Classic Hendrix Hits Album Remastered


There have been dozens of Jimi Hendrix compilations since his death in 1970, but the definitive hits album was the one released while he was alive. “Smash Hits” was the essential Hendrix collectible during his lifetime.

Now, more than 30 years later, the Hendrix estate (run by his sister Jane) has remastered the original album to be added to the Hendrix CD catalogue.

The newly mastered “Smash Hits” will be issued in both the CD format and in a special limited-edition vinyl package (10,000 numbered albums). Both editions restore the original cover art and their respective 12-selection track listing. “Smash Hits” was first issued in the United Kingdom in 1968. The album compiled popular singles such as “Purple Haze” and “The Wind Cries Mary” with such non-album b-sides as “The Stars That Play With Laughing Sam’s Dice.” The U.S. version, originally issued one year later in 1969, featured four different tracks and provided American audiences with their first opportunity to hear the classics as “Red House” and “Stone Free.”

There were only three Jimi Hendrix Experience albums released during the guitarist’s lifetime. From both the US and U.K. versions of “Are You Experienced” (1967), one of the most stunning debuts in rock history and a definitive album of the psychedelic era, “Smash Hits” rightfully culls “Foxey Lady,” “Manic Depression,” “Purple Haze,” “Red House,” “Hey Joe,” “Stone Free,” “The Wind Cries Mary,” “Can You See Me,” “Fire” and “Remember.”

The Experience trio of Hendrix, drummer Mitch Mitchell and bassist Noel Redding then returned to the studio for “Axis: Bold As Love” (1967) before releasing “Electric Ladyland” (1968), represented on “Smash Hits” by “Crosstown Traffic” and Hendrix’s cover of Bob Dylan’s “All Along The Watchtower.” The latter is the album’s only selection produced by Hendrix rather than Chas Chandler, and “All Along The Watchtower” with “Hey Joe” are the only songs not penned by him.

“Smash Hits” will be re-released on August 20.

Paul Cashmere courtesy of Undercover