Sgt Pepper's: Released on May 26, 1967 in the United Kingdom and June 2, 1967 in the United States. 27 weeks at the top of the UK albums chart and 15 weeks at number one in the US.
Are You Experienced: Released in the UK on May 12,1967, 'Are You Experienced' spent 33 weeks on the charts, peaking at number two. The album was issued in the US on August 23 by Reprise Records, where it reached number five on the Billboard 200, remaining on the chart for 106 weeks, 27 of those in the Top 40. The album also spent 70 weeks on the US Billboard R&B chart, where it peaked at number 10.
The Beatles changed the way we listened and played. 'Sgt Pepper's' was their crowning achievement and pretty much marked the end of the Beatles era. The Beatles albums that followed were certainly excellent, but did not have the cohesiveness of their preceding albums. Each album was great in its own right, but each presented a continuing evolution in the Beatles composing and recording techniques. At no point did the Beatles ever suffer from "3rd Album Syndrome".
The Jimi Hendrix Experience 'Are You Experienced' marked the beginning of the late 60's Psychedelic era. The way we listened and played went through yet another major metamorphosis.
The discovery of Hendrix was not exactly a given. While guitarist Keith Richards was touring the U.S with the Rolling Stones in the fall of 1966, his girlfriend, Linda Keith, started hanging out at the Cafe Wha? in New York's Greenwich Village. Hendrix was playing there at the time with John Hammond and Randy California. Linda Keith was taken by Jimi's act and, perhaps perceiving his potential, persuaded the former bassist for the Animals, Chas Chandler, to come by the club one night. Chandler, by then a band manager, took Jimi back to England and set him up with bassist Noel Redding and drummer Mitch Mitchell and carefully guided the Experience through the recording sessions that resulted in the first Hendrix album, 'Are You Experienced?'.
From playing instruments to composing, every rock and pop musician has been influenced by these two great groups. We who play and we who listen owe them much.