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AXIS: BOLD AS LOVE

Jimi Hendrix

Proto-Prog


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Jimi Hendrix Axis: Bold as Love album cover
3.93 | 201 ratings | 14 reviews | 40% 5 stars

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Studio Album, released in 1967

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. EXP (1:55)
2. Up from the Skies (2:55)
3. Spanish Castle Magic (3:00)
4. Wait Until Tomorrow (3:00)
5. Ain't No Telling (1:46)
6. Little Wing (2:24)
7. If 6 Was 9 (5:32)
8. You Got Me Floating (2:45)
9. Castles Made of Sand (2:46)
10. She's So Fine (2:37)
11. One Rainy Wish (3:40)
12. Little Miss Lover (2:20)
13. Bold as Love (4:09)

Total Time: 38:49

Lyrics

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Music tabs (tablatures)

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Line-up / Musicians

- Jimi Hendrix / Guitar, Lead Vocals, Bass, Piano, Flute, Voice
- Noel Redding / Bass, Backing Vocals, Lead Vocals on She's so Fine
- Mitch Mitchell / Drums, Glockenspiel, Backing Vocals, Voice
- Trevor Burton / Backing Vocals
- Roy Wood / Backing Vocals

Releases information

Vinyl:
December 1, 1967 (UK)
January 15, 1968 (US)

Thanks to abstrakt for the addition
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AXIS:BOLD AS LOVE -Digital remasterAXIS:BOLD AS LOVE -Digital remaster
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JIMI HENDRIX Axis: Bold as Love ratings distribution


3.93
(201 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of rock music(40%)
40%
Excellent addition to any rock music collection(41%)
41%
Good, but non-essential (16%)
16%
Collectors/fans only (2%)
2%
Poor. Only for completionists (0%)
0%

JIMI HENDRIX Axis: Bold as Love reviews


Showing all collaborators reviews and last reviews preview | Show all reviews/ratings

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by ZowieZiggy
PROG REVIEWER
2 stars A few months after the excellent ''Are You Experienced'' album, this ''Axis-Bold Of Love'' followed. IMHHO, it was too premature.

It holds very few of the legendary tracks that the band will immortalize during their live sets. ''Spanish Castle Magic'' is one of these and by far my preferred song from this album. It is an ocean of wildness: crying and desperate guitar and a superb rhythmic section. One of his all time best for sure.

The sound is much more bluesy and jazzy than on their debut which was a psychedelic anthem. Songs as ''Up From The Skies'', ''Wait Until Tomorrow'' definitely don't belong to the best of his repertoire.

A disjointed spoken opening track could have been easily avoided and it is a pity that ''Ain't No Telling'' is so short. It holds all the ingredients of a great Hendrix track but would have deserved to be developed a bit further. But there was maybe no time for this.

The bluesy ballad ''Little Wing'' is also a highlight from this album. Very emotional guitar solo to conclude this very short song (alas). ''Castles Made Of Sand'' is pretty much the same: a fine ballad with a romantic vocal part. Not bad. ''One Rainy Wish'' is the third and last one of this type featured on the album.

The longest piece of music here is a combination between blues, psychedelia and improvisation. Although it shows some good parts, this track is globally a bit deceiving, loose.

''She's So Fine'' is quite an exception in Hendrix's discography. It was written by NoŽl Redding with no contribution whatsoever from the master. It sounds very Beatles-esque to tell the truth (''Sgt. Pepper's'' period). The most psyche track of the whole and another good number as well. One of my fave actually. Along with the closing and title track ''As Bold As Love''.

This album is not very even and stands quite behind their debut one. Too many average tracks peppered this album to make it a good one. Five out of ten rounded down to two stars is my rating.

If you are a casual Hendrix fan or if you are willing to discover the work form this giant and you don't know too much from him (which is quite normal on such a site), I can only recommend the debut ''Are You Experienced''.

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Review by Sean Trane
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Prog Folk
3 stars 3.5 stars really!!!

A more difficult album that often gets overlooked, stuck between its two encumbering neighbours AYE? And EL, A:BAL is nevertheless another excellent album. Stuck with that Hindu artwork, it's certainly noticeable in the racks, but it didn't carry any of the high profile hit tracks like its predecessor, so even nowadays, the album is not as "evident", in part due to some experiments.

Starting with the mind-blowing EXP track, the album produces a string of better-known tracks such as Spanish Castle, Little Wing, She's So Fine (a rare Redding-penned track), If 6 Was 9, but overall the album suffers from lesser material and there are a few fillers. Hendrix's guitar antics are still as convincing Mitchell's drumming still amazing and Redding's pedestrian bass quite apt, but Jimi was not even waiting for Noel anymore and a good third of the tracks feature him on bass. But an overly-gifted muso like Hendrix was also toying with the odd piano and blowing in a flute, which you'll hear during the course of the album.

Definitely lost between its cumbersome forerunner and successor, A:BAL remains a must for most progheads and it might even get a better opinion than the other two experiences, especially those into psych/space rock.

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Review by Chicapah
PROG REVIEWER
3 stars Following the life-changing, personal mind explosion that was "Are You Experienced" in mid '67 I simply could not get enough of Hendrix. I was a bug-eyed, slobbering addict. I had a Jones for Jimi. I even let myself be suckered into buying an LP by some unknown named Curtis Knight because the cover said "featuring Jimi Hendrix." It was a blatantly opportunistic scam. While my hero may have been in the backup band, he had about as much to do with the music as the janitor who cleaned up the studio after the session. While that taught me a valuable lesson about the seedy side of capitalism it had no effect on my unquenchable thirst for anything Hendrix so, by the time the stateside version of "Axis: Bold as Love" was released in January '68, I was pacing outside my local record shop like a caged puma when they opened for the day, cash in fist. While it didn't have the drastic, dramatic impact on my consciousness that the debut had (in retrospect, few things in my life did), it met my rock & roll requirements and lofty expectations and I ended up wearing the grooves out of the vinyl nonetheless. To be completely honest, it hasn't held up to scrutiny over the 40+ years since its release even remotely as well as its predecessor has. It's truly yet another case of the sophomore jinx at work.

But first I must breach the subject of the Brontosaurus in the room that is the ostentatious and amazingly garish cover art. It stands as the pinnacle of the iniquity that is miscommunication for all eternity to come. I can only imagine the awkward scene that unfolded when Track Records' Boss Hogg confronted the art department's head honcho after the project had long since gone to press.

Fat Cat: "Great Caesar's ghost, what the hell is THIS?" Art guy: "Wha..? You said Jimi had Indian blood in him." Fat Cat: "You lug nut! Does he LOOK like he's from New Delhi?" Art guy: "Oh! You meant THOSE Indians? Ooops. My bad."

Thus this set of songs is branded forevermore with an undeniably colorful, eye-catching veneer that's about as appropriate as a rendering of Jim Morrison sporting the papal tiara while fronting the Mormon Tabernacle Choir. Human error on this scale borders on the sublime.

On to the music. You know how you look back on a TV sci-fi program from your youth that you thought was the nazz at the time but now it's just silly? That's the album's opening sequence, "EXP," in a nutshell. Hendrix's short radio play was neat-o to my then 18-year-old, unjaded ears but other than Jimi's wild feedback frenzy (that proved that my record player was, indeed, a stereo device) the whole thing is shamefully dated even if it was, after all, the sixties. "Up From the Skies" follows and to say his legion of fans were collectively caught off-guard is putting it mildly. We were expecting (and wanting) his fiery lightning to strike and burn into our skulls immediately but what we got was a smooth saunter through Jazzville where Hendrix's coy wah-wah guitar and Mitch Mitchell's whispering brush strokes made us reluctantly stop and consider that maybe we'd underestimated the versatility of these dudes.

The aggressive introductory barrage that starts "Spanish Castle Magic" was more in the fashion of what we craved to hear. It has a very prog progression, for sure, but that doesn't necessarily make it good. The song is not melodic at all. It's as if he wrote the guitar parts first and then struggled to devise vocal lines that would fit over them. There's just something essential missing and there lies the rub. Unlike the professional tone they achieved on their debut, this record has all the appearances of being slapped together in a hurry to meet a deadline, much to its detriment. However the next tune, "Wait Until Tomorrow," is as slick and tight a track as they come so go figure. Jimi's slinky guitarisms are on full display as he glides effortlessly over the frets and Mitchell's suitably wicked drum fills are delightful and fun. Hendrix's humorous story about a botched elopement is engaging as he delivers clever lines like "do I see a silhouette/of someone pointing something from a tree?/click, bang!/what a hang/your daddy just shot poor me."

"Ain't No Telling" is a penned-on-the-fly, straight-ahead steamroller that doesn't even pretend to disguise Jimi's James Brown hot soul roots for a solitary second. A few well-placed kicks and accents help keep the song from becoming too predictable. Next up is the impeccable "Little Wing," featuring Hendrix's timeless and brilliantly executed preamble to what may be his most distinctive composition. The unexpected addition of a glockenspiel adds just the right touch of magic to words like "she's walking through the clouds/with a circus mind that's running wild/butterflies and Zebras/moonbeams and fairy tales/that's all she ever thinks about/riding with the wind." For a guy not known for his literary acumen, that's mighty poetic stuff. "If 6 Was 9" stands in sharp contrast to that tune's beauty, with Jimi's muscle-bound Strat throwing jabs to your gut like a heavyweight champ who's got you on the ropes. The complex jazz chords on the chorus are inspired, Noel Redding speed-walks his bass around the lead like a man possessed, Mitch's closed rolls are immaculate and Hendrix's unadorned, bare vocals make it sound like he's standing beside you. Here the creep factor is almost overwhelming as he orates prophetically "I'm the one who's got to die when it's time for me to die/so let me live my life the way I want to." The extended ending is psychedelic and fanciful as all get out with Jimi flaying away on a recorder like a paranoid Toucan tripping on LSD while trying to remember how to fly. It's phenomenally prog.

"You Got Me Floating" isn't bad for the pop rocker it was obviously intended to be but don't expect any surprises along the way. On "Castles Made of Sand" we get another dose of Hendrix's delicate and tasty guitar work but the looseness of the underlying track makes it feel horribly rushed until they get to the slower reprise that arrives too late to save it. The brief backwards guitar solo is definitely worth dropping in for, though. Noel's weak entry, "She's So Fine," only exacerbates his dearth of talent outside of being a bassist. Its only saving grace is that it runs by quickly. The proggy "One Rainy Wish" follows and here Jimi's intricate guitar lines and the song's dynamic arrangement make this rock & roll ballad work better than it should. Mitchell's deft handling of the two time signatures and his jazzy inflections add an impressive dimension to the tune.

The clumsy "Little Miss Lover" has filler-culled-from-a-jam-session written all over it but it also has Hendrix's unmistakable, sexual predator charisma dripping freely from it so it's hard to ignore. Which brings you to the glorious finale, "Axis: Bold as Love." Jimi's R&B heritage dominates the early going on this gem but his one-of-a-kind guitar flashes that float like graceful ballerinas dancing across a stage make it shine like the sun. After Hendrix sings, bestowing all the colors of the rainbow with human traits, Mitchell's flanged drums lead you into a shimmering fantasy land of bright pastels streaked with fire as sounds pan from right to left and around your head constantly. Jimi cuts loose with guitar spasms that seem to come from another part of the universe where music is the only form of intelligent life that exists. It's a spectacularly passionate performance from one of the all-time masters.

It's important to note that the bulk of the album was recorded before "Are You Experienced" even hit the racks in America so the stressful pressure to get it done yesterday was less-than-conducive to achieving artistic perfection. They didn't even know if what they'd been producing would appeal to the fickle populace in the USA at all yet their label was already impatiently demanding that they finish their 2nd LP! In other words, go easy on this album and apply a generous amount of leniency when appraising its merits. It didn't jump up to #3 on the charts for nothing and, while it may be the plain Jane middle child of The Jimi Hendrix Experience, it contains multiple great moments to savor and is a must-have for every JH fan. 3.4 stars.

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Review by Rune2000
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Prog Metal Team
2 stars The second of the three classic Jimi Hendrix Experience albums is also the least interesting from the Proto-Prog view of reference. The album's production was rushed because of the band's contract obligation stating that they had to produce two albums in 1967, plus the pressure to follow up a successful debut album must have had a bearing on the matter as well. Still the band seemed playful enough in the studio and the short intro titled EXP is a good example of just that. It's great to see the members having a laugh although I can't really share their enthusiasm since what they offer can't be considered more than a novelty act that will always be overshadowed by the magnificent Purple Haze intro from the debut.

Axis: Bold As Love relies heavily on the blues rock sound with a few new sound effects and new instruments added into the mix which might justify the album's classic status to some. The few exception to the overall sound might give the impression of a much better release whenever any of them comes around. Still even the best moments like the hard rocking Spanish Castle Magic and the soft and melodic Little Wing can't match the tops that were reached on the other two Jimi Hendrix Experience albums.

The inner struggle within the band finally gave Noel Redding a chance to show his songwriting skills on She's So Fine. This only, once again, proves that the band was clutching at straws when compiling the material for this album. The only track that has received surprisingly little attention from the audience is the closing Bold As Love that starts off as another blues driven track but then completely changes direction towards the end with a melodic guitar outro that doesn't sound like anything that I've ever heard from Jimi Hendrix. If only the band could experiment more with this direction instead of filling the music with generic music of its time then I'm sure that Axis: Bold As Love would have been worth a few more stars on my part.

**** star songs: Spanish Castle Magic (3:03) Wait Until Tomorrow (3:03) Ain't No Telling (1:48) Little Wing (2:26) Castles Made Of Sand (2:49) One Rainy Wish (3:42) Bold As Love (4:11)

*** star songs: Up From The Skies (2:58) If 6 Was 9 (5:35) You Got Me Floatin' (2:48) She's So Fine (2:39) Little Miss Lover (2:21)

** star songs: EXP (1:55)

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Review by Mellotron Storm
PROG REVIEWER
3 stars The followup to "Are You Experienced?" is actually a pretty good record, the problem is that everyone compared it to the debut and when you did that this album was sadly lacking. I'm sure most who were blown away by the raw power of Jimi's debut were (if anything) wanting more of the same. Blow our minds again Jimi was the mindset, more psychedelia, more aggression. Well this sophomore album turned out to be a very safe record unfortunately. Yes it's good, but again it really pales when compared to the debut. I guess the question could be asked "How do you follow up an album that changed the way people played guitar and thought about music ? I suppose it's not fair to even ask.

Some highlights for me are the first track "EXP" an interesting way to start the album. I like it. "Spanish Castle Magic" has some power to it and psychedlic lyrics. Guitar solo after 1 1/2 minutes. "Little Wing" is of course classic Hendrix. "If 6 Was 9" is a favourite. I like the passion and the psychedelic ending. "She's So Fine" is another favourite. I just like how 60's sounding it is and the drums are all over it. Of course Jimi's not singing and i've never been a huge fan of his vocals. 3 stars.

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Review by Muzikman
PROG REVIEWER
5 stars One of my fantasies as a hard core music fan was that Jimi Hendrix never died and he continued to make amazing music and produced some of the most phenomenal artist we would ever hear. While all of that is nothing but a series of "what could have been" scenarios it sure would have been an interesting ride if did happen that way. Instead we continue to get new music uncovered and re-masters of past classics from the Hendrix catalog. Who in the history of music did more in four years than Jimi? His impact was other worldly and the music he created was and still is an occurrence that is hard to fathom. He spent much more time in the studio creating than previously realized.

Recently Valleys of Neptune was released as a new album and to the surprise of no one it arrived in the top ten in album chart sales the first week of its release. The anticipation for anything released from the Hendrix estate is still an event that is celebrated and welcomed by millions of music fans.

With the ongoing reissues and reliving of The Jimi Hendrix Experience recordings there are several re-mastered and repackaged albums coming out including the amazing groundbreaking Axis: Bold As Love. This time out we get an extensive and detailed booklet with commentary and pictures that give you a glimpse of what was happening in 1967 for Jimi and his band. Not only do we get to hear the 13 awesome tracks in all their glory brought up to today's listening standards, we can enjoy a bonus DVD with Eddie Kramer (the original engineer for Hendrix) at the mixing board breaking down all the tracks and segmenting individual parts out to explain what the intent was and how it was all created by the brilliant mind of Hendrix. Kramer explains things like the odd squealing sound in "If 6 Was 9" was Jimi playing around with tape recorder. I always got a laugh the way this album started with "EXP" and Jimi's little nod to extraterrestrials; I am beginning to believe the man was not of this earth himself with the way he played guitar and the esoteric lyrics he came up with a lifetime ago now.

I have heard this album countless times and there are things I am noticing now that I never did before and not just the nuances and prolific licks of Hendrix but the rhythm section that helped to make Hendrix's music complete. Noel Redding (bass and backing vocals including lead vocals on "She's So Fine") with Mitch Mitchell (drums) meshed well with Jimi in the studio making music. Eventually that chemistry would disappear due to the many differences they all had. The trio managed to record some incredibly memorable psychedelic rock that influenced everyone from The Beatles to The Rolling Stones. This album's authority is still apparent today and the loss of such great musicians can never be rectified. The only way the music lives on is the continued revisiting and tweaking of the original master tapes and new listeners discovering it and realizing the true brilliance and progressive nature of the Hendrix catalog. The man invented progressive rock as a natural evolution with each studio session and this album is when it all started.

I have actually been listening to this more than the new album and have found myself in a constant state of fascination with the clarity of this re-master. Axis: Bold As Love always sounded great to me but now its stands alone in both sound and quality of musicianship like it never has before thanks to this reissue.

This recording has stood the test of time very well and I have no doubt that it will continue to do so.

Key Tracks: Spanish Castle Magic, Little Wing, Bold As Love

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Review by Warthur
PROG REVIEWER
5 stars Rush-recorded to fulfil contractural commitments, the second album by the Experience remains a credible and respectable addition to their discography. Spanish Castle Magic, Wait Until Tomorrow and Ain't No Telling are three of the Experience's best fast tracks lined up one after the other, before the album slows up with the soft lament of Little Wing offering a little calm before the crunchy psych-blues of If 6 Was 9.

Side Two is just as strong. Castles Made of Sand is one of the saddest and most haunting songs Hendrix would ever compose, whilst Bold as Love is a fine, fine album closer. Noel Redding even gets a chance to sing lead on his own composition, She's So Fine, which takes a typical 60s pop lyric and has the Experience absolutely go to town on it in one of the heaviest pure love songs of the 60s.

What's amazing about Hendrix's music is how complex it manages to be whilst, at the same time, so incredibly loud and energetic - it's proof that you can play prog without toning down the rock.

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Review by admireArt
COLLABORATOR PSIKE Team
5 stars If Jimi Hendrix outlined his scopes in his first effort; here he deepens and broadens them into this "Axis Bold as Love" second album project ; of a short "authorized" studio discography of 3 . He had the certainty that the future for his music (and music in general) was the route of "funk" (which after all; in those days was the best representation of the "black" culture; which of course was a symptom of the "times" 1968; the year of the students movement uprising world-wide)... Well enough history for today. Thanks to every deity that appears on the fantastic "art-cover"; this just happens twice (funk oriented songs). The rest is Hendrix following his intuition and natural genuine talent for both composition and lyrics. It is a perfect collection of "small-wonders" and "gems". It is quiet impossible; in my opinion to skip this (or any of his 3) albums; if you want to testify the origins of a lot of "copied by 1000s and matched by few guitar-tricks; that made; even the "guitar-Gods" sigh when exposed. This is just for you!.. Here the "Experience" searches further in the tenor of "3th Stone from the Sun" composition from the first record, BUT here every route is taken; experimental founded songs, transfixed with great vision and clear song-writing. With humour when required and sharp wits if the case. The music goes from ethereal guitar compositions to Prog-Rock foundations; from the guy who painted the lines and established the dots of this foundations; so it is quiet a thrill! ...If complex guitar structures achieved with sheer talent; surrounded by a not less talented rhythm section (Mitch Mitchell is my all time favorite drummer), this could be something you should not let pass by.*****5 "Blow my Mind" PA stars.

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Latest members reviews

4 stars Jimi and his Experience created this classic only a few months after the landmark Are You Experienced? was released. It has definitely stood the test of time very well. The sound quality in the songs amazes to this day. There are touches on different styles again, from the wah- wah drenched jaz ... (read more)

Report this review (#488832) | Posted by Frankie Flowers | Saturday, July 23, 2011 | Review Permanlink

5 stars Rating: 10/10 First of all, Hendrix was a great, talented, musician. Of course he was a gifted and tremendous guitar player too. But he was a music researcher that actually used the guitar -exploding almost every aspect of it- as the main tool for his purposes. And the final proof of ... (read more)

Report this review (#461569) | Posted by Mattiias | Tuesday, June 14, 2011 | Review Permanlink

5 stars Of the three albums the Jimi Hendrix Experience did, this one seems a bit overlooked compared to Are You Experienced and Electric Ladyland, but you know what, I really have a hard time saying which of the three are the best. For some strange reason, I didn't buy his albums until recently, maybe so ... (read more)

Report this review (#444563) | Posted by Progfan97402 | Sunday, May 08, 2011 | Review Permanlink

4 stars To be honest, I have never been a big Jimi Hendrix fan. I always found him a tad overated, and never really made up for it with great songs. But I do love this album. The cover enough is worth the price for me (I love Indian mythology). This album does have some real underlooked and classic J ... (read more)

Report this review (#295005) | Posted by arcane-beautiful | Wednesday, August 18, 2010 | Review Permanlink

3 stars Wouldn't The Jimi Hendrix Experience have been a really cool instrumental jazz fusion band? The Jimi Hendrix Experience - Axis: Bold As Love (1967) Best Song: SPANISH CASTLE MAGIC, nothing else comes even close Overall Rating: 9/15 After rocking our worlds with one of the heaviest debu ... (read more)

Report this review (#291023) | Posted by Alitare | Sunday, July 18, 2010 | Review Permanlink

4 stars Axis:Bold as Love followed the monstrous achievement of the previous album,released just a few months earlier in the magical year of 1967.If the Monterey Pop Festival helped the success of Jimi Hendrix's career by introducing the Experience to the USA,this album came to confirm Hendrix as a tr ... (read more)

Report this review (#211063) | Posted by Gustavo Froes | Saturday, April 11, 2009 | Review Permanlink

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