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Bob McBeath

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SPECIAL COLLABORATOR: Honorary Collaborator / Retired Admin

Member since: 2/21/2004 • Forum posts: 15565 • Last visit: 5/1/2014 9:54:13 AM EST
Location: Scotland

Progressive Biography

Prog is not my only love, in fact I could be described as somewhat promiscuous when it comes to music (and of course ONLY when talking of music!). Nor indeed was prog my first love, there were others who went before. It is however prog to whom I am now betrothed and I try to be as faithful as I can.

I do love prog enormously, but sometimes it can be hard not to be "distracted". A piece of power guitar from Boston, an achingly beautiful vocal by Emmylou Harris, or just an old fashioned love song coming down in three part harmony by Three Dog Night will easily lead me astray. In fact, it's only really Trad Jazz and Hip Hop who I refuse to get into bed with (so to speak).

My relationship with prog was not a case of love at first sight either. I was a teenager in the late 60's to early 70's, and was already enjoying music at a relatively superficial level at that time. You know how it is at school though, friends introduce you to strange new ideas and influences, and gradually you become hooked. So it was with me. A friend bought a couple of samplers ("Bumpers" and "Fill your head with rock") with music such as I had never heard before. They covered a wide spectrum, but the prog tracks were the ones which caught my ear (although I have to admit at the time I did not know them as prog, indeed the "genre" may not even have existed in name). Others gave me LPs to listen to by bands with strange names. It even became something of an unspoken challenge to find something more obscure and weird than your peers. I listened intensely to all the new sounds and styles with a mixture of intrigue and delight. It was hard work at times. While Hawkwind's "In search of space" is now the equivalent of a leggy, well proportioned, six foot blonde in terms of attractiveness, initially I could see no beauty whatsoever. I found however that something kept nagging me to play such albums again, and each time I found something new and exciting.

That for me is the wonder of prog. It's all there the first time you play the album, but it takes time and many listens to get under the skin, and to really fall in love. Once bitten however, it is indeed a case of forever smitten. I did find bands like Genesis and Yes more instantly appealing, but I must admit that some of their cosmetic surgery over the years has not been as successful as might have been hoped. In fact, when it comes to Yes, at times I have metaphorically passed them in the street without recognising them.

I do not find appeal in ALL prog's diverse forms. The jazz end of the genre such as Soft Machine and King Crimson (post Mr. Lake) offer little stimulation. On the other hand, many bands at the metal end of the spectrum tickle my fancy immensely. My collection of prog LPs and CDs expands and contracts as the superb forum on this site debates what is and what is not prog.

Having (as the great unenlightened would say) squandered my money on such music for over 30 years, my collection has grown in rough proportions with my waistline, both of which are now embarrassingly sizable. I find however that, since I was lured to this site in early 2004, I have discovered more exciting new bands in a year, than I had in the previous 20 years. These days, my gaze is being diverted by the younger figure of neo-prog. I try to justify this by telling myself that prog and neo-prog are one and the same, but the "old" prog is getting suspicious, and dare I say a little jealous.

I'm grateful to the founders of Prog Archives for the opportunity to bare my soul and confess my long held guilty secrets.

Favourite Prog Bands and their best albums (Alphabetically) -

  • Arena (The visitor, Contagion),
  • Barclay James Harvest (Once again, Everyone is everybody else)
  • Camel (Moonmadness, Stationery traveller),
  • Caravan (In the land of grey and pink, Cunning stunts),
  • ELP (Tarkus, Brain salad surgery),
  • Genesis (Nursery Cryme, Foxtrot) ,
  • Moody Blues (On the threshold of a dream, Seventh Sojourn),
  • Pink Floyd (Wish you were here, Dark side of the moon),
  • Strawbs (From the Witchwood, Hero and Heroine),
  • Uriah Heep (Demons and Wizards, look at yourself),
  • Yes (Close to the edge, Topographic oceans)

Others favourites include - Curved Air, Hawkwind, Renaissance, Marillion, Pendragon, Manfred Mann's Earth Band, Procol Harum, Porcupine Tree, Rick Wakeman, Alan Parsons, Mike Oldfield, Asia, there's been so many!

(In the forum, I am "Easy Livin". In case you're wondering, it's a track on "Demons and Wizards" by Uriah Heep. It is probably now an accuarate description of my lifestyle!)

Reviews distribution by sub-genre

 Sub-genreNb of reviewsAvg rating
1 Prog Related3243.10
2 Crossover Prog3083.17
3 Symphonic Prog2643.11
4 Neo-Prog1343.75
5 Heavy Prog1143.39
6 Psychedelic/Space Rock1113.12
7 Eclectic Prog1093.11
8 Jazz Rock/Fusion912.93
9 Progressive Metal903.32
10 Prog Folk873.36
11 Proto-Prog852.94
12 Progressive Electronic592.98
13 Canterbury Scene533.08
14 Various Genres443.18
15 Experimental/Post Metal183.11
16 Krautrock122.33
17 Post Rock/Math rock102.90
18 Rock Progressivo Italiano73.14
19 RIO/Avant-Prog62.00
20 Tech/Extreme Prog Metal33.00
21 Zeuhl12.00

Reviews and Ratings

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