West 4th Street & Jones Street
(Bob Dylan The Freewheelin’ Bob Dylan, 1963)
Bob Dylan’s 1963 breakthrough album and instant folk classic The Freewheelin’ Bob Dylan featured a famous cover shot of the man born Robert Zimmerman and his ex-girlfriend, the now deceased Suze Rotolo.
The iconic image was snapped by CBS photographer Don Hunstein in February 1963, on the corner of Jones and West 4th Street in the West Village are of NYC. It was a particularly cold and snowy winter by the look of the cover. Dylan and Rotolo lived closed by to where the shot was taken.
Needless to say, many thousands of love-struck couples have wandered down the road to recreate the legendary pose, just make sure the traffic has died down before you attempt it yourself though!
Location: West 4th Street & Jones Street, New York City, New York, USA 10014
96 and 98 St Marks Place, New York
(Led Zeppelin Physical Graffiti, 1975)
The cover of Led Zeppelin’s epic 6th studio album Physical Graffiti was taken in New York City, and features the front of two five-storey buildings at 96 and 98 St. Mark’s Place in the East Village.
Designer Peter Corriston was enlisted to take care of the cover art, and settled on taking numerous photos of these imposing New York buildings both in the light (front cover) and in the dark (back cover).
The images were then heavily doctored to feature the band’s name inscribed into the bricks and various other effects. For the original LP cover (CD format releases have been more basic) the windows were cut out as holes. Famous fake tenants were then added and can be seen through the windows, including alleged John F. Kennedy assassin Lee Harvey Oswald, first man on the moon Neil Armstrong, actress Elizabeth Taylor, the Virgin Mary, the Queen, Laurel & and members the band itself dressed in drag.
Indeed, the sleeve was almost as much fun as the album itself, and could be combined to make alternate covers, and spell out the song titles on closed window shades.
Interestingly, the building also made an appearance in the Rolling Stones’ music video for the Tattoo You LP single ‘Waiting on a Friend.’ Worth stopping by for a photo if you’re an ardent Zep fan.
Location: 96 St Marks Place, New York City, New York, USA 10003
Ludlow Street & Rivington Street, New York
(Beastie Boys Paul’s Boutique, 1989)
The cover shot for the Beastie Boys’ popular second record, 1989’s Paul’s Boutique, was taken at the corner of Ludlow Street and Rivington Street in Manhattan, New York.
The photograph was taken of a fictional clothing store that bears the album’s name next to Lee’s Sportswear shop.
Fans of the hip-hop and one-time rock act have flocked to this location for many years, and there is now a mural of the band members on the wall next to the gourmet wrap shop that has taken over the original shop location.
Location: Ludlow Street & Rivington Street, New York City, New York, USA 10002
5th Avenue 53rd Street Downtown Platform
(Simon & Garfunkel Wednesday Morning 3AM, 1964)
The cover photograph for popular folk duo Simon & Garfunkel’s debut LP Wednesday Morning, 3A.M. was taken on the lower subway platform at 5th Avenue and 53rd Street Station (specifically the E and F outbound lines).
The LP was released way back in 1964, and songs like the title track, ‘He Was My Brother’ and ‘The Sound Of Silence’ set Paul and Art up to becoming one of the most commercially successful acts of their time.
Fans of the terrific twosome sometimes stop by and recreate the nonchalant pose of the folk heroes.
Location: 5th Avenue 53rd Street Station, New York City, New York, USA 10022
Sullivan Street & West 3rd Street
(Neil Young After The Gold Rush 1970)
One of Neil Young’s most loved LPs, After The Gold Rush established the Canadian as one of the most accomplished artists in rock upon its 1970 release, just over year on from the extraordinary Everybody Knows This Nowhere LP recorded with Crazy Horse.
The cover shot for the LP was taken in New York’s West Village, specifically on the corner of Sullivan and West 3rd Street.
An-18-year-old photographer named Joel Bernstein snapped the now iconic photo of Young merely walking past a building’s wall as an elderly woman walked the other direction. Young’s features were doctored for the final piece of art.
Location: Sullivan Street & West 3rd Street, New York City, New York, USA 10012
Featured image courtesy of John St John