Wait! This list is supposed to be in alphabetical order! You see, I've tricked you a little bit. We're still going in alphabetical order, I've just cycled back to the top for a few more to finish off my year of songs. This last group of songs struck me as good ones to leave off with, and then these posts will disappear from your Facebook news feeds, freeing you finally!
"Bold As Love" is the finale to Axis: Bold As Love, the second album that the Jimi Hendrix Experience released in 1967.
While the first album was a proper album of guitar rock numbers, Axis: Bold As Love revealed that a vast amount of evolution had occurred in just a short time, in terms of songwriting and viewpoint. It also helped that in the interim between the two albums, the Beatles released Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band and revolutionized the ambition and consciousness that went into making rock records. Maybe just as impactful was the Beatles' international television broadcast of "All You Need Is Love" that same year. With "All You Need Is Love," the Beatles famously transformed the concept of the pop love song, something they specialized in writing, and expanded its connotation to a transcendental scope.
Jimi Hendrix clearly liked where all this was headed.
The Axis: Bold As Love album broke open a technical bag of tricks in an obvious response to the challenge of Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band. And probably inspired by "All You Need As Love," it also dove headlong into the idea of love as the medium of all people's spiritual connectedness.
The album ends with its crowning achievement and heaviest statement: "Bold As Love."
There are no acerbic Beatles in the lyrical earnestness of "Bold As Love." As opposed to the alternating semantic puzzles and agit-bluntness of "All You Need Is Love," "Bold As Love" takes the colors of the rainbow and personifies them with human emotions. It dramatizes the multiferous attitudes of our species while showing them to be as related as colors on the visual spectrum. You love what is related to you. "All You Need Is Love" makes the philosophy of love a simple, easy choice. "Bold As Love" makes it a bold one.
The Beatles brought melodic genius and inspired multi-instrumental tracking to their great 1967 masterpieces.
The Jimi Hendrix Experience brought the drums of Mitch Mitchell and the guitar of Jimi Hendrix.
The final coda of "Bold As Love" is as close to holy flame as a song can sound.
People today may have given up on the idea that the world can be changed by a single guitar. Jimi Hendrix wasn't capable of that cynicism. In the span of four minutes, he did everything in his considerable musical power to urge us to hear.