Jimi Hendrix – Axis: Bold As Love (1967)

Axis: Bold as Love is the second studio album by the Jimi Hendrix Experience. Track Records first released it in the United Kingdom in December 1967, only seven months after the release of the group’s highly successful debut, Are You Experienced. In the United States, Reprise Records delayed the release until the following month. The album reached the top ten in the album charts in both countries.

For the album, the group displayed several musical styles and critics saw it as demonstrating Jimi Hendrix’s growth as a songwriter. The album introduced “Spanish Castle Magic” and “Little Wing”, two Hendrix compositions which draw on his roots performing with rhythm and blues bands, that would remain in his live repertoire throughout his career.

The album cover, which draws on Hindu religious iconography, has generated controversy. It was designed without Hendrix’s approval, and he publicly expressed his dissatisfaction. However, the album went on to become quite successful and was certified platinum in the US and silver in the UK

Track Listing:

Side one
No. Title Length
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 Six Was Nine” (US edition spelling “If 6 Was 9”) 5:32

Side two
No. Title Length
1. “You’ve Got Me Floating” (US edition spelling “You Got Me Floatin'”) 2:45
2. “Castles Made of Sand” 2:46
3. “She’s So Fine” (Noel Redding) 2:37
4. “One Rainy Wish” 3:40
5. “Little Miss Lover” 2:20
6. “Bold as Love” 4:09

AllMusic Review: Jimi Hendrix’s second album followed up his groundbreaking debut effort with a solid collection of great tunes and great interactive playing between himself, Noel Redding, Mitch Mitchell, and the recording studio itself. Wisely retaining manager Chas Chandler to produce the album and Eddie Kramer as engineer, Hendrix stretched further musically than the first album, but even more so as a songwriter. He was still quite capable of coming up with spacy rockers like “You Got Me Floating,” “Up from the Skies,” and “Little Miss Lover,” radio-ready to follow on the commercial heels of “Foxey Lady” and “Purple Haze.” But the beautiful, wistful ballads “Little Wing,” “Castles Made of Sand,” “One Rainy Wish,” and the title track set closer show remarkable growth and depth as a tunesmith, harnessing Curtis Mayfield soul guitar to Dylanesque lyrical imagery and Fuzz Face hyperactivity to produce yet another side to his grand psychedelic musical vision. These are tempered with Jimi’s most avant-garde tracks yet, “EXP” and the proto-fusion jazz blowout of “If 6 Was 9.” — Cub Koda

Schill Score: 9.5/10

Listen to Album on Spotify

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