Album no. 100/1001
It’s our ONE HUNDREDTH REVIEW(!!) GUYS AND it’s Jimi Hendrix! Another great artist who couldn’t get work in the US but was hailed as a visionary when he went over to England. Well done America.
Hendrix was playing through Marshall amplifiers, and the stories from the recording sessions are pretty great. When asked where he wanted the microphones placed Hendrix apparently said “Oh, man, just put a mic about twelve feet away on the other side of the studio. It’ll sound great.” He also told the producer that if he wasn’t allowed to play as loudly as he wanted he might as well go back to America.
This album was recorded in three different studios, and every one of them received noise complaints from neighboring businesses. Classic Jimi.
Also in case anyone is wondering we listened to the UK version of this album. The US version was pretty different and included some of the singles he’d already put out; ‘Hey Joe’, ‘Purple Haze’, ‘Wind Cries Mary’, ‘Stone Free’, ’51st Anniversary’ and ‘Highway Chile’. The UK version has NOT got any of those on it, so don’t send us your stupid emails about how Purple Haze is his best song and we’re idiots.
Have you listened to this album before?
CL: Surprisingly, I haven’t listened to much Hendrix. This makes me incredibly uncool, doesn’t it?
NK: We knew this already, but yes.
NK: An embarrassment of riches! ‘Foxy Lady’ is great, ‘Manic Depression’ is all driving rhythms….you know what, I enjoyed pretty much all of these songs. Special shout out to ‘May This Be Love’, which I always forget about but is really good. Also ‘Are You Experienced?’ is a great closer.
CL: I really liked ‘Manic Depression’. Like, a lot. I think that’s probably the track I went back to the most. The tumbling drums are GREAT. ‘Fire’ is pretty banging, and ‘Can You See Me’. Some of the others though, like ‘Third Stone From The Sun’ and ‘Red House’… they sort of wandered past me – just a lot of Jimbo noodling on his backwards guitar.
NK: I like ‘Third Stone From The Sun’! It’s all weird and soundscapey, with those long slow riffs at the end. ‘Red House’ is good too, despite the plodding pace all the guitar riffs are played at top speed.
When would be the best time to listen to this?
NK: TURN IT UP.
CL: You definitely have to dedicate some time to really appreciate it, I think. Don’t just chuck it on in the background – set aside some time and listen to it properly.
Why has this album been included on the list?
CL: I’m no guitar expert, but even I can tell that this was pretty earth-shattering at the time. He’s pretty mad.
NK: His guitaring is so different to different to what we’ve heard so far. Even old mate Eric Clapton didn’t play like this. He was fast, but he wasn’t as raw as Jimi is. He’s already got a few weird effects going on (see ‘I Don’t Live Today’), and he’s a pretty expressive singer as well.
Will you be listening again?
NK: Damn right I will.
CL: Hmm. I gave this a couple of listens, but honestly the whole album is probably too much for me. There are some decent songs for sure, but not the whole album.
Listen to Are You Experienced? on Spotify or buy it in iTunes.