Record #281: The Jimi Hendrix Experience – Are You Experienced (1967)

are you experienced.jpgWords like “pioneer” and “genius” and “groundbreaking” are thrown around far more than they probably deserve.

But in the case of The Jimi Hendrix Experience’s classic debut (!!!) album, they probably don’t say enough.

Half of the tracks here are practically required lessons in rock music appreciation and teaching yourself guitar (I learned at least three when I started guitar).

It’s not enough that Hendrix can play: Clapton can play, and Slowhand is a terrible album. The group also wrote some dang good songs. “Purple Haze” is timeless. “Manic Depression” is still one of the most exciting rock songs ever written.

And the deeper cuts are just as good. For example, “May This Be Love,” a tender ballad that strips away the feedback and reveals Jimi’s R&B style for what it is. Or “Third Stone From the Sun,” a woozy, noisy psychedelic exploration that would foreshadow the group’s more adventurous tracks on Electric Ladyland (which I only have on cassette).

Without exaggeration, this is one of the best debuts in pop music history.

One thought on “Record #281: The Jimi Hendrix Experience – Are You Experienced (1967)

  1. Pingback: Record #470: Deep Purple – Machine Head (1972) | A Year of Vinyl

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