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Recorded against a backdrop of civil unrest and band turmoil, The Jimi Hendrix Experience’s final album, Electric Ladyland marked the end of the trio and their manager’s relationship with Jimi. But, on the record’s 50th anniversary, John Earls hears from the key players how it became Hendrix’s enduring masterpiece

In the 50 years since its release in October 1968, Electric Ladyland has become established as one of the all-time greats of psychedelic rock. Publications as diverse as Rolling Stone, The Times, Q, Pitchfork and Classic Rock have listed The Jimi Hendrix Experience’s final record among their 100 greatest albums of all time. Modern musicians, including Kendrick Lamar, Solange and Jason Pierce, have hailed its towering influence.

Indeed, just about the only people who don’t feel Electric Ladyland is a masterpiece are some of the personnel who helped make it. Chas Chandler, the Experience’s manager who also produced their first two albums, walked out during recording. Bassist Noel Redding stopped turning up to the studio, alarmed at how self-indulgent he perceived his bandleader was becoming. Even affable drummer Mitch Mitchell felt the sessions showed how burnt out the trio were from constant touring.

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