Happy Birthday Jimi Hendrix: ‘Electric Ladyland’ At 50

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Guitarist Jimi Hendrix entered the world on this date in 1942. An influential legacy like no other, Hendrix’s short but profound career, cut short at age 27, showcased an unparalleled talent that to this day evokes dumbfounded reactions at his sheer skill and mastery of the guitar. Every discussion, all-time list or other comparisons of the greatest guitarists inevitably consider Jimi at, or near, the top.

This year marked the 50th anniversary of the release of the Jimi Hendrix Experience’s acclaimed 1968 album Electric Ladyland. Produced by Hendrix and featuring bassist Noel Redding and drummer Mitch Mitchell, the album served as the final of the three LPs issued by the trio. Among the other contributing musicians were Jefferson Airplane’s Jack Casady, Traffic’s Dave Mason, Steve Winwood and Chris Wood, The Rolling Stones’ Brian Jones, as well as Al Kooper, Buddy Miles and others.

Hendrix followed Electric Ladyland with the live album Band Of Gypsys months before his untimely death on September 18, 1970. Earlier this month, a remastered deluxe edition of Electric Ladyland was issued featuring 20 previously unreleased demos and studio outtakes. The box set also includes the documentary At Last… The Beginning: The Making of Electric Ladyland, a previously unreleased live recording of the Jimi Hendrix Experience in September 1968 and more. The reissue comes with “Hendrix’s original vision of the album’s cover: a Linda (McCartney) Eastman photograph of the band and children at the statue of Alice In Wonderland in New York’s Central Park” (seen above).

A six-song sampler featuring demos of Electric Ladyland tracks “1983…(A Merman I Should Turn to Be),” “Voodoo Chile,” “My Friend,” “At Last…The Beginning,” “Long Hot Summer Night (Take 14)” and “Rainy Day, Dream Away” was made available to stream. Check out those demos (and the album itself) below: