PUBLISHED 06 July 2017
Before you start reading - turn this on - Yes' LP Fragile from 1972 with art by Roger Dean & light up a doobie. OK.
Let it sit for a moment - hopefully you're familiar with the record, but if you're not - this is one of my favorite Progressive Rock albums of all time & having album art by Roger Dean makes it sound better. Like this Uriah Heep record - "Demons & Wizards".
Roger Dean's art heavily influenced one of my favorite artists - Games Workshop's John Blanche - in matters not only of technique - but in approaching the relationship between art & music & the broader culture, which is why bringing in Roger Dean or John Blanche makes projects richer, deeper, more intense, more natural & more resonating.
The style involves technical pen with watercolors & inks & airbrush in the later work. It is very expressive despite the detailed, tight aspects of the linework because of the use of psychedelic color. Roger Dean's background in design led him to not only do the LP art but the logos for numerous bands & really stands out in his cover for the Rolling Stones on Tour photo book by Annie Leibovitz. The mustard green into forest green color field with total Pop Hot Licks Stones logo with Euro-historic Gothic lettering evokes three totally contrary worlds & harmonizes them perfectly.
It is the contrast between loose & tight, fluid & concrete that makes Roger Dean's work perfect for the same aspects of 70s Rock&Roll. Dig the marbling in the piece above - the chaotic, organic forms weave in & out of the tight, controlled line work with water colors like the spaced-out Jazz & Psychedelic paths in Yes' Rock&Roll tunes. These feelings are the roots of my religious experience with Rock&Roll & I want you to take yourself along these roads too.