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Andy Whitman

Where Is The Prog Love?

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It's gotta be the shimmering robes. Once again the Prog wing (Yes, Emerson, Lake and Palmer, Genesis, Jethro Tull, and if we're feeling rationally self-interested, Rush) has been snubbed by the Rock 'n Roll Hall of Fame.

Granted, Rick Wakeman (the keyboard player for Yes pictured here) is the poster child for Modern Elfwear, not for the snarling adolescent rebellion for which rock 'n roll is known and loved. And yes, it's hard to imagine Galadriel and the Hellcats. But still ... those bands made a lot of great albums and played a lot of great shows. No, really. And it's high time for a critical reassessment of the music.

Taking nothing away from this year's nominee Iggy Pop, who could bludgeon with the best of them, the Prog wizards made complex, beautiful, and frequently moving music, and they could play their instruments extraordinarily well, a fault for which they were summarily dismissed during the heady days of punk. But maybe we should rethink that. Yes, there were wretched excesses, and if I never hear another Toccata and Fugue on a Theme from The Hobbit again, I will be quite happy. But Fragile? Close to the Edge? Selling England by the Pound? Thick as a Brick? Brain Salad Surgery? I'll take any and all of the above over the Neanderthal leer of "I Wanna Be Your Dog."

But that's just me. I do know this: it's all theater. But somewhere along the way the keepers of the rock 'n roll canon decreed that bodies smeared in blood were cool and bodies covered in shimmering robes were not. Whatever. I'll continue to go my unhip way and champion the wizards.

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I went through a huge prog phase about five years ago - I picked up most of the major albums by Yes, Genesis, King Crimson, Jethro Tull. But then I kind of ran out of stuff to listen to - I'm a bit scared of newer progressive rock and second-tier 70s stuff like Kansas. But when prog is good, it's magnificient - there aren't as many rules as other genres, and room for imagination - really the four bands I listed above don't sound that alike to each other.


It was a dark and stormy night; the rain fell in torrents

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I'm being serious here, does Styk count as prog? If so, I'm experiencing a prog revival amongst kids in my youth group. The only explanation I can come up with is: that's what their parents listened to. It's weird, because it makes me realize I'm getting older. My Dad listened to 50's and 60's rock. The 70's and early 80's are non-existent to me. My Dad never listened and I was too young/not born to seek it out on my own.


"It is scandalous for Christians to have an imagination starved for God." - Mark Filiatreau

I write occasionally at Unfamiliar Stars.

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I've heard plenty of good things about Prog. A must-see for anyone traveling through the Czech Republic.

Sorry.

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I'm being serious here, does Styk count as prog? If so, I'm experiencing a prog revival amongst kids in my youth group. The only explanation I can come up with is: that's what their parents listened to. It's weird, because it makes me realize I'm getting older. My Dad listened to 50's and 60's rock. The 70's and early 80's are non-existent to me. My Dad never listened and I was too young/not born to seek it out on my own.

I don't think of Styx as a Prog band. In truth, their first few albums (which almost nobody heard) did have some prog elements. But the Styx of The Grand Illusion and Pieces of Eight, their two mega-Plutonium sellers of the late '70s, or whatever they were, pretty much defined the AOR sound, and were filled with power ballads intended to reach the poor kid with the lighter in the back of the arena. Besides, one of their biggest hits was called "Babe," and you'd never catch a true prog rocker writing a song called "Babe." "Mystical Princess of Triangulum," maybe. But not "Babe."

It slightly depresses me to think that there is a Styx revival underway among the youth of America.

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Prog is alive and well. I loved Yes, Pink Floyd and Genesis, I went through my Marillion, Twelfth Night, IQ, Pallas phase (here a plug for the long departed Geoff Mann, a hero of mine and Greenbelt regular before he sadly died. The band and his solo albums are worth checking out.). Now prog can be heard in bands like Radiohead, Elbow, Sigur Ros, Coldplay, Pineapple Thief etc. A great forum I am part of is found at www.dprp.net . Here prog is very much alive. loads of reviews and debate here. You cannot beat a 10-20 minute song. The epics rule. Some good Christian bands around too and Christians in bands. Will tell you about some soon.


If the world was my oyster I would never taste anything!!!

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Prog is alive and well. I loved Yes, Pink Floyd and Genesis, I went through my Marillion, Twelfth Night, IQ, Pallas phase (here a plug for the long departed Geoff Mann, a hero of mine and Greenbelt regular before he sadly died. The band and his solo albums are worth checking out.). Now prog can be heard in bands like Radiohead, Elbow, Sigur Ros, Coldplay, Pineapple Thief etc. A great forum I am part of is found at www.dprp.net . Here prog is very much alive. loads of reviews and debate here. You cannot beat a 10-20 minute song. The epics rule. Some good Christian bands around too and Christians in bands. Will tell you about some soon.

Coldplay?

I can't think of any reason to call them 'prog'.

Ryan

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All well and good Andy. Peter Gabriel as a singing flower, King Arthur robes, Roger Dean Grafix, even Robert Fripps manic discipline,very groovy but! I think until you start a cult, and invent your own language and control your environment in ways that Beefheart and Zappa could only dream about, you really are only pretending towards prog.

Ladies and Gentlemen, if you really want to set the controls for the heart of the sun, you must consider Magma.

I mean once you have your language (kobaian) and your trained cadre.......all you need is song titles...the rest just follows........

Mekanik Destruktiw Kommandoh http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=g9yaYvrp3B4,

& incase you aren't yet convinced these are the Proggiest......
Edited by mumbleypeg

"Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle."

Plato

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The track 42 on the new Coldplay album has definate prog influence, the time changes, the drum pattern of the middle part etc. Just as they have a shoegaze influence too. The definition of prog comes into play here, if it means a rehash of what came before then no it isn't but if it means progressive music, moving forward, pushing boundaries, then it is. U2 are also a very progressive band.


If the world was my oyster I would never taste anything!!!

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All things reckoned, Prog Love is on my side: my love for this music is very, very progressive. To say it straight: I'm still about to start. :mrgreen:

Seriously: I plan to get some Yes and Genesis classics (Fragile, Close to the Edge, Foxtrot, Selling England, The Lamb... right?). Probably next month.

Then I can say if I like it or not. I'll remind you in a few years! (kidding)

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All well and good Andy. Peter Gabriel as a singing flower, King Arthur robes, Roger Dean Grafix, even Robert Fripps manic discipline,very groovy but! I think until you start a cult, and invent your own language and control your environment in ways that Beefheart and Zappa could only dream about, you really are only pretending towards prog.

Ladies and Gentlemen, if you really want to set the controls for the heart of the sun, you must consider Magma.

I mean once you have your language (kobaian) and your trained cadre.......all you need is song titles...the rest just follows........

Mekanik Destruktiw Kommandoh http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=g9yaYvrp3B4,

& incase you aren't yet convinced these are the Proggiest......

Well, yes, Magma were certainly out there, and were probably the proggiest of the proggiest. Really, nobody had tried the "invent your own language" trick again until Sigur Ros.

Close (albeit English-speaking) competitors, however, were Hawkwind, featuring noted science fiction writer Michael Moorcock, and whose 1973 live album Space Ritual is summarized in Wikipedia as follows:

The Space Ritual show attempted to create a full audio-visual-cerebral experience, representing themes developed by Barney Bubbles and Robert Calvert entwining the fantasy of Starfarers in suspended animation travelling through time and space with the concept of the music of the spheres. The performance featured dancers Stacia, Miss Renee and Tony Carrera, stage set by Bubbles, lightshow by Liquid Len and poetry recitations by Calvert.

It's hard to find a good poetry recitation at a concert anymore. And whatever happened to Miss Renee?

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I will admit to an occasional foray into prog. I usually do this at night and dress in a Genghis khan suit and a wizards hat (as suggested by the very unprog Lou Reed) always hoping to keep my wifes ridicule and disdain at bay.

Hard to argue with the chops most of the practitioners have/had. Has anyone checked out Spocks Beard?

Truth be told I am far fonder of Krautrock and will often drift through the Can catalog.....this may be cause for another thread, though.


"Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle."

Plato

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Has anyone checked out Spocks Beard?

Yes, well, just V and Snow, which I have enjoyed, even if they aren't doing anything terribly new.

chillinrev, we will have to agree to disagree.

Ladies and Gentlemen, if you really want to set the controls for the heart of the sun, you must consider Magma.

Magma, of course!

Ryan

Edited by Ryan

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Spocks Beard were amazing with Neal Morse, but not so good now. I think he has turned into a bit too much of a preacher too on his solo stuff. Neal Morse left Spocks because of his faith, but I think his best faith stuff was when he was still in the band and he had to hide the meaning of stuff a bit like on the excellent album Snow. He is now like a prog Billy Graham trying to save the world. Nothing wrong with that but I think he had more of peoples ears before now only good old evangelical christians love him.


If the world was my oyster I would never taste anything!!!

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