1967: Hendrix's two-album Salvo

Oren Brown comments on a world-renowned artist who made a huge impact with two killer LPs in a single year... and no, we're not talking about Taylor Swift!

Oren Brown
30th December 2020
Jimi Hendrix's two albums of 1967 were both met with critical acclaim.
It almost beggars belief that Jimi Hendrix's illustrious career spanned such a short time period. All three of his studio albums arrived within a single seventeen-month period in the late 1960s.

Despite this, Hendrix's discography has left a mark on the face of music history the like of which has scarcely been matched since. Comprised of Hendrix on guitar and vocals, drummer Mitch Mitchell and bassist Noel Redding, the Jimi Hendrix Experience were his primary creative outlet.

The Jimi Hendrix Experience debut, Are You Experienced, arrived in March '67. Hendrix's unique approach to rock music made waves that can still be seen half a century later. Above all else, he displayed technical ability and an intuitive expression with the guitar at an unmatched level. The legendary instrumentation allowed for a perfect centrepiece to the band's iconic blend of blues, hard rock and psychedelia.

Seven months later, Hendrix's sophomore album arrived; Axis: Bold As Love. Hendrix's songwriting noticeably progressed in this time with tracks like 'Little Wing' and 'Castles Made of Sand' standing among the greatest of the decade. The second in the trilogy is more lyrically interesting than its predecessor and more creatively expressive, but perhaps less densely packed with hit songs. With all things considered, Axis was a second near-flawless record within a single calendar year.

Although it did not arrive in '67, the third entry of the trilogy deserves a mention. Electric Ladyland (1968) was partly recorded in 1967, and is arguably Hendrix's greatest offering. The album saw Hendrix delve into the very depths of his influences, emerging with a distinctive, expressive record. Improvisational soundscapes like '1983...' and timeless hits like 'All Along the Watchtower' and 'Voodoo Chile' stand as highlights.

Jimi Hendrix tragically died in 1970 aged only 27. Aside from the incredible live album, Band of Gypsys, the only Hendrix material released since '68 has came in the form of posthumous compilations. With the level of excellence that was achieved in his first three albums alone, what Hendrix could have produced had he had more time in this world can only be guessed at.

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AUTHOR: Oren Brown
English student, or something.

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