Elton John and the Who Illustrator Alan Aldridge Dead at 73
Renowned artist Alan Aldridge, whose distinctive designs graced the covers of classic albums by the Who and Elton John and filled the bestselling book The Beatles Illustrated Lyrics, has died at the age of 73.
Born in London on June 1, 1943, Aldridge started his design career at the Sunday Times Magazine before moving to Penguin Books, where he rose through the ranks and ultimately became the company’s art director. By the late ’60s he’d started his own firm, INK, which opened an association with the Beatles’ Apple Corps.
By the mid-’70s, Aldridge’s work had been seen in a variety of popular releases. He designed the cover for the Who’s 1966 release A Quick One, filled the Beatles’ Illustrated Lyrics with his singular style, and was responsible for the artwork on Elton John‘s Captain Fantastic and the Brown Dirt Cowboy LP.
Outside the music world, Aldridge contributed to a long list of bestselling works, including The Butterfly Ball and the Grasshopper Feast, a book-length adaptation of the William Roscoe poem and the Hard Rock Cafe’s iconic logo. While his colorful, flowing style was so closely identified with the ’60s and ’70s that he was called upon for fewer music projects as the decades wore on, he continued to work; recent album covers include Tears for Fears’ 2004 release Everybody Loves a Happy Ending.
Details of Aldridge’s death haven’t been made public, but he reportedly suffered from a “debilitating illness.” News of his passing is confirmed by his daughter Lily, who shared her sadness in an Instagram post that includes the farewell, “thank you for the years of magic.”
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