Being the vague kind of guy I am, and knowing Pet Shop Boys lyrics as I do, I wasn’t aware of the Gerhard Richter influence on the ‘Yes’ cover, until I came across the Richter artwork named ‘4900 Colours: Version II’.
Mark Farrow said the Boys had been inspired by the Richter exhibition at the Serpentine, which featured panels of brightly coloured squares.
“Although the Richter paintings look stunning on a gallery wall, as an idea for a CD cover it felt a little tired and we felt we had ‘been there’,” Farrow says. “The tick was obviously inspired by the album’s title ‘Yes’. Reducing the title to a symbol that encompassed the other elements the band had requested just seemed to work; it’s instant and memorable and pop. The tick is made up of eleven coloured squares, one for each track on the album. It’s made up of eleven coloured squares, one for each track on the album.”
While the standard version of the album has a white background (above) a limited edition double disc version comes in black (below).
The coloured blocks continue on the inside of the package where the tick deconstructs and both merges and clashes with photographs of the Boys.
In addition, there was the highly limited edition vinyl version of the album which consisted of the album tracks split over eleven separate vinyl records, each in a coloured sleeve, all housed in a smoked Perspex case. I know somebody with one of these and I’m envious beyond belief.
When correctly arranged the eleven album sleeves will allow you to make up your own tick, measuring some eight feet in length.