Jimi Hendrix’s fantastic 1967 debut album recorded with English musicians Noel Redding(bass guitar) and Mitch Mitchell(drums) over in London, has well proved itself to be one of the greatest hard rock albums ever recorded. ROLLING STONE and many other authoritative sources place this album right among the top 15 all time best rock albums ever.
The May 1967 UK release of this album on Track Records differed greatly from the American release eventually issued by Reprise Records in August , however a 1993 Alan Douglas compiled cd release includes all 17 tracks associated with the original 11 track UK and U.S. releases of this classic album, along with all of the associated singles and B sides that were released from era-associated recording sessions that were not included on the album.
ARE YOU EXPERIENCED reads more like a greatest hits collection with so many fantastic songs. It’s hard to believe that one single album could ever be this good. Included on the 1993 compiled cd are classic Hendrix tracks such as “Purple Haze”, “Foxey Lady”, “Stone Free”, “Can You See Me”, “Highway Chile”, “Fire”, “I Don’t Live Today”, “Hey Joe”, “Are You Experienced” and much more. That’s one heck of a fantastic line-up of debut songs for any act ever. Most acts don’t write or have that much good material in a lifetime.
Sadly, Jimi Hendrix, Noel Redding and Mitch Mitchell have all died. Mitchell was named one of the greatest drummers of all time, and died in 2008 in his Portland, Oregon Benson Hotel room while touring with the 2008 Experience Hendrix show of natural causes. Jimi Hendrix died in 1970 from complications from a German brand of sleeping pills that he was unfamiliar with, from an accidental overdose. Only four albums were issued during his lifetime, ARE YOU EXPERIENCED, AXIS:BOLD AS LOVE, ELECTRIC LADYLAND & BAND OF GYPSIES, a 1970 album that was recorded live. However, Hendrix left behind a wealth of other recorded material that found it’s way on to a mountain of posthumous releases. Noel Redding continued to record after the death of Hendrix and remained active in music until his 2003 death.
Few albums come as good as this one does. This is classic rock in it’s purest definition and right up there with the very best of The Beatles, The Rolling Stones, The Doors, Cream and other great classic rock acts.
The Bottom Line: One of the very best classic rock albums ever recorded, bar none. ++++(Four Stars, excellent. Classic rock albums come no better than this).