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Anatoly Beaver-Hausen

Progressive Rock 101: Why PROG is essential for the Evolution of Mankind.

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I can't help it, I equate Prog Rock with the 1970s when more bad music was made than in almost any other decade in history. I also immediately think of the quintessential Prog Rock bands - Yes and ELP :(:sorry: The 1970s, especially the second half of the 1970s, has a lot to answer for. MTV, Fusion (with some exceptions), Disco, Prog Rock, ABBA, The Partridge Family, John Farnham.

I am probably the only person I know who lived through the era as a music fan and didn't own a single Yes or ELO album.

brumby, you've got me stumped. The period of approx 1967 - 1975 produced some of the best music imho. Things certainly started deteriorate in the second half of the 70s. As for the 80s don't go there.

Anyway, back to the subject matter. Big fan of most of the music that Steven Wilson puts out. His recordings are always A1 which is a bonus.

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What???...............did you miss the '80s ????? :nana

The 80s had the most OVER-PRODUCED sound for almost EVERY album that came out during that time!!

Shame on the 80s technology (which at the time was 'cutting edge')!

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I can't help it, I equate Prog Rock with the 1970s when more bad music was made than in almost any other decade in history. I also immediately think of the quintessential Prog Rock bands - Yes and ELP :(:sorry: The 1970s, especially the second half of the 1970s, has a lot to answer for. MTV, Fusion (with some exceptions), Disco, Prog Rock, ABBA, The Partridge Family, John Farnham.

I am probably the only person I know who lived through the era as a music fan and didn't own a single Yes or ELO album.

The early 70s were terrific, so much great music came out of those few years. Things did start going off the rails in the late 70s. No doubt some will point to punk and new wave as a progression, but that was really just old-fashioned rock and roll dressed up a bit differently. Things got worse in the 80s with all those awful 'bad haircut' bands, and has just been going downhill ever since. Now we have to endure rap, hip-hop and programmed beats in just about everything. No wonder my musical tastes have taken a sharp turn and gone off in different directions these days.

Now, I was a great fan of prog rock in the early 70s, along with good old blues based rock. So, along with Deep Purple, Led Zeppelin, Free etc, I also listened to a lot of Yes, ELP, Jethro Tull, Pink Floyd, King Crimson, Focus (were they prog?) and, of course, Gryphon (did I mention them before somewhere? :) ). At the time, I thought of prog rock in terms of experimentation and innovation, and for a time it seemed like the way forward. However, after a while it seemed like things had become somewhat stagnant and formulaic. At the time, Yes were probably my favourite prog band (until I discovered Gryphon). I really liked 'The Yes Album, 'Fragile' and 'Close To The Edge', and still do. However, when I rushed out to hear 'Tales From Topographic Oceans', I remember feeling quite underwhelmed by it. That was when I started to look in different directions, but still I didn't buy all the marketing hype about punk being the way forward and prog bands being dinosaurs.

Where am I going with this? I'm not sure. I think what I'm trying to say, in a rambling sort of way, is that I think that it is unfortunate that we tend to pigeonhole everything into genres. That is what bothers me a bit about about modern prog rock. If prog rock has just become a label which means bands are meant to look and play in a certain expected way, then it is not progressive. True progressive music doesn't constrict itself to labels and genres.

Edited by emesbee

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I do like what you said emesbee, but there is no escaping labels!

Punk IS punk, Blues ARE the blues, Rap IS rap, etc etc those and some other genres ARE just what they are, that's why you either love em or you don't .

Prog is just another term to define 'anything that doesn't conform o the straight rock style', or 'anything goes' type of music. Little regard for MELODY, which I rate as the biggest factor in 'listenable' music.

True music (I agree) doesn't constrict itself to 'genres'. BUT when you hear 'prog' rock, punk, rap, hip-hop, classical, metal, you cannot escape the fact that all those (and more genres), fit very well into their own catagories!

True 'rock' with 'melody' is the most universal form of music IMO. That's where it can NOT be catagorised because it fits 'numerous' genres.

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Very thoughtful comments , and I agree in many ways. PROG became a dirty word, and was relegated to the margins for so long. Does anyone remember the priceless THE YOUNG ONES episode when hippy Neil had to defend MARILLION ( who should be beatified IMHO) to the rest of his flatmates. That really set the agenda for the next two decades. But out in the margins, in the privacy of their own rooms, thousands of Progsters were keeping the flame burning.

It is for them/ us I thought this thread might be liberating.

So, emesbee thanks for your input.

P.S - yes FOCUS were most definitely Progressive.

Also, a big shout out to one of Americas best, but almost unknown experimental PROG outfits - DJAM KARET. Google THE SHAMAN DESCENDS for starters.

Edited by Zen Mister

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Ah, I think you've hit on a point there surfpurple. That often neglected element of music, melody! And there is certainly melody in a lot of what we call prog rock. If you don't believe me, I implore you to have a listen to some Gryphon. 'Red Queen To Gryphon Three' is probably a good place to start. (Actually, I implore everyone to listen to Gryphon! ;) )

Edited by emesbee

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Focus, one of the LOUDEST bands I EVER heard (apart from Tony Williams Lifetime at same venue!). Brilliant band.

Venue was a small club in Wardour St in London's West End, forgotten name of place now. About same size as Ronny Scott's ... what a real estate agent would call 'intimate'!

I saw many good progressive bands evry Sunday at the Roundhouse in Chalk Farm. Saw Yes and Pink Floyd (seperate gigs) at the legendary Rainbow Theatre (although acoustics at back of stalls was woeful!)

I will never forgive myself for getting on a bus, at the Isle of Wight festival in 1970, hearing Jimi Hendrix in the distance playing Star Spangled Banner from the stage. No one knew he'd be dead 2 weeks later! I'd celebrated (a bit too vigorously) my birthday the day before and I was VERY hung over.

Edited by GraemeB

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In one word wow, what the ***k is all this :)

Well done for trying Kunal. That is Lightning Bolt. I grew up listening to my Dad's prog so artists that still embody what was cool about prog IMO - like long songs that 'go places', mad skills and a sense of adventure - really appeal. Although Lightning Bolt & Ruins (Japanese guys) certainly carry a DIY punk aesthetic the audacity of their compositions and prodigious skills place them as heirs to the Prog tradition.

Go on guys - watch my vids. Should Prog be about new and crazy ideas?

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I'll 'Bleed at the Edge' LOL! Blew the dust off this one the other day. Simply CLASSIC!!

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Now listening to Steve Hackett 'Please Don't Touch', with Richie Havens and Randy Crawford on guest vocals. Didn't Genesis provide a launch-pad for some very talented artists?!

The music world would have been poorer without them. "What about Phil Collins?" I hear you say. Well, he was a very good drummer, and the Brand X album I have is testament to his non-singing drumming ability!

Edited by GraemeB

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Focus, one of the LOUDEST bands I EVER heard (apart from Tony Williams Lifetime at same venue!). Brilliant band.

Venue was a small club in Wardour St in London's West End, forgotten name of place now. About same size as Ronny Scott's ... what a real estate agent would call 'intimate'!

I saw many good progressive bands evry Sunday at the Roundhouse in Chalk Farm. Saw Yes and Pink Floyd (seperate gigs) at the legendary Rainbow Theatre (although acoustics at back of stalls was woeful!)

I will never forgive myself for getting on a bus, at the Isle of Wight festival in 1970, hearing Jimi Hendrix in the distance playing Star Spangled Banner from the stage. No one knew he'd be dead 2 weeks later! I'd celebrated (a bit too vigorously) my birthday the day before and I was VERY hung over.

I went to see a lot of bands in the early to mid 70s. Saw Yes, Focus, Jethro Tull, among others. Also saw Mahavishnu Orchestra in 1975, and they were brilliant. Their latest album at the time was 'Visions Of The Emerald Beyond', and they played most of it at the concert as I recall. The interplay between John McLaughlin's guitar and Jean Luc Ponty's electric violin was a joy to behold. Mahavishnu Orchestra are usually labelled as Jazz/Fusion, but if anything was progressive, this was.

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Ahh, emesbee, I could do a shameless namedrop re Mr JMc (aka Mahavishnu) but I won't! ;o)

Just let it be said that the last time I saw him he wasn't happy to see me, as I reminded him of a time past. Still sad about that.

Through him I met George Martin and sound engineer Geoff Emmerick, then at AIR Studios. Plus a few other 'interesting' muso-type people. Ahh, dem woz the dayz!

Edited by GraemeB

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Been listening to Can "Tago-Mago". What an epic!!

can-tago-mago.jpg

Not sure if this is Prog Rock or Krautrock or both.

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I'm a big fan of the prog........but like all genres.......there is a lot of crap around too.

(could be a personal taste thing too)

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Of course under that prog umbrella sits a number of sub prog genres such as symphonic, canterbury, prog-metal, space-rock, etc etc. I have always has a soft spot for Italian prog especially from the 70s - eg PFM and Le Orme.

Le Orme from their 1971 album "Collage"

After a hiatus of about 8 years Le Orme released a nice cd last year called La Via della Seta - nice symphonic guitar/melodies with floating synths.

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brumby, you've got me stumped. The period of approx 1967 - 1975 produced some of the best music imho. Things certainly started deteriorate in the second half of the 70s. As for the 80s don't go there.

I can't help but agree with this.

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