Joined: 20 Dec 2005
|Posted: Wed Feb 25, 2009 1:23 pm Post subject: Electric Ladyland: 40th Anniversary Collector's Edition
|Review from Montreal Times.( No news on Albert Hall but anyone gots this
yet? Any good?)
he Jimi Hendrix Experience
Electric Ladyland: 40th Anniversary Collector's Edition
Experience Hendrix/ Universal
Now here's what you want in a double-disc archival release: a pristine remaster of a classic album --- minus the marginally-interesting demos and alternate mixes --- with a DVD documentary to give context.
The merits of Electric Ladyland, arguably Jimi Hendrix's finest recording, need not be rehashed. It still bursts out of the speakers with a sense of adventure and musicianship that, after more than 40 years, remains as exciting as it was the day it was released. What makes the new edition a must-have is At Last ... The Beginning: The Making of Electric Ladyland, an 87-minute DVD retrospective that deconstructs, analyzes, and explains the history behind the album.
The video component is essentially an expanded version of the Classic Albums installment on the double LP that turned out to be Hendrix's last with the Experience. The original documentary was produced in 1997 – which means that bassist NoelRedding , drummer Mitch Mitchell, producer and manager Chas Chandler and drummer Buddy Miles were all still alive to offer their recollections about the recording on camera.
Their stories, all demonstrating that a restless Hendrix was in the process of leaving the Experience behind and moving into new musical territories, are fascinating. But it's the moments with engineer Eddie Kramer behind the boards that really show both the meticulous hard work and the mad, unhinged inspiration that led to the creation of the Hendrix masterpiece. Isolating the different tracks from just about every song, Kramer is able to let us hear such buried treasures as the comb and cellophane paper Hendrix used for that odd kazoo sound on Crosstown Traffic, the four guitars playing in unison on Gypsy Eyes, Hendrix's triple-tracked background vocals on Have You Ever Been (To ElectricLadyland) and the wah-wah electric sitar on 1983 ... (A Merman I Should Turn To Be).
Kramer also exhumes such esoterica as an abandoned piano track on All Along the Watchtower, played by Rolling Stone guitarist Brian Jones, as well as acoustic demos of both 1983 and Long Hot Summer Night. Elsewhere, organist MikeFinnigan sits at his instrument to explain the funky vamping that propels Rainy Day, Dream Away and bassist Jack Casady jams with Hendrix's Voodoo Chile guitar track, remembering the original session. Steve Winwood also adds some memories. Unseen photos, home movies and a video of Burning of the Midnight Lamp add plenty of colour.
If you already had a sense of Hendrix's rarely-matched creativity, this documentary will give you many more reasons to believe.
--- Bernard Perusse ---