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Jethro Tull's Ian Anderson talks impact of Jimi Hendrix's 'Are You Experienced'

"A lesson in sadness and madness!"
(Chrysalis/Brian Cooke, March 1978)

(Chrysalis/Brian Cooke, March 1978)

The Jimi Hendrix Experience’s 1967 album Are You Experienced is one of the greatest and most influential debuts in all of rock and roll history. Led by Hendrix’s innovative, otherworldly guitar playing and locked down by the killer rhythm section of bassist Noel Redding and drummer Mitch Mitchell, the album was a critical and commercial success thanks to its now iconic songs including “Foxey Lady,” “Manic Depression,” “Purple Haze,” “Fire” and more.

Are You Experienced was a total game changer that became a late-‘60s cultural touchstone and expanded people’s ideas of what could be achieved with just six strings, a bass and drums. Its impact cannot be calculated; countless artists consider the album to be a key influence on their own musical expressions, including Jethro Tull’s Ian Anderson.

When we talked to Anderson about the 10 albums that shaped him as an artist, Are You Experienced made the cut. Below, he reveals the profound impact that Jimi Hendrix’s debut made on him.

“A lesson in sadness and madness! Jimi was the wild Eric of his day, and we played alongside him on a few occasions until his tragic death following the Isle of Wight Fest in 1970.”