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Home arrow Reviews arrow Books arrow "Taken By Storm: The Album Art of Storm Thorgerson" - Storm Thorgerson
"Taken By Storm: The Album Art of Storm Thorgerson" - Storm Thorgerson Print E-mail
Written by Matt   
Monday, 30 April 2007

taken by storm cover Published May 3rd, 2007 by Omnibus Press in the UK, and on October 30th, 2007 in North America, is the latest book celebrating the wonderful work of Storm Thorgerson and his associated design teams of Hipgnosis and StormStudios.

"Taken By Storm: The Album Art of Storm Thorgerson" is an exhaustive look at the last 35 years of his iconic covers and unique vision. They say that a picture says a thousand words - well, that means that this superb exposition of his work is War And Peace!

It is a large-format, paperback book consisting of around fifty percent old and previously published material, and fifty percent of new, previously unseen work - a showcase for his recent pieces over the last six years and an anthology for his previous works covering the preceding 35 years. Included in this will be examples from the company he set up with Aubrey "Po" Powell, Hipgnosis, his own work, and the most recent commissions he has done as part of StormStudios.

The book features a random selection of pieces - album, single, and DVD covers, promotional artwork, and more. The random arrangement was felt best this way to avoid cliché or try to fit images to themes or similarities.

The art is presented with full, in-depth analysis of each image, including the themes and motivations that inspired the works as well as the practical details involved with producing each image. With many of the covers designed before image manipulation software such as Photoshop, Storm used just photography, paint and sculpture instead to create these masterpieces.

Some of the pictures are the result of mind-boggling amounts of hard work, painstaking creating things in reality that would be simple using a piece of software - such as the people perched atop a row of telegraph poles, or the Floyd's 700 beds on a beach!

With Storm's own commentary on the pieces, the book is a fascinating and illuminating look at some of the most inspiring, absorbing or even just plain bizarre pictures he has given the world.

Storm discusses how they produce the different images, and more importantly why - and their rationale behind the way they work. "...Ideas are usually performed for real because they tend to look better that way and they give us a thrill at the time, and they don't cheat or sell the customer short."

For those who haven't seen it, our interview with Storm in September 2004 should give a good flavour of his honesty and irreverent attitude, which comes across well within the pages of this book.

One section takes a look at the stages in sleeve design, from the initial contact from record company, manager, or band, through the roughs and construction phases, to the final set of images. As their example they use Pink Floyd's Division Bell, looking at the initial concept of communication. They show how they developed the idea, built the props in various sizes, and talked at length about the mechanics of doing the shoots which resulted in the various final images used on album covers, posters and so on.

This superb collection of images, from one of the most prolific and imaginative graphic designers, will be an absorbing read for all those interested in music and the associated imagery - Floyd fans will be just one chunk of those who will enjoy this book.


"Taken By Storm" is an essential purchase, which we can heartily recommend.

To order a copy, (at time of writing) at a healthy discount, you can use the following special links: Amazon UK, Amazon US/International, Amazon Canada, Amazon Germany, or Amazon France. If you live outside these countries, don't worry - Amazon stores will ship the book worldwide. Also, using our Amazon links helps with the running costs of the site and we really do appreciate it!

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