arely have a band and an artist been so closely associated through the years as Yes and Roger Dean. As of 1991, the prolific artist has drawn or painted eleven of the group's album covers, from Fragile to Union. He's also designed covers for such Yes offshoots as Asia, Steve Howe's solo projects and Anderson, Bruford, Wakeman and Howe.
Dean thinks he knows why Relayer is singled out among his efforts for Yes: "If I had to describe my skills," he says, "they started out with me being a designer and draftsman, and Relayer is the peak of those two skills." It took him about 300 hours to render the artwork, which was actually quite small -- only an inch larger than the wraparound jacket for the LP.
Curiously, Dean had not heard Relayer when he began work on the cover. In fact, Yes's Jon Anderson came up with the title after seeing Dean's drawing. "I never paint the music," says Dean. "I'm very skeptical of people who say they do. It's very rare for the members of Yes to sit down and say, 'This is the flavor of the music. Do you think you can get a bit more into the picture?' It doesn't work that way."
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