It's been a long time since I first wanted to introduce Hipgnosis on my blog. Now that i figured out how to create a slideshow it's easier!
"Hipgnosis was a British art design group that specialized in creating cover art for the albums of rock musicians and bands, most notably Pink Floyd, The Pretty Things, UFO, 10cc, Bad Company, Led Zeppelin, AC/DC, Yes, The Alan Parsons Project, Genesis, ELO and XTC. Hipgnosis consisted primarily of Storm Thorgerson, Aubrey Powell, and later, Peter Christopherson. The group dissolved in 1983, though Thorgerson still works on album designs, and Powell works in video, most notably with The Who." [Wikipedia]
Indeed, Thorgerson has been working with Muse, Offspring or Audioslave the last couple years and still makes some amazing pieces. I got hooked by Hipgnosis's work right away because they designed covers of some of my favorite bands of the 70s.
However, what is truly interesting about Hipgnosis is that they gave music an image to which we could fuse the actual music to. The final record, LP at the time, ended up being a single piece of art including the cover, the music, the object. Try to imagine when in the 70s you would go buy a LP, which is a pretty big object by itself and you could actually stare at the cover for a long time and focus on details because of the important size. I wish I experienced that back in the day even though I kind of do since I started collecting LPs about 6 years ago.
Those guys were spending time to listen to the music first and then come up with an idea that would be inspired by the music itself. So knowing the music allows you to appreciate the creative process and inspiration they went through. It's fascinating.
Also, it's important to recall that in the seventies people wouldn't have access to technologies in order to create those images. Therefore, they would often come up with the craziest projects and ideas (ex: the Pink Floyd cover of A Momentary Lapse of Reason for which they brought tons of beds on the beach) in order to make their creativity come true. The result is astonishing. Those covers are truly the result of a boundless creativity and imagination and those guys truly gave rock music an image in shaping a certain iconography of their time. The Dark Side Of the Moon's cover is one of the most universal cover of all times.
Judging an album by its cover is wrong. However, wanting to listen to an album because of its cover is what happens when seeing Hipgnosis's work. And you would be amazed to see that it is a way to discover some of the most amazing and otherwise undiscovered music you'll ever listen to. I've done it a lot. Trust me.
The slideshow includes both works of Hipgnosis and Thorgerson after they split up.
Also I wanted to catch your attention on this one: those guys were creative and plus they had humor.
[Click on it if too blurry for you to read]