So I found out something today that blew my mind. These pictures are from two Yes album covers, Fragile and Yessongs. I was reading through Roger Dean’s Views when I made a really awesome discovery (for me at least): these pictures are actually telling a story in chronological order. The first two show the front and back of Fragile, where a planet breaks apart over time. From the book:
"The planet disintegrates but the inhabitants have built a spaceship which on the Yessongs cover is shown guiding fragments of the planet as spores through space. The second picture on the Yessongs cover shows these spores impregnating a new planet, introducing life. In the fourth picture the cities evolve.”
As you may know, I am a giant fan of Roger Dean’s work, and it’s really cool to understand his paintings at a deeper level.
Survival Week: The Red Sands of Isolation
The day-to-day travel through the desert turns like a clock as windblown tumbleweeds are caught within the snares of scrub brush. Our journey often parallels the wind and then is suddenly snagged, sometimes in the lows of the valleys and sometimes on the high points and mesas. For twelve years now each of us has been haunted by a feeling of imminence, a constant fear of the unknown, a sense of sobriety that crashes and flows like the whitecaps of the big lake, which are presently very far from here. Now we stand before endlessness, dirt and weed, and the wind so shrill that flesh is nearly blown from bone.
It is at this point that Vandermolen, consumed by his beard and driven by a thirst for power, climbs to the highest horizon and spreads his arms and stands erect, a totem pole around which the wind swirls. In this moment he is lost, his essence and odor carried away by the relentless gusts.
Simon, nearby, hangs his head and fingers the fetish in his hand, the great Eagle that sees all from above, and his connection gives him vision. Looking inward, Simon sees the landscape from high up, so high that we are but specks of blue in the orange wasteland. With acute enhancement Simon sees far to the edge of this land, to where a coming storm approaches from the West, civilization begins to the North, where the land of the Ojibwe lies to the East, and South, where our past is clear in its misfortune, and far beyond where the Mexican speaks.
I am charmed by the isolation of the scene before me. Atop one of the thousand mesas that litter the landscape, I peer downward. Below is a road, a truck, and all the lost opportunity of life within the last days. This journey ends here, and though ascension will not come here, I cannot help but believe that what will happen next will envelop our souls.
On April 6, 2011, this album was deemed by the Library of Congress to be “culturally, historically, or aesthetically important” and added to the United States National Recording Registry for the year 2010.
Over 40 session musicians played on Aja (1977).