Jimi Hendix’s “Are You Experienced” @ 50th Anniversary (1967-2017)

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.

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

I was listening to this release in honor of the milestone it’s achieved but was doing this through Spotify instead of pulling the CD out of my shelves. The LP that I knew I had is long gone and that stinks but stuff breaks or gets borrowed and not returned. We’ve all had that happen in our lives for sure. I loved the first three tracks in the seminal “Purple Haze” over to “Manic Depression”and “Hey Joe” and I still have a laugh when I listen to the crushing cover once delivered by the great Type O Negative and rebranded as “Hey Pete”. “The Wind Cries Mary” was also a favored track and since I was a drummer that wanted to be inspired by the greats, “Fire” sure did do the trick. The trippyness of “3rd Stone From The Sun” escaped me until I would spend time with friends who knew how to properly “enhance” a music listening session. The title track remains a winner along with “Stone Free”, “Foxey Lady” and “Red House”. Sure I did enjoy and appreciate the whole body of work, but these tracks are the ones that defined it for me the strongest. You readers can let me know what you liked the most down in the comments section below as I’d love to hear from you on this.

Sadly, Jimi would die of an overdose only 3.5 years later at the age of 27 but we have so much of his incredible music to keep him in our memories and to have his work inspire scores of up and coming musicians. The “Are You Experienced” album has been remastered and reissued a number of times over the years and back in 2010 we offered up our thoughts on it and if you’d like to see that legacy review you can click on THIS LINK. Thank you Jimi Hendrix and company for delivering a creation that still is audio gold when its listened to. If you don’t own this then I cannot stress enough that you fix that oversight as soon as possible.

Official Website: http://www.jimihendrix.com
Official Album Wiki: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Are_You_Experienced

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