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Vinyl . Album . Cover . Art: The Complete Hipgnosis Catalogue by Aubrey 'Po' Powell Print E-mail
Written by Matt   
Wednesday, 03 January 2018

Vinyl . Album . Cover . Art: The Complete Hipgnosis Catalogue by Aubrey 'Po' PowellPublished last year was Vinyl . Album . Cover . Art: The Complete Hipgnosis Catalogue, written by Aubrey 'Po' Powell, creative director of Pink Floyd, who most recently has been working on 'The Pink Floyd Exhibition: Their Mortal Remains', which opens in its new location of Rome, Italy, on January 19th - less than three weeks time.

Founded in 1967 by Storm Thorgerson and Po, Hipgnosis studio transformed the look of music albums forever. Their revolutionary cover art moved away from the conventional group shots favoured by record companies of the day, resulting in the ground-breaking, mainly surreal photo designs which define the albums of many of the biggest names in the history of popular music: 10cc, AC/DC, Black Sabbath, Peter Gabriel, The Police, Genesis, Led Zeppelin, Pink Floyd, Paul McCartney, Robert Plant, Syd Barrett, Throbbing Gristle, T. Rex, Wings, Yes, Bad Company and XTC to name but a few.

This new book, Vinyl . Album . Cover . Art (and that IS the correct spacing/punctuation for this title!), is an extremely well-produced guide to the entire album cover works of Hipgnosis. Previous tomes have covered their output, but have been quite selective in scope. This book, for the first time, encompasses ALL the cover art they've ever done - 373 in total - presenting the good, the bad and the ugly!

The book is arranged chronologically, which shows the interesting development both in technique, and in stature, of the bands involved. It also, in some cases, reflects the times themselves, although for many artists the output did attempt (successfully) to be timeless.

Many of the designs include text to give background, or inspiration, or explanation. This is augmented by an interesting piece by Po about the history of the design outfit, and an amusing (and insightful) foreword by Peter Gabriel. There's also an article by late, great Storm Thorgerson explaining how the 10cc 'Deceptive Bends' cover came to fruition.

It's interesting just how many artists, particularly from the early 70s, have since disappeared from trace and public awareness. It's also fun to read Po's regretful comments about some of the covers that either he hates, or turned out not as expected. In some cases this can be due to the artists specifying exactly what they wanted, despite advice from Hipgnosis to the contrary. After all, why employ a design company if you are simply looking for your own ideas to be implemented?

This weighty book, slightly shorter in stature than expected but covering 320 pages, is a must for those who enjoy the visual side of music, and in particular, the sterling work over many years by our favourite bunch of designers. The paper and print quality are very high, as befitting the subject, and an absorbing book to settle down with and wander through.

Should you wish to add this to your Floydian bookshelves, please use these direct links: Amazon UK, Amazon.com, Amazon Canada, Amazon France, Amazon Germany, Amazon Spain and Amazon Italy. Using our Amazon links also helps us hugely with ongoing site running costs and we really appreciate it!

 
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