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ARE YOU EXPERIENCED

Jimi Hendrix

Proto-Prog


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ZowieZiggy
PROG REVIEWER
4 stars Jimi is one of my companion since January 1970 (I was almost twelve). I discovered him (as many continental Europeans I guess) thanks to his appearance at Woodstock which blew me away. What this guy could get out of his guitar was just stunning and unmatched.

IMO, there are two Hendrix: the studio one and the live one. I am quite found of the later.

Still, this album released in '67 is probably the most interesting of his studio recordings (but some might think differently). From the cover onwards, this album smells full psychedelia. It is definitely a key element of psyche music, along with ''Piper'' from Floyd and the early Airplane material.

There are some jewels on this album which will be timeless: ''Purple Haze'', Fire'', ''Foxy Lady'', ''Stone Free' and ''Red House''. Another one that I particularly like is the cover of ''Hey Joe'', but Jimi wasn't all that pleased with this track (just listen to his comment on the double live CD set ''Live at the BBC''). The title track also stands out.

This album is pivotal for the history of rock, for the guitar lovers and for anyone who is interested in music. Some improvisation during the longest track of this set (''Third Stone From The Sun'') is maybe not yet convincing, but the genious will quickly demonstrates his maestria in this aspect. His live sets (together with his bands being The Experience or Band Of Gypsys or a combination) will just confirm that.

This album fully deserves four stars. FYI, Jimi is catalogued in the section ''Classic Rock'' in my discography.

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Send comments to ZowieZiggy (BETA) | Report this review (#210983)
Posted Saturday, April 11, 2009 | Review Permalink
5 stars There is a paradox at the core of ProgArchives.com. Our desire and need to classify and organize reality and experience into predictable and recognizable forms may be an essential aspect of human consciousness. However, human history amply displays that our ways of seeing are always evolving. The recent addition of the work of Jimi Hendrix to this site exemplifies this evolutionary character. And, it exposes the core paradox: much of the music we lionize exists because progressive rock artists have been willing to suspend and mold the classifications and ways of seeing / hearing from which they have emerged. I submit that, while the sub-genre classifications are initially useful, they can foster rumination that sometimes ignores the music itself.

Are You Experienced joins Sergeant Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band, Days of Future Passed, and the Monterey Pop Festival in producing a year, 1967, as memorable as 1972. Jimi's compositions and arrangements only hint at the grand complexities to come from those he influenced. Yet, complexity and cuteness alone do not make great art. As a guitarist, Hendrix stands as a prophet of the direct manifestation of the potential realization of the many gifts each of us possesses. Sure, Hendrix had little in the way of formal discipline or technique in his approach to the guitar. Nevertheless, who really knows what is going on in his improvisations? Although I have pursued the guitar off and on since high school days, I am no musician. But, in listening to Are You Experienced, I must join the protagonist of Thomas Pynchon's Gravity's Rainbow, Tyrone Slothrup, and ask, What the f__k is going on?

One sign of rock that is progressive is this: do we feel compelled to ask Tyrone's question upon our first encounter with the music? Whether the subject is Yes' Tales from Topographic Oceans, Jethro Tull's A Passion Play, Genesis' The Lamb Lies Down on Broadway, or Porcupine Tree's The Sky Moves Sideways, I know my initial responses have focused around this curiosity and dismay. Many in those days of 1966 and 1967 watched and listened simultaneously repulsed and engaged by Hendrix's music. As an instrumentalist, composer, and performer, Jimi Hendrix remains the iconoclast of rock. Perhaps the constellation of performers and their music celebrated through the vehicle of ProgArchives.com may share this iconoclasm to one degree or another?

What are we afraid of? This is Jimi talkin' to ya--I won't do you no harm . . . .

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Send comments to ken_scrbrgh (BETA) | Report this review (#210995)
Posted Saturday, April 11, 2009 | Review Permalink
Ivan_Melgar_M
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR
Symphonic Prog Specialist
2 stars In the mid/late 90's I decided to upgrade all my LP collection to CD, but strangely never upgraded any Jimi Hendrix album, yesterday after listening my old copy of Electric Ladyland, wondered why I never did it, but after listening Are you Experienced? I understood that the reason is that most of his music says very little to me, always thought he was greatly overrated and even when I hate this word because it implies arrogance (Everybody is wrong and I am right), still ask the question....What did people saw on this album?

The album starts with Purple Haze and after so many years I only listen noise with almost no coherence, yes he's loud and people loved loudness in the 60's, maybe a bit adventurous for the era, but today sounds more outdated than ever.

Manic Depression is one of the most boring and predictable Soul - Blues tracks, never saw anything special on it and after this listen, my impression hasn't changed, not even those shouts a la James Brown capture my attention. I don't know if that shredding he does with the guitar implies great skills, because for me it's mostly noise.

Without having any Prog connection, Hey Joe is a very good song, good melody, sense of musicality and coherence, the nice chorus enhance the listening experience, very pleasant and interesting, even when after the first 1:30 minutes, there's nothing new to offer.

Love or Confusion? The answer is confusion, because I can't understand what is the fuzz about this album, the track is predictable and boring (at least for me), the loud guitar sections may have been nice for hippies on acid, but, honestly, can't find the musicality.

May this be Love presents an interesting change, a song that evolves interestingly with great coherence, for the first time in the album, the guitar sections really have meaning in the context of a track, not only as an exhibition of skills.

I don't use acid, so I don't Live today, makes no sense to me, lets pass to The Wind Cries Mary, a track that even when leads nowhere, has a good sound, but...Hasn't people noticed that most Hendrix music sounds exactly the same?

Fire is more of the same, Blues - Soul played very loud, that same year Arthur Brown released another song with the same name that shows clearly what imagination and musical revolution is, in comparison with this boring track.

When I was about to switch off my turntable, came Third Stone from the Sun, at last something really interesting a good solid and well structured track that gives us an excellent example of the inventive of the late 60's, with radical changes, coherence and musicality, the highest point in the album by far.

Foxy Lady returns me to reality, the album has no versatility, almost everything sounds repetitive and dull, so lets run to the closer Are you Experienced?, another good song that has interesting sections and a lot of imagination.

I thought I was the only rara avis that disliked this album but searching on the web, found a lot of comments that are more or less similar to what I feel, dull, repetitive, lack of variation and senseless.

If it wasn't for Third Stone from the Sun and Are you Experienced?, I would had no alternative than giving the album one lonely star, but this tracks deserve some credit, so I will go with two stars even if some people will ask my head.

I'm not sure if he really influenced Prog or not, some people believe so, and I respect their opinions, but the review is about what I think of the music, so IMHO if you didn't grew with Hendrix and his music gives you nostalgia for your childhood, avoid it and go with Electric Ladyland a real adventurous album.

Hang me if you want for criticizing a sacred icon of the 60's, but his is my absolutely honest opinion.

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Send comments to Ivan_Melgar_M (BETA) | Report this review (#211031)
Posted Saturday, April 11, 2009 | Review Permalink
Chicapah
PROG REVIEWER
5 stars In August of 1967 I was just about to turn into an adult while living amidst the most tumultuous yet exhilarating years of the 20th century. Things were changing by the hour, it seemed, especially in music where almost every new song that came wafting across the radio waves unveiled some heretofore unknown sound effect or odd influence. My adventurous peers and I participated in a never- ending contest of "top THIS," a game that involved discovering virginal artists/bands and proudly sharing our finds with each other. But nothing had sufficiently prepared me for that hot summer day when my friend Rick Cramer brought over the debut of The Jimi Hendrix Experience and left it for me to chew on and digest for a couple of days.

First of all, the three wan musicians on the cover looked as if they'd been teleported into someone's back yard from a distant galaxy and their eccentric fashion sense coupled with frizzy 'fros confirmed it. In an era when the wildly outrageous and shocking was the norm rather than the exception, this curious threesome still managed to stand out from the herd. Obviously, these funky dudes weren't from around here. "Be forewarned" the notes on the sleeve exclaimed and, for once, the record biz pukes weren't just a whistlin' Dixie. As entertaining as the package was to my fascinated eyes, my pal assured me that what I was about to hear and funnel into my brain would be life-changing. In a year that downloaded the likes of "Sgt. Peppers," "Disraeli Gears," "Surrealistic Pillow" and "The Piper at the Gates of Dawn" into my mental data base, nothing (and I mean NOTHING) would top the impact that "Are You Experienced" had on my inner being. As a fledgling, amateur guitarist who idolized the holy trinity of Clapton, Beck & Page I thought those virtuosos had already done all that could be done with the instrument. Wrong. From the moment the needle touched vinyl I knew that Jimi Hendrix had single-handedly destroyed that notion forevermore. This was progressive rock music by every definition of the term. "Are You Experienced?" changed EVERYTHING.

Take the stunning opening cut for example. Those of you born after the swingin' 60s have heard "Purple Haze" so many times it might as well be elevator muzak but I'm here to testify that at the time of its release this song sent seismic shock waves cascading through the terrain of society as a whole. From its dissonant, semitone clash between bass and guitar that serves as a startling wakeup call to its freaky Octavia-processed guitar lead to Hendrix's shameless oohs and hahs slicing underneath, this track announced without a trace of humility that there was a new, badass sheriff in town and every 'slinger better line up to turn in their guns. Besides that, the radical black nuance in Jimi's vocal delivery was wholly alien to the tame Motown croonings we were used to and the brazen subject matter, well. Let's just say that he ain't describing the nicotine buzz from a Marlboro when he shouts "'scuse me while I kiss the sky.!"

Next up is the monstrously aggressive "Manic Depression" with its unparalleled-for-its-time, in-your- face frontal assault. It's totally riff-based from start to finish with nary a chord to be found, Hendrix's solo is so fierce I got the impression that he was trying to scalp me and Mitch Mitchell's cartwheeling drums are relentless throughout, especially towards the end when he throws in terrific fills one after another without ever letting the momentum flag for a nanosecond. The haunting "Hey Joe" had been around for a while but had never strolled the runway in this soulful getup. Jimi utilizes the clean, naturally tubular sound of his Stratocaster to create an almost pastoral openness for this tale of revenge. To this day I still look forward to those deep, growling guitar/bass lines that define the tune's underlying strength. The man's drastic and liberally plunging employment of the tremolo bar on "Love or Confusion" was revolutionary, making the suspenseful ending spasms absolutely mesmerizing. The number's lively midsection also added the first pinch of jazz into the stew they were cooking.

"May This Be Love" showed how differently Hendrix handled a ballad. He imaginatively lets his guitar paint the song's shifting moods but he never lets it become intrusive or boorish. The track also showcases the lost art of clever stereo panning for effect. It makes today's mixes sound like they're in mono. "I Don't Live Today" features a harsh, metallic tact that's downright menacing. There's a great "what's he doing NOW?" moment that occurs just before a wondrous, feedback-infested melee ensues where Jimi casually steps in front like a talk-show host to add his personal narrative to the mayhem roiling behind him. "The Wind Cries Mary" is another unique, iconic composition whose importance to prog can't be ignored. The looseness of the intro only emphasizes that Hendrix & Co. were more interested in the overall feel of the track than its tightness, just one of many reasons why it endures. The beautiful guitar ride is indicative of how Jimi was acutely aware of playing exactly what the tune needed. The song is brilliant in its simplicity and moving in the emotions it constantly evokes.

You wanna indulge in a brief bout of headbanging? Give the thrilling "Fire" a spin and you'll be well done in a jiffy. Mitch Mitchell blazes forth like a fistful of sparklers from start to finish while Noel Redding's solid bass lines keep the tune from flying off its axle. What's amazing is how Hendrix instinctively knew that to overplay his hand would've been counterproductive to the track's steamrolling inertia, therefore he intentionally kept his snarling guitar on a leash. His reputation may be that of a flash but the fact of the matter is that he was the master of understatement more often than not. The longest cut of the album is also its most mind-expanding and progressive. "Third Stone from the Sun" is an awesome journey. Psychedelic voices slither in and out of the jazz rock/fusion atmosphere and the instrumental's monumentally grandiose melody is statuesque. Jimi even dares to toss in random lines of beat poetry! Mitchell nudges the intensity upward a notch halfway through to show off his jazz upbringing while Hendrix proceeds to make his guitar scream in tortured agony and proclaims to all that "you'll never hear surf music again." (Believe you me, after this we didn't WANT to.) Following a powerful return to the celestial theme the group leaves us hanging out to dry as the planets surrounding us whirl in their orbits to the sound of a cosmic freight train rolling on endlessly into the night. Magnificent.

"Foxey Lady" may be the most commercial and accessible cut on the record but it's no sellout by any stretch. Jimi's overt, unabashed sexuality oozes from the speakers and his guitar solo sizzles and pops like frying bacon. But it's the album's namesake song that really made us aware that a fresh, exciting wing of the music building had finally been dedicated and opened. The Beatles and a few of their cronies had toyed with reverse engineering but Hendrix made it the foundation of "Are You Experienced?" and fully exploited the hypnotic spell it could summon in the listener. Not only does it have an unanticipated chord change as the cornerstone of its droning arrangement but the backwards guitar lead is nothing short of otherworldly. Earth had been invaded.

I remember my first run-through clearly. Afterwards I immediately got on the phone to my buddy Rick and told him that, in spite of never having tasted a drop of liquor or inhaled even a whiff of mother nature (much less ingested a hallucinogen), when the last pinprick shot of feedback faded into the ether and the turntable shut off automatically I truly felt "altered." No joke. I felt high. He said "No, man, it's just that now you're EXPERIENCED" and I knew of what he spoke. No other album has ever had that severe an impact on my psyche and, believe me, I've heard a LOT of albums in my time. This is one for the ages and one that every progger worth his or her salt should know by heart. Jimi changed the way electric guitarists looked at their instrument. Progressive? Are you kidding me? It just may be the most progressive album of the 60s, bar none. It broke every existing rule. 5 huge stars.

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Send comments to Chicapah (BETA) | Report this review (#211059)
Posted Saturday, April 11, 2009 | Review Permalink
Sean Trane
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR
Prog Folk
4 stars 4.5 stars really!!!

Difficult to find a more influential album than JHE's debut, but in 67, these abounded. Found by ex-Animals Chas Chandler and brought back to the UK, it wasn't long before the swinging London was buzzing all over this newcomer. They hired two local musicians, bassist Noel Redding and the excellent drummer Mitch Mitchell and the JHE was born. Their first album took the planet by storm and today still is an unavoidable classic, where there isn't a single weak track or filler. This album received different track list and artwork, depending on which side of the Atlantic you bought.

Although most of the album is made of shorter tracks that aimed at commercial success, many of these were still quite progressive, mainly because of Jimi's outstanding guitar playing techniques. Tracks like Foxy Lady, Fire, the stupendous Hey Joe and Wind Cries Mary were filled with unusual sounds, but hit the spot on the single-buying public. More adventurous tracks like the title track (with its reversed tape beat), the riff-laden Purple Haze or the excellent (and longer) Third Stone From The Sun (this track talking of Earth could be played at both 33 and 45 RPM, and you'd get a very different track with new Space-vocals)

Recent reissues of this album have come with a bunch of bonus tracks of great added value for the disc. Indeed all the non-album tracks of the era have been added and believe me, this is good news, even if only Stone Free is fairly well known. Groundbreaking, certainly. Progressive, in a sense. "Prog", maybe not; but excellent? Certainly. Enough to warrant an excellent rating.

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Send comments to Sean Trane (BETA) | Report this review (#211089)
Posted Sunday, April 12, 2009 | Review Permalink
5 stars This was indeed the Shot Heard 'Round the World... The debut album by the Jimi Hendrix Experience, Are You Experienced, may very well be THE watershed moment for rock guitar as an art form. While Jimi borrowed generously from blues artists who preceded him, such as T-Bone Walker, Ray Sharpe, Johnny Jenkins, and Buddy Guy to name a few, Jimi took the traditional blues form and combined it with the burgeoning psychedelic aesthetic from Swinging 60's London, and he created a revolutionary new voice in contemporary music. Rock music would never be the same, and this album is a testament to the new guitar revolution that was spawned as a result.

From the first bars of "Purple Haze", it was evident to the listener that this was some freaky music indeed, electric blues gone haywire but in a very good way. This unique sound was attained through Jimi employing new weaponry to the arsenal of the electric guitarist: the Marshall stack, the Fuzz Face, the Octavia, the Univibe, the Clyde wah-wah, and of course the Fender Stratocaster played upside down and with much use of the tremelo arm. While other guitarists managed to get unique and heavy guitar sounds before Jimi, no one had managed to get the otherworldly guitar sounds Jimi got.

Animals bassist Chas Chandler had the unique vision of teaming Jimi up with English musicians whom Jimi might not have ever played with otherwise. They were rock guitarist Noel Redding, who would switch to bass guitar, and jazz drummer Mitch Mitchell. Their contributions to the sound of the Jimi Hendrix Experience were integral. Noel and Mitch formed a tight-knit rhythm section which complimented Jimi's blues guitar heroics perfectly, from the heavy-handed 3/4 beat on "Manic Depression" to the neo be bop of "Third Stone From the Sun" to the psychedelic funk of "Foxey Lady". Even on a straight rocker like the hit single "Hey Joe", Noel and Mitch made the music downright swing.

Other highlights include the straight ahead traditional blues of "Red House", the slow mellow blues of "The Wind Cries Mary", the spacey ballad "May This Be Love", and the tape reverse-laden "Are You Experienced". "May This Be Love", "Love or Confusion", and the FM radio hit "Fire round out the revolutionary disc.

The significance of Are You Experienced to the annals of rock music cannot be overstated. The sounds from this album influenced very nearly everything that followed, from hard rock to heavy metal to funk. It is absolutely essential to the contemporary music collection, progressive or otherwise, and I proudly give it the highest rating, 5 stars.

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Send comments to jimidom (BETA) | Report this review (#213981)
Posted Tuesday, May 05, 2009 | Review Permalink
4 stars A thing called rock and roll.

One of the best collection of stunning rock numbers ever put together on record.The four star rating simply reflects the fact than it isn't prog by any means,but doesn't take away the merit of the album.Fresh and original songs like Foxy Lady,Manic Depression and Fire receive a rock n' roll treatment that only Hendrix could give,making them sound strong and provocative.Are You Experienced is what rock music is about,or at least should be.All the LSD-driven testosteron of this album culminates in a series of priceless stage-written numbers that were destined to become classics.And it's also worth mentioning,this is something of an electric guitar bible,in the same way Kind Of Blue works for Jazz.

When Hendrix wants to rock,there's no one in this planet who can do something as expressive and powerfull as him(not even Clapton's Cream,the Experience's greatest contender back in the day).Every compass of this debut is filled with precious guitar fills,driven by some of the best drumming of the 60's(Mitch Mitchell,of course).If ,however, he thinks the time appropriate for a blues workout,no one will be able to match him either:just listen to the sheer brilliance of the wonderfull Red House and you'll understand.Every tune is a gem,from the fast and rocking Can You See Me,to the psychedelic perfection of Third Stone From The Sun.

The fact that this album is so powerfull is indeed remarkable,seeing as it doesn't cotain(at least not in the original UK version)any of the band's hit singles,unmatchable classics like Purple Haze or Hey Joe.And with The Wind Cries Mary,also released separatedly by the time the album came out,Hendrix showed just how soft and sweet he could be if a piece of music demanded him to.

1967 was perhaps the year of rock n' roll,but this album stands out as one of the most rewarding and strong efforts of that year(also it has aged as well as very few works from that period).It helps that the trio of musicians were perhaps unmatchable in their instruments,but Are You Experienced remains as the thrilling sound of an era,encapsulated in a brilliant and classic album.A masterpiece.

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Send comments to Gustavo Froes (BETA) | Report this review (#228741)
Posted Tuesday, July 28, 2009 | Review Permalink
Mellotron Storm
PROG REVIEWER
4 stars It's difficult to put into perspective how influential and unique this album was when it was released in 1967. Please check out Chicpah's review and also the excellent biography on this site. I was surprised to read Hendrix played bass with SOFT MACHINE in concert at times, and jammed with Robert Wyatt a lot. The guitar playing of Jimi is what sets this album apart from anything that had been released that year though. Sure you could mention "Disraeli Gears" by CREAM as Clapton is very upfont on "Sunshine Of Your Love", but that's one song. And besides no one played like Hendrix. I like how psychedelic this album is as well, including the cover art. Jimi once said that the songs on this album were a "collection of free feeling and imagination". I have the remasterd U.S. version from 1997 which gives me an hour of Jimi Hendrix.

"Purple Haze" opens with those big riffs that won't be heard again until Iommi shows up in 1970. This song and "Foxey Lady" both have attitude to burn. All I know as a teenager these two tracks mean't so much. "Manic Depression" has some great guitar 1 1/2 minutes in and the drums from Mitch Mitchell are all over it. Mitch really shines on this album. "Hey Joe" was the only track Jimi didn't write. He wrote the lyrics and music for every other song on here. I love "Hey Joe", always have. I really like the raw sounding guitar on "Love Or Confusion", just the whole vibe of this track draws me in.

Some other highlights are "I Don't Live Today" which rocks out pretty good. I like the guitar before 1 1/2 minutes as the drums pound. More great drumming on "Fire" and Jimi lights it up 1 1/2 minutes in. "Third Stone From The Sun" is a very cool Psychedelic / Jazz tune. It turns spacey at times with spoken words. Great tune. "Are You Experienced ?" yes Jimi I am. What an incredible Psychedelic tune this is. A top three for sure. "51st Anniversary" sounds very sixties-like and I really like it a lot. "Highway Chile" is a fun song with some aggressive guitar at times.

4 stars but that doesn't seem like enough for such an influential album. I guess it reflects my enjoyment of it in 2009 I suppose.

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Send comments to Mellotron Storm (BETA) | Report this review (#232730)
Posted Wednesday, August 19, 2009 | Review Permalink
4 stars ****This is not progressive rock*****

I dont understand why this man is included on this site..... I can see if it was called "musicarchives", "rockarchives", or "guitararchives". even "classicrockarchives" or "bluesarchives"

This album is fantastic, but it is not prog. It is a must have for ANY collection regardless preference, or any kind of differing musical taste. It is a true example of his early energy, but dont get me wrong I love his bluesier stuff too. I will rate this album, but i dont feel it should be considered a prog album. I'm sure many prog-addicts and prog-lovers are fans of his, but it doesnt mean it should be included. I guess it's mainly just for fun which is great though. He was the man and I wish I could've seen him live. 4 stars

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Send comments to smuggledmutation (BETA) | Report this review (#259763)
Posted Thursday, January 07, 2010 | Review Permalink
5 stars Most know that this is the single greatest guitar album in the history of Rock, and that it was a "debut" of a new artist just boggles the mind. Can you imagine what guitar aficionados thought when they heard this for the first time? There's been nothing like it before.

Have you ever read the notes on the back of the album? They're cheesy as heck, trying to shoot way over the top and build and add to the hype surrounding the young guitarist. What just slays me is ultimately how "under" the cheap promo words really were. Hendrix went on to be the most profound guitarist of the Rock era. They continue to crank out unreleased compilations and albums that were never meant to be released. Just think of all the music we lost that he never recorded? There were significant signs that he was moving in a more fusion and progressive direction too. "sigh"

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Send comments to akajazzman (BETA) | Report this review (#273753)
Posted Tuesday, March 23, 2010 | Review Permalink
AtomicCrimsonRush
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR
Symphonic Team
5 stars Jimi Hendrix ? Are You Experienced?

OK, so get this. Hendrix comes along, soon to be recognised as the greatest guitarist on the planet ever! And he unleashes his debut album upon an unsuspecting audience that features not 2, not 3 not even 4, but 5 of the most influential songs to come out of the rock machine. The songs are like a best of Hendrix, they are all here; Foxy Lady, Manic Depression, Fire, Hey Joe and Purple Haze, not to mention the title track. There are other standout tracks such as The Wind cries Mary and Stone Free. Incredible for an artist to come out with such a track list on his debut but then again this is Hendrix, a gifted singer, songwriter, guitarist that captured a generation and became part of the iconography of the late 60s. Images of Hendrix setting his guitar on fire, humping the amps, rolling on the floor and screaming out the US national anthem were yet to come to assault a generation's conscious, but this is as good a debut as an artist can hope for. It is the beginning of greatness and a legend is born.

The songs on 'Are You Experienced?' are always linked to Hendrix especially Purple Haze, and the awesome power riffs therein are indelible to the rock industry itself, so to give this album less than 5 stars would be unthinkable. 'Are You Experienced?' is an absolute essential purchase for rock connoisseurs.

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Send comments to AtomicCrimsonRush (BETA) | Report this review (#276775)
Posted Wednesday, April 07, 2010 | Review Permalink
Rune2000
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR
Prog Metal Team
3 stars Are You Experienced by the Jimi Hendrix Experience is another one of the albums that I heard quite a few times during my adolescent years. Since I don't remember which of the two versions of the LP we had in the household I might as well review the complete 60 minute CD reissue that features the complete experience.

Let me be straight with you from the get-go and state that I've never been a huge fan of this band and Jimi Hendrix's revolutionary guitar licks that have probably driven me away from the early electric guitar sound more than they enhanced its possibilities. This doesn't mean that I don't consider the band to be highly influential for their time but it does surprise me when people of my age actually consider Jimi Hendrix Experience to be highly superior than any of the experimental rock bands that we have today. Yes, I'm saying that most fans of this band are definitely in it for nostalgia factors but one can't really blame anyone for digging this music when it came out.

This debut album features quite a few classics like Purple Haze, Hey Joe, Fire,Foxey Lady and Red House but there are also a few highly underrated compositions like the groovy The Wind Cries Mary or the experimental title-track that plays around with the reverse guitar sound. Surely you'll find at least one track or two that will tickle your fancy but that automatically brings up my reason for why I never really cared much for it. I don't enjoy the combination of straightforward blues rock material mixed together with a few experimental performances here and there. It's as if the band wanted to do many things at once but ended up making the final product lack any kind of direction.

Jimi Hendrix Experience's debut album was definitely a powerful statement for its time but the rapid development that they started hasn't been all too kind to neither the band's material nor the production quality. I honestly can't see a reason why any of the future generations would want to explore this album aside for extinguishing the curiosity that have been hyped up by purists that always urge us to go to the roots in order to truly appreciate something.

***** star songs: Purple Haze (2:51) The Wind Cries Mary (3:21)

**** star songs: Manic Depression (3:42) Hey Joe (3:30) Love Or Confusion (3:13) Fire (2:44) Foxey Lady (3:19) Are You Experienced? (4:16) 51st Anniversary (3:16) Highway Chile (3:33) Red House (3:50)

*** star songs: May This Be Love (3:10) I Don't Live Today (3:55) 3rd Stone From The Sun (6:44) Stone Free (3:36) Can You See Me (2:33) Remember (2:49)

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Send comments to Rune2000 (BETA) | Report this review (#283241)
Posted Sunday, May 23, 2010 | Review Permalink
4 stars The world's first hard rock album! Turn it up!

The Jimi Hendrix Experience - Are You Experienced? (1967)

Best Song: PURPLE HAZE or FOXY LADY

Overall Rating: 10 (1997 Reissue) 12 (1967 original US LP pressing)

Note: This album review will be of the 1997 reissue, so I'll include a track listing to know exactly what I think of what you'd be getting.

Track listing: 1 - Foxy Lady; 2 - Manic Depression; 3 - Red House; 4 - Can You See Me?; 5 - Love Or Confusion; 6 - I Don't Live Today; 7 - May This Be Love; 8 - Fire; 9 - Third Stone From The Sun; 10 - Remember; 11 - Are You Experienced?; 12 - Hey Joe; 13 - Stone Free; 14 - Purple Haze; 15- 51st Anniversary; 16 - The Wind Cries Mary; 17 - Highway Chile

Well, this might not be the world's first hard rock album, but it's certainly the world's first hard rock album that actually mattered to anybody, and if you disagree with me, then you might just have been living under a rock for the past forty years or so. I hope your precious blue cheer records hold up under those conditions. For those of you who have any passing interest in rock music in the least, and don't own this, totally ignore anything in this here review, rush out and purchase the nearest copy of Are You Experienced, today! That's right, get it no matter what, because you need it.

That being said, it kind of sucks. Say what!?!?!? That's right, I don't think there's anything special about a good half of these tracks, and the reissued version increases the album's running time up to an hour. Now, before you all tar and feather me for blaspheming one of rock's most monolithic releases, from rock's undisputed guitar legend, let me ask you, buddy....are you experienced? Well, the answer is yes. You've probably heard ever one of these songs a million times on the radio, or with friends, or in countless films and television shows. So, coming from this time frame, most everyone will be very experienced with Jimi's debut. Which makes most any assessment of the man's music, well, kind of moot.

For the seven Swedish hermits that haven't heard this material, I s'pose I should describe it. It's all heavy-heavy overdriven blues fuzz blasted to the point of astral psychedelic energy. Which means, you have here 17 basic blues rock tunes, mixed with a bit of sonic exploration, and a whole lot of rampaging guitar. Solo after solo after riff after riff of some of the deadliest metallic fire in the whole damn 60's movement. And when you turn on the stereo, allowing that meat cleaver of a riff from Foxy Lady to erupt, this can seem like a trly magic experience, but the truth is, once the initial shock of the first few, ferocious tracks dies down, you're left with the record's middle stretch, which consists almost entirely of what I like to consider "electric blues mush", or Jimi's big mashed taters and cream mix. That's right, almost all of the energy gets sucked out after about halfway through. Sadly, the thing doesn't pick up until near the end with the mammoth hit "Purple Haze". Sure, the first five songs or so are all a fuzzy-metal gold mine, and worth the price of admission, anyway, but everything after :Love or Confusion" just drops the ball, and we get to fully realize what always hindered Hendrix and his backing band like no other. His lack of capabilities as a songwriter is his proverbial albatross around the neck.

That, and he's a very limited singer. Jimi is a one trick pony, and that pony is his flaming guitar. the less he relies on that, the weaker the songs become, until they eventually fall through, devoid of engaging substance. And smack dab in the middle of the collection, the songs instantly decide to ignore the guitar, almost completely. Things get softer, the riffs start sounding alike, and painfully simple, the energy levels drain and wither, and his trademark electric axe growl dissipates into the airy mesh of electric blues pudding. Yes, the radio hits are all a scream, but this collection is just too much.

If I have to really argue it, the gripes I have with the 1997 reissue are all basically eliminated with the original US LP pressing, which has 11 of the most enticing tracks in the whole session. It is, in my opinion, the definitive version of Are You Experienced, with almost none of the fat. Even so, radio staples like "Fire" or "The Wind Cries Mary" just don't grab me, and don't seem to have the inventiveness or energy of the wildly popular singles. But, even if you don't think this is up your alley, get it anyway, 'cause I said so. Just ignore the feeble singing and the lack of prominent songwriting abilities. It's all in the guitar, man. It's all in the guitar.

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Send comments to Alitare (BETA) | Report this review (#290972)
Posted Sunday, July 18, 2010 | Review Permalink
Bonnek
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR
Prog Metal Team
3 stars Libraries have been written about this man and hours of rockumentaries keep being broadcasted on TV, so I'll keep it very short. This album boasts a series of genius psychedelic blues-rock classics that sum up the essence of what rock n roll is about: sex! So, contrary to the early Prog that tried to make rock for the brain by adding classical and jazz influences, this album sticks to the essence and goes straight for your lust centers.

This is artist is a chunk of testosterone that reaches it's zenith in a live context. On his studio albums there are always lesser known tracks that I would dare to consider 'filler'. There are also some well-known ones that have been overplayed a bit. Especially the 17-track expanded cd-edition gives a lot to wade through. This brings me to a 3 star conclusion. It doesn't do justice to the stellar music that lies scattered here but as an album that's as far as I can go. Save your money for his live albums!

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Send comments to Bonnek (BETA) | Report this review (#300317)
Posted Friday, September 24, 2010 | Review Permalink
Muzikman
PROG REVIEWER
5 stars How many debut albums had such an impact as Are You Experienced? Long after the release of this cornerstone for psychedelic rock came onto the scene it still has the ability to get inside your head and turn you inside out. This music has the power to mesmerize and tantalize the senses with unbelievable guitar lines and an eclectic group of tracks covering everything from rock, psych, blues, pop, soul, jazz, and any combination thereof that still sounds ahead of its time. If this wasn't progressive I do not know what is. Indeed it was and even today as I listen it sounds so fresh and completely different than anything I have ever heard before.

Hendrix was far from being a one dimensional artist. His songwriting talents turned some heads along with his blazing and innovative guitar playing. This newly remastered set boasts an extraordinarily detailed sound that brings out subtle nuances never heard before, not to mention the underrated rhythm section of Mitch Mitchell (drums) and Noel Redding (bass). Everyone knows how great that rhythm section was but they were underrated at the time because Jimi got all the attention. Their work was bordering on other worldly and at times reached out into the vicinity of jazz fusion to keep up with Jimi's equally deft guitar. It all blended together on this release to make it something special that has never been duplicated since. Hendrix and his mates would go on and to make more mind boggling music, but nothing like this debut.

Look at all the staples of rock that were created here on one album?"Purple Haze" screams of the mind expanding freedom of the experimental drug of the day and all the ensuing "Manic Depression" it would cause after the trip was over. Hendrix epitomized a generation and in fact led the way for so many other guitar players, it's hard to fathom. Right after those two mind-blowing tracks "Hey Joe" was yet another born to be classic stretch of blues and rock. It is a smoldering hot guitar workout displaying Jimi at his very best musically and vocally. Then to suddenly switch gears and show the world his softer side, "The Wind Cries Mary" stands as a beautiful journey of sonic excellence. As a matter of fact, this entire recording is now sonically pleasing like it never was before.

For all of you space cadets Jimi had a treat in store, a trip around the galaxy inside the instrumental "Third Stone From The Sun" and then another blazing hot blues rocker "Red House" closes out the album giving the nod to Jimi's roots before saying goodbye. And let us not forget the forever burning flames of "Fire" and "Foxy Lady", their youthful exuberance and brilliant musicianship still ringing true after over forty years.

The DVD is another eye opener from the legendary engineer and producer Eddie Kramer. He pulls apart 4 tracks on the companion disc "Inside Look" on "Purple Haze", "May This Be Love", "The Wind Cries Mary" and "Are You Experienced", which once again sheds more light on the brilliance of The Jimi Hendrix Experience. For the icing on the cake you get the extensive booklet for a deeper look into the process of Hendrix on his first outing along with plenty of photos.

It came as no surprise how good this would sound after another meticulous re-mastering process. As a matter of fact it sounds completely new and will make you realize, if didn't already know, that this album is one of the greatest rock and psychedelic masterpieces ever conceived and I do not think it can be improved upon anymore at this point. Are you experienced? You will be after hearing this for the first time in 2010.

Key Tracks: Purple Haze, The Wind Cries Mary, Manic Depression

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Send comments to Muzikman (BETA) | Report this review (#352403)
Posted Tuesday, December 14, 2010 | Review Permalink
colorofmoney91
PROG REVIEWER
2 stars Jimi Hendrix is obviously a very highly regarded guitarist - this should be very apparent by now, 2011. I agree that his playing was very individualistic, but I've always found it to be very annoying, not to mention that I've never been a fan of the blues. "Are You Experienced?" is a Jimi Hendrix album like any other, which means lots of his annoying bluesy guitar playing.

This album has always felt very one-trick-pony to me. Though very influential to many, it wasn't for me. I'd agree that I'm biased because of my long distaste for most things blues, but I've tried viewing this album objectively and it still doesn't do much for me. Though, if you really like electric blues or wildly obnoxious guitar playing then I would suggest this album. I agree that Jimi Hendrix was very influential in the world of electrified music, so much to even influence Miles Davis (who I really, really love), it just isn't enough for me to give this album more than two stars.

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Send comments to colorofmoney91 (BETA) | Report this review (#431333)
Posted Monday, April 11, 2011 | Review Permalink
Warthur
PROG REVIEWER
5 stars The impact of the Experience's first album can be summed up very simply: nobody, absolutely *nobody*, had ever heard anyone play guitar like Jimi before this came out. Lou Reed and John Cale had been experimenting with distortion and feedback, of course - that's obvious from the Velvet Underground's debut album - and Syd Barrett's guitar experiments on Pink Floyd's debut were notable, but nobody had taken a shrieking, screaming demon like Jimi's guitar and made it perform like he did. Purple Haze and Foxy Lady both benefit from the extra heaviness unleashed, whilst compositions like Red House and The Wind Cries Mary show that Jimi could do electric blues-rock with the best of them. It was all his backing band could do to keep up, and to their credit they do. The cover of Hey Joe outshines other attempts by the likes of Love and the Byrds by slowing the song right down and giving it a blues interpretation, whilst experimental segments such as Love or Confusion or Are You Experienced? show that the trio could freak out with the best of them. Absolutely essential.

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Send comments to Warthur (BETA) | Report this review (#447457)
Posted Friday, May 13, 2011 | Review Permalink
5 stars Hendrix never really surpassed this in terms of its freshness and general impact, although he steadily grew as a musician after its release. Variety on the album is unsurpassed, except by The Beatles: jazz (Third Stone from the Sun); blues (Red House); R&B soul (Fire, Remember), even a hard rock waltz (Manic Depression) and a surf song (May This Be Love). There are very strong tinges of psychedelia throughout as well.

On its release, "Are You Experienced" blew the first workings of other great guitarists to pieces. This album is so good that its songs including Foxy Lady, Purple Haze, Hey Joe and The Wind Cries Mary are some of the most commonly assosiated to Jimi Hendrix. The album as a whole has a love at first listen appeal which intensifies every time. This is one of the most inventive records ever. Noone comes close to Hendrix!

I have had the US version for years but both the US and UK issues are great. Though the US one has the 'fish eye' cover, which is more suited to the music. This perfectly crafted album should not dissapoint and is an essential album to be placed in any collection.

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Send comments to Frankie Flowers (BETA) | Report this review (#487757)
Posted Thursday, July 21, 2011 | Review Permalink
Evolver
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR
Crossover & JazzRock/Fusion Teams
5 stars If you are any sort of musicologist, or rock historian, then you must have this album. Nearly all of the electric guitar techniques that you might hear on any rock album made since 1967 were initiated by Jimi Hendrix. Sure, after over forty years of great guitarists building on his techniques, some of this is not as impressive to jaded ears, but this was where it started.

Bassist Noel Redding and drummer Mitch Mitchell, who perform well on this album, have the good sense to lay down some nice rhythm tracks, and mostly stay out of Jimi's way.

And note that eight out of the eleven tracks on this album have become classics, and still get plenty of airplay.

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Send comments to Evolver (BETA) | Report this review (#513276)
Posted Friday, September 02, 2011 | Review Permalink
Prog Sothoth
COLLABORATOR
Prog Metal Team
5 stars My wife bought me the US LP reissue of this album recently, and the first thing to pop into my head while listening to it was just how damn groovy "Love Or Confusion" is. 60's psychedelic rock at its coolest. I could go-go dance with some hybrid bohemian meets Twiggy woman to this tune. I can dig it! Why didn't I hear this song on the FM stations growin' up?

As far as the rest of this classic is concerned, over half of these tunes are radio staples, or at least quite well known. "Purple Haze" remains the quintessential bad-trip song with the history's most famous musical misquote "S'cuse me while I kiss this guy", and "Foxey Lady" never gets old to me with its bluesy raunch. "3rd Stone From The Sun" was one of rocks' earlier experimental numbers, which reminds me of riding around in space on a surfboard. Incidentally, the Silver Surfer debuted in Marvel Comics around the same time as this song's creation, so I think of the protagonist in Jimi's song as the Silver Surfer's drug-riddled bro who just digs gettin' high and doesn't care about earthly affairs. There's also "Fire", which many people claim was the final catalyst to burn down Woodstock 1999 (as opposed to the actual pricey and poorly designed conditions of the event), and was of course played by the man himself during the original Woodstock (the one that matters).

I could go on about most of these numbers, with "I Don't Live Today" being the only average track concerning the LP version which I'm reviewing, although the song does jam out pretty good as it goes along.

One aspect I find cool about this album is that it does the psychedelia so well without trippy keyboards & organs. It's bluesy rock with freakout guitar effects tossed in here and there and tons of killer soloing. I always dug Jimi's voice too. With a lot of singers going for a wispier flower power delivery at the time, Jimi sounded like a stone cold baddass. Not a great technical singer, but an utterly distinct voice that added to the music. Hands down one of the most important rock albums ever.

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Send comments to Prog Sothoth (BETA) | Report this review (#554011)
Posted Friday, October 21, 2011 | Review Permalink
4 stars FOXYYYYY!!!...only a whisper, but the most famous in rock history

If we consider the relevance of the debut album of Jimi Hendrix Experience in music history, five stars are too few...we need a galaxy.

Nevertheless I think some songs are aged a little badly. Many years have passed since the "Flower Power Technicolor Dream", and some songs like, for example, 3rd Stone From The Sun, Love Or Confusion and I Don't Live Today are definitely too tied with those times. After many plays I also started to lose some interest in other songs, particularly in The Wind Cries Mary, Highway Chile and the famous Purple Haze.

However the charme of the album remains unchainged. Hendrix's guitar style makes a clean sweep of everything heard before, with a revolutionary use of feedback, echoes and reverberations. The soft May This be love, the amazing 9/8 hard rock waltz Manic Depression and the psychedelic Are You Experienced? are timeless masterpieces.

The hard numbers are really powerful indeed. How can we forget the guitar fury that marks Stone Free, Can You See Me and Fire? And Foxy Lady...a little thing maybe, but really enjoyable.

More classic blues derivated songs are Red House, with a great solo in the middle, and the legendary cover of Hey Joe.

In my opinion the second album "Axis: bold As Love" is better; However, this debut is essential if you are a fan of classic rock.

Highly recommended. Final rating 8/10.

Best song: Manic Depression

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Send comments to Dark Nazgul (BETA) | Report this review (#827393)
Posted Monday, September 24, 2012 | Review Permalink
5 stars What can I say, an apex stone in my musical journey, this first Experience project is like the "working/class hero" project, as opposed to musical school trained musicians projects. Hendrix's proto- Prog approach was more personal, than studied. He, a master of his instrument, was looking beyond musical fads. He was obsessed in finding his own musical language, he explored whatever came close to his goal. BUT, the guy was not only a natural born-performer, he after years of chasing the dough, by playing as support musician (as Jimmy Page did), knew from the start that the magic of music, was actually in the musical-composition writing. Upbrought in the USA blues scene, he swam against the current (everybody was doing the opposite), he saw the Blues as an element, not the whole. So the brushes with Prog are authentic and not sought, faked nor intended. Taking into account that at the moment of release (1967), no one was taking the electric guitar sound to such a vast, musical and not musical distance. And by doing so, he abused his virtuous performances with passion and fury as with tender love, but ALSO his in original skill of song-writing, to match everything into a single effort.

Not corrupted by school-training, he found his muses wherever they showed. Free of this "school-musician" baggage, his musical aspirations were un-polluted. The authenticity in composition, far away from the style of the bands he supported, was due to many fortunate circumstances and also because of his sheer natural-born talent. Therefore, he by chance and timing, came up with some true-progger songs. Creating from scratch, he arrived to some, by then, completely un-known and un-explored, musical discoveries, which in future time will be named Progressive electronic- Rock (Third Stone From the Sun), or the more Avant Garde ( Are You Experienced?). So this is Proto-Prog. Don't expect anything else and you will get everything, in this awesome, time-less, musical experience.

*****5 PA stars- For what it represents, for its daring song-writing and of course, for a perfect 3 piece unit, that works as clockwork (Mitch Mitchell is my favorite all-time drummer).

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Send comments to admireArt (BETA) | Report this review (#971664)
Posted Wednesday, June 05, 2013 | Review Permalink
5 stars Most of the time in music history progressions are made by tiny increments of experimentation where an artist tries something new and it is incorporated into the works of others and so forth and so on but the 1960s were one of those decades that was a musical equivalent of the big bang of ideas and innovation and JIMI HENDRIX and his EXPERIENCE were one of the innovators of this musical explosion with a totally new sound, style and approach on the musical landscape.

ARE YOU EXPERIENCED? was an immediate and outstanding success. Only a year before Jimi was struggling to survive covering R&B songs as a back-up guitarist but as his latent talent was gestating he managed to capture the attention of Keith Richards' girlfriend who ultimately introduced him to Chas Chandler (of the Animals) who catapulted him from rags to rock'n'roll riches in a very short time.

This album took the world by storm. Jimi perfected the feedback guitar sound that the psychedelic world only hinted at and delivered a burst of energy to the whole musical industry that single-handedly inspired the whole world we know today. He was the prototype for heavy metal as well as blues rock, psychedelic music and outlandish stage antics such as his famous burning his guitar on stage or playing with his teeth. Mr Hendrix literally dropped the equivalent of a musical bomb on the world which reverberates into the present world. Although it took me a while to appreciate the album as a whole (I always liked a few cuts) I now can't imagine how the world of rock music would be the same if Jimi hadn't contributed his signature sound to it and this album has grown on me. The varied influences ranging from soul, blues and total freakouts conspire to make one of the most influential releases in the entire history of music.

This is another one of those albums where the UK and US versions differed substantially. The UK version had the rather uninspiring black backdrop with the members posed while the much better US version had the Summer-Of-Love psychedelic cover. The track listings were different as well. For some strange reason the most familiar songs "Purple Haze," "Manic Depression" and "Hey Joe" were left off the UK version despite being huge hit singles there.

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Send comments to siLLy puPPy (BETA) | Report this review (#1139021)
Posted Wednesday, February 26, 2014 | Review Permalink
2 stars I must admit that I'm not a huge Hendrix fan, I won't even begin to talk about the importance of Hendrix, not just to Prog music but to music in general... Nevertheless, it's hard for me to sit down through a whole Hendrix album, not due to the overuse of distortion or the inability to sing but, more than anything, because every song sounds so samey.

Songs range here from mediocre to sub par to poor. mediocre: (Third Stone from the Sun / Red House / Are You Experienced/ May This Be Love). Sub Par: (Manic Depression / Love or Confusion / Fire). Poor: (the rest). Perhaps not all of this is fair, Hendrix does sound dated now and if I were to listen to the album at the time it was released its impact and my reception would be very different. As it stands however, this is an album that hasn't been able to stand up strong, a few interesting moments but they are scattered and not worth sitting through the whole album.

2/5 stars.

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Send comments to MJAben (BETA) | Report this review (#1213479)
Posted Monday, July 14, 2014 | Review Permalink

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