Backround-Jimi Hendrix was a self taught guitarist who spent the early and mid-60's as a back-up player for various blues based bands. Then he was "discovered", signed, paired up with a Noel Redding and Mitch Mitchell and his debut was set to be released. Can this album really be forty years old? I guess it is so I am going to give it a spin and see how it holds up.
1. Purple Haze-It begins with a basic riff, but things pick up quickly. It's a good example of the band's ability to control the pace.
2. Manic Depression-Comes on with a very thick, chugging guitar sound. I love the drum sound and it flows beautifully
3. Hey Joe-This is a cover song and it's a very slow tempo with song sharp guitar and thick vocals. It's a good change of pace at this point.
4. Love Or Confusion-A mid-tempo song with a great solo. The transition from the jam back into the main riff is also worth noting.
5. May This Be Love-A really relaxed track for the band. A fairly even sound, but it works because it's so different.
6. I Don't Live Today-A very energetic track with the rhythm section really standing out. It's busy, but not overdone.
7. The Wind Cries Mary- I think this is Hendrix's best vocal performance on this album and maybe the best written song here. It manages to be tight yet it really takes hold of you as well.
8. Fire-This song has a real groove to it and it sounds very natural which is important.
9. Third Stone From The Sun-The longest track on the album. The music just kind of floating at times, but it has a real groove to it.
10. Foxey Lady-Alright, this song is hard for me to take due to hearing it way too much. That scene with Garth in Wayne's World didn't help it any. To be fair the music is thick and has some good chops to it. I just have trouble swallowing the lyrics.
11. Are You Experienced?-It has an odd riff and layed back vocals. I like it because it doesn't feel the need to do too much yet you will remember it.
Verdict/Final Word- The debut of the Jimi Hendrix Experience is surprisingly solid for a debut. It's also surprisingly diverse for the time as far as merging different musical styles. Not just merging, but doing a fairly seamless job of it as well. Hendrix wasn't just creating hard rock guitar, he was conquering it. Not only that, but he made it sound and look easy. Hendrix was without a doubt the best guitarist of all time. It's not just because he could rip off solos, although that helps. He knew when to use speed and when to use different tones. He also when not to use as in he didn't feel that he always had to do a solo just for the sake of doing it. That's a trap that too many so called "guitar heroes" fall into. Hendrix was like the guy who knew he could do it all, but he didn't have to prove himself at every opportunity because when the time came it would be there. "Axis: Bold as love" is probably my favorite Hendrix album, but "Are you experienced?" was one of the most important albums of it's time and still is relevant to music today. It's a shame his life and his music career were cut short. Yet he did more in a short time then most musicians do in longer careers. Just an amazing album and it certainly deserves to be called a classic.