Jimi Hendrix, 'Are You Experienced' (1967)
In the very first issue of Rolling Stone, Jon Landau expressed his deep dissatisfaction with the new album by a young band called the Jimi Hendrix Experience.
"Everything else is insane and simply a matter of either you dig it or you don't. Basically I don't for several reasons. Despite Jimi's musical brilliance and the group's total precision, the poor quality of the songs and the inanity of the lyrics too often get in the way. Jimi is very much into state-of-mind type lyrics, but even so, lines like 'Manic depression is a frustrating mess,' just don't make it. It is one thing for Jimi to talk arrogantly and without any pretense at artistry; it's another to write lyrics in that fashion. In this context 'I Don't Live Today' can be seen as both the best and worst cut on the album. The best because it is performed with such exquisite precision and control, and the worst because what Jimi is trying to get across is such a drag: 'There's no life nowhere ... Dig it if you can, but as for me, I'd rather hear Jimi play the blues.'" –Jon Landau
Second take: Five Stars (2004 Rolling Stone Album Guide)
"Are You Experienced? was the summer of love, debut, and it sounded like divine madness - 'Purple Haze,' I Don't Live Today,' 'Manic Depression' and 'Fire' we all feedback finesse and arrogant virtuosity wrapped around lyrics sprung from primal wondering, lust and fear." - Paul Evans