Jimi Hendrix – Electric Ladyland (1968)

AllMusic Review: 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 Child (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. — Cub Koda

Track Listing:

All songs written by Jimi Hendrix, except where noted.

Side one
No. Title Length
1. “…And the Gods Made Love” 1:19
2. “Have You Ever Been (To Electric Ladyland)” (“Electric Ladyland” on UK edition gatefold) 2:08
3. “Crosstown Traffic” (“Cross Town Traffic” on UK edition label) 2:25
4. “Voodoo Chile” 14:50
Side two
No. Title Writer(s) Length
1. “Little Miss Strange” Noel Redding 2:47
2. “Long Hot Summer Night” 3:21
3. “Come On (Part 1)” (“Come On” on UK edition) Earl King 4:04
4. “Gypsy Eyes” (“Gipsy Eyes” on UK edition) 3:38
5. “Burning of the Midnight Lamp” 3:33
Side three
No. Title Length
1. “Rainy Day, Dream Away” 3:39
2. “1983… (A Merman I Should Turn to Be)” 13:25
3. “Moon, Turn the Tides….Gently Gently Away” 0:58
Side four
No. Title Writer(s) Length
1. “Still Raining, Still Dreaming” 4:19
2. “House Burning Down” 4:26
3. “All Along the Watchtower” Bob Dylan 3:54
4. “Voodoo Child (Slight Return)” (“Voodoo Chile (Slight Return)” on UK edition) 5:06
Total length: 73:56


Schill Score: 9/10


Listen to Album below


Jimi Hendrix – Axis: Bold As Love (1967)

Axis: Bold as Love is the second studio album by the Jimi Hendrix Experience. Track Records first released it in the United Kingdom in December 1967, only seven months after the release of the group’s highly successful debut, Are You Experienced. In the United States, Reprise Records delayed the release until the following month. The album reached the top ten in the album charts in both countries.

For the album, the group displayed several musical styles and critics saw it as demonstrating Jimi Hendrix’s growth as a songwriter. The album introduced “Spanish Castle Magic” and “Little Wing”, two Hendrix compositions which draw on his roots performing with rhythm and blues bands, that would remain in his live repertoire throughout his career.

The album cover, which draws on Hindu religious iconography, has generated controversy. It was designed without Hendrix’s approval, and he publicly expressed his dissatisfaction. However, the album went on to become quite successful and was certified platinum in the US and silver in the UK

Track Listing:

Side one
No. Title Length
1. “EXP” 1:55
2. “Up from the Skies” 2:55
3. “Spanish Castle Magic” 3:00
4. “Wait Until Tomorrow” 3:00
5. “Ain’t No Telling” 1:46
6. “Little Wing” 2:24
7. “If Six Was Nine” (US edition spelling “If 6 Was 9”) 5:32

Side two
No. Title Length
1. “You’ve Got Me Floating” (US edition spelling “You Got Me Floatin'”) 2:45
2. “Castles Made of Sand” 2:46
3. “She’s So Fine” (Noel Redding) 2:37
4. “One Rainy Wish” 3:40
5. “Little Miss Lover” 2:20
6. “Bold as Love” 4:09

AllMusic Review: 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.” — Cub Koda

Schill Score: 9.5/10

Listen to Album on Spotify

Jimi Hendrix – Are You Experienced? (1967)

Are You Experienced is the debut studio album by the Jimi Hendrix Experience. Released in 1967, the LP was an immediate critical and commercial success, and it is widely regarded as one of the greatest debuts in the history of rock music. The album features Jimi Hendrix’s innovative approach to songwriting and electric guitar playing which soon established a new direction in psychedelic and hard rock music.

By mid-1966, Hendrix was struggling to earn a living playing the R&B circuit as a backing guitarist. After being referred to Chas Chandler, who was leaving the Animals and interested in managing and producing artists, Hendrix was signed to a management and production contract with Chandler and ex-Animals manager Michael Jeffery. Chandler brought Hendrix to London and began recruiting members for a band, the Jimi Hendrix Experience, designed to showcase the guitarist’s talents.

In late October, after having been rejected by Decca Records, the Experience signed with Track, a new label formed by the Who’s managers Kit Lambert and Chris Stamp. Are You Experienced and its preceding singles were recorded over a five-month period from late October 1966 through early April 1967. The album was completed in 16 recording sessions at three London locations, including De Lane Lea Studios, CBS Studios, and Olympic Studios.

Released in the UK on May 12, 1967, Are You Experienced spent 33 weeks on the charts, peaking at number two. The album was issued in the US on August 23 by Reprise Records, where it reached number five on the US Billboard Top LPs, remaining on the chart for 106 weeks, 27 of those in the Top 40. The album also spent 70 weeks on the US Billboard Hot R&B LPs chart, where it peaked at number 10. The US version contained some of Hendrix’s best known songs, including the Experience’s first three singles, which, though omitted from the British edition of the LP, were top ten hits in the UK: “Purple Haze”, “Hey Joe”, and “The Wind Cries Mary”.

Track Listing:

Side one
No. Title Length
1. “Foxy Lady” 3:10
2. “Manic Depression” 3:31
3. “Red House” 3:45
4. “Can You See Me” 2:35
5. “Love or Confusion” 3:05
6. “I Don’t Live Today” 3:48

Side two
No. Title Length
1. “May This Be Love” 2:55
2. “Fire” 2:30
3. “3rd Stone from the Sun” 6:30
4. “Remember” 2:43
5. “Are You Experienced” 4:02

Total length: 38:34

AllMusic Review: One of the most stunning debuts in rock history, and one of the definitive albums of the psychedelic era. On Are You Experienced?, Jimi Hendrix synthesized various elements of the cutting edge of 1967 rock into music that sounded both futuristic and rooted in the best traditions of rock, blues, pop, and soul. It was his mind-boggling guitar work, of course, that got most of the ink, building upon the experiments of British innovators like Jeff Beck and Pete Townshend to chart new sonic territories in feedback, distortion, and sheer volume. It wouldn’t have meant much, however, without his excellent material, whether psychedelic frenzy (“Foxey Lady,” “Manic Depression,” “Purple Haze”), instrumental freak-out jams (“Third Stone from the Sun”), blues (“Red House,” “Hey Joe”), or tender, poetic compositions (“The Wind Cries Mary”) that demonstrated the breadth of his songwriting talents. Not to be underestimated were the contributions of drummer Mitch Mitchell and bassist Noel Redding, who gave the music a rhythmic pulse that fused parts of rock and improvised jazz. Many of these songs are among Hendrix’s very finest; it may be true that he would continue to develop at a rapid pace throughout the rest of his brief career, but he would never surpass his first LP in terms of consistently high quality. [The British and American versions of the album differed substantially when they were initially released in 1967; MCA’s 17-song reissue did everyone a favor by gathering all of the material from the two records in one place, adding a few B-sides from early singles as well — Bruce Eder

Schill Score: 10/10

Listen to Album on Spotify ‘