Sunday Suggestion – The Jimi Hendrix Experience – Little Wings

The Jimi Hendrix Experience, London by Gered Mankowitz
Even Jimi Hendrix had to deal with the infamous second album in 1967. The two extreme approaches to deal with it, are to either leave people with the debut LP for several years, or to quickly hammer out a second and make the most of the hype and try to make it stick. Hendrix opted for the latter approach, but with one of the strongest debuts of all time with Are You  Experienced?; he could have left it at that and retired. The band were tied to a contract that demanded a second album in 1967 although a great and pioneering musician never stops trying to be just that and Axis: Bold as Love was released just a few months later at the close of 1967 after a short period of time at Olympic Studios in London. Despite the short time between albums, he was still able to make a few alterations in the sound and feel of his tracks with enhanced lyrical visualisation, more indelible R&B foundations with Hark Rock and Jazz fusions set around an early Psychedelic haze and recording method. ‘Little Wings’ is a cruelly short track that has that low slung swing and Blues progression that was given expanded dimensions and destinations from the warped, Leslie Speaker filtrations of the lead guitar and Jimi’s vocals as the group throw three or four genres together without a thought. At the end of the day it was a little something they were required to throw together and although this album doesn’t get the limelight of his other efforts, it has to be one the greatest outcomes of a contractual requirement I can think of and with it, they produced a sound that some were only catching on to in the 1990’s and despite this, it still sounds ridiculously original and completely natural. Just another notch up on the man’s stature.

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