Jimi Hendrix is "Electric"
By Scott G., Grade 10, Fredericton High, Fredericton, NB
The Jimi Hendrix Experience
MCA Records (1968)
At a whopping 1 hour, 15 minutes and 27 seconds, The Jimi Hendrix Experience makes every second of this album enjoyable and impressive.
That night in Seattle, November 27, 1942, a legend was born. Jimi Hendrix could not be found anywhere without a guitar in his hands from the age of 13 up until his death in 1970. At the age of 19, Jimi was enrolled in the U.S. Army. When he left the army due to injuries, he went straight to New York City to try and make it in the music business. What a task that would prove to be for a young, poor, black man. After a few years of living in the slums of New York and trying his hardest to find gigs, Jimi finally caught his break at a club he was performing at. A representative from MCA records was in the audience, loved Jimi's playing and immediately signed him. Although Jimi was only in the music scene for a short time, he managed to put out 4 studio albums, each as impressive as the next. They are (in chronological order) "Are You Experienced?" , "Axis: Bold as Love" , "Electric Ladyland" and "Band of Gypsy's" . People have labeled Jimi Hendrix's music many things over the years. "Freak out", "psychedelic" , "pop" , "blues" , "rock" but in reality, it is "gutsy, blues-rock". He set the standard for this style of music, which had never been done before, and has never been met.
The quality of recording on this album is absolutely amazing. This album was recorded in 1968, and it sounds better then most albums recorded today. The vocals are crisp yet melodic and are perfectly in tone with the rest of the instruments. He also pushed the envelope on overlapping instruments. He had as many as 6 guitars going at once, backwards playing, insane techniques that only he could do, perfect and produce in the studio with success. As far as the actual recording went, this album was recorded at "Electric Lady" studios.
Lyrically, his words touched many people. They may of not been understood by all, due to the fact that he had over 10 pages of lyrics for each song, but the record label made him chop it down so they could fit it on an album. So he had to pick from his lyrics and mix them together, end result ; Electric Ladyland. One passage I particularly enjoy is " will the wind ever remember, all the names it has blown in the past". To me it projects an image of age. It tells me that the world and life is very old and it has a vast history. Talent wise, he could not be touched on the guitar then, and he couldn't be now. He has been compared to guitarist after guitarist and has always come out on top. From playing with his teeth, on top of his head, behind his back, to perfecting the style of "thumb over the neck", he was truly a god of the guitar. Lyrics cannot be judged in my opinion, as long as your words come from the heart and soul, as they did with Jimi Hendrix. He spoke of his pain, his love, his experiences, and the meanings of life. (and the afterlife) In all ways, Jimi's lyrics were pure genius.
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