Through the Prism: Untold Rock Stories from the Hipgnosis Archive (Hardcover)

Through the Prism: Untold Rock Stories from the Hipgnosis Archive By Aubrey Powell Cover Image

Through the Prism: Untold Rock Stories from the Hipgnosis Archive (Hardcover)

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The most intriguing stories of creative endeavor, volatile relationships, excessive lifestyles, and bizarre events from the world of rock, as told by Hipgnosis cofounder, creative designer, photographer, and filmmaker Aubrey Powell.


Founded in 1967 by Aubrey “Po” Powell, Storm Thorgerson, and Peter Christopherson, graphic design firm Hipgnosis gained legendary status by transforming the look of album art through their designs for AC/DC, Black Sabbath, the Police, Genesis, Led Zeppelin, Pink Floyd, Paul McCartney, Syd Barrett, and the Who. In this lively volume, Powell presents brutally honest, entertaining, and revealing insider stories from the world of rock, featuring an eclectic cast of pop stars, comedians, actors, managers, gangsters, and inspirational world gures from 1966 on. His thrilling narrative is packed with anecdotes—from the founding of Hipgnosis to surviving drugs busts—and is richly illustrated with Hipgnosis artwork and Powell’s own photographs.


Drama and creativity are the common threads throughout this unique account. With candor and insightful reflection, Powell reveals how the final color artwork for Led Zeppelin’s Houses of the Holy was created; how the most iconic album cover of all time—Dark Side of the Moon—came about; and how the 2017 Pink Floyd retrospective became the most successful music exhibition ever mounted by the Victoria and Albert Museum, despite the deeply antagonistic and dysfunctional relationship between Roger Waters and David Gilmour. Throughout, Powell exposes how the trappings of fame and glory upset the balance of everyday life, bringing creativity and destruction in equal measure.


Packed with exciting insider stories and anecdotes featuring famous musicians, managers, and actors, Through the Prism is a must-have for music and pop-culture fans.



Aubrey Powell cofounded the album cover design agency Hipgnosis in 1967. The company was at the vanguard of rock iconography, creating some of the most innovative and surreal record cover art of the 1960s, ’70s, and ’80s. Nominated five times for a Grammy Award, Hipgnosis created more than four hundred album covers for many of the biggest rock bands of the era, including Pink Floyd, Led Zeppelin, and Paul McCartney. Powell is currently the creative director for Pink Floyd.
Product Details ISBN: 9780500252376
ISBN-10: 0500252378
Publisher: Thames & Hudson
Publication Date: February 15th, 2022
Pages: 320
Language: English
A glorious tale... an utterly enthralling read.
— Goldmine

Powell is to be commended for striking the perfect balance of insider anecdote and personal and professional modesty… It all adds up to an informative and fascinating tale… Anyone who has wondered about the background of these iconic covers, and what it's like working with these musicians, will find much to savor. Highly recommended for fans of classic rock.
— Library Journal

Gorgeously designed... Excess runs through most of these stories the way drugs flowed through the veins and lungs of the musicians back then... If you’re a Baby Boomer or a Gen X’er, this book will bring you back to another time. 
— New York Journal of Books