Jimi Hendrix Experience- Experience Hendrix (Greatest Hits)
As much as I dislike collections and greatest hits CDs, I truly believed that a Hendrix Best Of was worth my 10 dollars. I'm happy to say that I was right. This is one CD that includes some of the greatest songs of all time. The CD isn't perfect, as anyone would expect a Greatest Hits to be, but it goes down in my book for the one thats actually worth buying.
Jimi Hendrix is revered as the so-called messiah of the electric guitar. He may not have been the most technically skilled player out there (he's still pretty damn good), but he explored the instrument in unprecedented ways, pulling out sounds from his Stratocaster that had never been heard prior to him, as well as pouring his heart into his playing. He was the pioneer of multi-effects, combining wah, distortion, flanger, and other effects. And trust me, his sounds are legendary. With the help of Noel Redding on bass, and Mitch Mitchell on drums, the Jimi Hendrix Experience were a powerful force to be reckoned with. They all had awesome afros too. :thumb: His playing revolutionized the guitar forever, inspiring everyone to listen, enjoy, and play with every ounce of emotion they had.
1) The Are You Experienced Section
The album kicks off with the infamous two chord octaves of Hendrix's most popular song to date, Purple Haze, and runs through some other gems from the debut album, such as the frantic, yet simple Fire with its stop/start riffs and pile driving drums, the pretty, mellow Wind Cries Mary, and the creepy, dark jokes and awesome guitar sounds of the bands first single ever, Hey Joe. After, the classic, amazing Bob Dylan cover from Electric Ladyland, All Along the Watchtower rocks you with its driving bassline, solid drums, and some of the most innovative wah-wah guitar sounds as Jimi sweeps through the solos after he wails. After the songs Stone Free, the hit single Crosstown Traffic and its melodic rocking guitar, and the bi-polar Manic Depression, the first section of the CD, with all the early gems, comes to a graceful halt.
Section Grade: 4.5/5
2) The Middle, Best Section
The album soars into its amazing middle section, concentrating more on Axis: Bold As Love, and Electric Ladyland. This section starts with the power balladry of the pretty Little Wing and rips into another famous stop/start riff that we know as If 6 Was 9, which is probably the longest songs on the album, but the 3-minute mark gives into some amazing guitar sounds. The creepy, haunting vibratos afterwards lets you know it's time for one Hendrix's most popular songs, Foxey Lady and its monster of a riff. Some more Axis songs, such as the wonderful title track, and the smooth, creamy Castles Made of Sand pass by with ease before it rips into the guitar bells of the powerful blues rock single, Red House, and its manic structure. But to close this wonderful section is nothing more than my favorite Hendrix song, and my personal favorite electric guitar performance of all-time, (Yes, I said all time, deal with it.) Voodoo Child starts off with some screeching and a wah-infected blues lick, before churning into a hard rocking riff, with awesome little solos thrown in here and there. What is absolutely mind-blowing about this track is that there is no rhythm guitar parts in it, so Jimi weaves in and out of solos, leaving you to believe that the groove will fall apart, yet he keeps everything in tact with ease, and giving me my favorite electric guitar playing of all time. What a way to end the best section of the CD.
Section Grade: 5/5
3) The Last, Weak Section
After the previous section, I view the last couple of songs as fairly weak. It may be biased, because I'm not a fan of the Billy Cox era of the JHE, but it's just an opinion. However, the closing Star Spangled Banner from Woodstock is amazing. The last tracks feature Billy Cox on bass instead of Noel Redding, and are from the album First Days of the New Rising Sun. While these are not bad songs by any means, to me they do not fit the bill for an entertaining song, and are just not my cup of tea. I'd say that the best of the 4 are Angel and Dolly Dagger, but the other two just don't do it. But the closing song, Star Spangled Banner is thoroughly entertaining and a perfect way to close the album.
Section Grade: 3-3.5/5
+ Features most of the best songs from the Experience
+ Wonderful instrument performances
+ My favorite guitar performance
+ Keeps you entertained
+ Most innovative guitar playing
- Focuses on Are You Experienced too much
- Closing section is fairly weak
- No compilation is perfect
Overall: Probably the best compilation CD out there, as it doesn't really miss any good songs from the CDs, but throws some bad ones in there as well. I am pleased with my purchase. [4/5]