What would music be like if PROG never happened?

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A difficult question, a bit like looking for a needle in a haystack or Jon Anderson's testicles, but give it a shot, anyway

dave q, Saturday, 11 August 2001 00:00 (twenty years ago) link

This is prog nor are we out of it

mark s, Saturday, 11 August 2001 00:00 (twenty years ago) link

Well, a lot of Japanese Noise wouldn't exist, so I would probably have stopped listening to music a long time ago and, as a result, committed suicide. So you would never have gotten to see hundreds of fecalporn pop-ups...

Kodanshi, Saturday, 11 August 2001 00:00 (twenty years ago) link

Looking at the (warning - some sarcasm due) compound time sigs, flashy playing, complex song structures, prominent use of keyboard technology evident in modern "indie" music, it's very easy to see just what music would be like had prog never happened. I actually find it quite amazing that progressive music seems to live in this weird little bubble, where the old bands (yes, elp etc) are only brought out as a scary bogeyman whenever some contemporary guitar band gets ideas above their station, and the new bands seem to exist in this hermetic bubble of k-obsessive fandom, where a group like IQ or pendragon can sell shitloads of the rekords they regularly issue, play to big audiences in europe & america (esp. South america, strangely enough) and remain COMPLETELY UNKNOWN outside of said bubble. Oh, and one can, of course appreciate the irony where "indie" is still seen as some kind of post-punk against- thee-man music medium (25 yrs after the actual punk) despite the "indie" bands we (don't) read abt in the k-lam3 |\|/|\3 V nearly always being on major label subsidiaries (sp, mr pinefox?) whilst yer actual contemporary prog band is always on an indie, or more often, artist-owned label. What the fux0r, I'm bored with arguing this point. To further answer dave q's question, kurdt kobain would have had to reference something other than king crimson's "red" to butch vig for his guitar tone on "nevermind", and that's about it. Vietgrove (that's us) are rehearsing for gigs, and if anyone out there can suggest bands we can support, websites, mail lists, radio stations & print 'zines where we can publicise said gigs and get our album reviewed OTHER than prog- only media (which we've already got covered) please mail me off- list.


Norman Fay, Saturday, 11 August 2001 00:00 (twenty years ago) link

I am merely Momus, but they are Comus!

If you have RealAudio, point it here:

Momus, Saturday, 11 August 2001 00:00 (twenty years ago) link

good momus! use your opinion leader/trendsetter's magical powers to promote mighty comus !

francesco, Saturday, 11 August 2001 00:00 (twenty years ago) link

I heard Comus on a compilation called The Dawn Anthology. They were a little bizarre.

I find it funny how there are people who adore bands like Sigur Ros, Godspeed, later Radiohead, Beta Band, Can, Neu!, etc. but claim to hear no redeeming value in bands like Yes, Genesis, King Crimson, Pink Floyd, or even Todd Rundgren.

Funnier yet are people who can't stand classical but own everything by the Rachels and Sigur Ros.

Andy, Saturday, 11 August 2001 00:00 (twenty years ago) link

Look at the attitudes underlying krautrock vs. English and American prog rock (especially Yes). The krautrockers took inspiration from bands like the Stooges, etc., whereas prog rockers decried (if not explicitly, then certainly implicitly) the lack of musicianship that was plaguing rock at the time. There seems to be a lot more self- consciousness in so-called prog rock, and that comes across in the music, I think.

I'm sick of this argument, anyway. What use is it to compare a band like Yes to a band like Neu!, besides obtaining a nice little insult to sling at people that falls apart under closer inspection? I love Can, Neu!, etc., but I have never, nor will I ever, feel compelled to like excrement like Yes. My favorite record store was playing Yes in the basement the other day, and I wanted to puke. Why don't I want to puke when I listen to 'Tago Mago,' if prog and krautrock are so similar?

Clarke B., Saturday, 11 August 2001 00:00 (twenty years ago) link

I don't think it's strange at all, Clarke. The music of the most popular progressive rock bands is significantly different from krautrock - one key difference being prog's ties to / borrowings from western classical music from the romantic to post-romantic era. All those harmonic ideas, structures, etc., make the music sound different.

Josh, Saturday, 11 August 2001 00:00 (twenty years ago) link

Obviously Yes aren't very like Neu!, and that specific comparison doesn;t go very far, but nor are ELP, King Crimson, Van Der Graaf Generator, Henry Cow, Comus, Caravan, Egg, Badger etc etc like yes. Or indeed Tangerine Dream or Faust very like Neu!...

The generalisation "UK prog rock" is poorly formed, in terms of attitude, technique, style, form, content, etc: I'd still say it remains a far LAZIER demon than the counter-demon Clarke is irritably picking up. Norman's point is pretty good, I think. Citing Yes's allegedly vomit-worthiness (I kinda like em sometimes, but I like Neu! more) as a reason for pre-judging and excluding a whole currently functioning worldlet of music totally out of sight and mind is just rubbish. And Josh's classical harmonies and forms won't solve the problem either. The who-can-play-who-can't- hostility is still very live and complex in Brit Free improv: and I stick to my not- always-well-argued belief that some of punk's anti-prog power came from a populist reactionary fear of the radical world of free improv.

Japanoise — for example — casually combines prog AND stooges heritage...

mark s, Saturday, 11 August 2001 00:00 (twenty years ago) link

I've decided that one of my missions this year is to investigate prog. Being an NME reader for most of my impressionable years I was told that prog = all that is wrong with the world, and now I hate the NME I realise there's a good chance prog = good. Therefore I have 'The Least We Can Do Is Wave To Each Other' by Van Der Graaf Generator on order from HMV (for £5.99!). A good place to start?

DG, Saturday, 11 August 2001 00:00 (twenty years ago) link

My comment was by no means intended to be an insult to those who do not like prog rock. And obviously no one should find that to be a sensitive issue, since liking prog is tantamount these days to basing your diet on liverwurst. I merely find hypocrisy with those who have a laugh at the extended/goofy song structures, the conceptual nature, the musicianly skill of prog rock but enjoy the very same elements in post-rock. Furthermore, if you want to apply the same 'self- unconsciousness' tops 'self-consciousness' principle within more standard pop music, you would have to love Sebadoh and Guided by Voices but loathe the Beach Boys and anything produced by Phil Spector.

There are several people I know who would think of vomiting upon hearing Yes because they know that any sense of pleasure derived from their music would result in snickering from their peer group. I would never attempt to intimate that this is your situation, Clarke, because I do not know you. However, I do find that the mentality is quite common.

(I happen to like Neu! and Can a hell of a lot more than Yes myself, but I do not find prog bands to be inherently evil. Making Roger Dean haha-funny remarks about the artwork on Kid A is liable to result in squirming from a Radiohead fan. I find this funny.)

Andy, Saturday, 11 August 2001 00:00 (twenty years ago) link

There are several people I know who would think of vomiting upon hearing Yes because they know that any sense of pleasure derived from their music would result in snickering from their peer group. I would never attempt to intimate that this is your situation, Clarke, because I do not know you.

Just to clarify, I didn't even know it was Yes until I asked the girl at the counter. ;-)

Clarke B., Sunday, 12 August 2001 00:00 (twenty years ago) link

And I know full well that I succumbed to the over-generalization counter-demon; sorry about that, I had to leave for work really soon.

I do not think prog tendencies are something to be afraid of, something to put down at every possible moment. That sort of thinking is what makes a lot of indie bands afraid to experiment, what makes them bull-headedly "simple" and unambitious. I guess I think that some bands - bands like Yes - are just terrible at executing those "progressive" ideas. Their music comes off as clinical, asexual, muso wanking. Bands like Henry Cow, (some) King Crimson, etc. sound completely different - they truly sound like they're (warning: cliche ahead) "pushing the limits of rock," instead of just demonstrating their technical prowess.

Clarke B., Sunday, 12 August 2001 00:00 (twenty years ago) link

How can wanking be asexual?

Tom, Sunday, 12 August 2001 00:00 (twenty years ago) link

Oh and to answer the is 'Least we can do is wave to each other' as being a good place to start.

Yes it is.

Though, I can't believe you haven't already started, be it listening to Queen, 10cc or other bands that were more conventionally pop / rock but were heavily influenced by Prog rock. I think that the Prog Rock that most influenced to OK Conmputer era Radiohead was 10cc's 'How Dare You' album.

But to narrow in the definition of Prog Rock (lets call it 'Classic Prog Rock', or 'High Prog') then you cant really start at a better place than 'Least...' to find the /best and the worst of the genre.

Its very early on in the History of Prog Rock and the contenmporary albums by the other prog rockers are much less anmbitious - this and the next two VDGG albums (H to He and Pawn Hearts) - its a great way to see if you can get past the bombast and ponderousness.

Me, I like it. With the lush ballad of Refugees and the stunningly over blown White Hammer (how awesome must the ending of White Hammer been live?) you get a pretty good idea of the full range of VDGGs power - and not too much of the bloat and tedium of prog. When at the height of Punk Johnny Rotten was given a GLR radio show he turned up with Peter Hammil albums. Most prog is hopelessly pastoral burblings vbut there is an incredible feeling of violence in VDGG (esp Killer) that maybe only the Larks / Starless / Red period if KC also captured.

Alexander Blair and Family, Sunday, 12 August 2001 00:00 (twenty years ago) link

SOME prog is hopelessly pastoral burblings: but I think *not* that much. And also it's maybe the least remembered or hated today (Barclay James Harvest aren't considered the Enemy by antiquated punkers: they were tedious rubbish, but no one wastes time today attacking them; while the Canterbury set often get a free pass out of the Prog Compound thanks to Robert Wyatt connection, or Zappa fan-dom, or similar).

Who on the board will defend the Harvest? Or Nursery Crymes era Genesis?

Blimey Dave Q's question is a hard one to get a grip on: you know that Mark Perry has argued that anyone listening hard at the time could instantly tell that the Clash were ELP fans?! Poss.a malicious joke, but in context I don't think it was. Another strike against the "influence" theory as standardly used hurrah!

mark s, Sunday, 12 August 2001 00:00 (twenty years ago) link

Funny, for me it's just the opposite: Yes at their peak (1971-1977) made some of the most passionate rock music I think I've ever heard, bar none [I'd particularly recommend RELAYER to DG, if you want to jump wholly into the fire rather than begin by getting your feet wet]. "Gates of Delerium", "To Be Over", "Awaken", "Siberian Khatru"...Ever hear the live version of "Ritual" (e.g. on the album "Yesshows")? Far more out there than most Krautrock I've heard; certainly more out there than Neu! But anyway, the beauty of that music, and the way the various parts coalesce into the gestalt so well, is just on another plane to me. I started listening to that stuff as an early teenager; I still listen to that period of the band with as much fervor a decade and a half later.

Comparatively, Henry Cow, at least to me...there's something missing. Mostly sounds too clinical, technically flashy, and not much beyond that for the most part. I don't find Leg End to be exciting listening so much as a group of musicians trying to impress me with their musical influences and the number of sticky, intricate passages they can play.

As an aside, one other thing I feel Yes had an advantage versus other bands mentioned (including Genesis and ELP) is that they for the most part eschewed any self-conscious need for humor/irony in their music, titles, etc; the "We WILL prove to you that we don't take ourselves too seriously, dammit" Syndrome. I was listening to Slapp Happy (related to the RIO/Canterbury scene of prog)'s "Me and Parvati", which I think is a practically flawless pop song otherwise, but the one tarnish for me is those idiotic male vocals, which a) aren't very funny and b) certainly aren't necessary to the effectiveness of the song; they seem to have been inserted primarily just to let the band say 'See? We have a sense of humor! HAH!'. Bah, humbug. I'm glad Yes mostly said fuck it to that; as a result, they come off as one of the more 'out in the open' bands for that genre. I would say the same thing about my other favorite prog band, Magma [another great choice, DG, is Magma's "Live: Hhai"].

Joe, Sunday, 12 August 2001 00:00 (twenty years ago) link

Other random notes:

Don't listen to Nursery Cryme so much nowadays (played it a billion times growing up, rite of passage), but certainly the height of their pastoral-ness, Trespass, is still one of my favorites. "Stagnation" is perhaps my favorite Genesis song.

VdGG: I'd say consider Godbluff, for the first side of the album alone; agreed that "Least We Can Do" is pretty good, and strangely never talked about with them. Pawn Hearts has a great first side; the second side is rather messy. "H to He" I find comparatively lackluster. "Killers" is a silly, silly song by any stretch of the imagination (though it has a great riff). The big VdGG Achilles Heel is Hammill's overwrought vocal performances.

Joe, Sunday, 12 August 2001 00:00 (twenty years ago) link

Unfortunately, progressive rock has typically been defined by stereotypes rather than reality. The fact that only a few prog bands are widely recognized (Yes, ELP, etc) and the stereotypes can be applied to some of them (ELP bombast, Yes airy-fairy themes) does not help matters any.

However, when you try to apply these stereotypes to bands like Kenso, Crucis, Alphataurus, Djam Karet, Birdsongs of the Mesozoic, DFA, etc., it doesn't fit. Yet rather than re-assess the stereotype, most have found it easier to just ignore everything that doesn't fit the stereotypical mold.

Someone raised the question of how Krautrock and prog can be related when Can and Yes seem so far away. The answer is quite simple: everything in the middle that links the two has been eternally ignored. Banished to small independant labels (often outside of the US/UK), the music that makes up the meat of the genre is something that one has to intentionally pursue to ever be exposed to it.

As such, it seems that these bands are destined to never be known outside of progressive rock circles. If you were wondering why these circles seem to have such a different view of "prog" than those on the outside... well, that's why. It's more than mere fandom.

Attitude and perception is everything. Some have pointed out: "how can some people worship the "post-rock" bands, yet see nothing of value at all in the "prog" bands?". Current gigging prog bands often have a mantra: "whatever you do, do *not* call yourself prog". The stigma is so thick that music that would otherwise be loved can be hated when the "prog" label is affixed to it.

Unfortunately, some rather vocal prog fans often lash out at everything else, acquire a superiority complex, and take a snobbish outlook on music. Sadly, these fans only add to the stereotype. They do not represent the majority, but they're the ones that get seen.

With luck, perhaps at some point, music will be judged solely on terms of quality. Progressive rock is far from a faultless music. However, it's faults in no way outnumber those of any other genre of music - rather, they are simply scrutinized on a merciless level. Sturgeon's Law ("90% of everything is crap") applies to prog as well as every other type of music. Unfortunately, when critics take an approach to a type of music where they ignore the other 10% entirely, that type of music simply doesn't have a fighting chance.

*Legion*, Sunday, 12 August 2001 00:00 (twenty years ago) link

Mark S: other rehabilitating factors on the Canterbury scene, as I could see it last decade, were Ultramarine and Gorky's Zygotic Mynci.

Robin Carmody, Sunday, 12 August 2001 00:00 (twenty years ago) link

Good call Robin - I reckon GZM are a better example of prog by another name smelling sweeter than krautrock is.

Tim, Monday, 13 August 2001 00:00 (twenty years ago) link

You're all strange and I haven't bothered reading much of what you've written as it is the MORNING and long words are too much. For PROGRESSIVE ROCK take as your guide a horse whisperer on his work experience. Go for the obvious ones - RICK WAKEMAN, CLOSE TO THE EDGE by YES (it is gr8! Funny noises!), A TIME AND A WORD also by YES, the solo works of JON ANDERSON, but hmmm I would still suggest destroying Pink Floyd. Basically, Rick Wakeman is a dude - although he's better than Jon Anderson, Jons solo stuff is good.

Anyway!! If it hadn't existed someone would have had to invent it. And with my love of capes, it would probably have to have been me. It was fantastic! Apart from the music, and the hippy bollocks they talked all the time. I reckon Rick Wakeman was right on. And you lot who don't agree are hoary old "poonks" who nicked all your ideas of Julie Burchill, of all people.

Posting on ILM is scary, innit. I'm going back to ILE.

Sarah, Monday, 13 August 2001 00:00 (twenty years ago) link

Ah, Gorky's -- currently listening to _Gorky 5_, a vacation find (wasn't released in the States). They definitely called my attention to Kevin Ayers, to be certain, but what I think makes them particularly good is that they didn't forget to fry as well, whereas many random encounters with pastoral prog of the seventies led me to conclude that the creators thought snakebite was the strongest drug ever. HM.

I first realized that Genesis might in fact have something thanks to Human Drama's cover of "The Carpet Crawlers," and while I haven't really taken any huge plunges, I do have a couple of things kicking around. The truly obscure (and to my mind potentially very interesting) English prog stuff I haven't properly explored yet, but what I've heard from the Slapp Happy family tree raised some smiles.

When it comes to modern stuff, the various No-Man spinoffs and projects unsurprisingly catch my ear -- Porcupine Tree, sure, but I'm very intrigued by the upcoming Henry Fool album, which features, oddly enough, a guy who's a member of Pendragon, mentioned up above. But then again anything with Tim Bowness singing automatically gets my vote. ;-)

Ned Raggett, Tuesday, 14 August 2001 00:00 (twenty years ago) link

Tim Bowness singing for Pendragon would actually make pendragon listenable IMO. Didn't pd's old keyboard player wind up in the mission or something? hur hur hur....


Norman Fay, Thursday, 16 August 2001 00:00 (twenty years ago) link

seven months pass...
Ahh, what a great thread.


Marina organ, Thursday, 11 April 2002 00:00 (twenty years ago) link

I hate it when I read an old thread and think "Jeez, what an idiot this "Clarke B." guy was!"

I say this because I recently bought 'Red' by King Crimson and I love it to death. And I also realized that 'Deceit' by This Heat is utterly prog, and I love that as well.

Clarke B., Friday, 12 April 2002 00:00 (twenty years ago) link

ILM has, over the last year or so, persuaded me to re-think my entrenched (since about 1975!) dislike of all that is prog. I haven't got around to *buying* anything yet, but I had a VDGG album in my 'carry it around the shop while I decide' pile in Scorpion Recds (Wycombe) a few weeks back. I decided against obviously, but I guess it's progress. I enjoyed a VDGG track which was on an UNCUT free CD a while back - foghorn sax and rumblin' bass - nice.

Is any of the Canterbury stuff any good? What's a good entry point?

Dr. C, Friday, 12 April 2002 00:00 (twenty years ago) link

I'm interested in how prog got going and built up momentum. What were the first recognizably *prog* records? Soft Machine? Genesis's debut? In the mid-60's lots of to-be-progsters (Anderson,Banks,Squire,Howe and others) were in all sorts of freakbeat/psyche combos. You can catch some of them a bit later doing proto-prog on a couple of compilations I have called We Can Fly vol 1 and 2 on the Past and Present label. They may have been compiled by The Bevis Frond, though I'm not 100% sure of that. They're billed as albums of Psyche Rareties, but most of the tracks are from round about 68/69 and there's certainly more complexity and time changes around the place.

Dr. C, Friday, 12 April 2002 00:00 (twenty years ago) link

marcello and i were sort of discussing this before you arrived last night dr c, in ref the strange and rarely discussed world-before-pepper confluence of r&b, free jazz, proto-prog, proto-psychedelia and half a dozen other things that was the "london scene" c62-66 => you only evah get FLASHES of it retroepsrtively ,because it is rendered into history with very selective hindsight

important: pink floyd, cream, tomorrow, amm (!!), soft machine, king crimson, graham bond organisation (?anyweay the wierdy end of the r&b crowd: this is what marcello and i were discussing... ) the moody blues, procol harum, savoy brown (who i haf nevah heard a NOTE by), maybe the nice

and of course hendrix in his first london manifestation

mark s, Friday, 12 April 2002 00:00 (twenty years ago) link

Mark S is otm about the mix of musics leading to prog -- interesting that it really only seemed to be going on in the UK, as American bands were content to either play out the psyche/garage thing, or head straight for the blues. Anyway, other big names were The Move, Pretty Things, The Who, Small Faces (title track on Ogden's Nut Gone is straight prog), Traffic and of course the Beatles (early Yes is more Beatles '65 than anything else).

It's a pretty clean line from whimsical psychedelic and hyped up blues-rock to early prog, but what I want to know is when did it really start becoming a technical thing? My guess is that notion prog musicians should have loads of chops comes from the same school that said rock guitarists should know tons of blues licks, and be able to one up each other (Eric Clapton competing with Jeff Beck, each of whom were knocked out by Jimi Hendrix, etc).

dleone, Friday, 12 April 2002 00:00 (twenty years ago) link

**marcello and i were sort of discussing this before you arrived last night dr c**

Oh bugger. I'm sorry I missed that - that's definitely one of *my* areas - we'll have to revive it another time. Timebox/Bo Street Runners/Patto sort of encapsulate this transition from r+b/soul thru to (pop)prog - they probably come into this somewhere. Tomorrow - interesting thru Keith West connection ('Theme from a Teenage Opera' - best recd ever), but a bit crap.

Agree with the 'selective hindsight' idea - Nuggets/Rubble et al probably doesn't help, no matter how nice those comps are, as they do package and select along predictable lines. A great idea for a box- set would be one which somehow shows the transition from 1963 beat pop to full-on prog and explains WHAT WAS REALLY GOING ON!

Another urgent and key question is "Are the Graham Bond Organisation" the ugliest band evah?" Their photos in 'In-Crowd' box would scare horses.

Dr. C, Friday, 12 April 2002 00:00 (twenty years ago) link

In evaluating the 60's musics which would later become prog, we shouldn't just restrict ourselves to the pop/rock camp. A lot of the things that were being done in jazz at that time and earlier had a big influence as well. Prog's emphasis on technical chops and complexity may have seemed new in pop, but it was a long-standing feature of jazz by that time. Miles Davis and Charles Mingus, to name only two, were doing experiments in long-form composition during the 60's which only the most ostrich-like prog-rockers could have avoided knowing about.

o. nate, Friday, 12 April 2002 00:00 (twenty years ago) link

Are Patto any gd, Dr. C? I'm sort've tempted, but have burnt before. Ditto: The Groundhogs.

The Sensational Alex Harvey Band must give The Graham Bond Organisation a run for their money in the pug ug stakes.

Inspired by this thread - true! - I risked a whole pound on a Magma CD at lunchtime...

Andrew L, Friday, 12 April 2002 00:00 (twenty years ago) link

Dr C, as far as canterbury musick goes, I like Caravan's "The Land of Grey & Pink", Hatfield & the North, National Health, and Soft Machine's "Third" a lot. Any of them (esp the Caravan and the Softs) would give you an idea of what the canterbury sound was all about. Be aware that "Tweeness" is a criticism that could fairly be thrown at a lot of it - caravan's lyrics are a bit much even for me, but I still like it. I like "Tomorrow" tho', so WTF do I know, eh? ;)

I note that this new "Mojo" I bought has a big feature on van der graaf generator. I notice also that in order to prop the band, the writer does the whole "they're not like the others" schtick re other prog bands. Oh well.....

Norman Phay, Friday, 12 April 2002 00:00 (twenty years ago) link

Canterbury: Caravan's "In the Land of Grey and Pink", Hatfield and the North's "The Rotter's Club", Soft Machine's "Third", National Health ("Of Queue's and Cures" has often been suggested). Though even here there is great variation among the bands. "In the Land of Grey and Pink" is the poppiest, whereas National Health is a lot more towards the jazz end of the spectrum. Canterbury is perhaps the most 'incestuous' type of prog, because it's mostly a tight-knit group of musicians who play together in various permutations in each other's bands for the past 30 years.

The 'touchstone' prog album (a la "Bitches Brew" is the touchstone fusion album) is usually considered King Crimson's "In the Court of the Crimson King", though there are also various influential bands/albums often cited as leading up to prog (these are often referred to as 'proto-prog' albums/bands): Sgt. Pepper's (pretty obviously), Moody Blues' Days of Future Passed, Procol Harum's "A Whiter Shade of Pale", etc.

Joe, Friday, 12 April 2002 00:00 (twenty years ago) link

I realized I have a track from 1965 with an unrecognizable Jon Anderson singing. The band is The Warriors and the track is on the Decca/Deram comp - 'The Beat Scene'. Otha bands on the album - The Pete Best Four and Lulu!

Dr. C, Saturday, 13 April 2002 00:00 (twenty years ago) link

two weeks pass...
I have to admit I quite like ELP, but it isn't really proper prog - it's just Emerson wanking around on keyboards, which can get boring at times. However, with King Crimson, Henry Cow, Genesis, Pink Floyd and even Yes until after Relayer, there is something more then people showing off what good musicians they are, It's actually really good music. Nursery Cryme is one of my favourite records, as are Leg End, Larks' Tongues in Aspic, Wish You Were Here and Close to the Edge. They are records that really do something for you. Can, Faust and Tangerine Dream are also really good. I don't know what I'd listen to if Prog hadn't happened.

jonathan thrak, Thursday, 2 May 2002 00:00 (twenty years ago) link

Dr.C - do you have any Argent records? Might be a way back in to 1970s prog given that you heart The Zombies.

I ask because I came across a vinyl copy of their 1972 LP "All Together Now" at the weekend, and promptly snapped it up since it's got extended versions of their their two 'pop' hits on it: Rod Argent & Chris White's "Hold Your Head Up" and Russ Ballard's "Tragedy" (actually, "Tragedy" might not have been a hit tho' it was a single) both of which are fantastic. The rest of the LP on first listen is not as good, but there's a wonderful blues number at the end called "Pure Love" (only problem - it's got loads of prog frippery appended to it: an instrumental intro and 'finale', and then before the intro a 5-minute organ fantasia by Rod Argent!!! Yikes.)

Jeff W, Thursday, 2 May 2002 00:00 (twenty years ago) link

No, I don't have any Argent, and I've only heard 'Hold your head up'. I've heard bad reports from trusted sources so have avoided to date. I'm not sure that I could take prog frippery from such heroes as White and Argent.

Dr. C, Thursday, 2 May 2002 00:00 (twenty years ago) link

What would music be like if PROG never happened?
The Smashing Pumpkins would sound like Napalm Death.
Orbs Adventures Beyond the Ultraworld would be an EP. Rick Wakeman would be behind the counter asking me If I'd like to 'Supersize' my order.

Lord Custos 2.0 beta, Thursday, 2 May 2002 00:00 (twenty years ago) link

Rick Wakeman would be behind the counter asking me If I'd like to 'Supersize' my order.

Actually, New Age would take prog's place as the world's most maligned escapist genre, and Wakeman would have composed the theme to Entertainment Tonight.

dleone, Thursday, 2 May 2002 00:00 (twenty years ago) link


Fans/Haters of Prog/Trance/Ambient/New Age might like to try out this thread I just posted Here

Lord Custos 2.0 beta, Thursday, 2 May 2002 00:00 (twenty years ago) link

Crap. Prog is the best music ever.

Anna Rose, Saturday, 11 May 2002 00:00 (twenty years ago) link

you dig prog but you hate rap, anna rose? (cries)

geeta, Saturday, 11 May 2002 00:00 (twenty years ago) link

Duh. Rap doesn't even deserve to be classed as 'music', it's so crap. And prog (being completely the opposite) rules! Look: rappers have NO brains, and progressive musicians have to be either geniuses or fucked in the head to come up with what they do. Either way, it's great stuff.

Anna Rose, Wednesday, 15 May 2002 00:00 (twenty years ago) link

Prog genii v. prog mentalists!

IMO, Greg Lake/Jon Anderson = genii, Fripp/Emerson/Vander mentalists (in a good way), Peart = mentalist (in a dull Canuck way), Roger Waters/Ian Anderson too crap to be either

dave q, Wednesday, 15 May 2002 00:00 (twenty years ago) link

but prog IS rap, method man vs magma anyone, pseudo-mystic gothich shenanaigans (but then, method man and magma are neither rap nor prog?).

gareth, Wednesday, 15 May 2002 00:00 (twenty years ago) link

eleven months pass...
What if prog had never happened?
What a sinister premise, fit for rags like "Tales Of Terror
and Adventure" and "Horrors Of Space." Prog is totally
unfugwiddable. Oh sure, there's a layer of crap on the
surface, but if you dig deeper there's a huge treasure
trove of fantastic prog records. There's so many mindblowing
classics from Italy ALONE that it can make a collector's
head explode (not to mention his pocket book).

One of the things
I like most about listening to tiny subgenres - you can
listen to a beautiful piece of music and suddenly realize
that you are 1 of only thousands of people who have ever
heard this before. It's a curious feeling of discovery -
like finding a perfect unique diamond nugget floating
down a muddy river.

Squirrel_Police (Squirrel_Police), Friday, 2 May 2003 20:20 (nineteen years ago) link

Probably more pretentious than it is today, considering prog sort of produced a backclash against everything it stood for.

There would have been no Tortoise, Spiritualized nor Yo La Tengo though.

Geir Hongro (GeirHong), Friday, 2 May 2003 21:56 (nineteen years ago) link

...or Radiohead.

Charles McCain (Charles McCain), Friday, 2 May 2003 22:53 (nineteen years ago) link

Prog Rock was probably the worst idea in the history of music. The only time Prog Rock is ever any good is when it's either at its least Proggy or, in a strange way, at its MOST Proggy (e.g. Van der Graaf's "Plague of Lighthouse Keepers", which is so ludicrous it's admirable). Hardly any music that was any good in the 1970s was Prog Rock and, certainly, the best Krautrock has absolutely nothing in common with British Prog Rock - unless you count Hawkwind or Pink Floyd as prog rock, which most Prog Rockers don't. A lot of contemporary music which people seem to think is "prog rock influenced" nowadays is more influenced by Krautrock or Pink Floyd or Miles Davis/jazz. As for Japanese musicians, well I've yet to hear a Japanese artist who was any good (ducks for cover>

Dadaismus (Dada), Saturday, 3 May 2003 16:12 (nineteen years ago) link

*throws stone at dadaismus*

Julio Desouza (jdesouza), Saturday, 3 May 2003 19:56 (nineteen years ago) link

if prog never happened it would happen soon. people get bored of verse chorus verse or some dance groove. RUINS are the best prog band ever. the AMT school, well... yeh you may as well listen to hawkwind's "space ritual"

bob snoom, Sunday, 4 May 2003 09:52 (nineteen years ago) link

and while the cardiacs are completely irritating and unnecessary my heart would sink if they were somehow removed from history

bob snoom, Sunday, 4 May 2003 10:07 (nineteen years ago) link

Dada said:

"As for Japanese musicians, well I've yet to hear a Japanese
artist who was any good"

I couldn't devise a better rebuttal.

Squirrel_Police (Squirrel_Police), Monday, 5 May 2003 01:47 (nineteen years ago) link

...or Radiohead.

Without prog, Radiohead would have continued to build on the musical approach of "The Bends", which was hardly proggy at all.

Geir Hongro (GeirHong), Monday, 5 May 2003 12:08 (nineteen years ago) link

I'm no expert on Radiohead but I don't actually see what's all that "proggy" about them anyway. Beyond a kind of Roger Waters-style Middle-England middle-class angst and, as any prog rocker will inform you, Pink Floyd are not really a Prog Rock band.

Dadaismus (Dada), Monday, 5 May 2003 12:12 (nineteen years ago) link

Alexander o.t.m

maybe it's unfair or misleading to group Hammill and VdGG as 'progressive' anyway -- they were on the same label and tour bus as prog bands, but they were the band that rocked out on the triple bill 'prog' evenings and bought them to evenings climax -- they were also a bit more 'leave nothing to the imagination'/ full on/ loud/ scare your relatives -- if they were heavy, they were cathartic in that aggressive rock way that we saw with the pistols and the stones rather than bombastic in the pseudo-operatic style of queen

if Lydon hadn't heard Hammil/VdGG (Nadir's Big Chance was even 'stripped down rock') he wouldn't have sounded the same at all -- the vocal histrionics as visceral drama/content and the cynical/ contemptuous appraisal of "establishment" practises seem comparable to Hammill to me -- and this 'punk' Rotten admitted to 'influences' -- so i think Hammill/VdGG might be better called 'alternative' -- 'singer/songwriter', 'jazz-rock', 'sci-fi', 'fantasy/horror' w/out falling into all of the traps that are the hallmarks of metal bands, glam bands, peaceful hippy bands and andrew-lloyd webber sounding bands, as well as so many of the prog or art-rock bands that were so easy listening -- they were punk-art rock

o.k. Hammil's dramatic over-blow vocals are initially off-putting, but certainly no less fun and artful than Johhny Rotten qua Richard III

george gosset (gegoss), Monday, 5 May 2003 15:01 (nineteen years ago) link

I think it's possible to exaggerate the influence of Hammill/VDGG on John Lydon - I am pretty certain Lydon would have sang exactly the same if he'd never heard "Nadir's Big Chance". By the way, VDGG/Hammill not bombastic? Is this the same band we're talking about?

Dadaismus (Dada), Monday, 5 May 2003 15:06 (nineteen years ago) link

FWIW, most hard-core/'seaseoned' fans who have followed the genre for years don't really spend much time thinking about whether something "is/n't" prog. The prog 'genre' (if one could even still call it that) is considered more like a cluster around which bands fall/don't fall to varying degrees depending on one's individual sensibilities and appraised over time by general consensus. For example, in most discussion groups and review sites, the question is not "What is prog?" or "Are [X] prog?"* (such posts invariably get responded to with one-liners or flames) but "To what degree does [X] have qualities that would appeal to people who follow/like prog?"

In the case of Pink Floyd, the answer that I would think 9 out of 10 would answer "to a very high degree", high enough to indeed classify them functionally as a prog band. Pink Floyd is on all the major prog reference sites (except those to lazy to bother to list them, because they want to be devoted to more obscure stuff), they are viewed as a major influence not only on Krautrock (again perceived by many as falling under a general rubric of 'prog rock') but also other, lesser-known prog rock bands from the 70s, particularly out of France (e.g., Pollen). More importantly, they arose out of the same cultural period/context of the other British prog bands during that time, and had many of the same surface qualities: the instruments (e.g., Moog, mellotron in the early days), the electronic versus acoustic shifts, the song dynamics shifts, the extended length of the songs and multi-part suites, the studio experimentation, the sci-fi (and in the Syd years) and fantasy imagery, the cover art/music/concept album feel, etc. Most fans (at least the ones in America) who were around during the time considered them as belonging to the prog classification (same with Jethro Tull).

Van der Graaf Generator to an even greater extent then Pink Floyd would get a "to a high degree" answer, and if you posted on a prog rock forum, "Wait...what is VdGG doing on here? They're not a prog band!!" I doubt you would be taken seriously. They arose from the Charisma record label (same label as Genesis), Hammill translated the lyrics of Italian prog rock bands in the 70s, and again their music has all the trappings: again, odd-time signatures, the instrumentation, the extended songs and multi-part suites, the huge dynamic shifts (sure, they had very aggressive moments--they also had very soft moments, too--and also other prog rock bands had very aggressive moments as well), and yes the bombastic quality.

* the exceptions to this are Yes, Genesis, King Crimson, and ELP, who for better or for worse, fair or unfair, like it or not, are pretty indisputably 'prog rock' as they are the 'archetype bands' of the genre...

Joe (Joe), Monday, 5 May 2003 16:07 (nineteen years ago) link

it's Hammill's attitude in his lyrics, in the characters he inhabits, that is really the only way i can reconcile Rotten and Hammill personally, ie apart from what others, maybe critics have said about Lydon 'being into' Hammill, the confessed blessed influence -- Hammill's a punk in that literary thing which is often overdone but only done by Ham./vdgg (until later people apparently thought Magazine's second album was in some ways 'prog') -- the snotty nosed voice of truth

Hammill played so many Richard III/ sicko get under your skin games in his lyrics, like Lydon and Devoto (and Kevin Rowland anyone ?)

i think it was nice that people had the time to allow that much tomfoolery in their art-rock music back then

george gosset (gegoss), Monday, 5 May 2003 17:59 (nineteen years ago) link

"Prog" in a way is a bad label because it covers too much. Within "prog", you have krautrock, Cantebury rock, art rock and symphonic rock, even some stuff that was fairly close to glam.

I prefer to use the term "symphonic rock" for all the music I love from this period. That is, particularly Yes and Genesis.

Geir Hongro (GeirHong), Monday, 5 May 2003 18:27 (nineteen years ago) link

Parliament-Funkadelic were more "progressive" than most "prog" bands anywho. WTF?

nickalicious (nickalicious), Monday, 5 May 2003 18:33 (nineteen years ago) link

(I mean that in that most bands generally considered "prog" were simply merging rock instrumentation with ancient classical composition styles, whereas P-Funk were exploring [or "progressing"] into uncharted musical, compositional, and lyrical waters, obv.)

nickalicious (nickalicious), Monday, 5 May 2003 18:35 (nineteen years ago) link

Re: George and VDGG,
You're nuts. VDGG are as prog as it comes. Hammill may
scream more than most prog vocalists, but his lyrics
bandy about fairies and science fiction and grand
dirigibles with the best of them. The title track of
_Nadir's Big Chance_ uses power chords, and the songs
are short, otherwise it's no more stripped down then
his other solo albums. Not that it isn't good; it's the
only Hammill solo album that I bothered to keep.

Squirrel_Police (Squirrel_Police), Monday, 5 May 2003 19:36 (nineteen years ago) link

This is pretty much where it currently stands among the fandom...The 'prog community' consists of strange bedfellows with disparate tastes, for whom it means different things. It is comprised of those who define prog as "Prog Rock" (i.e., the style), a la Geir, and often this is meant to specifically refer to 'Symphonic Rock' (as Geir said)--the perception of "what prog is" at large for those who don't closely follow the genre. Then there are also those fans who define "progressive" music (note no capital letters) as an adjective (i.e., NOT in reference to the style)--adventuresome, pushing the boundaries, etc. Then there are the fans like me, who are fans of the music arising out of both definitions.

Anyway, this is why those (usually new) people who ask "What is prog?" on a prog rock forum get readily ignored, because it's a question that has already been played out on those venues a hundred times over, and the answer is, basically, as above.

Joe (Joe), Monday, 5 May 2003 19:40 (nineteen years ago) link

"I mean that in that most bands generally considered "prog" were simply merging rock instrumentation with ancient classical composition styles"

I disagree with the "most bands" thing.
When Yes, Genesis, and King Crimson released their
best albums, they were completely new sounding.
Not to mention the early RIO and Zeuhl bands, who
were definitely blazing their own trails.

Not that there weren't some bands who took classical
music and rephrased it. ELP, Los Canarios and Fireballet
did this to varying degrees of success. ELP have their
moments, but ultimately suck. I'd agree that they weren't
very progressive, after the first album.

PS. the phrase "ancient classical" does not ring well.
Classical music is 18th century, not ancient, and
there's far more of 20th century composers in prog.
Not to mention jazz.

Squirrel_Police (Squirrel_Police), Monday, 5 May 2003 19:52 (nineteen years ago) link

If you're talking Peter Hammill, you are talking a huge catalogue. Some of it's most undeniably Prog Rock (e.g., "Lemmings" on Pawn Hearts). Some of its stripped-down, punk-like stuff (e.g., "Golden Promises" on A Black Box). Some of its simple singer/songwriter ballads (e.g., "I will Find You" on Fireships) that I couldn't imagine John Lydon singing. Some of it's experimental instrumentals (e.g. Loops and Reels)...all of these are different aspects of a rather long career.

Joe (Joe), Monday, 5 May 2003 19:53 (nineteen years ago) link

Hammill's careers lyrics have been consistent -- it's his somewhat pessimistic world of situations, the DIY aesthetic of much of the VdGG and PH sound, the defiance, the single bloody-minded-ness, the sneer

and the music is more often than not pretty harsh, or at least brash -- it's the attitude, incomparable to Yes, Genesis, ELP and Crimson -- VdGG, a band that didn't make it past 5 years on and off, and a white-knuckled 'tell it like it is' intent -- menacingly convincing whether 16th century papel logic or psychologically haunted houses or lighthouses, or compulsive gardening -- always coming back to a message he seems unconcerned people might find too bleak -- grotesque rather than grand

i can't see Hammill's lyrics as fanciful except to the extent that you can ignore the metaphorical foundations (in the same way that you might have thought Peter Greenaway's films as merely decorative)

i find it hard to connect this band to many others because of Hammell's unique lyrical urgency, and the 'big' 'prog' bands seem frankly amoungst the most superficially related of all music, except if you ignore the overall dramatic effect and restrict yourself to musically technical lists of indicia of marginal artistic import

george gosset (gegoss), Monday, 5 May 2003 21:19 (nineteen years ago) link

'I'd agree that they weren't very progressive, after the first album'

'Toccata' 'Toccata' 'Toccata'! Fuckin' christ I still haven't heard anything as bonkers as that. Like if Eumir and Ruggero Deodato were twins

dave q, Tuesday, 6 May 2003 08:40 (nineteen years ago) link

I mean that in that most bands generally considered "prog" were simply merging rock instrumentation with ancient classical composition styles

Which was something rock needed. Rock needed to be more similar to 18th century classical music. Too bad the punk, disco and funk fans didn't get that point.

Geir Hongro (GeirHong), Tuesday, 6 May 2003 09:49 (nineteen years ago) link

Classical music is 18th century, not ancient, and
there's far more of 20th century composers in prog.

Depends. You don't hear a lot of 20th century composers in the music of melody-oriented prog acts such as Yes and Genesis. But there is definitely a lot of 20th century "avante garde" in krautrock and even a symphonic rock act like ELP did a lot of Copland and Bartok.

Geir Hongro (GeirHong), Tuesday, 6 May 2003 09:51 (nineteen years ago) link

oh fuck off geir

say something interesting for once, Tuesday, 6 May 2003 10:16 (nineteen years ago) link

and dave is usually such a nice guy.

Julio Desouza (jdesouza), Tuesday, 6 May 2003 10:19 (nineteen years ago) link

I was listening to that album just the other day, first time in a long, long while. Tocatta is indeed excellent, even with Carl Palmer's "percussion movement" (ha ha ha). I think "Tocatta"'s probably the best ELP ever did, actually. Also a great one on that album is the "Karn Evil 9 Pt. 2" (or whatever it's called)--kind of reminds me of Bernstein, maybe because of the salsa(?) part in the middle. I have that one on sheet music somewhere, and it's pretty insane.

Joe (Joe), Tuesday, 6 May 2003 11:35 (nineteen years ago) link

"Toccata" is probably the worst ELP ever did. ELP was at their best when they sounded like Yes.

Geir Hongro (GeirHong), Tuesday, 6 May 2003 13:15 (nineteen years ago) link

Fugazi would be a thrash band.

Jon Williams (ex machina), Tuesday, 6 May 2003 13:17 (nineteen years ago) link

"Toccata" is probably the worst ELP ever did. ELP was at their best when they sounded like Yes.

Which was...?

Joe (Joe), Tuesday, 6 May 2003 14:30 (nineteen years ago) link

I think it was during that keyboard solo. And the part with the singing.

dleone (dleone), Tuesday, 6 May 2003 14:31 (nineteen years ago) link

and why would it be the worst? give us an answer that isn't boring and stupid or fuck off

told you once, Tuesday, 6 May 2003 15:45 (nineteen years ago) link

I strongly think Yes deserve more props for originality then
they usually get. During their classic era, they didn't
sound like ANYONE, except King Crimson (slightly) and
the Beatles (slightly).

squirl plise, Tuesday, 6 May 2003 19:07 (nineteen years ago) link

Krautrock perceived by many as falling under a general rubric of 'prog rock'

Not by me or most Krautrock fans or, indeed, by most Krautrock musicians of any note, most of whom considered themselves to be working in opposition to the "canonical" prog rock bands of the time.

Dadaismus (Dada), Wednesday, 7 May 2003 17:14 (nineteen years ago) link

Well, I'm a pretty big krautrock and progressive fan, like I have more ash ra cds than yes cds, though plenty of both, if that's worth anything. I don't really see them as being terribly different, kind of like a venn diagram where thee 2 circles are very close together. To an extent, it depends if one sees krautrock as just the correct names ie can/amon duul/faust/neu stuff, or are these just the best-regarded part of a wider movement, like would you include wallenstein, shicke fuchs & fruhling, grobschnitt, eloy etc. plus with prog - is it just pomp rock like elp & the floyd, or are you going to include VdGG, Caravan, Hawkwind and so on? (NB nice attempt to exempt van der graaf from the progressive music movement by whoever it was up there, blimey that reminds me of when jim kerr listed his favourite stuff in NME back when it was doctrinaire in a more interesting way than it is today, and he put "The Lamb Lied Down on Broadway", but credited it to Peter Gabriel!!) Personally, I tend to lump it all together as progressive stuff that I like, I mean it only really matters if yuo have some kind ov doctrinaire (yes, the big "d" again) distain for "prog" and you like kraut and can't get yer head round thee contradictions in such a stance.

In "Mojo" a coupla month ago (poss "Ucunt" but I'm pretty sure it was Mojo), Howard Devoto made some comments re prog and Magazine's 2nd album, mentioning that they were all into yes, but they couldn't mention it at the time

Plus I don't think many prog bands were "bombastic in the same way as queen", i mean this is the same queen that only made it b/c led zep didn't tour often enough, right?

I fucking love good progressive music, me.

Pashmina (Pashmina), Wednesday, 7 May 2003 18:29 (nineteen years ago) link

To an extent, it depends if one sees krautrock as just the correct names ie can/amon duul/faust/neu stuff, or are these just the best-regarded part of a wider movement, like would you include wallenstein, shicke fuchs & fruhling, grobschnitt, eloy etc

The names you mention, but especially Can and Neu and (to a lesser extent) Faust, are not Krautrock merely because they are the "correct" names but because they are the German bands which have the least resemblance to Anglo-American rock and Anglo-American prog rock in particular. The thing to remember is about these bands (and Kraftwerk) is that not only did they not regard themselves as "prog rock" but they were actively hostile to the term and dismissive of most of the music produced by "prog" bands. Wallenstein, Grobschnit, Eloy - they are all terrible and they are all pretty much prog rock. Terribleness being a major sign of whether or not band is prog or not, in my experience. Actually very few German bands in the 70s actually deserve to be described as "Krautrock" becuase theere is more to Krautrock than simply being German and playing rock music.

Dadaismus (Dada), Wednesday, 7 May 2003 18:39 (nineteen years ago) link

Which was...?

ELP was at their best when they didn't try to copy 20th century "free tonal" music and instead kept to melodic stuff. "Karn Evil" was great.

Geir Hongro (GeirHong), Wednesday, 7 May 2003 19:59 (nineteen years ago) link

The thing to remember is about these bands (and Kraftwerk) is that not only did they not regard themselves as "prog rock" but they were actively hostile to the term and dismissive of most of the music produced by "prog" bands.

I think we may be talking about two different things? I am talking more about the reception of the music by the listeners, not what the artists themselves think about their music or other bands. Robert Fripp, for example, doesn't consider King Crimson a prog band, is generally hostile to the term, and also seems generally dismissive of other British prog bands (actually, one doesn't even have to venture outside of Great Britain to see prog bands dismissive of one another). Yet at the end of the day King Crimson is still considered to be a prog rock band nonetheless by almost everyone (except the extremely silly or utmost Fripp-fanboys, IMO), because of the qualities and context of their music.

Now, granted, Krautrock bands, obviously, are more disputable than King Crimson is (Crimson is a special case as an "archetypal" prog rock band; that is, they are one of those bands viewed as practically synonymous with the genre)--these things are largely relative and individualistically determined, and guided over time by the consensus of fans. I recognize that there are those who consider Krautrock entirely separate from the 'prog rock' rubric, even though I personally disagree with that position (I am more liberally-minded in my conception of 'prog', tending more to see the similarities than differences between the bands). Like Pashimina said, it IS kind of like a Wenn diagram. They are not entirely independent (relatively speaking) from each other in a categorization kind of way. Most prog rock forums feel free to discuss Kruatrock bands...why? well, obviously, because on a grand scale (which is what the labeling/categorization is addressing), the qualities of, say, Yes and Can are on the whole are much more similar than comparing either one of them to, say, Britney Spears or The Flying Burrito Brothers or Bruce Springsteen or Run D.M.C. On a more specific scale, of course, there is a recognition that these bands are not entirely overlapping or necessarily closely related either--that is, it would be utterly ridiculous to expect someone to like Yes just because they like Can (or vice-versa), and indeed not everybody does. There are differences in the two bands' stylizations, musical influences, etc. Again, one doesn't even have to make it Krautrock versus British prog rock distinction. I love Yes but dislike the Henry Cow I've heard. I love mid 70s Popol Vuh but was not at all into the first two Kraftwerk albums (or the first Popol Vuh album! :) ).

Wallenstein, Grobschnit, Eloy - they are all terrible and they are all pretty much prog rock. Terribleness being a major sign of whether or not band is prog or not, in my experience.

I don't agree with this--I think it is limited to define or characterize a genre, label, or other similar concept (i.e., a way of categorizing the surface qualities of music in a way that is reasonable) based primarily on personal taste. Note that this is what a lot of zealous prog rock fans do, except they do exactly the opposite: "This music is good, therefore I like it, therefore...it's Prog!" or along similar lines "This music sucks." Why? "Because it's rap." (i.e., Rap as an entire genre is defined/recognized as "bad music" or "not REAL music" or "music I don't like"). [Sorry, Geir! :) ]

Joe (Joe), Wednesday, 7 May 2003 20:13 (nineteen years ago) link

I agree with you Joe (and, no, rap is not defined by me as "I don't like this, so this must be rap, it has more to do with musical criteria). However, there are exceptions. The entire hair metal genre, for instance. The entire "hair metal" term becomes meaningless when used in anything else but a negative meaning.

Geir Hongro (GeirHong), Wednesday, 7 May 2003 20:15 (nineteen years ago) link

Oops! Well sorry the misinterpretation, Geir. I dislike 99.9% of hair metal myself. What I mean is that I feel one can characterize the components of what (generally) comprises that genre or label--really really fast guitar solos, extroverted lead vocals, glam qualities in band image, whatever--without necessarily invoking personal taste. Still, you have the grand scale of categorization (Poison and L.A. Guns have more in common than either has with Joni Mitchell or The Band or NSYNC) and the more specific individual qualities--are L.A. Guns a "Hair Metal" band...or are they a "Metal" band...or maybe something else entirely? This is a function of individual tastes and governed over time by fan consensus.

Joe (Joe), Wednesday, 7 May 2003 20:38 (nineteen years ago) link



Sterling Clover (s_clover), Wednesday, 7 May 2003 20:47 (nineteen years ago) link

eight months pass...
Unfortunately, Geir made a huge mistake in assuming that "hair
metal" was a derogratory phrase - here in the US, anyway, the
term is a genuine label embraced by fans of Poison, Dokken,
Guns' N' Roses, etc.

squirlplise, Saturday, 24 January 2004 09:58 (eighteen years ago) link

prog is a has been.
BUT, it needed to happen. actually, it was bound to happen. there was no away around it. if you go back to the 30-40's jazz stuff, the blues of that era, and some other stuff get thrown in to form 'rock'. but, 'rock' is based on a short song, while jazz can literally go forevah. so, when the rock/blues shock wore off in the early 60's, bands started to look toward the chops and intricasies. which bore us the psychedelic revolution, which had more in common with jazz/blues than 50's style 'rock' (rock being more of the elvis, buddly holly, early beatles/stone {who are doing elvis style rock}, and rockabilly).
so, you get the chops of blues/jazz peeps getting hepped up and playing mega jams that noodle and noodle into wank heaven. a la jazz/blues. start infusing fusion of funk and other odd time signatures and playing styles and we start getting more into the idea of prog.

personally, Pink Floyd always transcended the prog mantle, for me. not just because of where they went but how they came to it- Syd era(pop oriented, sometimes insane, sometimes boring jams)- intro Gilmour- delving into the song structures(MORE structure)- Waters comandeers- we get Dark Side of the Moon. and the rest just falls into place so neatly.
where as bands like Genesis just don't hold up quite as well. ELP, KC, Yes, and the lot have a song here, a song there but never live up to thier ideals. but, that's my opinion and i'm apt to being wrong.

and yes, prog fans are almost worse than Dave Mathews band/Phish fans.
they'll lap it up, not matter what and call it divine.

eedd, Saturday, 24 January 2004 13:43 (eighteen years ago) link

and yes, prog fans are almost worse than Dave Mathews band/Phish fans.
they'll lap it up, not matter what and call it divine.

Wow, what a generalisation. I must have imagined all those arguments on prog internet forums.

Pashmina (Pashmina), Saturday, 24 January 2004 13:46 (eighteen years ago) link

"Wow, what a generalisation."

hey, i do what i can with what i have...hehe!

like it was stated above, prog fans tend to be as uber-elitist as the next subgenre. it's the willingness to enjoy vast wankery, meandering bilppy bloops, and 10 minute synth solos, and twirling drum kit antics that made me generalize so.

note- i did say ALMOST.

and yes, i'm not excluded.
it's just hard to debate someone with a straight face when they keep using early Genesis, or Yes as a reference point of any kind.
and Peter Gabriel. for the love of gawd, he's worse than Don Henley!

eedd, Saturday, 24 January 2004 19:57 (eighteen years ago) link

Everything would sound like early Led Zepplin, the Byrds and jazz.

Jon Williams (ex machina), Saturday, 24 January 2004 19:58 (eighteen years ago) link

No industrial dance beats = NO FUTURE.

Ned Raggett (Ned), Saturday, 24 January 2004 19:59 (eighteen years ago) link

Everything would sound like early Led Zepplin

that wouldn't be all bad...
i could learn to live with that.

No industrial dance beats-
nah! somebody would've come up with it...
hmmm, this begets the question-
How would the mid 90's Nu-Metal have come about without Faith No More or Ministry?

Did cocaine inspire all 80's mainstream music/movies?
i say- YES.

eedd, Saturday, 24 January 2004 21:42 (eighteen years ago) link

"As for Japanese musicians, well I've yet to hear a Japanese
artist who was any good"

Ryuchi Sakamoto to thread!

Geir Hongro (GeirHong), Sunday, 25 January 2004 02:00 (eighteen years ago) link

....and Puffy Amiyumi, and Shonen Knife, and Buffalo Daughter, and the Pillows, and Pizzicato Five, and the Boredoms, and....

and they should all bring samurai swords.

Lord Custos Omicron (Lord Custos Omicron), Sunday, 25 January 2004 02:34 (eighteen years ago) link

Prog {in part} in three words: Todd Rundgren / Utopia
They're a BLAST.

jim wentworth (wench), Sunday, 25 January 2004 04:09 (eighteen years ago) link

if prog didnt exist, lou reed wouldn't have had the lousy backup band he had for his crappy first album.

jack cole (jackcole), Sunday, 25 January 2004 04:14 (eighteen years ago) link

three months pass...
My love of prog, especially YES, is in full rev once again, esp. after having seen them play their hearts out last week.

Marshal Jefferson's favorite band was (is?) YES. And Larry Heard dug them, too. The connections between YES + Chicago house are there. Somewhere.

Jay Vee (Manon_70), Wednesday, 19 May 2004 20:22 (eighteen years ago) link


Jay Vee (Manon_70), Wednesday, 19 May 2004 20:27 (eighteen years ago) link

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