In 1967, it's almost difficult to believe that Cream was just about to break up, the Yardbirds were about to be transformed into something new, and rock guitar was going to be changed forever.
Eric Clapton, Jeff Beck, and Pete Townshend were rock icons then, but in terms of guiotar, they represented the evolution from blues-based rhythm to rock and roll. It would take an authentic blues band backup player from the US to revolutionize the rock vocabulary.
This album represents the first shot, the first battle, and a complete victory over the evolution of rock. To put it another way, there exists a permanent *gap* between where rock was going, and where Hendrix's Experience emerged. People are still trying to figure it out.
You've never heard anything like "Purple Haze" in your life. Doesn't matter who you dug, doesn't matter what planet you *thought* you inhabited. Hendrix came from Mars, or Venus, and chunked up his notes and fed them through some psychedelic blender in his head. And this is just "Purple Haze"! Can you believe this album also gave us "Foxey Lady", "Manic Depression", "Hey Joe", "The Wind Cries Mary", and the rippin' "Fire"? I can't. The UK release even had "Red House" on it. Imagine that, the playlist for any classic rock radio station contained on one album.
You start with this album, and if you had to pick one, just one, you could pick this and no one would dispute it.