Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Amazing ‘Album Atlas’


The Word, a British music magazine that I have to admit I don’t read very often, has a wonderful web feature called Album Cover Atlas. It’s a Google Map that pinpoints where classic album cover photos were taken. Some are self-evident, of course, like Abbey Road or Live at the Apollo. But I had no idea that Kiss’s Dressed to Kill was shot a block from my house, nor would I likely ever find Phetchaburi Road in Bangkok, where the Clash apparently stood for Combat Rock. Thanks, The Daily Swarm, for pointing this out.

Other neat ones: Teenage Fanclub, Songs From Northern Britain (Aviemore, indeed way up in the Scottish Highlands); the Kinks, Muswell Hillbillies (the Archway Tavern, on a little island in the middle of a major highway in London*). Least interesting: Dave Matthews albums, which are in obvious and/or famous locations like Radio City Music Hall, Red Rocks, Charlottesville, the Gorge.

You can contribute to the project yourself, and so far there are about 600 entries. That sounds like a lot, but spread over the entire planet that leaves lots of unannotated terrain. Can’t wait to see all the dots on the map of say, Manhattan or London once this hits a critical mass.


* Years ago I saw a short documentary about the making of the album. Muswell Hill was where Ray and Dave Davies were born, and in the film Ray complained about the bulldozing and gentrification of what had been a working-class area with lots of salt-of-the-earth pubs like the one pictured.

1 comment:

Unknown said...

Not that I'm a fan of Linkin Park, but I respected them a tiny bit more when I learned that they shot the cover of their latest album on the shores of the Salton Sea. The Salton Sea is a fascinating example of mankind's hubris and myopia. That the largest body of water in California is man made, in rapid decay, and home to the most desperate and bizarre society of people since Tod Browning's "Freaks" is a nightmarish thing to get your head around.

I'd add the location to the Album Atlas, but don't know exactly where they took the photo. Anybody know? At any rate, rent this documentary sometime to learn more about the Salton Sea. John Waters narrates it. Good times...