The other side of the moon

Beethoven Emporer concerto designed by Alex Steinweiss

When posting about Storm Thorgerson recently, Bernard Maasdijk emailed to comment on the likeness of an early sleeve to perhaps Hipgnosis’ most famous cover, Dark Side Of The Moon.  He suggested I take a look at Beethoven’s Piano Concerto #5 in E flat, recorded in 1941 and released in an original 78 set, Columbia Masterworks M-500. The front of the package was designed by the pioneering cover designer Alex Steinweiss, and as you can see has a very similar design idea to that used by Pink Floyd.
Had Hipgnosis (Storm didn’t actually come up with this idea) ever seen this cover? It’s possible. Although the 78 set was pretty obscure, the art was later adapted for the early Columbia album reissue  in the 1950s. On the other hand, it could just as well be a coincidence. It does show that there’s very little new under the sun (or the dark side of the moon).

Pink Floyd Dark Side Of The Moon sleeve, Hipgnosis.

About simon robinson

Having worked as a graphic designer in the music industry, mainly in the reissue sector, I now concentrate on the design and publication of books about popular culture - and even write some of them.
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