Jimi Hendrix Experience-Electric Ladyland pt1-Mitch Mitchell,biographer John McDermott

It does not take too much contemplation to figure out why 1968’s double album Electric Ladyland,  the third and, as it turned out, last Jimi Hendrix Experience album, is my favorite of the three. “A fever dream of underwater electric soul…” is how Rolling Stone editors describe the double album when ranking Electric Ladyland  at #55 on their Top 500 Albums of All Time. Hendrix’s return to the homeland security of New York City after living and recording Are You Experienced  and Axis: Bold As Love  in London is reflected in his embracing so many Afro-American musical touchstones on Electric Ladyland.

These very un-British touches include the falsetto background vocals of “Crosstown Traffic”, the rave up rhythm and blues of Earl King‘s “Come On pt 1”, the jazz of “Rainy Day Dream Away/ Still Raining, Still Dreaming” with Buddy Miles laying down an Elvin Jones-like groove, and the steamy hot  midnight blues of “Voodoo Chile” featuring the thunderous bass of Jefferson Airplane‘s Jack Casady, the soulful Hammond organ of Traffic’s Steve Winwood, and the wettest, widest lead guitar ever captured on tape courtesy of James Marshall Hendrix. Biographer and reissue producer John McDermott is featured along with one of the last interviews with dear sweet Experience drummer John “Mitch” Mitchell in the first of  our two-part In the Studio special on Electric Ladyland. –Redbeard