“undoubtedly a rock album, albeit rock on the point of evolving into something else.” – David Stubbs
“one of the greatest double-albums in rock.” – John Perry
Electric Ladyland is the third and final album of new material by the Jimi Hendrix Experience, released in October 1968 on Reprise Records. It is the only Hendrix studio album professionally produced under his supervision. It topped the Billboard 200 album chart for two weeks in November 1968.
October 25, 1968 (some sources says October 16…worth celebrating anyhow)
Olympic Studios, London and Record Plant Studios, New York, July and December 1967, January 1968, April–August 1968
Psychedelic rock, blues rock, acid rock, hard rock
Reprise, Track, Barclay, Polydor
All along the watchtower, the best Dylan cover of all time! (live, Isle of Wight):
This is a perfect Hendrix album. It is poppy and funky and original at the same time, and what a great soul singer Hendrix was! I also think it is very inventive, sonically speaking. Jimi Hendrix really searched for “new sounds” on this record, he produced an album that has stood the test of time marvelously.
By 1969, Hendrix was the world’s highest-paid rock musician. In August, he headlined the Woodstock Music and Art Fair that included many of the most popular bands of the time. For the concert, he added rhythm guitarist Larry Lee and conga players Juma Sultan and Jerry Velez. The band rehearsed for less than two weeks before the performance, and according to Mitchell, they never connected musically. Before arriving at the engagement, he heard reports that the size of the audience had grown to epic proportions, which gave him cause for concern as he did not enjoy performing for large crowds. He was an important draw for the event, and although he accepted substantially less money for the appearance than his usual fee he was the festival’s highest-paid performer. As his scheduled time slot of midnight on Sunday drew closer, he indicated that he preferred to wait and close the show in the morning; the band took the stage around 8:00 a.m. on Monday.
Purple haze, all in my brain
Lately things they don’t seem the same
Actin’ funny, but I don’t know why
Excuse me while I kiss the sky
It is one of the unforgettable opening riffs in rock: a ferocious, stomping guitar march, scarred with fuzz and built around the dissonant “devil’s interval” of the tritone. And it launched not one but two revolutions: late-Sixties psychedelia and the unprecedented genius of Jimi Hendrix. For the first time, Hendrix, bassist Noel Redding and drummer Mitch Mitchell got to show off their acrobatic onstage chemistry on record — and they somehow managed to condense it to an under-three-minute blaze of overdubbed guitar sorcery.
Such a rock ‘n’ roll masterpiece needs to be enjoyed often & loud.
Jan 21: The Jimi Hendrix Experience recorded All Along The Watchtower in 1968
“It overwhelmed me, really. He had such talent, he could find things inside a song and vigorously develop them. He found things that other people wouldn’t think of finding in there. He probably improved upon it by the spaces he was using. I took license with the song from his version, actually, and continue to do it to this day.”
– Bob Dylan (1995)
“I liked Jimi Hendrix’s record of this and ever since he died I’ve been doing it that way… Strange how when I sing it, I always feel it’s a tribute to him in some kind of way.”
– Bob Dylan (booklet Biograph)
The Jimi Hendrix Experience began to record their cover version of Dylan’s “All Along the Watchtower” on January 21, 1968, at Olympic Studios in London. According to engineer Andy Johns, Jimi Hendrix had been given a tape of Dylan’s recording by publicist Michael Goldstein, who worked for Dylan’s manager Albert Grossman.
“(Hendrix) came in with these Dylan tapes and we all heard them for the first time in the studio”
– Andy Johns
For me it is the only cover version of a Bob Dylan song that is arguably as good or better than Dylan’s own version.
The Jimi Hendrix Experience – All Along The Watchtower (audio):