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Jimi Hendrix's 'Electric Ladyland' Turns 50
The iconic rocker's third and final studio album recorded with his band, the Experience, was released 50 years ago this week
Fifty years ago on Oct. 16, 1986, Jimi Hendrix released his third and final studio album recorded with the Experience comprised of bassist Noel Redding and drummer Mitch Mitchell. The album, Electric Ladyland, was also the final studio album released before his untimely death at the age of 27 in 1970. To celebrate the milestone, Sony Legacy is releasing a special remastered boxset, with new outtakes and demos, on Nov. 9.
Electric Ladyland is one of Hendrix's most celebrated albums. The two disc album is a journey of funky rhythms, groundbreaking guitar riffs and a medley of sounds and emotions throughout all 16 tracks. Of the three studio albums the Jimi Hendrix Experience released together, this was the only one to top the charts in both the U.K. and the U.S. The album spent 39 weeks on the chart and was Hendrix's only No. 1 album on the Billboard 200. "Crosstown Traffic" and "All Along the Watchtower" from the album also charted on Hot 100.
Eddie Kramer, Hendrix's sound engineer, explains what the album's success meant for Hendrix as an artist. "Probably more so than the album going number one, was to have a single for Jimi, to hear it on the radio, that was cool," Kramer recalls in the video above. "I think Electric Ladyland for Jimi, and the public recognizing what a genius he was, that just elevated him to the next level."
Electric Ladyland showcases Hendrix's love for experimentation with sound. While he loved to use new music technology and tools, like the wah-wah pedal, and he also used unexpected, everyday items to make the right sound. As Rolling Stone reports he uses a cigarette lighter in place of guitar slide on "All Along the Watchtower." "Crosstown Traffic" features a comb covered with cellophane, which he put together impromptu when he wasn't getting the right sound in the studio, instead of a kazoo.
Focused on getting the sound and feel just right on each song, often inviting friends and fellow musicians along for the ride, his studio sessions were often lengthy and full of takes. Two exceptions on the album are "Voodoo Chile" and "Voodoo Child (Slight Return)," both of which were recorded in just three takes each. The latter, a 15-minute jam track, was recorded after Hendrix was out at a nightclub in New York City. He came back to the studio afterhours with a few other musicians to record a song that had a live-music club feel.
"All Along the Watchtower" is a Bob Dylan cover, which Dylan originally released a year prior to his GRAMMY-nominated John Wesley Harding album. Hendrix was a big fan of Dylan, as his sound engineer Kramer shared with Sound on Sound about recording the song.
"He loved Bob Dylan and he always carried his songbook with him," Kramer said. "In this case, he was fascinated by the color of the lyrics and the tone of the lyrics, and of course the chord sequences were wonderful, too. It was a very special song."
"We can’t forget Jimi Hendrix," Dylan said onstage. "He took some small songs of mine that nobody paid any attention to and brought them up into the outer limits of the stratosphere, turned them all into classics. I have to thank Jimi, too. I wish he was here."
Electric Ladyland was inducted into the GRAMMY Hall of Fame in 1999 and "All Along the Watchtower" was inducted as a single in 2001. Six of Hendrix's recordings have been honored as such by the Recording Academy, recognizing them as "recordings of lasting qualitative or historical significance that are at least 25 years old." Hendrix posthumously received the Recording Academy's Lifetime Achievement Award in 1992, the same year that The Jimi Hendrix Experience was inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame.
The 50th anniversary deluxe boxset of Electric Ladyland, which was remastered from the original analog tapes and includes demos from the original tapes as well, is available for preorder and will be released by Sony Legacy on Nov. 9.
Allen Hughes' "The Defiant Ones" Wins Best Music Film | 2018 GRAMMY
Director Allen Hughes' four-part documentary takes home Best Music Film honors for its portrayal of the unlikely partnership that changed the music business
The team behind The Defiant Ones celebrated a big win for Best Music Film at the 60th GRAMMY Awards. The crew awarded include director Allen Hughes and producers Sarah Anthony, Fritzi Horstman, Broderick Johnson, Gene Kirkwood, Andrew Kosove, Laura Lancaster, Michael Lombardo, Jerry Longarzo, Doug Pray & Steven Williams.
In a year rife with quality music documentaries and series, the bar has been set high for this dynamic category. The Defiant Ones is a four-part HBO documentary telling the story of an unlikely duo taking the music business by storm seems better suited for fantastical pages of a comic book, but for engineer-turned-mogul Jimmy Iovine and super-producer Dr. Dre, it's all truth.The Defiant Ones recounts their histories, their tribulations and their wild success. These include first-hand accounts from those who were there in Iovine's early days, such as Bruce Springsteen and U2's Bono, as well as those on board when Dre and Iovine joined forces, such as Snoop Dogg and Eminem.
The competition was stiff as the category was filled with compelling films such as One More Time With Feeling, Two Trains Runnin', Soundbreaking, and Long Strange Trip.
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Pearl Jam Named Record Store Day 2019 Ambassadors
Pearl Jam's Mike McCready says "if you love music," record stores are the place to find it
Record Store Day 2019 will arrive on April 13 and this year's RSD Ambassadors are Pearl Jam. Past ambassadors include Dave Grohl, Metallica, Run The Jewels (Killer Mike and El-P), and 61st GRAMMY Awards winner for Best Rock Song St. Vincent.
McCready was also the 2018 recipient of MusiCares' Stevie Ray Vaughan Award.
The band was formed in 1990 by McCready, Jeff Ament, Stone Gossard, and Eddie Vedder, and they have played with drummer Matt Cameron since 2002. They have had five albums reach No. 1 on the Billboard 200 and four albums reach No. 2.
"Pearl Jam is honored to be Record Store Day's Ambassador for 2019. Independent record stores are hugely important to me," Pearl Jam's Mike McCready said in a statement publicizing the peak-vinyl event. "Support every independent record store that you can. They're really a good part of society. Know if you love music, this is the place to find it."
With a dozen GRAMMY nominations to date, Pearl Jam's sole win so far was at the 38th GRAMMY Awards for "Spin The Black Circle" for Best Hard Rock Performance.
Pearl Jam will be performing on March 3 in Tempe, Ariz. at the Innings festival, on June 15 in Florence, Italy at the Firenze Rocks Festival and at another festival in Barolo, Italy on June 17. On July 6 Pearl Jam will headline London's Wembley Stadium.
Portugal. The Man To Aida Cuevas: Backstage At The 2018 GRAMMYs
Also see James Fauntleroy, Reba McIntire, Latroit, and more after they stepped off the GRAMMY stage
What do artists do the moment they walk off the GRAMMY stage from presenting, accepting an award or performing? Now, you can find out.
Also see Best Pop Duo/Group Performance GRAMMY winners Portugal. The Man posing with their first career GRAMMY Award, Best Roots Gospel Album GRAMMY winner Reba McIntire right after she walked offstage, Best R&B Song GRAMMY winner James Fauntleroy, Best Remixed Recording GRAMMY winner Latroit, and many more, with these photos from backstage during the 60th GRAMMY Awards.
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Original Misfits Unleash One Night Only L.A. Reunion Show
Dark punk legends to play first show with Glenn Danzig and Jerry Only since last year's Riot Fest reunion
There's big news today for punk-rock fans aware that the Misfits made much more than just T-shirts.
The massively influential punk band announced a special show touted as the "only 2017 performance in this world… or any world" and billed as "The Original Misfits" in Los Angeles at the Forum on Dec. 30.
This will be the first Misfits show featuring original singer Glenn Danzig and original bassist Jerry Only with long-time guitarist Doyle Wolfgang von Frankenstein since the band reunited for a pair of Riot Fest appearances in Chicago and Denver in 2016. Last year's Riot Fest gigs, which featured drummer Dave Lombardo, marked the first time in 33 years the original Misfits members played together.
"OK Los Angeles, you've waited almost 35 years for this, here's your chance to see the "Original Misfits" in this Exclusive L.A. only performance." said Glenn Danzig. "No Tour, No BS, just one night of dark metal-punk hardcore brutality that will go down in the history books. See you there."
Tickets for this "one night only" show go on sale Friday, August 25.