Authorised story of album cover legends Hipgnosis to be published in February

Pink Floyd - The Dark Side Of The Moon cover art
(Image credit: EMI)

A brand new book explores the history of the English art design group Hipgnosis, famous for some of the most iconic album covers ever created, including Pink Floyd's The Dark Side Of The Moon, Led Zeppelin's Houses Of The Holy, The Lamb Lies Down On Broadway by Genesis, AC/DC's Dirty Deeds Done Dirt Cheap, 10cc's How Dare You and many others.

Us And Them: The Authorised Story Of Hipgnosis has been written by Pink Floyd author and sometime Prog and Classic Rock writer Mark Blake, and will be published by Nine Eight Books on February 2.

After designing an album cover for their friends Pink Floyd's 1968 A Saucerful Of Secrets album, students Aubrey 'Po' Powell and Storm Thorgerson would go on to define the visual identity of rock and roll for the next fifteen years.

“There was one slightly oddball character in Storm and the slightly more measured character in the shape of Po... And it stayed that way for the next fifty years," says Pink Floyd's Nick Mason, who alongside David Gilmour, Jimmy Page, Roger Waters, Peter Gabriel, Robert Plant, Aubrey Powell and the late Storm Thorgerson adds exclusive contributions to the book.

“The double act was amazing," adds Plant. "The charming, amiable bonhomie of Aubrey and the belligerent “Do I have to deal with these scum musicians?” approach from Storm. It was marvellous and everything we deserved at the time."

Legendarily, the pair decided to shoot a naked family, sprayed silver and gold, clambering over rocks in the onset of winter at the height of the Troubles in Northern Ireland for Led Zppelin, incorporated petrochemicals, fire and Hollywood stuntmen for Pink Floyd’s Wish You Were and took a staggering three weeks to complete. For the cover of Wings Greatest Hits, the Hipgnosis creative team found themselves risking life and limb in the bitter cold jumping from a helicopter over the Swiss Alps whilst grappling an unwieldy statue of a goddess deity.

Hipgnoisis Book

(Image credit: Nine Eight Books)
Jerry Ewing

Writer and broadcaster Jerry Ewing is the Editor of Prog Magazine which he founded for Future Publishing in 2009. He grew up in Sydney and began his writing career in London for Metal Forces magazine in 1989. He has since written for Metal Hammer, Maxim, Vox, Stuff and Bizarre magazines, among others. He created and edited Classic Rock Magazine for Dennis Publishing in 1998 and is the author of a variety of books on both music and sport, including Wonderous Stories; A Journey Through The Landscape Of Progressive Rock.