Legendary British visual artist and record cover designer Storm Thorgerson died yesterday at the age of 69. Although most famously linked to Pink Floyd, for whom he designed the covers of platinum chart-busters like Dark Side of the Moon, Wish You Were Here, Thorgerson created a truly remarkable number of iconic album covers in over his multi-decade career, both on his on and as a member of the design group, Hipgnosis.
In addition to his more than a dozen covers for Pink Floyd and solo projects for several of its members, he oversaw album art for some of the biggest names of the 1970’s. Houses Of The Holy for Led Zeppelin, Electric Warrior for T. Rex, Wings’ Venus and Mars, Bad Company’s self titled debut, Peter Frampton’s Somethin’s Happening, and literally dozens of other rock luminaries bear his unique artistic stamp. He continued to present day, most recently he served as designer for the cover of Muse’s 2006 record, Black Holes And Revelations and working with The Mars-Volta.
But his iconic contribution to Dark Side will probably be his crowning achievement…even if he doesn’t see it that way! “It’s a nice but simple idea,” he told the BBC in 2009. “Refracting light through a prism is a common feature in nature, as in a rainbow. I would like to claim it, but unfortunately it’s not mine!” Storm credits Pink Floyd keyboard player Richard Wright for the germ of the idea. “He said, somewhat provocatively, ‘Let’s not have one of your photos, we’ve had your photos before. Can’t we have a change? A cool graphic – something smart, tidy, elegant.'” Regardless, it went on to become one of the single most enduring images in pop culture history.
Storm had been in ill-health following a serious stroke in 2003, and it is believed that these complications resulted in his death on Thursday, which “was peaceful and he was surrounded by family and friends.” He leaves behind his mother Vanji, son Bill, wife Barbie Antonis, and her two children Adam and Georgia. Head up to the gallery above for a look back at some of Storm’s most famous work.
[Photo: Getty Images/EMI/Reprise/Atlantic]