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As all that is solid melts to air and everything holy is profaned...

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Electric Ladyland/ Jimi Hendrix

How easy it is to forget. I really can't remember when I first went to Electric Ladyland. My family didn't have a record player until Christmas 1971. The first single I bought was T.Rex /Jeepster. The first album Meaty Beaty Big and Bouncy - a compilation of Who singles. Not sure what came next... but did get a Jimi Hendrix 'Are you Experienced/Axis: Bold as Love' as a double album.

Electric Ladyland came later, maybe 1974 and probably after I read about it as a 'classic' album in a music paper. And then it vanished. Did I loan it to someone who never gave it back? Or was it one of the records that got lost in the mix of musics that was 103 Grosvenor Avenue? Or...

Which ever, it is no longer in my vinyl collection and hasn't been for a long time now. I still have some other Hendrix, a compilation album plus Experienced/ Axis so when my daughter was looking for 'interesting music' I played her some Jimi - Third Stone from the Sun - and she loved it.

But she can't put vinyl on her mp3 player so we agreed to buy a cd of Are You Experienced. Which is when I remembered Electric Ladyland. So we bought a cd of it as well.

They came the other day.

I have an old cd player plugged into an even older music centre plugged into to four positively primeval loudspeakers (two proper ones and two big home made ones). Not sure how it does it, but the music centre amplifies the sound very well. Too well. Push the volume slider up more than a couple of notches and BOOM the house falls down.

So I put Electric Ladyland in the cd player and cautiously notched up the volume... And the Gods made Love... BOOM ...boom, boom... slowed down vocals, backwards guitars, a hissing slithering sound rocketing around the room jumping from speaker to speaker.

Expletive, expletive. I had forgotten this bit. and then -after Have you ever been (to electric ladyland) and Crosstown Traffic.... Voodoo Chile. The full, fifteen minute version...

Well, the night I was born
Lord I swear the moon turned a fire red
The night I was born
I swear the moon turned a fire red
Well my poor mother cried out lord, the gypsy was right!
And I seen her fell down right dead
(have mercy)

Well, mountain lions found me there waitin'
And set me on a eagles back
Well, mountain lions found me there,
And set me on a eagles wing
(its the eagles wing, baby, what did I say)
He took me past to the outskirts of infinity,
And when he brought me back,
He gave me a venus witchs ring

- just a sample-

Hell this is so good. Listening to it again as I write. He really was a genius.

You don't believe me? Then find the full version of Voodoo Chile and listen to it.


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