Electric Ladyland – the Jimi Hendrix Experience

Released October 16, 1968, this was the band’s third and final album. It peaked at #1 in the U.S. Initially it received poor reviews but has since been named one of the “greatest double-albums in Rock.” It is certified 2x Platinum in the U.S.

Jason: Holy crap, this was painful to listen to.

Brad: Really?

Jason: I hate 70’s acid-trip lyrics like: “Starfish, moonbeam, unicorn, cloud. Walrus, garden, spaceship, shroud.” I really couldn’t listen to the whole album in one sitting.

Brad: Hmmm…I’m not always in the mood for it but I like it. I got into Jimi in college. I think I started to listen to his albums after the soundtrack to the movie “Singles” came out and his song “May This Be Love” was on it. 

Jason: The nicest thing I can say is that it’s “not for Jasons.” I would really need to be in the mood for this. That being said there are a few songs I don’t mind. “Crosstown Traffic” is okay.

Brad: That one is my favorite on this album. I also LOVE Jimi’s version of “All Along the Watchtower”. It is one of those covers that is much better than the original version. Although, a lot of Bob Dylan covers are better than his originals.

Jason: Yes, well don’t get me started on Dylan. I agree about “All Along the Watchtower.” I don’t mind that song either. This is definitely an album that would benefit from taking mushrooms beforehand, I assume. 

Brad: I agree with that. I often feel like certain artists like Pink Floyd, Tame Impala and Jimi Hendrix would probably be better with substances.

Jason: What do you like about Jimi Hendrix or the Jimi Hendrix Experience? I don’t know the difference between the two.

Brad: Most people cite his guitar playing which I appreciate but I don’t always love extended guitar solos. So I think my favorite thing about Jimi is his voice and his vocal delivery. At times it almost sounds like rapping. Not sure how to describe it but he has such a cool sound to his voice.

Jason: He’s one of those artists that died at age 27 and he only had released 3 albums in a year and a half.

Brad: Yeah, sadly he is. I also found out from the album credits today that another “27 Club” member, Brian Jones of the Rolling Stones plays on this album. Also, I didn’t realize Steve Winwood played on this too. And Linda McCartney (Eastman at the time) shot the cover photo. 

Jason: Hendrix, Brian Jones, Joplin, and Morrison were all born in the same year (late ’42 to late ’43) and all died within a year of each other. What a crazy year for music. Also, 1942 seems so long ago to me.

Brad: Interesting, that is kind of like 2016 when David Bowie, Prince, George Micheal & Leonard Cohen all died. Luckily, all four of those did not die at the age 27 but still must have felt like the music world was losing everyone all of a sudden just like it did to me in 2016.

Jason:Yes, very sad. But I will say that for Hendrix’s music, his guitar playing is impressive if not excessive. “Voodoo Child” is like…12 minutes too long for me. Are you going to listen to his other albums?

Brad: I’ve already listened to all his original albums from that era and some of the live stuff. I have to be in the mood but I think it holds up pretty well and you can hear his influence on more recent artists. I’m a big fan of Lenny Kravitz and you can totally hear the influence on him. Slash is another that comes to mind.

Jason: Hendrix definitely influenced a lot of artists! He deserves to be on this list it’s just not my style. 

Brad: That’s understandable. What grade would you give this album?

Jason: Well, based on my enjoyment…C-

Brad: Harsh but I get it. My grade would be a solid B.

Jason: I will say that listening to Jimi Hendrix is definitely an experience.

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Below is the scratch-off artwork from the 100 Bucket List poster.