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Ghost Canyon

Title - Electric Ladyland: 50th Anniversary Deluxe Edition
Artist - The Jimi Hendrix Experience

In celebration of the 50th anniversary of the release of The Jimi Hendrix Experience masterpiece Electric Ladyland, Experience Hendrix and Legacy Recordings present a special, and OMG, a rather wondrous and heavenly Deluxe Edition box-set.

Spread across 6 150 gram vinyl LPs in 3 gatefold jackets, and also inclusive of a rather nice Blu-ray, Electric Ladyland: 50th Anniversary Edition is as complete now as it ever has been.

Up first is the original double album, now newly remastered by Bernie Grundman from the original analog tapes.

For the LP set, Grundman prepared an all analog direct to disc vinyl transfer of the album, preserving the authenticity.

Side A:
1. '...And the Gods Made Love'
2. 'Have You Ever Been (To Electric Ladyland)'
3. 'Crosstown Traffic'
4. 'Voodoo Chile'

Side B:
1. 'Little Miss Strange'
2. 'Long Hot Summer Night'
3. 'Come On (Let the Good Times Roll)'
4. 'Gypsy Eyes'
5. 'Burning of the Midnight Lamp'

Side C:
1. 'Rainy Day, Dream Away'
2. '1983...(A Merman I Should Turn to Be)'
3. 'Moon, Turn the Tides...Gently Gently Away'

Side D:
1. 'Still Raining, Still Dreaming'
2. 'House Burning Down'
3. 'All Along the Watchtower'
4. 'Voodoo Child (Slight Return)'

Back in the day, this was my first real Hendrix album ... and yes I have it on vinyl with the naked women adorning it! This is Hendrix branching out and trying new ideas, moving away from the conventional and into new territory.

Sure, and as expected, there are moments of weirdness ('... And The Gods Made Love'), but unlike those who suggest 'Come On (Let the Good Times Roll)' was mere filler, I vehemently disagree.

Indeed, far from it for Jimi highly impresses with some rather brilliant and blatantly raw guitar work; letting rip with a sensational lick that still sends shivers down my spine when I list to it.

It should also be noted that it's a damn catchy song, complete with some wondrous guitar work as only Jimi could provide. Showcasing the skills of Jimi fantastically, it's as far removed from so-called filler as you could ever imagine.

The well-known songs such as 'Crosstown Traffic' (catchy, upbeat with a fast tempo) and 'Voodoo Child (Slight Return)' - which this box-set now also includes the original, longer version, thankfully - both still impress, of course.

But when you hear the Bob Dylan cover of 'All Along The Watchtower,' well, as you all well know, Jimi makes it his own and stamps his unique style all over it (even to this very day, I far prefer the Hendrix cover to the original).

'Gypsy Eyes' is also another impressive song (complete with those wah-wah moments), and it would be all too easy to overlook the excellent 'House Burning Down' also.

Wonderful, edgy, fast: , and complete with some wicked, and cracking drum work by Mitch Mitchell, Jimi and his vocal style come to the fore in style, that's for sure. Indeed, to my mind, it's definitely a memorable and gritty song that I personally adore.

Of course, with all those noted moments of magic, some madness (or strangeness, shall we say) does creep in, but, for the most part, most of the songs still hold up well. In fact, listening to them all again on this excellent new vinyl box-set, some are still as fresh today as they were back in '68.

It's often commented on that the audio quality of most Hendrix recordings is rather unrefined and raw and as much as the same applies here (though that's what you want to hear on the earlier versions, outtakes and demos, of course), now newly remastered by Bernie Grundman from the original analog tapes, these vinyl LPs sound INCREDIBLE; whilst also preserving the authenticity of the original sound.

Anyway, as is often the case with Jimi (and of Marc Bolan and T.Rex), due to their left-of-center lyrical appeal and musical sounds, you'll love some songs and let others pass you by. A great starting point for newer Hendrix listeners and overall a very worthy album, Electric Ladyland is my go-to for all-things Hendrix; and I hope it might now be yours too.

The third and fourth albums are entitled "Electric Ladyland: The Early Takes", which presents 20 never-before-heard demos and studio outtakes.

Included are incredibly intimate demos for song ideas Hendrix recorded himself on a reel-to-reel tape at the Drake Hotel, as well as early recording session takes featuring guest appearances from Buddy Miles, Stephen Stills and Al Kooper.

Side A:
1. '1983...(A Merman I Should Turn to Be)'
2. 'Voodoo Chile'
3. 'Cherokee Mist'
4. 'Hear My Train a Comin''

Side B:
1. 'Angel'
2. 'Gypsy Eyes'
3. 'Somewhere'
4. 'Long Hot Summer Night'
5. 'Long Hot Summer Night'
6. 'Long Hot Summer Night'
7. 'Snowballs at My Window'
8. 'My Friend'

Side C:
1. 'At Last...The Beginning'
2. 'Angel Caterina (1983)'
3. 'Little Miss Strange'
4. 'Long Hot Summer Night'
5. 'Long Hot Summer Night'

Side D:
1. 'Rainy Day, Dream Away'
2. 'Rainy Day Shuffle'
3. '1983...(A Merman I Should Turn to Be)'

Casting an eye over these early takes and early demos and from the off, something like '1983...(A Merman I Should Turn to Be)' simply comes across as Jimi sat on his sofa, mellowed out, strumming, and finding words from the air to complete the lyrics. Which, trust me, I love, but does it need to be nearly 8 minutes long? Probably not.

The brilliant, albeit 10 minute long 'Voodoo Chile' may well feature a lot of humming from Jimi, but in the midst of it, you can definitely hear the moments when certain aspects of it came together for him. The acoustic guitar strumming of 'My Friend' is a gem to behold, as is the all out jam fest found on 'Rainy Day, Dream Away.'

The fifth and sixth albums are entitled "Jimi Hendrix Experience: Live At the Hollywood Bowl 9/14/68", and are a part of Experience Hendrix's Dagger Records official bootleg series.

The recently unearthed soundboard recording captures the band and the mounting excitement that took place just weeks before the release of the Electric Ladyland album.

Side A:
1. 'Introduction'
2. 'Are You Experienced?'
3. 'Voodoo Child (Slight Return)'

Side B:
1. 'Red House'
2. 'Foxey Lady'
3. 'Fire'

Side C:
1. 'Hey Joe'
2. 'Sunshine of Your Love'
3. 'I Don't Live Today'

Side D:
1. 'Little Wing'
2. 'Star Spangled Banner'
3. 'Purple Haze'

What's most interesting to me, listening to this live set is that after the announcer's 'Introduction' ("Ladies and Gentleman, the group that you've been waiting for. We're very proud and privileged to present them at the Hollywood Bowl. Mitch Mitchell, Noel Redding, Jimi Hendrix ... The Jimi Hendrix Experience"), it's actually Noel who steps to the mic to give the listener a visual reveal.

"Hello, it's very nice to be back, yeah. Just hold on for a few minutes 'cause we have to get our equipment together and tune up and things, all right."

Jimi himself then steps, somewhat sheepishly, to the mic. "How' ya'll doing you ok? Dig, whatever you see is happening now is part of the show. Nothing is rehearsed, as you can tell. We might be tuning up between every single song, 'cause we really care for your ears. Which is why we don't play so loud," he adds.

"And ya'll with ties, I think you should loosen up your tie. Take off your wig or whatever you've got on and just get into it man. It's a relaxing thing, 'cause I'm scared as hell," he gently laughs, backing away from the mic.

This near four minute intro (which continues on in much the same vein) then ends with what Hendrix himself terms as "... the call of the Black Panther" and then, once past the fuzzy, meshing guitars, comes a ten minute 'Are You Experienced?' which is backed seamlessly by a blistering 8 minute 'Voodoo Child (Slight Return).'

They slow the pace down for the 12 minute beauty 'Red House' (supposedly recorded in 1793, according to Jimi's intro), and that's followed by a three minute 'Foxy Lady' ("This is dedicated to somebody' girlfriend and also a girl called Carmen"), and then a less-than-two minute rendition of 'Fire.'

The second LP slows the pace somewhat with 'Hey Joe' (or as Jimi introduces it, "Hey Josephine"), and then backs that up with a stunning seven minute 'Sunshine Of Your Love,' and then a drumtastic 'I Don't Live Today.'

The last side of this two-LP set brings us a beautiful 'Little Wing' (wow, that guitar work gets me every single time), even if it breaks down early on for a minute; with Noel giving out an electrical-stage, crushed-forward public warning.

In what Jimi claims to be the last song in 'Star Spangled Banner,' the actual real show ending treat is the massive showstopper 'Purple Haze.'

The Blu-ray includes the acclaimed full-length documentary "At Last… The Beginning: The Making of Electric Ladyland" plus a new 5.1 surround sound mix of the entire original album by Hendrix’s original engineer Eddie Kramer; plus the original stereo mixes in uncompressed 24 bit/96 kz high resolution audio.

1. Prologue 2. Burning of the Midnight Lamp 3. ...And the Gods Made Love 4. All Along the Watchtower 5. Rainy Day, Dream Away 6. Still Raining, Still Dreaming 7. Voodoo Chile 8. Crosstown Traffic 9. Voodoo Child (Slight Return) 10. Little Miss Strange 11. Gypsy Eyes 12. South Saturn Delta 13. House Burning Down 14. 1983...(A Merman I Should Turn to Be) 15. Long Hot Summer Night 16. Have You Ever Been (To Electric Ladyland) 17. Epilogue 18. ...And the Gods Made Love 19. Have You Ever Been (To Electric Ladyland) 20. Crosstown Traffic 21. Voodoo Chile 22. Little Miss Strange 23. Long Hot Summer Night 24. Come On (Let the Good Times Roll) 25. Gypsy Eyes 26. Burning of the Midnight Lamp 27. Rainy Day, Dream Away 28. 1983...(A Merman I Should Turn to Be) 29. Moon, Turn the Tides...Gently Gently Away 30. Still Raining, Still Dreaming 31. House Burning Down 32. All Along the Watchtower 33. Voodoo Child (Slight Return)'

This INCREDIBLE Electric Ladyland: 50th Anniversary Deluxe Edition Box-Set includes a full color, 48-page book containing Jimi’s handwritten lyrics, poem and instructions to his record label, as well as never before published photos from the recording sessions that were shot by Eddie Kramer himself.

All contained in a luxe casemade lift top box with new cover art, which is true to Hendrix’s original vision of the album’s cover, the Linda (McCartney) Eastman photograph of the band and children at the statue of Alice In Wonderland in New York’s Central Park is as iconic now as it fast became back then.

'Electric Ladyland: 50th Anniversary Edition' Box-Set Purchase Link