London’s iconic album cover images

Image copyright Getty Pictures
Image caption The crossing that features on the include of Abbey Road is a host to pilgrimage for many Beatles fans

Probably the most famous album cover shot working in london is undoubtedly The Beatles’ Abbey Street, which is a tourist attraction in its personal right. Thousands of Fab Four followers flock each year to upmarket Saint John’s Wood where the legendary zebra crossing photo was taken — and where Sir Paul McCartney still has a home.

The 1969 record is only one of several important albums to have featured the London landmark on the cover. BBC News has returned to the picture of some of the most famous records from the past 50 years to see exactly what has changed – Click and pull the arrows on the interactive pictures.

Interactive Pink Floyd — Animals



Album cover


Red Floyd Music/EMI. Album design: Hipgnosis (1977)

Our own journey begins with a story associated with mayhem in the skies above the particular south bank of the Thames, outside of the largest brick building in European countries.

To create the art work for the cover of Pink Floyd’s album Animals, a giant inflatable this halloween has been raised on a chain over Battersea Power Station – it was the 1970s after all.

“Suddenly there was a large crack as well as the pig sailed up into the atmosphere, ” sleeve designer Aubrey Powell said.

“A helicopter followed but it couldn’t capture it up.

“We had been really scared. I feared there is a terrible airline crash. ”

The members of the prog rock group scarpered, air visitors into Heathrow was cancelled, RAF jets were dispatched and fliers reported seeing a pig traveling at about 20, 000ft (6, 100m).

Powell was delivered to his studio by police plus, following a message put out on nearby radio stations, a farmer from Kent called to complain that a fake pig had landed in his industry and was frightening his cows.

The shoot has been repeated with more success the following time, but the final cover is actually a collection of the pig stuck on a photograph of the power station taken 2 days before.

“I like the image, it’s fabulous. It was therefore haphazard and amateurish but it simply happened to work, ” Powell stated.

Image copyright PENNSYLVANIA
Image caption An inflatable pig again travelled over the power station to indicate the album’s 35th anniversary this year

In case a pig were to be released over the building these days, it could well obtain caught up in the many cranes increasing above the structure.

A huge project is taking place to produce homes, shops, parks and Apple’s new London HQ.

Powell said he was “thoroughly approving” of the scheme.

“They’re doing an amazing job… from the shame it is being cocooned simply by apartments on the side, but from the northern and south the building looks just like magnificent. ”

Interactive Jesse Bowie – The Rise plus Fall of Ziggy Stardust as well as the Spiders from Mars



Album cover


EMI. Cover photo: Brian Ward. Unique artwork: Terry Pastor of Primary Artery (1972)

Next we step back in time 5 years, for a visit to the picture of the photo-shoot for an album viewed as one of the most influential of the decade.

Heddon Street, just away Regent’s Street in London’s Western End, was where Ziggy Stardust landed on Planet Earth.

For the album cover Brian Bowie was photographed standing on the particular step of number 23, outdoors a building that was being used like a makeshift photographic studio.

The Starman was said to be hesitant to take part in the photo-shoot on what was obviously a rainy January evening and afterwards recalled, rather dryly: “It has been cold and it rained and I seemed an actor. ”

On Heddon Street we have one more example of how modernisation has changed an album cover location.

These days, the cars have eliminated and the street has been turned into the pedestrianised courtyard filled with restaurants plus bars.

Nevertheless, appearing outside in a jumpsuit on a moist January night is still unlikely to become recommended.

Interactive Oasis : (What’s The Story) Morning Beauty



Concept album cover


Creation/Big Brother. Digital photography: Michael Spencer Jones. Album style: Microdot (1995)

A 10-minute walk away is Berwick Street in Soho, the location for just one of the most famous album covers from the Britpop era.

The, which was shot in the early hrs of the morning, features London DISC JOCKEY Sean Rowley and sleeve developer Brian Cannon. If you look meticulously, the album’s producer Owen Morris can also be spotted in the background.

The street and surrounding region was once known as the “vinyl triangle” because of the many record stores this boasted.

And even though their numbers have diminished substantially since 1995, vinyl lovers could thumb through the records at the number of independent traders that remain in company in Soho.

Picture copyright Food/Parlophone

Food/Parlophone. Front photo: Brunskill/Bob Thomas. Other photography: Paul Postle. Album design: Stylorouge (1994)

Any mention of Oasis requires a namecheck for their great competitors Blur.

While the well-known front cover for their seminal Britpop album Parklife is a stock chance of greyhounds on the track, the particular sleeve features the band investing a night watching the canines at Walthamstow Stadium.

The north-east London arena managed races for 75 years and the sport’s heyday was a money-spinner for the owners, the Chandler loved ones.

As well as the stadium’s link with Britpop, another claim to fame is it was here football legend Brian Beckham had his first work, collecting beer glasses.

And even though Walthamstow Stadium enjoyed a brief economic recovery in its fortunes in the early 1990s, when it became fashionable for Town boys to splash the cash on the dogs, by the time a young Beckham had been earning his first crust right here its glory days were lengthy past.

Hit simply by falling profits and attendances, the particular stadium finally closed in 08 and has been redeveloped into houses and a leisure complex.

Elements of the former stadium including the rankings board – seen in the background associated with photos within Parklife’s sleeve : have been incorporated into the development.

Online Rudimental – Home



Lp cover


Asylum Records/Warner Songs. Art direction and design: Andy Hayes. Front cover photo: Ollie Grove (2013)

For some artists there’s nowhere such as home – and for the varied drum and bass band Rudimental home is most definitely Hackney.

Three of the 4 members grew up here, the music group have their recording studio nearby and so they credit Hackney as being essential to their own sound.

Indeed, within the sleeve notes drummer Kesi Dryden singles out this corner associated with east London as “being a location where so many different cultures can reside amongst each other and learn from one another”.

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The group shown their love for Hackney around the artwork for their debut album, Home, which usually features the Dalston Peace Carnival Mural on the front cover.

The enormous painting, developed by artist Ray Walker in 1983, depicts the Hackney Peace Carnival of that same year.

And although Hackney has changed over and above recognition since the 1980s – it might be now hipster central and one associated with London’s most fashionable locations : this particular spot is reassuringly comparable.

Extensive work on the particular mural was completed in 2014 along with graffiti removed and the vibrant colors restored – the band are usually rumoured to have donated money to assist pay for the revamp.

Interactive The Clash – The Conflict



Album cover


Columbia/Sony. Front cover: Kate Simon (1977)

About three miles to the west could be the sprawling Camden Market.

Within this is Stables Market plus near its entrance on the remaining is a nondescript staircase.

This was where three members associated with punk band The Clash was during the photo-shoot for their eponymous album.

The photograph had been taken in late 1976 on a staircase next to Rehearsals Rehearsals, which at that time was part of a rundown train goods yard.

Through the years the area has been brought within Camden Market, which now boasts several 1, 000 shops and meals stalls.

And as could be the case with Hackney, the surrounding region has undergone extensive gentrification within the decades since. In 1977 Camden was an affordable part of London exactly where creative types could pursue their own dreams – now, a two-bed flat would set you back the best part associated with £ 2, 000 a month.

Online The Streets – First Pirate Material



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Secured On/679 Recordings Limited. Cover photograph: Rut Blees Luxemburg (2002)

Original Pirate Materials, the 2002 debut by The Roads, features a night-time photograph of Kestrel House in Islington.

The tower block was took pictures of by Rut Blees Luxemburg in 1995, a few years after the lady arrived in the capital from her indigenous Germany. The cover photo has been taken from the top floor of a adjoining high-rise using an eight-minute exposure.

“I was part of a good artist-run space called Plummet, located on the 16th floor of a authorities block off City Road, inch she said.

“It was in this collaborative environment that will my interest in the representation associated with cities really came into focus and am made the photograph of the tower system block that became the include. ”

Image copyright laws John Chase for Museum associated with London
Image caption Rut Blees Luxemburg is a specialist in photographing urban landscapes

Luxemburg has been approached by the record company plus agreed for her photo to be used right after listening to some of the tracks on Unique Pirate Material – the work associated with another incomer to the capital, the particular garage-inspired Brit-hop singer and manufacturer Mike Skinner, who grew up within Birmingham.

“I believe that my work chimed well using the album, ” Luxemburg said.

“Both the music and the picture emphasise a particular urban, creative plus challenging dynamic that is very existing, yet often hidden, but normally emerging. ”

The girl still lives near where the chance was taken, where the Islington skyline has been added to with more towers.

Commenting on how the capital provides altered in the time she has resided here, the photographer said: “Cities are always evolving and transforming; the particular changes in London, however , are turbo-charged. ”

Interactive Mumford & Sons – Sigh No More

These days


Album cover


General Island records. Design: Studio Fruit juice. Photography: Max Knight (2009)

For the final quit on our album cover tour from the capital, we swap gritty high-rise living for perhaps the most trendy shopping street in the country, the King’s Road, which runs through Chelsea and Fulham.

The entire year is 2009, and privileged people rockers Mumford & Sons are usually posing in the window of a People from france furniture store, Pimpernel & Companions.

The image of the wealthy quartet became the front cover of the debut album Sigh No More, which would proceed to sell millions of copies.

And, even though the album is not however 10 years old, the relentless speed of change in London has had the effect here too.

At the start of April the Fulham furniture shop announced it was shutting the premises and moving the business enterprise online.