Experience Hendrix: The Best of Jimi Hendrix

Experience Hendrix: The Best of Jimi Hendrix is a compilation album of songs by American rock musician Jimi Hendrix, released in 1997 by Legacy Recordings. The single compact disc collects 20 songs spanning his career, from his first recordings with the Jimi Hendrix Experience in 1966 to his last with Billy Cox and Mitch Mitchell in 1970.

Experience Hendrix is the first comprehensive collection of Hendrix’s songs overseen by Experience Hendrix, a family company that took over management of his recording legacy in 1997. Fifteen songs with the Experience are included, as well as five with Hendrix’s later backing musicians. No songs from the Band of Gypsys lineup with Buddy Miles are included.[1]

Reception and charts

In a review for AllMusic, Bruce Eder gave the compilation four out of five stars.[2] He felt that the collection “just misses being the perfect single-CD Jimi Hendrix anthology”: while the compilation includes some of Hendrix’s noteworthy later work, it lacks several songs from his earlier Smash Hits compilation.[2]

The album reached number 18 in the UK[3] and number 133 in the US.[4] In 2006, the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) certified it as “2× platinum” for shipping two million copies.[5]

Track listing

The titles and running times are taken from the original Experience Hendrix CD US release.[6] Other releases may show different information. Entries under “Original release” are for both the US and UK, unless otherwise indicated.

All tracks are written by Jimi Hendrix, except where otherwise noted.

Experience Hendrix: The Best of Jimi Hendrix
No.TitleOriginal releaseLength
1.“Purple Haze”Single A-side2:51
2.“Fire”Are You Experienced2:43
3.“The Wind Cries Mary”Single A-side (UK), B-side (US)3:20
4.“Hey Joe” (Billy Roberts)Single A-side3:29
5.“All Along the Watchtower” (Bob Dylan)Single A-side3:58
6.“Stone Free”Single B-side of “Hey Joe” (UK)3:35
7.“Crosstown Traffic”Electric Ladyland2:19
8.“Manic Depression”Are You Experienced3:42
9.“Little Wing”Axis: Bold as Love2:25
10.“If 6 Was 9”Axis: Bold as Love5:34
11.“Foxey Lady”Are You Experienced3:18
12.“Bold as Love”Axis: Bold as Love4:11
13.“Castles Made of Sand”Axis: Bold as Love2:47
14.“Red House”Are You Experienced (UK edition)3:50
15.“Voodoo Child (Slight Return)”Electric Ladyland5:12
16.“Freedom”The Cry of Love3:25
17.“Night Bird Flying”The Cry of Love3:50
18.“Angel”The Cry of Love4:22
19.“Dolly Dagger”Rainbow Bridge4:45
20.“Star Spangled Banner” (adapted by Hendrix[7])Woodstock: Music from the Original Soundtrack and More (1970)3:46

Bonus disc

The album was also released in a two-CD limited edition. The bonus disc contains eight tracks, taken from The Jimi Hendrix Experience box set (2000).[8]

All tracks are written by Jimi Hendrix, except where otherwise noted.

Experience Hendrix bonus disc
No.TitleOriginal releaseLength
1.“Highway Chile” (alternate recording)The Jimi Hendrix Experience3:41
2.“Gloria” (Van Morrison)bonus single with The Essential Jimi Hendrix (UK)8:54
3.“It’s Too Bad” (jam recording)The Jimi Hendrix Experience8:53
4.“Spanish Castle Magic” (rehearsal recording)The Jimi Hendrix Experience5:50
5.“Hear My Train A Comin'” (rehearsal recording)The Jimi Hendrix Experience6:58
6.“Lover Man” (demo recording)The Jimi Hendrix Experience2:58
7.“I Don’t Live Today” (live)Lifelines: The Jimi Hendrix Story bonus disc6:34
8.“Purple Haze” (live)Stages disc three4:03

Personnel

Personnel information is taken from the original Experience Hendrix CD US release;[6] other releases may show different information.

Musicians

  • Jimi Hendrix – guitar, vocals; bass on “All Along the Watchtower”; piano and kazoo on “Crosstown Traffic”; glockenspiel on “Little Wing”; bass and harpsichord on “Bold as Love”; piano on “If 6 Was 9”, “Freedom”
  • Mitch Mitchell – drums: all tracks, except “It’s Too Bad”
  • Noel Redding – bass guitar: all tracks, except 5, 12, 16–20, bonus tracks 3, 6; backing vocals on “Purple Haze”, “Fire”, “Crosstown Traffic”
  • Billy Cox – bass guitar: 16–20 and “Lover Man”
  • Buddy Miles – drums: “It’s Too Bad”
  • Juma Sultan – percussion on “Freedom”, “Dolly Dagger”, “Star Spangled Banner”
  • Jerry Velez – percussion on “Star Spangled Banner”
  • Larry Lee – rhythm guitar on “Star Spangled Banner”
  • The Breakaways – backing vocals on “Hey Joe”
  • Dave Mason – acoustic guitar on “All Along the Watchtower”; backing vocals on “Crosstown Traffic”
  • Arthur & Albert Allen – background vocals on “Freedom”, “Dolly Dagger”

Cover image

  • David Montgomery – photographer (front cover)

Certifications

RegionCertificationCertified units/sales
Argentina (CAPIF)[9]Gold30,000^
Australia (ARIA)[10]Gold35,000^
Italy (FIMI)[11]Gold25,000*
Norway (IFPI Norway)[12]Gold25,000*
United Kingdom (BPI)[13]Platinum300,000double-dagger
United States (RIAA)[14]2× Platinum2,000,000^

* Sales figures based on certification alone.
^ Shipments figures based on certification alone.
double-dagger Sales+streaming figures based on certification alone.


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