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As the story unfolds, we delve into the recording studio, where Jimi Hendrix’s relentless pursuit of perfection ignited spirited debates with his bandmates and producer Chas Chandler. The pressure escalated as the need to fulfill a record company contract for a second album loomed large after their groundbreaking debut, “Are You Experienced,” thrusting the band into a time-sensitive creative odyssey.

However, a tragedy unfolded when Jimi Hendrix inadvertently left a box filled with master tapes in a London taxi, and these tapes were never recovered. The guitarist’s deep disappointment led to a grueling overnight session dedicated to reconstructing the entire recording, mixing, and editing process. This unexpected turn of events significantly reshaped the quality and value of the record.

Navigating the tricky terrain of crafting a second album after a groundbreaking debut became a defining chapter in the story of “Axis: Bold As Love.” The pressure to follow up their innovative debut, “Are You Experienced,” added an extra layer of complexity to the band’s creative journey.

Despite the hurdles, Jimi Hendrix and his bandmates proved their determination, injecting an additional layer of intensity into the production of “Axis: Bold As Love.” This urgency would later contribute to an enigmatic chapter in Jimi Hendrix’s musical legacy. The crux of intrigue centers on the lost original studio mixtape of Side A, preserving the essence of the initial recordings—an elusive piece of the puzzle, lost forever.

Despite this setback, Jimi Hendrix and The Experience, fueled by determination, managed to rescue the album. Remixing tracks for Side A became a creative endeavor showcasing the band’s resilience. Notably challenging was the song “If Six Was Nine,” which, with bassist Noel Redding’s tape recording, found new life. Jimi Hendrix, the innovator, infused the track with fresh elements, crafting a unique sound that diverged from the lost original.

Chas Chandler, their manager, and Eddie Kramer, the chief audio engineer, took charge of producing the album amid heavy pressure from Track Records. The recording process, though challenging, unfolded against Jimi Hendrix’s enthusiasm for the record, despite frustrating some members with his constant demands for re-takes and perfectionism.

 

Upon its release, “Axis: Bold As Love” ascended to success, maintaining a remarkable presence on the charts for sixteen weeks. In England, it reached a peak position of number five, while in the United States, it secured the third spot. Music critics showered the album with acclaim, describing it as a brilliant fusion of hard rock, rhythm and blues, and jazz. Late ’60s music magazines awarded it four to five stars, affirming its triumph not just in the eyes of critics but in the hearts of the listening public.

In the same year, 1967, the band recorded “Axis: Bold As Love” at Olympic Sound Studios, setting the stage for an electrifying performance at the Monterey Pop Festival, where Jimi Hendrix set his guitar on fire. In contrast to their previous album, “Are You Experienced,” the new album showcased more calm, less driving compositions, along with innovative methods like phasing effects and vocal overdubbing.

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The re-mixed album saw its release on December 1st in the UK and January 15th of the next year in the US. This version, shaped by the overnight session, is the only one that graces our record players today. Speculation persists about the fate of the original recordings, whether they lie in a pawn shop in London or an old dusty attic, waiting to be rediscovered. Some even entertain the idea that Jimi Hendrix lost the tapes intentionally, dissatisfied with the sound.

The album featured iconic songs like “Spanish Castle Magic,” the flute-infused “If 6 Was 9” (featured in the cult movie “Easy Rider”), “Castles Made Of Sand,” and the guitar masterpiece “Little Wing.” The cover, depicting the band as Hindu gods, stirred disagreement within the band, especially with Jimi Hendrix, who felt it should reflect his Native American heritage.

Nevertheless, the album peaked at #6 on the Billboard R&B chart, becoming a substantial masterpiece and an essential addition to record collections across generations. The missing Side A, an enigmatic void in the album’s legacy, continues to spark curiosity, adding an extra layer of mystique to the enduring legacy of Jimi Hendrix.

As technology advances, the quest for those lost tapes may one day become a journey for the sublime. For now, “Axis: Bold As Love” remains a jewel of the 1960s, a testament to Jimi Hendrix’s enduring legacy as a musician and songwriter, who transcends time. Jimi Hendrix’s impact on the world of music will continue to resonate through the ages, and the allure of the lost Side A will persist as an ever-elusive piece of the Jimi Hendrix mystique.

 

 

“Black Gold” : Another Jimi Hendrix’s Lost Tapes

 

This unique collection adds another layer to the saga of Jimi Hendrix’s lost tapes. Unlike some mysterious disappearances, “Black Gold” is marked by a different narrative—sadness—connected with Jimi Hendrix’s untimely death.

In 1970, Jimi Hendrix, armed only with an acoustic guitar, poured his life into 16 songs recorded onto tape in his New York flat. At the Isle of Wight Festival later that year, Jimi Hendrix entrusted the tapes to his drummer, Mitch Mitchell. Sadly, after Jimi Hendrix’s death in September, Mitchell inadvertently forgot about them.

It wasn’t until 1992 that he mentioned the Jimi Hendrix tapes, labeled with “BG,” to an interviewer. Until that point, many believed the tapes were either stolen or destroyed. While one track, “Suddenly November Morning,” surfaced on the compilation “West Coast Seattle Boy: The Jimi Hendrix Anthology“, the fate of the other 15 tracks remains a mystery. Jimi Hendrix revisited a few of these tracks at different times, but the majority exists solely on these tapes.

It’s worth noting that there is an unrelated Jimi Hendrix bootleg named ‘Black Gold,’ adding a touch of confusion to the narrative. That is a collection of “Electric Ladyland” outtakes and rehearsals

Tracklisting:

There is limited information available about the specific titles of the tracks on “Black Gold”. The sole recorded source features Jimi Hendrix’s inscription on side A, which reads “Idea for L.P. side 1 suite … Black Gold.” Meanwhile, the B side of the cassette simply states “cont from side A.” Some of these tracks have seen release on other albums, such as “Machine Gun” and “Drifting,” which are included in “Band of Gypsys” and “First Rays of the New Rising Sun”, respectively. It’s essential to note that these releases are based on recordings from Mitch Mitchell’s tapes rather than the single cassette referenced by Alan Douglas.

Side A

  1. “Suddenly November Morning”
  2. “Drifting”
  3. “Captain Midnight”
  4. “Local Commotion”
  5. “Here Comes Black Gold”
  6. “Stepping Stone”
  7. “Little Red Velvet Room”

Side B

  1. “The Jungle Is Waiting”
  2. “Send My Love to Joan of Arc”
  3. “God Bless This Day”
  4. “Black Gold”
  5. “Machine Gun”
  6. “Here Comes Black Gold”
  7. “Astro Man (Parts 1 & 2)”
  8. “I’ve Got a Place to Go”

 

What Was the Last Song Jimi Hendrix Recorded?

In the final chapters of Jimi Hendrix’s life, there was a profound emphasis on evolving his musical legacy. Jimi Hendrix, who died at the young age of 27, dedicated most of his last days to relentless creativity in the studio. At the pinnacle of his career, Jimi Hendrix’s last studio recording took place just a few weeks before his sudden death.

In a visionary move, Jimi Hendrix initiated the creation of a cutting-edge recording facility at the core of Greenwich Village. Electric Lady Studios was envisioned as his ultimate creative sanctuary. Unfortunately, fate played a cruel hand. After the studio’s completion in 1970, Jimi Hendrix could only immerse himself in its ambiance for a mere ten weeks before he met his end. Yet, in that brief window, his genius was undiminished, producing exceptional tracks.

For years, the world remained oblivious to “Slow Blues.” It wasn’t until the year 2000 that the song saw the light of day, finding its place in the compilation, The Jimi Hendrix Experience (Purple Box). Raw and spontaneous, the track retains an enigmatic charm. Although some historians assert that Jimi Hendrix’s ultimate studio moment was on August 22nd with a demo for “Belly Button Window,” others believe he returned to Electric Lady and created the instrumental “Slow Blues.”

Yet, irrespective of dates, the magic persisted. Sadly, less than a month later, after a memorable performance at the Isle of Wight Festival, the world lost Jimi Hendrix, with “Slow Blues” symbolizing his last dance with the studio.

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Who to Listen to if You Like Jimi Hendrix?

Here are some recommendations:

  1. Stevie Ray Vaughan: Known for his exceptional guitar skills, Vaughan was heavily influenced by Jimi Hendrix’s bluesy and soulful approach. Just listen to his covers of “Little Wing” and “Voodoo Child”!
  2. Eric Clapton: A legendary guitarist with a diverse range of styles, Clapton’s blues-based rock aligns with Jimi Hendrix’s influence.
  3. Jeff Beck: Another iconic guitarist, Beck’s innovative and experimental approach to the instrument is reminiscent of Hendrix.
  4. Carlos Santana: Infusing rock with Latin and blues elements, Santana’s guitar work is both energetic and soulful.
  5. Gary Clark Jr.: A contemporary artist who blends blues, rock, and soul, Clark’s guitar prowess draws inspiration from Hendrix.
  6. John Mayer: With a modern take on blues-rock, Mayer’s guitar skills and songwriting reflect Hendrix’s influence.
  7. Robin Trower: Trower played with Procol Harum before pursuing a solo career, showcasing a bluesy and psychedelic style akin to Hendrix.
  8. Joe Satriani: Known for his instrumental rock, Satriani’s virtuoso guitar playing might appeal to Hendrix enthusiasts.
  9. Lenny Kravitz: Combining rock, funk, and soul, Kravitz’s sound echoes Hendrix’s genre-blurring approach.
  10. Rory Gallagher: A blues-rock guitarist and singer, Gallagher’s energetic performances and soulful guitar work resonate with Hendrix fans. Once, Jimi Hendrix said the Irish was the best guitarist in he world!

 

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