Hipgnosis' Life in 15 Album Covers: Pink Floyd, Led Zeppelin and More

Upon release of new book 'Vinyl . Album . Cover . Art,' studio co-founder Aubrey "Po" Powell unpacks striking images created for Wings, AC/DC and more

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Yes, 'Going for the One' (1977)
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A. Powell Graphics: G. Hardie “Yes” logo: R. Dean © 2017 Hipgnosis Ltd12/15

Yes, 'Going for the One' (1977)

Yes were managed at that time by a friend of ours who also managed Tom Petty. They had been through some ups and downs, but they got [guitarist] Trevor Rabin into the band and things were changing, moving into a more modern phase. [Artist] Roger Dean had fallen out with them, but when they were looking for a new album cover, Roger kindly suggested that perhaps we'd like to get involved. I told them, "Look, I don't want to do anything like Roger Dean," and Jon Anderson said, "But we love his landscapes with amazing kind of buildings and stuff like that." So I thought, "I'm stuck in this a little bit."

It so happened that earlier in the year, I had been with Paul McCartney in Los Angeles and I happened to go to Century City, which has got these amazing buildings. There's two skyscrapers there that are absolutely spectacular. I said to Storm, "Those buildings could look pretty amazing if we made a collage and had something going on within that." So I went and shot these buildings, came back, and we decided on a naked figure swimming up through them with all these trails. It was just graphic design, really; there's no hidden meaning to it at all. The most important thing is the shape of the buildings. When you put them together like that it's just impactful. 

If you see the cover opened out as a whole piece, he color jumps out at you. When I showed it to Jon, he just said, "You've interpreted Roger Dean photographically." I said, "That's what you asked for; that's what you've got." So they were very pleased with that. It gave them a modern image, because Roger's illustrations, as much as I love them, at that time started looking slightly retrospective, whereas our photographic images were moving forward. That's no reflection on Roger. He just wasn't doing appropriate work for Yes moving into a new phase of their career, but it all worked out very well.

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