British graphic designer was responsible for some of the most memorable album artwork of all time
Storm Thorgerson, whose album cover artwork includes Pink Floyd’s The Dark Side of the Moon, has died aged 69, Photograph: Yui Mok/PA
Storm Thorgerson, the British graphic designer behind some of the most memorable album covers of all time, including Pink Floyd’s The Dark Side of the Moon, has died aged 69.
In a statement, Thorgerson’s family said:
Yes, Storm has died. He passed away, on Thursday 18th April in the afternoon. His ending was peaceful and he was surrounded by family and friends. He had been ill for some time with cancer though he had made a remarkable recovery from his stroke in 2003. He was in his 70th year. He is survived by his mother Vanji, his son Bill, his wife Barbie Antonis and her two children Adam and Georgia.
A childhood friend of the founding members of Pink Floyd, he became their designer-in-chief, most famously creating the prism spreading a spectrum of colour across the cover of The Dark Side of the Moon, which became one of the bestselling albums of all time. His artwork for the band also included the lonesome-looking cow on the cover of Atom Heart Mother, the burning businessman on the sleeve of Wish You Were Here, and the giant pig flying over Battersea power station on the cover of Animals.
Storm Thorgerson – Did you know…
- Many have called him ‘the 6th member of Pink Floyd’
Certainly his visuals for Pink Floyd and others have played an essential part in the psyche of rock and roll culture.
- He was a life-long friend of the Floyd
Storm Thorgerson first met future members of Pink Floyd while all of them were schoolboys in Cambridge. Was teenage friends with David Gilmour and best man at his 1994 wedding to Polly Samson. The most recent work he did for Floyd was the ‘Oh, by the Way‘ box set released in 2007. Thorgerson also designed the ‘Shine On‘ 1992 box set.
- Many of his designs are notable for their surreal elements
They often look like drawings, or that they must be computer altered in some way or another, but in reality are actual photographs where no camera tricks or after effects were used. For example, for the cover of Wish You Were Here, the man on the right is a real person, who was actually set on fire.
- He had an expansive body of work
In addition to designing almost all Pink Floyd’s official releases, Thorgerson also designed album covers for other notable bands including Led Zeppelin, Black Sabbath, Genesis, Phish, and others. Author Douglas Adams (‘The Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy’) called him “the best album designer in the world”
David Gilmour said in a statement:
We first met in our early teens. We would gather at Sheep’s Green, a spot by the river in Cambridge and Storm would always be there holding forth, making the most noise, bursting with ideas and enthusiasm. Nothing has ever really changed. He has been a constant force in my life, both at work and in private, a shoulder to cry on and a great friend. The artworks that he created for Pink Floyd from 1968 to the present day have been an inseparable part of our work. I will miss him.
The official Pink Floyd website also has a statement:
“We are saddened by the news that long-time Pink Floyd graphic genius, friend and collaborator, Storm Thorgerson, has died. Our thoughts are with his family and many friends.”
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