Are You Experienced - The Jimi Hendrix Experience


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Released in the U.S. on August 23, 1967 (UK May 12, 1967)Genres: Psychedelic Rock and Hard Rock
Label: Reprise Records

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Members(from left to right): Mitch Mitchell, Jimi Hendrix, Noel Redding

Track Listing:
North American edition
Side one:
  1. "Purple Haze" – 2:46
  2. "Manic Depression" – 3:46
  3. "Hey Joe" – 3:23
  4. "Love or Confusion" – 3:15
  5. "May This Be Love" – 3:14
  6. "I Don't Live Today" – 3:55
Side two:
  1. "The Wind Cries Mary" – 3:21
  2. "Fire" – 2:34
  3. "3rd Stone from the Sun" – 6:40
  4. "Foxey Lady" – 3:15
  5. "Are You Experienced?" – 3:55


Vital Statistics

This very popular album became the best-selling album in the United States in 1968, ranked #15 on "Rolling Stone's 500 Greatest Albums of All Time", and peaked at #44 on the Billboard 200 for 3 weeks in 1968.

Jimi Hendrix - lead vocals, guitar
Noel Redding - bass, backing vocals
Mitch Mitchell - drums

Background

After being released in the UK, the album cover and track listing was completed reworked for the upcoming release of the US version. First the UK album cover was discarded and a new more psychedelic-looking fish-eye photo of the three band members. In addition, "Can You See", "Remember" and "Red House" were all scrapped from the track list, in order to include the three UK singles, "Purple Haze", "Hey Joe" and "The Wind Cries Mary". The three singles were excluded from the UK version because they were released prior to the album's release and not re-included, which was the standard at the time.

Technical Details

The music is R&B based with a distinct psychedelic distortion and feedback-laden electric guitar.

Cultural Analysis

The debut album came out as an instant classic and is still just as interesting and unique today as it was when it first came out in 1967. Considered the most rock-oriented of Hendrix's studio releases. Its inspirations come from all over, although. "Third Stone from the Sun" goes back to the supple octaves of jazz guitarist Wes Montgomery, the Afro-Cuban polyrythms of "Manic Depression" takes root from John Coltrane and Elvin Jones, "I Don't Live Today" brings alive ritualistic Native American drumbeats, and "Are You Experienced" borrows the Eastern style of sitarist Ravi Shankar. Mitch Mitchell and Noel Redding shake the stage with their own distinct styles that help contribute to "Purple Haze" and "Foxey Lady", which help define the power trio format. This is all made possible due to Hendrix's full-bodied rhythm guitar and his soaring solos.

Songs

Foxey Lady


Ranked at #152 on Rolling Stone's "500 Greatest Songs of All Time", this song is well known for its guitar riff and is one of Hendrix's earliest uses of feedback in a studio recording. In the booklet for the Experience Hendrix CD, Hendrix is quoted as saying this was the only happy song he had ever written. He said he usually doesn't feel happy when writing songs. This very sexual song that was most likely inspired by Heather Taylor, wife of Roger Daltrey, lead singer for The Who. Kathy Etchingham, Jimi's girlfriend at the time, suggested to be one of many inspirations for "Foxey Lady". When released onto the US version of the album there was a spelling mistake and the original "Foxy Lady" got changed into the more well-known in the US "Foxey Lady".It is famously know for its use in Wayne's World.

Hey Joe


Became the first single for the newly formed group at the time. Only song on the album that is not written by Hendrix, the real writer is unclear but Hendrix, along with The Leaves, who first recorded the song, credits it to William Roberts. Over 400 artists have covered this song along with The Jimi Hendrix Experience.

The Wind Cries Mary


According to Hendrix, he first wrote the song as a very long one but broke it down to fit the short song convention and to make it more radio friendly. He worried listeners would miss its meaning due to its shortened length. Its inspiration came from his then girlfriend, Kathy Mary Etchingham, who he had gotten into an argument with. She got very upset and stayed at a friend's house for the night and when she returned Jimi had written her "The Wind Cries Mary" for her.


Videos





Omitted from the UK version when constructing the US album, Red House showed the blues side of Jimi.

References

http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=6491823
http://www.cduniverse.com/productinfo.asp?pid=1104015
http://www.independent.co.uk/arts-entertainment/music/news/hendrix-heads-list-of-100-guitar-greats-with-are-you-experienced-587496.html
http://www.rocklistmusic.co.uk/rs200.html
http://www.billboard.com/album/various-artists/are-you-experienced/610149#/album/various-artists/are-you-experienced/610149
http://www.songfacts.com/detail.php?id=2241
http://www.songfacts.com/detail.php?id=2204
http://www.songfacts.com/detail.php?id=1657