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Pink Floyd
Capitol, 1973
Designer: Hipgnosis

torm Thorgerson and Aubrey "Po" Powell, the design team known as Hipgnosis, were once roommates of Syd Barrett's, the former leader of Pink Floyd; their professional relationship with the band, which began with Floyd's second album (A Saucerful of Secrets), continues to the present day. "Pink Floyd's music is very evocative," says Thorgerson. "They conjure up very unusual atmospheres of feelings and spaces. When we're doing the packaging, we're trying in part to say this represents the music or the band in pictorial or graphic terms."

For the inside of the gatefold of Dark Side of the Moon, Thorgerson literally drew the sound wave of a hearbeat. "If the album is about any one thing, possibly it's madness -- dark side of the moon, irrationality, the other side of one's normal life," says Thorgerson. "They had people discussing these mad little bits about their lives, and they used the heartbeat as a rhythm underneath it." The outside cover was a little more fanciful, with the front depicting a prism refracting white lite into the visual spectrum and the back illustrating the reverse. It was Thorgerson's way of amplifying another aspect of the band, namely the light shows that were becoming a Pink Floyd hallmark.

"The Floyd developed something sophisticated in terms of trying to create an atmosphere with interesting lights to match what they were already creating with their sound," Thorgerson says. "The prism was a way to talk about the fact that this band, preeminently among all bands, would do light. Light and sound." The lavish package also included two posters -- one comprising shots of the band in concert, the other featuring the Egyptian pyramids, photographed by Thorgerson under a full moon. The band, incidentally, took a cut in its royalty rate so that the posters could be included without raising the cost of the record. "This was in the days when packaging really meant something," says Thorgerson. "It was a present to the fans."

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