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Pink Floyd's prog period

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    Posted: November 04 2021 at 19:32
With Rush it is generally accepted that their prog period was between 1976-1981(2112 to Moving Pictures). 

How about with Pink Floyd though? Imo, I would say it was from 1970- 1977 (Atom Heart Mother to Animals). I don't consider the Wall to be full blown prog and the ones after it are basically rock with prog elements and moments(although if someone wanted to call AMLOR or even TDB prog I wouldn't argue). I'm not sure about the very last one since I only heard it once but it sounded more like ambient or something(I would have to play it again though). As for the early stuff it's mostly either psychedelic, experimental, space rock or proto prog. I'm ok with Ummagumma being called prog but imo AHM is their first true prog album even if it still has strong psych elements on it. 


Edited by AFlowerKingCrimson - November 04 2021 at 19:33
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (1) Thanks(1)   Quote Necrotica Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: November 04 2021 at 19:54
Yeah, Atom Heart Mother - Animals sounds about right. Although I would include The Wall and extend it to 1979, as I still think it's progressive enough to make the cut. It kinda blurs the line between prog rock and prog pop, but I think it counts. In any case, I do agree that Atom Heart Mother is where the band's prog elements were really becoming solidified. 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote AFlowerKingCrimson Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: November 04 2021 at 19:56
^Yeah, I admit it's kind of a judgement call on the Wall but I just don't really hear much that I would consider epic or prog in the traditonal sense. There's a lot of strings on it so I guess that counts for something but overall it's maybe borderline at best imo. I guess everyone will have a different cut off point. Maybe the Wall is sort of like their Duke in a way. 

Edited by AFlowerKingCrimson - November 04 2021 at 19:57
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Dellinger Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: November 04 2021 at 20:04
I guess I would agree with you. Though I might want to consider some even earlier stuff prog too... specially if we consider the live versions.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Sacro_Porgo Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: November 04 2021 at 20:07
Those first couple albums are pretty clearly rooted in Psych rock, plus handing them the "prog" qualification would screw up the general consensus that In The Court Of The Crimson King was pretty much prog's album length debut (Zappa would disagree of course, and he's welcome to, because he rules, but I still would call ITCOTCK ground zero for the movement). So I'm fine saying the Syd stuff's not prog. Atom Heart Mother definitely seems to fit the bill with that sidelong title track and its orchestral sweep. I'd definitely say The Wall is prog, but I'd say the same thing about Tommy and Quadrophenia from The Who. Not every song needs to fit the bill on an individual basis for the album as a unit to qualify. ELP has Lucky Man on it for example. About The Final Cut... I don't love it, but it probably qualifies. It's certainly not pop, that's for darn sure. I haven't listened to the rest enough to say one way or the other, but I know enough to say they seem to have elements remaining which fit the bill, not to mention so much neo-prog pulls from that spacey, slow, synth laden, shimmering guitar lead aesthetic that you could argue the Floyd sound itself had become prog, regardless of song structures or lyrics.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Sacro_Porgo Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: November 04 2021 at 20:09
Originally posted by AFlowerKingCrimson AFlowerKingCrimson wrote:

With Rush it is generally accepted that their prog period was between 1976-1981(2112 to Moving Pictures). 

How about with Pink Floyd though? Imo, I would say it was from 1970- 1977 (Atom Heart Mother to Animals). I don't consider the Wall to be full blown prog and the ones after it are basically rock with prog elements and moments(although if someone wanted to call AMLOR or even TDB prog I wouldn't argue). I'm not sure about the very last one since I only heard it once but it sounded more like ambient or something(I would have to play it again though). As for the early stuff it's mostly either psychedelic, experimental, space rock or proto prog. I'm ok with Ummagumma being called prog but imo AHM is their first true prog album even if it still has strong psych elements on it. 

I might also add that, while 2112 through MP is definitely Rush's golden period, FBN and Caress Of Steel have too many prog elements not to be part of their prog years. The Fountain Of Lamneth? By-Tor And The Snow Dog? That's prog.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (2) Thanks(2)   Quote progaardvark Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: November 04 2021 at 20:18
Their whole discography. Prog is a wide umbrella. Where there may be debate is when they transitioned from one subgenre to the next. 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Necrotica Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: November 04 2021 at 20:59
What's always baffled me is the notion people have of Pink Floyd not being prog altogether; that one never made sense to me. The argument always seems to be that they weren't virtuosos, but bands don't need to be virtuosos to be prog... nor do they need to whip out 5 minutes worth of w**k solos.

But if you look at their other traits, they fit with all the other prog bands of the 70s:

-Long epic pieces with multiple parts? Check.
-Complex albums filled with social critiques and high-art concepts? Check.
-Not adhering to standard pop conventions and drawing more from jazz and classical elements? Check, and even the songs that did adhere to pop did so in a left-of-field way (such as the 7/4 time signature on Money)
-Heavy sonic and compositional experimentation? Massive check; Echoes alone should be proof of that.

I know I'm going on a bit of a rant here; it just always annoyed me that Floyd were occasionally cast out for not being "prog enough" when clearly they were. Don't get me wrong, obviously the common consensus is still that they're a prog band. I've just met so many outliers to that opinion over the years that I felt compelled to touch on it  
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote AFlowerKingCrimson Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: November 04 2021 at 21:03
Originally posted by Sacro_Porgo Sacro_Porgo wrote:

Those first couple albums are pretty clearly rooted in Psych rock, plus handing them the "prog" qualification would screw up the general consensus that In The Court Of The Crimson King was pretty much prog's album length debut (Zappa would disagree of course, and he's welcome to, because he rules, but I still would call ITCOTCK ground zero for the movement). So I'm fine saying the Syd stuff's not prog. Atom Heart Mother definitely seems to fit the bill with that sidelong title track and its orchestral sweep. I'd definitely say The Wall is prog, but I'd say the same thing about Tommy and Quadrophenia from The Who. Not every song needs to fit the bill on an individual basis for the album as a unit to qualify. ELP has Lucky Man on it for example. About The Final Cut... I don't love it, but it probably qualifies. It's certainly not pop, that's for darn sure. I haven't listened to the rest enough to say one way or the other, but I know enough to say they seem to have elements remaining which fit the bill, not to mention so much neo-prog pulls from that spacey, slow, synth laden, shimmering guitar lead aesthetic that you could argue the Floyd sound itself had become prog, regardless of song structures or lyrics.

I didn't really want to get into the what is the first prog album discussion on here because it's not really relevant to the discussion at hand. However, since you brought it up I think it's very debatable that "court" was the first. You also had Days of future passed and several others. Frank Zappa probably wouldn't not disagree because I doubt he would consider himself prog. I'm not sure how else I would label Uncle Meat though. I'm also not sure what else I would call the More soundtrack or ummagumma but to be a bit more strict about definitions I chose AHM as the starting point for PF. Anyway, we can argue until the cows come home(no pun intended ;)) about what is or what isn't prog. For me The Wall is more art rock than prog. If art rock is part of prog then ok. I admit prog can be a wide umbrella.


Edited by AFlowerKingCrimson - November 04 2021 at 21:05
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote richardh Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: November 05 2021 at 02:34
Originally posted by Necrotica Necrotica wrote:

What's always baffled me is the notion people have of Pink Floyd not being prog altogether; that one never made sense to me. The argument always seems to be that they weren't virtuosos, but bands don't need to be virtuosos to be prog... nor do they need to whip out 5 minutes worth of w**k solos.

But if you look at their other traits, they fit with all the other prog bands of the 70s:

-Long epic pieces with multiple parts? Check.
-Complex albums filled with social critiques and high-art concepts? Check.
-Not adhering to standard pop conventions and drawing more from jazz and classical elements? Check, and even the songs that did adhere to pop did so in a left-of-field way (such as the 7/4 time signature on Money)
-Heavy sonic and compositional experimentation? Massive check; Echoes alone should be proof of that.

I know I'm going on a bit of a rant here; it just always annoyed me that Floyd were occasionally cast out for not being "prog enough" when clearly they were. Don't get me wrong, obviously the common consensus is still that they're a prog band. I've just met so many outliers to that opinion over the years that I felt compelled to touch on it  

Growing in the seventies , it was clear that Prog was mainly ELP, Yes and Genesis. Floyd were in a category of their own possibly because they were so big. For that matter Rush were not really considered 'prog' either.

In my view progressive rock music was very wide and included the likes of Sabbath , Zep and Deep Purple as well as Roxy Music and Floyd.

As for Floyd's prog phase I would go 1973-1977 only. They streamlined it very cleverly and then gained the benefit with those massive selling releases.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (1) Thanks(1)   Quote Cristi Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: November 05 2021 at 04:02
Originally posted by progaardvark progaardvark wrote:

Their whole discography. Prog is a wide umbrella. Where there may be debate is when they transitioned from one subgenre to the next. 

well put! Thumbs Up
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Blacksword Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: November 05 2021 at 04:54
AHM - Animals IMO.

For me, Floyd were obviously prog rock, but I consider it a much broader genre than many seem to. IMO prog was about breaking rules and experimenting. To do that, the musicians didn't have to be classically trained virtuoso's. They just needed an imagination and a willingness to break the conventions of rock music. By definition Floyd were prog rock, as they done this routinely and in a far more dramatic and experimental way than the likes of Bowie and Roxy Music, who often merely dabbled (to excellent effect obviously)
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Lewian Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: November 05 2021 at 05:20
If Ummagumma doesn't count as prog, I don't know what does. For me personally pretty much everything would qualify, but then I'm not the best to argue genre boundaries anyway, because I don't care much about them. Still, any serious list of clearly prog PF albums must include Ummagumma.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Progishness Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: November 05 2021 at 06:52
Ummagumma ---> Animals is probably their core prog period, and possibly also including Saucerful.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote AFlowerKingCrimson Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: November 05 2021 at 07:13
Originally posted by Progishness Progishness wrote:

Ummagumma ---> Animals is probably their core prog period, and possibly also including Saucerful.

I see the first two albums as psych with hints of prog. As for Ummagumma it's more experimental. The live album could maybe be considered prog but the solo pieces are just too weird to be prog. I'm not even sure I would call them psych.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Deadwing Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: November 05 2021 at 07:54
Maybe The Wall and The Final Cut could be seen more as an Opera Rock album instead of prog, but the rest is all 100% prog
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (1) Thanks(1)   Quote suitkees Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: November 05 2021 at 07:55
Is it important? I mean, does the (sub-)genre label you stick on it alter your appreciation of the music? Not for me, anyway, but I'm curious to know more of the motivation behind this questioning... (if it is not about appreciation, there might be another reason why this differentiation has a function that I don't see...)
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote moshkito Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: November 05 2021 at 07:56
Originally posted by AFlowerKingCrimson AFlowerKingCrimson wrote:

With Rush it is generally accepted that their prog period was between 1976-1981(2112 to Moving Pictures). 

How about with Pink Floyd though? Imo, I would say it was from 1970- 1977 (Atom Heart Mother to Animals). I don't consider the Wall to be full blown prog and the ones after it are basically rock with prog elements and moments(although if someone wanted to call AMLOR or even TDB prog I wouldn't argue). I'm not sure about the very last one since I only heard it once but it sounded more like ambient or something(I would have to play it again though). As for the early stuff it's mostly either psychedelic, experimental, space rock or proto prog. I'm ok with Ummagumma being called prog but imo AHM is their first true prog album even if it still has strong psych elements on it. 

Hi,

I think a bit differently ... but yeah, all the way to THE WALL, however I do not think of this stuff as "progressive", as much as I do the continuing evolving ability of the band to show their IMAGES, that in the early days AFTER Syd, were done with sound effects, and were a big part of their QUADRAPHONIC sound experience, in that the vignettes moving around in various ways, made you feel like you were in the middle of it all ... something that later RW's version of THE WALL completely ignored and went for the cheap version, which took the "reality" out of the real thing and into the "imagine" atmosphere of the concept piece.

All in all, sometimes I think that the use of the word "progressive" or "prog" is over stated and over done, and not as meaningful to the music itself as one might think. For me, PF is a wonderful band, but I don't know that I ever considered them "progressive" specially when compared to many other bands in Europe that were doing far more adventurous things MUSICALLY, while PF stuck to making sure their idea of "visuals" could be seen to the audiences, which became a massive show starting with DSOTM.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Progosopher Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: November 05 2021 at 11:00
I would include The Wall as Prog. It functions like The Lamb Lies Down - it tells a story through shorter pieces, but in the long run, it is the sequencing that creates its progginess rather than the individual songs. A person may extract a single favorite song and enjoy it, but to get the full experience you need to listen to the entire album. The Wall has three songs that became hits, we all know what they are, and they are great by themselves, but to listen to them in context makes their quality shine that much brighter.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote TheLionOfPrague Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: November 05 2021 at 17:32
I agree with the majority, Atom Heart Mother - Animals is right. I'd include Ummagumma and The Wall too.
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