This ‘Boring’ Album Cover is Hiding a Secret

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Comment (334)

  1. Cant believe I caught this video a minute after it was posted! Love this album and the art of the Yes album covers. I bought relayer second hand at the local flea market and was blown away by both the artwork and prog rock awesomeness!

  2. amazing timing! just recently reheard the album after awhile and its crazy how vivid and imaginative Yes' world is shown in just three songs

  3. A fantastic discussion of the functional art of album sleeves and exactly why this is my favorite concept album of all time. The collaboration between Roger Dean and Yes is one of the coolest interplays between visual art and music that I have ever come across!

  4. As an artist myself, I know that the digital distribution of additional album art is (unfortunately) sequestered off to "Special Edition" downloadable content. I do agree though, that some of that artwork needs to have an option for showing it while listening to the album digitally.

  5. It's a real pity the Close to the Edge art didn't fully make it to CD. The beautiful psychedelia of Bitches Brew and even the foldout cross of Black Moses made it to my copies and are wonderful inclusions even in miniature

  6. Both covers are extremely well thought out, both represent the edge of the void, represented with 2 colours or with a whole landscape, which represents the musical, figurative side of the album but also its more inner side, and putting this more subtle part as the main cover creates some mystery but also the album asks us to think about what the music really means to appreciate it even more

  7. My father who recently passed introduced me to Yes, 30 years ago. He was in hospital for 2 weeks prior, after suffering a ruptured aorta. When I collected his belongings from the hospital, Close to the edge was the cd I found in his cd player. I'd never seen inside original aldum cover even though I know its in his collection. I remember him telling me about the first time he heard it as a teen, how ethereal it sounded and how it made him feel. I like to imagine that that image was somewhere in his last thoughts. R.I.P Old Man.

  8. I want to lol we would get if we enter the phrase “close to the edge“ into one of those AI image generating apps. As I said somewhere else, they seem to be excellent at creating album covers for progressive rock.

  9. Great video man….first time hearing the title song I couldn't even begin to comprehend what was happening……but it intrigued the hell out of me. The more and more I listened, the more I became obsessed with the ridiculous composition. Chris Squire's bass and Bill Bruford's drums are the absolute linchpin holding the madness together. I giggle every single time I hear John Anderson's 'AAAAAAAAA' right in the middle of the organised chaos. I love the slight pause and transition into the part after that…..absolute musical genius (goddam I should start writing about music…my big brain is doing good word things right now)

  10. "Close to the Edge" was one of the first vinyl records I bought as a teen (I'm not that old, that's just when I got into records) and I got it for about a dollar and I love it. idk how it was in the US but here there usually were much less expensive non-gatefold versions of the original albums. I had never seen the inner artwork until this video. Holy shit

  11. Roger Dean is amazing, and yes is amazing as well! I've always loved both the outer and inner artwork, the outer artwork acting to entice you. "A simple gradient? Whats That all about?" opens the album oh damn!

  12. I miss the importance of album packaging and how cool it was to read everything inside the lining. I grew up with cassette tapes and I would obsessively study the album covers it was great

  13. Radiohead Kid A Mnesia Exhibition Video Game has great Digital collection of the cover art for Kid A and Amnesiac and it's free. Wish expansive cover art can be easily found more on Streaming services.

  14. The functionality for this sort of thing does already exist, I just don't feel it's all that utilised.

    Spotify has its Canvas feature on mobile, and Apple Music has animated visualisers on some newer mainstream albums. Out of the two, despite being on mobile only, Spotify canvases are far better. Apple Music visualisers are nice, but only allow for gifs of the front cover. I've seen examples of Spotify canvases have different artwork for individual tracks. King Gizzard & The Lizard Wizard's Murder Of The Universe is the best example that comes to mind, having unique canvases for its separate chapters, and other albums in their discography having some unique canvases for separate tracks (even if just snippets of their respective music videos).

    It'd be possible to have something like fly-overs or zoom-ins on the inner gatefold art on different tracks while the album plays out. I have no idea why I don't see more of it, whether its just a lack of knowledge of them by artists/labels, or moreso if they're reserved for bigger artists.

    The biggest problem with something like this is, much like the music hosted on the streaming services itself, it's all dependent on the service still existing. Say an artist creates unique art for a new release, then in a decade's time Spotify goes under; that artwork is then lost unless a similar streaming service creates a 1:1 visualiser system. You can guarantee an LP will still exist at the end of the day – can you guarantee a data hoarder has downloaded the canvases/visualisers all in time, or that the artist still has them saved? Even if they do still exist after that, what happens then? They get uploaded to a third-party site and you have to play the music externally while you watch? Hardly the same experience.

    I'll end by saying imo the best way to do it is to have single art tie-in to the main cover, and have that assigned to unique tracks – it gives them a sense of purpose within the album while not detracting from the full experience. Justice's Woman Worldwide is a great example, having edited and messed up versions of the main cover.

    Also a quick since this is already a rambly mess, p.s: Bandcamp allows artists to assign individual track art within an album, thank the lord.

  15. Please do In Through The Out Door by Led Zeppelin The album sleeve of the original pressing had a "magic paint" picture on it. If you colored it with just water, the picture would change from black and white to color. Of course, this ruined the collectability of the album and later pressings didn't include the sleeve, so very few remain in their original condition.

  16. While I love the art, single LP albums that use gatefold covers are a bit of a pet peeve of mine because they feel unearned. Yes did this a couple of times because Fragile also does that, albeit without art on the gatefold. Like with 2LP gatefold albums, it makes sense because each record could be put in either side of the sleeve, but if you only have one LP, it feels like a waste of half of the packaging. I understand why its done though, it provides additional space for art and text that would otherwise have to be crammed onto the paper sleeve of the LP or the back of the album otherwise.

    The only problem with changing the way album art is displayed is that it'll annoy anyone using digital files who'd now have to either reacquire all their songs whose art has changed or re-tag their music manually to include the extended art. Record companies would also hate it because then they'd be obligated to support it or it'd become an artifact of the tagging system like lyrics have.

  17. Close to the Edge is probably my favorite album ever. Roger Dean has some of the most interesting artwork I've ever seen. I use his art as wallpaper on a lot of my devices

  18. Him talking about album covers reminds me also of the way Beck did the album cover for The Information and Princ and the New Generation's Diamonds and Pearls. Nothing should ever make people but albums more than the Easter eggs in the covers.

  19. I can definitely attest to the album being an entirely different listening experience on a phone. I first found the album on Spotify and just didn't really get it. I liked it, sure, but the context of Spotify made it feel more like content than art to be engaged with which made the album feel pretentious and gaudy. Even when I went out of my way to engage with the album as a piece of art, the framing was still limiting.
    Luckily though, I happened upon an old vinyl copy at a yard sale. After seeing the inner artwork, it just clicked. I think I ended up staring at it for a good 15 minutes, tracing my way around every edge of the endless waterfalls. Playing this album with the inner sleeve as a visual aid and being able to read the lyrics in their fancy font on the record sleeve is simply sublime. I don't even care that the audio reproduction gets really staticky when the organs hit, the art moment created by playing this on record is just… ahh it makes me melt. Makes me feel whole. Phenomenal album. Love it to death.
    Edit: Another wonderful thing about listening to the vintage copy is that the lady who owned it before me clearly loved the album as much as I do since it's been a bit worn! To me, the history behind my specific copy means more than having perfect (or even great) audio quality.

  20. I was introduced to Close to the Edge in 1978 or so, by a friend's older brother – and I then bought the vinyl and listened to it on headphones and stared at that inner artwork.

  21. CD packaging was the same way, I don't get what your on about here. For example, TOOL's Undertow, AEnima, Lateralus, 10,000 Days were all amazing and some Grammy winning CD package art.

  22. I recommend checking out cover art from Rick Wakeman's (Yes keyboardist) album called "No Earthly Connection". The image presented there is distorted, and the way to see it is to take silver foil that was included in album, roll it into a tube and place in on the cover, then the reflection in this tube would present correct image 😀

  23. Excellent video once again.
    (if you like quality prog – of course you do! – then get your ears around this Leeds trio's debut album, just out last week. It's called 'The Good Notes' by 'Big Rooster Jeff.' … oh my it rocks!)

  24. I think it’s something personal but the front artwork always reminded me of the bottom of the ocean and uncharted waters, which also encapsulates perfectly the grandiosity and that element of mysteriousness present in the album. It’s ambiguity is what draws my attention to it. Might be an ugly green to some but I guess that’s really just a matter of taste.

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