Review #53: Electric Ladyland, Jimi Hendrix

Karla Clifton
3 min readMar 13, 2021

#53: Electric Ladyland, Jimi Hendrix

I woke up at 4 a.m., made a cup of coffee in the hotel room coffee machine, and hopped back into my car. Another familiar scene by now: Me, bleary-eyed, firing up Spotify in the dark, pulling back onto the highway.

But nothing made me feel quite like the road warrior I became when I listened to Jimi Hendrix.

This is the first album Hendrix produced himself, and it’s also his last album. Maybe it was just the context — I listened to the Are You Experienced on my iPhone while sitting on my bed, and I blasted this one in my car while driving sixty miles-per-hour on a darkened highway through a strange state. But still. It felt like I was listening to a really sophisticated grunge album, somehow.

FAVORITE SONGS:

“… And the Gods Made Love” — Wow, this is unsettling. I hope these are all guitar sounds!

“Have You Ever Been (To Electric Ladyland)” — The RS blurb says this album has “underwater electric soul,” which is the perfect way to describe it. I felt like I was literally floating in the ocean. Also, for some reason, this reminded me of that South Park episode with the cat pee hallucination. (Yes, I know that episode uses “Heavy Metal” by Don Felder and “Heavy Metal” by Sammy Hagar, but I feel like that scene was written with the spirit of this song in mind.)

“Voodoo Chile” — Like a way cooler version of “Highway Chile.”

“Long Hot Summer Night” — Oh my gosh, I love all of these songs,

“Come On (Let the Good Times Roll)” — Aw yeah, I love the stopping and starting.

“Gypsy Eyes” — The guitar effect on this one is just sick.

“Rainy Day, Dream Away” — Love this saxophone-electric guitar duet.

“1983 … A Merman I Should Turn to Be” — The lyrics to this are super trippy — it describes Jimi Hendrix and his girlfriend going into the ocean so they can literally turn into mermaids because they’re depressed at the state of the world. I vastly prefer psychedelic shit like this to some of the more typical rocker fare on Are You Experienced.

“Moon, Turn the Tides … Gently Gently Away” — Love all these ellipses and wordy titles. It’s so literary.

“Still Raining, Still Dreaming” — A sequel song!

“House Burning Down” — Hell yes. I just love every single one of these.

“All Along The Watchtower” — Amazing, superb, perfect, timeless reimagining of a vomitific Bob Dylan song. (Apologies, as usual, to Bob Dylan.) Did you know he started playing the song the way Hendrix did? How humbling that must have been.

“Voodoo Child (Slight Return)” — Love me a good reprise!

LEAST FAVORITE SONGS:

None.

IS RS FULL OF IT?

Of course not. Long live Jimi Hendrix.

Review #52: Station to Station, David Bowie

Review #54: Star Time, James Brown

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