Album covers

Abbey Road zebra crossing

(The Beatles Abbey Road, 1969)

© Rock 'n' roll travel / William David Wilson

No self-respecting Beatles fan could make the trip to England’s capital without making the pilgrimage to the famous Abbey Road studios and zebra crossing.

The Beatles and producer Sir George Martin cut some of the band’s most loved songs here, but the studios have been utilised by so many great artists besides them, including Pink Floyd, Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds and Elliott Smith.

However, Beatles fans from across the universe (badum-tish) mainly turn up and attempt to recreate the famous album cover of 1969′s Abbey Road album. Mercifully, Red Hot Chili Peppers fanatics have not been known to do the same for their infamous Abbey Road EP.

The problem is though, that the road itself is a very busy one, and it is difficult to get the desired shot in place before traffic builds up again. And legions of John, Paul, George ad Ringo fans run the risk of getting an angry hoot of the horn from an impatient London cab driver if they are not considerate while using the crossing.

Nonetheless, a trip to Abbey Road is well worth it for hardcore fans of the Fab Four.

Location: 3 Abbey Road, St. John’s Wood, London, England NW8 9AY


23 Heddon Street

(David Bowie The Rise And Fall Of Ziggy Stardust And The Spiders From Mars, 1972)

© Rock 'n' roll travel / William David Wilson

British rock legend David Bowie has inspired, and continues to inspire, a fervently passionate fan base.

Bowie fanatics have for many years made the pilgrimage to Number 23 Heddon Street, just off Regent Street in London, where the iconic cover shot for Bowie’s 1972 classic album The Rise And Fall Of Ziggy Stardust And The Spiders Of Mars was taken on a cold, rainy night in January of that year.

Some fans have been seen attempting to recreate the famous cover, though this is increasing difficult nowadays as the area is bustling with outside cafes and restaurants.

In 2012, Spandau Ballet’s Martin Kemp – a self-confessed Bowie obsessive – was on hand to unveil a black plaque dedicated to the 40th anniversary of the cover and of course, the album and artist’s seismic impact on popular music.

Location: 23 Heddon Street, Mayfair, London, England W1B 4BQ


Berwick Street

(Oasis What’s The Story, Morning Glory? 1995)

Oasis’s second long player, What’s The Story, Morning Glory, was another multi-platinum selling success for the Gallagher brothers’ and cohorts back in 1995.

Incredibly, the record shifted more than 340,000 copies in its first week, surpassing rival band Blur’s The Great Escape in sales in the much -aunted war between the two Britpop heavyweights.

It was somewhat ironic, given that their rivalry with Blur was framed by the tabloid media as a north versus south battle, that the Manchester band decided to take the album’s cover photo in the heart of London’s Soho district.

The cover shot is a blurred take of London DJ Sean Rowley and album sleeve designer Brian Cannon passing each other on Berwick Street. Producer Owen Morris can be seen in the background, on the left footpath, holding the album’s master tape in front of his face.

Berwick Street is renowned for its musical heritage and independent record stores such as Sister Ray, which can be seen on the left of the cover.

Location: Berwick Street, Soho, City of Westminster, London, England W1F


The Clash stairway in Camden Market

(The Clash The Clash, 1977)

Creative Commons / Graeme Maclean

Celebrated punk rockers The Clash shot the iconic cover of their 1977 debut on a ramp nearby the Rehearsals Rehearsals building in which they recorded much of the seminal punk classic.  

The ramp, which is now inside the confines of the hectic Camden Market, has since been altered into a stairwell, with strict instructions not to sit on them.

Nonetheless knowledgeable Clash fanatics aware of this piece of punk rock history turn up to try and best emulate the nonchalant poses of Messrs Strummer, Jones and Simonon. And why not?

To get there, walk through the front of ‘The Stables Market’ section of Camden Market, and the stairwell is on the left. 

Location: Camden Market, Chalk Farm Road, London, England NW1 8AH


Battersea Power Station

(Pink Floyd Animals, 1977)

Creative Commons / Alberto Pascual

The iconic Battersea Power Station is featured on the cover of English prog rock legends Pink Floyd’s 1977 album Animals.

The cover idea for the record was dreamt up by bassist and songwriter Roger Waters, who drove past the then active power station regularly at the time. To fit with the album concept, a 30ft flying pig (nicknamed Algie) was conceived by the enlisted German and Austrian designers to float between the two chimneys.

Unfortunately the helium inflated pig flew off and landed many miles away in Kent and the band had to make do with superimposing it on the final cover.

Battersea Power Station is one of London’s most notable landmarks, and is the largest brick building in Europe. The former electricity provider is a Grade II listed building and is currently being redeveloped by an international consortium of designers and builders.

Battersea Power Station is located in 188 Kirtling Street in South West London and given its sheer size and prominence, is pretty easy to find for Floyd fans wishing to take a closer look.

Location: 188 Kirtling Street, London, England SW8 5BN


Featured image courtesy of Tim Morris