The Jimi Hendrix Experience

Electric Ladyland

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Details At A Glance

Category Music Theatrical Trailer(s) None
Rating Other Trailer(s) None
Year Released 1997 Commentary Tracks None
Running Time
60:02 minutes
(not 75 minutes as stated on packaging) 
Other Extras None
RSDL/Flipper No/No
Cast & Crew
Start Up Language Selection, then Movie
Region 0 Director Roger Pomphrey

Warner Vision Australia
Starring Jimi Hendrix
Case Amaray
RRP $39.95 Music Jimi Hendrix

Pan & Scan/Full Frame Full Frame MPEG 2.0
Widescreen Aspect Ratio None Dolby Digital None
16x9 Enhancement No Soundtrack Languages German (MPEG 2.0, 224 Kb/s) 
English (MPEG 2.0, 224 Kb/s)
French (MPEG 2.0, 224 Kb/s)
Italian (MPEG 2.0, 224 Kb/s)
Spanish (MPEG 2.0, 224 Kb/s)
Theatrical Aspect Ratio 1.33:1
Macrovision ? Smoking Yes
Subtitles None Annoying Product Placement No
Action In or After Credits No

Plot Synopsis

    Jimi Hendrix is a legend that was born the day he died in 1970, at least in the minds of some. As I sit back and listen again to one of the greatest guitar players ever to pick up a guitar, I cannot agree with such a view. What this man could do with a guitar, or indeed just about anything he could make a noise with, is genuinely legendary. And Electric Ladyland was perhaps the beacon that shone the legend more than any other. As I revisit the songs from what was the greatest of his albums, it is difficult to be anything but impressed by what Hendrix created. Such songs as All Along The Watchtower, Voodoo Child, Crosstown Traffic and House Burning Down are just a few of the classics that came from this album. If this is the work of a legend that was born the day he died, then some of rock's greatest names must be as misguided as I. To my mind, this is one of the great albums of the rock era, possibly even the greatest, and that is why the name of Jimi Hendrix will live for many years to come. Legendary music created by a legend. What would he have achieved had he lived beyond the 27 years that he had?

    Another DVD release from the Classic Albums series, obviously the contribution by Jimi Hendrix is limited to archival material. Most of this episode is recently recorded interviews with former band members, musicians who contributed to the recording of the album, managerial members and assorted others, all interspersed with archival video footage of The Jimi Hendrix Experience in concert, and in lighter moments.

Transfer Quality


    Since the album is now over thirty years old, some of the video footage is obviously of similar vintage, and unfortunately at times it looks so. Nonetheless, the lack of perfection is more than compensated for by the subject matter, and the chance to see the great man play.

    The transfer is presented at an aspect ratio of 1.33:1.

    The more recent, interview portions of the transfer come up pretty well indeed, sharp and quite well detailed. Unfortunately, the archival concert footage is generally not as good, most of it lacking significantly in definition and contrast (some also lacking any sort of focus too). Whilst some of the footage is amongst the worst concert video footage I have seen, the age of the footage is such that you do allow it some leeway.

    The colours come up quite rich in tone, although not over saturated, in general, This is not an especially vivid transfer, but the results are quite reasonably natural and very consistent in the rendering. Indeed, in general this seems to be very similar in style to the previously reviewed Fleetwood Mac - Rumours DVD. Naturally, the archival concert footage suffers in both the lack of contrast (the footage in general again being quite dark) and lack of colour tone. The detail in the concert footage is at times extremely poor.

    There did not appear to be any MPEG artefacts in the transfer. There did appear to be some film-to-video artefacts in the transfer, mainly some minor aliasing in the recording studio scenes: nothing too intrusive, but definitely noticeable. Again it must be noted that there are inherent problems in the archival footage, which cannot be blamed upon the DVD transfer. There did not appear to be any film artefacts present in the transfer.

    It should again be noted too that there are no chapters on the DVD, which is unusual and mildly annoying.


    Once again, it is a little disappointing that we do not have a full 5.1 remastered soundtrack on offer. However, this soundtrack is better than that on the Fleetwood Mac - Rumours DVD.

    There are five audio tracks on the DVD, all MPEG 2.0 soundtracks: German, English, French, Italian and Spanish. I listened to the English soundtrack. It should be noted that the languages are not flagged to your player, as we are used to with most DVD releases, but rather are flagged to the player as 1-5; for instance, the German soundtrack is flagged to the player as 1 rather than as German.

    The music and vocals came up reasonably clear and understandable throughout.

    Audio sync did not appear to be a problem with the soundtrack.

    The MPEG 2.0 soundtrack does make some limited use of the surround channels, although the bass channel is still unused. Whilst I would have much preferred a 5.1 soundtrack, the resultant sound suits the style of production quite well and gives a slightly more naturally balanced soundscape than on the Fleetwood Mac - Rumours DVD.


    Again, nothing at all, apart from an initial language selection screen.

R4 vs R1

    The Region 1 and Region 4 releases appear to be identical, therefore Region 4 would have to be the marginally better choice, owing to the inherently superior PAL system.


    I have to confess that I never was much of a Jimi Hendrix fan until I got to hear Electric Ladyland on CD. It blew me away, like hearing something for the first time. This programme documents the making of this legendary album from the perspective of those around Jimi Hendrix at the time. Give it a look if you are any sort of fan of music of the rock era.

    A good video transfer, even with the inherent flaws in the archival material.

    A good audio transfer.

    No extras at all, which some may see as a concern.

Ratings (out of 5)


© Ian Morris
10th November 1999

Review Equipment
DVD Pioneer DV-515; S-video output
Display Sony Trinitron Wega 84cm. Calibrated with the NTSC DVD version of Video Essentials.
Audio Decoder Built in
Amplification Yamaha RXV-795. Calibrated with the NTSC DVD version of Video Essentials.
Speakers Energy Speakers: centre EXLC; left and right EXLR; and subwoofer ES-12XL