This 1997 reissue of ARE YOU EXPERIENCED? is a remastered version that restores the original LP's track order and album artwork. ARE YOU EXPERIENCED? was previously reissued in 1993 (MCA 10893) with new cover art and a new 17-track running order that included all the songs on either the U.S. or U.K. versions of the original LP. That version is now out of print, and has been replaced by this one, on the Experience Hendrix label, which features remastered versions of the same 17 songs, this time in the order they appeared on the original American LP, with the extra tracks added to the end (a separate version was simultaneously released in the U.K., featuring the same songs but in the original British track order). The Experience Hendrix label is controlled by Hendrix's family.
The 1997 reissue also adds a 24-page booklet with previously-unpublished photos, the original LP liner notes and song lyrics.
The Jimi Hendrix Experience: Jimi Hendrix (vocals, electric guitar); Noel Redding (bass, background vocals); Mitch Mitchell (drums, background vocals).
Recorded in late 1966 and early 1967 at Olympic Studios, London, England.
Originally released on Reprise.
Includes liner notes by Dave Marsh.
Jimi Hendrix's debut recording was an instant classic, and is as startling today as when it first hit the streets in 1967. ARE YOU EXPERIENCED? is probably the most rock-oriented of Hendrix's official studio releases, but its influences are incredibly diverse. "Third Stone from the Sun" recalls the supple octaves of jazz guitarist Wes Montgomery; the churning Afro-Cuban polyrhythms of "Manic Depression" evoke John Coltrane and Elvin Jones; "I Don't Live Today" employs ritualistic Native American drumbeats; and the title tune borrows the Eastern airs of sitarist Ravi Shankar. The mix, beautifully refreshed on this 1997 reissue, is dark and churning, a dense wall of sound. Mitch Mitchell and Noel Redding blast away with a barely controlled fury, and there's a distorted metallic edge to Hendrix's guitar timbre that has made ARE YOU EXPERIENCED? a particular favorite among rock and heavy metal guitarists. "Purple Haze" and "Foxey Lady" helped define the power trio format, thanks to Hendrix's full-bodied rhythm guitar and his soaring solos. ARE YOU EXPERIENCED? also established Hendrix as a singer/songwriter. His Dylanesque vocals and spacy imagery make each tune a little gem, especially on gentle outings such as the ballad "The Wind Cries Mary."
Rolling Stone (12/11/03, p.96) - Ranked #15 in Rolling Stone's "500 Greatest Albums Of All Time" - "...The incendiary poetry of Hendrix's guitar was historic in itself..."
Q (12/93, p.136) - 5 Stars (out of 5) - "...ARE YOU EXPERIENCED? becomes the complete showcase for massive, never-matched earthquaking guitar sounds in improbably balanced dialogue with the laconic voice of a man who genuinely believed he couldn't sing..."
Down Beat (8/97, p.61) - 5 stars (out of 5) - "...pile-driving rhythms...deep blues...as well as Hendrix's amazing guitar/vocal display..."
Vibe (12/99, p.156) - Included in Vibe's 100 Essential Albums of the 20th Century
Vibe (2/94, p.103) - "...for folks who've never heard Jimi on vinyl, the rainbow fantasia world of Hendrix awaits you in all its polyphonic peacock glory...."
NME (Magazine) (10/2/93, p.29) - Ranked #29 in NME's list of the "Greatest Albums Of All Time."