KamerTunesBlog

Revisiting my extensive music collection, one artist at a time

Satur-debut – THE JIMI HENDRIX EXPERIENCE “ARE YOU EXPERIENCED”

Satur-debut continues with an album from one of the (if not THE) most influential guitarists of all time. Released in 1967, it still sounds as jaw-dropping & game-changing as it did to record buyers more than a half century ago.

For more information on this series, please read the opening paragraph of the first post, which featured the debut album from Led Zeppelin.

 

From GREAT OUT OF THE GATE Part 3:

No list of great debut albums is complete without this one from the most influential rock guitarist of all time. In just a few short years before his death in 1970, he exponentially expanded the limits of what can be done on guitar, and the records he made with bassist Noel Redding and drummer Mitch Mitchell as The Jimi Hendrix Experience took songwriting, arranging & producing into new & exciting directions. The U.S. & U.K. editions of the album each include 11 tracks, but only 8 appear on both. These include undisputed classics like “Manic Depression,” “Fire,” “Foxy Lady,” “I Don’t Live Today,” “Third Stone From The Sun” and the title track. American audiences got to hear early singles “Purple Haze,” “The Wind Cries Mary” and their version of “Hey Joe,” while British audiences were wowed by his blues masterpiece, “Red House.” Whichever version you hear, there’s no denying the staying power of Are You Experienced, a record that’s equally of-its-time and a vision of the future. I have a 1993 CD pressing that includes all of these songs and 3 others. I’ve heard that later editions have better mastering but this one sounds great to me and it has all the music in one place.

 

 

I was hoping to include a clip of “Red House” but it looks like most original album versions of Hendrix songs are unavailable on YouTube and Vimeo. I’m glad I was able to locate the three clips embedded here. If you can find others feel free to share them in the comments section so others can enjoy them. Or just encourage everyone to buy this album, since no record collection is complete without it.

29 comments on “Satur-debut – THE JIMI HENDRIX EXPERIENCE “ARE YOU EXPERIENCED”

  1. deKE
    January 19, 2019

    For my Birthday when I turned 50 Aaron sent me this album as a Birthday Gift as he wanted to send me an album that was 50 years old and released the same year I was born in(1967)
    What a great album…Classic for sure!

    Like

  2. Bill P
    January 19, 2019

    Jimi Hendrix has long been a staple of classic rock radio stations. As a consequence, I had heard so many of these songs on the radio without the context of the album. Rich, like you, I have the 1993 CD with all of the various tracks on it. In fact, it wasn’t until I read your post that I realized there were different US/UK track listings or that either of them didn’t start off with Hey Joe as my copy did.

    If you want to really know how influential this album is for a guitar player, just listen to Red House. The tone and pacing of the opening :15 seconds. You wouldn’t be far off if you thought it was Stevie Ray Vaughn. Listen to Stevie play Little Wing too. His whole tone and approach to the fretboard was directly from Hendrix. Not influenced but directly copied. It was almost as if the soul of Henrix departed and took up residence in SRV’s playing directly.

    I just can’t believe Jimi cranked this and Axis:Bold as Love all out in the span of a few months recording. Add some Electric Ladyland sessions in and you have 3 classic albums in about a year. It was also around the release of this album that he famously played Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band at a concert only days after the Beatles released it. The guy must have been at an absolute creative peak.

    This album certainly has the hits. Hey Joe. Foxy Lady. Purple Haze. Manic Depression. Red House….they just keep coming. There are certainly songs on this album that are dated by the time…that heavy psychedelia of Are You Experienced or Third Stone From the Sun are clearly of the time even though the latter song is one of my favorite grooves. That octave riff is often quoted by jazz players during their improv. Even though the sounds are of the era, it doesn’t make them weak. In fact, listening again this morning, I don’t find much filler at all. There is a thematic sound to the album but it doesn’t ever seem like I’m hearing the same song over and over again as so often happens with some of the blues-inspired music of the time. Wind Cries Mary and May This Be Love are beautiful ballads. Again, the latter is just precious and floating…when he sings “Waterfall…” I feel like I’m floating along on a lazy river.

    The last thing I want to mention is the drumming. It sounds like just a simple trap kit but the sounds and grooves that Mitch Mitchell is able to coax out of that thing are incredible. How influential was he to you as a drummer?

    Like

    • Hey Bill. Nice to know we have the same version of this album. I was disappointed they didn’t use the original album cover on the CD booklet (which was the case for all three Experience albums in that series) but at least, if my memory is correct, they included those covers in another part of the booklets.

      I played with a lot of guitarists as a teenager who were hugely influenced by Hendrix, and particularly “Red House.” The connection from him to SRV is obvious. In many ways SRV continued the blues/heavy rock tradition that Hendrix specialized in. I saw SRV twice and he often channeled Hendrix in his performances (most notably on his version of “Voodoo Child”).

      You made some great points about how prolific Hendrix was and the jazz influence you can hear on certain songs. A lot of artists back then were surprisingly consistent with their material, which is really amazing when you consider they were on the road all the time. Bands now will take years between releases and never achieve the non-stop brilliance that many artists did in the ’60s & ’70s. I suppose the drugs might have helped.

      I don’t often cite Mitch Mitchell as a direct influence on my drumming but the fact is I used to play along to Hendrix all the time as a youngster, and I’m still impressed by his playing. That whole trio held their own, which couldn’t have been easy with Hendrix out front.

      Like

      • Bill P
        January 19, 2019

        I’d have to dig my CD out of my basement but I seem to remember the opposite side of the booklet might have had the original cover. I think I might have turned the booklet around so I could have the old cover on the outside and the new cover on the inside. (I had to do this for the GnR Appetite for Destruction disc too.) When I was adding the CD cover art to my iTunes library, I chose the original art rather than that alternate art that was on all 3 of those reissues as you correctly pointed out.

        Like

      • I should probably do the same with those Hendrix CD booklets, if I haven’t already done so. I’ll have to check my copy of Appetite For Destruction to see which version I Have. I’m not a big GnR fan so I don’t really care about which cover I have, but I’m wondering if they stopped including the original “offensive” cover from the packaging, or if it was just placed on the back of the booklet in all versions.

        Like

  3. 80smetalman
    January 19, 2019

    There are some fantastic songs here. When I started writing my blog, I put him down as one of the five founding fathers of heavy metal. In fact, he was the first.

    Like

    • I can’t imagine anyone arguing with your assessment of Hendrix being a founding father of heavy metal. I wonder how he would feel about that if he was still alive.

      Liked by 1 person

      • 80smetalman
        January 20, 2019

        That is an interesting thought. Would he have embraced it like Black Sabbath or shied away from it like Led Zeppelin?

        Like

      • I have a feeling Hendrix wouldn’t have cared about labels, so he would neither embrace nor avoid being called a founder of heavy metal. Considering where his music seemed to be going at the end of his brief career, the sky was the limit for him.

        Liked by 1 person

  4. Murphy's Law
    January 20, 2019

    Judging from the mountains of unreleased sessions, it seems like Jimi was headed in several different directions. There’s a version of Hey Joe on the BBC Sessions where Jimi starts the song, but halfway through the first verse, switches to the second verse, sings the chorus once and then starts to jam on Cream’s Sunshine of Your Love. Absolutely love this album

    Like

    • I completely agree that Hendrix’s later recordings show that he was open to all musical possibilities. Hard to imagine what his career might have been like if he lived into old age (or even middle age). I need to revisit his BBC Sessions CD soon and will listen for that version of “Hey Joe.”

      Like

  5. DanicaPiche
    January 20, 2019

    It’s an amazing album and one I should get. I have some tracks here and there but the full impact of the album is better.

    Like

    • Good point, Danica. All three of the original JH Experience albums are essential, as is one of the collections of his late-career material (like First Rays Of The New Rising Sun or Voodoo Soup). Of course, with so much music out there and time constraints, we can’t always get to each individual album of every essential artist, but a knowledge of key tracks is always recommended. Glad you’re familiar with the majority of songs on this album.

      Liked by 1 person

  6. stephen1001
    January 20, 2019

    Another one that definitely qualifies as a ‘keeper!’

    Like

  7. keepsmealive
    January 20, 2019

    Ohhhhh man. WHAT AN ALBUM! Thanks for sending me back to listen to it again for (approximately) the zillionth time!

    Like

    • You’re only on your zillionth listen. You should really take some time off to catch up with the rest of us. Haha. Glad we’re in agreement about this brilliant record.

      Like

  8. Richie
    January 26, 2019

    Oh man, another classic debut album! It is as impinging now as it ever was. It’s incredible that it was made so long ago, the studio engineers must have been “what the….” when this was recorded. As you said earlier this one has to be played loud. A must for any music fan. Can’t wait to see what you come up with next Rich – bring it on!

    Like

  9. christiansmusicmusings
    February 12, 2019

    Great album!

    Like in some other cases (e.g., early Pink Floyd, Led Zeppelin), Hendrix beyond “Hey Joe” was a bit of an acquired taste for me. Now he’s definitely among my favorite artists.

    As for the two versions, I have to say I prefer the U.S. version. Not having “Hey Joe”, “Purple Haze” and “The Wind Cries Mary” is a bit of a bummer.

    Like

    • Interesting. I never thought of Hendrix as an acquired taste since so much of his music is very accessible and mainstays of classic rock radio for decades. Glad you came around to him. I think I agree that the U.S. version might be the better choice if you could only get one, but I’m happy to have a version that includes all the songs from the U.S. and U.K. versions.

      Liked by 1 person

      • christiansmusicmusings
        February 15, 2019

        I know. From today’s perspective, I sometimes cannot believe myself how many artists I now dig were an acquired taste, including your favorite band! Now they are among my favorite bands. Same thing with Pink Floyd – well, at least I eventually came around!

        Like

      • I wouldn’t be surprised if 30%-40% of the artists I now love were originally far from my favorites. As long as we keep an open mind (and open ears) there’s no telling what artists we’ll fall in love with next.

        Liked by 1 person

      • christiansmusicmusings
        February 19, 2019

        That’s very true!

        Liked by 1 person

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