56 of 62 people found the following review helpful
Must have - except if you already have it,
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This review is from: Electric Ladyland CD/DVD (Audio CD)
The album was a masterpiece when it was released, and remains so. There are some passages of 60's-era experimental, drug-suffused one-upsmanship, lending an occasionally dated quality. For the most part, though, the carefully crafted, inventive character of the album remains timeless. Especially at ~$9, this is a must-have for those who lack this album in their collection. (Stevie Ray Vaughan fans will appreciate the shared sensibilities and vision of these two virtuoso guitarists, each having left us far too soon.)
The CD is clearly a remaster of the original recording, and may be a partial remix as well. The equalization, dynamics, and stereo separation is generally more appealing to the contemporary (i.e., digital-era) ear, though the latter seems to be even more exaggerated than the original (to my recollection). Many of the shortcomings and idiosyncrasies of analog multitracking of that time are quite apparent. What would now be regarded as poor production values underscores the creativity required decades ago to produce such rich, multi-layered compositions with limited technical means. Even though the remaster is strikingly different, I like that the integrity of the recordings was largely maintained - e.g., the amplifier hum behind the lead vocals. Breathing of the noise floor due to compression is occasionally distracting, but it is largely a successful balance between preservation and enhancement.
I already had a remaster dating from the late 1990's - haven't had a chance to do a A/B comparison, but I'm not convinced that this release (if it is different at all) warrants getting another copy, if you already have the earlier remaster. I bought it because of the accompanying DVD mini documentary. Clocking in at around 12 minutes, the emphasis should be squarely on the "mini" part. The interview with Eddie Kramer is somewhat interesting, but the DVD was mostly disappointing, both for its brevity and lack of development. Those looking for footage of Hendrix himself will find only a few seconds of concert snips. Even lacking that, there is little narrative flow or depth to the story. A half-a**ed effort.
I highly recommend this to those who don't have the album, and recommend it to those who only have the original CD (or LP). If you're looking for significant value added over the earlier remaster, especially from the DVD, I wouldn't bother, unless you are obsessed with anything Hendrix.