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Music / Are You Experienced

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"'Scuse me while I kiss the sky."
The original cover used in the UK. 

Are You Experienced is the debut studio album by The Jimi Hendrix Experience, released in 1967. Its one of the best selling and both critically praised rock 'n' roll classics of The '60s and a landmark in the genre.

The original British and American albums had different track-lists; the US release replaced "Red House", "Can You See Me" and "Remember" with "Purple Haze", "Hey Joe", "The Wind Cries Mary" and "Fire". (Starting in 1997, the CD reissues began combining all the tracks from both versions, along with B-Sides that didn't appear on either version.) Also, the British and American albums had different running orders, and some of the song titles had minor variations in spelling and punctuation.

The record was ranked no. 15 in Rolling Stone's 2005 list of the 500 Greatest Albums of All Time and was also included in Time Magazine's 2006 list of 100 essential and timeless albums. In 2006 it was added to the National Recording Registry for its "cultural, aesthetical and historical significance". Acclaimed Music is currently ranking it at #14 on compendium of various critics' best albums lists. A big-name fan was influential British radio DJ John Peel who, in 1997, placed it at no. 9 in a list of his 20 personal favourite albums note  when asked by the newspaper "The Guardian".


Tracklist: (Original UK Version)

Side One

  1. "Foxy Lady" (3:22)
  2. "Manic Depression" (3:46)
  3. "Red House" (3:53)
  4. "Can You See Me" (2:35)
  5. "Love or Confusion" (3:17)
  6. "I Don't Live Today" (3:58)

Side Two

  1. "May This Be Love" (3:14)
  2. "Fire" (2:47)
  3. "Third Stone from the Sun" (6:50)
  4. "Remember" (2:53)
  5. "Are You Experienced?" (4:17)

Tracklist: (Original US Version)

Side One

  1. "Purple Haze" (2:46)
  2. "Manic Depression" (3:46)
  3. "Hey Joe" (3:23)
  4. "Love or Confusion" (3:15)
  5. "May This Be Love" (3:14)
  6. "I Don't Live Today" (3:55)

Side Two

  1. "The Wind Cries Mary" (3:21)
  2. "Fire" (2:34)
  3. "Third Stone from the Sun" (6:40)
  4. "Foxy Lady" (3:15)
  5. "Are You Experienced?" (3:55)


Principal Members:

  • Jimi Hendrix - lead vocals, guitar
  • Mitch Mitchell - drums, vocals
  • Noel Redding - bass, vocals

Provides experienced tropes such as...

  • Badass Boast: "Fire":
    Move over, Rover, and let Jimi take over!
  • Cover Version: "Hey Joe" from the US version of the album is the only song the band didn't write themselves. It was a song written by Billy Roberts and first recorded by The Leaves.
    • Rearrange the Song: The Experience version of "Hey Joe" is slow and ominous, in contrast to the frantic original.
  • Distracted by the Sexy: "Foxy Lady".
    I see you, heh, on down on the scene
    Foxy, you make me wanna get up and scream
  • Dreaming of Things to Come: Hendrix claimed "Purple Haze" was inspired by a dream he had walking on the bottom of the ocean.
  • Epic Rocking: "Third Stone From The Sun", which is 6:40.
  • Face on the Cover: Mitch Mitchell, Jimi Hendrix and Noel Redding on the standard cover, with Mitchell and Redding switching positions for the American fish-eye cover.
  • Fish-Eye Lens: The American album cover uses this effect.
  • Lighter and Softer: "The Wind Cries Mary" and "May This Be Love" show the band's softer and gentler side.
  • Literary Allusion Title: According to Hendrix himself, "Purple Haze" is named in honour of a Philip José Farmer story called "Night of Light", in which the phrase "purple haze" is used to describe the effect of sunspot activity on the inhabitants of a planet called Dante's Joy.
  • Mondegreen: Arguably the most famous example: "Excuse me, while I kiss the sky" from "Purple Haze" is commonly misheard as "Excuse me, while I kiss this guy." Hendrix was aware of the mondegreen and often lampshaded it, sometimes by singing it in and in at least one case by actually pausing the performance and walking over to mime planting a kiss on bassist Noel Redding.
  • Murder Ballad: "Hey Joe".
    I'm going to shoot my old lady.
  • One-Woman Song: "Foxy Lady" and "The Wind Cries Mary". "Hey Joe" also mentions Joe about to shoot his "old lady".
  • One-Word Title: "Fire", "Remember".
  • Playing with Fire: "Fire"
    Let me stand next to your fire!
  • Psychedelic Rock: A benchmark of the genre.
  • Questioning Title?: The song "Are You Experienced?"; note, however, that the album, in both the U.K. and U.S. releases, does not have a question mark in its title.
  • Run for the Border: Joe in "Hey Joe" plans to do so.
  • Shout-Out:
    So many of us in limbo
    How to get it on, it's quite simple
    Three stones from the sun
    We need a piece of this rock
    Came to be, how it begun
    All alone in the family of the sun
    Curiosity teasing everyone
    On our home, third stone from the sun
    • In The Simpsons episode Homerpalooza Homer, after being told that he may die, asks the doctor if he has any messages for Jimi Hendrix, causing his physician to tell him: "Pick up your puppy". The camera then reveals a dog lying in his basket, named ''Rover'', in reference to the song "Fire", where Jimi sang: "Move over Rover/ and let Jimi take over."
  • Singer Namedrop: "Fire"
    Move over Rover
    And let Jimi take over
  • Title Track: "Are You Experienced?" - though it differs slightly from the album title by being a Questioning Title? (while the album title isn't).
  • The Unfair Sex: Defied in "Hey Joe".
    Huh yes I did I shot her
    You know I caught my old lady messin' 'round town
    And I gave her the gun
    And I shot her
    • Also present in "Red House", where the character's woman has left him. But he doesn't worry because:
    I might as well go back over yonder
    Way back yonder 'cross the hill
    'cause if my baby don't love me no more, I know her sister will.


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