Photo by: Brenden Cowan
Jimi Hendrix’s Electric Ladyland turns 54 on Oct. 25.
The last studio album released before Hendrix’s untimely death leaves listeners with a memorable and iconic piece of music that best highlights his talent. Whether new to Hendrix or an experienced listener, here’s a look back at the Electric Ladyland album and some of the must-listen tracks that are included.
“…And the Gods Made Love,” the first track of the album, is like walking through a door to a mystic wonderland where the listener knows they’re about to experience something unique. The instrumental opening matches the album cover, as it evokes strong warm colours in the listener.
The next track, “Have You Ever Been (To Electric Ladyland)”, introduces gentle melodic vocals that set the tone for the album. “Crosstown Traffic” picks up the pace with more complex guitar riffs and Hendrix’s signature vocals. “Voodoo Chile” tones the pace back down and turns into a blues feel that suits Hendrix’s style, lasting for 15 minutes of pure excellence. If you’re going to listen to one song from this album, this is the one.
“Little Miss Strange,” shifts gears once again and introduces a Beatle-esque track into the mixture. “Come On (Let the Good Times Roll)”, gets back on track with Hendrix’s more known style and is another highlight and classic from the album which can perfectly be described by its title. This song makes you want to have a good time, with its catchy lyrics, and rhythm both accompanied by a flawless guitar solo. If that doesn’t make you tap your foot I don’t know what will.
Moving on to “Gypsy Eyes,” a mixture of perfectly timed drums, vocals, and guitar accompaniment leads to a solid track. The next two tracks follow suit quality-wise, however, “Burning of the Midnight Lamp” and “Rainy Day, Dream Away,” while good tracks, get lost in between more standout songs.
This leads us to the 11th track of the album, “1983…(A Merman I should Turn to Be)”. This is the second track that lasts for over 10 minutes and makes every second count, making it a worthwhile 819 seconds. This is a more relaxed track as the second half of the song is purely instrumental, definitely one to check out if you’re looking for a more chill experience. The track is followed by an interlude that cools down the long track and doesn’t hinder the pace of the album.
Hendrix saved the best two for last, the iconic cover of Bob Dylan’s “All Along the Watchtower,” featured in countless forms of media. Hendrix’s version is the face of this album and it’s the cherry on top to make this album a rock and roll classic and a must-listen.
The cover of the song has over 500 million streams on Spotify and may arguably be better known than the original, a true rock and roll classic from start to finish, there’s a reason this song stands the test of time. You can listen to this song here. “Voodoo Child (Slight Return),” closes off this one-hour and 15-minute album experience with some of the best guitar solos and bumping up the quality this album had set.
Overall, there’s some variety in this album for everyone, some slow songs, some more instrumentally focused, others blues-styled, some even Beatle-esque, and a number of iconic songs with very high quality.
Electric Ladyland may be turning 54 but it will continue to be a classic for a lot longer.