In part one of my series of Best Photographed Albums, I will start with The Doors, "Strange Days".
The album cover was photographed by Joel Brodsky, depicting a group of street performers in
New York City. The location of the photograph is at Sniffen Court, a residential alley next to East 36th Street between Lexington and Third Avenue in Manhattan.
The availability of such performers pictured was low, so Brodsky's assistant stood in as a juggler while a random cab driver was paid $5 to pose playing the trumpet. Twin dwarfs were hired, with one appearing on the front cover and one appearing on the back cover, which is the other half of the same photo on the front cover. However, a group shot of the band does appear on a poster in the background of both covers, bearing captions of the band and album name. (The same photograph previously appeared on the back cover of the band's debut album.) Because of the subtlety of the artist and album title, most record stores put stickers across the cover to help customers identify it more clearly.
The only reason Brodsky was looking to shoot street performers, instead of just another shot of the band for the album cover, was because Jim Morrison refused to be photographed for the album.
Despite the obstacles, the result is an unforgettable shot; a bunch of one-day circus performers being strange, capturing the often surreal and Vaudevillian music of the Doors.
Sniffen Court, on 36th Street East between Lexington and Third Ave, New York, NY.
"Strange Days" was the second album by The Doors, released on September 25, 1967.
1. Strange Days
2. You're Lost Little Girl
3. Love Me Two Times
4. Unhappy Girl
5. Horse Latitudes
6. Moonlight Drive
7. People Are Strange
8. My Eyes Have Seen You
9. I Can't See Your Face In My Mind
10. When The Music's Over