TVD Vinyl Giveaway: Jimi Hendrix, Electric Ladyland Deluxe Edition—and Joe Satriani has TVD’s exclusive first look at the release

You’d be forgiven wondering just what was in the water 50 years ago given the spate of 50th anniversary box sets and reissues coming our way of late. From The Beach Boy’ Pet Sounds, The Beatles’ catalog, The Moody Blues, Elvis’ ‘68 Comeback Special—all have or will be landing in your local record shops shortly. Now you can add this milestone to that esteemed list: The Jimi Hendrix Experience: Electric Ladyland – 50th Anniversary Deluxe Edition LP Box Set. And as the headline above attests, we have a copy of the vinyl box set to award one of you. First however some official background on the release and an exclusive to TVD first look at the stunning box set with Mr. Joe Satriani.

“In celebration of the 50th anniversary of the release of the Jimi Hendrix Experience masterpiece Electric Ladyland, Experience Hendrix, L.L.C. and Legacy Recordings, the catalog division of Sony Music Entertainment, are releasing the Deluxe Edition box set on November 9. Available as either a 3CD/1 Blu-ray set or a 6LP/1 Blu-ray set, both packages include 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. Also included is Electric Ladyland: The Early Takes, which presents demos and studio outtakes from this period in Hendrix’s career, plus a new 5.1 surround sound mix of the entire original album by Hendrix’s original engineer Eddie Kramer. This marks the first and only time this has been done with a Hendrix studio album, and gives listeners the original stereo mixes in uncompressed 24 bit/96 kz high resolution audio.

Jimi Hendrix Experience: Live At the Hollywood Bowl 9/14/68, part of Experience Hendrix’s Dagger Records official bootleg series, is another exclusive component. The never before released recording captures the band and the mounting excitement that took place just weeks before the release of Electric Ladyland. The Blu-ray also includes the acclaimed, feature-length documentary At Last… The Beginning: The Making of Electric Ladyland. Lastly, Electric Ladyland Deluxe Edition 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.

“I had always dreamed of mixing Electric Ladyland in 5.1 surround sound,” says Eddie Kramer, who engineered every Hendrix album made during his life, and produced or co-produced nearly all of his posthumous material. “It always felt to me as the perfect vehicle for the kind of adventuresome stuff that Jimi and I were trying to do in 1968. The visceral thrill when we completed the first surround mix of ‘Voodoo Child (Slight Return)’ was palpable. It was an overwhelming experience—pun intended. We viewed this song as the surround test and the moment I heard it I flashed back on those moments when Jimi and I were mixing the stereo album, laughing at our attempts to find that ‘elusive’ sound.” The Blu-ray for Electric Ladyland Deluxe Edition will contain these 5.1 surround sound mixes – a first for any studio album in the Hendrix canon.

The new cover art – a Linda (McCartney) Eastman photograph of the band and children at the statue of Alice In Wonderland in New York’s Central Park – was Hendrix’s own choice of imagery for the album’s cover image. The shot was relegated to the inside of the U.S. version on Reprise Records, printed in black and white. The UK version of the album released by Track Records didn’t include the photo at all, and instead featured a gatefold photo of 19 naked women, which Hendrix famously abhorred. For the first time ever, the Linda Eastman photo, in full color, will grace the cover of Electric Ladyland, true to Jimi Hendrix’s original vision.

The third album by the Jimi Hendrix Experience, Electric Ladyland was the last Hendrix studio album to have been released during the guitar icon’s lifetime and reflects his meticulous involvement in every facet of its creation. In his essay, included in the full color 12” x 12” book that comes with the set, veteran Rolling Stone contributor David Fricke contends, “Electric Ladyland is the guitarist at a visceral, pictorial peak in his playing and his exploration of the recording studio as an instrument of composition and narrative.”

Originally released on October 16, 1968, Electric Ladyland is the source of such legendary Hendrix tracks as “All Along The Watchtower,” “Voodoo Child (Slight Return),” “Crosstown Traffic,” and “Burning of the Midnight Lamp.” It is commonly acknowledged by Hendrix cognoscenti as the most fully realized, cohesive project of his entire career. The only Hendrix album to have hit #1 on the Billboard charts, it is, indisputably, the crowning achievement of The Jimi Hendrix Experience and underscored Hendrix’s abilities as singer, songwriter, guitarist, and producer. It remains his most popular selling album outside the U.S., outpacing the guitarist’s groundbreaking debut LP Are You Experienced.

Notable for being the first album produced and directed by Jimi Hendrix, Electric Ladyland was largely recorded after Hendrix split from Chas Chandler – the former member of the Animals who found Hendrix in New York and brought him to the UK, co-managing his career and producing the first two Experience albums. There is also the introduction of outside players, namely Steve Winwood, Chris Wood, and Dave Mason of Traffic, Jack Casady of Jefferson Airplane (bass on “Voodoo Chile”), and Hendrix’s own future Band of Gypsys band mate Buddy Miles (drums on “Rainy Day, Dream Away” and “Still Raining, Still Dreaming”). As a result of the growing tension between Hendrix and Experience bassist Noel Redding (who parted ways the following year), Hendrix took it upon himself to play bass on most of the songs, including the cover of Bob Dylan’s “All Along the Watchtower,” the only Jimi Hendrix Experience single to reach Billboard’s top 20. Widely considered one of the greatest interpretations ever recorded, Dylan professed in 1995 that Hendrix “found things that other people wouldn’t think of finding in there. He probably improved upon it by the spaces he was using.” By 1974, Dylan demonstrated the ultimate show of respect when he began using Hendrix’s template to perform his own song.

Electric Ladyland: The Early Takes consists of demos for song ideas Hendrix recorded himself on a Teac reel-to-reel tape machine in early 1968, as well as early sessions at Sound Center and the Record Plant in New York. Previously unreleased versions of “Angel Caterina” and “Little Miss Strange” feature guest appearances from Buddy Miles and Stephen Stills. “Long Hot Summer” features Hendrix and Mitch Mitchell with Al Kooper on piano, and “At Last . . . the Beginning” is an early version of what would become “…And the Gods Made Love.” Jimi’s demos, recorded in March 1968 while he resided at the Drake Hotel in Manhattan included formative renditions of such classic songs as “Voodoo Chile” and “Gypsy Eyes,” as well as fascinating sketches of songs such as “Angel” and “My Friend” which, despite their quality, did not make the album.

Electric Ladyland Deluxe Edition includes the previously unreleased live album Jimi Hendrix Experience: Live At the Hollywood Bowl 9/14/68, part of Experience Hendrix’s official ‘bootleg’ series. This live album documents their triumphant Los Angeles concert held a few weeks before Electric Ladyland was released. The recently discovered two-track soundboard recording captures the energy that had the audience in such a frenzy that many concert goers jumped into the reflecting pool that separated the bandstand from the seats. Live At the Hollywood Bowl 9/14/68 includes selections from all three Experience albums, as well as a cover of Cream’s smash hit “Sunshine of Your Love.” The accompanying book is filled with unpublished photos that follow the band at the Bowl, from afternoon rehearsal, to backstage to the performance itself.

At Last… The Beginning: The Making of Electric Ladyland documents the creation of the legendary double album. Some of Jimi’s closest associates are seen on screen discussing their first-hand recollections of Hendrix and the project including JHE bassist Noel Redding, drummer Mitch Mitchell, manager Chas Chandler; Buddy Miles, Jack Casady, Steve Winwood, Dave Mason and others who participated in the Electric Ladyland sessions. One of the highlights of the program includes demonstrations by Eddie Kramer, who discusses the techniques Hendrix, Mitchell, and Redding employed in recording the album, playing some of the original multitrack tapes to illustrate the process. At Last… The Beginning: The Making of Electric Ladyland is the definitive telling of the story.

The accompanying 48-page full-color book contains essays by music critic David Fricke and producer John McDermott. It is filled with detailed recording information and unpublished photos, including many taken by Eddie Kramer during the recording of the album. Fans get a rare look at Hendrix’s handwritten lyrics and instructions to his label Warner Bros. for the album, drawn from his personal notebook, as well as original Warner Bros. internal memos and alternate artwork for the album.”

Enter to win The Jimi Hendrix Experience: Electric Ladyland – 50th Anniversary Deluxe Edition LP Box Set by simply citing in the comments below, briefly, what this landmark LP has meant to you over the years. Well choose one experienced entrant with a North American mailing address as our winner one week from today, Monday, November 12, 2018. Our winner will be notified directly via email.

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  • Todd N

    For me, my intro to Hendrix was the “Smash Hits” Lp when
    I was 13 back in 1980. Included in that were the fantastic
    “All Along the Watchtower” and “Crosstown Traffic”(Jimi on piano!) from “Electric Ladyland”

    I think Hendrix had said to Eddie Kramer during the
    making of the Lp that he wanted some things to sound like they were recorded “underwater”. With the limited effects available at the time , Kramer succeeded. Some of the guitar sounds and use of panning on the album sound like
    something from outerSpace!

    Ironically , it was the late great Stevie Ray Vaughn that
    sent me back to the “Electric Ladyland”album . His excellent covers of “Voodoo Chile” and “Come On”, made me curious to hear the originals .
    “Voodoo Chile” is a tour de force that has the haunting quality of the turmoil of the era; comparable to the Stones “Gimme Shelter”.

    For me, the album is one of the blueprints of
    experimental hard rock I return to again and again.
    Amazing that it is an album always being discovered by
    new generations who undoubtably have their minds blown upon first listen!

  • Ronald Oliver

    This Jimi Hendrix LP (as well as his others) had inspired me to want to learn to play the electric guitar when I heard it for the first time when I was 6 years old. And I’ve been playing the guitar ever since. A very special thanks to the late, great, Jimi Hendrix, after all these years, I now have some experience behind me. And so I look forward to reaching new musical heights with each passing year!

  • Dave Polak

    Back in the late 1980s when I was in high school and CDs were new I was discovering a lot of new music. A friend made me a tape of Electric Ladyland and I’ve been hooked on Hendrix ever since. I have one of the many remasterings of this on CD, but my old used LP still sounds the best. My testes have expanded and matured, but I still go back to this record and other Hendrix albums. This is a true classic.

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