Electric Ladyland Outtakes
Karl J. Geisler
Electric Ladyland Outtakes
To sum it up, it's great! I'm so glad we crossed paths.
Some general highlights are:
Some bad points:
- Stripped-down studio versions of classics.
- Alternate takes seem as fresh and new as new songs would.
- Noel and Mitch each get to sing a song--not Jimi, but not bad at all.
- Um, Jimi didn't hand-deliver it.
- I believe some of Mitch and Noel's playing and/or singing was overdubbed
in the late 80's.
Here's the track listing with my comments.
"1. (HAVE YOU EVER BEEN) TO ELECTRIC LADYLAND (instrumental backing track)"
Stripped-down, without all the effects.
Great to sing along to though somewhat out
of my range :)
"2. ALL ALONG THE WATCHTOWER (basic track without overdubs/effects)"
The guitar could be brought out a bit more in the mix, but I like the
rough mix sound. The vocals are very upfront. Not too different from the
final album version. I believe this is the same version of the song that
appears on Master's Master.
"3. AIN'T NOTHING WRONG WITH THAT (unreleased track with Noel Redding on
vocals. Based on an instrumental called MY LITTLE ONE.)"
Actually a pretty groovy tune. Noel's voice fits this one pretty well.
Significantly better than She's So Fine. The vocals are almost
buried in the mix, so that helps as well.
"4. COME ON (PART 1) (alternate take)"
A few of my general comments apply here. I love the rough-sounding mix.
This take is far enough from the final to make it worth hearing.
"5. VOODOO CHILE (SLIGHT RETURN) (an early studio take - a breakdown because
Jimi makes a mistake (for once!))"
Great raw-sounding take. The end just kinda falls apart, but honestly, it
doesn't sound that bad. Must be a fairly early take.
"6. ROOM FULL OF MIRRORS (an early version)"
Slow and rolling. Could be longer :)
"7. GIPSY EYES (an early rehearsal take with only guitar and drums)"
Not too shabby for "an early rehearsal take"!!
I have no idea why they spelled it that way.
"8. GIPSY EYES (rough mix with different guitar-overdubs)"
Not far from the album version. The different overdubs are noticeable
and IMHO slightly inferior, but I guess that's how it's supposed to work.
"9. HOUSE BURNING DOWN (rough mix)"
Not far here either. Strange, though slight, effect on Jimi's voice--I
like it. A little weaker in the heavier parts, but still mucho enjoyable.
"10. CAT TALKIN' TO ME (instrumental backing track of an unreleased song)"
Interesting, but kinda slow. Significanlty rougher/earlier than the
following. The intro is right from the middle of Ezy Ryder, the
music leading up to and including "How long do you think he's gonna last..."
"11. CAT TALKIN' TO ME (track 10, different take, with overdubbed Mitch
I don't think I've ever heard Mitch sing before. I'm surprised at how his
voice sounds. He's pretty good. He's got a perfect late-60's-sounding
voice--gee, go figure.
"12. TAKING CARE OF NO BUSINESS (a real Jimi Hendrix oddity - complete
with horn arrangement. Unreleased.)"
Big tuba. Slow, swinging blues.
A sitting-on-the-porch-in-the-summer-heat-drinking-something-cold-and-watching-the-day-go-by-kind of song.
"I'm so broke I can't even pay attention."
"13. ANGEL (demo recorded at Jimi's apartment - just his voice and electric
This is the same as on the Home Recordings disc included with the Illustrated Legend
Book, though the sound quality is perhaps a hair poorer here.
Fortunately this is one of my favorite two tracks off of the Illus. Legend disc.
"14. 1983... (A MERMAID I SHOULD TURN TO BE) (same as track 13)"
Fortuantely this is my other favorite track off of the Illustrated Legend
disc. :) Sound quality another hair poorer on this one.
"15. 1983... (A MERMAID I SHOULD TURN TO BE) (early studio take)"
Still playing with the lyrics and melody a bit. It's pretty much the
full-band version of the home recording version. Very interesting
and enjoyable in it's own right. A dreamier sound.
"16. 1983... (A MERMAID I SHOULD TURN TO BE) (a "vocal" mix - no bass and
Actually, the bass and drums are present briefly at the beginning.
Close to the album version, not perfect, jimi still has a few things to
iron out here.
"17. VALLEYS OF NEPTUNE...ARISING (unreleased song - a session - like
runthrough with only Jimi on guitar/vocals and Mitch on drums)"
I wasn't previously familiar with this tume, so I don't have much to say
other than I'd love to hear a final version of this tune, if there is
one that is.
"18. VALLEYS OF NEPTUNE...ARISING (a gentle, flowing instrumental version
of the song. A Fleetwood Mac "Albatross"-like-arrangement showing that
Jimi really could play...)"
Ok, the guy writing these descriptions is starting to get a little
over-tired here or something. Jimi is saying something at the
beginning--prerecording chatter--but I can't make out what he's trying to
say. Inclusion of the bass allows Jimi to do a bit more solo work.
The begining of this is the end of In From the Storm.
"19. FREEDOM (an early rehearsal take)"
Playing with the lyrics a bit here too. Could be a hair faster and heavier
for me. Mitch is clear as a bell and a delight to listen to.
A nice mellow "live-in-the-studio"-type thing. Don't get me wrong, it has
At the bottom, it reads:
"All the demos/studio ottakes/rough mixes on this CD were recorded during
1968. Tracks 17-19 were recorded in 1969."
You hear a lot about how Jimi did a million virtually identical takes
of the same tune just to get it perfect. Well, this album would seem to
suggest something else. The progressions are clear, and I've come
to really respect the "perfection" of the final album, though I suppose
the mixing and production and stuff might actually make the most of the
difference. This cd really got me interested in
outtakes, runthroughs, and rehearsals. Ah, the master at work....