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Jimi Hendrix’s Best Albums | 10 Of The Best (And Worst)

jimi hendrix's best albums

Jimi Hendrix, a name synonymous with the electric guitar, was a maestro who redefined the very essence of rock music. His career, though meteorically brief, left an undeniable imprint on the world of music, a legacy that transcends time.

Here, we dive into the depths of Hendrix’s discography, exploring the highs, the experimental ventures, and the posthumous releases that tried to capture the genius of a man whose guitar spoke the language of the gods. Let’s embark on this sonic journey through Jimi Hendrix’s albums, from the groundbreaking to the less inspired.

Equal Last – Midnight Lightning / Crash Landing (1975)

Starting at the bottom, Midnight Lightning and Crash Landing are posthumous albums that are widely considered missteps in Hendrix’s catalog. These records, with Hendrix’s original recordings overdubbed by musicians he never played with, fail to capture the essence of his genius. They serve as a cautionary tale of how not to honor a legend’s legacy. Must-avoid tracks here, folks.

Must-Listen Track: Not recommended, as these albums lack the authenticity of Hendrix’s direct involvement.

You Might Like: The Very Best Jimi Hendrix Tracks

8 – Valley of Neptune (2010)

jimi hendrix's best albums

Another compilation for the Hendrix aficionados, Valley of Neptune is primarily for those who relish in the rough, unrefined edges of Jimi’s work. The material, recorded just before Electric Ladyland, shows a transitional phase in his artistry.

Must-Listen Track: “Valleys of Neptune” – The title track stands out, offering a glimpse into Hendrix’s evolving musical style and experimental approach.

7 – South Saturn Delta (1997)

jimi hendrix's best albums

This album of rarities, outtakes, and demos is surprisingly enjoyable. The Hendrix family presents a well-curated package, offering a deeper dive into Jimi’s lesser-known works. The album cover is a visual treat, matching the intrigue of the tracks within.

Must-Listen Track: “South Saturn Delta” – A mesmerizing blend of blues, rock, and experimental sounds, quintessentially Hendrix.

6 – First Rays Of The New Rising Sun (1997)

jimi hendrix's best albums

First Rays Of The New Rising Sun is an attempt to piece together what would have been Hendrix’s fourth album. Released in 1997 and overseen by his family, it’s a more serious attempt to honor his intentions, featuring songs from various posthumous compilations. It’s the closest we get to a new Hendrix album, capturing the spirit of his evolving sound.

Must-Listen Track: “Angel” – A beautiful, soulful ballad that reveals the depth and sensitivity of Hendrix’s songwriting.

You Might Like: Check Out The Fortune Hendrix Made

5 – Band of Gypsys (1970)

jimi hendrix's best albums

Band of Gypsys, a live album, marks a distinct shift in Hendrix’s musical journey. Featuring Billy Cox and Buddy Miles, the album brings a funk-rock sound distinct from the Jimi Hendrix Experience. Recorded at the Fillmore East in New York City, it includes new songs like “Machine Gun” and “Power Of Soul.” This album is a fascinating what-if in Hendrix’s career.

Must-Listen Track: “Machine Gun” – A powerful, emotive live performance that’s often hailed as one of his greatest guitar solos.

4 – Radio One (1998)

jimi hendrix's best albums

Radio One and the subsequent BBC Sessions are phenomenal showcases of the Jimi Hendrix Experience’s live prowess. Released in 1988 and later, these recordings from BBC Radio sessions in 1967 highlight Hendrix’s extraordinary guitar skills. Essential for any fan, these CDs capture the raw energy and virtuosity of Hendrix in his prime.

Must-Listen Track: “Hear My Train A Comin'” (BBC Sessions version) – A raw, unfiltered performance that captures the essence of Hendrix’s blues influences.

3 – Axis: Bold as Love (1967)

jimi hendrix's best albums

Released in December 1967, Axis: Bold as Love is a continuation of the extraordinary talent showcased in Hendrix’s debut. With songs like “Little Wing” and “Spanish Castle Magic,” this album shows a maturing in Jimi’s songwriting and playing. It’s a testament to his genius, imagining the heights he might have reached had he lived longer.

Must-Listen Track: “Little Wing” – A short but profoundly beautiful track that showcases Hendrix’s innovative approach to the guitar.

You Might Like: Photos Of Carmen Borrero & Jimi Hendrix

2 – Electric Ladyland (1968)

jimi hendrix's best albums

Electric Ladyland, the final studio album by the Jimi Hendrix Experience, is often hailed as their greatest work. Released in 1968, it’s a groundbreaking, experimental masterpiece, showcasing Hendrix’s varied musical influences. From the bluesy “Voodoo Chile” to the psychedelic “Burning Of The Midnight Lamp,” it’s a tour de force in music production and innovation. The album’s rendition of “All Along the Watchtower” stands as a monumental achievement in rock history.

Must-Listen Track: “Voodoo Child (Slight Return)” – A tour-de-force of electric guitar mastery, encapsulating the psychedelic rock essence of the era.

1 – Are You Experienced (1967)

jimi hendrix's best albums

At the pinnacle of Hendrix’s discography is his debut, Are You Experienced. Released in 1967, it’s a monumental work in rock and roll, arguably one of the greatest albums ever made. With tracks like “Purple Haze,” “Hey Joe,” and “The Wind Cries Mary,” it’s a groundbreaking album that showcased Hendrix’s revolutionary guitar style and the powerful rhythm section of Noel Redding and Mitch Mitchell. This album not only defined Hendrix’s career but also changed the landscape of rock music forever.

Must-Listen Track: “Purple Haze” – The quintessential Hendrix song, combining a groundbreaking guitar riff with psychedelic rock energy.

Final Thoughts On Jimi Hendrix’s Best Albums

Jimi Hendrix’s discography, a kaleidoscope of groundbreaking sounds and raw emotion, stands as a towering testament to his genius in the annals of rock music. From the revolutionary riffs of ‘Are You Experienced?’ to the soul-stirring melodies of ‘Electric Ladyland,’ each album is a chapter in a saga that redefined the boundaries of what a guitar could express.

In the pantheon of musical greats, Hendrix shines as a beacon of creativity and innovation. His work transcends time and genre, not merely echoing through the decades but actively shaping the future of music.

As we revisit these albums, we don’t just remember a virtuoso; we celebrate a visionary who, in his brief but meteoric journey, changed the landscape of sound forever