This is a book which just oozes sheer quality in every way. The heavy hard cover has vinyl grooves emulated on front and back. The book is really well bound, so no splitting at the seams as happens with a lot of these thicker books that need opened right out to see all of the images. It is a heavy book thanks to the use of a decent weight of china(looks like it to me, not that I am an expert in modern printing paper) paper. None of the images are printed across the spine, which is a major plus, as I have had books of similar cost splitting when they were opened out to see what was hidden in the depths of the spine crease.
The images are stunning when printed on high quality paper to the size used here. CD packaging is just not in the same league as this, not even close. All of the detail gets lost. The 12 by 12 inch"canvas" of the vinyl album was a superb format for sleeve designers to work in. A vinyl album sleeve afforded the designers enough space to add in details and information that could be enjoyed and looked again and again. CD sleeves are often designed on a large scale and then shrunk down to fit, thereby reducing detail and, quite often, text to a size that is a pain rather than a pleasure. Some CD sleeves have lyrics printed on them that are indecipherable, even with a magnifying glass, because the ink has bled slightly through the paper.
The text is straight to the point and is informative, interesting and humourous, with contributions from Storm Thorgerson and Aubrey Powell mainly, along with contributions from Peter Blake, Nick Mason, Scott Rowley and others. There are insights into meetings with bands, brass necking, trips abroad on a whim paid for by record companies just to get a photo of a wave of a particular size and colour etc................
I was impressed with the range of artists that Hipgnosis have worked with over the years, from Black Sabbath, 10cc, The Scorpions, Led Zeppelin, Pink Floyd(possibly their best known customers) and many others that had slipped under my radar. All different and yet stamped with that Hipgnosis style.
All in all an essential book for any lover of photography, art and rock music in general. This book reminds those of us who grew up with vinyl of what is missing in the age of digital miniaturisation. Those who download are at an even greater loss.
If you are reading this then you must have an interest and all I would say is just go ahead and buy it, you will love it!