Jimi Hendrix Discography
The original discography of Jimi Hendrix, an American guitarist and singer-songwriter, including the Jimi Hendrix Experience, consists of three studio albums, two live albums, two compilation albums, and twelve singles.
In September 1966, ex-Animals bassist Chas Chandler brought Hendrix from the United States to the United Kingdom, where an eponymous band, the Jimi Hendrix Experience, was formed around him. Noel Redding joined as the band's bassist on 29 September and drummer Mitch Mitchell finalised the lineup on 6 October. The Experience's first record was a cover of Billy Roberts' "Hey Joe", released in the UK on 16 December, where it peaked at #6. The B-side of that record was "Stone Free", written by Hendrix. "Purple Haze" and "The Wind Cries Mary", original Hendrix compositions, were subsequently released on 17 March and 5 May 1967 and reached #3 and #6 respectively, before the band's debut LP, Are You Experienced, was released on Track Records on 12 May. The album reached #2 in the UK and a version with a different track listing reached #5 in the US when released on Reprise Records on August 23 in the wake of the success of Hendrix's performance at the Monterey Pop Festival in June. "Hey Joe" and "Purple Haze" were also released in the States, the latter of which peaked at #65.
The fourth single released by Hendrix was "Burning of the Midnight Lamp", which later appeared on The Experience's third album. The record, not released in North America, became the band's least successful single so far, reaching #18 in the UK. A Reprise single from Are You Experienced was released on 27 November; "Foxy Lady" managed only to reach #67, despite the success of Are You Experienced. Hendrix et al. were bound by their contract with Track to release at least two albums in 1967, thus Axis: Bold as Love was released on 1 December. The follow-up to the band's successful debut was well-received, peaking at #5 in the UK and #3 in the US upon its later release there on January 15, 1968. The only single released from Axis was a non-UK release; "Up from the Skies" reached #82 in the Billboard Hot 100 chart. The Experience's first compilation, Smash Hits, was released in the UK in April 1968, and reached #4 in the UK.
On September 9 the band released the first single from their upcoming third album in the US; their now famous cover of Bob Dylan's "All Along the Watchtower" became their highest-charting single in the States when it reached #20. The song was released in the UK after the album's North America release and peaked at #5. In contrast to Are You Experienced, Axis: Bold as Love and Smash Hits, Electric Ladyland was released first in Hendrix's native country on September 30. Just over a week later, on 25 October, it was released in the UK with a different cover. The first album produced by Hendrix himself, Electric Ladyland became the band's first #1 album when it reached the top spot in the Billboard 200 chart. Despite this, the album was actually the least successful in England, where a version sporting a controversial alternative cover reached #6. A mail order-only compilation of two sides of the album, Electric Jimi Hendrix, was released by Track after Electric Ladyland, but was immediately withdrawn from sale. After the UK and international release of "All Along the Watchtower", "Crosstown Traffic" was released in the US on November 18, where it flopped at #52. The Experience began touring again in support of the new album, and a very different compilation of Smash Hits was later issued in North America on July 30, 1969, where it peaked at #6.
Due to long-standing personal and musical differences, Redding left the band after they performed at the Denver Pop Festival on June 29, 1969. Jimi's old army friend Billy Cox was brought in as Redding's replacement, and with the addition of rhythm guitarist Larry Lee and percussionists Juma Sultan and Jerry Velez, Gypsy Sun and Rainbows was formed. The unfamiliar large unit played at the famous Woodstock Festival on August 18, but after a few studio sessions the band split. During this transitional phase, two more singles were released: first, "Stone Free" was released in North America on September 15 (and reached #130), followed by "Fire" (under the title "Let Me Light Your Fire") internationally on 14 November. Jimi and Cox enlisted the help of another old friend of Jimi's, drummer and vocalist Buddy Miles. Dubbing themselves the Band of Gypsys, the all-black trio performed together at only two venues. One of these venues was the Fillmore East, where the band's performances on December 31, 1969 and January 1, 1970 were recorded and later released as Band of Gypsys on March 25 in North America and June 12 internationally. This live album reached #6 in the States and #5 in Britain, but by this time the Gypsys had already split up. The Band also released one single; "Stepping Stone" was issued by Reprise in the US on April 13, but did not chart.
Mitch Mitchell returned to Hendrix and Cox and the 'new Jimi Hendrix Experience' was formed, now known unofficially, after the name of their 1970 tour, as the Cry of Love. This lineup remained until the guitarist's death, a run which resulted in many hours of studio recordings and a tour which ran for over three months. The last record issued before Hendrix's death was Historic Performances Recorded at the Monterey International Pop Festival on August 26 in the US, which partly documented The Experience's performance at the Monterey Pop Festival on June 18, 1967. Jimi Hendrix died on September 18, 1970.
Read more about Jimi Hendrix Discography: Singles
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“Blues is easy to play, but hard to feel.”
—Jimi Hendrix (19421970)