Colin Elgie’s Yes artwork secrets PLUS Mark’s album inner sleeve favourites – 544

Produced by Ken Fuller, Wayne Hall and Jeffrey Crecelius

I recently spoke to illustrator Colin Elgie, who was a freelance illustrator for legendary album art producers, Hipgnosis, for the whole of the 1970s. We chatted about his artwork for Tormato and I found out that he also produced some other Yes items you’ll recognise, along with other prog album covers. It was a great phone call and this week I explain to Mark what Colin said and we take a look at some of the artwork Colin and I discussed.

Then Mark tells us about some other vinyl albums which have interesting and/or unique inner contents. You’ll also have your favourites so please do add them in the comments below.

  • What did Colin Elgie produce for Yes?
  • What did he think of the Hipgnosis cover for Tormato?
  • What other inner album contents are worth tracking down?

Take a listen to the episode and then let us know what you think below!

Two Genesis albums with Colin Elgie covers:

Al Stewart – Year of the Cat with Colin Elgie cover:

Colin Elgie’s YES poster and newspaper advert, uploaded to by Geoffrey Mason:

Colin Elgie’s artwork for the inner bag of Tormato, in various places and formats:

Mark’s copy of Rick Wakeman’s King Arthur:


Relayer cardboard inner, as mentioned by Kevin:

YMP Patrons:


  • Ken Fuller
  • Jeffrey Crecelius and
  • Wayne Hall


Aaron Steelman

Dave Owen

Mark James Lang

Paul Tomei

Joost Maglev

David Heyden

Martin Kjellberg

Paul Wilson

Bob Martilotta


Michael O’Connor

William Hayes
Brian Sullivan

David Pannell

Miguel Falcão

Lobate Scarp

Chris Bandini

David Watkinson

Neal Kaforey

Rachel Hadaway

Craig Estenes


Paul Hailes

Mark ‘Zarkol’ Baggs

Doug Curran

Robert Nasir

Fergus Cubbage

Scott Colombo

Fred Barringer

Gary Betts
Geoff Bailie

Simon Barrow
Geoffrey Mason

Stephen Lambe

Guy R DeRome

Steve Dill

Henrik Antonsson

Steve Perry

Hogne Bø Pettersen

Steve Rode

Declan Logue
Steve Scott
Jamie McQuinn

Steven Roehr

Alan Begg
Terence Sadler

Michael Handerhan

Tim Stannard


Todd Dudley

John Cowan

Tony Handley

John Holden

Joseph Cottrell

John Parry

Keith Hoisington

John Thomson

Barry Gorsky

Robert and David

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Theme music

The music I use is the last movement of Stravinsky’s Firebird Suite. This has been used as introduction music at many Yes concerts. My theme music is not take from a live concert – I put it together from:

7 replies on “Colin Elgie’s Yes artwork secrets PLUS Mark’s album inner sleeve favourites – 544”

Interesting stuff on the aesthetics of Yes, and (once again) great detective work by Kevin on the illustrations of Colin Elgie and the fascinating variations on the cartographic ‘Tormato’ inner sleeve… which I love, by the way.

We’ve already forked out more than enough money for multiple versions of Yes albums over the years, I’m sure, but what the band regard as definitive mixes/remasterings of ‘Time and a Word’, ‘The Yes Album’, ‘Going for the One’ and ‘Tormato’ with Dean covers would be a perfect way of leaving the band’s ’70s catalogue for posterity.

In terms of inner album sleeves and record sleeves, ‘Close to the Edge’, ‘Tales’ and ‘Relayer’ match the unsurpassed music with perfectly fitting presentations and visuals for me. ‘Fragile’ is also a superb product. I confess to preferring the Yes logo in its simplest form (rather than elaborately decorated, often in a way that clashes with the artwork).

The CTTEE calligraphy is wonderful, by the way. I appreciate the ‘Tales’ typeface, too… but dislike the jagged typography which has become standard in recent years, especially when we are left with an overload of competing images and colours. Elegant simplicity is often a lost art in album presentation. But these are personal preferences, and unlike many (most?) Yes fans I’m not at all keen on Tolkienesque/fantasy/sci-fi art per se, so I’m bound to lean in that direction, I guess…

Anyway, thanks to Mark and Kevin for opening up these artwork issues and delving deep into the shrubbery!

Thanks Kevin & Mark for the deep dive into the artwork, graphics & the inner sleeves. Hope you didn’t get the bends when resurfacing!

Thanks Kevin for reading my full review of Jon’s concert in Kent (Ohio) with the Paul Green Rock Academy. I’m eagerly awaiting Jon’s memoir, even if he releases it in digital form first while he lines up a publisher. The first few chapters I’ve seen leave you wanting more.

Regarding the “1000 Hands, Chapter 2” album, Brian Chatton told me that the best song of all of the songs he & Jon wrote & recorded together those many years ago did not appear on Chapter 1 but he’s pushed Jon to include it on 2. When I see Brian at a private concert in Ohio in late Oct. I’ll be asking him about Chapter 2 and any other Yes related news. He’s very close friends with Tony. Which begs the question- did you get Brian on a podcast after his book came out 2 years ago? I don’t recall that he did. I suggested it to Brian and to you Kevin? If not, you really need to get Brian on to talk about his long connection to Jon, Tony and Yes. He’s the man who was almost the original Yes keyboard player, and Brian auditioned Chris for his new band, before Yes! I can link Brian up with you Kevin. I know Brian would do either a phone call or a video Zoom from his house in California.

These deep dives are wonderful. You didn’t include in the post/pictures ‘The Red Planet’ mentioned which is up there with great inner sleeves – I only have the vinyl version which has that great booklet (as well as red vinyl) and said ‘pop up’.
There are many other great bands with wonderful inner sleeves that tie to the music that I won’t mention here but will do a nod to ‘The Ladder’ as the poster/lyric sheet is also another thing of beauty to look at while listening to this positive music.
Tormato is the fruit that keeps on giving!!

I love a good dig about and finding new old details, so fresh artwork history is very welcome. Congratulations on tracking him down and for him to teach back in time.

It is a huge area to talk about and if I can add a few more to the list then Badger with the pop-up, die-cut Yes programmes and Roger Dean early albums, Yessongs still has to be right up there as a true great but how about The Pentateuch of the Cosmogony album by Dave Greenslade.

Don’t forget my links to Jeff Cummins guys, he can tell a good story and is ready to chat to you.

Best wishes as always

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