Friday, 11 March 2016

Roger Dean: Views

You can't actually get any more '70's than an album cover or painting by Roger Dean.
Dragon's Dream published Views, a best-of combination portfolio / book in 1975, and I snapped it up, even though we already had most of those triple-gatefold albums around the house, my dad being massively into prog rock in general, and Yes in particular at the time.
Some of this stuff is literally amazing, and really does give you the feeling of entering another world, much like Moebius or Caza.
It's also good to look at work like this through fresh eyes occasionally, some of these images being so familiar that you can almost take them for granted. But this is the kind of art you can wallow in.
My favourite's probably the multi-armed priest / prophet that used to adorn Dave Greenslade's solo albums, mainly 'cos I always wanted him to get his own comic strip.


  1. I've always enjoyed Roger Dean's work. I first encountered it on the cover of YES albums, during my notorious prog-rock phase.
    Believe it or not, I had a Roger Dean poster above my bed when I was in the Army, in the '80's, but I somehow managed to get laid on occasion in spite of it.

  2. Wonderful post, Pete, thanks for sharing these.
    Like many, I also discovered Dean's art from the cover art on Yes albums. Your point about "wallowing" in his art is quite apt - it's easy to get lost in a reverie while staring at his wonderful fantasy dreamscapes (and while, say, listening to the Fragile album).

  3. Patrick Woodroffe did some interesting images of the Greenslade sorcerer. The intersection of science fiction/fantasy, comics and rock was a big part of 70's pop culture. This stuff looks even better in retrospect.

  4. The only thing that irked me about his work was his depiction of the human form - it always looked somewhat weak.

    Other than that, there was a time (having read and devoured this book) when he seemed like one of the coolest people on the planet...I'd have liked very much to have lived in that house he designed.

  5. That's the house in the follow-up book ' Magnetic Storm ', right? Yeh, always wanted to live there too. I'll put that up at some point also.

  6. Dragons Dream/Paper Tiger was set up and run by Dean, and he surely deserves credit for that as well as his work - Views, The Studio, that Syd Mead book... all pretty eye popping at the time.

    Getting away from the inevitable 70s references, I couldn't believe how much James Cameron's Avatar looked Dean's stuff...
    Maybe it isn't quite so dated after all.