Are You Experienced is the debut album released by The Jimi Hendrix Experience.  It’s been said that this album is arguably one of the greatest debut albums of all time and I agree with that.  Certainly an excellent debut and hearing the three piece Experience lineup working together when they are just getting started in their careers and hungry is truly a treat.

The Jimi Hendrix Experience Are You Experienced?
This review is on the 2010 reissue which is remastered and includes a bonus DVD and an expanded booklet.
Here we go…
  1. Purple Haze – One of the songs that put Jimi on the map.  Classic driving lead guitar by Jimi with a catchy riff that gets you movin’.  Strong snappy drums also add to the rhythm of the song.  A song about getting high.
  2. Manic Depression – A definite rock and roll riff with a darker sound.  Some of the guitar work reminds me of hints of The Guess Who in parts.  Jimi’s guitar screams are evident throughout.
  3. Hey Joe – The song that got Jimi noticed with Chas Chandler and landed him his first solo recording deal.  While he didn’t write it, he sure performed it better than anyone else.  This song really helps the 3 piece Experience band shine.  A song about a guy going to kill his wife for cheating on him.  Beautiful guitar work that truly sings.
  4. Love Or Confusion – The finger rolls are evident here.  Great guitar work by Jimi and crisp drums from Mitch.  A great rockin’ song about love (or confusion).
  5. May This be Love – Another love song with a softer tone.  One of my favorite songs on the album.  Excellent vocals by Jimi with jungle type drums from Mitch.  Definitely R&B style on the course and an emotional, singing guitar.  Soft guitar solo which draws emotion and makes you want to weave your head through every note.
  6. I Don’t Live Today – Ripping guitar riffs with kick ass distortion.  Excellent drums and a unique mix on Jimi’s vocals during the course give the song depth.  Jimi toying with new guitar sounds using the whammy bar and distortion.  The last half the song has fast, driving guitar riffs separated by Jimi talking.
  7. The Wind Cries Mary – A beautiful mellow groove track.  Soft vocals from Jimi in ballad style add to the style of the song.  The guitar is happy, filled with love and truly beautiful.  One of the shining songs on the album.
  8. Fire – A track that I can say very little about that hasn’t already been written millions of times.  A lively, energetic, up-tempo track with a kick ass guitar riff, splitting drums, funky bass.  Bad ass guitar solo.  Jimi really comes alive in this song.  One of the all time greatest classic rock songs.
  9. 3rd Stone From The Sun – A psychedelic song with tons of unique sounds from the guitar which Jimi was always experimenting with.  Another smooth riff mixed with some searing solo work on the guitar make this song an excellent variety type of song.  Jimi speaks throughout the song in a poetic manner rather than singing with a space like effect on his voice.  Sounds form outer space were the objective which was achieved.
  10. Foxey Lady – Again, another song with I can add very little to in the way of review.  Incredible song that always makes me think of Garth dancing in the cafe in the movie Wayne’s World.  A song about a woman who Jimi wants to be all his.  Incredible guitar riffs and vocals make this another one of Jimi’s signature songs.
  11. Are You Experienced? – This song starts off with what I can only say is an American rock guitar riff.  Cool sound effects from the reversing of drums, guitar, and bass add to the psychedelic factor of the song.  Jimi’s guitar screams throughout especially on the solo work.  The vocals are mellow.  The message seems to drift from drugs to sex on this one which certainly fits with the ideals of the time.
  12. Stone Free – The vocals seem to be in a bit of a tin can with a purposeful effect.  A rugged song with energy driven vocals make this one a raw, rockin’ tune.  After Jimi says “Turn me loose baby” he goes into a shredding guitar solo which truly shines.  A song about being free without the ball and chain.
  13. 51st Anniversary – A cool song about a couple going through 51 years of anniversary’s.  Up-tempo track in which Jimi’s young age really shows in his vocals.  Great guitar riff and guiding bass work by Noel keep the song grooving.  One of the rougher sounding songs on the album which actually benefits the feel of the song.
  14. Highway Chile – Another one of my favorite songs.  The song starts off with a searing guitar riff and then leaks into a funky type track with a hint of blues sound.  A song about a guy who hits the road when he’s 17 and becomes a Highway Chile.  Noel’s bass is funky and adds an excellent flavor to the song.
  15. Can You See Me – Another song which shows Jimi’s young age in his vocals.  Plucking guitar twang in parts of the song at to the funkiness of the song.  Smooth guitar solo work.  Jimi’s vocals are strong and parts of the song have hints of 50’s type rock mixed with Jimi’s experimental and unique rockin’ style.
  16. Remember – A bluesy R&B song with Jimi’s vocals really shining.  A great mix of softer/emotional guitar mixed in with solid rock style for a song only Jimi could produce.
  17. Red House – One of Jimi’s all time shining, guitar driven songs.  Slow, bluesy, and rugged.  Something any person can grove to. Steady but ever present drums and bass add to the structure of the song while Jimi lets his guitar beautifully wonder.  One of many songs Jimi did that prominently show his blues roots.

The Extras…

The DVD

The DVD that comes with this new edition isn’t the most robust thing in the world but it still adds to the value of the package.  It’s a 17 minute documentary with Jimi’s engineer Eddie Kramer and his manager/producer Chas Chandler.  Noel Redding and Mitch Mitchell also do interviews.

Everything is weaved together as Eddie plays songs from the album, isolates tracks, and reveals some of the little known facts about songs.  There is also rare video footage of Jimi and the band throughout.

The Booklet

Also included is a full color 36 page booklet with tons of pictures, hand written lyrics and notes by Jimi, as well as information about the album.  Definitely much more content here than a standard CD comes with.  The packaging also shines as it’s a tri-fold package which is sturdy and luxurious looking.

Conclusion

This album is one of the greatest in rock history and hands down gets a 5 star rating.  Everything about the album is good and the effect that this album had on rock music is undeniable.  The re-mastering, bonus DVD, and cool packaging add to this already awesome album and the cheap price for this thing, 11 or 12 bucks is a steal.

5 Star Chris Elliott Rated

This CD can be picked up cheap at Amazon.  If my review was helpful to you, you can buy through the link below and Amazon will kick me back a few cents.

Until the next review,

Chris Elliott Signature

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