Jimi Hendrix – Naked Ladyland (Original Master Series OMS 153 – 158)
Disc 1: (79:38) My Friend #1-2, Little Miss Strange #1, 1983… (A Merman I Should Turn To Be) #1, Somewhere #1-5, Long Hot Summer Night #1-2, Little Miss Strange #2-4, 1983… (A Merman I Should Turn To Be) #2-3, Gypsy Eyes #1-2, Walking Through The Garden – Electric Ladyland Sessions March-April 1968
Disc 2: (56:57) Rainy Day Shuffle #1-4, Rainy Day Dream Away/Still Raining Still Dreaming #1-4, Jazz Jimi Jazz, Electric Ladyland Blues
Disc 3: (36:41) Have You Ever Been (To Electric Ladyland) #1-6, …And The Gods Made Love #1-4, Room Full Of Mirrors, Come On (Part 1) #1-5 – Electric Ladyland Sessions June-August 1968
Disc 4: (69:19) Burning Of The Midnight Lamp #1-8, Dream #1-2, Dance, Crosstown Traffic #1-3, Little One #1-3
Disc 5: (73:40) Cat Talkin’ To Me, So Much # 1-2, Ex-Art Student, Oh To Be A Child #1-2, All Along The Watchtower #1-6, Tax Free #1-4, Driving South – Electric Ladyland Sessions May 1967-1968
Disc 6: (71:02) All Along The Watchtower “Sessions” Takes 1-14, All Along The Watchtower “Mix Tape” Takes 1-11, Come On “Part One Session” Takes 1-14
Naked Ladyland from Original Master Series collects many sessions, various mixes, and jams that were recorded during the time when Hendrix was assembling tracks for the Electric Ladyland LP. All tracks from the official LP are represented here in one form or another with the exception of “Voodoo Chile”, “House Burning Down”, and “Voodoo Child (Slight Return)”. The sessions for “Voodoo Chile” and “Voodoo Child (Slight Return)” had previous silver releases on disc two of Jupiters Sulphur Mines (Axis-05A/B) back in 2004 and more recently on disc two of Scorpio’s Session Vol. 2 and are well worth tracking down to hear the evolution of those tracks. What we do get from OMS is a very nice mixed bag of goodies that not only chronicles tracks from the official LP, but a few outtakes, unused mixes, and even some unrelated tracks that had a bit of Jimi’s involvement. After listening to the official record all these years, Naked Ladyland makes for a very interesting experience to say the least.
This material has been compiled on ATM releases (Archived Trader’s Material) which are put together by fans using the lowest generation masters available and are more often than not the highest quality available to collectors.
Disc one comes from ATM 238 with the first nine tracks originating from the March 13, 1968 session at Sound Center in New York. It starts with two mixes of “My Friend”, a track that wouldn’t be released until the posthumous Cry Of Love LP. The first is an alternate mix and has quite a bit of effect on it while the second is the official mix. The first version of “Little Miss Strange” is instrumental and is preceded by “stand by Jimi” as he was getting ready to lay down some overdubs here.
Five mixes of “Somewhere” are included, another unused track that first popped up on Crash Landing albeit with some session musicians that were hired to complete the takes. The first has just Hendrix’s rhythm and lead guitars isolated with each in a separate channel. The second adds bass, drums, and vocals with the third being very similar only with a shorter edit. This is followed by a mix with heavy echo on Jimi’s vocal and the final is a version with some unstable timing issues in the drum track.
“Long Hot Summer Night” comes from The Record Plant in New York on April 18, 1968 and is represented first with a mono version and one in stereo featuring the drums in one channel and the rhythm guitar in the other. Three more versions of “Little Miss Strange” from The Record Plant on April 20, 1968 feature an alternate mix and guitar, a mono reduction, and the official stereo mix.
April 20, 1968 at The Record Plant brings us two more versions of “1983…(A Merman I Should Turn To Be)”. The first was featured on the official Lifelines – The Jimi Hendrix Story (now out of print) and is followed by a 14 plus minutes version including “Moon, Turn The Tides…Gently, Gently Away”.
The remaining three tracks on disc one comes from The Record Plant on April 22, 1968. The two incomplete outtakes of “Gypsy Eye” feature Jimi and Mitch running through the arrangement and are not more than two minutes apiece. “Walking Through The Garden” features a vocal from Noel.
Disc two mainly features the various sessions of “Rainy Day, Dream Away/Still Raining, Still Dreaming” that was eventually edited down into two tracks for the Electric Ladyland LP. These originate from June 10, 1968 at The Record Plant and were featured on ATM 224. The first track, “Rainy Day Shuffle”, sounds like a true “off the cuff” impromptu jam for everyone to warm up too and is followed by an official edit, a practice session in mono, and two very short instrumental outtakes. Track five continues with an early instrumental take of “Rainy Day, Dream Away/Still Raining, Still Dreaming” followed by an incomplete alternate mix. Track seven features an alternate mono mix and track eight is the stereo LP mixes – edited together.
The disc closes out with “Jazz Jimi Jazz” and “Electric Ladyland Blues”. Not much is known about these jams and it is speculated that these come from the following day at The Record Plant.
The selections on disc three were featured on ATM 225. This starts with six versions of “Have You Ever Been (To Electric Ladyland)” originating from June 14, 1968 at The Record Plant. The first is take 3 from Jimi’s Solo Session which has been officially released and is recognizable from Eddie Kramer asking Jimi “What’s it called?” before the track. The second is take 4 With Mitch – Backing Track Of Master AKA “cymbals take”. These are followed by a Longer Alternate Mix, Incomplete Alternate Mix, Mono Single Mix, and Stereo LP Mix.
The opening track from Electric Ladyland, “…And The Gods Made Love”, is represented by three Alternate Mixes and the Stereo LP Mix. The three Alternate Mixes contain a lot of the backwards tape effects and are interesting outtakes that come from The Record Plant on June 29, 1968.
“Room Full Of Mirrors” is from August 12, 1968 at The Record Plant and is labeled take 3. It has Jimi on guitar and vocal accompanied only by someone on harmonica. Five versions of “Come On (Part 1)” are from August 27, 1968 at The Record Plant and start with takes 8 & 9, both incomplete. A much better sounding Alternate Mix of take 9 follows with an unknown take and the Stereo LP Mix closing out the disc.
Disc 4 comes from ATM 234. A bulk of the disc is taken up by eight tracks of “Burning Of The Midnight Lamp”. Work started on this track at Olympic Studios in London but wasn’t realized until July 6, 1967 when the band revisited the idea at Mayfair Studios in New York. The various versions range from Jimi practicing the Harpsichord parts, an Ebay sampler, a 22 minute Mixing Session with a lot of stopping and restarting of the master tape and various mono and stereo mixes. Track seven is from acetate and is so crackly in spots that it sounds like a Geiger counter picking up high levels of radiation.
“Dream”, “Dance”, and “Crosstown Traffic” originate from December 20, 1967 at Olympic Studios in London. The two versions of “Dream” are from a Noel Redding composition with the first from acetate in mono and the second in much better quality with a few more overdubs from a stereo source. “Dance” also comes from Noel and centers on the opening riff later used for “Ezy Rider”. This also comes from a mono acetate but is fairly clean sounding. Three mixes of “Crosstown Traffic” features one with Jimi’s lead vocal in the left channel and separate mono and stereo mixes.
Three versions of “Little One” finish off disc four. Believed to be from Olympic Studios, the exact date is unknown (January 1968?) and features someone playing Sitar. The first is an instrumental mix and the second features an extra guitar part. The third is probably the most intriguing featuring a lead vocal from Mitch and is sometimes referred to as “There Ain’t Nothing Wrong”.
Disc five comes from ATM 235 and starts with a version of “Cat Talkin’ To Me” also believed to be from Olympic Studios in London (January 1968?).
The next four tracks, two versions each of “So Much” and “Ex-Art Student” come from a project called McGough and McGear, two members of The Scafold that released a bizarre LP that mixed poetry, comedy, and pop psychedelic. The record was allegedly produced by Mike McGear’s brother, Paul McCartney, who called on fellow musicians Graham Nash, John Mayall, Spencer Davis, Yardbirds bassist Paul Samwell-Smith, Pretty Things drummer Viv Prince, and Hendrix. Jimi’s involvement can definitely be heard but its inclusion in this set is questionable. The following two versions of “Oh To Be A Child” may not have any Jimi involvement and are questionable in this set as well.
“All Along The Watchtower” was recorded on January 21, 1968 at Olympic Studios in London. The various versions are taken from, Lifelines, The Making Of Electric Ladyland Laserdisc, as well as a few more mixes of the final version.
On January 26, 1968 at Olympic Studios in London, Hendrix attempted to capture his version of Hansson & Karlsson’s “Tax Free”. The first version features the basic track with the original drums without overdubs and sounds a little overloaded. The second has the overdubs and is followed by a very spacial mix that favors a lot of reverb and a few alternate parts. The final is the official mix with a new drum track. Closing out disc five is a version of “Driving South” from Olympic Studios (January 26, 1968?). This is a fast paced impromptu studio jam that ends with a snippit of “Sgt. Pepper”.
Disc six is perhaps the most intriging in this set. The first 14 tracks contain many run-throughs of “All Along The Watchtower” from the January 21, 1968 session at Olympic starting with take six. We get to hear Jimi instructing the other players on exactly how he wants the track. Listening to the birth of the basic track is amazing. Brian Jones joins on piano for take 14 onwards.
The “Mix Tape” sessions date from Olympic Studios in London on January 26, 1968 and features the song in various degrees of completeness. These stripped down mixes are also fascinating to hear. Tracks 19 & 23 are unique in that they features some unused lead guitar parts not heard in the final mix.
“Come On (Part 1)” was the final track recorded for Electric Ladyland and stems from August 27, 1968 at the Record Plant. This raucous session features Jimi “letting it all out” so to speak and produced a great version of the Earle King track. Fourteen takes finally produced the master used.
Naked Ladyland is pressed on gold disc and packaged in a 6 way fatboy jewel case. It comes with a nice slip cover and a thick booklet with some liner notes including the Alternate Nude Cover on the outside. This is a great collection of outtakes and alternate mixes for anyone who has worn out their copy of the official LP and like myself, just can’t seem to get enough Jimi. Many thanks must go to the hard work put into the ATM compilations and OMS for bringing it to the masses on pressed CDs. Lastly… let us not forget the long hours and hard work left behind by the man himself, Jimi.If you liked this review, buy me a cup of joe. (Suggested: $3 a shot or $7.5 for a double)Jimi Hendrix – Naked Ladyland (Original Master Series OMS 153 – 158),