'Dark Side of the Moon' Cover Designer Storm Thorgerson Passes Away at 69

Artist behind the covers of Pink Floyd, Led Zeppelin, Muse, Dream Theater and many others loses his cancer battle.

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Storm Thorgerson, possibly the most renowned cover artwork designer in history of rock, has passed away yesterday after losing cancer battle he's been fighting for the last 10 years.

He has left behind a legacy consisting of countless classic artworks, such as the iconic "Dark Side Of The Moon" by Pink Floyd and Led Zeppelin's "Presence." As an author of over 100 designs, his works have also covered the likes of Dream Theater, Muse, Audioslave, Black Sabbath, Anthrax, Megadeth, Peter Gabriel, The Cult, Mars Volta, Steve Miller Band, The Offspring, Scorpions, Styx, Rainbow, Phish, Genesis and many others.

According to the statement released by his family, Thorgerson has left us peacefully, surrounded by family and friends at the age of 69. As a high school friend of Roger Waters and Syd Barrett, he was especially close with Pink Floyd, designing over 10 of their covers, including "Wish You Were Here," "Animals," "Atom Heart Mother," "Ummagumma" and "The Division Bell."

The group was therefore quick to react, with an official statement from both the band and guitarist David Gilmour.

"We are saddened by the news that long-time Pink Floyd graphic genius, friend and collaborator, Storm Thorgerson, has died," says the announcement on PinkFloyd.com. "Our thoughts are with his family and many friends."

"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," says Gilmour via his official website. "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 "Dark Side of the Moon" cover will most likely remain as Thorgerson's most famous design. The idea for the simple cover came from the band's late keyboard player Richard Wright who wanted Storm to make a different approach.

"He said, somewhat provocatively, 'Let's not have one of your photos, we've had your photos before. Can't we have a change? A cool graphic - something smart, tidy, elegant,'" the late designer told BBC in 2009.

Former Dream Theater drummer Mike Portnoy also expressed his grief in a Twitter statement, saying "RIP Storm Thorgerson - I had the privilege of working directly one on one with him on Dream Theater's 'Falling Into Infinity' and 'Once in a LiveTime' packages... he was a legend & one of a kind."

Thorgerson is survived by his mother Vanji, his son Bill, his wife Barbie Antonis and her two children Adam and Georgia.

Take a look at some album covers, created by Storm Thorgerson.

21 comments sorted by best / new / date

    Pink Floyd album covers are such a masterpiece. No one could make this great sleeve design like Storm did. We're gonna miss him so much. RIP
    RIP. I had no idea who he was, but this guy evidently had a huge impact on popular culture. I hope he is remembered.
    Take a look at his works and the list of bands he worked with. That will let you know who this guy REALLY was.
    One thing is the art inside an album, but often the cover, and visual artwork of an album helps the listner connect and understand the music - certainly was that way for me with many bands, and Storm Thorgerson was together with Stanley Donwood one of my all-time favorite graphic artists, and has had a profound effect on how I personally view visual art... R.I.P. - You are missed...
    Never a big fan of his style but it was always immediately identifiable and extremely iconic. It's sad to think we'll never see any new work from him.
    This is such sad news as he was one of my favourite artists. I spent a couple of hours writing a blog about him today in honour of his great contribution to music and art: www.rockatlantic.wordpress.com =]
    Even before his career, I think it's pretty amazing to have been good friends/classmates with Roger Waters and Syd Barrett while growing up, and to have come of age during the height of the classic period of British Psychedelia, living among the biggest talent of that generation. What an amazing life.
    He really had a huge talent. I'm so sorry we will never be able to see what he still had to give us all through his art
    Very saddened to hear this, last week I was just reading over his huge bio of album covers he's done. You will be missed Storm.
    Absolutely loved his work, I could always spot one of his covers at first glance. Sucks to see him go.
    He will be missed. I don't even know really who he is honestly but I hate seeing someone with that much talent pass away. I guess everyone has their time though.