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Name that Place: Iconic Album Cover Art Shot in the Great Outdoors

Music lovers, have you ever looked at cover art and wondered, “Where was this shot?” Today we’re exploring some of our favorite albums and tracking down the outdoor locations where they were photographed.

Classic Bands, Classic Cover Art

The Beatles, Abbey Road – Abbey Road, England

Image by Apple Records

Though the entirety of this album wasn’t recorded at Abbey Road Studios, it was named after the studio and the road, and it is arguably one of the most well-recognized album covers of all time. The road is just outside London, and many people often travel there to recreate the artwork. Just make sure to bring three friends along with you to get the full effect.

The Eagles, Hotel California – Beverly Hills, CA, United States

Image by Asylum Records

The cover art for this album does not feature the Hotel California that the Eagles sued in the late 2010s for using their song’s name, but rather the Beverly Hills Hotel located in Beverly Hills, California. The beautiful sunset and palm trees evoke a feeling of relaxation that makes you want to check in ASAP. Read more about the iconic cover shoot here

John Denver, Rocky Mountain High – Slaughterhouse Falls, CO, United States

Image by RCA

This John Denver album, which celebrated its 50th anniversary in 2022, was shot in Rocky Mountain National Park (which means you can definitely recreate this photo the next time you’re there). On the cover, Denver is surrounded by evergreen trees, but many other trees in the park change colors with the seasons, making for a unique experience no matter what time of year you visit. 

KISS, Dressed to Kill – New York City, NY, United States

Image by Casablanca Records

Though not the outdoorsiest band, KISS has some fans here at Outdoors.com. The Dressed to Kill album housing “Rock and Roll All Night” is a classic, and the cover was shot in New York City on the southwest corner of 23rd Street and Eighth Avenue. Until 1983, KISS wore face paint for all of their concerts and appearances.

U2, The Unforgettable Fire – Westmeath, Ireland

Image by Island Records

This U2 cover features Moydrum Castle, a privately owned residence in Ireland that was burned down in the early 1920s. The site still remains and is a popular and free tourist attraction in the country. The castle can be seen by the road, but if you’re a big U2 fan, you’ll want to go to the site, and who can blame you, it’s a pretty stunning location.

Bonus Outdoors.com Favs

The 1975, Being Funny in a Foreign Language – Sheerness, England

Image by Dirty Hit

The cover art for the 1975’s fifth studio album is rumored to have been taken at the same location as their “Part of the Band” music video. The cover art and music video were shot at Shellness Beach in Sheerness, Kent. According to the Beach Guide, it is actually a nudist beach, so just a fair warning for fans who plan to go.

Kacey Musgraves, Golden Hour – Golden, TX, United States

Image by MCA Nashville

Photographed by her younger sister, Kacey Musgraves’s third studio album cover art was shot in Kacey’s hometown of Golden, Texas, just like all of her previous cover art. However, it almost didn’t come to be. Musgraves originally wanted to go in a different direction for the cover art of Golden Hour, but after receiving images from the photo shoot, she decided none of the images felt right. So, the sisters returned to their roots with a photo shoot in the backyard, and they nailed it. Read more about the cover here.

Taylor Swift, Folklore and Evermore – Lewisboro, NY, United States

Image by Republic Records

The cover art for the sister albums Folklore and Evermore were photographed at an estate owned by a friend of Swift’s, according to her Zane Lowe interview. The friends are rumored to be Blake Lively and Ryan Reynolds. After looking at photos of the home and surrounding grounds, we understand why Swift decided to photograph the two album covers here. They truly are beautiful. 

Phoebe Bridgers, Punisher – San Bernardino, CA, United States

Image by Dead Oceans Records

Phoebe Bridgers is currently touring as a member of Boygenius, but her sophomore album was photographed at a unique location in San Bernardino, California, known for its “unusual landscape” and geological features. The photo was taken at 3 AM in the middle of the desert with a bright, red light hitting Bridgers and the rocks behind her.

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