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The Art Of Roger Dean

by Mike Singleton - Mikeydred 3 months ago in playlist / bands / art / album reviews / 90s music / 80s music / 70s music
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The Amazing Album Artwork For Bands Such As Yes, Uriah Heep, Paladin, Osibisa and More

Osibisa - Flying Elephant by Roger Dean


Seriously I did not know how I could approach this. I became exposed to Roger Dean's artwork as a teenager and was immediately hooked by his fantastical imagery. His website is below.

I then thought maybe I could share with you some of the music that I associate with his wonderful artwork, so that is the way that this piece will go. You can just admire the images or you can listen to the music where I have found a correlating song or instrumental.

Demons and Wizards

Uriah Heep - Demons and Wizards

Uriah Heep were the first band I saw live at Preston Public Hall and this was during the "Demons and Wizards" tour. I was a fan of the band from their third album "Look at Yourself" with its impressive mirror cover, but "Demons and Wizards" with the butterfly-cloaked wizard in a cosmic swirling background was my first exposure to the art of Roger Dean.

He also did the art for the follow-up album "The Magician's Birthday" which you can see below.

The song "The Wizard" actually contains a boiling kettle solo. You can listen here.

Close To The Edge

Yes - Close To The Edge

I first got into Yes when I heard "The Yes Album" but Dean came on board with is fractured planets and lands for the album "Fragile" when Rick Wakeman joined from The Strawbs. While "Fragile" was a good album, "Close To The Edge" was even better and Dean excelled himself for many more Yes album covers such as "Yessongs", "Tales From Topographic Oceans" and "Relayer"

The song I will choose is the ten-minute beauty "And You And I" so simple that I can play the basic melody.



I was quite surprised that Osibisa teamed with Roger Dean for two albums but the image of the flying elephants are just perfect and the pure joy of "Music For Gong Gong" is something you just have to play.

Paladin - Charge

The artworf for Paladin's album "Charge" reminds me of the concept for the stage show of Michael Malpurgo's "War Horse". I found the song "Moonbeams" which has the album cover in the video.


Gentle Giant - Octopus

This cover is a straightforward representation of an Octopus for Gentle Giant's final album with their founding member Phil Schulmann, From this I have chose "The Advent of Panurge" the albums opener to share with you.

Budgie - Squawk

Budgie are a welsh heavy metal band and Dean's cover for !Squawk" definiteky fitted the music contained within. Budgie were not exactly subtle but produced some great metal as "Hot As A Docker's Armpit" demonstrates.


I am not sure how big Roger Dean’s original artworks were for all these albums. Still, they had to fit into the twelve inches of the normal vinyl album covers possibly bleeding into the back cover resulting in a twenty-four-inch piece of artwork.

There is often so much on these images that you can sit looking for things that you have missed as you listen to the albums in question. This is a perfect marriage of music and album art, and though Dean's work is not normally in art gallery it is in a far better place, in people's home as part of a musical and visual journey for the listener.

There are books of his artwork available if you want to have a copy on your own home, but a search on Google will provide you will so much of his amazing work.

I know I have missed a lot of his album covers but this wikipedia page provides a comprehensive list and you can also visit his home page as well which I shared at the beginning of the article.

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About the author

Mike Singleton - Mikeydred

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Comments (2)

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  • Giovanni Profeta3 months ago

    Those days of listening to records staring at the LP covers are long gone, what a shame. I miss listening to music like in the old days.

  • My favourites are the flying elephant and the octopus. Super badass!

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