"Electric Ladyland", the third studio album of "The Jimi Hendrix Experience", was released on October 16, 1968.
This double album is the last from the amazing power trio "The Jimi Hendrix Experience" and is probably also the pinnacle of their work, so let's dive deep into this "electrifying" album and tell you 20 interesting facts about it:
1. This is the last studio album that Jimi Hendrix released during his lifetime.
2. This is the album that took Hendrix the longest time to record. It lasted over a year, a very long time in those times.
3. The album consisted of various sessions, recorded in several locations between July 1967 and August 1968.
4. This is the most successful album by the Power Trio and they're only to reach number one on the charts.
5. Contractual and legal issues had delayed the creation of the album and forced Jimi Hendrix to go on shows to fund the recordings.
6. This is also one of the reasons it is the only album that Hendrix produced with the help of his manager Chas Chandler.
7. Chas Chandler, Hendrix's manager and the one who discovered him, who also produced the album, left during the recordings. Chandler despaired of Hendrix's perfectionism and the dozens of takes he made during the recordings, including the song "Gypsy Eyes".
8. At the time of the recording the band started to disintegrate when, among others, bassist Noel Redding formed his own band in mid-1968 called "Fat Mattress".
9. The album features an immortal cover version of Bob Dylan's song "All Along the Watchtower", which first appeared on his 1967 album "John Wesley Harding". The song featured Brian Jones, a good friend of Hendrix from "The Rolling Stones", who played the percussion. The song also feat. Dave Mason of "Traffic" who played a 12-string guitar. Jones initially tried to play the piano as well but he was not good enough for the taste of Hendrix who did not want to offend him and just moved him to the percussion.
10. Following Hendrix's argument with Noel Redding during the recording of the song, the latter left the studio and Dave Mason took the bass in his place, but in the end, the bass role played in the final recording was performed by none other than Hendrix himself.
11. The song "All Along the Watchtower" became identified with the interpretation given to it by Jimi Hendrix and one of the top singles in 1968. Even Dylan himself thought Hendrix's version was better than his own.
12. Hendrix's version of the song received the "Grammy Hall of Fame" award in 2001, and was ranked 47th in "Rolling Stone" Magazine's 500 greatest songs of all time in 2004.
13. The one who served as a technician during the recording of the song was Tony Bongiovi's cousin of Jon Bon Jovi. He said that Hendrix was not happy with the results at first and slowly doubled the number of guitar tracks. He also used the Zippo lighter for the slide guitar sound in the recording.
14. Whitney Houston's mother who was Aretha Franklin's backing singer served as the backing vocalist on the song "Burning of the Midnight Lamp".
15. In the song "Crosstown Traffic" Hendrix uses the kind of "Kazoo" he made himself from a comb and cellophane paper. The sound created by the Kazoo was used to double the guitar channel. Dave Mason serves as the background vocalist. Hendrix also plays the piano.
16. During the recording of the jam track "Voodoo Chile", an "All-Star" team of artists participated, including Steve Winwood who was then in "Traffic" and bassist Jack Casady from "Jefferson Airplane".
17. Hendrix tried to recreate the atmosphere of the New York club "The Scene" on 46th Street, which he used to visit during the recording of the album. He entered the club after a performance of "Traffic" and invited a large number of musicians to the same famous jam session, including Jack Casady and Steve Winwood, as mentioned.
18. The song "Voodoo Child (Slight Return)" was written and recorded spontaneously. The day after the jam session, Hendrix, Reading, and Mitchell came to ABC-TV studios to record a documentary about the band. They were supposed to be filmed playing music. Hendrix took advantage of the breaks to teach the other two members a new song. They learned and recorded it on the spot after only three takes.
19. The two alternate covers of the album were not selected by Hendrix and were not acceptable to him. Hendrix wanted the album cover to include a photo taken by Linda Eastman (future McCartney), showing him and his band alongside children playing next to a statue of Alice in Wonderland located in New York's Central Park. Instead, the record company used a grainy photo of Hendrix from his performance at the Saville Theater in Blondes in 1967, while the British label used a provocative photo of 19 naked girls.
20. The album entered the 2003 list of the 100 greatest albums of "Q magazine" and also the list of the 500 greatest albums of all time by Rolling Stone magazine.