bluesman Albert King, John Mayall’s Bluesbreakers, and local favorites, Big Brother & The Holding Company featuring Janis Joplin.
In terms of recordings, not much survives from this legendary stand with the notable exception of the recording presented here. This nearly complete direct recording of Hendrix’s late show on February 4, 1968, captures Jimi’s final performance from this monumental run. Fresh off the sessions for his second album and kicking off the US tour to support it, Hendrix’s 1968 performances were rarely less than incendiary, and this particular performance is unique compared to others of this era.
Likely inspired by having the likes of Albert King and Mayall’s Bluesbreakers performing on the same bill that weekend, Hendrix places a larger emphasis on pure blues, and his playing is inspired throughout. In fact, the first half of this recording concentrates entirely on blues, beginning with the Experience tearing through Howlin’ Wolf’s “Killing Floor.” Unlike the frantic tempo employed at their groundbreaking Monterey Pop Festival performance the previous year, here the Experience establishes a slower, deeper groove, more akin to Howlin’ Wolf’s original, which brings out the best in Hendrix.
Hendrix’s own “Red House” follows, a song now considered to be a landmark of the blues, but then virtually unknown to American audiences, as it was not issued on Reprise’s US edition of his debut album. Although more concise and focused than later, more expansive renditions, this features some of Hendrix’s most emotionally rich playing of the evening.
The traditional, “Catfish Blues,” an early staple of the Experience’s stage repertoire follows before drummer Mitch Mitchell invites Electric Flag drummer, Buddy Miles, to the stage. Nearly two years before Hendrix and Miles would team up in the Band of Gypsys, what follows is a highly improvisational instrumental reading of Traffic’s “Dear Mr. Fantasy.” Despite the loose unrehearsed nature of this collaboration, these musicians display an innate chemistry, and the performance, essentially a psychedelic jam, is overflowing with creativity from Hendrix and certainly pleases the San Francisco audience.
Mitchell returns to the drum kit afterwards, and after Hendrix apologizes for being unable to play as long as they would have liked (it was a Sunday night with a curfew on the length of performance), the Experience wraps things up with an incendiary “Purple Haze,” a song title that had particular resonance to the psychedelic contingency in San Francisco. Unfortunately incomplete due to tape stock running out, what was captured caps off a performance that remains as potent and compelling today as it was nearly half a century ago. (by Alan Bershaw)
Jimi Hendrix (guitar, vocals)
Mitch Mitchell (drums)
Noel Redding (bass, vocals)
Buddy Miles (drums on 05.)
01. Killing Floor (incomplete) (Burnett) 4.01
02. Red House (Hendrix) 5.40
03. Catfish Blues (Traditional) 11.42
04. Mitch intros Buddy Miles 1.29
05. Dear Mr. Fantasy (Winwood/Capaldi/Wood) 9.53
06. Purple Haze (incomplete) (Hendrix) 5.00
It was the idea of Peter Bursch, the guitar teacher of the nation and bandleader of the Krautrock legend Bröselmaschine, 20 years after the death of Jimi Hendrix, to assemble an illustrious crowd of hip musicians and organize a Rockpalast Tribute concert in 1991. Rockpalast mastermind Peter Rüchel and director Christian Wagner were quick to get enthusiastic about this idea. Through his personal contacts Peter was able to find some really competent musicians who were willing to deal with this idea. So an All Star Band was formed from very different exceptional musicians like Uli Jon Roth (Scorpions), who also took over the musical direction of this project, Jack Bruce (Cream, West, Bruce and Laing), John Wetton (King Crimson, Roxy Music, Uriah Heep, UK, Asia etc.), Simon Phillips (The Who, Toto, Asia etc.) and many others.
The idea to present the Hendrix songs with very different singers was especially appealing. Unfortunately Peter Rüchel’s favourite candidate Gianna Nannini had to cancel at short notice. Nevertheless, with Jule Neigel, Michael Flexig, Jack Bruce, John Wetton, as well as the background singers Nadja Ollig and Jane Palmer, a number of extraordinary singers were available. Finally Peter Rüchel was able to convince the hottest Jimi Hendix cover band around Randy Hansen to participate. This concert is the Rockpalast recording that has been most repeated on German television in recent years. (Promo text)
What a night, what powr, such ar great All Star Band … dedicated to one of the most important musician in the history of muic: Jimi Hendrix.
Probably the best tribute concert ever !
Randy Hansen Band:
Francoise Garmy (bass)
Randy Hansen (guitar, vocals)
Herbie Quick (rums)
All Star Band:
Jack Bruce (bass, vocals)
Peter Bursch (guitar)
Michael Flexig (vocals)
Oliver Hennlich (keyboards)
Jule Neigel (vocals)
Manni Neumann (violin)
Nadjy Ollig (vocals)
Jane Palmer (vocals)
Simon Phillips (drums)
Uli Jon Roth (guitar)
Zeno Roth (guitar)
Tobias Stachelhaus (vocals)
John Wetton (bass, vocals)
Randy Hansen Band:
01. Hey Joe 5.52
02. Stone Free 3.45
03. I Don’t Live Today 2.26
04. Steppin’ Stone 4.22
All Star Band:
05. Gypsy Eyes 4.44
06. If Six Was Nine 2.51
07. Spanish Castles Magic 4.25
08. One Rainy Wish 5.09
09. The Wind Cries Mary 4.10
10. Burning Of The Midnight Lamp 4.34
11. All Along The Watchtower 2.27
12. House Burning Down 5.09
13. Electric Ladyland 1.36
14. Castles Made Of Sand 3.13
15. Little Wing 3.25
16. AxisBold As Love 5.16
All Star Band:
01. Voodoo Child 5.46
02. Third Stone From The Sun 6.18
03. Crosstown Traffic 3.10
04. In From The Storm 3.40
05. Who Knows 8.19
06. Message Of Love 5.55
07. Hey Baby 5.49
08. Angel 7.00
09. Purple Haze 4.21
10. Atlantis 3.43
All songs written by Jimi Hendrix,
except “Hey Joe” which was written by Billy Roberts
and “All Along The Watchtower” which was written by Bob Dylan
Rainbow Bridge is a 1971 film directed by Chuck Wein about different countercultural figures interacting on the Hawaiian island of Maui. He described it as “a kind of space-age Candid Camera. We’re going to place Pat [New York model Pat Hartley, the protagonist] in all kinds of real-life situtations, and film what happens. We’re going to shoot a lot of film and just see what comes out of it.” Harry Shapiro adds, “the idea was to shoot an antidote to Easy Rider, showing the positive side of the youth movement.”
Filmed with non-professional actors and without a script, it features improvised scenes with a variety of characters. When it became apparent that it was floundering, producer Michael Jeffery brought in his client Jimi Hendrix to film an outdoor concert (July 30, 1970). Hendrix’s heavily edited (no complete songs) performance appears near the end of the film. Rainbow Bridge was a critical failure and has been re-released on video tape and DVD formats. Although it only contains 17 minutes of Hendrix performing, it continues to attract attention as his second-to-last American concert and the last one filmed.
Faced with a serious cash flow problem, Jeffery approached Reprise Records parent Warner Bros. with an idea for a youth film. He was able to secure a $450,000 advance with the promise of a soundtrack by Hendrix. While in Maui, Jeffery met Mike Hynson, star of The Endless Summer surf epic, and wanted to develop a film. With the proposed title Wave, it would be centered on the Maui countercultural community. Jeffery enlisted Chuck Wein, who had produced three Andy Warhol Factory films. Wein brought in Pat Hartley as the star, who had appeared in some of his films.
Wein and art director Melinda Merryweather “invited outrageous people to portray themselves in Rainbow Bridge. They included dope smugglers, priests and nuns, acidheads, gays, groupies, environmentalists, and a group who claimed to be from Venus”, according to Hendrix biographer Steven Roby. Before long, Warner’s advance was used up with little to show for it. Although there was no plan for a Hendrix concert, Jeffery decided that a filmed performance was needed to rescue his investment. Later record producer John Jansen recalled, “Jeffery had to talk Hendrix into performing. Up to that point, he had refused to write a note of music for the film.”
The loosely documentary-style film is centered on the experiences of a New York model, who travels from San Diego, California, to an occult center on the island of Maui, Hawaii. While there, “she encounters various devotees of surfing, clairvoyance, zen, yoga, meditation, Tai-Chi and the odd ufoloist”. As it unfolds, a free concert by Jimi Hendrix is staged in a former pasture in the upcountry region (2,000 feet above sea level) near Olinda, southeast of the center of the town of Makawao, on the northwest, upcountry slope of Haleakalā. A few hundred island hippies, surfers, and local residents show up to witness the event. Hendrix performed with the post–Jimi Hendrix Experience “Cry of Love” tour group, drummer Mitch Mitchell and bassist Billy Cox. A group of Hare Krishnas chanted “Om” for a few minutes and Wein introduced the group. Although Hendrix played two full sets (approximately 50 minutes each), due to technical problems, only about 17 minutes of film footage was deemed usable.
Rainbow Bridge premiered at the Aquarius Theatre in Hollywood in the fall of 1971. The original length of the theatrical release of was 123 minutes. However, it was soon edited to cut down on the acting scenes, with one version lasting 70 minutes. The 2000 re-release by Rhino Video restored the original full-length version. Although Wein claimed that all of the usable footage of Hendrix was included in the film, full-length performances of “Dolly Dagger” and “Villanova Junction” (both from the second set) have appeared on bootleg videos.
The response to Rainbow Bridge is uniformly negative. Shadwick calls it “a snafu of impressive dimensions even for the hippie generation.” He adds that it was “so drug-addled, pseudo-mystical and stuffed with narcissistic, self-important onscreen hippies that the only hope of saving it indeed was to put Hendrix on celluloid”. Shapiro describes it as “a ludicrous farrago of pseudo-mystical acid babble devoid of sincerity … Overall, the best thing that can be said about Rainbow Bridge is that, after seventy-one minutes, it finishes”. Writing for AllMusic, critic Bruce Eder comments, “Hendrix plays some superb music in the concert sequence that concludes this documentary—the rest is all devoted to pre-new-age mumbo-jumbo at a Hawaiian retreat”. Later Hendrix producer John McDermott calls it a “disastrous, embarrassing failure … Jeffery’s attempt to rescue his own personal finances via Hendrix’s memory was disgraceful.”
Original front + back cover
A soundtrack album, also titled Rainbow Bridge, was released in October 1971. Although it contains some incidental studio recordings by Hendrix used in the film, the album does not include any of the recorded performances from the Maui concert. Hendrix’s performances are edited for the film. Complete recordings of both sets (about 20 songs) have been released on several bootleg albums, sometimes being mistaken for official releases. (by wikipedia)
The originals labels from 1971
And here´s the best bootleg versin these two concerts in Hawaii:
This 2-CD set contains most of both of Jimi’s sets as recorded at Haleakala Crater in Hawaii, the 30th of July, 1970; the first set (as only partially heard in the film, but not the LP’s soundtrack Rainbow Bridge – Original Movie Soundtrack (Vinyl Record)) and most tracks of the never-released second set. This show, especially the 2nd set, was for years rather a “Holy Grail” amongst collectors. Minimally remastered, although unfortunately edited, this was Hendrix’ pentultimate U.S. show; it’s far from being an audiophile-grade recording, (especially the 2nd set, when the winds were blowing rather high) but Jimi’s performance still shines through. According to Ultimate Hendrix: An Illustrated Encyclopedia of Live Concerts & Sessions, three songs, “Midnight Lightning,” “Drum Solo,” and “Stone Free” finish the 2nd Set, but those tracks are nowhere to be found on this release. In 2008, the Mike Jeffrey estate put out an even more complete version with these tracks as “Complete Rainbow Bridge” on the Rock Of Ages Label.
Jimi played great that day. It was an outdoor show and the wind detracts from the quality of the recording, but who cares, its Jimi playing his ass off. Mitchell redid the drums for the songs used in the movie, so those sound much clearer.
For the second set, Hendrix played new material exclusively, except for “Red House.” He also played a Gibson Flying-V instead of his near-trademark Fender Stratocaster, giving him a thicker guitar tone. Hendrix starts strong on “Dolly Dagger” and goes straight into “Villanova Juction” (here simply titled “Instrumental”). This is followed by one of the better live versions of “Ezy Rider,” with Billy Cox lending strong support on bass.
After an excellent version of “Red House,” Hendrix loses his way a bit, drifting into “Straight Ahead” during “Jam Back at the House,” but finished the tune strong with all his effect pedals working nicely together. The set ends with an up-tempo jam tacked onto the end of “New Rising Sun.” This is quite an interesting live set, because the intimate venue and relative lack of commercial pressure allowed Hendrix to relax on-stage with a lot of his newer material. Sound quality is quite good, although the drums are a bit distant. Some critics have said that Hendrix’s playing declined after the breakup of the Jimi Hendrix Experience, but this set shows that Hendrix was always moving forward, incorporating new tones and effects as well as Spanish scales into his playing. There were certainly some lackluster performances during that time period, but the Rainbow Bridge concerts show that Hendrix still had some excellent playing left in him. (by jazz-rock-fusion-guitar.blogspot.com)
And I include a very intensive interview with Interview Melinda Merryweather From The Rainbow Bridge Film as a pdf file.
Highly recommended !
Recorded live at Haleakala Crater, Maui, Hawaii, July 30th 1970.
Billy Cox (bass)
Jimi Hendrix (guitar, vocals)
Mitch Mitchell (drums)
01. Lover Man 2.33
02. Hey Baby (New Rising Sun) 4.36
03. In From The Storm 4.59
04. Message To Love 4.52
05. Foxy Lady 4.45
06. Hear My Train A Comin’ 9.08
07. Voodoo Chile (Slight Return) 7.17
08. Fire 3.43
09. Purple Haze 4:35
CD 2: The Late Show:
01. Dolly Dagger 5.09
02. Instrumental 5.28
03. Ezy Rider 4.54
04. Red House 6.47
05. Freedom 4.21
06. Jam Back At The House 7.00
07. Land Of The New Rising Sun 4:47
All songs written by Jimi Hendrix
Jimi Hendrix (November 27, 1942 – September 18, 1970)
As one of the most successful classical performers of his time, violinist Nigel Kennedy’s genre-defying music helped him achieve a level of fame typically reserved for pop stars. A native of Brighton, England, he studied music at the Yehudi Menuhin School and at Juilliard; his debut recording, Elgar Violin Concerto, appeared in 1984, shortly followed by Nigel Kennedy Plays Jazz. In the years to follow, Kennedy collaborated not only with the more traditional likes of Riccardo Muti and the Philharmonia Orchestra, the Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra, and Andre Previn, but also with pop figures including Paul McCartney and Kate Bush; his fame reached new heights with the 1989 release of his recording of Vivaldi’s The Four Seasons, which went as high as number three on the U.K. pop charts and went on to sell well over a million copies. In 1992, neck surgery forced Kennedy to retire for several years; when he resurfaced with 1996’s Kafka, he performed his own compositions for the first time, broadening his scope to include not only classical music but also elements of Celtic, rock, and jazz. The Jimi Hendrix tribute The Kennedy Experience followed in 1999. (by Jason Ankeny)
The Kennedy Experience is a music group and eponymous instrumental album conceived and produced in 1999 by violinist Nigel Kennedy. The album is largely derived from the music of rock guitarist Jimi Hendrix and the title references his group The Jimi Hendrix Experience. According to a BBC interview with Kennedy, the violinist stated that the recording is “an album of music inspired by Jimi Hendrix. It is an extended instrumental work in six movements, each movement a classical interpretation of a Hendrix song”. On the recording, Kennedy is accompanied by seven other musicians, and the lineup includes two cellos, an oboe, two guitars, a Dobro, flute, and double bass. With cellist Lynn Harrell, he has recorded an album of duets. (by wikipedia)
This disc goes places. Nominally it’s a set of improvisations by Nigel Kennedy and friends based on Jimi Hendrix tunes, but what starts out in ‘Third Stone from the Sun’ as a Celtic-flavored “unplugged” style jam session stretches a little further out in ‘Little Wing’ and ‘1983’ and becomes transformed into something much more dynamic and unpredictable in ‘Drifting,’ ‘Fire,’ and ‘Purple Haze,’ the music-making turning into the kind of kaleidoscopic voyage of discovery for which Hendrix was famous. Amazingly, the “Kennedy Experience,” two cellos, two guitars, oboe, flute and bass in addition to Nigel’s fiddle, is an entirely acoustic group and only a minimum of electronic effects are used in the production. This is a trip animated entirely by the energy and commitment of the performers. (by allmzsic.com)
Fascinating stuff. Worth a listen, fan or otherwise. (by Daniel Berry)
Emma Black (cello)
John Etheridge (guitar)
Dave Heath (flute)
Nigel Kennedy (violin)
Rory McFarlane (bass)
Kate St. John (oboe)
Gerri Sutyak (cello)
01. Third Stone Drom The Sun 14.06
02. Little Wing 10.57
03. 1983… (A Merman I Should Turn to Be) 15.22
04. Drifting 6.04
05. Fire 3.26
06. Purple Haze 5.17
Music composed by Jimi Hendrix
Axis: Bold as Love is the second studio album by English-American rock band the Jimi Hendrix Experience. It was recorded to fulfill the Experience’s contract, which stated that they had to produce two records in 1967.Axis: Bold as Love is the second studio album by English-American rock band the Jimi Hendrix Experience. It was recorded to fulfill the Experience’s contract, which stated that they had to produce two records in 1967.
Axis: Bold as Love was first released in the United Kingdom by Track Records in December 1967, as the follow-up to the band’s successful debut Are You Experienced, which had been released in May. Reprise Records chose not to release it in the United States until 1968, because of fears that it might interfere with the sales of the first album. Axis: Bold as Love charted at number five in the UK and number three in the US. The album also peaked at number six on the Billboard R&B chart. (by wikipedia)
Jimi Hendrix’s second album followed up his groundbreaking debut effort with a solid collection of great tunes and great interactive playing between himself, Noel Redding, Mitch Mitchell, and the recording studio itself. Wisely retaining manager Chas Chandler to produce the album and Eddie Kramer as engineer, Hendrix stretched further musically than the first album, but even more so as a songwriter. He was still quite capable of coming up with spacy rockers like “You Got Me Floating,” “Up from the Skies,” and “Little Miss Lover,” radio-ready to follow on the commercial heels of “Foxey Lady” and “Purple Haze.” But the beautiful, wistful ballads “Little Wing,” “Castles Made of Sand,” “One Rainy Wish,” and the title track set closer show remarkable growth and depth as a tunesmith, harnessing Curtis Mayfield soul guitar to Dylanesque lyrical imagery and Fuzz Face hyperactivity to produce yet another side to his grand psychedelic musical vision. These are tempered with Jimi’s most avant-garde tracks yet, “EXP” and the proto-fusion jazz blowout of “If 6 Was 9.” (by Cub Koda)
This album is all time. Listening to it in the background or superficially, some songs may sound ordinary or be regarded as forgettable. But listening to it intensely, the mind is transported to another plane. It is so psychedelic, so trippy, gets the mind so high, but in a very smooth & refined way. Some ordinary song lyrics, such as Shes So Fine. You Got Me Floating & Ain’t No Telling, are elevated by outstanding music. The song writing/lyrics of the other songs are masterpieces. By the time One Rainy Wishes ends, the mind is so elevated. The final song is so masterful. 5 stars. Easy. (Nicholas Zed)
An absolutely gorgeous collection of songs. Hendrix had the unenviable task of following up one of the most brilliant debut records ever and pulls it off with ease. While there are fewer radio staples on this album, every song is wonderful in its own way. After proving what an innovative and devastating guitar player he was with his 1st record, AXIS is a more mature & relatively laid back album. It contains some of Jimi’s most beautiful ballads and balances his manic fury with more refined sense of finesse in these performances. (Rob Dwyer)
Alternate frontcovers from France and Japan
Jimi Hendrix – vocals, guitar, piano, recorder, glockenspiel on 06.)
Mitch Mitchell – drums, percussion background vocals)
Noel Redding bass, background vocals, vocals on 10.)
footstomping on 07.:
Gary Leeds – Graham Nash
background vocals on 08.:
Graham Nash – Trevor Burton – Roy Wood
01. EXP (Hendrix) 1.55
02. Up From The Skies (Hendrix) 2.55
03. Spanish Castle Magic (Hendrix) 3.05
04. Wait Until Tomorrow (Hendrix) 3.00
05. Ain’t No Telling (Hendrix) 1.46
06. Little Wing (Hendrix) 2.24
07. I Six Was Nine (Hendrix) 5.35
08. You Got Me Floatin’ (Hendrix) 2.45
09. Castles Made Of Sand (Hendrix) 246
10. She’s So Fine (Redding) 2:37
11. One Rainy Wish (Hendrix) 3.40
12. Little Miss Lover (Hendrix) 2.20
13. Bold As Love (Hendrix) 4.11
Don´t forget In six months we celebrate Christmas again !
And here´s one of the most important albums in the hisory of rock music:
Electric Ladyland is the third and final studio album by English-American rock band the Jimi Hendrix Experience, released in October 1968 by Track Records/Polydor, and Reprise Records in North America. The double album was the only record from the band produced by Jimi Hendrix. By mid-November, it had charted at number one in the United States, where it spent two weeks at the top spot. Electric Ladyland was the Experience’s most commercially successful release and their only number one album. It peaked at number six in the UK, where it spent 12 weeks on the chart.Electric Ladyland is the third and final studio album by English-American rock band the Jimi Hendrix Experience, released in October 1968 by Track Records/Polydor, and Reprise Records in North America. The double album was the only record from the band produced by Jimi Hendrix. By mid-November, it had charted at number one in the United States, where it spent two weeks at the top spot. Electric Ladyland was the Experience’s most commercially successful release and their only number one album. It peaked at number six in the UK, where it spent 12 weeks on the chart.
Electric Ladyland included a cover of the Bob Dylan song, “All Along the Watchtower”, which became the Experience’s highest-selling single and their only top 40 hit in the US, peaking at number 20; the single reached number five in the UK. Although the album confounded critics in 1968, it has since been viewed as Hendrix’s best work and one of the greatest rock records of all time. Electric Ladyland has been featured on many greatest-album lists, including Q magazine’s 2003 list of the 100 greatest albums and Rolling Stone’s list of the 500 greatest albums of all time, on which it was ranked 54th.
Recording sessions for the Jimi Hendrix Experience’s third and final studio album, Electric Ladyland, began at the newly opened Record Plant Studios, with Chas Chandler as producer and engineers Eddie Kramer and Gary Kellgren. As recording progressed, Chandler became increasingly frustrated with Hendrix’s perfectionism and his demands for repeated takes. Hendrix allowed numerous friends and guests to join them in the studio, which contributed to a chaotic and crowded environment in the control room and led Chandler to sever his professional relationship with Hendrix. Redding later recalled: “There were tons of people in the studio; you couldn’t move. It was a party, not a session.” Redding, who had formed his own band in mid-1968, Fat Mattress, found it increasingly difficult to fulfill his commitments with the Experience, so Hendrix played many of the bass parts on Electric Ladyland The album’s cover stated that it was “produced and directed by Jimi Hendrix”. The double LP was the only Experience album to be mixed entirely in stereo.
During the Electric Ladyland recording sessions, Hendrix began experimenting with other combinations of musicians, including Jefferson Airplane’s Jack Casady and Traffic’s Steve Winwood, who played bass and organ respectively on the fifteen-minute slow-blues jam, “Voodoo Chile”. During the album’s production, Hendrix appeared at an impromptu jam with B.B. King, Al Kooper, and Elvin Bishop. Electric Ladyland was released in October 1968, and by mid-November it had reached number one in the US, spending two weeks at the top spot. The double LP was the Experience’s most commercially successful release and their only number one album. It peaked at number six in the UK, spending 12 weeks on the chart.
Hendrix’s studio perfectionism was legendary – he and Mitch Mitchell recorded well over 50 takes of “Gypsy Eyes” over three sessions. Hendrix was generally insecure about his voice and often recorded his vocals hidden behind studio screens. Hendrix sang all the backing vocals himself on the title track and on “Long Hot Summer Night”. He was said to be very happy with the vocal results on “Have You Ever Been (To Electric Ladyland)”.
According to music journalist David Stubbs, Electric Ladyland is “undoubtedly a rock album, albeit rock on the point of evolving into something else.” Uncut magazine’s John Robinson said that its music reconciles the psychedelic pop of Hendrix’s earlier recordings with the aggressive funk he would explore on his 1970 album Band of Gypsys.
During its recording, Kramer experimented with innovative studio techniques such as backmasking, chorus effect, echo, and flanging, which AllMusic’s Cub Koda said recontextualized Hendrix’s psychedelic and funk sounds on the album.
Electric Ladyland is a cross-section of Hendrix’s wide range of musical talent. It includes examples of several genres and styles of music: the psychedelic “Burning of the Midnight Lamp”, a UK single the previous summer (1967), the extended blues jam “Voodoo Chile”, the New Orleans-style R&B of Earl King’s “Come On”, the epic studio production of “1983… (A Merman I Should Turn to Be)”, the social commentary of “House Burning Down”, and the Sixties-era Britpop of Noel Redding’s “Little Miss Strange”. The album also features an electric reworking of the Bob Dylan classic “All Along the Watchtower”, which has been well received by critics as well as by Dylan himself, and also “Voodoo Child (Slight Return)”, a staple of both radio and guitar repertoire. Rolling Stone’s Holly George-Warren praised “Crosstown Traffic” for its hard rock guitar riff.
“All Along the Watchtower” became the band’s highest-selling single and their only US top 40 hit, peaking at number 20; it reached number five in the UK. The album also included one of Hendrix’s most prominent uses of a wah-wah pedal, on “Burning of the Midnight Lamp”, which reached number 18 in the UK charts.
Hendrix had written to Reprise describing what he wanted for the cover art, but was mostly ignored. He expressly asked for a color photo by Linda Eastman of the group sitting with children on a sculpture from Alice in Wonderland in Central Park, and drew a picture of it for reference. The company instead used a blurred red and yellow photo of his head while performing at Saville Theatre, taken by Karl Ferris. Track Records used its art department, which produced a cover image by photographer David Montgomery, who also shot the inside cover portrait of Hendrix, depicting nineteen nude women lounging in front of a black background. Hendrix expressed displeasure and embarrassment with this “naked lady” cover, much as he was displeased with the Axis: Bold as Love cover which he found disrespectful. The cover was banned by several record dealers as “pornographic”, while others sold it with the gatefold cover turned inside out.
The double LP was the Experience’s most commercially successful release and Hendrix’s only number one album. In the UK, it peaked at number six and charted for 12 weeks.
Electric Ladyland confounded contemporary critics; reviewers praised some of its songs but felt the album lacked structure and sounded too dense. Melody Maker called it “mixed-up and muddled”, with the exception of “All Along the Watchtower”, which the magazine called a masterpiece. In a negative review for Rolling Stone, Tony Glover preferred the less difficult “Little Miss Strange” to songs such as “Voodoo Chile” and “1983”, which he said were marred by reactively harsh playing. Robert Christgau was more enthusiastic, naming it the fifth best album of 1968 in his ballot for Jazz & Pop magazine’s critics poll.
Over time, Electric Ladyland’s critical standing improved significantly, with author and musicologist John Perry describing it as “one of the greatest double-albums in Rock.” According to author Michael Heatley, “most critics agree” that the album was “the fullest realization of Jimi’s far-reaching ambitions”; Guitar World editor Noe Goldwasser called it his greatest work. The record was also deemed an essential hard rock album in Tom Larson’s 2004 book History of Rock and Roll, and Clash reviewer Robin Murray viewed it as a “true classic of the psychedelic rock era”. In a retrospective review for Blender, Christgau wrote that it was the definitive work of psychedelic music, describing the record as “an aural utopia that accommodates both ingrained conflict and sweet, vague spiritual yearnings, held together by a master musician”. In Charlotte Greig’s opinion, much like Are You Experienced, Electric Ladyland was “groundbreaking, introducing audiences to a style of psychedelic rock rooted in the blues”.
Electric Ladyland has been featured on many greatest album lists, including a number 10 ranking on Classic Rock magazine’s list of the 100 Greatest Rock Albums Ever, and number 37 on The Times’ 100 Best Albums of All Time. Music journalist and author Peter Doggett argued that it is very likely the greatest rock album of all time because of its exceptional concept, artful melodies, experimentation, and skilled musicianship, which he felt remains unparalleled by any other rock artist. In 2003, Q magazine included it on its list of the 100 greatest albums ever, while Rolling Stone ranked it 54th on its list of the 500 greatest albums of all time. (by wikipedia)
Jimi Hendrix Graffiti Tribute is a painting by Victor Cavalera
Jimi Hendrix’s third and final album with the original Experience found him taking his funk and psychedelic sounds to the absolute limit. The result was not only one of the best rock albums of the era, but also Hendrix’s original musical vision at its absolute apex. When revisionist rock critics refer to him as the maker of a generation’s mightiest dope music, this is the album they’re referring to. But Electric Ladyland is so much more than just background music for chemical intake. Kudos to engineer Eddie Kramer (who supervised the remastering of the original two-track stereo masters for this 1997 reissue on MCA) for taking Hendrix’s visions of a soundscape behind his music and giving it all context, experimenting with odd mic techniques, echo, backward tape, flanging, and chorusing, all new techniques at the time, at least the way they’re used here. What Hendrix sonically achieved on this record expanded the concept of what could be gotten out of a modern recording studio in much the same manner as Phil Spector had done a decade before with his Wall of Sound. As an album this influential (and as far as influencing a generation of players and beyond, this was his ultimate statement for many), the highlights speak for themselves: “Crosstown Traffic,” his reinterpretation of Bob Dylan’s “All Along the Watchtower,” “Burning of the Midnight Lamp,” the spacy “1983…(A Merman I Should Turn to Be),” and “Voodoo Chile (Slight Return),” a landmark in Hendrix’s playing. With this double set (now on one compact disc), Hendrix once again pushed the concept album to new horizons. (by Cub Koda)
Jimi Hendrix (vocals, guitar, piano, percussion, harpsichord, bass on 02., 06., 08., 11., 14. + 15.)
Mitch Mitchell (drums, percussion, vocals on 05., background vocals)
Noel Redding (bass, background vocals, guitar and vocals on 05.)
Jack Casady (bass on 04.)
Larry Faucette (percussion on 10, + 13.)
Mike Finnigan (organ on 10. + 13.)
Brian Jones (percussion on 15.)
Al Kooper (piano on 06.)
Dave Mason (guitar on 15, , background vocals on 03.)
Buddy Miles (drums on 10. + 13.)
Freddie Smith (saxophone on 10. + 13.)
The Sweet Inspirations (background vocals on 09.)
Steve Winwood (organ on 04.)
Chris Wood (flute on 11.)
01. And The Gods Made Love (Hendrix) 1.20
02. Have You Ever Been (To Electric Ladyland) (Hendrix) 2.13
03. Crosstown Traffic (Hendrix) 2.26
04. Voodoo Chile (Hendrix) 14.59
05. Little Miss Strange (Redding) 2.53
06. Long Hot Summer Night (Hendrix) 3.27
07. Come On (Part I) (King) 4.10
08. Gypsy Eyes (Hendrix) 3.45
09. Burning Of The Midnight Lamp (Hendrix) 3.41
10. Rainy Day, Dream Away (Hendrix) 3.40
11. 1983… (A Merman I Should Turn To Be) 5.49
12. Moon, Turn the Tides…Gently Gently Away (Hendrix) 7.51
13. Still Raining, Still Dreaming (Hendrix) 5.28
14. House Burning Down (Hendrix) 4.33
15. All Along The Watchtower (Dylan) 4.01
16. Voodoo Chile (Slight Return) (Hendrix) 5.13
“There must be some kind of way out of here,”
Said the joker to the thief,
“There’s too much confusion.
I can’t get no relief.
Businessmen – they drink my wine,
Plowmen dig my earth.
None will level on the line,
Nobody of it is worth.
“No reason to get excited,”
The thief – he kindly spoke,
“There are many here among us
Who feel that life is but a joke.
But you and I – we’ve been through that.
And this is not our fate.
So let us not talk falsely now.
The hour’s getting late.
All along the watchtower
Princes kept the view
While all the women came and went.
Barefoot servants too.
Outside in the cold distance
A wildcat did growl.
Two riders were approaching,
And the wind began to howl, hey.
die Welt von Kaphoon dem Namenlosen...
Allerlei buntes aus deutschen Landen
Der Kopf ist rund, damit das Denken die Richtung ändern kann.
oder: Alles, was ich meinem Friseur nicht erzählen kann
A blog mainly about odd German 45 rpm records. New records every Thursday.