Key To Music Grades

A - You will never be whole without it
B - Highly recommended
C - Flawed, but still pretty good
D - It's your money, not mine
F - Why couldn't this have been burned in Fahrenheit 451?

Monday, July 7, 2008

The Jimi Hendrix Experience - Electric Ladyland (1968)

I remember very distinctly standing in the middle of the road of just about nowhere in complete darkness in some desertous region of Iraq on our way to Baghdad with my paranoid eyes hidden behind my Wiley X's and my weapon at-the-ready waiting for some potential human snuffing when, out of some perverse defensive mechanism, "1983...(A Merman I Should Turn To Be)" began playing with extreme prejudice in my head.

Nothing happened otherwise, and we continued on, but I'd figured I'd let you know.

Non-musical matters aside, this is an amazing album. The fractured majesty in "1983" continues to remain indelibly etched in my sonic consciousness. But one of the real strengths of this album is its musical flow. What I love is how it just ramps up on you -- this is not to say that the first track "...And The Gods Made Love" is weak, it's just that by the time Hendrix begins ripping through "Come On (Let The Good Times Roll)," if you haven't already fastened your seat-belt, you're fucking screwed. There is simply no room for whatever is otherwise. When Hendrix sings about chopping down the mountain with the edge of his hand, I believe him. The guitar swaggering is monumental, the psychedelic grooves flail at full tilt, the feedback shapeshifts like an embryo in chaos. Oh, I'm beside myself. Surely, if you aren't a Hendrix fan, or could care less for this album in particular, you can't possibly love the electric guitar -- which in my opinion remains the greatest testament of its usage by a man who played it better than anyone before or since. A


Metal Mark said...

No my favorite Hendrix album because that would be Axis:Bold as love. Yet the ideas coming from Hendrix's head and going through his fingers were just crazy. Almost every note could easily bring more than a whole albums of music most other guitarists. It wasn't about speed or rambling as too many virtuosos have foolishly believed. It's all about tones and emotions and Hendrix knew that from the get go.

The Mad Hatter said...

Axis is great, too. A different set of tones altogether, but still great. People say he was hitting his peak when he died and would have not been as good, but that's fucking bullshit. Every time I hear that I hear envy. Personally, if it took me a lifetime to play even half as well as Hendrix I would count myself fortunate.

Barbara(aka Layla) said...

For the record, I did see your H of the H review here a while back :)

I am glad you gave this an A. I could use some Hendrix right now.