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Nicholas Linear View Drop Down
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Direct Link To This Post Topic: Great Trilogies
    Posted: August 27 2007 at 19:16

Best Trilogies, Gong, Residents, Philip Glass

 

Why is it that some of my favorite music is found in trilogies ?  Maybe trilogies are for musicians who have such good ideas that it can’t be formulated in one place.  I also find that even in fiction (Bernard Cornwell, e.g.) I like best the books that continue where the other left off.  In the spirit of applauding trilogies, let me list my top three, in no particular order:

 

1.                  Residents: Mole Trilogy –  For whatever reason, not everyone agrees on the merits of this trilogy.  To each his own I guess, but I find it unique. I hope that by this I can at least let some detractors see that there are people who love it ! Tunes of Two Cities is a truly engaging piece. It is not a challenging listen in any way. In fact, some of the tunes are so memorable, I find myself humming for example - “a serenade to missy” – years after my last listen (the bong bong of an elevator arriving always brings the tune to mind…). Is it political ? Yes, I think so – and the political point is made musically.

TOTC is the instrumental follow-up to 'Mark Of The Mole.' You must have MOTM before you can possibly understand TOTC, even though I find TOTC a better album. In the MOTM, we are introduced to two cultures. The first is that of the Mole People, who live and work in mines, but are forced to surface by some kind of “barometric apocalypse,” the song 'Hole Workers At The Mercies Of Nature' describes musically their being forced up from the depths. Moles move to a new area dominated by a modern technological culture. The techies are known as the Chubs, and first are concerned of the influx – “10,000 refugees indeed” they mumble in their ant-immigrant fear. But the Chubs don’t like to work, so they start thinking that perhaps the Moles, who are used to manual labor, may be a benefit. Unfortunately, the Moles are not very good at handling the machines and they sort of make a mess of it. This is followed by the Chubs successful efforts in automating the work that had been done by the Moles, effectively displacing the moles from the work they had been able to do. Left with no role, there is a “short war” followed by a “resolution” of an indeterminate nature.

This is the background to “Tunes of Two Cities.” Unlike MOTM, TOTC is entirely instrumental and alternates between the music of each culture as a way to say something about who each people are. I find the emotional imagery it creates remarkable and of a nature that is not even similar to what I have experienced with any other music - even other music of the residents themselves. The Chubs' music is jazzy and bright and catchy, but with enough anomalous sounds that the nice impression initially created soon gives way to the disturbing. These chubs have something a bit wrong with them I think. On the other hand, the music of the Moles has insectile, deep mechanical and outwardly frightening sounds that create an ominous impression that later gives way to something else. Though outwardly disturbing and even scary, further listens show them to be perhaps the ethnic group more favored by their creators. As the CD progresses, you can note the changes in the themes of the songs meant to follow the story line set out in MOTM,  mentioned above.
 

 

2.                  Gong: Radio Gnome Invisible Trilogy  - this is of course a very well loved trilogy on this forum and enough of its attributes have been mentioned here at length.  I think its really a remarkable piece of work and far ahead of its time.  Everything that everyone says good about it I agree with – though I do not know if it really has the staying power of the true masterpieces (as in my uninformed opinion, the other two trilogies mentioned here qualify as)

 

3.   Philip Glass: Einstein on the Beach, Satyagraha, Akhneton, These are the three “portrait” operas.  For those not familiar with this trilogy, you will find the zenith of minimalism, (lengthy repetition of small elements, very gradual development and change, recurring patterns) and its not really progressive rock, but it has so many of the elements that a progressive music fan would want.  Musical virtuosity and meticulousness, non-commercial and cutting edge composition, instruments not found in traditional rock (OK, so its not rock…).  My favorite of these is Satyagraha, which I have listened to again and again for 20 years. Satyagraha is Sanskrit word meaning "truth-force", is the name of Mohandas K. Gandhi's philosophy of non-violent resistance which he used to galvanize a political movement in South Africa and which later greatly influenced the work of Martin Luther King, Jr.  The numerous soloists are singing Sanskrit but give the impression of being native English speakers as there is absolutely no accent as far as I can detect.  Einstein on the Beach ?  how can you define that other than to listen to it.  You can certainly tell that Satyagraha came afterwards, because it uses the same themes formulated in EOTB, but develops them further.

Edited by Nicholas Linear - August 27 2007 at 19:30
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: August 27 2007 at 19:35
Very interesting thread, and what you said was very well written, however, I think this topic would be better suited in the blog section, perhaps, unless there was a specific question you wanted to ask us about Trilogies (for example, "What are your favourite prog trilogies?")
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: August 27 2007 at 19:40

So what is everyone's favorite prog trilogy ? 

Thats a good question !  Otherwise, someone may have to tell me how tto move it myself to another section


Edited by Nicholas Linear - August 27 2007 at 19:43
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andu View Drop Down
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: August 27 2007 at 19:49
This is my favourite trilogy:

Cei Ce Ne-Au Dat Nume 1973 4.50
Excellent%20addition%20to%20any%20prog%20music%20collection
(15 ratings)


Mugur De Fluier 1974 4.08
Excellent%20addition%20to%20any%20prog%20music%20collection
(11 ratings)

Cantofabule (Cantafabule) 1975 4.45
Excellent%20addition%20to%20any%20prog%20music%20collection
(24 ratings)


Later with the details...
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: August 27 2007 at 19:52
Very good.

In fact, only the powers that be (A.K.A. them 5 stars) can move threads and whatnot, so don't worry about doing it yourself. If the powers that be (A.K.A. The Progtologist) decide it should be moved, it will be. As for now, I will list my favourite trilogies.

Brian Eno's Ambient series (though he has produced many ambient albums, only 3 listed on this site begin with the titled "Ambient", and strangely enough they list 1, 2, and 4.)

Neil Young has a trilogy of sorts out, but as I understand they weren't originally intended to be a trilogy. I suppose you could consider GY!BE's 3 studio albums a trilogy, but it is not explicitly so.
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: August 27 2007 at 21:07
Originally posted by andu andu wrote:

This is my favourite trilogy:

Cei Ce Ne-Au Dat Nume 1973 4.50
Excellent%20addition%20to%20any%20prog%20music%20collection
(15 ratings)


Mugur De Fluier 1974 4.08
Excellent%20addition%20to%20any%20prog%20music%20collection
(11 ratings)

Cantofabule (Cantafabule) 1975 4.45
Excellent%20addition%20to%20any%20prog%20music%20collection
(24 ratings)


Later with the details...
You've plugged away on those albums so many times that they've made it into the depths of my "to-buy" listLOLClap...LOVE the samples on this site...symphonic AND folk...now that's what I'm talking about!
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: August 27 2007 at 21:13
my favorite trilogies (not very original but oh well)
 
VdGG: Godbluff, Still Life, World Record
Camel: Mirage, Snow Goose, Moonmadness
King Crimson: ItCotCK, ItWoP, Lizard, Islands (first 3 or last 3)
Rush: 2112, AFtK, Hemishpheres
 
 
These are the ones off the top of my head that have more in common than just being three good albums in a row (ie I've tried to look for some kind of thematic relation or the like)
 
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: August 27 2007 at 21:24
The Tull folk trilogy: Songs From the Wood, Heavy Horses, and Stormwatch.
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: August 27 2007 at 21:25
Originally posted by mickstafa mickstafa wrote:

The Tull folk trilogy: Songs From the Wood, Heavy Horses, and Stormwatch.
doh! I can't believe I forgot that one...it would surely be number 1 with VdGG.
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: August 27 2007 at 21:31
I like the aforementioned Camel's one: Mirage, Snow Goose & Moonmadness. Awesome bunch. Another great one is Crimson Larks, SaBB & Red.
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: August 27 2007 at 21:37
In a few weeks probably Riverside.
"One had to be a Newton to notice that the moon is falling, when everyone sees that it doesn't fall. "
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: August 27 2007 at 22:45
From what I know Phideaux' The Great Leap and Doomsday Afternoon are the first two parts of a trilogy, if so then that'll probably be a classic soon. I have high expectations for the third, he seems to get more progressive and interesting with every release.

Also I had no idea those Phoenix albums were a trilogy, I'll have to listen with that in mind. A current favorite would have to be the Gong albums though.
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: August 27 2007 at 23:07
These immediately come to mind:

Yes: The Yes Album, Fragile, Close To The Edge
ELP: Tarkus, Trilogy, Brain Salad Surgery
Genesis: Trespass, Nursery Cryme, Foxtrot
Santana: I, Abraxas, III

(Sure, they're obvious, but why not Tongue)
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: August 27 2007 at 23:37
Deep Purple:
Shades of ...
Book of Talesyn
Deep Purple (the album)
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: August 28 2007 at 08:18
Originally posted by jimmy_row jimmy_row wrote:

You've plugged away on those albums so many times that they've made it into the depths of my "to-buy" listLOLClap...LOVE the samples on this site...symphonic AND folk...now that's what I'm talking about!


Sorry mate Embarrassed  Seems like I got kinda redundant, eh? I'm gonna give it a rest now...
It's just that the local prog I'm promoting it's not really varied and the same stuff keeps occurring.
PM me if you're interested in the albums. Smile

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Direct Link To This Post Posted: August 28 2007 at 09:06
Of these I prefer the "Radio Gnome" trilogy slightly to the "Mole" trilogy, but I like both. I am not too big a fan of Philip Glass and must admit I don't know his trilogy.

Other interesting trilogies: The "Robot Woman" trilogy of Mother Gong and Frank Zappa's "Joe's Garage" trilogy.


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Direct Link To This Post Posted: August 28 2007 at 09:31
Rush: 'Fear' Trilogy....
 
Witch Hunt
The Weapon
The Enemy Within..
 
Clap
 

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Direct Link To This Post Posted: October 29 2007 at 18:25

Banco:  1)  Banco

               2)  Darwin
               3)  Io Sono Nato Libero
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: October 29 2007 at 18:30
a plug for Battiato here...

Fetus, Pollution, and Sulle Corde di Aries

a nice trilogy of a sorts.. after that... it starts to  get a bit...  challenging and demanding of the listener.  For hard core fans.. and fans of the avant garde
I find your lack of Bassoon disturbing.....
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: November 16 2007 at 08:16
Close to the Edge
Tales from Topographic Oceans
Relayer
 
Kinfd of a trilogy.
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