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Bob Egan's 'Popspots' Returns Classic Pop Album Covers To Their Original Locations

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Spotify and YouTube mean today is a great time to be into music, but this online infinity of choice hasn't come without a cost.

Music fans over the age of 15 will fondly remember the feeling of buying a new vinyl or CD and examining the cover art and booklet in forensic detail on their way home to play it, trying to discern some insight into the music or the band contained within.

One photographer based in New York appreciates the magic of the album sleeve better than most, and through a combination of research and travel, has developed a unique way of paying tribute to it.

Bob Egan's Popspots involve a combination of trawling Google maps and actually returning to locations featured on classic rock and roll albums, taking a picture of how they look today and then overlaying the covers for comparison.

oasis_cover
The album cover...

It's a simple but brilliant commentary on music nostalgia, how we define eras by the bands we love and how we keep them there in our minds, even as the world moves on around us.

Egan spoke to HuffPost Culture about his project, saying he has no formal art or photography training, just a love for 'pop culture tourism'.

"I have lived in New York a long time and I would take visitors to see places where famous pop culture events took place in the downtown area: where famous people lived, night clubs where movie scenes took place," he says.

"Then when I became interested in where Bob Dylan's famous covers were made, so I decided to search for more and put them on a site for tourists coming to New York."

berwick_street
The location...

Egan says the equipment he uses is very simple.

"I use equipment that I can carry in my pocket. For a PopSpot I find pretty much the exact spot and angle from where the photo was taken, then I back up about 5 or ten feet and take the picture, so when I add the album, the viewer can see it in context to the street.

"For the Led Zeppelin Physical Grafitti cover, the street is very thin, so I had to make a panorama out of 4 or 5 shots in order to fit the album in the middle."

Egan recently travelled to London to capture classic covers from the likes of Oasis and The Beatles - not that he'd have planned his holiday any differently anyway.

oasis
...the Popspot!

"My feeling about pop culture tourism is this: If I went to England and someone asked me whether I would rather go to see Westminster Abbey or Abbey Road - I'd choose Abbey Road."

Unsurprisingly, Popshots has found an enthusiastic audience online, particularly on Twitter where he says he is approached by people from over 40 different countries - some of whom ask what he is planning to do next.

"I have started with album cover primarily, and New York. I have a lot more covers from LA and London and middle America going up soon," he says.

"And then I am also going to do movie scenes, famous paintings, and historical photographs. The photos appeal to people. It means they can relive a piece of history."

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