- Side three won our shootout, earning a Triple Plus (A+++) grade – Rainy Day, Dream Away; 1983… (A Merman I Should Turn to Be) and Moon, Turn the Tides… all sound amazing
- Side one earned a nearly Triple Plus (A++ to A+++) grade, with killer sound for those four tracks including Crosstown Traffic and Voodoo Chile
- Probably the best-recorded of Hendrix’s studio albums – huge studio space and Tubey Magical richness are key to the shootout winners
- 5 stars: “Jimi Hendrix’s third and final album with the original Experience found him taking his funk and psychedelic sounds to the absolute limit. The result was not only one of the best rock albums of the era, but also Hendrix’s original musical vision at its absolute apex.”
We’ve played a lot of copies of this sprawling, psychedelic masterpiece but rarely have heard one that puts it all together better than this one does.
Some of Jimi’s best songs can be found here, including Crosstown Traffic, Voodoo Child (Slight Return) and his incendiary cover of Dylan’s All Along The Watchtower. All four sides have truly killer sound, big and full-bodied with a MUCH better low end than you’ll find on most. You get enough energy and weight to make the rock songs really ROCK, and enough clarity and transparency to bring out the more spacey, psychedelic elements that Jimi and Eddie Kramer worked so hard on.
That Psychedelic Hendrix Sound
Ready to go on a trip? You’ve come to the right place. While the sound is not Demo Quality on every track, the acid-drenched soundscapes created by Jimi and producer Eddie Kramer are certainly going to be exciting to the kind of audiophile who still digs Classic Rock. Unfortunately, most copies are missing a lot of the magic — the space, the tubes, the ambience, the size, the weight.
What amazing sides such as these have to offer is not hard to hear:
- The biggest, most immediate staging in the largest acoustic space
- The most Tubey Magic, without which you have almost nothing. CDs give you clean and clear. Only the best vintage vinyl pressings offer the kind of Tubey Magic that was on the tapes in 1968
- Tight, note-like, rich, full-bodied bass, with the correct amount of weight down low
- Natural tonality in the midrange — with all the instruments (and effects!) having the correct timbre
- Transparency and resolution, critical to hearing into the three-dimensional studio space
- No doubt there’s more but we hope that should do for now. Playing the record is the only way to hear all of the above
Those Double Album Blues
You’ve heard us say it before but it certainly bears repeating — double albums are ALWAYS tough nuts to crack. Double albums are notoriously stuffed with odds and ends that just aren’t recorded as well as the more essential material. (Side four of The White Album comes to mind.) Not only that, but shootouts for double albums require a whole lot of labor on our end. It’s a whole lot of work to clean up and shoot out all four sides of a record like this!
We dropped the needle on so many dull, smeary, lifeless copies years ago that at one point we thought Electric Ladyland might be a lost cause. Thankfully we ran into a few copies that managed to go far beyond the mediocre sound that was turning us off. When you play a song like Rainy Day Dream Away on a serious pressing like this, you best buckle you seat belt. You’re about to go on a crazy ride!
And the Gods Made Love
Have You Ever Been (To Electric Ladyland)
Little Miss Strange
Long Hot Summer Night
Come On, Pt. 1
Burning of the Midnight Lamp
Rainy Day, Dream Away
1983… (A Merman I Should Turn to Be)
Moon, Turn the Tides…Gently Gently Away
Still Raining, Still Dreaming
House Burning Down
All Along the Watchtower
Voodoo Child (Slight Return)