.

Rolling Stone Hall of Fame: Jimi Hendrix's 'Axis: Bold as Love'

A look back at the greatest albums ever made

June 12, 2003
'Axis: Bold As Love'
'Axis: Bold As Love'

Iwanna know about the new mother earth/ I wanna hear and see everything," announced Jimi Hendrix on "Up From the Skies," the mission statement of Axis: Bold As Love, his second album with his band the Experience. Hendrix's delicate touch on the wah-wah pedal (a recent invention in 1968) glides and teases airily, drawing the ear into an album that wanted to take you higher, past gravity or limits of any kind. The late bassist Noel Redding kept the album on some sort of earthly axis, while drummer Mitch Mitchell was no less a renegade than Hendrix when it came to expressionistic frenzy; you can hear the two collide, commune and converse on such tracks as "Spanish Castle Magic."

Generally overlooked on Axis were taut, funky, could've-been-hits such as "Ain't No Telling," "Wait Until Tomorrow" and "Little Miss Lover." Axis' reputation was forged on its more mystical numbers: the achingly lyrical "Little Wing," the straight-world kiss-off "If 6 Was 9." Lyrically, Hendrix tosses out dreamy references to gold ships, golden gardens, rainbows and dragonflies – in words and sound, he argues that the universe is a wondrous place full of magic to those willing to open their consciousness. Dig.

This story is from the June 12th, 2003 issue of Rolling Stone.

To read the new issue of Rolling Stone online, plus the entire RS archive: Click Here

prev
Music Main Next

blog comments powered by Disqus
Around the Web
Powered By ZergNet
Daily Newsletter

Get the latest RS news in your inbox.

Sign up to receive the Rolling Stone newsletter and special offers from RS and its
marketing partners.

X

We may use your e-mail address to send you the newsletter and offers that may interest you, on behalf of Rolling Stone and its partners. For more information please read our Privacy Policy.

Song Stories

“San Francisco Mabel Joy”

Mickey Newbury | 1969

A country-folk song of epic proportions, "San Francisco Mabel Joy" tells the tale of a poor Georgia farmboy who wound up in prison after a move to the Bay Area found love turning into tragedy. First released by Mickey Newbury in 1969, it might be more familiar through covers by Waylon Jennings, Joan Baez and Kenny Rogers. "It was a five-minute song written in a two-minute world," Newbury said. "I was told it would never be cut by any artist ... I was told you could not use the term 'redneck' in a song and get it recorded."

More Song Stories entries »
 
www.expandtheroom.com