Wednesday, April 19, 2006

NYC Album Art:

Gothamist: NYC Album Art: Strange Days

After we posted about Led Zeppelin's Physical Graffiti album cover yesterday, we thought we'd do a series of posts on album covers featuring this city. Next up is The Doors Strange Days cover, photographed by Joel Brodsky.

Since Jim Morrison refused to appear on the cover of the album, Brodsky drew inspiration from Federico Fellini's 1954 circus film, La Strada, and photographed a group of acrobats and jugglers on the streets. Apparently they had trouble finding models, since most circuses were out on summer tours. The trumpet player is actually a cabbie that the art director grabbed from a passing cab. He offered him $5 to appear in the shot, and the driver apparently called him later and asked where he could further his modeling career. The muscleman was the doorman at The Friars Club.

The location of the photoshoot was Sniffen Court (named after architect John Sniffen) and can be found at 150–158 East 36th Street. Wow, something might actually get us to go to Murray Hill. If you don't want to go, you can watch this video of Sniffen Court. The back cover of the album can be seen here.

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NYC Album Art: Physical Graffiti
With tapes, cd's and now digital music...the art of the album cover has sadly gone ignored. We used to have a small stack of albums, some of which had covers shot here in New York. Our favorite of those: Led Zeppelin's Physical Graffiti album (at right, photographed by BP Fallon).

The cover shows two buildings, located at 97 St. Mark's Place. The original album jacket included die-cut windows in the building shown on the cover and inner sleeves with different variations of that, with objects and people in the windows. We think it would be pretty cool if the people who lived there would recreate the album cover by putting the photos (or the letters) in their windows. The buildings haven't changed much since the cover was shot 31 years ago. There is, however, now a thrift store located in one of them called, what else, Physical Graffiti.

If you head over there, you might get a little confused. The building is 5 stories high, but on the cover...the building has only 4 stories. The 4th floor was actually taken out to fit the square jacket.

We're gonna go buy some vinyl now...

That's it...no wonder I like both album covers. I love NYC, something about the city. Boston is pretty cool too, but nothing beats the vibe of NY. Both album cover shots are in NYC and have real old buildings with a dark/gothy feel to them :) I've been to the Physical Graffiti building, (and it was taller than the artwork on the album cover) but not the Sniffen Court on 150-158 East 36th St. I imagined myself living in that Graffiti building looking out of the window at the hustle and bustle below.

I miss album covers and the cool artwork and sometimes extra posters you would get with them. It's just not the same with CDs. Besides the music, the band could get really creative with their album artwork. Just take a look at any Zeppelin or Floyd cover art. I like to hang my albums up for display on the walls, they look pretty cool.

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