"Burning of the Midnight Lamp" is a song by The Jimi Hendrix Experience, first released as a mono single b/w "The Stars That Play with Laughing Sam's Dice" in the United Kingdom on August 19, 1967 (peaking at #18). It later appeared on the band's third and final studio album, Electric Ladyland (1968). The single features more sophisticated instrumentation and production than his earlier 1967 releases, and anticipates the richness and detail of Axis: Bold as Love (1967) and Electric Ladyland. Both songs feature the wah-wah guitar effect, a first for Hendrix and later to become a regular element of his playing. The song is also one of the few on which Hendrix plays keyboard.
Recorded July 7 and 20 1967 at Mayfair Studios, "Burning of the Midnight Lamp" features complex instrumentation and studio production. The song opens with a delicate melody played on an electric harpsichord and wah-wah guitar that is soon joined by Noel Redding and Mitch Mitchell's bass and drums. During the verses, the rhythm section playing is insistent, in contrast to the angelic background vocals and harpsichord that provide a crescendo to each verse. According to engineer Eddie Kramer, the vocals are by Cissy Houston and The Sweet Inspirations. The mandolin effect is produced by recording two or more guitars playing the same part slowly, then speeding it up so that it plays at double speed on the record, effecting a unique timbre. The building instrumentation is repeated for each verse.
Hendrix's attachment to the song is evidenced by the decision to include it on Electric Ladyland over a year (and an album) after first releasing it.
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