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Through the Prism

Untold rock stories from the Hipgnosis archive

Aubrey Powell


Intriguing stories of creative endeavour, volatile relationships, excessive lifestyles and bizarre events from the world of rock, as told by Hipgnosis co-founder, creative designer, photographer and filmmaker Aubrey Powell

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Founded in 1968 by Aubrey ‘Po’ Powell and Storm Thorgerson, Hipgnosis transformed album art with their designs for Pink Floyd, Led Zeppelin, Genesis, Paul McCartney and Wings and so many more. Brutally honest, entertaining and insightful, Po tells the incredible stories of creative endeavour, volatile alliances, high-risk/high-altitude photoshoots and downright bizarre events from the halcyon days of rock’n’roll. From his unique insider perspective, Po sets many records straight, bringing revelatory new details to legendary tales, including the genesis of The Dark Side Of The Moon, Houses Of The Holy, The Lamb Lies Down On Broadway, and Peter Gabriel’s trio ‘Car’ / ‘Scratch’ / ‘Melt’, each evidenced with photographs, documents, artefacts and artworks from Po’s own archive.


'Powell is an engaging raconteur'
Literary Review

'Brutally honest, entertaining and revealing insider stories'
Creative Review

'Gorgeously designed... Excess runs through most of these stories the way drugs flowed through the veins and lungs of the musicians back then'
New York Journal of Books

'Adventures in the golden age of the gatefold'

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Product Information

Book Details

Format: Hardback

Size: 23.4 x 15.3 cm

Extent: 320 pp

Publication date: 10 February 2022

ISBN: 9780500252376

Contents List

Preface – The Initial Spark
Syd Barrett – Laying Ghosts To Rest
Space Cowboys
Working With Animals – Dead Or Alive
One Giant Step – Led Zeppelin, Houses Of The Holy
Going Over To The Dark Side
Peter Gabriel – The Lamb Lies Down On Broadway and Going It Alone
Paul McCartney – Venus And Mars
10cc – Life Is A Minestrone
Pink Floyd – Wish You Were Here
Americana – A Brutal Landscape
The Grand Tour
Peter Grant – The Gatekeeper
If Pigs Could Fly – Pink Floyd, Animals
Moroccan Roll
On High With Paul McCartney
Miami Vice/Hawaii Versa – 10cc, Look Hear? (or: Are You Normal)
Tragedy – Barry Gibb
Designs That Slipped Through The Net
The Icing On The Cake – Pink Floyd: Their Mortal Remains

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. He is the author of Hipgnosis Portraits and Vinyl • Album • Cover • Art, also published by Thames & Hudson.