In September 1954, Monroe began filming Billy Wilder's comedy The Seven Year Itch, starring opposite Tom Ewell as a woman who becomes the object of her married neighbor's sexual fantasies. Although the film was shot in Hollywood, the studio decided to generate advance publicity by staging the filming of a scene in which Monroe is standing on a subway grate with the air blowing up the skirt of her white dress on Lexington Avenue in Manhattan. The shoot lasted for several hours and attracted nearly 2,000 spectators. The "subway grate scene" became one of Monroe's most famous, and The Seven Year Itch became one of the biggest commercial successes of the year after its release in June 1955.
The days around Halloween and Christmas are some of the only times when I add night explorations of the city to my regular daytime walks. I will admit to often driving, rather than walking, when going out in the dark, for a variety of reasons. But the end is always worth it: the glorious seasonal displays that some people erect every year are a sight to behold.
There had been great album covers prior to the release of Dylan's sophomore effort, but "The Freewheelin' Bob Dylan" ushered in a new, intimate aesthetic that was markedly different than what had come before. Here was Dylan, with then-girlfriend, Suze Rotolo, walking down the corner of Jones Street and West 4th Street in New York City's West Village during a brisk, cold day, Rotolo clutching onto Dylan's arm. Captured by staff photographer Don Hunstein, the image reveled in its casual romance, something that informed legendary songs like "Don't Think Twice, It's All Right." Of course, "Freewheelin'" is remembered for its numerous politically minded numbers, but this album cover still showed that underneath all his intellect, Bob Dylan was still a human. Even Tom Cruise and Cameron Crowe tried recreating it in their 2004 film, "Vanilla Sky," to questionable success.
One can't talk about iconic album covers without talking about Pink Floyd, and if we're talking about Pink Floyd, we're talking about Storm Thorgerson. For the uninitiated, Thorgerson had his hand in record covers that were both eye-catching and unapologetically Thorgerson. While he is known for doing the designs for Peter Gabriel's early solo LPs, Ween's "The Mollusk" and artists like Paul McCartney, Led Zeppelin, The Mars Volta and Genesis, he is still best known and remembered as the man who gave Pink Floyd its distinct visual identity. While Thorgerson and Aubrey Powell (who later formed the design firm Hipgnosis) had been long-standing Floyd collaborators, the band insisted that something "simple" be done for its eighth LP, "The Dark Side of the Moon." Initially frustrated but soon later overcoming the challenge, the simple prism graphic conceived of for the cover told you everything you needed to know about the psychedelic experience waiting for you inside. It's simple to the point of genius and helped color the perceptions of the tens of millions of people who bought it, eventually going down as one of the best-selling records of all time. 2b1af7f3a8