Storm Elvin Thorgerson (28 February 1944 – 18 April 2013) was an English graphic designer and music video director, best known for over 40 years of his sleeve design works for rock artists such as Pink Floyd, Led Zeppelin, Black Sabbath, Scorpions, Genesis, Yes, Al Stewart, Europe, Catherine Wheel, Dream Theater, Anthrax, The Cranberries, The Mars Volta, The Alan Parsons Project and Muse.
Many of Thorgerson’s album covers were designed before the advent of advanced computer design software and were created through the use of photography, paint and sculpture. His works are included here because he had used photography as graphic design to create surrealistic visuals. Some are landscape-related.
The classic Thorgerson landscape shot: a sole observer or participant is shown at a moment of interaction with something large, unlikely and oppressive. Taking a tongue-in-cheek approach to this 1997 release from Phish, ‘Slip Stich and Pass’ is portrayed with a huge ball of yarn. The phrase ‘the old ball and chain’ springs to mind, showing us that although Thorgerson took his work very seriously, he never lost his sense of design humour.
“The most impressive thing about the band Phish was going to see them live and discovering that they did not have a set list. No set list? Horrors! The second impressive thing about Phish is the degree of improvisation in their concerts, and improvisation is what I was trying to represent in this design.”
A Promethean landscape, only this time the fire is made out of gold.
The title suggested something a touch reckless, perhaps, or at least a departure from normal behaviour. This thought of an image of a bungee jump from a high bridge on television, wondering what on earth people would do for a thrill.