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Are You Experienced is the debut studio album by the Jimi Hendrix Experience. Released in 1967, the LP was an immediate critical and commercial success, and it is widely regarded as one of the greatest debuts in the history of rock music. The album features Jimi Hendrix’s innovative approach to songwriting and electric guitar playing which soon established a new direction in psychedelic and hard rock music.

By mid-1966, Hendrix was struggling to earn a living playing the R&B circuit as a backing guitarist. After being referred to Chas Chandler, who was leaving the Animals and interested in managing and producing artists, Hendrix was signed to a management and production contract with Chandler and ex-Animals manager Michael Jeffery. Chandler brought Hendrix to London and began recruiting members for a band, the Jimi Hendrix Experience, designed to showcase the guitarist’s talents.

In late October, after having been rejected by Decca Records, the Experience signed with Track, a new label formed by the Who’s managers Kit Lambert and Chris Stamp. Are You Experienced and its preceding singles were recorded over a five-month period from late October 1966 through early April 1967. The album was completed in 16 recording sessions at three London locations, including De Lane Lea Studios, CBS Studios, and Olympic Studios.

Released in the UK on May 12, 1967, Are You Experienced spent 33 weeks on the charts, peaking at number two. The album was issued in the US on August 23 by Reprise Records, where it reached number five on the US Billboard Top LPs, remaining on the chart for 106 weeks, 27 of those in the Top 40. The album also spent 70 weeks on the US Billboard Hot R&B LPs chart, where it peaked at number 10. The US version contained some of Hendrix’s best known songs, including the Experience’s first three singles, which, though omitted from the British edition of the LP, were top ten hits in the UK: “Purple Haze”, “Hey Joe”, and “The Wind Cries Mary”.

Track Listing:

Side one
No. Title Length
1. “Foxy Lady” 3:10
2. “Manic Depression” 3:31
3. “Red House” 3:45
4. “Can You See Me” 2:35
5. “Love or Confusion” 3:05
6. “I Don’t Live Today” 3:48

Side two
No. Title Length
1. “May This Be Love” 2:55
2. “Fire” 2:30
3. “3rd Stone from the Sun” 6:30
4. “Remember” 2:43
5. “Are You Experienced” 4:02

Total length: 38:34

AllMusic Review: One of the most stunning debuts in rock history, and one of the definitive albums of the psychedelic era. On Are You Experienced?, Jimi Hendrix synthesized various elements of the cutting edge of 1967 rock into music that sounded both futuristic and rooted in the best traditions of rock, blues, pop, and soul. It was his mind-boggling guitar work, of course, that got most of the ink, building upon the experiments of British innovators like Jeff Beck and Pete Townshend to chart new sonic territories in feedback, distortion, and sheer volume. It wouldn’t have meant much, however, without his excellent material, whether psychedelic frenzy (“Foxey Lady,” “Manic Depression,” “Purple Haze”), instrumental freak-out jams (“Third Stone from the Sun”), blues (“Red House,” “Hey Joe”), or tender, poetic compositions (“The Wind Cries Mary”) that demonstrated the breadth of his songwriting talents. Not to be underestimated were the contributions of drummer Mitch Mitchell and bassist Noel Redding, who gave the music a rhythmic pulse that fused parts of rock and improvised jazz. Many of these songs are among Hendrix’s very finest; it may be true that he would continue to develop at a rapid pace throughout the rest of his brief career, but he would never surpass his first LP in terms of consistently high quality. [The British and American versions of the album differed substantially when they were initially released in 1967; MCA’s 17-song reissue did everyone a favor by gathering all of the material from the two records in one place, adding a few B-sides from early singles as well — online casino 5 euro einzahlung

Schill Score: 10/10

Listen to Album on Spotify ‘

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