Album no. 113/1001
It’s our mates Jimi Hendrix and his illustrious experience back again, with album number three on this list.This was the band’s most commercially successful album, hitting number one in the US – their only album to do so!
This album also had a collection of 19 naked ladies on the cover of certain releases, even though Jimi had requested a very specific picture for the cover – the group with a bunch of children sitting on a sculpture in Central Park. Sounds cool.
Have you listened to this album before?
CL: No. But I mean, I gave 5 solid stars to Axis: Bold As Love, so I’m excited.
NK: I sure have.
CL: And I’m disappointed. What a shame! It sort of starts out alright, but then descends into far too much guitar wankery.
NK: Yeeeeeeeeeeeeah. I would love to defend Jimi here, but I agree with you. ‘Voodoo Child (Slight Return)’ is the best track by a country mile (that’s the track they play when they’re walking out to the plane in Almost Famous). His cover of ‘All Along The Watchtower’ is really good as well, it’s a pity those two are right at the end. ‘Crosstown Traffic’ is ok too, but there is not a lot else.
CL: Once again, other people do Dylan better than Dylan. Surely this ‘All Along The Watchtower’ is the definitive version? It’s easily the best.
When would be the best time to listen to this?
CL: There is a lot of noodling about on this album. Like, a lot. Maybe everyone just forgot they were playing?
NK: Make sure you don’t have anything pressing to do before you sit down to listen to this. It goes on a bit.
CL: If you have a pretty mundane activity to complete that takes exactly one hour and 15 minutes – this’ll do the trick.
Why has this album been included on the list?
CL: Oh I don’t know. Obviously everyone got all excited by the last two – which is probably fair enough – but honestly, I don’t think there’s much new here.
NK: This is considered the best Experience album by some folks. It was their most commercially successful, making it to number one on the UK album charts. People were split though. It got called ‘groundbreaking’ and ‘the definitive work of psychedelic music’, but also ‘mixed up and muddled’ and ‘lacking in structure’. I can see where everyone is coming from, it’s pretty all over the shop.
CL: Clearly the only reason people bought it was because they were expecting another Axis. Which this definitely isn’t. Wasted their money, they did.
Will you be listening again?
CL: I really wish this was as good as Axis: Bold As Love, but it definitely wasn’t. I might give it another go, but this has probably been my least favourite of the three Jimi Hendrix Experience albums.
NK: It’s tough, because I think ‘All Along The Watchtower’ and ‘Voodoo Child (Slight Return)’ are as good as anything he’s done, but the 13 minute songs are a bit much for me. This won’t be my go-to Hendrix album, put it that way. I’m really torn on what to rate this. The high points are great, but there aren’t enough of them.
Listen to Electric Ladyland on Spotify or buy it in iTunes.