Are You Experienced
The Jimi Hendrix Experience
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On Are You Experienced — one of the most stunning debuts in rock history and one of the definitive albums of the psychedelic era — 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; a subsequent reissue does 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. And the 2010 Legacy Edition adds a short documentary DVD featuring interviews with Chas Chandler, Mitch Mitchell, and Noel Redding as well as Eddie Kramer in the studio with the multi-track masters. The footage with Kramer and the multi-tracks is absolutely fascinating as he isolates different parts of "Purple Haze," "May This Be Love," "The Wind Cries Mary," and "Are You Experienced?" to shed light on how they built the songs up using just a four-track recorder. Chandler also offers some great insight to this, and his retelling of the recording of "The Wind Cries Mary" really illustrates Hendrix's process and creative genius. Silent film footage and photo montages of Hendrix are shown when the music takes center stage. The fact that Eddie Kramer still shows such genuine enthusiasm for these songs 40 years down the line is also a delight. The only complaint that could be leveled against this documentary is that it just isn't long enough. [A CD/DVD versio was also released.] ~ Richie Unterberger & Sean Westergaard, Rovi
Hendrix is still Hendrix. Orvill you are a mong.
'Let me stand next to your fire' Buy it, you know you want to!
When this broke onto the scene in the UK in Sgt Pepper year, thousands sat in the dark listening to it with their record players as loud as they could get them. I was one. This is one of, if not THE greatest rock albums of all time. The fact that it has now includes other outstanding Hendrix releases from that time is a massive bonus - AND it includes a video on the making of the album. I have not compared sound quality to other issues since I am not a hi-fi geek. I just reckon this is great value and have been listening to it again up loud with the lights off. Mitch Mitchell was awesome.
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