Albums That Built The Foundation Of Heavy Metal : The Jimi Hendrix Experience – Are You Experienced?
Metal Mofos’ Editor in Chief Jesse Vejar kicks off his series of essays “The Albums That Built the Foundation of Heavy Metal” to recognize the historical significance of some pieces of music which went on to inspire metal fans across the globe and give proper respect to their contributions to heavy metal music.
Albums That Built The Foundation Of Heavy Metal :
Artist : The Jimi Hendrix Experience
Album : Are You Experienced
Released : May 12, 1967
Metal Mofo Album Rating : 5/5 (One Of The Most Influential Albums Ever Made !)
Contrary to what some people think, bands like Black Sabbath, or Led Zeppelin didn’t just wake up one day and invent Heavy Metal music. It came about slowly throughout the 1960s through a series of landmarks that changed the style, and sound of music. One of those landmarks was almost 50 years ago when the world was introduced to a guitar player that came out of nowhere, and had the effect of a brick going through a glass window. His name was Jimi Hendrix, who along with his bandmates Mitch Mitchell, and Noel Redding would change the course of Rock And Roll music forever with the release of the now Legendary album “Are You Experienced ?” A record released a full two years before any Zeppelin music, and three years before any Sabbath album, but just as essential to what Heavy Metal music has become.
Just think what it was like to first hear this record in 1967. For one thing Jimi was black, and there really hasn’t been a black guitar sensation since Chuck Berry. But what Jimi would do would be to introduce a whole new way to play the guitar. Adding a whole new influence of the instrument that would prompt many more young kids to ask their parents to buy them a guitar, knowing now that there were no longer any rules, or a correct way to play it. Innovation would now be the key factor, and many of these kids would become future Heavy Metal/Hard Rock Stars who would absorb the music Jimi wrote, and recorded like a sponge.
Even though at the time it seemed like Jimi basically came out of nowhere, in reality he had been paying his dues for years. After being a guitar player for people like Little Richard, and The Isley Brothers he decided to go off on his own, but no one cared in America, so he went to the UK where he was finally discovered by former musician of the band The Animals, Chas Chadler. He would introduce Jimi to his future bandmates, would record his debut record on a four track machine, and the rest is history.
I personally heard this album like many in my generation for the first time in the mid-1980s, over a decade after Jimi’s death. I personally was blown away by it then, and that was twenty years after it was released, yet it never sounded one bit dated, (even with the primitive equipment of the 1960s it was recorded on.) Today it continues to have the same effect on new listeners, as all of Jimi’s work continues to become more and more relevant with each passing year. Songs like Purple Haze, Foxy Lady, Fire, etc, etc. The whole album is absolutely killer. It’s hard to believe that Jimi’s career was just a little over three years long, yet accomplished more in that time than many do over decades. Not only was he the greatest guitar player to ever walk the planet (yeah argue your case who was better, they still remain in Jimi’s shadow when it’s all said and done) he was an innovator, and great songwriter too. But best of all he was a humble man, always said other guitar players were better, when he really knew he could blow them off the stage (fans of those guitar players milk his statements to death). Truth is Jimi didn’t need to tell you how good he was, because he showed you. And with an album like “Are You Experienced ? the music does ALL of the talking. All heavy metal/hard rock, or any fans of music in general should celebrate this monumental record.
All songs written and composed by Jimi Hendrix, except “Hey Joe” by Billy Roberts.
“Foxy Lady” – 3:22
“Manic Depression” – 3:46
“Red House” – 3:53
“Can You See Me” – 2:35
“Love or Confusion” – 3:17
“I Don’t Live Today” – 3:58
“May This Be Love” – 3:14
“Fire” – 2:47
“3rd Stone from the Sun” – 6:50
“Remember” – 2:53
“Are You Experienced?” – 4:17