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Why can't bands keep their level

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The Unifaun View Drop Down
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    Posted: September 06 2018 at 08:20
Maybe a similar discussion had already happened in a different thread, but here comes my question:
Why does so many super-prog-groups e.g. Yes, ELP, Genesis etc. made their best albums in the early years, while all releases afterwards never had the quality of their predecessors. To a certain extend it must be frustrating to be in business for 40 years and longer, and having your historical and cultural climax so far in the past.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote miamiscot Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: September 06 2018 at 09:19
The Million Dollar Question.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Barbu Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: September 06 2018 at 09:22
La drogue, bébé, la drogue.
we found footprints in the snow
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote noni Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: September 06 2018 at 09:44
ELP and Genesis went more for the money, trying to expand their glory to a wider audience,  sometimes leaving the prog roots they established behind. Cry

Though commercially they did become more successful in the music department,  the prog fans were left very disappointed indeed.   The same can be said for Marillion too,  but to a lesser degree.  
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote The Unifaun Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: September 06 2018 at 09:51
Originally posted by Barbu Barbu wrote:

La drogue, bébé, la drogue.

Drugs? I do believe drugs played a quite significant role from the beginning... but maybe it become too much..
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote The Unifaun Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: September 06 2018 at 09:58
Originally posted by noni noni wrote:

ELP and Genesis went more for the money, trying to expand their glory to a wider audience,  sometimes leaving the prog roots they established behind. Cry

Genesis, yes - they have become commercially successful. ELP, I don't know. I do believe they made most of their money in the early years. 
 I mean, the ELP debut, Tarkus, Pictures, Trilogy and BSS all in the first three years. What an enormous output...
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Chaser Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: September 06 2018 at 10:28
Isn't it the same with most artists? Creativity resides with youth and age brings sterility?
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Logan Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: September 06 2018 at 11:28
People commonly are more creative and innovative in their youth. Younger people tend to have more active imaginations, be more idealistic, and are bigger risk-takers, and as we age, we tend to get more conservative/ less adventurous and often less passionate (we get set in our ways more). I think it's natural to play it safe more as one gets older.

This is common with people in the arts, but also when it comes to sciences (and just generally). So often the greatest ideas and insights came during one's youth (and after often, say in the sciences, one refines it).

Edited by Logan - September 06 2018 at 11:29
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Chaser Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: September 06 2018 at 12:29
I think the bands that remained creative and cutting edge for the longest were the ones that constantly changed their line ups to keep things fresh

King Crimson are the perfect example of this, with their regular disbandings and personnel changes, which resulted in them creating some seriously cutting edge albums in the 1980's and beyond
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (1) Thanks(1)   Quote Atavachron Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: September 06 2018 at 12:39
Making quality music year after year is really, really hard.   One only has a finite amount of good ideas without repeating oneself, and the listening public is unforgiving, impatient and unrealistic.   A band that is together for ten years and puts out consistent work isn't the norm but instead is lucky, has unusual chemistry and works hard.   That's a rare thing.

Albums like Crest of a Knave or 90215 or Abacab are even more impressive in this context and saw these bands digging deep into their creative coffers, bravely releasing music that was both new and of high quality even though the work may not considered their best.


"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 Manuel Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: September 06 2018 at 13:00
During what we call the "Golden Era" of prog, mainly late sixties and early seventies, the music industry allowed the artists to be creative, and find their own distinctive sound. Later on, the pressure to write a "HIT" and be successful became the norm, and many artists had to comply so they would not loose their contracts. Also, the public taste changed significantly, and mainstream music completely took over the radio waves, forcing many great musicians to write simple and catchy songs.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Dopeydoc Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: September 06 2018 at 15:02
Some exceptions: The Enid, IQ, Ozric Tentacles...
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Saperlipopette! Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: September 06 2018 at 15:26
Originally posted by The Unifaun The Unifaun wrote:

Maybe a similar discussion had already happened in a different thread, but here comes my question:
Why does so many super-prog-groups e.g. Yes, ELP, Genesis etc. made their best albums in the early years, while all releases afterwards never had the quality of their predecessors. To a certain extend it must be frustrating to be in business for 40 years and longer, and having your historical and cultural climax so far in the past.
As a rule its mainly truest within the realms op popular music though. Composers or classical performers, jazz musicians... that's just about popular enough to have music as a job - seem to age more gracefully. If you're among the majority of bands that doesn't earn enough to make a living, its obviously about money. Commercially unsuccessful bands split up, people get married have children and get jobs. If you can't do art full-time - the art will suffer. Modern prog is probably 98% hobby bands. 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote noni Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: September 06 2018 at 15:33
Originally posted by Atavachron Atavachron wrote:

Making quality music year after year is really, really hard.   One only has a finite amount of good ideas without repeating oneself, and the listening public is unforgiving, impatient and unrealistic.   A band that is together for ten years and puts out consistent work isn't the norm but instead is lucky, has unusual chemistry and works hard.   That's a rare thing.

Albums like Crest of a Knave or 90215 or Abacab are even more impressive in this context and saw these bands digging deep into their creative coffers, bravely releasing music that was both new and of high quality even though the work may not considered their best.

Another band I would say is Camel.   Their last 4 albums are just brilliant!....
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Catcher10 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: September 06 2018 at 15:49
Most bands will tell you they are not trying to match or continue a previous project, so comparing an early album to a later one is not what they are going for. We as fans do that though and create the comparisons.

Poll after poll after f*ing poll is created.......


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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote richardh Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: September 06 2018 at 16:11
Also very importantly the early seventies was a good time to experiment. Bands were a lot more inventive until the music industry slapped the chains back on post punk. The likes of Phil Collins and John Wetton then tried to pretend the whole prog thing was a mistake. Anyway comparing anything made in the early seventies to anything made after by the same bands is a truly pointless task. It was a one off in terns of creativity and expression in rock music.IMO

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Chaser Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: September 06 2018 at 16:48
It's certainly the case that creativity and experimentation was facilitated by the record industry in the 70's in a way that it wasn't in later decades, and that's part of the answer.

But that creates a conundrum in my head: the modern artist is not beholden to the music industry. Anyone with access to the internet can now get their music out there and artists don't have to do what they're told by a record label

So, surely we should now be overflowing with creative bands, now that the shackles are off? But we're not. Why not?
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Atavachron Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: September 06 2018 at 17:34
^ In a way, we are, but it's a trade-off:  with better, easier tech and greater exposure comes less professionalism and promotion.   It's a friggin' free-for-all.   The irony of the 'anyone can make an album and sell it' era.

"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 micky Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: September 06 2018 at 18:25
Originally posted by The Unifaun The Unifaun wrote:

Maybe a similar discussion had already happened in a different thread, but here comes my question:
Why does so many super-prog-groups e.g. Yes, ELP, Genesis etc. made their best albums in the early years, while all releases afterwards never had the quality of their predecessors. To a certain extend it must be frustrating to be in business for 40 years and longer, and having your historical and cultural climax so far in the past.

it is an easy concept...   creativity is not limitless.  You get old, boozed, married, rich, disillisioned all that sh*t man.

in simple terms..  bands lose the fire, energy, hunger and drive they have a young group playing not for a another beach house somewhere.. but for money to live or at least keep out of the normal 9-5 world...
The Diet Coke of Evil....
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Dellinger Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: September 06 2018 at 21:40
Originally posted by Chaser Chaser wrote:

I think the bands that remained creative and cutting edge for the longest were the ones that constantly changed their line ups to keep things fresh

King Crimson are the perfect example of this, with their regular disbandings and personnel changes, which resulted in them creating some seriously cutting edge albums in the 1980's and beyond


Yet, their best are still the ones from the 70's.
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