Famous First Drafts: Rejected First Versions Of 15 Iconic Album Covers

by (@JordanRuntagh)

11. Electric Ladyland by the Jimi Hendrix Experience (1968)


[Photo: Linda McCartney]

This was a strange situation of the artist actually wanting an image much sweeter and gentler than the one that the suits had in mind! Hendrix strenuously wanted an image of himself, drummer Mitch Mitchell and bassist Noel Redding playing with three children (symbolizing their inner children). It was to be similar to the image taken by Linda McCartney above. But the record company took a slightly different approach, giving us…

[Photo: Reprise Records]

[Photo: Reprise Records]

Well, they definitely played up the “ladyland” aspect! Jimi apparently loathed this ludicrously sexual cover. He hated it so much that he didn’t even show up on the day they took the shot, hence why they made due with just a photo of the guitar god. The cover went out in England, but it proved too hot for the American record stores, who insisted they swap the cover out for something else. The result was this slightly blurry close-up.


[Photo: Reprise Records]

To recap: the Brits got naked women, we got an out-of-focus headshot. Life isn’t always fair.


10. Beggars Banquet by the Rolling Stones (1968)


[Photo: ABKCO]

The Stones were always keen to play to their bad-boy image, and their ’68 landmark originally had a cover that seemed designed to be banned right from the start. First there’s the quasi rude graffiti on the bathroom wall, featuring references to drugs, religion and nudity. But what was deemed most offensive was, weirdly, the toilet. The Mama’s and the Papas¬†already got into trouble for featuring an innocent commode on their 1966 debut (it was covered up with a label). So all in all, the cover was cast off, and Mick and the boys were forced to go with this (very White Album-esque) invitation card.

[Photo: London Records]

[Photo: London Records]

However, the toilet version was reinstated on subsequent CD reissues.

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