Records That Made History

The Jimi Hendrix Experience – Are You Experienced

todayOctober 14, 2023 46 5

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Are You Experienced is the debut album by the Anglo-American rock band The Jimi Hendrix Experience. The LP was released in 1967 and became a major commercial success, even being well received by critics. The album is widely regarded as one of the greatest debuts in rock music history. It features Jimi Hendrix’s innovative approach to singing and electric guitar, which soon set a new direction in psychedelic and hard rock music.

By mid-1966, Hendrix was struggling to make a living playing R&B as a backup guitarist. When approached by Chas Chandler, who was then leaving the Animals to pursue managing and promoting artists, Hendrix signed a contract with Chandler and former Animals manager Michael Jeffery. Chandler brought Hendrix to London and began recruiting members for a band called the Jimi Hendrix Experience, designed to showcase Hendrix’s talents. In late October, after being rejected by Decca Records, the Experience signed with Track Records, a new label formed by Who managers Kit Lambert and Chris Stamp.

Are You Experienced recorded all of their previous singles over a period of five months, from the end of October 1966 to the beginning of April 1967. The album was completed in sixteen visits to studios in three London locations, including De Lane Lea Studios, CBS and Olympic Studios.

The LP was released in the UK on 12 May 1967, and spent 33 weeks in the charts, peaking at number two. In the US it was released on August 23 by Reprise Records, peaking at No. 5 on the Billboard 200, remaining on the charts for 106 weeks, 27 of which were in the Top 40. The album also spent 70 weeks on the US Billboard R&B charts, where it peaked at No. 10. The US release included some of Hendrix’s best-known songs, such as the first three singles from the Experience which, although omitted from the UK version of the LP, were top ten hits in the UK: “Purple Haze”, “Hey Joe” and “The Wind Cries Mary”.

In 2005, Rolling Stone ranked Are You Are Experienced at No. 15 on their list of the 500 Greatest Albums of All Time, placing four songs from the album on their list of the 500 Greatest Songs of All Time: “Purple Haze” (at No. 17 ), “Foxy Lady” (at No. 153), “Hey Joe” (at No. 201) and “The Wind Cries Mary” (at No. 379).

According to Hendrix biographer Harry Shapiro, the music on Are You Experienced incorporates a variety of musical genres from rhythm and blues to free jazz. Editor Peter Doggett noted the “great variety of musical styles”, while journalist Chris Welch said “each track has a distinct personality”. Musicologist Gilbert Chase claimed that the album “marked a high point in hard rock”, and music critic Jim De Rogatis described the LP and previous singles as “frontline focused psychedelic rock”. A contemporary review published in Newsweek in October 1967 acknowledged the influence of soul music on the Experience and consequently the album.

Through this album we choose to hear “Hey Joe”.


A1. Purple Haze 2:46
A2. Manic Depression 3:30
A3. Hey Joe 3:23
A4. Love Or Confusion 3:15
A5. May This Be Love 2:55
A6. I Don’t Live Today 3:55
B1. The Wind Cries Mary 3:21
B2. Fire 2:34
B3. Third Stone From The Sun 6:40
B4. Foxey Lady 3:15
B5. Are You Experienced? 3:55

Written by: Dimitris Sigalos

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