Jimi Hendrix – Alternate 1968 “Smash Hits” Album Cover Proof
A rare 1968 album cover proof of unreleased, alternate artwork for the Jimi Hendrix Experience’s album Smash Hits. Warner Brothers art director Ed Thrasher shot this photograph of the Experience on horseback, planning to use it for the cover of Hendrix’s third album (released only 4 months after “Axis, Bold As Love.”) Prior to release this artwork was scrapped in favor of the classic triple-exposure image of Hendrix.
This is one of a few original proofs produced by Hendrix’s label Reprise in 1968, with the original catalog number Reprise 2025, and the printer’s notation in the border “Color by Barclay.” These were discarded by the label in circa 1975, and rescued from a dumpster by an enterprising employee. In near mint condition, with minor handling. 16 1/8” x 15”; image 12 1/2” x 12 3/4”. (In 2016 Legacy Recordings/Experience Hendrix reissued Smash Hits in a limited edition of 5000 with this cover for Record Store day. The artwork for that release was created from a proof from our collection.)
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