Rolling Stone’s definitive list of the 500 greatest albums of all time.
83. The Jimi Hendrix Experience, ‘Axis: Bold as Love’
Jimi Hendrix’s first album remade rock & roll with guitar magic that no one had ever dreamed of; his second album had even more sorcery.
A movie soundtrack that's about half instrumental, but it's not a tossoff: the vocal tracks are as carefully produced and enjoyable as Elton's "real" albums. Highlights include the gentle title track (a Top 40 single), the rocking "Honey Roll," and the anthemic "Can I Put You On." Taupin's lyrics are unusually direct meditations on love and friendship; if you like his more intellectual lyrics, you'll be disappointed, but if you find them annoying, this is an improvement. The low point is a syrupy Mantovani-like stringfest, "Seasons."
At a time when many aspiring musicians drew inspiration from the Beatles and the Rolling Stones, these brothers set sail for Scotland in the hopes of making a name for themselves in Edinburgh’s burgeoning folk scene. Already accomplished performers, having won numerous competitions in Ireland, the Fureys weren’t content at home.
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music
One thing is quite certain: ou can love this album to death or loathe it with every fiber of your being, but you can’t really ignore it. From the gorgeusly disturbing gatefold sleeve, displaying a masterpiece of Gothic artwork by Swiss cult artist R.H. Giger (of “Alien” fame), down to the unabashed self-indulgence of its musical content, “Brain Salad Surgery” is a compendium of everything progressive rock is all about, the good, the bad and the ugly. It is loud, metallic, and harsh, undeniably bombastic, though it can also be melodic and soothing – a true rollercoaster ride of an album, swinging from the beautiful, English choirboy vocals of “Jerusalem” (with wonderful lyrics courtesy of one Mr William Blake) to the all-out progressive orgy that is “Karn Evil 9”.
There is nothing to criticize here and plenty to enjoy. As with previous releases in this series, the playing of Florilegium is the last word in graciousness and elegance, and the music itself is unfailingly inventive and charming. I’m thinking in particular of the quietly humorous “Distrait” movement from the Sixth Quartet, with its delicious echo effects at the ends of phrases, or the gorgeous Courante from the B-minor suite. The Fourth Quartet shares the same key, and its “Triste” also represents one of the disc’s highlights. In fact, three of the four works here feature minor keys, the exception being the A major quartet No. 5, with its opening Vivement prelude and two sections marked “Gai” (though one of them is only “un peu”).
What’s so instantly striking about Crosby, Stills and Nash’s CSN, their second group album in eight years, is that it sounds so much like the debut LP even though its makers are so vastly changed. Since CS&N, and later Y, were always at the vanguard of the conspicuous counterculture (always ready to hoist their tie-dyed freak flag at a moment’s notice), their current reflection and hesitancy are especially interesting. And, because the music is so eerily familiar, the album communicates a kind of time warp (imagine if we knew in 1969 what we know now) that’s compelling and troubling.
Tired of a creeping tendency towards pop territory that was happening in his old band, the Yardbirds, Eric Clapton was after one thing alone: the blues. With John Mayall and his pool of fledgling giants he got it in spades.