The Jimi Hen­drix Ex­pe­ri­ence

Elec­tric La­dy­land 50th An­niver­sary Deluxe Edi­tion Sony Sem­i­nal mas­ter­piece gets de­served bells, whis­tles and pack­age.

Classic Rock - - The Hard Stuff Reissues - Kris needs

Elec­tric La­dy­land was the most com­plete man­i­fes­ta­tion of Hen­drix’s strato­spheric but be­lea­guered vi­sions to be re­alised while he was still alive. Too ex­pan­sive for a sin­gle disc af­ter ex­plor­ing 12-track record­ing, the al­bum pre­sented Jimi’s past (R&B ti­tle bal­lad, Come On), present (Crosstown Traf­fic, House Burn­ing Down) and fu­ture (epic sound paint­ing 1983), while the blues re­mained his time­less back­bone on Gypsy Eyes, heav­ing delta jam Voodoo Chile and its sear­ing Slight Re­turn off­spring. Throw in All Along The Watch­tower and the al­bum stands as a ca­reer peak and an era clas­sic.

The guardians of Jimi’s legacy knew they had to amp up pre­vi­ous reis­sues to mark its half cen­tury, and they have. This Deluxe Edi­tion presents the newly re­mas­tered orig­i­nal (with Cen­tral Park cover photo Hen­drix wanted be­fore la­bel Track in­sisted on green-tinged naked ladies), along with bootleg-fa­mil­iar de­mos that still of­fer some­thing new to the le­gal mar­ket­place. Th­ese March ’68 solo sketches Jimi recorded on his reel-to-reel at Man­hat­tan’s Drake Ho­tel (joined by early stu­dio so­journs) in­clude tracks that didn’t make the al­bum (An­gel, Chero­kee Mist) and ones that did (Voodoo Chile, 1983, Long Hot Sum­mer Night and Rainy Day, Dream Away).

Then there’s Septem­ber 1968’s Hol­ly­wood Bowl at which fans in­vaded the stage-front pond, tan­gi­ble may­hem draw­ing a good-na­tured but in­flam­ma­tory per­for­mance against threats to cut the power (Jimi mind-blow­ing on I Don’t Live To­day and Star Span­gled Ban­ner/Pur­ple Haze).

The Blu-ray disc con­tains the in­sight­ful 1997 TV doc­u­men­tary At Last The Be­gin­ning… The Mak­ing Of Elec­tric La­dy­land, Ed­die Kramer’s 5.1 sur­round-sound mix and an­other in hi-res stereo. The ful­some book presents Jimi’s hand­writ­ten lyrics, David Fricke’s spot-on notes, and fab pics.

“I don’t con­sider my­self a suc­cess. I haven’t even started yet,” Jimi de­clared in an in­ter­view. Maybe not the sonic gal­ax­ies glimpsed through his men­tal te­le­scope, but he had opened the gate to un­charted mu­si­cal realms glimpsed on his first two al­bums. Jimi spent the next two years ex­plor­ing new pos­si­bil­i­ties in this world be­fore be­ing taken far too early to the next.

Ex­pe­ri­ence Hen­drix have done him proud with this reis­sue. Take it as his ul­ti­mate mon­u­ment.

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