Hendrix’s ‘Electric Ladyland’ at 50
Longtime Jimi Hendrix engineer Eddie Kramer says Electric Ladyland was exactly the album Jimi had in his head.
“You look at all the drawings and the way he laid out the way the whole album was supposed to be, the running order of the songs. He was very specific in how he wanted Electric Ladyland to look. He wanted it to be a representation of who he was at that moment in time.”
Hendrix released his third album Electric Ladyland 50 years ago on Oct. 16, 1968.
Clocking in at 75 minutes long over four LP sides, Electric Ladyland was a career defining statement of all the styles and textures Hendrix was experimenting with or came naturally: psychedelia, blues, British pop, Bob Dylan and R&B.
It helped earn Hendrix is first and only No. 1 album.
“We’ve been doing new tracks that are really fantastic and we’ve just been getting into them,” Jimi Hendrix told Rolling Stone in 1968, right after he and the Experience had played San Francisco’s Fillmore West. “You have these songs in your mind. You want to hurry up and get back to the things you were doing in the studio, because that’s the way you gear your mind….We wanted to play [the Fillmore], quite naturally, but you’re thinking about all these tracks, which is completely different from what you’re doing now.”
Many Hendrix fans today look at Electric Ladyland as his masterpiece. Recording sessions for the album happened while he was touring almost nonstop. By all accounts, Hendrix found himself frustrated trying to make the music on tape match the sounds in his head. His producer Eddie Kramer has said Jimi’s drive for perfectionism and his experimentation made the album a true work of passion.
Read more about Hendrix’s career defining album via Billboard here