Monday, December 1, 2008

97. The Jimi Hendrix Experience - Axis: Bold as Love

Axis is not a memory album. It does not take me to a certain time or place. Axis: Bold as Love is the here and now.

It's what to listen to when your coworker is talking too loud and too much. It's what's in the CD player when traffic is at a standstill and horns are blaring. It's what's playing on a rainy Saturday spent on the couch reading. It is a warm blanket, a dose of Xanax. It doesn't matter if the song is loud and fast (Spanish Castle Magic) or soulful and slow (Castles Made of Sand) or hard and funky (If Was 6 Was 9) or something that makes a wistfulness invade your soul like Little Wing, this entire album is the comfort food of music. It's my grilled cheese and tomato soup.

(Speaking of Little Wing, why is it that everyone loves the Stevie Ray Vaughn version better than Jimi's? Personally, I think SVR is one of the most overrated artists of all time.)

Favorite song: Castles Made of Sand
Official site


jaycaruso said...

Personally, I think SVR is one of the most overrated artists of all time.

Wow. That's pretty bold. In my view, all it would take is watching 'Live At The El Macambo' once to see an artist at work. And the dude was only 28 at the time.

Granted, Hendrix did all of his stuff before he died at the age of 27, but it was almost like Hendrix was from another planet.

As for SRV's covers of Hendrix tunes, the reason why people like them so much is that SRV got it with regard to Jimi. I've heard so many artists try to cover Hendrix and they fuck it up by trying to put their own twist on it - by trying to make it their own. SRV never did that. He would clean up the sound a little, but the essence of what Hendrix was communicating was still there.

Anyway, my 'deep' insight for the day is done.

Timmer said...

SRV = Jimi without the feedback.

But I like The Fabulous Thunderbirds and Little Feat too so...

steelopus said...

jaycaruso nailed it. Live At The El Macambo is a stunning performance capturing the pure and raw talent of SRV.

I hate saying things like this, but SRV is a "guitarists guitarist." Jimi is also a guitarists guitarist.

However, Jimi did something that SRV could never do, he bridged the gap between guitarists guitarist and peoples guitarist. He appealed to everyone, and everyone (including non-guitarists) could related to what he was doing.

The world has yet to see a trailblazer the likes of Jimi. Everyone since has been *trying* to be "the next Jimi," while the truth is that the next Jimi will be doing things so insanely original, without effort, that it will become obvious who he/she is.

I'm definitely jamming with this album tonight.

HRH Courtney, Queen of Everything said...

I don't love Stevie's version better. Jimi's version of Little Wing is one of my favorite songs ever, one that calms me in my darkest moments.
I dig on SRV, but for my money, Jimi has Little Wing wrapped up.
Voodoo Child, however, could be a toss up. They both kick serious ass though.

Cullen said...

SRV's version transcends the original. It's just that simple. He took Hendrix's amazing song and just amped it up. Too, too freaking good.

But, music is subjective. Perhaps steelopus was on to something when he said that SRV is a "guitarist's guitarist," but that denies all the non-guitarists who like SRV.

I think Hendrix's music was always best when enhanced with substances. SRV I can listen to any time. But they're both members of a pretty elite club. Anyone whose name you can say in the same breath as someone like B.B. King, Albert King, or Ry Cooder is doing something right.

davis,br said...

Yeah. Guitarist's guitarist indeed; more ways than one.

True story. I guess it was 20 years ago - no a couple more, maybe 22/3 years - a friend was playing at a tiny little venue (motel bar) on the North Coast (just off 101 a bit north of Arcata, off Giuntoli Lane), and were mid-way through their set when they noticed SRV and friends walk into the bar. (I think I recall his band had played earlier that night at Humboldt State ...but it's been a long time now.)

When they finished their current song, SRV walked over from his table and asked if he could sit in.

My friend took his Strat' off, and simply handed it over.

Said the music for the rest of the night was like nothing ever heard in there before. Or likely since.

Solonor Rasreth said...

OK, enough with the hatin' on Stevie Ray Vaughan (with an "A" thenkyewverramuch). I don't recall who said it (Eric Clapton, I think), but the amazing thing about Stevie Ray was the fact that he didn't pause. With most guitarists, you think of a lick, you play it, you think of another (maybe while holding onto some long bendy note), then play it. But there is an identifiable pause between licks. Not so with SRV.

But I digress.

Hendrix is the Einstein to SRV's guy-who-made-stuff-based-on-Einstein's-work. I like SRV's Little Wing, but I LOVE Hendrix's. Jimi Hendrix wasn't just playing guitar. He was re-inventing the guitar. And I love this album dearly.