Copyright ©1967 and 2008 by Karl Ferris – All rights reserved.
Subject: Are You Experienced?, a 1967 release (on Reprise Records) by the Jimi Hendrix Experience, with cover photo & design by Karl Ferris
Considered by many music fans and critics as one of the (if not THE) greatest debut record from a rock-era artist, Are You Experienced (with or without the ?) also illustrated how records were produced, packaged and tailored for distribution to the world’s music marketplaces. Released in the U.K. in May, 1967, the record was a compilation of the fantastic music and performances that had been wowing crowds in London theaters up to that point. Those crowds included most of members of the leading musical acts of the time – including The Beatles, The Rolling Stones, The Animals, The Hollies, The Who (and many others) – who’d all come to watch and listen in stunned amazement to the trio’s musical magic.
In the 40+ years (yes, that long ago!) since its release, the record’s influence on both the musicians who’ve striven “to play guitar like Hendrix” and those who create “Best Of” lists continues, with EVERY top guitarist today confirming Hendrix’s influence on their playing and the record’s positions on Rolling Stone magazine’s “500 Greatest Albums of All Time” (#15) in 2003 (following up its #5 ranking in 1987’s “Best Albums of the Last 20 Years” and #5 on a similarly-titled list published in 2001 by cable net VH-1. It is now also a national treasure in that it has also been selected to be permanently preserved by the Library of Congress’s National Recording Registry and archive.