3. Are You Experienced // The Jimi Hendrix Experience, 1967
Any time something has ‘greatest’ and ‘rock’ in its title, there should be an expectation to see the Jimi Hendrix name somewhere. With Noel Redding on bass and Mitch Mitchell on drums, Hendrix and his band would release Are You Experienced, an album so rich with innovative techniques and brazen psychedelic themes that it would permanently alter the landscape of the genre.
It sounds unlike anything you’d expect from a debut album, a transformative reimagining of blues, dusted with acid rock and the creation of a new rock aesthetic. Hendrix’s deep vocals, mature and full-bodied, perfectly balance with Redding’s bass.
While the band would only release two more studio albums, Axis: Bold as Love in 1967 and Electric Ladyland in 1968, it’s the debut which captures the authenticity of Hendrix’s prowess, let loose upon his guitar with madness, he created shattering riffs that would forever ripple. But it’s also full of songs that are delicate in their composition, such as ‘May This Be Love’, heed to the craft of Hendrix. He was just getting started and you’ve got ‘Hey Joe’, ‘Purple Haze’ and ‘The Wind Cries Mary’.