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Jimi Hendrix Experience | Electric Ladyland Deluxe Edition 50th Anniversary Box Set

The latest posthumous Hendrix release will keep fans occupied — until the next one.

Another week, another legendary album celebrating its 50th anniversary. Hot on the heels of The BeatlesWhite Album, The KinksVillage Green Preservation Society, The Band‘s Music From Big Pink, The Grateful Dead‘s Anthem of the Sun and umpteen others, here’s the latest box set for your wall shelf: A three-CD (or six-LP, depending on your preference) and one-DVD revamp of Jimi Hendrix‘s final album with his trailblazing power trio the Experience. Self-produced and recorded at his own custom-built New York City studio — I was lucky enough to spend some time there once, and it’s every bit as cool and funky as you would expect — the original double-album Electric Ladyland features classics like Crosstown Traffic, Voodoo Chile, Gypsy Eyes and his reinvention/improvement of Bob Dylan‘s All Along the Watchtower. As is the way with these things, all those songs have supposedly been painstakingly remastered from the original analog tapes. And of course, there are the mandatory extras. Though not quite as extensive as the White Album outtakes, this set includes some gems. There’s one disc full of acoustic demos cut in a hotel room and some full-band studio outtakes from the sessions. There’s another disc with a live Hollywood Bowl recording whose fantastic performance and killer setlist — which includes non-Ladyland fare and hits like Foxey Lady, Fire, Hey Joe, Purple Haze, and even covers of The Star Spangled Banner and Cream‘s Sunshine of Your Love — is sadly marred by lousy sound quality. And there’s a 5.1 mix of the original album by longtime producer and engineer Eddie Kramer. So basically, the full experience. That should be more than enough to keep fans occupied and satisfied — at least until the next box set a week or two from now.

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