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TheGazzardian View Drop Down
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    Posted: April 02 2010 at 17:55
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Yes was my "gateway drug".

At the time, I knew of the existence of a few other prog bands. Most notable in my collection were three bands called Rush, Supertramp and Pink Floyd. In my head, these four bands were all "Classic Rock", a genre I was very much into, and although I knew that they were labelled as Progressive Rock as well, that categorisation was the only thing that gave me a clue that they were related.

Then came Yes' Fragile, the album that finally changed me from someone who was aware of prog and who liked some of it, to someone who actively sought it out. 

Although it wasn't prog, specifically, I was looking for. It was more Yes, although at this point I didn't have a credit card and make purchases through Amazon yet, so I was forced to shop at the local stores. They never had Yes in stock that I hadn't heard, so I would browse through their catalogue, stopping on bands like Genesis, Rush, Jethro Tull, Gentle Giant, Uriah Heep, etc...bands that I had heard might be vaguely related to this monster known as Yes through their affiliation with the genre "prog". And my interest in it grew.

My collection grew, eventually I got a credit card and began shopping for the bands that you can't find in stores here a lot of the time - Gabriel era Genesis, Camel, Caravan, VDGG, etc. I loved most of it, except for Frank Zappa's Hot Rats, which had been so different from everything else I heard that I didn't know what to make of it, and switched between loving and hating based on my mood. (Still do, actually)

For a few months, I was a "prog snob", where somehow I had replaced the phrase "good music" with "prog music" in my brain. Frank Zappa remained the only anomaly.

Strangely, it was Marillion's Misplaced Childhood that snapped me out of it. When I heard that album, close to a year after I first heard Fragile, I couldn't understand it. It didn't have what fit in with my perception of prog. Even bands that hadn't sounded too much like Yes - bands like Jethro Tull, or Pink Floyd, still sort of made sense to me, although the connection was tenuous. But Misplaced Childhood just didn't fit. The music sounded simple. The songs were short. The music was dominated by vocals. I grew to love it, but not before being very confused.

I realised that there was no such thing as progressive music, and a switch was flipped in my brain. The phrase "prog music" was once again switched back to "good music". And although, since that point in time, I have listened to mostly prog, and still don't like a lot of the stuff I liked before the revelation that was Fragile as much as I did before, I no longer seek out music simply because it is prog. And although I have journeyed deeper into the genre, bands like Magma, Miriodor, Mew, Pendragon, and more have only reinforced what I already knew.

Because I realised that there was no such thing as prog. There's just a bunch of music that is labelled as prog. How did this happen? Because you can listen to a band like Yes, and take something different out of it - but knowing that Yes is labelled as prog, assume that music that has that something is prog.

You could view Yes as a band that is famous for it's crazy skilled playing, and musicians with strong technical ability, and consider any music that is technically difficult prog. Suddenly, Dream Theater is prog.

You could view Yes as a band that used keyboards to add more to their music, and consider any music with keyboards prog. Suddenly, Marillion is prog.

You could view Yes as a band that wrote long "journeys" of songs, or epic length tracks. Suddenly, Jethro Tull is prog.

You could view Yes as a band that wrote music with long instrumental breaks. Suddenly, Pink Floyd is prog.

You could view Yes as a band that wrote ethereal music. Suddenly, Gong is prog.

You could see Yes as a band that innovated and did something new with rock music. Suddenly, Henry Cow is prog.

You could see Yes as classically influenced. Suddenly, Trans-Siberian Orchestra is prog.

You could see some Yes as having jazzy influences. Suddenly, Mahavishnu Orchestra is prog.

And through each of these bands, that has some tenuous connection to the music of Yes, a connection can be drawn from one of their attributes to other bands. And slowly, this word "prog" comes to mean a lot of different things, but never all at the same time. (Obviously, I'm not calling Yes the starting point of all prog music - although they were mine)

In the end, I learned something valuable, and that is that the progginess of music is relative and pointless. All that matters is, does the music sounds good? Does it elicit an emotional reaction? 

PS. I love prog - most of the music I have heard that is labelled under the prog umbrella and it's various sub-genres, I have quite enjoyed.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Atavachron Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: April 02 2010 at 18:27
indeed, though I would say the term 'Prog' is also not to be feared or resented, it's mostly a way for fans and music journalism to identify a family of like-minded artists in the way 'Bop' is used to distinguish a style of jazz, or 'Bluegrass' a style of country music--  i.e. I'm not a fan of country but quite enjoy some good Bluegrass, and would attend a Bluegrass festival before a Country music one even though they're related and have many of the same fans


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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote progpositivity Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: April 02 2010 at 20:22
I discovered Rush's Farewell to Kings and 2112 and especially dug their songs in the 7/8 time signature. 
 
Next it was Yes' with their busy bass lines, majestic harmonies, interesting counterpoint and ambitious compositions.  Close to the Edge still inspires me even to this day. 
 
The day a friend played Gentle Giant's "On Reflection" for me, it was a life changing musical experience!
 
But I actually attribute my introduction to progressive rock way back to the age of 8, when I picked up an old album on discount by a very popular band and listened to it hundreds of times.  It was ambitious!  It told wondrous stories of kites and diamonds.  It was *orchestral* in the way it turned my ears on.  It employed middle eastern instrumentation within and without.  It had a loosly unifying theme that was stated at the beginning of the record and then reprised at the end. 
 
It was - of course - Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band.
I had never heard the word "prog" - but I had the seeds of an idea planted in me from that early age.  The concept that popular music could be *ART*.  I didn't believe in 2 separate worlds of music - classical as "good" and popular as "sub-par".  I believed that popular music could say something in such a way as to inspire and endure.
 
As hard as it is for us to envision today, back in their hey-day, bands like Camel and ELP were called Art Rock, Classical Rock, Ambitious Rock, Symphonic Rock just as much as they were called Progressive Rock.  And it took much less to earn the distinction of Progressive Rock as well. 
 
Things are so different now.  As diverse and nebulous as the definition is, to the Prog fan, "progginess" has become a more clearly defined niche. 
 
Had there been no Pink Floyd in the 70's, and Pink Floyd suddenly emerged in the year 2010, I'm not convinced they would be considered all that Proggie.  But in the 70's, their songs were longer, their music  more ambitious, and their production more crisp and inspiring than many of their contemporaries. 
 
And even while conceding that Prog is a relative term like "tall" or "heavy", I submit that the concepts of "height" and "weight" exist regardless of which language is spoken or whether there is even a word to describe them.
 
You see, I had caught the vision of "Prog" before I even knew the term existed.
 
And, looking back, in many respects it was a naive notion.  What did I know at the age of 8 really?  Even so, it is not an idea without merit altogether.  All these years and albums later, I still believe that some of the 22n'd Century's "Classical" music will be Highbrow Rock Music of the 60's and 70's.  
 
In my vision of the future...
 
Frank Zappa will be mentioned in music appreciation textbooks.  College kids will giggle at his juvenile and droll sense of humor even while they are ironically dazzled by his prolific and sharp musical wit.
 
Gentle Giant may get a mention for their counterpoint and cogent exposition of musical themes.
 
Yes will be mentioned for the majestic wonder of "Awaken" "And You and I" or "Close to the Edge".
 
Yes, Western Classical music explored tonality and harmony richly.  But shifting time signatures, counter rhythms and polyrhythms were not as convincingly explored by the Classical community as they have been by the Proggers.  Fast forward to the modern era and the "classical" community hasn't quite known what to do with electronics.  Classical academics were utterly confounded and downright sterile in their attempts to write music for the synthesizer!  But artists like Vangelis, Synergy and Tangerine Dream brought these instruments to life!  
 
And here is where you and I may agree.  Some people say that these artists are not "prog".  Well that is all going to come down to discussion of definitions of the term prog.  Good luck with that!
 
But when they first came out, those guys were right next to GG and Yes in the record bins.  They both were striving in the same direction.  Popular music as legitimate ART!
 
I define prog-rock as rock music that seeks to attain ART status.  And by that definition, my assertion is that even before the term "Prog" existed, "Prog existed". 
 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Dean Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: April 02 2010 at 21:00
This is the view of someone looking back through time and drawing conclusions that are not valid in the true chronology. Nothing can change that, even in the minds of people who witnessed the transformation of rock music into Prog in real time as it developed. Our view of any passed event is altered by later events, we can never look at Wind And Wuthering in the same light as we did when it was first released in light of Genesis's later releases and, perhaps even, the whole Neo Prog subgenre. And so it is with Fragile - our view and perception of that album is modified by what they would do on later albums, it is even changed by the live versions on Yessongs where Rick Wakeman stamps more of his signature on those songs and by the developing imagery of Roger Dean's artwork. The stature and value of any album gains in relationship to what has come after, but not against what came before, even if we hear them in the "wrong order" - in that case all that changes is our perception or opinion in correcting a misconception.
 
I have heard many people spout truths about Prog that leave me mystified as to what it is they are hearing, or trying to say. Prog was real at the time, what gets called Prog or not now, long after the event, is somewhat irrelevant since if it had not occurred on the scale and breadth that it did in the ten years between 1968 and 1978 we wouldn't be talking about it now. We would be talking about Classic Rock or Good Music. We wouldn't be trying to analyse and pigeon-hole bands into narrow subgenres in the hope of them fitting to an preconceived notion of what those subgenres mean or referencing them back to a select few bands who "made it big" back in the 1970s.
 
Every band that releases an album changes our perceptions of what Prog is and in doing so opens the door a little wider. None of us can possibly hear every album listed here, so our idea of what Prog is is classified and defined by those albums we have heard, and as you imply, by the order in which we hear them- this is why two people can and will never agree on "what is Prog" because none of us have heard the same albums in the same order, or analysed them to the same depth, or with the same musical knowledge, or life experience, or social and/or geographical background, or in the same time frame. Everything changes everything.




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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Slartibartfast Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: April 02 2010 at 21:10
Originally posted by TheGazzardian TheGazzardian wrote:

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Yes was my "gateway drug".

At the time, I knew of the existence of a few other prog bands. Most notable in my collection were three bands called Rush, Supertramp and Pink Floyd. In my head, these four bands were all "Classic Rock", a genre I was very much into, and although I knew that they were labelled as Progressive Rock as well, that categorisation was the only thing that gave me a clue that they were related.

Then came Yes' Fragile, the album that finally changed me from someone who was aware of prog and who liked some of it, to someone who actively sought it out. 

Although it wasn't prog, specifically, I was looking for. It was more Yes, although at this point I didn't have a credit card and make purchases through Amazon yet, so I was forced to shop at the local stores. They never had Yes in stock that I hadn't heard, so I would browse through their catalogue, stopping on bands like Genesis, Rush, Jethro Tull, Gentle Giant, Uriah Heep, etc...bands that I had heard might be vaguely related to this monster known as Yes through their affiliation with the genre "prog". And my interest in it grew.

My collection grew, eventually I got a credit card and began shopping for the bands that you can't find in stores here a lot of the time - Gabriel era Genesis, Camel, Caravan, VDGG, etc. I loved most of it, except for Frank Zappa's Hot Rats, which had been so different from everything else I heard that I didn't know what to make of it, and switched between loving and hating based on my mood. (Still do, actually)

For a few months, I was a "prog snob", where somehow I had replaced the phrase "good music" with "prog music" in my brain. Frank Zappa remained the only anomaly.

Strangely, it was Marillion's Misplaced Childhood that snapped me out of it. When I heard that album, close to a year after I first heard Fragile, I couldn't understand it. It didn't have what fit in with my perception of prog. Even bands that hadn't sounded too much like Yes - bands like Jethro Tull, or Pink Floyd, still sort of made sense to me, although the connection was tenuous. But Misplaced Childhood just didn't fit. The music sounded simple. The songs were short. The music was dominated by vocals. I grew to love it, but not before being very confused.

I realised that there was no such thing as progressive music, and a switch was flipped in my brain. The phrase "prog music" was once again switched back to "good music". And although, since that point in time, I have listened to mostly prog, and still don't like a lot of the stuff I liked before the revelation that was Fragile as much as I did before, I no longer seek out music simply because it is prog. And although I have journeyed deeper into the genre, bands like Magma, Miriodor, Mew, Pendragon, and more have only reinforced what I already knew.

Because I realised that there was no such thing as prog. There's just a bunch of music that is labelled as prog. How did this happen? Because you can listen to a band like Yes, and take something different out of it - but knowing that Yes is labelled as prog, assume that music that has that something is prog.

You could view Yes as a band that is famous for it's crazy skilled playing, and musicians with strong technical ability, and consider any music that is technically difficult prog. Suddenly, Dream Theater is prog.

You could view Yes as a band that used keyboards to add more to their music, and consider any music with keyboards prog. Suddenly, Marillion is prog.

You could view Yes as a band that wrote long "journeys" of songs, or epic length tracks. Suddenly, Jethro Tull is prog.

You could view Yes as a band that wrote music with long instrumental breaks. Suddenly, Pink Floyd is prog.

You could view Yes as a band that wrote ethereal music. Suddenly, Gong is prog.

You could see Yes as a band that innovated and did something new with rock music. Suddenly, Henry Cow is prog.

You could see Yes as classically influenced. Suddenly, Trans-Siberian Orchestra is prog.

You could see some Yes as having jazzy influences. Suddenly, Mahavishnu Orchestra is prog.

And through each of these bands, that has some tenuous connection to the music of Yes, a connection can be drawn from one of their attributes to other bands. And slowly, this word "prog" comes to mean a lot of different things, but never all at the same time. (Obviously, I'm not calling Yes the starting point of all prog music - although they were mine)

In the end, I learned something valuable, and that is that the progginess of music is relative and pointless. All that matters is, does the music sounds good? Does it elicit an emotional reaction? 

PS. I love prog - most of the music I have heard that is labelled under the prog umbrella and it's various sub-genres, I have quite enjoyed.

Someone's had a little too much to think. Tongue
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote tamijo Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: April 04 2010 at 02:48
Yes is NOT prog. King Crimson is Prog. LOL
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote progpositivity Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: April 09 2010 at 14:43
I suspect that you may have been a bit perplexed by feeling a need for all prog to be "good" - or for all prog music to be music that you can enjoy or appreciate on a personal level.  That does not need not be the case, however.  Some prog can be poorly executed.  And some prog can actually attain excellence in certain ways while still leaving you cold and un-moved.  (There is an unstated corallary that may have also contributed to your cognative dissonance.  It states that "Non-prog music is inferior music".) 
 
If our definition of prog requires all prog to be "good" and "all non-prog" to be inferior, then I would agree that there would be no such thing as "prog".  No objective combination of musical elements can define prog in such a manner as to attain the status of "good" to you.   In that context, there truly is only music that you like/appreciate and music that you don't like/don't appreciate.
 
Viewing Yes as the center of the Prog Solar System, with Yes as the sun and all other "prog" bands  revolving around them is interesting.  It is historically inaccurate, but still kind of fun because I love Yes!  No doubt that is the chronology in which you experienced Prog - and in that respect - these observations are very valid. 
 
Yes, however, were in fact influenced by many of the same environmental variables as bands as varied as The Who, Vanilla Fudge, the Beach Boys, the Beatles, The Nice/ELP, Genesis, The Moody Blues, King Crimson and many others.   It can be fun to go back and listen to these bands with someone who explains the context in which these artists were writing and performing their music.   In the past, I've enjoyed listening to music while in a chat-room, hearing individuals who are a little older than myself talking about what was going on in their musical perception when the songs were first "released". 
 
It is true that Yes shares at least some characteristic with most Prog bands.  That is one reason why they are such an illustrious prog band.  I would consider these commonalities as evidence that there indeed *are* musical elements that enable us construct a semi-functional general concept of "prog" music.
 
And, as difficult as it may be to define "prog", I suggest that it is far more difficult to define "good".  Unless of course, we are saying that "good" simply means whatever elements of music I most highly value and appreciate at this point in my life.  Would the song "Happy Birthday to You" really be *better* if it was fugal, , requiring 4 uniquely interwoven harmony vocal parts?  Not if the goal is to have a fun song everyone can sing to someone on their birthday, that's for sure!!!
 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Ronnie Pilgrim Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: April 09 2010 at 16:29
Well stated and supported arguments, my good fellow. I have always contended that, where Jethro Tull is concerned, only Thick as a Brick and A Passion Play are prog. The rest of their work...not so much.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Peter Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: April 09 2010 at 20:46
Ermm I agree with Dean, above, and also with the thread title, in the sense that "prog" as used here is not a genre -- it's much too diverse. (Warning -- I've said all of this before here, many times.)
 
These days, "prog" is mostly a highly subjective value judgement. The "progressive" label is also a bit unfortunate, and often misleading -- it implies "advancing" or "improving" rock, when it's often just making it more complicated, inaccessible, retro, or just plain weird.
 
I've long believed the term has largely outlived its usefulness as a meaningful way to categorize music. It's just too darned far-ranging in the styles it supposedly encompasses.
 
We bestow it like an honorific here -- we supposedly find "worthy" progressive rock, prog jazz, prog folk, etc, but no prog country, no prog reggae, prog rap, prog pop, etc. We bend and revise music labels to make them "fit" here.
 
 
Treating a thing so subjective and fluid as art like something which can be exactingly labelled and categorized for all (as in science) is very problematic. Basically, there are as many definitions of "prog" here as there are forum members. In the end, it's just all MUSIC -- that is the only certain, solid link (some will even question that assumption).
 
Does that bother me? No -- even if lots of music which I find to be above average or more "adventurous" for its type is not deemed to belong here, still lots of other music I like (plus lots I don't) is here.
 
Plus, there are many nice, fun, clever folks! Smile


Edited by Peter - April 10 2010 at 06:21
Let the monkey drive.

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote yanch Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: April 10 2010 at 07:48
I think the biggest point to make is that our perceptions and enjoyment of music, regardless of complexity, song length, musicians abilities, etc., is what is important. We all hear music differently, so we each have our own standard for what is "good" and what we want to and enjoy listen too. 

"Prog" is simply a label or tag, as several have noted all ready, to attempt to pigeon-hole and/or categorize what is beyond categorizing. Just look at the vast diversity of bands and music on this site and you can understand the point.

We tend to focus too much on giving things names and defining things. Music is a very personal choice and each of us has our own definition of what we find good and enjoyable. That's what is important, not what that music is labeled as.


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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote uduwudu Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: April 11 2010 at 04:54
Well I 'm going to be doing a prog rock radio show (local uni station.) Therefore I need a definition for the music. It is Art Rock, artisitcally progressed rock music that combines other styles and types of music (not the other way round - it IS rock, it used / fused anything else available to advance it's cause; thus it's progressive rock music.

There, now it is defined I can think about how people who have never heard the likes of Unvers Zero are going to feel when I launch Heresie at them. Any suggestions for more of the darkest and most frightening music gratefully accepted.

Cheers me up no end.

P.S. A metal show follows / will follow me. This could be fun....
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Ronnie Pilgrim Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: April 11 2010 at 08:07
Originally posted by uduwudu uduwudu wrote:

. Any suggestions for more of the darkest and most frightening music gratefully accepted.



The "Critique Oblique" segment of A Passion Play is dark, frightening, progressive AND it has breaks for cuing a beginning and ending (hard to find them on that album). Tear 'em up, tiger!
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote micky Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: April 11 2010 at 10:46
oh really...that's news to me

 at least no one is loony enough to say there is no such thing as METAL!!!!! RawksRawks hahha
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Catcher10 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: April 12 2010 at 12:20
The basis of Dean's post is that music is ART for the ears. Once we use the word "art" we then open up the proverbial can of worms, they spew out from every angle, and we start coming up with different words and explanations for what we think is art. Plain and simple its what you like, so hence we will always add our own explanation.
Does it matter when the art was released? Only to the critics during discussion sessions, if it came out in 1972 it had a meaning in 1972......In 2002 it has a completely different meaning to the "new" listener who wants to discuss what HE thought it meant in 1972......That's where two people will never agree on the topic. Does it matter? Probably not...should people care? I don't think so......but it is what it is. My opinion is just as important as yours!! Big smile Hence "Discussion Forums" will live forever.
 
So in my humble opinion.....I disagree with the thread title.....
 
BTW.....the Mona Lisa is a dude in drag.......just sayin'

   

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote avant_garbage Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: April 18 2010 at 23:11
"progressive" is -as all of the rest of the words in any language is- an empty concept or idea. This empty concept is then filled with meaning, which comes from a mix of personal experience (inner) and cultural consensus (outer)
we must infer then, that "prog" is a subjective term and unless all human beings objectively agree on what it stands for, "prog" will always remain a term of personal interpretation.

There are many people who find joy in intellectual debate -or discussion- hence they can spend hours and hours arguing on what the term "prog" stands for, with a greater or weaker sense of objectivity. To me, this can be nothing but an entertaining waste of time...

My point is, I agree with you that the LABEL "prog" isnīt synoninm for "good quality", but the TERM "prog" itself doesnīt actually mean anything per se. Itīs only a matter a subjectivity....

good luck to all
music is nothing but what we listen, when we listen
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote uduwudu Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: April 19 2010 at 01:04
The label prog is rock music elevated (composed, recorded performed) beyond a roots level. This way you can have a obviously highly talented indiviual such as Neil Young play direct music. Nio way is this artist a prog rock artist - he's just as good a non prog as prog artist say, Robert Fripp.

So to me prog is rock with all other musical possibilities (not all, nor perhaps more than one perhaps) but it is rock one step removed and rock (generally) has a high art form. Much as symphonic rock came from psychedelia, new wave from punk, Hip hop from disco (I'm joking here!), As forms of jazz developed from each other and the vlues (which while somewaht varied is still a roots music) then prog rock is what happens when rock gets development ambitions.

How else can one explain the whole punk thing anyway? Some people wanted basic direct rock and prog rock wasn't giving them what they want - nor could it really.

If a prog rock group has ambitions and fails to fulfill those ambitions (or are not virtuoso enough) then they really will be hung and drawn.

Just trying to keep the subjectivity out as much as I can.

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote AtomicCrimsonRush Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: April 19 2010 at 01:06
It is what it is
 
if it is not prog then what the heck is it?
 
Not classic rock because you cannot pigeon hole all prog into that genre as it is not rock such as Miles Davis work.
 
The umbrella term prog works because it embodies what we have come to love and loathe about the genre. It encompases Jazz, Metal, Folk, Italian and German music, Classical music, heavy rock, Canterbury, electronica, 60s psychedelia and even this weird Zeuhl stuff, name another music genre that can achieve that.
 
The question I have is which genres do not belong to prog as an umbrella term? i would say Country (thankfully) and perhaps Western... though a lot of people will term these together as Country AND Western I prefer Western over Country as it is a better style of music. Then again Country does have some good music such as Clint Black and Johnny Cash, whereas Western is really designed for the more discerning well trained ear.....
 
 
LOL
 


Edited by AtomicCrimsonRush - April 19 2010 at 01:09
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote uduwudu Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: April 19 2010 at 03:33
Country, western, reggae, blues, metal etc, are all roots forms that evolve (except for country - the more reactionary the music (country) the less evolved it becomes. Metal evolves but it is still metal whether Sabbbath, Priest or Tool. It reflects it's audience.

Prog rock on the other hand reflects musical influence and demands of an audience. That's why it encompasses such a variety of styles and genres; assimilate them and develop new(er-ish) music.

Incidentally because the music (prog) makes demands of an audience there are audiences who do not want their music to be too demanding (hence the greater or lesser reactionary audience / music paradigm.) Change is unsettling and most people do not want change. Progression implies change, even states it. Prog rock still has that reactionary characteristic as well. Plenty of prog heads prefer e.g. Yes to re-do CTTE etc and reject the Rabin era. Just an example.

That is fine but still this music (personified by the RIO / Avant and Zeuhl styles.) This progressive music is demanding and will be that way forever.

Yes, I know RIO isn't a style but for want of a better pigeon hole term to place the marvellous Univers Zero it will have to do.Cool
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote progpositivity Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: April 19 2010 at 17:26
Originally posted by uduwudu uduwudu wrote:

Country, western, reggae, blues, metal etc, are all roots forms that evolve (except for country - the more reactionary the music (country) the less evolved it becomes.
 
I don't quite understand that statement.  Could you please elaborate?  Do not most genres have reactionary (back to basics) individuals as well as revolutionary (let's stretch the borders) individuals?
 
Country actually has 2 hurdles to surpass in order to qualify as "prog".  Not only must a country artist seek to expand their borders or to implement extended virtuosic stretches of instrumentation, they also must *rock* it all up a bit.  If they remain too rooted solely in organic folk elements, they morph into virtuosic bluegrass... (For let us not forget that to a country listener, bluegrass is considered a sub-genre of country music every bit as much as (fill in your favorite prog sub-genre name here) is a sub-genre of Prog.
 
But certainly it can be and is done.   Check out "Galactic Cowboys Orchestra" for one example!
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote uduwudu Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: April 19 2010 at 19:42
Originally posted by progpositivity progpositivity wrote:

[QUOTE=uduwudu]Country, western, reggae, blues, metal etc, are all roots forms that evolve (except for country - the more reactionary the music (country) the less evolved it becomes.
 
I don't quite understand that statement.  Could you please elaborate?  Do not most genres have reactionary (back to basics) individuals as well as revolutionary (let's stretch the borders) individuals?
 
Yes. A roots music must either be incorporated into a more "higher intellectual (and more demanding) form" e.g Beethoven's country tunes preserved / used in his 6th symphony, or in the case of prog rock more likely is rock fused with other elements. Yes fused romantic classical and sci fantasy philosophy themes as Univers Zero really went to town on the early 20th C atonality influences.

AFAIK the most prog related country music would be the Grateful Dead. But roots music whether it be blues or country or whatever remains that way.

If blues is mixed with another form e.g soul it can become a "higher" art form e.g. jazz dependng on the level of intent and result (Ella Fitzgerald and Duke Ellington) or remain as, say R and B soul. Both perfectly fine musics but one is more feet on the ground the other going in a direction that challenges the roots fan audience while the former most likely will not.

Of course once something's been around a while such as swing jazz it becomes or at least is viewed as reactionary by an (any) audience. Probably this means where a music has been develpoed is as far as it's going until it is taken in another direction. e,g, swing to bebop.

As for reactionary country.(tautology?).. I'm thinking of Bob's Country Bunker (yee hah) in the Blues Brothers at the moment. But then there are those awful (oops IMHO I mean) MOR c and w ballads. Another characteristic difference between "people's roots music" and progressive music is emotional views. More difficult to define but the more sentimental (intent of music) the less intellectual as well. Country music I find appealing is that guitar work of Chet Atkins. But there is not a lot of vocal but guitar virtuosity so therein lies that appeal to me at least.

Progressive means fusing and developing music. Say metal. e.g. Therion moved from black and death metal to symphonic and operatic develpoments. Very progressive and very challenging for head banging and mosh pit fans.

Led Zeppelin used to ask of it's audience to enjoy blues, jazz classical piano, acoustic, eastern music, space rock (page's guiatr improv) and the odd heavy rock tune all prolonging the moment they could hear Stairway. Noticeably after their demise the 80s metal bands hardly made too much of a demand on an audience that was more of a market than musical appreciators. Not that the industry let people in on that idea. Being told you are a cash cow is not flattering. You know what you're getting with an Iron Maiden album but not so certain with Rush.Commercialism, lack of demanding challenge, in fact easy listening (familiar sounds) equals non progressive and reactionary. e.g. Asia and 90125 Yes vs Tales Yes (or the Art Bears!)

Deceased UK DJ Tommy Vance once assured the audience of a Top 10 UK metal bands that Def Leppard will NEVER change. Very reassuring. Confused WinkBut in the world of challenging progressive music such a thing is a gravestone. Having heard a recent Leppard tune a five minute car trip seemed to last an hour.
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