Some Of These May Surprise You
Few can even come close to what Jimi Hendrix has accomplished – he ‘arrived’ at the music scene with a very loud bang. Some find their sound and style later on in their career but Hendrix already found his from the get-go. It’s a stunning debut that most artists can only dream of.
But even if you’re a hardcore fan, there are still things you may not know about this epic masterpiece.
10. The Jimi Hendrix Experience was rejected by a top British record label, Decca Records. They ended up signing with Track which was a new label formed by Kit Lambert and Chris Stamp, managers of The Who.
9. The band have only been together for a few weeks before they sat down in the studio to record. Hendrix got together with Noel Redding five days after arriving in London. Mitch Mitchell joined them a few days later on October 4. They started recording on October 23.
8. Some of the album’s biggest hits (“Purple Haze,” “The Wind Cries Mary,” and “Hey Joe”) weren’t included in the UK and International edition but they were featured in the original North American edition.
7. The songs were recorded in sixteen recording sessions for five months with frequent brief breaks in between.
6. The psychedelic jacket Jimi Hendrix wore on the album cover photo was given to him by a fan.
5. Mitch Mitchell was almost kicked out because he was always late during recording.
4. Hendrix’s playing was so loud it would mess up with the computers at the bank above their recording studio. When he was told to turn it down, he reportedly threatened to leave but he eventually went back to record.
3. Hendrix hated the album cover of the UK version where he was wearing a black cape and spreading it. According to him, the photo “made him look like a fairy” so he asked the photographer Karl Ferris to make it look more like The Hollies’ “Evolution” record which Ferris also shot and designed.
2. “The Wind Cries Mary” was recorded in only one take. Mitchell and Redding didn’t get the chance to do a rehearsal but the whole thing, including overdubs, was finished in only 20 minutes.
1. Rolling Stone’s review of the album was kind of mixed. Although critic Jon Landau wrote that Hendrix is “a great guitarist and a brilliant arranger,” he also added that, “Despite Jimi’s musical brilliance and the group’s total precision, the poor quality of the songs, and the inanity of the lyrics, too often get in the way.” Nevertheless, the magazine ranked “Are You Experienced?” at #15 on their list of “500 Greatest Albums of All Time.”