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Last great albums before the great simplification

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Poll Question: Last gasps only - the last great album?
Poll Choice Votes Poll Statistics
2 [3.45%]
5 [8.62%]
5 [8.62%]
15 [25.86%]
0 [0.00%]
2 [3.45%]
17 [29.31%]
0 [0.00%]
12 [20.69%]
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Rick1 View Drop Down
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    Posted: May 22 2020 at 06:28
The great simplification of the late 70s meant that many of our favourite bands started to reduce song length, simplify song structures, made lyrical subject matter more accessible and less esoteric, etc.  Prog. was also discredited by the media - anyone who lived through the period 77 - 82 will testify.  Prog bands responded (many not listed here) by producing commercial, radio-friendly material and some were unable to sustain their livelihoods (Hugh Hopper formerly of Soft Machine famously drove a taxi for a while...)  I also stopped buying their records on release as I was often disappointed (Steve Hackett's 'Cured' being a case in point).  While this list is not exhaustive, what do you think the last, great progressive album was?

Edited by Rick1 - May 22 2020 at 07:16
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Rick1 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: May 22 2020 at 06:32
Whoops - the Yes entry should be 'Going for the One'!!
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (1) Thanks(1)   Quote Logan Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: May 22 2020 at 06:42
Love various album there -- Western Culture, Udou Wudu, Of Queues and Cures, Red and Animals are my particular favourites. I actually prefer Magma's subsequent Attahk to Üdü Ẁüdü, but it doesn't have an "epic" and I can see why you would go with the earlier Üdü Ẁüdü. Attahk is simplified and a change of direction.

I might want to look at release dates to make my final choice (the latest of my favourites from your choices), though I definitely do lean towards Western Culture. Henry Cow ended on what I consider to be their most challenging album. I've actually heard "War" from In Praise of Learning on the radio.

EDIT: I knew Western Culture was first released in 1979, but couldn't remember when National Health's was released (November 1978). Anyway, my vote is indeed Western Culture as I thought it would be by various metrics. Unlike others here, Henry Cow didn't simplify, and their final album was HC at its most challenging, one might say.

Edited by Logan - May 22 2020 at 07:03
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Logan Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: May 22 2020 at 06:43
Originally posted by Rick1 Rick1 wrote:

Whoops - the Yes entry should be 'Going for the One'!!


You should be able to edit your poll.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Nogbad_The_Bad Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: May 22 2020 at 07:14
I'm pretty sure there is a concensus that Henry Cow - Western Culture is the last great first wave prog album. Wink
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (1) Thanks(1)   Quote siLLy puPPy Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: May 22 2020 at 07:27
Originally posted by Nogbad_The_Bad Nogbad_The_Bad wrote:

I'm pretty sure there is a concensus that Henry Cow - Western Culture is the last great first wave prog album. Wink


Consensus? I dunno

1979 included

Henry Cow - Western Culture

Univers Zero - Heresie

Pekka Pohjola - Visitation

Arachnoid - Arachnoid

Laurent Thibault  - Mais on ne peut pas rêver tout le temps

Embryo - Embryo's Reise

Art Zoyd - Musique pour l'Odyssee

Art Bears - Winter Songs

Ma Banlieue Flasque - Ma Banlieue Flasque

there are many MANY more highly complex prog albums from that year and all throughout the 80s


I understand what  you're going for with this thread but prog never really simplified, it just went underground while the more popular acts went more commercial but you need to be more specific about what you mean here.

Last great albums before the great simplification for me would imply the albums around 1975 or 76 before punk and disco really took control. There have always been outliers of prog even in the so-called desert 80s.

Not really sure how to answer this one. There are examples of prog albums that were BOTH simple and complex like Kansas - Leftoverture

In reality there is a huge overlap and any popular prog album from 1975 to 1980 could qualify.

Edited by siLLy puPPy - May 22 2020 at 07:29

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Rick1 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: May 22 2020 at 07:31
Originally posted by siLLy puPPy siLLy puPPy wrote:

Originally posted by Nogbad_The_Bad Nogbad_The_Bad wrote:

I'm pretty sure there is a concensus that Henry Cow - Western Culture is the last great first wave prog album. Wink


Consensus? I dunno

1979 included

Henry Cow - Western Culture

Univers Zero - Heresie

Pekka Pohjola - Visitation

Arachnoid - Arachnoid

Laurent Thibault  - Mais on ne peut pas rêver tout le temps

Embryo - Embryo's Reise

Art Zoyd - Musique pour l'Odyssee

Art Bears - Winter Songs

Ma Banlieue Flasque - Ma Banlieue Flasque

there are many MANY more highly complex prog albums from that year and all throughout the 80s


I understand what  you're going for with this thread but prog never really simplified, it just went underground while the more popular acts went more commercial but you need to be more specific about what you mean here.

Last great albums before the great simplification for me would imply the albums around 1975 or 76 before punk and disco really took control. There have always been outliers of prog even in the so-called desert 80s.

Not really sure how to answer this one. There are examples of prog albums that were BOTH simple and complex like Kansas - Overture

In reality there is a huge overlap and any popular prog album from 1975 to 1980 could qualify.

Polls are conversation starters - and I am discussing the more popular prog acts.  That UZ album, for instance, is fantastic, but on release it's impact was limited.  In the UK for instance, I don't think I ever saw any UZ or Art Zoyd albums on the shelves.  I also agree that many of these acts you mention remained 'underground' and remained genuine innovators.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote geekfreak Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: May 22 2020 at 07:35
See the source image
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote SteveG Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: May 22 2020 at 07:37
Animals as Floyd should end the era! Smile
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (1) Thanks(1)   Quote dougmcauliffe Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: May 22 2020 at 07:43
Bubu.... national health... rush...eloy.... sbb... Jethro Tull... all making great, complex stuff in the last years of the 70s
The sun has left the sky...
...Now you can close your eyes
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Nogbad_The_Bad Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: May 22 2020 at 07:51
Animals would absolutely be my second choice.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Grumpyprogfan Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: May 22 2020 at 07:52
NH for me.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Rick1 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: May 22 2020 at 07:55
Originally posted by dougmcauliffe dougmcauliffe wrote:

Bubu.... national health... rush...eloy.... sbb... Jethro Tull... all making great, complex stuff in the last years of the 70s
NH are in there...I love Tull but never saw them as prog...
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote someone_else Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: May 22 2020 at 08:02
The last great album before the great simplification would be UK's Danger Money, which is not on this list.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Lewian Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: May 22 2020 at 08:03
I go with Animals on the mood of the day, but in fact I love a good number of these.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote AFlowerKingCrimson Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: May 22 2020 at 08:06
Originally posted by Rick1 Rick1 wrote:

Whoops - the Yes entry should be 'Going for the One'!!

I was expecting to see relayer since GFTO was mostly shorter songs. 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Tom Ozric Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: May 22 2020 at 08:53
Cow, Floyd and National Health - can’t choose.....
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Rick1 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: May 22 2020 at 09:02
Originally posted by AFlowerKingCrimson AFlowerKingCrimson wrote:

Originally posted by Rick1 Rick1 wrote:

Whoops - the Yes entry should be 'Going for the One'!!

I was expecting to see relayer since GFTO was mostly shorter songs. 

'Awaken' swung it for me...although I realise that this is a moot point...
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Rick1 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: May 22 2020 at 09:05
Originally posted by someone_else someone_else wrote:

The last great album before the great simplification would be UK's Danger Money, which is not on this list.

UK are a funny one - I always considered their two albums as 'projects' - the sudden shift in personnel between albums reinforced that view.  
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Logan Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: May 22 2020 at 09:08
Originally posted by Rick1 Rick1 wrote:

Originally posted by AFlowerKingCrimson AFlowerKingCrimson wrote:

Originally posted by Rick1 Rick1 wrote:

Whoops - the Yes entry should be 'Going for the One'!!


I was expecting to see relayer since GFTO was mostly shorter songs. 


'Awaken' swung it for me...although I realise that this is a moot point...


It wasn't the album cover?   

I don't swing that way, but respect to those who do.
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