The definitive story of the Hipgnosis design partnership, their iconic album artwork
and their rock 'n' roll life.
Between the late '60s and early '80s, design house Hipgnosis created some of the
most iconic and ubiquitous album artw ork of all time. Their original lifespan coincided
w ith the golden age of the 12-inch LP, beginning just as the Beatles' Sgt Pepper
made the record sleeve the ultimate blank canvas and ending just as new
technology looked set to usurp vinyl.
Having originally been approached to design an album cover for their friends Pink
Floyd, students Aubrey 'Po' Pow ell and Storm Thorgerson would go on to define the
visual identity of rock and roll for the next fifteen years, swiftly gaining international
prominence for their famed The Dark Side of the Moon artwork. This paved the way
for other major musicians to set foot in the surreal photo-design world of Storm and
Po, resulting in seminal Hipgnosis creations for the likes of Led Zeppelin, Paul
McCartney, Genesis, Black Sabbath, ELO and Yes.
In this authorised account, w ith access to previously unpublished material and
exclusive contributions from David Gilmour, Jimmy Page, Peter Gabriel, Roger
Waters, Robert Plant and even Aubrey Pow ell himself, Mark Blake goes behind the
scenes of the Hipgnosis partnership to reveal the pioneering ambition and grand
vision that led to their success, as w ell as the clashing egos and artistic differences
that undermined it. The Hipgnosis story also offers hitherto-untold insight into some
of music's most legendary bands, as view ed through the prism of the people w ho
shaped their imagery and cultural legacy.
W ith the w ork of Hipgnosis continuing to be referenced, reproduced and revered
w orldw ide, Us and Them serves as a celebration, a cautionary tale and a compelling
human drama, exploring the vital intersection between art and music.