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Home arrow Reviews arrow Books arrow "For The Love Of Vinyl" - Storm Thorgerson & Aubrey Powell
"For The Love Of Vinyl" - Storm Thorgerson & Aubrey Powell Print E-mail
Written by Matt   
Saturday, 14 February 2009

For The Love Of Vinyl - Storm Thorgerson book coverJust published (end of December 2008) is "For the Love of Vinyl: The Album Art of Hipgnosis", a new book focusing on the wonderful cover images created by Storm Thorgerson and his colleagues from the graphic design studio he founded with Aubrey "Po" Powell.

The hardcover, 224 page book focuses on more than 60 package designs that Storm and Po discuss in detail - packages for Pink Floyd, Led Zeppelin, Peter Gabriel, Syd Barrett, Paul McCartney and many more. Each of these has an absorbing, or amusing, set of stories behind their creation, and the book is a real celebration of this.

As expected from the chaps behind Hipgnosis, the book is handsomely designed, with embossed faux vinyl grooves on the front and rear of the outer cover - the additional attention to detail that have typically marked them out from the rest of the crowd design-wise, over the years.

The quality of presentation and design pervades the whole book, taking an already absorbing tome to a higher level.

Introduced in typically self-effacing style by Storm and Po, they set the scene for the works which have been selected to represent them throughout the book, which is split into a first half "side one"; an intermission set of essays and examples; and concludes with "side two". Younger readers unfamiliar with how vinyl worked - ask your parents!

Hitherto undiscussed detail on Storm and Po's early works - first as "Consciousness Incorporated", later as Hipgnosis (the name courtesy of Adrian Haggard - NOT Syd, as often reported) - includes their book cover designs for "tawdry sex novels and second-rate Westerns". Their rise in the world of album cover design was beset with problems and difficulties, as the pair explain, ranging from stolen equipment, to very workmanlike offices which tended to frighten off the occasional corporate bigwigs.

What comes shining through though is the enthusiasm and passion they have for their craft (which persists to this day) and to our mind that's what makes their work so different, and special.

Finally, the addition of a set of essays gives a good alternative take on the work, being penned by either the musicians who's work has been forever entwined with Hipgnosis's vision for the music in question, or by their peers in the design arena. Peter Blake, for example, talks about Presence; Graham Gouldman takes a look at How Dare You, and Nick Mason ponders in his own unique and typically amusing style, Wish You Were Here. Nick looks first at the artwork for WYWH, and how it was presented to them at Abbey Road, then expands those thoughts to Storm's contribution to the band on a wider basis...

You can order this unmissable book online through our special links at Amazon, which give much needed help with our rising hosting costs, and we greatly appreciate it. You can place your orders now here: Amazon UK, (US/international), Amazon Canada, Amazon Germany, or Amazon France.

The publishers have interviewed Aubrey about the history of Hipgnosis, and the almost 9-minute video can be seen here:

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