See record covers photographed in the NYC subway

A new exhibit at the New York Transit Museum showcases subway album art—so we compared old LPs with the current stations.

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The NYC subway system has always been a source of artistic inspiration for musicians, and nowhere is that more clear than in the art of the album cover. Plenty of LPs have used the subway as a backdrop, producing amazing cultural and historical artifacts in the process. With that in mind, the New York Transit Museum will open "Album Tracks," an exhibit devoted to chronicling the NYC subway's appearances in music, on Saturday, August 10. The show will feature album covers that prominently feature the subway, along with music videos shot in the system (including Michael Jackson's "Bad").


Below, we've compiled a few favorites from the album covers that will be featured in the show, and juxtaposed them with the subway stations where they were shot. And if you want to see the dusty old LPs yourself, head to the Transit Museum tomorrow.


Simon & Garfunkel, Wednesday Morning, 3AM


This one was shot in the 53rd St–Fifth Ave subway station in Manhattan.


Shinehead, Chain Gang Rap


The cover for Shinehead's "Chain Gang Rap" single was shot at the 125th St station (as you can see from the pole next to him).


Billy Joel, Turnstiles


Long Island's favorite son claims that this cover was photographed in an abandoned station, when in fact, it was shot at the Astor Place 6 station.


Kool and the Gang, "Funky Stuff"


It's hard to tell where this single's cover may have been photographed, but we can see that it's a B train. The difference: less graffiti.


B.T. Express, Do It ('Til You're Satisfied)


This isn't actually a subway station: the gents from B.T. Express were photographed at the Nostrand Ave LIRR station, which is more plainly obvious when you see the album's back cover.


Mitchel Forman, Train of Thought


This is an interesting case: The cover of Forman's 1985 album actually uses a photo taken by photographer Martha Cooper, who chronicled train graffiti in the ’70s and ’80s. (The New York Times ran a slide show of images from her book Subway Art that features the original version of this photo.)



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Editor: Marley Lynch (@marleyasinbob)

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