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Jimi Hendrix Experience – Original Artwork For Alternate ‘Electric Ladyland’ Album Cover

The original artwork for an alternate album cover design for Jimi Hendrix’s 1968 masterpiece, Electric Ladyland.  This is the “mechanical” made by the Warner Bros. Records art department in 1968.  “Mechanicals” were sent to the label’s color separator, who used them to make film for the printers who created the album covers.  This design features alternate psychedelic type, and a photograph of the Experience on the front, instead of the back as on the final cover design.

The Warner’s art department created this mechanical, with a vellum (paper) overlay specifying instructions for the color separator (folded behind the artwork, but present here.) The color separator would use this and supplied elements such as photographs or illustrations to make the “film,” which was sent to the printer who used it to print the actual album covers.  In this case, a preliminary “proof” of the album cover was made and rejected at some point, with the final design incorporating this photo on the back cover and the well know live shot of Hendrix’s head on the front.  A completely different type treatment was used for the final cover.

In the mid 1970’s an art director was hired to go through the Warners art archives and dispose of anything that wouldn’t be needed in the future; to create more space for newer projects.  He gave this piece of art to a friend, from whom we acquired it.  The artwork has been archivally framed to 19 1/2″ x 25″ x 2″.  A digital printout of the rejected full-color slick is included too.  A truly museum quality Hendrix artifact.

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