The thing about Hendrix is that new fans are born every day. When I was at the Rock ‘n’ Roll Hall of Fame a few years back the Hendrix display was frequented by people of all ages, but especially those of the teenage persuasion. Like the Beatles, the star over Hendrix never dims.
However, when it comes to buying vinyl for Hendrix the choices are both vast and rather confusing. Axis: Bold as Love is a great case in point. Since its original 1967 release in the UK, there have been no less than 137 versions put out across multiple formats. Even its original release had variations from country to country whether it was mono vs. stereo or the cover art itself.
For some reason the French releases put out by Barclay’s all did different cover art for the official Hendrix releases. The French cover art is outstanding, but does add to a bit of confusion when you’re trying to find a definitive version. You need to do a bit of research if you are considering jumping into used copies as there are so many. Also, there have been a few colour vinyl releases of the Barclay cover version recently kicking around that are both unofficial and of questionable quality.
As for the original cover, there have been a few recent options that would allow you to buy new quality vinyl. Sony had Axis: Bold as Love re-mastered in 2010 for re-release across multiple formats, and in 2013 they re-mastered the original mono version of the album. This 2013 release has been the basis for both 180 gram and 200 gram audiophile vinyl that is widely available now, with the original gatefold cover that opens up and unfolds as a big picture.
Even cooler, Newbury Comics has re-released the mono 200 gram vinyl edition in a limited (2500 foil numbered) translucent orange vinyl. It’s both great looking and great sounding.
If you are looking to buy some Hendrix on vinyl this is a great way to start. Hit your local record store for the black 200 gram vinyl, or you can click here for Newbury Comics.