Historically speaking, there are probably very few albums that have stood up as strongly across the decades as much as the debut by Jimi Hendrix in “Are You Experienced”, an album that was released fifty years ago today. FIFTY YEARS!!!!! It’s almost impossible to believe that the stellar musicians debut album came out that long ago on Track Records but it’s the truth and what a body of musical work this is. It’s been cited as one of the greatest debut recordings in music history and this doesn’t surprise me based on all of the iconic tracks that are present on it. The playing that Jimi did on this release pushed the boundaries of guitar creativity and helped shape the realm of Psychedelic Rock into forms that still inspire to this very day. Joined by bassist Noel Redding and drummer Mitch Mitchell there isn’t a single track on this album that you will skip past on any given listening session.
Given my own vintage, I was not someone who purchased this off the racks but would get a copy at some point during my formative teenage music absorbing years and since so much has been documented about it already, I’ll defer you to the album’s Wikipedia entry at the close of this reflection so you don’t miss a trick. The full album track listing is below so let’s examine them once again together and then I’ll share what ones were my favorites.
Continue reading Jimi Hendix’s “Are You Experienced” @ 50th Anniversary (1967-2017)
Artist: Jimi Hendrix
Title: “Are You Experienced” (remaster)
Label: Sony Legacy
Release Date: 3/9/2010
You probably don’t need me to tell you that Jimi Hendrix’s “Are You Experienced” is one of the most essential albums to have in your music collection and you likely don’t need me to extol its virtues insofar as song quality or recording is concerned either. However, when the Experience Hendrix LLC and Sony Legacy decided to release expanded remastered editions of the late great guitarists work, one had to lend some personal insight into the release. Having owned Hendrix remasters that I believe were released back in the late 90’s, I was curious as to how much difference these new ones would be, and it seems as though there is a little bit more audible sonics coming out of the speakers with these new ones. “Are You Experience” was the guitarists first album and found him joined by Noel Redding on bass and Mitch Mitchell on drums and together the world received one of the best albums of all time. Listening to it in 2010, some forty three years after its initial release, one cannot help but be moved by how strong every single note has remained over these decades. Jimi was clearly a one of a kind musical genius and there was blood and soul poured into each and every track on the album without question. Growing up in the 70’s, I was able to enjoy Hendrix music at an early age thanks to the efforts of Classic Rock radio and at this point in time it was a powerful ally to this genre of music. Nowadays as far as Rock music is concerned I don’t even think it is relevant based on all the stimuli that a music fan has at their disposal. As I reviewed the CD I found my mind escaping with it, and I felt that this is the head that Jimi wanted for all of his fans when they played his music. Songs like the mighty “Purple Haze”, “Foxey Lady” and “Hey Joe” are still supremely effective numbers that have not lost an ounce of luster while “The Wind Cries Mary” is even more powerful in its apparent simplicity. I had to say that the backward lead guitar on the albums title track sounded even cooler than I remembered it from so long ago on the remaster, and during the finale seconds of “Purple Haze” you can hear “the choir” a lot clearer. It’s impossible to skip around this album even if you wanted to, because its just that good and strikes all the marks in ones musical psyche. I recommend that should you start playing it, just chill out and let it run its course and be reminded of this amazing musician who we lost at far too early an age. It was interesting to focus on this as an adult as opposed to the impressionable child and its clear to me even more so now that a talent like Jimi Hendrix will not come around again for a very long time (especially when one considers how much attention is paid to flash in the pan artists by the popular music scene).
Continue reading “Are You Experienced” (remaster) by Jimi Hendrix
Artist: Jimi Hendrix
Title: “Merry Christmas & Happy New Year”
Label: Legacy Recordings
Release Date: 11/16/2010
Genre: Holiday Rock
In an age where popular musicians are releasing holiday themed albums by the dozen it was nice to find this little surprise being released from an era where such an occurrence was a very special rare feat and not something one did on a regular basis. The CD single by the legendary Jimi Hendrix had been recorded in 1969 as a special treat to his fans and this was done with his band of Gypsy’s players Billy Cox and Buddy Miles. The liner notes explain how this was recorded while the musicians were preparing for Fillmore East appearances. We get two versions of the tune and one is the extended version which I feel is the better track since it is more encompassing. It obviously has Jimi’s signature flair to it and while he most likely put a healthy amount of thought into it, the whole tune seems to just be a flowing jam that calls to mind these three classic holiday numbers. I never owned the original of this but was told it was released on a 45 many, many years ago. We also get “Three Little Bears” which is performed by the members of The Experience (Mitch Mitchell and Noel Redding) and this charming little tale by the master guitar player has not been available anywhere in more than twenty five years. It was originally recorded in 1968 as a part of his “Electric Ladyland” sessions.
Continue reading “Merry Christmas & Happy New Year” by Jimi Hendrix