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Some Sync Over the Rainbow #2: Electric Ladyland

Electric Ladyland

Here with go with round two. The pre-ramble: a lot of people think Dark Side of the Moon by Pink Floyd was designed to sync up with The Wizard of Oz with amazing results. In an effort to see if any other albums might have the same sync-ing feeling, I’m touring various albums that I think might have a shot. This is the second stop on my tour of fifty albums to see what happens when we mix music and movies in ways that no deity ever intended. Each album is synced using the normal instructions to sync with Dark Side: i.e., wait for the third roar and kick it off. I will watch the entire movie with the album on repeat and make notes on what, if anything, is brought to light. I do this so you don’t have to.

Second candidate? The sprawling epic monstrosity that is Jimi Hendrix‘s Electric Ladyland. I knew I wanted to try Hendrix with this and I was trying to figure out whether to do this one or Are You Experienced?. I finally went with this one because of its epic nature, as well as classics like “Voodoo Chile,” “All Along the Watchtower,” and “Burning of the Midnight Lamp.” Trippy album + trippy movie should make for an amazing experience, yes? As always, I suggest you be familiar with both film and album, because I don’t really have a way of, you know, doing this legally while you watch as well.

(Our first experiment, with Sgt. Pepper’s, can be found here.)

So let’s see what happens:

First Playthrough


  • Starting on the third lion roar. And okay, the opening drum hits and backwards bits of “Gods Made Love” is freaking AWESOME against these opening credits. I really feel like I should be on some sort of medication to completely appreciate what’s to come. Wind-like noises aren’t bad either.
  • Victor Fleming’s name comes up just as “Electric Ladyland” starts and it’s singing about have you ever been there, magic carpet place and such, as the opening scrawl comes up. Nice.
  • “I wanna show you” first time is when Dorothy turns to look behind her (at us) when she’s running
  • Okay so the “Make love, make love, make love” part is…very incongruous with Dorothy talking to her aunt and uncle. Very incongruous, to be sure.
  • You do have Dorothy talking to the farmhands during the repitition of “I Wanna Show You”, which is…stretching, admittedly…
  • Tin Man does his spin around during the “spin-up” of “Crosstown Traffic”
  • “Take you for a drive” is Lahr picking Dorothy up and carrying her out of the pig pen
  • “Crosstown Traffic” is fading out as “Somewhere Over the Rainbow” is starting up…but sadly not much else is happening.
  • “I swear the moon turned a fire red” – Dorothy is looking into the sky, singing
  • “Mountain lions found me there” Toto jumps up onto the seat of that farm…thing, like a mountain…dog. Yeah, that’s really reaching. Really reaching.
  • I must say, while this isn’t synching up spectacularly so far, this album is so badass it…almost doesn’t matter, you know?
  • It cuts back from the sunlight through the clouds to Dorothy again on “Fly On”
  • Hearing “I make love to you” when Margaret Hamilton comes into the yard is disturbing. I love ya, Margaret, but I’m just saying.
  • In South America, would they pronounce the words “Voodoo Chile” using the pronunciation of the country? I’m just asking.
  • The solo around seven minutes into the song calms down and there’s applause when Prof. Marvel makes his first appearance.
  • There’s some feedback at about 11 minutes into the song corresponding with the tornado, but it means nothing at all. And when the song starts climaxing at about 13 minutes in, Dorothy’s in the house during the twister. And damn, the end of the 15 minute “Voodoo Chile” opus comes close to the house hitting the ground on the last drum beat, but it’s off by a few seconds. Damn. That would have been nice.
  • And there’s about 13 seconds of just stuff happening at the end which, if removed, would have had “Little Miss Strange” starting as she opened the door, became color, and saw Oz for the first time. “No one knows where she comes from, maybe she’s a devil in disguise…” Would have been freaking perfect.
  • Okay, “Long Hot Summer Night” is not synching up with Munchkinland AT ALL. Hendrix and Oz, two great tastes that taste like crap together. Sigh.
  • Okay if “Let the Good Times Roll” had started about the same time as “Ding Dong,” it would have been awesome. As it stands the second time around we hear “Let the Good Times Roll” is the crowd cheering about the witch being dead.
  • Okay, “Follow the Yellow Brick Road” is starting up and we’re still halfway in “Gypsy Eyes” with nothing synching up worth a damn.
  • “Midnight Lamp” has some musical bits at the very beginning that coincide with the first appearance of Scarecrow and Dorothy looking startled. But not much else.
  • When the Scarecrow is pining about not being able to scare crows, “Loneliness is such a drag.”
  • “Rainy Day” plays over the altercation with the apple trees and now the Tin Man being discovered.
  • Every time the Tin Man comes to life I think of Nipsey Russell’s Tin Man: “Ah-teeeny, AH-teeeny, AH-teeeny.” Fantastic.
  • The drum solo after three minutes in synched up when the Tin Man started dancing solo in earnest…but it didn’t last.
  • Again, if “Moon Turn the Tides” had started up when the poppy sequence was going on, it would have been great…sadly, the sprawl of “1983” put us off. And now “Still Raining” isn’t helping. Even if it had started up…see, now it’s snowing…20 seconds earlier and we could have counted that.
  • We’re still raining and dreaming up the front door of the Emerald City…no help there.
  • Again, we get close but no cigar. The smoke mentioned in “House Burning Down” appears long before it has a chance to meet up with the black smoke from the Witch’s broom
  • The reason so many parts are played by Frank Morgan is because Oz Knows Cloning. I’m just saying.
  • Okay so we’re into “All Along the Watchtower” and Bert Lahr is working the wall on “King of the Forest.” And nothing matches up worth a damn. Sigh.
  • First play of the album’s almost over with “Slight Return” and our heroes are about to approach the–oh, that was nice, when the guitars kicked in in earnest, the doors to the Wizard opened.
Second Playthrough
  • Second play of the album begins, and “And the Gods” might be a little freaky but it is interesting to hear Hendrix speaking backwards and see Margaret Hamilton’s mouth moving.
  • “Electric Ladyland” the second time finds the aftermath of the Flying Monkey attack.
  • This time the “Make love, make love” bit was when the Witch got shocked by the ruby slippers. So…that’s weird too.
  • “Hello!” from “Long Hot Summer Night” is when the farmhands are coming into frame to greet Dorothy after her return.
  • And, my God, that’s it. What an absolute trainwreck.

Total number of syncs: 13. This album was more impressive for its total misses than its hits. And it’s sad, because as laid out above, if they had been hits it would have been awesome. And it opened so strong. Oh well. Something special for Round 3. Stay tuned.