Coming off his debut album Jimi Hendrix was trying to expand his musical horizons. His first album Are You Experienced?
is no doubt a classic but Jimi was getting tired of having a limited setlist at shows so in the same year 1967 he went back into the studio and recorded a more undershowed album called Axis: Bold as Love. The album combined elemants of rock, blues, pyschedelic and even a little jazz. The album is still considered a classic but it is sandwiched between his two most popular album Are You Experienced?
and Electric Ladyland
This is a very odd opening track which is starts out themed as a radio interview. The host, drummer Mitch Mitchell, has an effect on his voice making it very high and semi irritating. He says he is interviewing a man named Paul Coruso(sp?) about UFO's. Paul answers the question in a very deep voice and then says he must be going. The rest of the "song" is weird noises and feedback its only 1:54 and isn;t a real song so I wont rate it.
Up From the Skies
EXP goes right into a drum fill and then Jimi plays some jazzy chords with Noel providing a nice heavy bassline and Mitch Kepp the drum beat light and jazzy. Jimi's vocals are light and nice as comes out of one speaker and the other speaker answers himself. There's no wild guitar solo's but there is a little break where Jimi does a little blues solo with the wah wah and then he does a nice little solo with the the wah in the outro. A nice and relaxed song with jazz influences. 4.5/5
Spanish Castle Magic
The tempo of the album changes here as there as Jimi plays the heavier intro. During the verse the guitar is very stop and start with Mitch's bass drum is the only thing behind Jimi's voice at times. The lyrics are pretty "out there" as Jimi sings about how it takes half a day to travel to his destination by riding his dragonfly. The chorus includes a heavy guitar riff, wild drums and strong vocals. Jimi's solo is nice as he uses one of his signature tones to create a pychedelic feel to the song. 4.5/5
Wait Until Tomorrow
The intro is light and quick guitar part and a real heavy bass that only consists of one note but really adds to the intro. As Jimi's vocals and Mitch's drums come in the band goes into more of a groove. After a a nice guitar fill that resembles the intro the che extremely catchy chorus comes with some nice background vocals.The intro theme gets repeated a few times in the song before every verse. Mitch plays some very nice fills in this song and keeps a solid beat throughout the song. 4/5
Ain't No Telling
The song is only 1:47 minutes long but Jimi manages to pack in so much into it. A really fast-paced groove is established early and they stick with it through the whole song occasionally slowing down during parts but it always quickly goes back to the groove. Again there is some really great drumming and some nice quick guitar soloes. 4/5
This is one of Jimi's finest premormances on the guitar as well as his most emotional song. The intro guitar part is just so beautiful and Mitch's glockenspiel makes the intro even more effective. A drum fill takes the intro in to the verse and Jimi takes the spotlight on the vocals. The bass is rolling, the guitar is light and the drums are prescise every thing fits together perfectly. The guitar solo in Little Wing is one of the best on the album. My only complaint is that the song is over too quicly nontheless it is still a 5/5.
If 6 Was 9
This is the longest song on the album and probably the most experimental. The song starts with Mitch and the high-hat. The bass and guitar are accented and compliment each other nicely. Jimi sings the the lyrics strongly about how he doesnt really care if a 6 was a 9 or is the mountains fell in the sea or if the sun refused to shine, things along that nature. Around 1:50 the bass starts doing this really cool jazz part as the guitar is filled with effects and kinda goes around and does whatever it wants. During the interlude Jimi says "I know I got to die when its time for my to die, so let my live my own life the way I want to". After this it goes back to the pyschedelic interlude which features Jimi playing random notes on the flute. This song can get kind of old fast though. 4/5
You've Got Me Floatin'
This song has a real upbeat opening guitar riff and a nice beat. Jimi sings the verse nicely and he gets some help form Noel and Mitch during the chorus. This song doesnt dont that much for me, it's kind of a filler pop song. It does have a good groove and features some good guitar work though. 3.5/5
Castles Made of Sand
The intro is done on a back tracked guitar and kinda of resembles "Little Wing" as the band goes into the first verse another heavy bassline back up Jimi's light guitar parts. The lyrics seem to be about dreams that are built up and are destroyed but thats just my take on them. The guitar solo is very well done but again is kinda short. The intro is played again as the outro, fabulous guitar playing in this song. 5/5
She's So Fine
The song starts out with some Mitch playing a cool fill on the drums which is closely followed by Noel's bass and soon after Jimi's guitar playing the same melody as Noel. The song is sung by Noel because he was the one who wrote it. The fact that Noel sings it kinda makes it feel out of place but the song is still great. The drums and bass work nicely together with Jimi preforming a great guitar solo. 4/5
One Rainy Day Wish
The guitar intro is light and slow as Mitch does a roll on a cymbal. Aproximetly 30 secinds lately Jimi starts singing in a very nice melody. The tempo picks up for the chorus which features a nice guitar line backed by a rolling bass and "fill-happy" drums. The songs goes back to the verse tempo as Jimi continues singing over top of his guitar. A nice song with cool guitar parts.4/5
Little Miss Lover
Another drum intro starts off this funky number. The other insturments follow the same rythym as the drums started with. Jimi's voice is even funky as he sings about his "Little Miss Lover". He also adds in nice guitar solo and other interest parts. This song also has one of Noel's best basslines on the album. It's pretty short too. 4.5/5
Bold as Love
No intro needed as Jimi starts says/yells "Anger!". The lyrics are about the emotions and how colours relate to them. ( I think). The guitar is light but you can here it going all over the place. As the song hits the chorus the song gets heavier but soon return to the original verse tempo. Jimi sings amazingly and adds an outstanding guitar solo to the song. Eveything is perfect, the lyrics, the singing, the instruments. Just when you think the song is over Mitch does a roll and the song goes into a flange drenched outro with another amazing solo. Mitch preforms fill after fill and Noel has keeps the bass pumping. This happens to be one of my favoueite songs of all time too. 5/5
Overall I'd give the album a 4.5/5, for having such masterpieces as "Bold as Love", "Little Wing", "Castles Made of Sand" and "Spanish Castle Magic". The rest of the songs are good but those are definetly the standout tracks.