November 16th, 1968 : Jimi Hendrix – Electric Ladyland #1
The Jimi Hendrix Experience went to No.1 on the US album chart with Electric Ladyland. The double album included Crosstown Traffic, Voodoo Chile and All Along the Watchtower and featured guest appearances by Dave Mason, Steve Winwood and Al Kooper.
Electric Ladyland included a cover of the Bob Dylan song, All Along the Watchtower, which became the Experience’s highest-selling single and their only top 40 hit in the US, peaking at number 20; the single reached number five in the UK.
Although it confounded critics upon its release, Electric Ladyland has since been viewed as Hendrix’s best work and one of the greatest rock albums of all time. It has been featured on many greatest-album lists, including Q magazine’s 2003 list of the 100 greatest albums and Rolling Stone ’s list of the 500 greatest albums of all time, on which it was ranked 54th.
During the Electric Ladyland recording sessions, Hendrix began experimenting with other combinations of musicians, including Jefferson Airplane’s Jack Casady and Traffic’s Steve Winwood, who played bass and organ respectively on the fifteen-minute slow-blues jam, “Voodoo Chile“. During the album’s production, Hendrix appeared at an impromptu jam with B.B. King, Al Kooper, and Elvin Bishop. Electric Ladyland was released in October 1968, and by mid-November it had reached number one in the US, spending two weeks at the top spot. The double LP was the Experience’s most commercially successful release and their only number one album. It peaked at number six in the UK, spending 12 weeks on the chart.
Track Records used its art department, which produced a cover image by photographer David Montgomery, who also shot the inside cover portrait of Electric Ladyland, depicting nineteen nude women lounging in front of a black background. Hendrix expressed displeasure and embarrassment with this “naked lady” cover, much as he was displeased with the Axis: Bold as Love cover which he found disrespectful. The cover was banned by several record dealers as “pornographic”, while others sold it with the gatefold cover turned inside out.
Jimi Hendrix – Voodoo Child