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Jimi Hendrix - The Jimi Hendrix Experience: Are You Experienced CD (album) cover


Jimi Hendrix



4.27 | 519 ratings

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5 stars The initial US release of Are You Experienced featured "Purple Haze", "Hey Joe" and "The Wind Cries Mary" replacing "Redhouse", "Can You See Me" , and "Remember" from the UK version released earlier. And the album was all the better for it. Combined with psych rock classics like "Manic Depression", "Foxy Lady", "May This be Love" along with the studio manipulated space rock classic titled "3rd Stone From The Sun", made the album a musical, as well as a cultural statement, that rock was never going to be quite the same again. There was no pretending that Hendrix was an American rock pioneer like Chuck Berry, Elvis and all else who preceded him, which was far from the case with so many copycat British artists. Hendrix ironically reclaimed rock from the hands of the Brits and simply showed how it should be done, after starting off his brief but ultimately cataclysmic career in the UK before heading back to the US and forever cementing his guitar god status.

But what is incredibly missed is the appreciation of Hendrix as a songwriter. All the screaming guitar notes drenched in feedback would be nothing more than noise without solid catchy songs to be attached to. And Hendrix's chart rivals were no slouches at song craft and included the Beatles, The Who, Bob Dylan, Simon and Garfunkel, et al.

Heavily influenced by the Beatles' studio craft of vari speed tape effects, flanging, phasing, etc., it is the only thing that dates some of Hendrix's songs. Even jazz inflected drummer Mitch Mitchel and bassist Noel Redding elevated their playing to complement and, frankly, not to be overpowered by Hendrix's guitar assaults, while also being able to mellow out sufficiently on Hendrix's quieter reflective moments and provide lush backing..

There's really noting more that I can say about a group of songs, or an artist, so well known except this. Are You Experienced in it's former US released format on CD, with omitted UK's issued songs added in as bonus tracks, is still a refreshing mind blowing listening experience that is still as enjoyable and as ground breaking today as when Are You Experienced was first released in 1967.

SteveG | 5/5 |


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