At Last...The Beginning: The Making of Electric Ladyland
"Jimi Hendrix "

Universal Music Enterprises

Blues Wax 9
Reader Rating 8

New Updates For This Forty-Year-Old Classic, (02/25/09 )

The fortieth anniversary release of At Last...The Beginning: The Making of Electric Ladyland updates and freshly documents the creation of Jimi Hendrix' futuristic 1968 double-LP classic. Over forty minutes of additional commentary is added to what originally was released in 1997 as Classic Albums, The Making of Electric Ladyland. Hear Jimi's teammates, bassist Noel Redding, drummer Mitch Mitchell, manager Chas Chandler, and engineer Eddie Kramer, flashback to this historic landmark recording as they go back in time and re-examine the original recorded multi-tracked masters recorded from the initial Electric Ladyland sessions. Additional interviews with other musicians who were part of the recording add flavor with their best recollections of what was going on behind the scenes as the Electric Ladyland tracks were assembled. Drummer Buddy Miles recalls his times with Jimi in the Band of Gypsies and talks about how much he misses Hendrix. Dave Mason recounts how the original "All Along the Watchtower" came about and was laid down and goes on to talk about how Jimi adored Bob Dylan. Jack Casady of the San Francisco-based Jefferson Airplane and Hot Tuna is also featured, as is Steve Winwood of Traffic, Blind Faith, and solo artist fame.

This was Jimi's third and last recording with the original Experience and the result was one of the best Rock albums of its time. This new edition also amplifies Hendrix' creative musical vision, as it is much more than just background music for hallucinations and experimental space travels, with it's unusual recording techniques, echo, backwards taping, Jimi's breathing overdubs, multi-tracking guitar and vocals, which were all new recording procedures and put the album far ahead of it's time. Electric Ladyland is an LP that was so very influential, as it affected multiple generations of fans and musicians, and still does forty years hence.

Highlights include "Crosstown Traffic," Jimi's brilliant adaptation of Bob Dylan's "All Along the Watchtower," plus "Burning of the Midnight Lamp," the astral "1983...(A Merman I Should Turn to Be)," and "Voodoo Chile (Slight Return)," which has been covered by so many. With this double-disk set (also available as one compact disc), Hendrix certainly pushed the envelope and piloted all of us into far-reaching dimensions.

The Experience Hendrix organization now offers the fortieth anniversary collector's edition, which that includes an expanded booklet, a re-mastered CD, and a bonus DVD, thus making At Last...The Beginning: The Making of Electric Ladyland an absolute necessity for any music enthusiast.

Bob Putignano: