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do you like the "dark side" of the discography?

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RoyFairbank View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote RoyFairbank Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Topic: do you like the "dark side" of the discography?
    Posted: April 28 2012 at 01:47
Almost every Prog band has a less appreciated part of its discography, which can range from ignored eras to unpopular works to simply less known or available albums.

This is mainly the product of the longevity of Prog bands across different musical epochs and the ups and downs of artistic lifetimes.


As such, I would suggest that common less appreciated albums and periods come most frequently

*in the 80s, when traditional Prog bands were popular but went AOR (think Genesis)
*in the 90s (and beyond), when said bands seemed bewildered by changes around them and produced lower quality or stale works while becoming quite unpopular in the mainstream. These albums are also less prominent in terms of recognition from almost every quarter. (think Yes)

 
There are many others periods of a bands activity which typically may be less appreciated, including very early albums and albums resulting from a change in personnel.

I have found, however, that the "dark side of the discography" is often what I come back to listen to the most. Perhaps this is because such albums are often less demanding, more accessible, has production values I like or find novel or features different band members and playing styles I appreciate.


Examples of particularly disregarded albums that I find among the best of groups that have better known or simply better received eras are:

Invisible Touch By Genesis | Very Interesting Album musically, performance and production wise,  very different from early Genesis, but its up there with those old albums for me.
Black Moon by ELP | Their best album hands down, some great lyrics and a very cohesive album
Aria by Asia | Great 90s AOR style prog type rock, best album by this prog-related band.
Big Generator by Yes | Great album, very proggy but still hip by the standards of the time.
Time by ELO | barely garnered a third star on Progarchives, but its their best and proggiest album, albeit with early 80s production and pop sensibilities.
Freudiana by Alan Parsons Project - virtually unknown out of print album, fantastic prog album, but it is still underrated by the six people who know about it.

And others....

So I generally find the various dark sides of prog discographies to be rewarding and seldom as bad as their rating drops would indicate. A good band will often keep making good material or has made good material even in its pre-prog past, even if it changes what it is doing significantly over time. That said, crap is crap. But one man's trash is another man's treasure.Big smile




Edited by RoyFairbank - April 28 2012 at 08:48
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tamijo View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote tamijo Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: April 28 2012 at 01:54
70's classical giants :
No, i like some albums from the "dark" periods, but not enough to say that is the case in general, and allmost allways, i do agree with the masses, that the golden years, are infact golden.
 
With other bands i do not know enough about what is considered dark periods.
 


Edited by tamijo - April 28 2012 at 01:56
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Post Options Post Options   Quote richardh Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: April 28 2012 at 02:07
ELP - Black Moon . I loved that when it came out and thoroughly enjoyed hearing those tracks live. But after a few years I drifted back to listening Trilogy,Tarkus etc. Black Moon is so different in style to those albums its virtually a different band. Stylistically Carl Palmer was as far away from his revolutionary percussive style exhibited on Tarkus as he ever got while Lake had turned into a blues singer. Keith was just about recognisable thanks to Paper Blood (great to hear the Hammond organ). I havn't listened to Black Moon in years tbh.
The ELP album that is terribly underappreciated is Works Volume One. Contains some stunning and varied music yet it rates just above 2 on PA. Just plain wrong imo.
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Post Options Post Options   Quote frippism Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: April 28 2012 at 03:04
Usually, no I'm not a fan of the "dark side" of the classics. But sometimes. I didn't hate "Love Beach" completely... I don't mind Genesis' poppier albums, they're OK and at times have good tunes... Yes are dreadful though from that period of the 80s and stuff.
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Saperlipopette! Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: April 28 2012 at 04:21
Originally posted by RoyFairbank


Time by ELO | barely garnered a third star on Progarchives, but its their best and proggiest album, albeit with early 80s production and pop sensibilities.


Agree about that one but in general; no. I usually think the crap side of most bands discography stinks. I do enjoy Can'sFlow Motion and Saw Delight but they're still mediocre compared to Tago Mago or Ege Bamyasi.
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Post Options Post Options   Quote PyramidMeetsTheEye Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: April 28 2012 at 04:27
i thought that the title is the dark side of the moon. 
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Sagichim Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: April 28 2012 at 05:30
Usually i don't like it, but of course i didn't give it a fare shot like i did with the 70's stuff, but that's maybe because i know what i like and don't like, so in a lot of cases i avoid it.
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Post Options Post Options   Quote tullspanfan Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: April 28 2012 at 09:09
I really like Jethro Tull's 1991 Catfish Rising album, which reviewers here don't seem to like. I think it's a good energitic rock album on its own term but pale in comparison of other JT releases.
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Alitare Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: April 28 2012 at 09:34
In most of these bands I can barely enjoy their 'light' side, let alone crap like Love Beach or Tales or Invisible friggin' touch.

But I will always adamantly defend The Final Cut and Songs from the Wood/Heavy Horses, though the latter two aren't necessarily considered to be part of the 'dark' side, I suppose.
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Post Options Post Options   Quote freyacat Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: April 28 2012 at 09:48
I like your definition of the "dark side."  And yes, I do appreciate all the albums you are talking about.  It's understandably different if you lived through these periods.  You understand that the whole music scene was different at that time, and it is meaningful to hear your favorite bands making the best of it and trying to be creative within a changed musical language.  Bands like Yes and ELP always built their symphonic prog masterpieces on the building blocks of the pop music that was current at the time.
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Post Options Post Options   Quote tullspanfan Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: April 28 2012 at 09:50
Heavy Horses is one of the best Tull albums IMO. And I don't know if Stormwatch is considered dark side but I enjoy a lot.

Also, Obscured by Clouds
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Post Options Post Options   Quote colorofmoney91 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: April 28 2012 at 10:03
I have a Genesis greatest hits album with a lot of their poppy stuff on it, which I enjoy now.
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Ambient Hurricanes Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: April 28 2012 at 10:52
Great thread!  I haven't listened to a whole lot of the "dark side," being a relatively new prog fan and just trying to listen to all the classics while also absorbing all the more avant-garde and modern stuff that's available.  I have listened to all of Rush's albums, though, and I am of the opinion that many of them are as good as or better than much of their classic 70's material.  Presto and Vapor Trails are both 5 star masterpieces for me, and I wouldn't give any of their 80's, 90's. or 2000's albums any less than four stars.

I also like 90125, though I haven't heard any more of Yes' 80's albums.  It's not anywhere close to Close to the Edge or anything like that, but it's a good solid album in it's own right.  I also like Magnification (though that's pretty highly rated here, anyway).
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Post Options Post Options   Quote smartpatrol Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: April 28 2012 at 12:24
I've always loved Love Beach. I love all the tracks and the cover art is awesome. I may be a hetero but that cover turns me on!
 
 
 
Just Kidding LOL


Edited by smartpatrol - April 28 2012 at 12:25
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Post Options Post Options   Quote smartpatrol Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: April 28 2012 at 12:30
I love all of Rush's stuff
I love all of Genesis' stuff up to Invisable Touch
I don't like any Yes past Relayer
I don't any ELP after Brain Salad Surgery
And really all I like from Crimson is thier first three albums and thier three 80s albums (I really tried to get into mid-70s-Crimson or 90s-Crimson but I just can't)
 
And all other Prog bands I like I'm still exploring thier discogrophy so I can't say, really.


Edited by smartpatrol - May 02 2012 at 12:59
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Post Options Post Options   Quote thehallway Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: April 28 2012 at 12:38

Jazz musicians seem to get along consistently, without having a "classic period" and then 12 reunions, none of which contain any creativity.

Must be a rock thing!



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Post Options Post Options   Quote Progosopher Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: April 28 2012 at 12:39
I understand what you mean, Roy, and am very much in the same boat.  Since listening to music is for the enjoyment of it, a more accessable album is frequently preferable to a more complex and demanding one.  Many of the albums already mentioned I enjoy quite a bit, for example, ELO's Time and Tull's Catfish Rising.  One thing I have started to do with reviews is look at how many albums have garnered specific ratings - the percentage of how many stars the various raters have given.  It is a good way to see the diversity of experience we prog listeners have.  Some albums are heavily split between low and high ratings.  To fully understand individual ratings you have to have a sense of where that person is coming from.  If you are a big fan of Symphonic but someone else really digs Extreme/Tech Metal, you may not have much in common musically.  What you praise, that other may despise and vice-versa.  Experience has taught me this is important when using reviews and ratings as recommendations.  I have bought albums based on general ratings only to be disappointed, such as Porcupine Tree's Fear of a Blank Planet; conversely, I have greatly enjoyed some generally low rate albums like Genesis' Invisible Touch (which I had long before ProgArchives came into existence).
The world of sound is certainly capable of infinite variety and, were our sense developed, of infinite extensions. -- George Santayana, "The Sense of Beauty"
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Moogtron III Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: April 28 2012 at 12:57
Well, I don't know. In the case of Genesis, I still like their 'darker side'.
Yes too, to a certain degree.
And Camel, definitely.

Well, yes, I suppose I like it to a certain extent, but the older I get, the more I turn to the lighter side.
That means in this case the more proggier side.

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Post Options Post Options   Quote Horizons Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: April 28 2012 at 13:55
Rush, Camel, and Pearl Jam are the only bands i can think of.

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Post Options Post Options   Quote Dellinger Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: April 28 2012 at 13:56
I would say I usually don't like whole albums from the darker side of bands discography, but there are often isolated songs withing those albums that I really like... and many times they are the "hits", though not necessarily. One I do love is "The Division Bell", form Pink Floyd, and it could be considered to be a dark side of their discography. Others I like are from Rick Wakeman, like "Out There", which was not as popular as his 70's albums, but a true come back to form... still, even some of his "New Age" stuff that I happen to know I like a lot. The already mentioned "Black Moon" by ELP may just as well be the album as a whole that I have liked the best, but none of it's songs comes close to the brilliance of my favourite songs they did in the 70's.
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