Release of The Jimi Hendrix Experience, Electric Ladyland
Release: Oct. 16
Jimi Hendrix radiated genius from the get-go with Are You Experienced? and Axis Bold As Love, his first two albums with the Experience in 1967. On Electric Ladyland, he took that extraordinary innovation into entirely new realms that were difficult to define then and remain so now. The trio, with its British rhythm section and American frontman, was perfectly suited to their era, and with a supporting cast that included Traffic’s Steve Winwood, Dave Mason and Chris Wood, as well as drummer Buddy Miles and Jefferson Airplane bassist Jack Casady, Ladyland redefined the concept of modern rock within a progressive posture. The album boasts everything that Hendrix (who produced it) did well: slinky psych-soul (“Burning of the Midnight Lamp,” the title track), explosive electric blues (“Voodoo Chile”), melodic pop (“Crosstown Traffic,” “Long Hot Summer Night”) and tripped-out sonic explorations that take the listener under the sea (“1983… A Merman I Should Turn to Be”) and into the heavens (“And the Gods Made Love”). His version of Dylan’s “All Along the Watchtower” showcased his ability to put an indelible mark on any popular music of the day, making it little wonder that even now, half a century later, the final studio effort recorded in Hendrix’s lifetime continues to set an almost unattainably high bar.