"Mind Over Matter: The Images of Pink Floyd" (5th edition) - Storm Thorgerson
Written by Matt   
Wednesday, 25 March 2015

Mind Over Matter - The Images of Pink Floyd (2014)Back in October 2014 we told you that the fourth edition of Storm Thorgerson and Peter Curzon's Mind Over Matter, from 2007, the book celebrating the iconic imagery of Pink Floyd, was being thoroughly revised for an upcoming fifth edition.

Originally due to appear by the end of last year, the revised edition was moved to the end of January/start of February, 2015, and has now been published and is available to buy. This new, fifth edition incorporates an additional 32 pages of material from campaigns, releases and re-issues created since 2007. Before his sad passing, Storm revisited the work he created for these later works and albums and offered insights into the work that went into the creation of this legendary album art.

Designers who worked with Storm have also contributed to this new edition of Mind Over Matter. Amongst the new material is artwork from the Oh By The Way box set, the rather wonderful Atom Heart Mother 40th Anniversary 'Wire Cow' sculpture, the Why Pink Floyd? Campaign and the Dark Side Of The Moon 40th Anniversary images and stickers.

For those who haven't seen previous editions, the book features the images from Pink Floyd's album sleeves and promotional material designed for the group. It features almost all Pink Floyd's iconic album covers, posters, singles bags, a selection of band photos, booklet pages and rough artwork that developed into iconic designs. As you'll see from our review below (which has a focus on the changes and additions from the previous edition), the book is thoroughly recommended!

At the foot of the review, we also give you an opportunity to win one of three copies that we have been given as prizes for you all. The closing date for entries will be April 15th, with the three winners picked soon after that date. But first, here's the review...

For those with previous editions, the new book generally takes on the same physical proportions. An impressively hefty book, it is neither flimsy by weight, nor by breadth of coverage. As the dust cover mentions, the new edition contains an additional 32 pages over the previous, fourth edition, it features more recent materials created for Pink Floyd, and incorporates "all new layout, new proportions and a new cover." There is also some lovely debossing work on the front and spine, visible once the dustcover is removed - gloss black on the black/dark grey board, and a familiar shape seen in the main image.

We know a number of you will already have past editions, so we analysed the book with a view to spotting the differences, changes and enhancements. For those yet to read our review of the previous edition, you can do so through this link, which might be worth reading in conjunction with this review.

Up until page 228, there are relatively few amendments to what some of you will have seen and enjoyed in the fourth edition. This page, however, has had a number of changes. It concerns the Oh By The Way box set, or, as the fourth edition called it, the then forthcoming "Mini Vinyls" project. The old edition then follows with a sketch of what was planned for the cover - the new edition of the book has the absorbing front and back images in all their glory for fans to study and decipher.

Matters then progress on to the creation of the cover of Mind Over Matter 4 - shot on the Arizona/Utah border in Vermillion Buttes, a stunning rock formation which looks like waves. A different shot, taken at the same time, was used for Phil Taylor's excellent book Black Strat - A History of David Gilmour's Black Fender Stratocaster. As with most things Storm was involved with, this wasn't the easiest of shoots - apart from needing a licence to even be there, Storm notes how it was a seven mile hike to get to the point in question, carrying heavy equipment in "soaring temperatures".

A discussion of how the many The Dark Side Of The Moon variations came about and were created (the liquid TDSOTM image in particular) follows, along with some fine examples. Elsewhere, the new edition also provides a fun discussion of how the Atom Heart Mother 40th anniversary image came about - the background to the nature of the image came from an obvious pun, and the execution a wonderful update to the 1970 original.

The 2011 Why Pink Floyd campaign is showcased well, talking about the background (including the reason for the tag line) and details the different editions well with layouts of the elements.

The tone of the book changes as it reaches the 40th anniversary of Dark Side when another writer (I suspect Peter Curzon) takes over the narrative due to Storm's very sad passing in April 2013. They look fondly at Storm's final days, which found him still working on things, suggesting ideas, checking his last book The Gathering Storm, and more. This section also shows some examples of the new, dramatically different iterations of TDSOTM design, such as the Miro and Dali tributes.

With Storm gone (despite, as the book notes, "the feeling that he is looking over our shoulders, ready to pounce if we fail to come up to his standards") the book then progresses to the most recent works done for the band: the Darkside BBC radio collaboration, The Division Bell 20th anniversary edition, and their work for The Endless River. Despite Storm creating around 10 different designs for TER prior to his death, then more recently, Storm Studios doing the same, as we all know the main cover image didn't get created by them. However, the book does showcase the infinity heads sculpture created by Peter Curzon and Rupert Truman, used in the final package and displayed at the launch party for The Endless River.

The appendix includes a number of additional items relating to Syd Barrett - pages covering the City Wakes tribute in Cambridge, 2008, and the Introduction to Syd Barrett release.

The final two pages are devoted to Storm. One page is written by Po, the other, Peter Curzon, Dan Abbott and Rupert Truman, and both pieces of writing talk about Storm in detail - the memories of working with this unique, fun, inquisitive, stubborn and caring man are shared.

The book is a fitting tribute to Storm, and his work for just one of many artists he created for. With his sharp and playful commentary throughout most of the book, one gets a fascinating insight into all aspects of the images, their meaning, and their creation. For fans of Pink Floyd, the book is a truly essential guide to the visual side of the band and there will be a huge amount to learn and enjoy. For those who have previous editions, there is plenty of new material in this edition to hopefully warrant purchase, and completes the story of the work Storm and his colleagues produced for Pink Floyd...or at least, for now!

You can place your orders for the book now; to help us towards ongoing site running costs, please use these direct links: Amazon UK, Amazon.com, Amazon Canada, Amazon France, Amazon Germany, Amazon Espana and Amazon Italy.

Here's your chance to win one of three copies of this wonderful book. All you need to do is to answer the following questions correctly:

  • What was Storm's middle name?
  • Where was Storm born?
  • What was the first Pink Floyd album cover that Storm and his colleagues produced?

Email your answers to This e-mail address is being protected from spam bots, you need JavaScript enabled to view it with the subject line of "Mind Over Matter competition", and include your name and mailing address. The closing date is April 15th, 2015, and all entries received by the end of that date will be in with a chance of winning. Just one entry per household please - and best of luck to you all!