Music History

A Look Back on the Golden Age of Album Cover Art with Hipgnosis

One of the many nice things about the vinyl resurrection is that people are once again starting to pay attention to album cover art.  Fast Company looks at the work of Hipgnosis, a British firm responsible for some of the most iconic album covers of all time.

From 1972 to 1986, London-based photography and design studio Hipgnosis—made up of Aubrey “Po” Powell, Storm Thorgerson, and Peter Christopherson—created some of the most recognizable album covers in rock music history. Their rainbow-through-a-prism graphic for Pink Floyd’s “The Dark Side of the Moon” became a logo of sorts for prog-heads, plastered on the T-shirts of Syd Barrett-worshipping teenagers to this day. From the gold-toned collage of children clamoring over the Giant’s Causeway on Led Zeppelin’s “Houses of the Holy” to Peter Gabriel’s creepily disintegrating face on “Melt,” Hipgnosis’s hallucinatory imagery was the visual equivalent of these bands’ maximalist riffs and psychedelic explorations.

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Alan Cross

is an internationally known broadcaster, interviewer, writer, consultant, blogger and speaker. In his 40+ years in the music business, Alan has interviewed the biggest names in rock, from David Bowie and U2 to Pearl Jam and the Foo Fighters. He’s also known as a musicologist and documentarian through programs like The Ongoing History of New Music.

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