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ExittheLemming View Drop Down
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: February 15 2010 at 05:13
Excellent thread certainly, although I confess to having a very flimsy grasp of some of the more technical aspects of the discussion.

I've always been struck by how many of the 1st generation of proggers came from either an R'n'B, or to a lesser but significant extent, Jazz background. e.g. Graham Bond, Arthur Brown, Jon Lord, Rod Argent, Colosseum, the Nice, ELP, Robert Fripp (played in a Bournemouth Jazz Dance band), Brian Auger, Jon Anderson (the Warriors), Pink Floyd, Moody Blues etc. Similarly, the origins of many RPI bands are steeped in 60's R'n'B.

There could be a (very simplistic) case made to suggest that Prog, in its first incarnation, drew predominantly from those embarking from the R'n'B/Jazz platform e.g. I can hear this lineage even in music as wildly disparate as In the Court of the Crimson King, Days of Future Passed, Oracle and Odyssey, Piper at the Gates of Dawn, the Thoughts of Emerlist Davjack and even latterly (gulp) the Yes Album. That is not to say that if you pan out the progressive elements of the aforementioned artists you are left with a little nugget of R'n'B, but that's where the pulse or the rock has its source IMO

Given that there does not appear to be a contemporary musical flavour of sufficient dominance that R'n'B enjoyed in the early/mid sixties to qualify as 'common ground', is this perhaps the missing ingredient that renders so-called modern prog but a pale pastiche/homage ? Marketing has now splintered contemporary musical trends into such factionalised 'brand' tastes, that the likelihood of us ever arriving at a genre that would prove a fertile launch pad for the Prog of the future appears distinctly remote.

I used to think that the 'new prog' would stem from the development of the post-punk bands who appeared circa 1979, (Cure, Banshees, XTC, Talking Heads, Television) but this just never seemed to materialise or was stalled by the arrival of engineered Grunge ?

Divide and rule is still a very effective strategy for the corporate world it seems...



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Direct Link To This Post Posted: February 16 2010 at 10:46
I think we’re getting to the heart of our disagreements here, Cert. Yes, boundary crossing is not the be all and end all of progressive music, but so many bands of the 70s took their cue from the blending of styles.  Lots of the big names borrowed from classical and jazz styles heavily to achieve a more technically advanced, eclectic and experimental nature. If it were not for the fact that they incorporated the drive of rock music into their compositions, there would probably be little original content remaining, as all extremes have been explored by the avant-garde musicians gone before them. Yet we call it progressive probably because it sounded so much more advanced from the bulk of popular music being written at that time. Do you not agree that this foundation of crossing the border was intrinsic to progressive rock’s inception? And so it continues, as there are a great number of ways in which different styles can be combined. Whilst only an element of prog, I believe it certainly adds to a band’s progressive credibility.

Since we’re discussing a particular band here, upon reflection I do confess that much of Porcupine Tree’s earlier work was lacking any real innovation, but their last two albums are certainly more ambitious and this age old structure does not detract from that. Consider the many composers that wrote in sonata form - were they confined purely to convention, simply because of ABA? In the same way, you can easily push the envelope within a typical song structure - I hardly think that the use of a verse and a chorus restricts a band’s creativity. You can’t possibly say that structural content inherently makes a band progressive or otherwise, especially considering that the idea of boundary crossing cannot either, the latter being a far more apparent difference between the progressive and the ordinary. Mind you, I’m not saying that you ARE in fact claiming that straying from structural confines is always progressive. I’m merely expressing my opinion that neither of these two ideas mentioned here are sufficient by their own merits to qualify a musician/group as the real deal, as you may or may not agree.

I was vague in my reference to ’generic rock’, but I still claim that the band’s instrumental ability is notable, and above the average level of proficiency. Despite being a huge fan of Megadeth, I cannot begin to entertain the idea that Samuel Gars or Nick Menza match the widely revered technique of Gavin Harrison. I feel the drummer to be in an entirely different universe. Additionally, although not as fast, Edwin’s articulation strikes me as display of superiority technically to Ellefson. I would also be willing to bet that David would find it difficult to hold his own in the fierce polyrhythmic and irregular grooves that have graced more contemporary PT music. And whilst Dave Mustaine is clearly a more technically able guitarist, his picking technique quite frankly looks uncomfortable, and Steven’s alternate picking rate is highly impressive. When weighing these ideas up, I feel that Porcupine Tree may well have greater instrumental competence than you give them credit.  

I still feel that although I have a limited knowledge of modern Prog, portions of which I have heard do in fact resemble the greats. Spock’s Beard sounds like Yes and Dream Theater reminds me of Rush. Besides, if you take far more informed opinions than my own, it is very common for older bands to be referenced in reviews discussing modern albums. There must be something there.

And how does coherence arise from simpler compositions? I’ve heard transitions between totally differing sections of a piece laced together beautifully to make the piece sound all the more elaborate and better defined as a whole. A lack of coherence, whilst sometimes admittedly proves to be effective, can also lead to disjointed, convoluted and entirely unmusical presentations of ideas, and I don’t feel it should be a feature associated solely with straightforward rock.

We also don’t need to worry about all those non prog bands to which you refer - this website encompasses  music under every corner of both the progressive and prog umbrella, so I can’t think of one artist mentioned so far that doesn’t belong. And as someone who humbly refers to himself as a fan of the style, I am happy with the idea of ‘retro-prog’ not adhering to the progressive model. After all, this whole matter isn’t exactly about fitting in.

Please clear up my juvenile misconceptions. LOL
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: February 17 2010 at 03:17
Originally posted by ExittheLemming ExittheLemming wrote:

I've always been struck by how many of the 1st generation of proggers came from either an R'n'B, or to a lesser but significant extent, Jazz background. e.g. Graham Bond, Arthur Brown, Jon Lord, Rod Argent, Colosseum, the Nice, ELP, Robert Fripp (played in a Bournemouth Jazz Dance band), Brian Auger, Jon Anderson (the Warriors), Pink Floyd, Moody Blues etc. Similarly, the origins of many RPI bands are steeped in 60's R'n'B.

There could be a (very simplistic) case made to suggest that Prog, in its first incarnation, drew predominantly from those embarking from the R'n'B/Jazz platform e.g. I can hear this lineage even in music as wildly disparate as In the Court of the Crimson King, Days of Future Passed, Oracle and Odyssey, Piper at the Gates of Dawn, the Thoughts of Emerlist Davjack and even latterly (gulp) the Yes Album. That is not to say that if you pan out the progressive elements of the aforementioned artists you are left with a little nugget of R'n'B, but that's where the pulse or the rock has its source IMO
 
These are absolutely the roots to the first generation  - and, as you say, jazz was a significant element - probably the crucial element that made the music inherently progressive and appear to adhere so strongly to Kenton's model.
 
I'm willing to bet that most Prog bands hadn't even heard of this model, and it's a complete co-incidence that most Prog of that time has so many striking similarities - yet the influence of this model appears to mark out the more progressive bands from the less progressive ones  - ie, the more closely a band "adheres" to it, the higher up the Prog tree we can see them, with Gentle Giant, The Nice/ELP, King  Crimson and Frank Zappa perched right at the top.
 
The technicalities aren't partiocularly hard - I'm more than happy to explain any of them in more depth / less words, whichever is preferred.
 

Originally posted by ExittheLemming ExittheLemming wrote:


Given that there does not appear to be a contemporary musical flavour of sufficient dominance that R'n'B enjoyed in the early/mid sixties to qualify as 'common ground', is this perhaps the missing ingredient that renders so-called modern prog but a pale pastiche/homage ?
 
I don't think so, I'm fairly certain it's because jazz and classical music have slipped a long way off the radar, so bands and fans generally do not have an appreciation of those more elaborate musical forms, both of which underpinned the early evolution of Prog.
 
The aspects that stand out to present generations are simply elements -
 
For example; The modal harmonies and odd time signatures of jazz, without understanding what makes jazz tick (I don't need to tell you that it's a LOT more than the harmonies!
 
Example 2; A much lower level but more tightly focussed understanding of music theory, coupled with more precise playing technique, and citations from Classical or early prog bands music.
 
Both of these examples illustrate what I am frequently accused of doing; Attempting to break the music down into its component elements, then looking at the parts and creating something "new" through re-assembly using only a few of the components.
 
The explanation of why this is not progressive is a long one...
 
Originally posted by ExittheLemming ExittheLemming wrote:

Marketing has now splintered contemporary musical trends into such factionalised 'brand' tastes, that the likelihood of us ever arriving at a genre that would prove a fertile launch pad for the Prog of the future appears distinctly remote.
 
This looks like something that's covered in Dean's excellent ongoing blog "Please Self Release Me" - check it out, if you haven't already.
 
Originally posted by ExittheLemming ExittheLemming wrote:


I used to think that the 'new prog' would stem from the development of the post-punk bands who appeared circa 1979, (Cure, Banshees, XTC, Talking Heads, Television) but this just never seemed to materialise or was stalled by the arrival of engineered Grunge ?

 
Actually, I think it did arise from this scene!
 
XTc, particularly are a great favourite of mine. I find it very telling that John Leckie, producer of their early albums, went on to produce Radiohead and Muse.
 
One of the most important acts of that time to me were The Stranglers, who seemed to stomp on musical boundaries, with an artistic approach that seems rooted in The Doors, who in turn were arguably the first progressive rock act (not "Prog", of course... or were they? Wink).
 
Oddly enough, two other bands of the immediate post-Prog and post-Punk era, crucially influential on how some aspects of Modern Progressive Music would develop after Neo were The Scorpions and The Clash respectively... discuss LOL


Edited by Certif1ed - February 17 2010 at 03:25
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: February 17 2010 at 09:39
Originally posted by ExittheLemming ExittheLemming wrote:

I've always been struck by how many of the 1st generation of proggers came from either an R'n'B, or to a lesser but significant extent, Jazz background. e.g. Graham Bond, Arthur Brown, Jon Lord, Rod Argent, Colosseum, the Nice, ELP, Robert Fripp (played in a Bournemouth Jazz Dance band), Brian Auger, Jon Anderson (the Warriors), Pink Floyd, Moody Blues etc. Similarly, the origins of many RPI bands are steeped in 60's R'n'B.

There could be a (very simplistic) case made to suggest that Prog, in its first incarnation, drew predominantly from those embarking from the R'n'B/Jazz platform e.g. I can hear this lineage even in music as wildly disparate as In the Court of the Crimson King, Days of Future Passed, Oracle and Odyssey, Piper at the Gates of Dawn, the Thoughts of Emerlist Davjack and even latterly (gulp) the Yes Album. That is not to say that if you pan out the progressive elements of the aforementioned artists you are left with a little nugget of R'n'B, but that's where the pulse or the rock has its source IMO

Given that there does not appear to be a contemporary musical flavour of sufficient dominance that R'n'B enjoyed in the early/mid sixties to qualify as 'common ground', is this perhaps the missing ingredient that renders so-called modern prog but a pale pastiche/homage ?

It wasn't until jazz merged with R&B that interesting things in a Prog context happened. Jazz itself had little influence on Prog although there's something you could call space jazz delivered by Sun Ra (We travel the Spaceways), Herbie Hancock (The Egg) and Soft Machine (Orientasian). 
 
Examples: (a) Soft Machine were going nowhere until they mixed their jazz with R&B; (b) Dave Brubeck added R&B in jazz on Time Out very successfully; (c) Herbie Hancock achieved great things on Empyrean Isles but only because he mixed jazz and R&B.
 
Perhaps more interestingly, R&B mixed with folk and R'n'R (later rock) to form US Psyche which in turn led to Space Rock. For instance, The Animals mixed R&B (think Booker T. & the MG's and their Green Onions, Chinese Checkers and Mo' Onions) with folk on House of the rising sun and developed it further in the following years (We Gotta Get Out of This Place, It's My Life) until Jefferson Airplane took over (High Flyin' Bird and on).
 
Then you had R&B mixing with rock'n'roll, but that's another story (involving The Beatles).


Edited by earlyprog - February 17 2010 at 09:52
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: February 17 2010 at 19:12
Originally posted by Fieldofsorrow Fieldofsorrow wrote:


 I am happy with the idea of ‘retro-prog’ not adhering to the progressive model. After all, this whole matter isn’t exactly about fitting in.



Clap maybe we should just take the concept of 'historicising' music - Yes/Crimson (GONG!) were amazingly progressive for thier time, so we should view their music in light of the historical circumstances.
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: February 18 2010 at 03:11
Originally posted by Fieldofsorrow Fieldofsorrow wrote:

I think we’re getting to the heart of our disagreements here, Cert. Yes, boundary crossing is not the be all and end all of progressive music, but so many bands of the 70s took their cue from the blending of styles.  Lots of the big names borrowed from classical and jazz styles heavily to achieve a more technically advanced, eclectic and experimental nature.
 
Of course - and one could easily argue that this is the nature of Progressive Rock.
 
Originally posted by Fieldofsorrow Fieldofsorrow wrote:

If it were not for the fact that they incorporated the drive of rock music into their compositions, there would probably be little original content remaining, as all extremes have been explored by the avant-garde musicians gone before them.
 
No - that argument doesn't hold;
 
The musicians didn't incorporate the drive of rock music into their compositions, the music was fundamentally rock, and other types of music were incorporated into it - it's not a subtle difference, in other words, it's the exact opposite of what you're saying.
 
Just because avant-garde musicians had explored particular areas, it doesn't mean that they had done everything, and it's not true to say that they'd explored all extremes
 
There was plenty of "original content", whatever that means (one could easily argue that there is no such thing, of course), but remember that Progressive Rock was a rapid evolution (part of the meaning of "Progressive"), not a sudden explosion of 100% unique music.
 
Originally posted by Fieldofsorrow Fieldofsorrow wrote:

Yet we call it progressive probably because it sounded so much more advanced from the bulk of popular music being written at that time. Do you not agree that this foundation of crossing the border was intrinsic to progressive rock’s inception? And so it continues, as there are a great number of ways in which different styles can be combined. Whilst only an element of prog, I believe it certainly adds to a band’s progressive credibility.
 
Hang on - are we talking about a foundation or a simple element? Wink
 
This looks more like a build up to a separate argument by laying down a somewhat confused premise.
 
This is why I took a model which is straightforward and as descriptive as it is prescriptive - and probably full of co-incidence, but the point of a model is that it works to whatever extent it needs to. Reality is allowed to deviate from it, but up to a point - and that point is the undefinable point at which "Progressive" begins. The model is the ultimate aspiration.
 
 
 
 
Originally posted by Fieldofsorrow Fieldofsorrow wrote:



Since we’re discussing a particular band here, upon reflection I do confess that much of Porcupine Tree’s earlier work was lacking any real innovation, but their last two albums are certainly more ambitious and this age old structure does not detract from that.
 
We're not actually discussing Porcupine Tree... but I will check out their last two albums. Wink
 
Obviously, music can be ambitious in aspects other than form - but it is striking that the Classic Prog bands seemed to like playing with form as much as any other fundamental element of music, as per the model.
 
 
Originally posted by Fieldofsorrow Fieldofsorrow wrote:

Consider the many composers that wrote in sonata form - were they confined purely to convention, simply because of ABA?
 
 
Oh come on!
 
Sonata Form isn't ABA, although I see what you're getting at, and not all composers wrote in Sonata form 100% of the time - in fact almost none did.
 
It's not alternatively known as "First Movement Form" without reason, and the bulk of Sonatas, Symphonies and other works using Sonata Form have 3 movements - many have more, and some have less.
 
Just from this, we can see clearly that composers were not "Confined by convention", it just happened that Sonata Form was a very popular framework within which to compose.
 
It's also a fact that the tigher the framework you impose on your music, the freer you can be with the music itself. Compare Beethoven's "Pathetique" and "Moonlight Sonata"s, to use 2 very famous examples.
 
Consider also Pink Floyd's "Saucerful of Secrets" (the song), which has a carefully worked out framework in the style of an architectural blueprint (3 of the Floyd were architecture students) - yet it's one of the loosest sounding pieces ever written, as well as being one of the most influential.
 
 
Originally posted by Fieldofsorrow Fieldofsorrow wrote:

In the same way, you can easily push the envelope within a typical song structure - I hardly think that the use of a verse and a chorus restricts a band’s creativity.
 
 
No, of course not - but the existence of a typical song structure immediately makes a piece sound more like a song (oddly enough) than one which experiments with structure.
 
It doesn't restrict creativity, but it does lessen the chance of the piece being inherently progressive by a significant factor.
 
Originally posted by Fieldofsorrow Fieldofsorrow wrote:

You can’t possibly say that structural content inherently makes a band progressive or otherwise, especially considering that the idea of boundary crossing cannot either, the latter being a far more apparent difference between the progressive and the ordinary. Mind you, I’m not saying that you ARE in fact claiming that straying from structural confines is always progressive. I’m merely expressing my opinion that neither of these two ideas mentioned here are sufficient by their own merits to qualify a musician/group as the real deal, as you may or may not agree.
 
Indeed - the use of any single element, or even combinations is not enough in themselves - but they are good pointers. It's not so much what is done as how it's done.
Originally posted by Fieldofsorrow Fieldofsorrow wrote:


I was vague in my reference to ’generic rock’, but I still claim that the band’s instrumental ability is notable, and above the average level of proficiency.
 
Are you talking about Porcupine Tree again, or Progressive Rock in general?
 
What is this "average level of proficiency" - is there such a thing?
 
Originally posted by Fieldofsorrow Fieldofsorrow wrote:

Despite being a huge fan of Megadeth, I cannot begin to entertain the idea that Samuel Gars or Nick Menza match the widely revered technique of Gavin Harrison. I feel the drummer to be in an entirely different universe. Additionally, although not as fast, Edwin’s articulation strikes me as display of superiority technically to Ellefson. I would also be willing to bet that David would find it difficult to hold his own in the fierce polyrhythmic and irregular grooves that have graced more contemporary PT music. And whilst Dave Mustaine is clearly a more technically able guitarist, his picking technique quite frankly looks uncomfortable, and Steven’s alternate picking rate is highly impressive. When weighing these ideas up, I feel that Porcupine Tree may well have greater instrumental competence than you give them credit.  
 
Technical competence is not core to progressive rock, although helpful.
 
Technical is actually different to Progressive - although, of course, it's possible for the two to be the same, and it's highly likely that a composer of Progessive Rock will have a relatively high technical ability.
 
For example, Watchtower practically invented technical metal, but the underlying music is simply heavy metal.
Originally posted by Fieldofsorrow Fieldofsorrow wrote:


I still feel that although I have a limited knowledge of modern Prog, portions of which I have heard do in fact resemble the greats. Spock’s Beard sounds like Yes and Dream Theater reminds me of Rush. Besides, if you take far more informed opinions than my own, it is very common for older bands to be referenced in reviews discussing modern albums. There must be something there.
 
I haven't heard it yet - perhaps if you provided specific examples of songs and the classic songs they remind you of?
 
Originally posted by Fieldofsorrow Fieldofsorrow wrote:


And how does coherence arise from simpler compositions?
 
Easy - the simpler the constructions, the easier it is to make the piece feel coherent. It's much, much harder to do that with elaborate compositions, which can often sound simply lengthy and comprised of disjointed sections.
 
Consider again "Saucerful of Secrets" by Pink Floyd.
 
Then consider the many attempts to replicate it - or at least write something similar in the late 1960s and early 1970s.
 
"Black Mass - An Electric Storm in Hell" by White Noise springs to mind.
 
Delia Derbyshire and David Vorhaus were great electronic music composers, yet this piece seems slung together and disorderly - and it's the longest on the album "An Electric Storm". It's still astonishing, especially on headphones - I 100% recommend it!
 
The most coherent piece is the simplest - "Love Without Sound", which is an astonishing progressive masterpiece of music. Trip Hop over 20 years before its "invention".
 
Originally posted by Fieldofsorrow Fieldofsorrow wrote:

I’ve heard transitions between totally differing sections of a piece laced together beautifully to make the piece sound all the more elaborate and better defined as a whole.
 
...and so have I - but these tend to be the minority. "Echoes" springs to mind, as does "Supper's Ready".
 
Originally posted by Fieldofsorrow Fieldofsorrow wrote:

 A lack of coherence, whilst sometimes admittedly proves to be effective, can also lead to disjointed, convoluted and entirely unmusical presentations of ideas, and I don’t feel it should be a feature associated solely with straightforward rock.
Hmm - not sure what you're saying here.
 
Originally posted by Fieldofsorrow Fieldofsorrow wrote:


We also don’t need to worry about all those non prog bands to which you refer - this website encompasses  music under every corner of both the progressive and prog umbrella, so I can’t think of one artist mentioned so far that doesn’t belong. And as someone who humbly refers to himself as a fan of the style, I am happy with the idea of ‘retro-prog’ not adhering to the progressive model. After all, this whole matter isn’t exactly about fitting in.

Please clear up my juvenile misconceptions. LOL
 
No - you're right, this blog is not at all about whether bands fit in or not, it's a discussion of Progressive Music, and most recently, specifically about where "Progressive" begins.
 
Examples would, of course, be very useful, especially in the context of Modern Prog - where it seems to me to have become a mere style of standard rock rather than anything inherently progressive. In which case, I can't help wonder why such music should be filed alongside music which IS inherently progressive.
 
Help me understand this LOL


Edited by Certif1ed - February 18 2010 at 03:24
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: February 19 2010 at 12:04
Originally posted by earlyprog earlyprog wrote:

It wasn't until jazz merged with R&B that interesting things in a Prog context happened. Jazz itself had little influence on Prog although there's something you could call space jazz delivered by Sun Ra (We travel the Spaceways), Herbie Hancock (The Egg) and Soft Machine (Orientasian). 
 
Examples: (a) Soft Machine were going nowhere until they mixed their jazz with R&B; (b) Dave Brubeck added R&B in jazz on Time Out very successfully; (c) Herbie Hancock achieved great things on Empyrean Isles but only because he mixed jazz and R&B.
 
I'm surptised noone objected to this Shocked. Zappa's Invocation and Ritual Dance of the Young Pumpkin attests to the opposite. It even has "Canterbury" sections - before Soft Machine delivered anything near that!!
 
Originally posted by earlyprog earlyprog wrote:

Perhaps more interestingly, R&B mixed with folk and R'n'R (later rock) to form US Psyche which in turn led to Space Rock. For instance, The Animals mixed R&B (think Booker T. & the MG's and their Green Onions, Chinese Checkers and Mo' Onions) with folk on House of the rising sun and developed it further in the following years (We Gotta Get Out of This Place, It's My Life) until Jefferson Airplane took over (High Flyin' Bird and on).
 
And no objections to this?! Ermm
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: February 19 2010 at 15:30
I thought Prog was just a abbreviation of Progressive?
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: February 20 2010 at 02:36
Great topic and I agree with most of the things Cert1fied has said.  I think the moment people start saying of a genre,"It's not great, but f***, it's *insert genre name*" you know it's become stale because it's now supposed to sound like something instead of evolving.  What still confounds me is if I, who am musically unschooled, can grasp the difference in the compositional approach between prog in the 70s and modern prog, surely musicians would be able to. So if it's a deliberate approach, what could possibly be the motivation for using it...in what way would it make sense, that is to say, because it is often greatly disagreeable with me.  For instance, Anglagard...I dislike it when themes are abandoned seemingly at random without developing them satisfactorily and when the themes that follow don't connect and instead jar.  I am just describing it as I perceive it when I listen to it, if there are flaws in my notion, please excuse me. Embarrassed
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: February 20 2010 at 08:09
I’m sinking like a stone here… Never mind, I’m enjoying myself. Big smile

Upon consideration, it is inevitable of course, that the music was fundamentally rock and other influences were secondary to that foundation. What I was trying to articulate however, was that through years of musical exploration gone before the age of rock music, all the basic building blocks had undergone extensive experimentation. Melody, harmony, rhythm, texture and form were all subjects of innovation for many hundreds of years, so when the idea of progressive rock rolled around, I question that the early bands were able to produce music that presented brand new ways of varying the musical elements. In other words, these bands were not revolutionising in counterpoint or harmony as far as the history of music was concerned, because the avenues had already been so vigorously explored. Therefore, I feel that what made this music progressive was the context of rock. Whilst many of the choices made by leaders such as King Crimson were a novelty as far as rock was concerned, the bigger picture would probably reveal that little was entirely new. This was all I meant by the red herring of ‘original content’ - I did not intend to insinuate that the motifs and riffs were ripped off, if I gave that impression.

I should have stated that a lot of my argument was directed in arguing for Porcupine Tree’s progressive attitude. Just to clarify, I see the blurring of boundaries very much as an element, but also one of the reasons why progressive rock came to light - a foundation of some description, as it can in some ways reflect the nature of classical and jazz. My little rant, directed at the idea of blurring boundaries being so important, was mainly in Porcupine Tree’s interest, and I was only to use that as a stepping stone to the questioning of form. Perhaps some of this deviation is best saved for a discussion some other time?

I exaggerated my parallels with classical music, but all I really wanted to communicate was the ‘popular framework’ did not restrict creativity then, and nor should a popular song structure now. As it happens we agree on this to some extent anyway. Out of interest, why do you think it is that a more rigid structure allows for greater creativity?

I am aware of the difference between technical ability and progressiveness, thanks to discovering a lot of technical death metal through friends - highly impressive instrumental skill, but no innovation as far as I can hear.

Have you heard ‘The Kindness of Strangers?’ The track ‘June’ evokes a very Yes - like feel, in my opinion. Someone remarked a similar comparison to me independently upon hearing the track, allowing me to feel that this was somewhat more justified. And the instrumental section in ‘Metropolis Pt 1’ screams Rush at me. These examples only go as far as the vein in which these bands play - not specific licks. It’s the way these compositions are arranged and presented - more of the ‘how’ over ‘what’ argument.

Reading back my little comment on coherence made me sound rather ‘convoluted’ - such hypocrisy! Allow me to refine my thoughts - I find a lack of coherence to be something that is unmusical, because the ideas bear less relation to one another if they are haphazardly linked. Is it abnormal of me to be willing to compromise that more ‘wild’ feel for something that flows a little more easily?

It would be difficult for me to help you understand why we have such an assortment of bands on this website, as I have been responsible for none of their admissions, and I am still trying to adapt my ideas about the true meaning of being progressive. Ultimately, I don’t feel qualified to speak, and all my questioning so far has not been the result of a solidified opinion, but something that aspires to understand.

To summarise my thoughts, I don’t think that simplicity of form, technicality, and coherence make or break progressive music, nor do any combination of the three. The thing is, I feel that you and I actually agree on quite a lot of things, but as my ideas are still in a fairly embryonic state, I still have much shaping to do, which I feel these discussions are helping. I feel it’s time for me to reread a few ideas mentioned in the blog for consolidation purposes.
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: February 20 2010 at 08:25
A lot to take in there certainly. I think it's probably true that there is considerably more 'fresh coinage' and completely new musical ideas and complexity in most contemporary classical than there ever was in Progressive Rock. Like you say, it was the hitherto untried combination of existing musical elements that was so revolutionary. I would imagine that if you approached a record company in say 1965 and said you had combined the harmonic progressions in the Karelia Suite under a rock beat and improvised a jazz sextet over that you would have been either incarcerated or told it was commercial suicide. It's a shame that the sort of receptive audience and adventurous musical climate that must have existed for Prog to be possible is unlikely to ever appear again. Or am I just being defeatist and overly pessimistic ?
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: February 20 2010 at 09:11
Originally posted by ExittheLemming ExittheLemming wrote:

It's a shame that the sort of receptive audience and adventurous musical climate that must have existed for Prog to be possible is unlikely to ever appear again. Or am I just being defeatist and overly pessimistic ?


No, I don't think so at least Tongue...either the musical climate was vastly different from now or there were some socio-cultural factors at work which aided the reception of such adventurous music.   Or maybe...I think Dean has said something like this before, correct me if I am wrong, the adventure is not in prog but other pastures.  I mean though Muse are on the archives, there's always debate over whether they are really prog or not.  And I chalk that up with the packed crowds at Wembley to which they perform....maybe there's some sort of audience even today for adventurous music, just not the prog audience, who may have somewhere got a little too attached to odd time signatures and synthesizers.  Dead
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: February 20 2010 at 09:43
Originally posted by rogerthat rogerthat wrote:

Originally posted by ExittheLemming ExittheLemming wrote:

It's a shame that the sort of receptive audience and adventurous musical climate that must have existed for Prog to be possible is unlikely to ever appear again. Or am I just being defeatist and overly pessimistic ?


No, I don't think so at least Tongue...either the musical climate was vastly different from now or there were some socio-cultural factors at work which aided the reception of such adventurous music.   Or maybe...I think Dean has said something like this before, correct me if I am wrong, the adventure is not in prog but other pastures.  I mean though Muse are on the archives, there's always debate over whether they are really prog or not.  And I chalk that up with the packed crowds at Wembley to which they perform....maybe there's some sort of audience even today for adventurous music, just not the prog audience, who may have somewhere got a little too attached to odd time signatures and synthesizers.  Dead


Yep, that's a valid point as we may be looking in the wrong place and for the wrong things for what we habitually deem to be truly progressive music. I've never heard Muse so can't comment but I've long harboured the suspicion that what will come to be recognised as the prog of the noughties is unlikely to resemble the 70's prog in any shape or form and will only earn its plaudits retrospectively.


Edited by ExittheLemming - February 20 2010 at 09:44
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: February 20 2010 at 09:47
Originally posted by ExittheLemming ExittheLemming wrote:



Yep, that's a valid point as we may be looking in the wrong place and for the wrong things for what we habitually deem to be truly progressive music. I've never heard Muse so can't comment but I've long harboured the suspicion that what will come to be recognised as the prog of the noughties is unlikely to resemble the 70's prog in any shape or form and will only earn its plaudits retrospectively.


Truly progressive music should not sound like 70s prog at all on the surface, the similarity should only be in the compositional approach.  If it is progressive, it should evolve and take in influences from contemporary, emerging forms of music which is evident in Muse's music or Radiohead's. They may not quite bring Larks Tongue In Aspic to mind in terms of the compositional approach, but they are much further down that road than say Flower Kings to my ears. 
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: February 22 2010 at 04:49
Originally posted by Fieldofsorrow Fieldofsorrow wrote:

I’m sinking like a stone here… Never mind, I’m enjoying myself. Big smile
 
I have to say that the idea here is not to "demolish the opponent", but rather to dig deeper into where the "Progressiveness" is.
 
The main issue seesm to be that a wide variety of claims are made by the various definitions of Modern Prog that simply are not true - which is the only reason I was able to find holes in the arguments in the first place, not that Modern Prog isn't somehow progressive.
 
In other words, the main fault is not in the music, but in how the music is widely and incorrectly described!

Originally posted by Fieldofsorrow Fieldofsorrow wrote:


...Therefore, I feel that what made this music progressive was the context of rock....
 
Hence "Progressive Rock" - let's keep the context here, as we are not looking for "original", "unique" or anything of the sort.
 
The model described earlier is a relatively straightforward way of describing progressive music, as described over 20 years earlier by a jazz musician.
 
It's really cool that we can listen to Classic Prog and apply the same model with varying results - but always with results.
 
Originally posted by Fieldofsorrow Fieldofsorrow wrote:



I should have stated that a lot of my argument was directed in arguing for Porcupine Tree’s progressive attitude. (...) Perhaps some of this deviation is best saved for a discussion some other time?
 
I think this is worth digging into further here - a specific album would be a good place to start.
 
Originally posted by Fieldofsorrow Fieldofsorrow wrote:


I exaggerated my parallels with classical music, but all I really wanted to communicate was the ‘popular framework’ did not restrict creativity then, and nor should a popular song structure now. As it happens we agree on this to some extent anyway. Out of interest, why do you think it is that a more rigid structure allows for greater creativity?
 
Experience, mainly.
 
That and the plain fact that most writers find it very hard to compose outside of the comfort zone of an A-B-A-B-C-A-B structure at all; The wealth of musical varieties that rely purely on this ancient form is testament to how creative musicians can be within this extraordinarily limited framework.
 
Even slight modifications to it can result in something that sounds fresh and progressive - the most typical, obviously, is to extend the "C" section by adding pseudo "D", "E", "F" sections and so on. By inserting a completely new idea, you can create the feeling of swooping off into new musical territory - but this can end up a simple cheap gimmick, especially if there's no linking material.
 
In these days of computer sequencing, this is the easiest thing in the wold to do, which underlines my feeling of it being a cheap way to write music, and not progressive, but an easy trick for someone with few musical ideas.
 
If you create the structure before you write the music, it is much easier to "paint by numbers" within the resultant modules - but at the same time, it is also much easier to create a sprawling mess with little coherence.
 
The artistry of progressive rock lies in the ability to join multiple strands of musical thought together into a single entity - to produce a musical journey rather than a simple song, which is what the song structure inevitably produces.
Originally posted by Fieldofsorrow Fieldofsorrow wrote:


I am aware of the difference between technical ability and progressiveness, thanks to discovering a lot of technical death metal through friends - highly impressive instrumental skill, but no innovation as far as I can hear.

Have you heard ‘The Kindness of Strangers?’ The track ‘June’ evokes a very Yes - like feel, in my opinion. Someone remarked a similar comparison to me independently upon hearing the track, allowing me to feel that this was somewhat more justified. And the instrumental section in ‘Metropolis Pt 1’ screams Rush at me. These examples only go as far as the vein in which these bands play - not specific licks. It’s the way these compositions are arranged and presented - more of the ‘how’ over ‘what’ argument.
 
I agree entirely with the "how" over "what" sentiment - I don't know "The Kindness of Strangers" - I will investigate.
 
Can you be more specific about which Yes piece is invoked, and how?
 
As for Dream Theater, I am well aware of how they took specific licks and compositional structure styles from certain bands and modified them very slightly... Don't really want to get into an argument about them, but again, any specific examples and evidence would be cool.
 
 
Originally posted by Fieldofsorrow Fieldofsorrow wrote:


Reading back my little comment on coherence made me sound rather ‘convoluted’ - such hypocrisy! Allow me to refine my thoughts - I find a lack of coherence to be something that is unmusical, because the ideas bear less relation to one another if they are haphazardly linked. Is it abnormal of me to be willing to compromise that more ‘wild’ feel for something that flows a little more easily?
 
Absolutely not - although I think the context is somewhat lost here.
 
As I said above, with long and multi-section compositions and concept albums, overall coherence is key.
 
However, coherence can be found in surprisingly wild styles and compositions - the two are not mutually exclusive. Even links that seem haphazrd may make sense in the bigger picture - or they may not.
 
This is really too granualar an approach to progressive music - again, as noted above, it's not the "what", it's the "how".
 
Originally posted by Fieldofsorrow Fieldofsorrow wrote:


It would be difficult for me to help you understand why we have such an assortment of bands on this website, as I have been responsible for none of their admissions, and I am still trying to adapt my ideas about the true meaning of being progressive. Ultimately, I don’t feel qualified to speak, and all my questioning so far has not been the result of a solidified opinion, but something that aspires to understand.
 
Me too.
 
Except that I have been responsible for the admission of some bands... some very controversial indeed Wink
 
Originally posted by Fieldofsorrow Fieldofsorrow wrote:

To summarise my thoughts, I don’t think that simplicity of form, technicality, and coherence make or break progressive music, nor do any combination of the three. The thing is, I feel that you and I actually agree on quite a lot of things, but as my ideas are still in a fairly embryonic state, I still have much shaping to do, which I feel these discussions are helping. I feel it’s time for me to reread a few ideas mentioned in the blog for consolidation purposes.
 
I'm totally happy to explore Modern Prog in it's historical context to try to trace how we got to where we are, to explore all the links between them and Classic bands, and to see how the model can be applied.
 
The aim is not to indulge in "bashing", but to gain understanding.
 
You may find it odd, but I consider my ideas to be in a complete state of flux - they are not at all fixed, just based on what I have heard and noted.
 
I find it fascinating that I tend to end up "on the side of" Classic Prog, as I was too young to enjoy it the first time around (I thought it was noodly nonsense), and that I seem to confront metal fans a lot of the time, when my favourite genre has been metal since the first time I saw The Sweet on Top Of The Pops in 1974 - and it still is.


Edited by Certif1ed - February 22 2010 at 06:09
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: February 24 2010 at 11:36
I have to say that I agree entirely with what you have to say with respects to the definitions of modern Prog - I think some listeners and fans need to truly understand what properties of their preferred music qualifies it to be progressive, if they are to make such claims. For sure, the emphasis on how to raise the bar higher has changed dramatically, and I think that needs to be recognised properly. A great amount of research is required, naturally, but I hope to be able to get to the heart of this issue as I explore further. I’m also all the more keen to listen to more classic prog now to see whether the Kenton model can indeed be implied throughout the entire spectrum of progressive music. What would you say to the idea of earlier psychedelic albums qualifying also, such as the debut Floyd album, or perhaps ‘After Bathing At Baxter’s’ by Jefferson Airplane?

Also, if you were to run the risk of creating such a ‘sprawling mess’ as you suggested, by creating structure before content, perhaps there is some artistic reason for doing so, as the idea has many problems attached. Predetermining the structure limits the directions in which a composition can flow, so achieving anything that can complete the ‘journey’ that you described and so many people search for, sounds all the more challenging.

A new question arises for me here - are there any bands of the classic era who are commonly accepted to be progressive, but with which you are less convinced? Whilst the ideas of wild, spontaneous, and yet at the same time musical are commonplace with many of the giants, does this apply for you all across the board?  Bearing these more recent ideas in mind, along with the initial model, I’d be interested to hear whether you could say the same for Rush, Kansas, Yes and Jethro Tull as you have for Zappa, Crimson and ELP. I have never questioned any of those acts’ progressive credibility in the past, but the way you have described that ‘continuous and almost impenetrable noise’ makes me feel you might see this differently.

As I say, I can’t point really single out any tracks from Yes’ catalogue, as I feel that what I can hear is a more stylistic and general similarity. I recommend listening to ‘June’ for yourself and establishing whether or not it’s something you can hear too.

I’m currently in the process of  evaluating my ideas of coherence and spontaneity, plus how the degree of complexity affects this. Additionally, I’m considering how an absence of either coherence or spontaneity does not render a composition unmusical or without progressive attributes, remembering that coherence is not as evident as it may initially sound. Lots of fundamentals being challenged, in other words.

Another question - if modern Prog was redefined to reflect its true nature more accurately, do you think it is possible that you would look differently upon it? A thirst for understanding in this area, after all, is presumably equated with a longing for an appreciation of the development of modern music.

Most interesting to hear how you find yourself to be in a transitional stage yourself - I hope you are surrounded by enough sources to challenge your pre-existing ideas. Smile

And I can only assume that the metal bands that have made the genre such a favourite for you are playing a very different game to what is popularly cited as progressive metal on this site, right?

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Direct Link To This Post Posted: February 25 2010 at 03:40
Originally posted by Fieldofsorrow Fieldofsorrow wrote:

(...). What would you say to the idea of earlier psychedelic albums qualifying also, such as the debut Floyd album, or perhaps ‘After Bathing At Baxter’s’ by Jefferson Airplane?
 
I haven't listened to "After Bathing..." in much detail, but "Piper..." certainly fits the bill.
 
I see so many reviews describing it as mere whimsy or psychedelia, yet that is only a part of what the album is about.
 
There are so many key points that make it a Progressive Rock album that I would miss loads out by making a simple list - but here goes;
 
1) The overall sound and style is unique. You can dig around and listen to everything released in 1967 and not hear anything that's really like it - sure, there are clear influence from various sources, but there isn't a single piece of music on "Piper..." that directly sounds like something else.
 
2) Aspects of the Kenton model are on plain view, especially in "Astronomy Domine", "Interstellar Overdrive" and even "Bike".
 
3) Even the simpler songs show a tendency to want to disrupt the song format, and most have unconventional arrangements, e.g "The Scarecrow".
 
4) Melody lines tend to be longer and less predictable than "average" pop songs, even though the overall flavour is of a popular song. To be clear, we need an "average" song or two from 1967 - although we could pick an above average one, such as almost anything on "Sergeant Pepper" (these two albums influenced each other, so this may not be a good pick!).
 
As an alternative, we could choose Procol Harum's "Whiter Shade of Pale", held by many to be progressive - yet the melody and accompaniment is, comparatively, utterly predictable and within the typical remit of organ-driven pop/rock as established by the likes of Graham Bond's Organisation and The Animals.
 
5) Harmonically, we run into dissonance at an unprecedented rate for a pop/rock music album, and a tendency towards electronic sounds and "spacey" effects. I believe that this was influenced by the electronic music underground, which tends to be overlooked from that time - even though Paul McCartney wrote an electronic piece that was performed (just the once) at one of the Million Volt Sound and Light Raves (IIRC).

6) Piper has an overall coherence as a complete album that I can't quite put my finger on - yet the pieces themselves are disparate in style. This is nothing like the smooth flow of "DSoTM", yet somehow it binds itself together.
 
7) Stuff I haven't thought of yet... LOL
 
Originally posted by Fieldofsorrow Fieldofsorrow wrote:


Also, if you were to run the risk of creating such a ‘sprawling mess’ as you suggested, by creating structure before content, perhaps there is some artistic reason for doing so, as the idea has many problems attached. Predetermining the structure limits the directions in which a composition can flow, so achieving anything that can complete the ‘journey’ that you described and so many people search for, sounds all the more challenging.
 
It's not a given that creating a structure before writing the music will create a mess - it depends entirely on the composer, and can, in fact, be the exact opposite. That's one of the great things about music, that almost every rule can be broken by doing the exact opposite, and the end result can be astonishingly musical in the hands of the right composer.
 
Whether it "works" or not is entirely down to the audience - some might like a "sprawling mess", and sometimes it might be discovered many, many years later that the "sprawling mess" is actually suprisingly coherent.
 
It's one of those things, though - there are things I look for, and I know that there are many musical historians who look for similar things - like Wagner-style leitmotifs, or musical ideas which represent a character, situation or feeling, melodic, harmonic or rhythmic patterns which are lengthy and develop or change into something new and so on.
 
These are all musical "binding agents", or things that make the music more coherent. One of my favourite examples is "Moon Child" - which I described in some depth in my review. This is either a complete happy accident, or an advanced way of using both the developmental and leitmotif ideas in an interesting, fresh and avant-jazz like manner.
 
It is not simple noodle... Tongue
 
Originally posted by Fieldofsorrow Fieldofsorrow wrote:


A new question arises for me here - are there any bands of the classic era who are commonly accepted to be progressive, but with which you are less convinced?
 
Heh - many. I won't name names in case I get into one of those lengthy arguments - I don't think this thread is the place!
 
Originally posted by Fieldofsorrow Fieldofsorrow wrote:

Whilst the ideas of wild, spontaneous, and yet at the same time musical are commonplace with many of the giants, does this apply for you all across the board? 
 
No - of course not. This is why I said that the model is a kind of sliding scale, and there is some agonising to be done over where that scale starts. Obviously, there is no "end point", because the model is theoretically limitless. The "wild, spontaneous and musical" ideal is just that.
 
Originally posted by Fieldofsorrow Fieldofsorrow wrote:

Bearing these more recent ideas in mind, along with the initial model, I’d be interested to hear whether you could say the same for Rush, Kansas, Yes and Jethro Tull as you have for Zappa, Crimson and ELP.
 
Definitely Jethro Tull - "Thick as a Brick" being the case in point.
 
Yes and Rush I have a harder time with, but there are definitely many elements.
 
Kansas to me are a relative unknown - I'm only familiar with "Leftoverture", which to me is a borderline Prog album with some great proggy moments.
 
Originally posted by Fieldofsorrow Fieldofsorrow wrote:

 I have never questioned any of those acts’ progressive credibility in the past, but the way you have described that ‘continuous and almost impenetrable noise’ makes me feel you might see this differently.
 
Please bear in mind that that description is merely the extreme, not the mean!
 
 
Originally posted by Fieldofsorrow Fieldofsorrow wrote:


As I say, I can’t point really single out any tracks from Yes’ catalogue, as I feel that what I can hear is a more stylistic and general similarity. I recommend listening to ‘June’ for yourself and establishing whether or not it’s something you can hear too.
 
It'll take me a while to get hold of a copy, but I certainly will.

Originally posted by Fieldofsorrow Fieldofsorrow wrote:



Another question - if modern Prog was redefined to reflect its true nature more accurately, do you think it is possible that you would look differently upon it? A thirst for understanding in this area, after all, is presumably equated with a longing for an appreciation of the development of modern music.
 
Definitely.
 
I tend to listen to it and simply wonder what's so progressive about it - yet I can hear the tendencies in both Radiohead and Muse, without describing either as full-blown Progressive Rock acts. Both appear reasonably high up "the scale", so I'd have no qualms in recommending either to a hard core Prog fan.
Originally posted by Fieldofsorrow Fieldofsorrow wrote:


Most interesting to hear how you find yourself to be in a transitional stage yourself - I hope you are surrounded by enough sources to challenge your pre-existing ideas. Smile
 
One word; ProgArchives.com Wink 
 
Originally posted by Fieldofsorrow Fieldofsorrow wrote:


And I can only assume that the metal bands that have made the genre such a favourite for you are playing a very different game to what is popularly cited as progressive metal on this site, right?

Tongue

 
Now this is an interesting area;
 
I believe that Progressive Rock and Hard Rock/Metal are linked from birth.
 
Heavy Metal has ALWAYS been a progressive genre, using the literal sense of the word, but generally shies away from the full-blown excesses of Progressive Rock, having plenty of excesses of its own.
 
This distinction can actually make the two genres hard to separate - traditionally this seems to have been done by some arbitrary measure of skill, attitude (where skill was beyond question) or, more insultingly, intelligence.
 
Going back to my example of The Sweet, listen to "Fanny Adams" or "Desolation Boulevard", both from 1974.
 
These two albums contain every single seed of Heavy Metal - not so much the Sabbath tritonic style, which didn't really dominate until the mid 1980s, but the Judas Priest style.
 
Not only that, but the instrument tones are astonishing, the experimentation with various electric guitar technics is wild - and the only thing that really stops it being any wilder than Hendrix is the more limited ability - the drumming covers a huge array of styles, and the vocals are amazing.
 
 
Then consider The Scorpions, Judas Priest, UFO, Gary Moore and Queen! from that time (1974-5). If you don't know their output from back then, you might be amazed.
 
Priest's "Rocka Roll" is more like Prog Rock than hard rock or metal, The Scorp's "In Trance" shows many aspects of technical metal, as does UFO's "Phenomenon" - particularly in Uli John Roth and Michael Schenker's guitar soloing techniques.
 
Queen's "Sheer Heart Attack" may be more straightforward and less proggy overall than their first two albums, but the sheer variety of styles puts it on at least an equal plateau with "Leftoverture".
 
Gary Moore's "Grinding Stone" from 1973 is just amazing. Nuff said.
 
I would think that any or all of these early heavy metal albums would challenge your ideas of what Progressive (or even Prog) is - or more pertinently, where it starts.
 
Tellingly, all these albums are more in the heavy metal style than the old hard rock style (typified by Free), mainly because of the tendency away from a swinging rhythmic style and towards more hard-edged riffing, yet also play around with Prog tendencies, using non-pentatonic scale patterns in the soloing, long melodic phrasing and harsh harmonic structures in pieces that push at the 5-minute barrier with extended instrumentals that are not comprised of one or two simple chord patterns.
 
Remind you of anything? Smile


Edited by Certif1ed - February 25 2010 at 03:43
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: February 25 2010 at 06:02
Originally posted by Certif1ed Certif1ed wrote:

Originally posted by Fieldofsorrow Fieldofsorrow wrote:

(...). What would you say to the idea of earlier psychedelic albums qualifying also, such as the debut Floyd album, or perhaps ‘After Bathing At Baxter’s’ by Jefferson Airplane?
 
I haven't listened to "After Bathing..." in much detail, but "Piper..." certainly fits the bill.
 
I see so many reviews describing it as mere whimsy or psychedelia, yet that is only a part of what the album is about.
 
There are so many key points that make it a Progressive Rock album that I would miss loads out by making a simple list - but here goes;
 
1) The overall sound and style is unique. You can dig around and listen to everything released in 1967 and not hear anything that's really like it - sure, there are clear influence from various sources, but there isn't a single piece of music on "Piper..." that directly sounds like something else.
 
 
Not sure about the level of uniqueness.
 
I can think of Zappa's Who Are the Brain Police?, Help, I'm a Rock, and The Return of the Son of Monster Magnet from the year before. Also, from the same year, Hendrix's Third Stone from the Sun (plus parts of I don't live Today) and The Byrds' 2-4-2 Fox Trot (The Lear Jet Song) and perhaps even Jefferson Airplane's White Rabbit.
 
There is also a strong affinity with the stuff Soft Machine did in '66 and '67 (especially live).
 
Then of course you can go back to the precursors of the early '60's and the works of Joe Meek and The Tornados. (I think you would agree that Joe Meek's I Hear A New World from 1960 is progressive in your sense of the word.)
 
Not to forget the space jazz of Sun Ra (compare with the intro of Pow R. Toc. H.).
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: February 26 2010 at 00:43
Originally posted by earlyprog earlyprog wrote:

 
Not sure about the level of uniqueness.
 
Well, no music is100% unique, as I pointed out.
 
There are similarities with the music you mention, especially "Freak Out" - arguably the first Progressive Rock release - but "White Rabbit" is stretching it a bit, I think. Maybe there are similarities in some of the Eastern-sounding overtones brought in by use of the harmonic minor scale...
 
Good calls, but "Piper" is still a very distinctive album, so I think the word "unique" is OK to describe it  Smile
 
The main point here is that it's Progressive Wink
 
Originally posted by earlyprog earlyprog wrote:

 
Then of course you can go back to the precursors of the early '60's and the works of Joe Meek and The Tornados. (I think you would agree that Joe Meek's I Hear A New World from 1960 is progressive in your sense of the word.)
 
 
I'm surprised you would think so - after all, it's just a very simple rock and roll riff that had a lot of studio treatment to make it sound spacey.
 
The concept and maybe the attitude is one that you could link to progressive music, and the end result is certainly startling to anyone unfamiliar with it - but peel away the layers, and there's not very much of interest, musically speaking; Certainly nothing that fits the model we've been discussing.
 
Or maybe I'm just reacting the same way most people seem to when I suggest that Dick Dale was writing heavy metal in 1962... LOL
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: February 26 2010 at 03:45
I read in the liner notes of Magazine's remastered first album that this album is "progressive" but not prog-rock. I think this can be said of any other experimental post-punk bands (PIL, gang of four...).
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