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Hipgnosis Portraits

10cc • AC/DC • Black Sabbath • Foreigner • Genesis • Led Zeppelin • Pink Floyd • Queen • The Rolling Stones • The Who • Wings

Aubrey Powell

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'A lavish celebration of the photography that fed into the record sleeve fantasies of Aubrey Powell, Storm Thorgerson and Peter Christopherson, aka rock'n'roll design house Hipgnosis' Mojo

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In just fifteen years, Hipgnosis (Storm Thorgerson, Aubrey Po Powell and Peter Christopherson) established themselves as the most important design collective in music history. Their innovative cover art defines the albums of the biggest names of the late 1960s, 70s and early 80s: AC/DC, Black Sabbath, Peter Gabriel, The Police, Genesis, Led Zeppelin, Pink Floyd, T. Rex, Wings, Yes and XTC, to name just a few.

Their iconic designs including Pink Floyd's The Dark Side of the Moon and Led Zeppelin's Houses of the Holy grace a staggering number of major releases. Their boundary-breaking conceptual approach earned them five Grammy nominations for package design, and their influence today can be seen in all creative fields from advertising to fashion.

This book is divided into two main sections: Part I, 'Imagination', tells the story behind the cover artwork from germination through to the final sleeve design, supported by a wide array of archival materials and text from Aubrey Powell. Part II, 'Realization', showcases the band portraits themselves, whether album covers or otherwise, in beautiful, large-scale reproductions. Both sections are arranged alphabetically and cross-referenced throughout.

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'With a wealth of recollections and work-in-progress materials, rather than ruin the magic, Hipgnosis Portraits is further affirmation of what wondrous things these works of art remain'
Record Collector

'They made dispersive prisms sexy with Pink Floyd's Dark Side of the Moon, transformed Peter Gabriel into Vitruvian Man - and Mick Jagger into a goat ... Hipgnosis turned the art of the album sleeve upside down for the biggest names in rock'

'A lavish celebration of the photography that fed into the record sleeve fantasies of Aubrey Powell, Storm Thorgerson and Peter Christopherson, aka rock ’n’ roll design house Hipgnosis … presenting unearthed snaps and the fascinating stories behind them'

'Many of the portraits here are technically adept – and many are previously unpublished – but their real value lies in the way they provide a portal into the enchanted world of Hipgnosis’s cover art'
Creative Review

'A time capsule of an unrepeatable decade'

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Product Information

Book Details

Format: PLC (with jacket)

Size: 30.5 x 25.4 cm

Extent: 288 pp

Publication date: 20 October 2014

ISBN: 9780500517635

About the Author

Aubrey Powell co-founded the album cover design agency Hipgnosis with Storm Thorgerson in 1968. The company was at the vanguard of rock iconography, creating some of the most innovative and surreal record cover art of the 1960s, 70s and 80s. Nominated five times for a Grammy Award, Hipgnosis created more than 400 album covers for many of the biggest rock bands of the era, including Pink Floyd, Led Zeppelin and Paul McCartney. Powell is currently the Creative Director for Pink Floyd.

Robert Plant is an English singer, songwriter, and musician, best known as the lead singer and lyricist of the rock band Led Zeppelin.

List of Contributors

Robert Plant, Storm Thorgerson, Richard Evans

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