“Excuse me while I kiss the sky.”
It’s hard to imagine an album like Are You Experienced? getting made these days. Even harder to imagine is a major label picking up this expansive combination of pop, rock, soul, jazz, funk and stoned experimentation. The marketing people would have a fit trying to figure out how to sell it to the kids as they A&Red the life out of it.
When recording on this album began in 1966 (finishing in 1967) there were only a handful of people tinkering with the format of the three minute song. Hendrix’s arrival on the scene (the archetypal stranger in a strange land scenario) upped the ante and didn’t so much nudge things along as give them an almighty shove after which rock music would never be the same. Even ignoring the likes of “Hey Joe” and “Purple Haze” (as singles they were not included on the original album) tracks as “Fire” stretch out the baton that bands such as Deep Purple would so willingly grasp. Similarly, the faintly ludicrous cock-rock antics of “Foxy Lady” graphically joined the dots on the whole sex and music shebang in a way that a nation weaned on Hank Marvin heroics could barely guess at.
Whilst some of the licks shot-blasted across the disc ape the twangy pop tones of the day, his solo on “Manic Depression” sounds like its being beamed in from another dimension altogether. “Red House” remains a dazzling blues exhibition that rightly made the jaws of London’s musical elite drop. It’s a sobering thought that when this originally came out in May 1967, the only other serious contender for the crown of guitar godhood, Cream’s Disraeli Gears, was still six months from being released.
The psychedelic flummeries added to an already rich recipe (the title track and “Third Stone From The Sun”) occasionally results in a kind of multi-coloured indigestion. Whilst such embroidery indelibly watermarks the album, it rarely detracts from the stand-out, casual brilliance that is so abundant. This is the sound of the future arriving; tacky, awkward, inspirational, exciting, perplexing and sometimes contradictory for sure, but the future nonetheless. – BBC
Jimi Hendrix was a natural genius of the electric guitar the like of which we will never see again. He was totally self-taught and had the greatest ‘mind-hand-guitar’ connection that I can think of. He single handedly made great music and non-music or sound effects come together in an incredible blend of hypnotic effects and power that only he knew how to execute with mind-blowing precision. His rendition of ‘Hey baby’ performed in Berkeley(the second show), ‘Machine gun’(the live versions), ‘Little wing’(Albert hall), ‘Drifting’(studio version), ‘The star spangled banner’(All versions/Woodstock Festival version), ‘Voodoo child’(Albert Hall), ‘Hear my train coming’(All live versions), ‘All along the watchtower’(Studio version), ‘Red house’(all live versions), etc, etc, are shining testaments to his incredible genius. Words can not fully do justice to his depth, prowess, power, ferocity, and sheer poetry he could bring to the guitar during his epic live performances and his studio recordings. He introduced the component of non-musical sounds such as feedback, heavy distortions, and other worldly sounds and turned these into a distinct vocabulary that added more realism and mind splitting aggression to his amazing music, like no other had ever done or has been able to do since… No one comes near him… He was the genius guitarist who was as brilliant a rock guitarist as he was a blues guitarist. The blend was magic all the way… In many ways rock guitar history can be divided into two: pre-Hendrix and post-Hendrix eras, just to give you an idea of the gigantic musical stature of the man… He was the the greatest polymath of the electric guitar and the ‘Da-Vinci’ of the electric guitar. Those are the best ways I can describe his boundless ability, fearlessness, innovative spirit, and adventurism. He set many innumerable trends for other guitarists and musicians to benefit from, and created great many different patterns of music and sounds, and sounds and music, to open up the future of music in more ways than we can count… Another incredible aspect was that he was left handed and played ‘right-handed’ guitars made for right handed musicians(nearly all are right handed), holding it nearly upside down in the earlier years!! He taught himself in that most difficult way, and played mind-bogglingly more than any right handed guitar player ever could, and these facts are nothing short of astonishing!! He is beyond comparison and his genius and fame are forever sealed in rock, blues, and modern music history… Kaiser T, MD.
A new album “Both Sides of the Sky” of his unreleased studio recordings will be released this March!!! Click here for more info
We will miss you Jimmy.
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