Are You Experienced
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|Are You Experienced|
Cover of the original British edition
|Studio album by the Jimi Hendrix Experience|
|Released||May 12, 1967|
|Recorded||December 13, 1966 – April 3, 1967, at De Lane Lea, CBS, and Olympic Studios in London|
|Genre||Psychedelic rock, hard rock, acid rock|
|Jimi Hendrix chronology|
Cover of the American edition
|Singles from Are You Experienced|
Are You Experienced is the debut album by English-American rock band the Jimi Hendrix Experience. Released in 1967, it was the first LP for Track Records. The album highlighted Hendrix's R&B-based, psychedelic, distortion-and feedback-laden electric guitar playing and launched him as a major new international star.
Are You Experienced has remained a critical and commercial success since its release. The album reached #2 in the UK, behind the Beatles' Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band. The US version of the album contains some of Hendrix's best known songs, including "Purple Haze", "Hey Joe", "The Wind Cries Mary" and "Fire". In 1987, as part of their 20th anniversary, Rolling Stone magazine ranked it #5 on "The 100 Best Albums of the Last Twenty Years." In 2003, Rolling Stone magazine ranked it #15 on Rolling Stone's 500 Greatest Albums of All Time. The album was an instant success and was the best-selling album in the United States in 1968, and critics subsequently regarded it as one of the best rock albums of all time.
- 1 Background and recording
- 2 European release
- 3 Album cover
- 4 The Reprise American and Canadian compilation release
- 5 The CD releases
- 6 Reception and legacy
- 7 Track listing
- 8 Personnel
- 9 Songbooks
- 10 References
- 11 External links
Background and recording
Hendrix, along with producer and former bass player for the Animals, Chas Chandler, formed the Jimi Hendrix Experience in England in 1966 with Mitch Mitchell on drums and Noel Redding on bass. The band signed with Track Records, a new label formed by The Who's managers Kit Lambert and Chris Stamp.
They recorded three singles produced by Chas Chandler while simultaneously touring throughout England: "Hey Joe"/"Stone Free", which was released in December 1966 through Polydor Records because Track Records was not yet operational; "Purple Haze"/"51st Anniversary", released in March 1967 and was the first release by Track Records on a special white label; and "The Wind Cries Mary"/"Highway Chile" which was released in May 1967 and is said to be written by Hendrix for his longtime love, Kathy Etchingham (whose middle name is Mary), after he was left alone at home when she stormed out after a fight. All three of these singles reached the top ten in the UK. The Experience's first single, "Hey Joe", reached #6 on the UK chart in early 1967, followed soon after by "Purple Haze", which peaked at #3 on the charts and its double platinum debut album, Are You Experienced.
During the making of the album's singles, the Jimi Hendrix Experience also cut the tracks that became their debut album, which Chandler produced, again, mostly with engineer Dave Siddle at De Lane Lea Studios, he also used Mike Ross at CBS for several tracks. Some tracks were completed at Olympic Studios with engineer Eddie Kramer, as was the full recording of the title track, and the final compilation, mixing and editing of the LP.' 'Are You Experienced was recorded over a five-month period, but relative to his later work, little time was spent in the studio. According to the background information in 2010's 180-gram vinyl re-release, Hendrix stated he wanted to record with "the best gear and musicians available".
Are You Experienced was released in the UK in May 1967 without the three singles, as was the custom in the UK at that time. At the time of release, the Jimi Hendrix Experience had played a few dates in North West Europe and appeared on TV there. During the winter of 1966–67, they played mostly in and around London. They embarked on their first tour of the UK (as support to the Walker Brothers) shortly before its release and played more gigs in North West Europe including several TV shows. This appears to have paid off, the album became one of the defining releases of the psychedelic movement, reaching #2 in the UK and remaining on the British charts for eight months behind the Beatles' Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band.
In Europe this LP was released by three different companies: the new "independent" Track Records, which produced the original cover with a picture by Bruce Fleming; the independent Barclay Records in France, which produced a completely different cover featuring a photo of Hendrix performing on a recent French TV show, surrounded by "psychedelic" painted, swirling graphics; and Track parent Polydor Records in Germany, Italy and Spain. In Germany, Polydor used the original Track Records cover but added "Jimi Hendrix" in similar lime green text above the white Are You Experienced logos on the front; in Italy this added text was red, while in Spain it was yellow. These Polydor releases featured "fake" stereo, processed from mono. The back cover had a track list added.
Barclay Records of France added final punctuation to the album title: Are You Experienced. Some tracklists of the album also add the question mark to the title track. The South African Polydor release (due to the apartheid racial barrier, and that the main customer base was seen to be "whites") had no pictures, only text on a plain red background (mono only). Japan, Australia and New Zealand Polydor (mono only) copies used the original UK layout.
The Reprise American and Canadian compilation release
Although word of the Hendrix phenomenon spread to the US, he was not seen in America (and no records were released) until the summer of 1967, when, at Paul McCartney's insistence, the Jimi Hendrix Experience appeared at the Monterey Pop Festival, held in Monterey California on June 18, 1967. The performance, which Hendrix climaxed by burning his guitar, was filmed by D.A. Pennebaker for the documentary Monterey Pop. It was only after this show-stealing performance that his American and Canadian label, Reprise Records, prepared the album for release, but with some significant changes. The cover and the art on the album changed. The UK cover, which featured a picture of the band on a black background, was abandoned, and a more psychedelic design was devised by photographer designer Karl Ferris (whose group portraits appeared on all three of the band's US album covers).
Secondly, and more crucially, "Red House", "Can You See Me" and "Remember" were all removed in order to make way for the three UK hit singles: "Purple Haze", "Hey Joe" and "The Wind Cries Mary", with the running order being shuffled in the process. This time the running order was selected by Hendrix himself, but "Red House" was excluded from the album against his wishes. He was told that the US did "not like the blues". The spelling of the song "Foxy Lady" was also changed to "Foxey Lady" on the US and Canadian releases. This selection of tracks was also remixed into stereo. In August, the US version of Are You Experienced saw issue in both the original mono mix and the new stereo mix and became a strong and enduring seller. When the album was finally released in August 1967, three months after its European release, the new line-up proved hugely influential, with the album peaking at #5 and remaining on Billboard's album chart for two years.
The CD releases
The original Reprise (US/Canada) CD was originally identical to their original stereo LP version, whereas the European CD release used the original UK track list, but replaced with the Reprise stereo re-mix versions (except for the original mono version of "Red House", which has never been mixed into stereo and "Remember", which used the mono version, but processed to "sound stereo").
The 1993 Alan Douglas re-release (MCA 10893) had a chronological track list, starting with the first three UK singles A and B sides replaced by the Reprise stereo mixes (except for "Stone Free", "51st Anniversary", and "Highway Chile") and followed by the original track list of the UK LP. The version of "Red House" included on this CD edition was the same as that originally included on the US LP "Smash Hits" in 1969, and different from the version of "Red House" present on the original Track UK LP. That original Track UK LP version can be heard on the CD Jimi Hendrix: Blues. It might also be noted that at the end of the version of Red House on the original UK Track LP, a bit of studio dialogue between Hendrix and Chas Chandler can be heard, and that on the "Blues" CD, only a snippet of Hendrix speaking from the beginning of the dialog can be heard.
After Jimi's father, Al Hendrix, won back the rights to his son's musical catalogue, Are You Experienced was again reissued in 1997 (MCA 11602) and 2010, now under Sony Music Entertainment worldwide, preserving the UK and US versions in their respective territories and including the extra tracks missing from the respective editions and restoring the original mono version of "Red House" (minus the dialogue at the end). The 2010 release includes a booklet with pictures of the band, lyric sheets (handwritten by Hendrix) and gear rental receipts of a music supplier in London.
Reception and legacy
|Encyclopedia of Popular Music|||
|Martin C. Strong||10/10|
Are You Experienced received mostly positive reviews from contemporary music critics. Keith Altham of NME magazine called the Jimi Hendrix Experience "a musical labyrinth—you either find your way into the solid wall of incredible sound, or you sit back and gasp at Hendrix' guitar antics and showmanship, wondering what it's all about".
Are You Experienced has since been regarded by critics as one of the greatest and most influential debut albums in rock and roll. The Guardian wrote in 2003 that it "remains a watershed of psychedelic rock." American musicologist Gilbert Chase asserted that the album "marked a high peak in hard rock." The Miami Herald credits it for introducing acid rock, classic rock, and the guitar style of heavy metal music. In his review for Blender, music critic Robert Christgau said that, although the album's songs are catchy enough to hum, "humming definitely doesn't capture their essence, a roiling sea of guitar that would change how a generation of fans heard music and conceived their own blown minds." BBC Music's Sid Smith similarly hailed it as "the sound of the future arriving; tacky, awkward, inspirational, exciting, perplexing and sometimes contradictory for sure, but the future nonetheless."
In 2005, Are You Experienced was one of 50 recordings chosen by the Library of Congress to be added to the National Recording Registry, which selects recordings annually that are "culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant". Writer and archivist Rueben Jackson of the Smithsonian Institution said that "it's still a landmark recording because it is of the rock, R&B, blues ... musical tradition. It altered the syntax of the music, if you will, in a way I compare to, say, James Joyce's Ulysses."
The TV channel VH1 named it the fifth greatest album of all time in 2001. In 2003, the US version of the album was ranked #15 on Rolling Stone's list of the 500 greatest albums of all time, having been ranked as #5 in their twentieth anniversary listing The Best Albums of the Last Twenty Years published in 1987. Kerrang! magazine listed the album at #41 among the "100 Greatest Heavy Metal Albums of All Time". Guitarist magazine named the album #1 on their list of "the most influential guitar albums of all time" in 1994 and Mojo magazine similarly listed it as the greatest guitar album of all time in 2003. Creem magazine named the album number six on the Top Ten Metal Albums Of The 60s. Vibe (12/99, p. 156) included it in its list of 100 Essential Albums of the 20th century. NME (10/2/93, p. 29) ranked it #29 in its list of the "Greatest Albums of All Time". In March 2000 a poll from Guitar World Magazine named Are You Experienced the greatest album of the Millennium. Later, in 2006, a reader's poll from that magazine placed the album at #3 on a list of the Greatest Guitar Albums of All Time.
UK and International editions
All songs written and composed by Jimi Hendrix, except where noted.
|4.||"Can You See Me"||2:35|
|5.||"Love or Confusion"||3:17|
|6.||"I Don't Live Today"||3:58|
|7.||"May This Be Love"||3:14|
|9.||"Third Stone from the Sun"||6:50|
|11.||"Are You Experienced"||4:17|
|1997 Experience Hendrix reissue bonus tracks|
|12.||"Hey Joe" (Billy Roberts)||3:30|
|16.||"The Wind Cries Mary"||3:20|
US and Canadian editions
|4.||"Love or Confusion"||3:15|
|5.||"May This Be Love"||3:14|
|6.||"I Don't Live Today"||3:55|
|7.||"The Wind Cries Mary"||3:21|
|9.||"Third Stone from the Sun"||6:40|
|11.||"Are You Experienced?"||3:55|
|1997 Experience Hendrix reissue|
|15.||"Can You See Me"||2:32|
|17.||"Red House (Stereo mix)"||3:51|
|1993 Alan Douglas edition|
|5.||"The Wind Cries Mary"||3:24|
|9.||"Red House (Stereo mix)"||3:53|
|10.||"Can You See Me"||2:35|
|11.||"Love or Confusion"||3:17|
|12.||"I Don't Live Today"||3:58|
|13.||"May This Be Love"||3:14|
|15.||"Third Stone from the Sun"||6:50|
|17.||"Are You Experienced?"||4:17|
All track numbers are according to the UK and international editions track listing.
- The Jimi Hendrix Experience
- Jimi Hendrix – lead and backing vocals, lead and rhythm guitars, handclaps on "I Don't Live Today", sound effects of "Star Fleet" on "Third Stone from the Sun", piano on "Are You Experienced?".
- Noel Redding – bass guitar, backing vocals on "Foxy Lady", "Fire" and "Purple Haze".
- Mitch Mitchell – drums, percussion on "Can You See Me", "May This Be Love", "Remember" and "Stone Free", backing vocals on "I Don't Live Today" and "Stone Free".
- Production personnel
- Chas Chandler – production, sound effects of "Scout Ship" on "Third Stone from the Sun".
- Dave Siddle – engineering on "Manic Depression", "Can You See Me", "Love or Confusion", "I Don't Live Today", "Fire", "Remember", "Hey Joe", "Stone Free", "Purple Haze", "51st Anniversary", and "The Wind Cries Mary".
- Eddie Kramer – engineering on "The Wind Cries Mary", "Are You Experienced?" and "Red House", additional engineering on "Love or Confusion", "Fire", "Third Stone from the Sun", and "Highway Chile".
- Mike Ross – engineering on "Foxy Lady", "Red House" and "Third Stone from the Sun".
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- allmusic US review
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- "Review: Are You Experienced". Down Beat (Chicago): 61. August 1997. Retrieved March 27, 2013.
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- Jimi Hendrix album guide
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- Fineberg, Gail. "National Recording Registry Grows (May 2006) - Library of Congress Information Bulletin". Library of Congress. Retrieved March 27, 2013.
- Henderson, Paul (January 21, 1989). "Jimi Hendrix Experience 'Are You Experienced'". Kerrang! 222. London, UK: Spotlight Publications Ltd.
- The Top 50 Most Influential Guitar Albums Of All Time Ever!. Rocklist.
- Barnes, Anthony (July 21, 2003). "Hendrix heads list of 100 guitar greats with 'Are You Experienced'". The Independent (London). Retrieved February 20, 2010.
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