"Axis: Bold As Love" (1967) – The Jimi Hendrix Experience

A psychedelic album by Jimi Hendrix that instantly captivated listeners and critics.

Jimi Hendrix album "Axis: Bold as Love"

The virtuoso game of Jimi Hendrix wins the hearts of listeners from the first notes. Unusual sound and impressive guitar skills are noted even by those listeners who are far from musical subtleties. "Axis: Bold As Love" became the musician's second album after "Are you Experienced", which won the top lines of the world charts.

History of creation

Axis: Bold As Love was recorded at the famed Olympic Studios and was released in December 1967. Its authors were not only Jimi Hendrix himself, but also Noel Redding and Mitch Mitchell. A huge contribution was made by producer Chas Chandler, who carefully controlled all organizational and technical issues, giving the band advice on how to organize the music in the album. For example, he pointed out to Hendrix the need to shorten the length of the songs - hits at that time were becoming short songs. He listened, and, as it turned out, not in vain. "Axis: Bold As Love" quickly topped the UK and US charts. The album had many draft versions - some of the songs were eliminated already in the recording process. So, for example, it happened with the track "Cat Talking to Me", which was never included in the album. Hendrix was characterized by perfectionism, which sometimes annoyed the other members of the group - each song was re-recorded many times. The first tune recorded was "She's So Fine" by Noel Redding. The album contains thirteen songs in total.

List of songs on Jimi Hendrix's Axis: Bold As Love (1967)
List of songs on Jimi Hendrix's Axis: Bold As Love (1967)

An interesting story is connected with the recording of the album. Shortly before the release of the album, the recording of the song "If 6 Was 9" disappeared, and it had to be re-recorded on the record literally overnight.

In 2003, Axis: Bold As Love was re-released. It included bonus tracks - doubles and versions of songs with alternative sounds.


The album cover refers to Hindu mythology. It was created without the participation of Hendrix himself, and he did not approve of the result. He even publicly stated that he had nothing to do with the album cover. Indeed, it caused a mixed reaction - in India, the use of the image of the god Vishnu on a music record was considered offensive.

Album cover of Axis: Bold As Love (1967) by Jimi Hendrix
Album cover of Axis: Bold As Love (1967) by Jimi Hendrix


The composition "EXP", with which the album opens, was a field of experimentation for the group. Its electronic, cosmic sound corresponds to the text - in it the heroes of the composition are interviewing aliens. They were played by Jimi Hendrix and Mitch Mitchell.

"Up from the Skies"

The sound of "Up from the Skies" seems to immerse the listener in meditation. The song is saturated with various sound effects, tearing away from reality and as if taking the listener to another, otherworldly world. According to the authors, they diligently achieved such an effect. Their goal was to "open the locked rooms of the mind."

Spanish Castle Magic

One of the most popular songs on the album. Unlike many others, Hendrix often performed it in live concerts, as it lacks as many studio effects as, for example, in "EXP". Hendrix was inspired to write the lyrics of the song by a dance hall in Washington DC, where he often played in a school rock band. It was called "Spanish Castle".

"Wait Until Tomorrow"

A strong composition that combines elements of pop, rock and soul. Hendrix's creative experiment - for the first time he wrote the text in the first person for her. "Wait Until Tomorrow" is a story about a sad doomed love.

"Ain't No Telling"

The short track "Ain't No Telling" has a complex structure. The song has a lot of musical techniques that allow it to be attributed to rock.

"Little Wing"

The composition became Jimi Hendrix's hallmark, including because the musician often performed it live. The name of the song was the name, which, according to the artist himself, belonged to his guardian angel. For decades, the composition has been impressing listeners. Other musicians turn to her again and again, Sting and Metallica recorded covers on Little Wing. Blues notes can be heard in the gentle sound of the melody. In 2005, the editors of Rolling Stone included the song in the list of the five hundred greatest songs of all time.

"If 6 Was 9"

Due to a setback that resulted in the loss of the first studio recording of the song, a version with background noise ended up on the album. However, even this fact did not spoil the perception of music. Embodied at the same time blues and rock composition was recognized by many as the most psychedelic in the album.

"You Got Me Floating"

This song opens the second side of the album. Roy Wood and Trevor Barton were invited to perform backing vocals.

"Castles Made of Sand"

There is a legend that the lyrics to "Castles Made of Sand" are autobiographical. This is a song about disappointments and finding yourself, which can be very difficult. However, at the end, Hendrix optimistically notes: "look a golden winged ship is passing my way." Everyone can find their "golden ship".

"She's So Fine"

Unlike other tracks on the album, "She's So Fine" was not written by Hendrix, but by Noel Redding. The composition was recorded one of the first, during the first recording session. Redding said that he wrote it, inspired by the life of a hippie.

One Rainy Wish

Some call this song "Golden Rose". This is probably due to the fact that her text begins with the words "Gold and rose, the color of the dream I had". Jimi Hendrix was inspired to write the song by a vivid dream in which, as if in reality, he saw many fantastic landscapes.

"Little Miss Lover"

"Little Miss Lover" is considered a song that contributed greatly to the development of funk rock. It was the first to use guitar string muting techniques, which other guitarists would borrow in the future.

"Bold as Love"

"Bold as Love" is said to be the first record to use a flanger, a special device that creates an unusual "cosmic" sound, similar to the sound of an airplane taking off. The lyrics of the song are very imaginative - this is partly due to the fact that Hendrix, who did not know musical notation, often compared the sound of music to flowers. Despite the fact that the composition was rarely performed live, in February 1968, listeners got acquainted with its live sound during Hendrix's improvisation in Wisconsin.

"Axis: Bold as Love" was warmly received by critics. Despite some calling it one of Hendrix's least impressive albums, "Axis: Bold as Love" is just as often cited as a musical masterpiece. The album has received many awards, for example, in 2000 it was ranked 147th in the ranking of the 1000 best music albums of all time.


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