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Queen as progressive band?

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rogerthat View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote rogerthat Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: March 18 2012 at 07:39
Originally posted by NickHall NickHall wrote:

Originally posted by rogerthat rogerthat wrote:

Originally posted by NickHall NickHall wrote:

I didn't set the ground rules for Prog, others did, possibly you among them. All I was saying is that when a genre is defined by devotees, there must by definition be inclusions and exclusions, and we all have our own opinions on who is in and who is out. To me, bands like Led Zeppelin, The Who, Queen, are clearly outside looking in. I personally admire all three of those bands, but don't tell me they belong in the genre known as Prog, for I won't believe you.


But what are those ground rules?  The fact that LZ and Who are in here as proto prog and Queen as prog related shows that there really are no rigid tenets on what is prog, as The Dark Elf rightly argued.  This website tries to maintain some consistency in its inclusions but that's all.  If I told you that Bjork is considered crossover prog in PA... Tongue  (something that I agree with, by the way)

Oh, and by the way, welcome to prog v/s progressive. Wink  LZ, Who, Queen were far, far more PROGRESSIVE than many bands that get called PROG.  At what point do we suggest that even the music being progressive is not enough to call it prog because it's too far removed from any generally held notions of prog?  These three bands that you happened to mention firmly live up to the ROCK part of prog rock.  So you may choose to believe or not to believe someone, but it's hardly such a ludicrous suggestion.  I suspect the fact that these three bands are already part of the classic rock canon accounts for much of your resistance to the idea that they may have something to do with prog.  If so, I meet your Queen and Who with Pink Floyd and Jethro Tull, also classic rock staples.

If there are no rigid tenets on what is prog, then why is there such a site? Why not call it ‘Music Archives’?  It seems to me that there is no point in a defining something as a genre if it then dreams up excuses to include everything and anything . I’m all for not having barriers of any kind then there won’t be an argument about who is in or out. But we’ll have to re-name the site.



Why should the absence of rigid tenets stop people from following the general idea?  Everybody has a general idea of prog that broadly converges and that is enough.  There will be bands about which people disagree as to whether they are prog but there is really no need to rigidly interpret what is prog for the sole purpose of obstructing such exceptions.  Any music genre that evolves with time cannot be defined rigidly; only a broad understanding of its nature is possible.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote The Dark Elf Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: March 18 2012 at 12:53
Originally posted by rogerthat rogerthat wrote:

Originally posted by NickHall NickHall wrote:

Originally posted by rogerthat rogerthat wrote:

Originally posted by NickHall NickHall wrote:

I didn't set the ground rules for Prog, others did, possibly you among them. All I was saying is that when a genre is defined by devotees, there must by definition be inclusions and exclusions, and we all have our own opinions on who is in and who is out. To me, bands like Led Zeppelin, The Who, Queen, are clearly outside looking in. I personally admire all three of those bands, but don't tell me they belong in the genre known as Prog, for I won't believe you.


But what are those ground rules?  The fact that LZ and Who are in here as proto prog and Queen as prog related shows that there really are no rigid tenets on what is prog, as The Dark Elf rightly argued.  This website tries to maintain some consistency in its inclusions but that's all.  If I told you that Bjork is considered crossover prog in PA... Tongue  (something that I agree with, by the way)

Oh, and by the way, welcome to prog v/s progressive. Wink  LZ, Who, Queen were far, far more PROGRESSIVE than many bands that get called PROG.  At what point do we suggest that even the music being progressive is not enough to call it prog because it's too far removed from any generally held notions of prog?  These three bands that you happened to mention firmly live up to the ROCK part of prog rock.  So you may choose to believe or not to believe someone, but it's hardly such a ludicrous suggestion.  I suspect the fact that these three bands are already part of the classic rock canon accounts for much of your resistance to the idea that they may have something to do with prog.  If so, I meet your Queen and Who with Pink Floyd and Jethro Tull, also classic rock staples.

If there are no rigid tenets on what is prog, then why is there such a site? Why not call it ‘Music Archives’?  It seems to me that there is no point in a defining something as a genre if it then dreams up excuses to include everything and anything . I’m all for not having barriers of any kind then there won’t be an argument about who is in or out. But we’ll have to re-name the site.



Why should the absence of rigid tenets stop people from following the general idea?  Everybody has a general idea of prog that broadly converges and that is enough.  There will be bands about which people disagree as to whether they are prog but there is really no need to rigidly interpret what is prog for the sole purpose of obstructing such exceptions.  Any music genre that evolves with time cannot be defined rigidly; only a broad understanding of its nature is possible.
 
As Roger inferred, the flaw in your thinking is that you believe there are some progressive commandments lowered from on high that rigidly set in stone which bands can be progressive and which ones cannot. I find this at odds with consensus assumptions concerning bands that are, and always will be, the very pillars and foundations of the prog-rock movement.
 
As I alluded to previously, both Pink Floyd and Jethro Tull are generally considered two of the big five prog bands (along with Genesis, Yes and King Crimson), yet Floyd and Tull have infinitely more songs that are not, in any way, shape or form, considered progressive rock compositions (at least according to the most stratified standards you wish to maintain). Why then are they not disqualified from your little list? Likewise, Genesis has spent half their career not being a progressive rock band. What then constitutes a prog-rock band in your mind?
 
Just because Queen didn't dwell on prog-rock for a preponderance of their albums doe not mean that a few of their albums were not in the progressive sphere. Songs from Queen I ("King Rat" and "Liar") exhibit all the necessary nuance and compositional qualities that enumerate a prog-rock song, and on Queen II that propensity becomes even more pronounced. I don't see how anyone with a modicum of musical knowledge could say "March of the Black Queen" is not a progressive song in length, adherence to classical composition and harmonies, odd and shifting time signatures, exotic phrasing and mythological lyrics:
 
 
Also from that album "Procession", "Father to Son", "White Queen (As It Began)", "Ogre Battles", and even "The Fairy Feller's Master Stroke", a song based on a portrait in London's Tait Gallery, is replete with progressive moments (mad baroque piano in that one). It is, for all intents and purpose, as progressive an album as Yes' Fragile, Tull's Aqualung and Minstrel in the Gallery, Pink Floyd's Dark Side of the Moon, or Genesis' Trick of the Tail and Winds and Wuthering
 
Queen II was far beyond any rock album released in 1974, particularly in regards to cutting edge multi-layered harmonies and frantic guitar and piano riffs. If you review Queen's A Night at the Opera, much the same could be said. Along with from such songs as "'39", "The Prophet's Song" and "Good Company",  "Bohemian Rhapsody" is the epitome of a prog-rock song and does indeed adhere to the rhapsodic form. It is as progressive as Genesis' Supper's Ready with its nod to the Sonata. As critic Steve Erlwhine of Allmusic.com noted, "But the appeal -- and the influence -- of A Night at the Opera is in its detailed, meticulous productions. It's prog rock with a sense of humor as well as dynamics...". I couldn't say it any better.
 


Edited by The Dark Elf - March 18 2012 at 12:56
Please pay a visit to my blog...The Dark Elf File...a slighty skewed journal of music reviews, literary comment, fan-fiction and interminable essays.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote rogerthat Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: March 18 2012 at 22:38
^^^ I would qualify that a bit in the sense that when Genesis, Yes, Gentle Giant shift time signatures or motives, there is a sense of a strong underlying vocabulary, if I might call it that, that binds it together.  While Queen's lengthy pieces are more pastiche-like.  However, circa 2012, a pastiche approach to putting together a prog rock songs is quite pervasive so it is not really a disqualification, rather, just to say, that I don't quite consider Queen II as prog as Fragile or SEBTP (and what is more prog or less prog is itself a very subjective and undefinable notion) but there are many albums even from the 70s that it casts in the shade.  

Edited by rogerthat - March 18 2012 at 22:40
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