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How the Beasts of Prog-Rock Went Extinct

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cstack3 View Drop Down
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    Posted: June 13 2017 at 14:03
OK, crowd, have at it!


"This era — an era when Genesis’ Peter Gabriel could dance around onstage kicking his heels, dressed like a flower, while audiences and critics alike ate it up rapturously — seems both improbable and faintly ridiculous from our modern-day factory-pop vantage point.

But it all happened."

(Yeah, it it was GREAT, you idiot!) 




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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Atavachron Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: June 13 2017 at 15:10
And Gaga's meat-suit isn't ridiculous?   The best line was about prog being "...the province of resolutely uncool niche acts whose fan bases consist primarily of awkward young men with fascinating facial hair."

"Too often we enjoy the comfort of opinion without the discomfort of thought."   -- John F. Kennedy
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote dr wu23 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: June 13 2017 at 15:14
I enjoyed that short piece......
Et In Arcadia Ego
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Catcher10 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: June 13 2017 at 15:43
Music like this, of the 70's, died because the world today has no patience for it. Yea I am gonna say what all other parents say, technology/the social media "cultural tastes" are a big part to blame for prog-rock going extinct.
We will never (at least in my lifetime) see another ELP, Yes, Tull heck even early Rush become prominent in music.
Streaming audio, digital music files and digital players, that whole audio category is not suited for taking your time and listening.

Most here will laugh at me......but the one thing that might kick start the prog movement again is vinyl. Because you MUST sit and listen and appreciate the music you are hearing. Because in 18-25 min you need to flip or change the record, you can't walk away from the music, you can't vacuum, wash dishes do other chores while a record is playing. But I digress, because you still need to go out and buy the record and prog music is not a seller anymore.
I do think there are more 30-40 age group discovering prog rock in the used record stores, buying that used record for $5-$10 bucks with the cool covers/gatefolds and wondering what its all about......What is this Genesis, ELP and Tull people talk about? I run into them at the record stores all the time.....

Of course Genesis and the beasts are gone, duhh that was 45yrs ago....cstack3 is right, it was great!!


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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Manuel Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: June 13 2017 at 15:55
During the "Golden Era' of Progressive Music, people would love to sit and listen to the music, not just dance to a beat. Later, specially after the early 80s, people started to enjoy more the "Show", like Madonna or Michael Jackson, and the music became only a secondary element, more a tune over which their show was built upon, and so progressive music lost it's appeal, since it's the kind of music that must be "listened-to" in order to be appreciated.  
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Catcher10 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: June 13 2017 at 17:43
^ It's possible but live prog rock shows were always a "show"! Look at the cover artist of this article, Genesis, who put on extravagant shows with costumes and decorated stages. Yes with the lights and decorated stage, Pink Floyd and JTull with their APP live show....a Rush live show has been one of the best produced live shows of recent.
You picked two non-prog rock artists where there is reason to go see them for both the show and music, Madonna and MJ. Most new artists, its only the show you might want to see.....The music stinks.


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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Barbu Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: June 13 2017 at 18:43
Originally posted by Catcher10 Catcher10 wrote:

Most here will laugh at me......but the one thing that might kick start the prog movement again is vinyl.

and those with no homes to go to, please dig yourself holes
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Jeffro Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: June 13 2017 at 18:58
Originally posted by Manuel Manuel wrote:

During the "Golden Era' of Progressive Music, people would love to sit and listen to the music, not just dance to a beat. Later, specially after the early 80s, people started to enjoy more the "Show", like Madonna or Michael Jackson, and the music became only a secondary element, more a tune over which their show was built upon, and so progressive music lost it's appeal, since it's the kind of music that must be "listened-to" in order to be appreciated.  

There was still plenty of show in the 70s. You're forgetting Kiss and all the glam rock bands. In many cases, the show was more important than the music. 
Jeffrobot (apparently)

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Dellinger Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: June 13 2017 at 21:39
The article mentioned that great prog albums that were monstruos sellers at the time are mostly forgotten now. Yet, I wonder how many non-prog albums are really well remembered and selling well now. I think mostly people get to know those pop stars from the 70's from compilation albums and so. Perhaps it's just a niche for prog, but prog fans do seek out the whole albums of the bands that we are interested in.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote cstack3 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: June 13 2017 at 23:02
I dunno, there are still some monstrous prog acts that are doing well!  

For example, Muse continues to sell out huge venues, ARW is doing great, King Crimson continues to amaze and pack the houses worldwide....

Interestingly, the punk revolution that was supposed to have killed the dinosaur prog groups has atrophied.  Sex Pistols?  Where are they now?  (the ones who haven't died from drug overdoses I mean).  

I don't see many punk cruises being booked!!  


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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote uduwudu Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: June 14 2017 at 02:22
Oh god the Pistols were awful. Punk is so good when it stops. The only thing that made the Pistols sound better were so many other punk / extreme thrash acts sounding worse.


The notion of the no frills 2 minute energetic hard rock punk song is often mooted as a good thing. Trouble is the idea (such as it is) is better than the reality. The Ramones had maybe 10 - 15 seconds worth of musical feature. So a 2 1/2 minute number from them is their equivalent of Supper's Ready. Which, by implication,  is thirty or more times better. Or something. I found such rock to be so boring. It's like the entertainment equivalent of the USSR, plain, grim, featureless and no fun. And it went on...

Now the Yes Album... endless great tunes that can last their distance. Prog gave rock depth and interest. Anathema to those idiot critics (you know who I mean).

Anyway the hacks did that as a job and having to get to grips with Tales and Lamb and get their copy in by Friday so they could head off to the pub. Oh there was one other thing. Apparently the booze, drugs and groupie scene was pretty shall we say, somewhat understated at a Genesis concert. And hacks like to have their means of escaping their own lack of literary attributes. And the glam of pop immediacy attracted these ... qualities. They could shine among the punk dullards but they got lost on the prog rock high road. They would have to praise their betters and their egos could not handle that.

Clash - Sandinista? 3 LPs of unremitting tedium. Compare those to FZ's guitar albums or Yessongs.

Among prevailing lowest common denominator mentalities (there's snootiness for ya) I'm amazed we had Tull and ELP et al at all.


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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote ExittheLemming Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: June 14 2017 at 03:20
Originally posted by uduwudu uduwudu wrote:

Oh god the Pistols were awful. Punk is so good when it stops. The only thing that made the Pistols sound better were so many other punk / extreme thrash acts sounding worse.


The notion of the no frills 2 minute energetic hard rock punk song is often mooted as a good thing. Trouble is the idea (such as it is) is better than the reality. The Ramones had maybe 10 - 15 seconds worth of musical feature. So a 2 1/2 minute number from them is their equivalent of Supper's Ready. Which, by implication,  is thirty or more times better. Or something. I found such rock to be so boring. It's like the entertainment equivalent of the USSR, plain, grim, featureless and no fun. And it went on...

Now the Yes Album... endless great tunes that can last their distance. Prog gave rock depth and interest. Anathema to those idiot critics (you know who I mean).

Anyway the hacks did that as a job and having to get to grips with Tales and Lamb and get their copy in by Friday so they could head off to the pub. Oh there was one other thing. Apparently the booze, drugs and groupie scene was pretty shall we say, somewhat understated at a Genesis concert. And hacks like to have their means of escaping their own lack of literary attributes. And the glam of pop immediacy attracted these ... qualities. They could shine among the punk dullards but they got lost on the prog rock high road. They would have to praise their betters and their egos could not handle that.

Clash - Sandinista? 3 LPs of unremitting tedium. Compare those to FZ's guitar albums or Yessongs.

Among prevailing lowest common denominator mentalities (there's snootiness for ya) I'm amazed we had Tull and ELP et al at all.




I loved the Sex Pistols. They were a singles band and maybe one of the best ever. 40 minutes of the Pistols was never meant to happen and completely misses the point. (Aggression and brevity ain't sustainable)
Yes, I certainly agree that at least 95% of all Punk Rock was crass drivel but 95% of pretty much anything is crass drivel.

The Ramones were archly conservative tea baggers pretending to be caffeine junkies. (although the KKK Took My Baby Away has to be one of the best song titles ever irrespective of content)

Sandinista would have made a belter of a single album but yes, by that stage the Clash overreached themselves to such an extent they actually believed they could tackle any conceivable style of music (with predictably disastrous results) As poor as much of it was, they had outgrown their spiky origins long since so it seems churlish to pretend they represented Punk Rock 4 years after the fact) For some folks, Sandinista is Punk's equivalent of Tales of Topographic Oceans.

Zappa's guitar albums are for me, (a guitar player) tedious in the extreme and like all music praised principally for the difficulty of its execution, represents nothing more than a hollow victory for accuracy over memorable ideas.

I quite like large swathes of Yessongs but seldom play it all the way through. That's not because I have the attention span of a goldfish but because goldfish speak more sense than Jon Anderson.

I agree that it seems ever more miraculous with every passing year that the sort of music produced by ELP, KC, Genesis, Tull and Yes etc in the early 70's was purchased by enough people to make it the prevailing orthodoxy in fashion at the time.Shocked We will never see its like again....Cry



Edited by ExittheLemming - June 14 2017 at 03:21
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Kepler62 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: June 14 2017 at 06:08
Just tried to post a comment relevant to the topic here. Got robot test. Just don't have time to play around with that nonsense..
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Guldbamsen Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: June 14 2017 at 07:13
I am 35 so I come at this from a somewhat different view...but I certainly agree, it feels oddly enamouring almost akin to magical that something as weird and challenging ever found it's way to the mainstream media (although some prog fans tend to overstate this to the extreme. The charts were full of candy pop and sickly sweet 'o baby' tunes...much like today actually).
Be that as it may I still started out listening to Grease, Dire Straits, Roy Orbison and Michael Jackson. Must've been around 5. The Floyd then hit me over my head with the entire universe-like shovel and music changed forever. I was 9. I started listening to The Doors and Jimi - all kinds of old school 60s music. Then Metallica joined in and Iron Maiden soon after. Metal!!!! And PUNK!!! Mmmm I loved the raw unfiltered energy of (some) punk bands. I started frequenting the outsider hangouts of Copenhagen and through various different folks got turned onto Krautrock and post-punk en route (a lot of the genuinely progressive post-punk bands took their cue from acts such as Can, Amon Düül ll and NEU!).
At some point I met up with some old friends of mine that I hadn't seen in years. They had split ways with their early metal days and had fallen head over heels for hip hop. I absolutely hated hip hop...that is until someone guided me through all the crap and showed me the pearls. From there on I got into electronic music (in a HUGE way), jazz, pop, funk - hell anything with a little fire in it's tummy.

What is my point? I don't get why so many people tend to pit music genres up against each other. They were never enemies. Sure there are many many folks out there whom I like to call music fascists that only like one or two types of music and everything else is sh*t, but why should the rest of us buy into their illusions?
The music world is full of snobs that claim X style of music is crap based solely on what they've heard over the radio. It then gets to be a shield: 'Hey man have you checked out Ulver's most recent album?'
'Nah I heard they went pop' '
Errm yeah and so?' '
I hate pop' '
What kind of pop have you heard then?'
'It doesn't really matter now does it, it's all sh*t'

I've had the very same discussion a thousand times only the style of music changes pertaining to the fool in question. Prog rock and punk included
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Catcher10 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: June 14 2017 at 11:45
Originally posted by cstack3 cstack3 wrote:

I dunno, there are still some monstrous prog acts that are doing well!  

For example, Muse continues to sell out huge venues, ARW is doing great, King Crimson continues to amaze and pack the houses worldwide....

Interestingly, the punk revolution that was supposed to have killed the dinosaur prog groups has atrophied.  Sex Pistols?  Where are they now?  (the ones who haven't died from drug overdoses I mean).  

I don't see many punk cruises being booked!!  

Just saw King Crimson last night in Seattle.......Are u Fing kidding me!! That was a MONSTER show of pure genius. Essentially we in Seattle got schooled on prog by Fripp and company. This was their 3rd Seattle show in a row starting off their 2017 tour, grant it 1st night was friends and family, but Monday and last night were sold out. Maybe 20% of the crowd was under 40 but the bulk was 55-65 easily and male dominated, the one show my wife commented on "so many men here, their wife's don't like music??" I said not prog, girls don't like prog.....she said "what is prog?"

Also saw more people buying records at the merch table than CDs


Edited by Catcher10 - June 14 2017 at 11:46


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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Slartibartfast Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: June 14 2017 at 14:18
They were hardly beasts and they hardly went extinct.  Gentle Giant was a noteable exception.  Many succumed to commercialitis.  In the '80s you really had to go outside the box and still there was great prog being made. Fred Frith, Al Di Meola, Mike Oldfield, King Crimson, Sky, Kate Bush, XTC, Steve Tibbetts, Synergy, Frank Zappa, Michael Heddges, The Police last two, Soft Machine, Adrian Belew, Jean Luc Ponty, Peter Gabriel, Pat Metheny, Oregon, Marillion, Happy Rhodes, Tangerine Dream, Andy Summers, Djam Karet...  And today we have a great crop of new artists today.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Kepler62 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: June 15 2017 at 09:04
Originally posted by Catcher10 Catcher10 wrote:

Music like this, of the 70's, died because the world today has no patience for it. Yea I am gonna say what all other parents say, technology/the social media "cultural tastes" are a big part to blame for prog-rock going extinct.
We will never (at least in my lifetime) see another ELP, Yes, Tull heck even early Rush become prominent in music.
Streaming audio, digital music files and digital players, that whole audio category is not suited for taking your time and listening.

Most here will laugh at me......but the one thing that might kick start the prog movement again is vinyl. Because you MUST sit and listen and appreciate the music you are hearing. Because in 18-25 min you need to flip or change the record, you can't walk away from the music, you can't vacuum, wash dishes do other chores while a record is playing. But I digress, because you still need to go out and buy the record and prog music is not a seller anymore.
I do think there are more 30-40 age group discovering prog rock in the used record stores, buying that used record for $5-$10 bucks with the cool covers/gatefolds and wondering what its all about......What is this Genesis, ELP and Tull people talk about? I run into them at the record stores all the time.....

Of course Genesis and the beasts are gone, duhh that was 45yrs ago....cstack3 is right, it was great!!

Well said. I'll never get rid of my LPs that I amassed during the seventies. I think prog belonged to the seventies. Don't really bother with any of the newer bands. Glad I lived through that era. 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote dr wu23 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: June 15 2017 at 13:28
Originally posted by Dellinger Dellinger wrote:

The article mentioned that great prog albums that were monstruos sellers at the time are mostly forgotten now. Yet, I wonder how many non-prog albums are really well remembered and selling well now. I think mostly people get to know those pop stars from the 70's from compilation albums and so. Perhaps it's just a niche for prog, but prog fans do seek out the whole albums of the bands that we are interested in.

The old classic rock albums sell well..... even my grandaughter is listening to the Stones, Tull, Zep, Doors, The Who, Grateful dead...etc. but not many are seeking out old prog. Even my daughter and her husband who are in their 30's  are not that up on the old prog things. My son in law wants old electric folk rock like Neil Young, CSNY, Byrds, Buffalo Springfiled, etc.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote 2dogs Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: June 15 2017 at 23:20
Punk had it's moment but the original style was very short lived - those with innate musical talent couldn't stop themselves experimenting and developing. For example on their second album in 1977 the Damned were already using more complex rhythms and saxaphone LOL.
"There is nothing new except what has been forgotten" - Marie Antoinette
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Havantville Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: June 23 2017 at 04:33
I've always admired what Camel did to survive extinction ... move to a jazz direction.
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