The Classic 1997 Pink Floyd “Back” Catalogue Poster

This classic picture commissioned by EMI in 1997, to cleverly advertise the release of the “back” catalogue of Pink Floyd was taken at a private indoor pool in Putney (London Borough of Wandsworth) by photographer Tony May.  The still unknown nude models had the cover art of six Pink Floyd albums painted onto their backs by artist Phyllis Cohen.

Pink Floyd Back Catalogue Body Paint Poster

The Pink Floyd album covers featured on the models were of course created by renown English graphic artist Storm Thorgerson.  In case you don’t know what albums the graphics were taken from, we broke it down for you below.  From left to right… 

Atom Heart Mother (1970)

Pink Floyd Back Catalogue Poster Body Paint Atom Heart Mother

Relics (compilation – 1971)

Pink Floyd Back Catalogue Body Paint Models Relics

Dark Side Of The Moon (1973)

Pink Floyd Back Catalogue Dark Side Of The Moon Body Paint Model

 Wish You Were Here (1975)

Pink Floyd Back Catalogue Wish You Were Here Body Paint

 The Wall (1979)

Pink Floyd Back Catalogue Poster The Wall Body Paint Model

 Animals (1977)

Pink Floyd Back Catalogue Animals Body Paint Models

Here is an alternate shot with the models positioned differently and the “Relics” girl  missing from the photo..

Pink Floyd Back Catalogue Girls Body Paint Photo Alternative

Here’s an excerpt from ’Mind over Matter: the Images of Pink Floyd‘, by Storm Thorgerson. Sanctuary Publishing

In talking about the photo Thorgerson said,

“It came about when we were commissioned to advertise the back catalogue of Pink Floyd in 1996. There’s an incredible sense of humour in the Floyd camp, and they decided that the back catalogue should be literally, the catalogue on the backs.”  ”So they commissioned me to photograph it, for a promotional poster.”

He continued,

“It was difficult to know how to use the album cover images again. You can’t distort them too much, or they become unrecognisable.  The “backs” idea seemed to be a nice way to re-present the images in a slightly different context, but still relatively clearly.  It took us forever to paint the girls: they had to be still for five or six hours while their backs were painted by the very expert Phyllis Cohen.”

Finally Thorgerson added,

“The covers were originally going to be painted on the backs of boys and girls, but that presented us with a problem, because each back is representing an album cover, and album covers are all the same size and shape. We needed uniformity, and girls and boys’ backs are obviously quite different. We had to choose one or the other, and we chose girls – probably because we’re boys. It is a questionable thing on a PC level, and the photo has received some critical observations – most particularly by my partner. But most women I’ve shown it to don’t mind it. I just think that girls backs are more elegant than men’s backs, and I was going for elegance and shape here.”

If anyone knows who these girls are or the location of the pool, please let us know.

Pink Floyd “Wish You Were Here” Cover Photo Location And Stuntmen

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