Experience Hendrix LLC/Sony Music EntertainmentToday marks the 50th anniversary of the U.S. release of The Jimi Hendrix Experience‘s debut album, Are You Experienced. One of only three studio efforts that Jimi Hendrix put out during his short lifetime, the album was packed with memorable songs that showcased his innovative, mind-blowing playing and mastery of guitar effects.

Are You Experienced‘s U.S. track list includes such classic tunes as “Purple Haze,” “Manic Depression,” “The Wind Cries Mary,” “Fire,” “Foxy Lady” and the band’s enduring cover of “Hey Joe.” While the album peaked at #5 on the Billboard 200, no song made it into the top 40 of the singles chart.

The story was different in the U.K., though, where “Purple Haze,” “The Wind Cries Mary” and “Hey Joe” all broke into the top 10 — even though those tunes weren’t featured on the British version of the album.

Are You Experienced has sold more than five million copies in the U.S. The record was #15 on Rolling Stone‘s 2012 list of the 500 Greatest Albums of All Time.

The Jimi Hendrix Experience formed in 1966 after founding Animals bassist Chas Chandler, who had exited his band to focus on music management, saw Hendrix performing in New York City. He brought Hendrix to London, where bassist Noel Redding and drummer Mitch Mitchell were recruited to round out the Experience lineup. Soon, the power trio was wowing London — and fellow musicians like The Beatles and Eric Clapton — thanks to Hendrix’s inventive playing and onstage charisma.

The Jimi Hendrix Experience laid the groundwork for the U.S. success of Are You Experienced with their June 1967 performance at California’s Monterey Pop Festival, which was highlighted by Hendrix smashing his guitar and setting it on fire.

Here’s the U.S. track list of Are You Experienced:

“Purple Haze”
“Manic Depression”
“Hey Joe”
“Love or Confusion”
“May This Be Love”
“I Don’t Live Today”
“The Wind Cries Mary”
“Fire”
“Third Stone from the Sun”
“Foxy Lady”
“Are You Experienced?”

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