New York City is the epicenter of many forms of musical art, from the jazz of the 1950s to the rock and roll of the 1960s to the punk of the 1970s. For that reason, it shouldn’t come as a surprise that dozens of iconic album art photos where shot within the city limits.
Read on to learn about 10 of the most famous and where their iconic covers were photographed in the city.
- Wednesday Morning, 3 A.M. by Simon and Garfunkel
Simon and Garfunkel were already well-known by the time they posed for the cover of Wednesday Morning, 3 A.M. on the lower platform of 5th Avenue and 53rd Street. Shot with a unique focus that gives both performers an eerie, almost ghost-like and voyeuristic quality, one wonders whether either of them got on the outbound E or F trains when they stopped.
- Pretzel Logic by Steely Dan
Steely Dan might have been a group of studio musicians who only got together to jam, but rabid fans were waiting for their third album, Pretzel Logic, for months before it was released. The album features a straight-forward photo of a New York street scene at Fifth Avenue and 79th Street.
- The Freewheelin’ Bob Dylan by Bob Dylan
A star in the making when this photo was shot, Bob Dylan was already a fixture of the New York folk scene. The photo was taken at the corner of Jones Street and West 4th Street, with Dylan’s real-life girlfriend on his arm. The relationship may not have lasted, but this iconic photo is one every folk and rock fan knows well.
- After the Gold Rush by Neil Young
Neil Young may not be synonymous with New York, but the cover of his After the Gold Rush album was shot at the corner of Sullivan Street and West 3rd Street in front of NYU law school. As far as who the elderly woman on the cover is, legend has it that it was a passer-by that Young and his photographer wanted to keep in the finished photo.
- Dressed to Kill by Kiss
Kiss shot their Dressed to Kill cover at the intersection of 8th Avenue and 23rd Street. Legend has it that the suits they wore on the cover were borrowed because only one of the members of the band owned one in 1975!
- The Kids Are Alright by The Who
The Who were hugely popular in 1979 when they shot this cover at West 116th Street and Morningside Drive in Morningside Park. It might have been taken on American soil, but the huge Union Jack the members were wrapped in shows their British roots nicely.
- Highway 61 Revisited by Bob Dylan
As legendary as Bob Dylan is, it’s no surprise he has two covers on this list. Shot on the steps of 4 Gramercy Park, the photo has become increasingly iconic because of the album’s status as a true rock and roll classic.
- Rocket to Russia by The Ramones
Hometown punks The Ramones lived in and loved NYC, and they played countless shows at CBGBs. The back door of the club at Extra Place and East 1st Street was a natural choice for this candid shot.
- Live at Max’s Kansas City by The Velvet Underground
Another legendary NYC band, The Velvet Underground put together a blistering set for this unique live album. Shot at 213 Park Avenue in front of Max’s, this cool cover barely does the record justice.
- New York Dolls by New York Dolls
This-self titled album from hometown glam-rockers was shot at 2nd Avenue and St. Mark’s Place. The band recently began performing together again, but any true rock fan knows this cover of their first album.
Are there any we missed? Let us know in the comments below if your favorite album didn’t make the cut.