Published May 09, 2017Last week, long-running art rock ensemble Radiohead announced plans to reissue their seminal OK Computer album. The 1997 record is set to turn 20 this year, but some aspects of it have remained a mystery all along. Where, for example, did the cover art come from? Is that a real intersection?
Fortunately, the Reddit Radiohead obsessives over at r/radiohead have finally got to the bottom of this longstanding mystery. User Jordan117 utilized some recently unearthed concept art to locate the actual intersection utilized on Stanley Donwood's iconic album cover, Spin points out.
Though the art didn't offer much, Jordan117 added that "you can tell that the area is urban, hilly, and probably American going by the signage and right-driving traffic." Using that information, he went to a "roadgeeks" forum where an intersection enthusiast decoded the intersection in about 10 minutes.
The user known as Mapmikey determined that the image depicts the eastbound junction of I-84 (also known as the Yankee Expressway) with I-91 in Hartford, Connecticut, just before it crosses the Connecticut River.
Here's how Mapmikey figured it out, as written on the AARoads.com forum:
Took about 10 minutes. The middle BGS [Big Green Sign] has a two word control city with just a single letter as the first word. The BGS on the right has a two word city but two actual words. I figured that it was east of the Mississippi because of the (IMO) tight footprint of the interchange.
So what interstate junctions in the east might fit the that BGS criteria? E Hartford and New Haven.
I'm pretty decent at puzzles and also have a fair amount of experience taking older road photos and figuring out where they were...
For a better look at how the junction plays into the OK Computer cover art, check out the animated GIF below.
Radiohead's OK Computer reissue, now called OKNOTOK, arrives on June 23 via XL Recordings.