Alan Aldridge, Album Cover Designer for The Who and Elton John, Dies

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The Who’s second album, in 1966

Elton John’s 1975 album

Chances are pretty good that the name Alan Aldridge won’t register with you. But if you are a classic rock fan with a deep collection, you probably own an album or two whose cover he designed.

At just 23, Aldridge designed the front cover for the second album from The Who, 1966’s A Quick One, which contained Pete Townshend’s mini opera of the same name. The pop art illustration depicts the young band’s four members playing their instruments – or in Roger Daltrey’s case, singing into a microphone. Never mind that the images don’t really resemble Townshend, Daltrey, John Entwistle and Keith Moon… the imagery was apt for the times.

Aldridge died on February 17, 2017, following a debilitating illness, at age 73. His death was announced by a daughter, Lily, herself a Victoria’s Secret model who has appeared in Sports Illustrated’s swimsuit issue, via Instagram.

Alan Aldridge also designed the cover for Elton John’s 1975 album Captain Fantastic and the Brown Dirt Cowboy.

Aldridge was born on June 1, 1943, in East London, and at 21 was hired by Penguin Books as their art director. He started his own graphic firm, INK, in 1968 amidst the vibrant London scene where art was meshing with the youthful rock ‘n’ roll culture. Among his other notable music oriented accomplishments was designing the now-iconic logo for the Hard Rock Cafe and two books of illustrated Beatles lyrics.

Watch The Who perform Townshend’s mini opera on The Rolling Stones Rock and Roll Circus…

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  1. Toodles
    #1 Toodles 19 February, 2017, 10:40

    Fantastic artwork!

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