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Why classic prog faded?

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    Posted: November 09 2012 at 05:15
Originally posted by richardh

[I nearly cried when I first heard Abacab and hated Mama.
I agree with you about Abacab to some extent but I think that Mama is easily their best track of the 80s. I thought it was stunning when it came out and still do.


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Post Options Post Options   Quote HarbouringTheSoul Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: November 09 2012 at 05:40
There seems to be an idea floating around in this thread that bands like Genesis and Yes "failed to adapt" to the 80s. The opposite is true. They adapted better than any other prog band and made their most commercially successful albums as a result. Whether or not you like these albums is irrelevant to whether or not they adapted. A band that fails to adapt is one that continues as if nothing were.
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Terra Australis Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: November 09 2012 at 05:48
Originally posted by Nov

Originally posted by richardh

[I nearly cried when I first heard Abacab and hated Mama.
I agree with you about Abacab to some extent but I think that Mama is easily their best track of the 80s. I thought it was stunning when it came out and still do.



Mama is a great song and was progressive (after 'In the Air Tonight'). 
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Post Options Post Options   Quote tamijo Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: November 09 2012 at 06:10
you can get 100.000 albums, from the 70's, isent that enough ?
Im happy things did change, made a lot of diffrent experimental music possible.
You dont have to listen to the 80's+  albums from Genesis Yes ect., if you dont like them.  
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Jim Garten Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: November 09 2012 at 06:25
Depending on your viewpoint as to when 'year zero' is in the history of "progressive rock" (I'll take mine to be 1967), by 1987, this 'new' genre had been around for 20 years.

Every band, if it's lucky enough to still be recording 20 years after inception, will have changed, as will its audience & attitudes toward the band by fans who were there at the very beginning, but does this necessarily mean the original band/genre "faded"?

Personally, I don't think classic prog faded, it just changed - I may not have liked a lot of the changes (after all, for every 'Signals' there were 2 or 3 'Under Wraps' ), but does that say more about the direction the bands took, or my attitude toward the direction?


Edited by Jim Garten - November 09 2012 at 06:29

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Post Options Post Options   Quote Terra Australis Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: November 09 2012 at 06:32
Originally posted by tamijo

you can get 100.000 albums, from the 70's, isent that enough ?
Im happy things did change, made a lot of diffrent experimental music possible.
You dont have to listen to the 80's+  albums from Genesis Yes ect., if you dont like them.  

I wasn't happy with the change in the 80s but now I am, the internet has opened up whole new areas of prog that I didn't know existed, even during the 80s. There are possibilities for music now that were not possible back in the days.
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Jim Garten Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: November 09 2012 at 06:44
Exactly - the 'classic' bands may not be around still, or those that are may not be doing what I want them to, but there are more than enough 'new' bands around (ie, been around less than 25 years ) to more than satisfy.

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Post Options Post Options   Quote Manuel Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: November 09 2012 at 07:56
Everything fades with time, so is no surprise that prog went also the same way. That does not mean it disappeared, like some things do, but it lost it's popularity with the mass of people, or at least with a lot of young people who used to be into it, and who, as they got older, lost their interest.
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Dean Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: November 09 2012 at 09:19
Originally posted by Surrealist

Where Prog really left classic rock was with the drumming.. .much more intricate, dynamic and open to odd metering..
the bass lines .... much more melodic but also carefully constructed closer to the drummers kick.  That in itself gives a sound.. and a feel to the music not necessarily found in classic rock.  Then of course the keyboardists were usually "trained" and had much more sophistication than your typical "rock guy on a Hammond".

I don't agree that the work had to be conceptual or that conceptual was a benchmark of the genre.  The Who were conceptual, Bowie,  Uriah Heep and others.

Prog as a genre was much more in the bricks and mortar.  Prog Metal is a different genre entirely.  I don't see any successful crossovers.  I have heard people suggest Rush was metal prog, but I disagree. 

I think Page was moving Zep into a more progressive direction before he started having his self imposed health issues.
Physical Graffitti has a lot of Prog on it as did Presence (Achilles Last Stand) .... and didn't he later court Chris Squire and Alan White at some point? XYZ?  Page was listening to Prog... you can be assured.

I still don't see that punk and new wave replaced Prog..  I think they replaced disco and Leif Garrett.  It would have been interesting to see one of the great prog bands just keep grinding out the great stuff right through the 80's and 90's.

While Prog is ambitious.. sure.. but not anymore than the great classical music composers whom many did their best epic works well into the later 1/3 of their lives.  I mean you suddenly can't play your instrument? I don't buy it.  Can't write creatively? I don't buy that either.  The problems run much deeper than that.

Prog faded for many reasons, all of them valid.
 
Music is sold mainly to teenagers and Prog in the 70s was no different. As teenagers grow older their priorities change - they get jobs and get married and take on responsibilities of careers, mortgages and providing for their families - their interest in the latest music wains. They are replaced by the next generation of teenagers, who have their own musical interests.
 
Most popular music is made by the younger generation for the younger generation - we listened to Yes and Genesis because they were of our generation - we didn't listen to the music of our parents or elder siblings. The new generation does not want the hand-me-downs of the previous generation, they want the new music made by the artists of their generation.
 
It is the role of the older generation to "rubbish" the music of the younger generation. Our parents did it to our music and we do it to our kid's music - that is the way it must be. We are, however, permitted to skip a generation and venerate the music of older generations, such as the Punks did with the music of The Velvet Underground and the MC5s.
 
The music business wants to sell to the demographic with the most disposable income, they want to sell to the new generation of teenagers because the older generation has stopped buying - they will inevitably invest more in the artists that appeal more to the new generation. The people who made Prog music are no longer saleable items, the younger bands who persist in making Prog music do not get signed (only a small fraction of the English Neo-Prog movement of the early 80s ever got record deals - bands like Jadis, Mach One, Haze, LaHost, Quasar struggle on self-released cassettes).
 
The music press wants to sell music newspapers and magazines, and the people who buy them will be the new generation with their new music - it is inevitable they will support the newer artists with their new music. The journalists whoo write for those papers quickly jump upon the latest bandwagon and discard the older generation of music.
 
Some of the older generation of musicians would like to maintain a living, so will adopt some of the latest trends in order to stay viable, while others will adapt their music to the different buying trends of their old fans. Jon Anderson cuts his hair and swaps kaftan for a Don Johnson/Miami Vice pastel suit, Phil Collins shaves his beard and becomes a pop star. 
 
Prog faded because the people who buy music stopped buying it.


Edited by Dean - November 09 2012 at 09:20


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Post Options Post Options   Quote twosteves Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: November 09 2012 at 10:43
I have an old Melody Maker where Jimmy Page sites Yes and Tales as a place where Zep could do something more complex and arty and Physical Graffiti came out.
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Post Options Post Options   Quote questionsneverknown Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: November 09 2012 at 11:45
The notion that punk killed prog has definitely been overstated.  In fact this was a bit of puffery conjured by papers like the NME.  As Hegarty and Halliwell point out in their book, Beyond and Before, music critics who in a number of cases became music academics tended to turn this notion into an orthodoxy.  One thing to keep in mind is that in the second half of the 1970s bands like Yes, Genesis and Pink Floyd still did very well on their tours, especially in America.  Epic-scaled arena rock grew and expanded, rather than diminished, as that decade went along--again, especially in the States.  The notion that a concert should be a big theatrical event never went away.  The capes may have, but the light shows, for instance, only got bigger.  
Prog's fading surely has more to do with a cycling of tastes--sometimes enforced by the music industry, sometimes by critics, sometimes by fans--and then, more complexly, with changing socio-economic and other historical factors.
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Surrealist Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: November 09 2012 at 12:19
Music is sold mainly to teenagers and Prog in the 70s was no different. As teenagers grow older their priorities change - they get jobs and get married and take on responsibilities of careers, mortgages and providing for their families - their interest in the latest music wains. They are replaced by the next generation of teenagers, who have their own musical interests.

I get this... I really do..
HOWEVER...

How was it that 13 year old kids from my generation.. (I was 13 in 1977) could be swallowing, digesting and become inspired and enamored by such complex music as early Genesis, Yes, ELP etc...  If you look just at the musicianship compared to the nonsense that goes on today... it is really like kids are a different species of mammals.  I remember being in junior high and there was this kid who sat next to me who would wear a Genesis shirt with Gabriel in the flower.  I didn't know who Genesis was at the time as I was into Zep, Sabbath, Scorpions, and UFO.  It wasn't until an older "dude" explained to me hanging out at a friends garage that I needed to listen to the drummers and that great rock was all about the complex rhythyms and being able to alternate fills in odd metering, and that the bass players really had to stretch out to accommodate.  My friend had a mountain of JBL speakers and it was all vinyl and tube amps and we could really feel the music.  Lot's of good pot and deep discussions about the meaning of the lyrics and where it was all going.  Lot's of deep conversations about the meaning of life, metaphysics, science, and we were f#$^#*ing 13!!!!

By the time I was 15 I had digested every classic Prog album and was playing in a band covering stuff like La Villa Strangiato.  Guys in high school were learning to really play guitar with tone and feel.  My friend was nailing the live version of Schenker's Rock Bottom, and Joe was playing Eruption note for note.  I mean, kids were practicing HARD to learn this stuff. 

My parents were of  different generation, but they also were musicians and could site read and could play very complex music.  Mom was a pro trumpeter at 19 and played "Flight of the Bumblebee" on National TV.  They didn't like Woodstock stuff because they thought there was too much drugs going on and worried about youthful rebellion damaging the establishment... but they were good musicians and could sing and play (dad sung opera).. so there was always a striving for some element of virtuosity in music... even in the older generation.

But what about 13 and 15 year old kids now?  What are the intellectuals of this generation listening too? Radiohead?
All these silly vocal contest shows.. and the band is nowhere in sight.  What is this generation learning?  Kids spend all day staring down at a hand held device and don't even talk to people anymore.  Texting, and their whole life is wrapped up into digital social media?  

If I played "Tales" for a typical kid today.. it would be like a deer in headlights.  I might expect a comment like "that's wierd".  I don't think there is any chance of getting into a deep conversation about the stucture, underlaying form of the music or the metaphysical lyrical content which actually is very thought provoking.    I understood where my parents where coming from.  I respected their music and can enjoy it today. 

I still try to get out once in a while and listen to what the youth are into these days.. and need I say more?  I really doubt there has ever been this big a disconnect from one generation to another in the history of humanity.




 
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Neelus Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: November 09 2012 at 12:45
This is what young people get up to today where I am from.  I promise you their conversation is also quite metaphysical.





Edited by Neelus - November 09 2012 at 12:46
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Guldbamsen Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: November 09 2012 at 12:56
^I've been to countless of those electronic parties/festivals, albeit slightly less mainstream, and I can honestly say that the talks you have with some of the people you meet, after dancing with them for a couple of hours, are most interesting.

Some of the ones I have attended felt like a modern day Woodstock. Even met a guy who was in his 50s who enjoyed the experience immensely. I promise you, there was no signs of a "gap" between the generations. In fact, now that I think of it, I have met a lot of folks over 40 at these things. Also, here at PA we have a large gathering of teenagers present. I don't feel the gap.
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Neelus Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: November 09 2012 at 12:58
^ You certainly get it Wink
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Guldbamsen Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: November 09 2012 at 13:08
Originally posted by Neelus

^ You certainly get it Wink




Why thank you good sir.

I guess it's all about seeking out the right company. I could of course also attend great big commercialized pop festivitas with thousands of teens that all dream about being up on stage in a fabulous outfit wailing their lungs out like Mariah Curry, but I have no interest in that.
Maybe that is where Surrealist went to form his opinion?
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Neelus Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: November 09 2012 at 13:15
Originally posted by Guldbamsen

Originally posted by Neelus

^ You certainly get it Wink




Why thank you good sir.

I guess it's all about seeking out the right company. I could of course also attend great big commercialized pop festivitas with thousands of teens that all dream about being up on stage in a fabulous outfit wailing their lungs out like Mariah Curry, but I have no interest in that.
Maybe that is where Surrealist went to form his opinion?


He must just learn that the same message can come in different forms.  The old generation is not the only ones that "got it", the medium of conveying it just changed shape.  I happen to like the old way too (classic prog), but I am not blind to whats happening.  Modern times have cool things too Big smile
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Guldbamsen Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: November 09 2012 at 13:22
Originally posted by Neelus


Originally posted by Guldbamsen

Originally posted by Neelus

^ You certainly get it Wink




Why thank you good sir.

I guess it's all about seeking out the right company. I could of course also attend great big commercialized pop festivitas with thousands of teens that all dream about being up on stage in a fabulous outfit wailing their lungs out like Mariah Curry, but I have no interest in that.
Maybe that is where Surrealist went to form his opinion?
He must just learn that the same message can come in different forms.  The old generation is not the only ones that "got it", the medium of conveying it just changed shape.  I happen to like the old way too (classic prog), but I am not blind to whats happening.  Modern times have cool things too Big smile



Exactly. Dancing on a desolate beach somewhere in Denmark - watching the sun appear in a fiery red is one of the most spiritual things I have ever experienced. The dance itself at these things tend to go metaphysical. You 'talk' to each other with it, get to know all these interesting folks by moving to the music - sometimes even without uttering a single word. That may sound rather meh, but when you stumble into them again, you know them and pick up where you left it last time. You may not know their fave colour or their shoe size, but you know them in a different and altogether more appreciative way.
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Dean Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: November 09 2012 at 13:33
Originally posted by Surrealist

Music is sold mainly to teenagers and Prog in the 70s was no different. As teenagers grow older their priorities change - they get jobs and get married and take on responsibilities of careers, mortgages and providing for their families - their interest in the latest music wains. They are replaced by the next generation of teenagers, who have their own musical interests.

I get this... I really do..
HOWEVER...

How was it that 13 year old kids from my generation.. (I was 13 in 1977) could be swallowing, digesting and become inspired and enamored by such complex music as early Genesis, Yes, ELP etc...  If you look just at the musicianship compared to the nonsense that goes on today... it is really like kids are a different species of mammals.  I remember being in junior high and there was this kid who sat next to me who would wear a Genesis shirt with Gabriel in the flower.  I didn't know who Genesis was at the time as I was into Zep, Sabbath, Scorpions, and UFO.  It wasn't until an older "dude" explained to me hanging out at a friends garage that I needed to listen to the drummers and that great rock was all about the complex rhythyms and being able to alternate fills in odd metering, and that the bass players really had to stretch out to accommodate.  My friend had a mountain of JBL speakers and it was all vinyl and tube amps and we could really feel the music.  Lot's of good pot and deep discussions about the meaning of the lyrics and where it was all going.  Lot's of deep conversations about the meaning of life, metaphysics, science, and we were f#$^#*ing 13!!!!

By the time I was 15 I had digested every classic Prog album and was playing in a band covering stuff like La Villa Strangiato.  Guys in high school were learning to really play guitar with tone and feel.  My friend was nailing the live version of Schenker's Rock Bottom, and Joe was playing Eruption note for note.  I mean, kids were practicing HARD to learn this stuff. 

My parents were of  different generation, but they also were musicians and could site read and could play very complex music.  Mom was a pro trumpeter at 19 and played "Flight of the Bumblebee" on National TV.  They didn't like Woodstock stuff because they thought there was too much drugs going on and worried about youthful rebellion damaging the establishment... but they were good musicians and could sing and play (dad sung opera).. so there was always a striving for some element of virtuosity in music... even in the older generation.

But what about 13 and 15 year old kids now?  What are the intellectuals of this generation listening too? Radiohead?
All these silly vocal contest shows.. and the band is nowhere in sight.  What is this generation learning?  Kids spend all day staring down at a hand held device and don't even talk to people anymore.  Texting, and their whole life is wrapped up into digital social media?  

If I played "Tales" for a typical kid today.. it would be like a deer in headlights.  I might expect a comment like "that's wierd".  I don't think there is any chance of getting into a deep conversation about the stucture, underlaying form of the music or the metaphysical lyrical content which actually is very thought provoking.    I understood where my parents where coming from.  I respected their music and can enjoy it today. 

I still try to get out once in a while and listen to what the youth are into these days.. and need I say more?  I really doubt there has ever been this big a disconnect from one generation to another in the history of humanity.
I used the term "teenager" quite loosely to denote a generation - I guess more accurately it would cover the age-range from high-school and university and of course there is an wide over-lap within that range so when I was 11 or 12 I was associating with older kids and listening to the music they were playing (such as Van der Graaf Generator and White Noise) and when I was older younger kids of my generation were listening to the music I was playing. There wasn't a unilateral switch-over from one generation to the next on a fixed date in 1977 - I mean, how the hell would anyone organise such an event? It was a gradual change with some kids listening to the older stuff and some listening to the newer stuff and some where listening to both - just as some of us were still listened to The Beatles and The Move back in 1973 between spinning the latest Floyd or Caravan album or delving into the latest Krautrock or Italian Prog albums that were arriving on our shores.
 
However, I think you are grossly generalising the current generation of music fans in your post and that is unfair and inaccurate - just take the time to talk to and LISTEN to the younger people on this forum - not every youngster listens to Dream Theater, not every youngster plugs their ears into an iPlod and not one single youngster here listens to vocal-bands and the latests X-factor/America's Got Simon Cowell franchised wannbie famous now overnight one-hit wonder.
 
I would also not be so dismissive of today's youngsters and their ability to play and appreciate music - last week I was at a memorial concert for the head of music for our local community college who sadly passed away in September at a too young age (http://www.martinreadcomposer.com/) and the level of music ability in his students was impressive (as was their love of Jazz, which doesn't appeal to me, but it did to them). I know several young guitarists, keyboardists,singers and drummers in my local area who are very talented and very capable- and we are not the exception - there is talent everywhere.
 
here's one of them:
 
Radiohead is of the previous generation - really, OK Computer is 15 years old - fortunately that's not like me listening to an album released in 1955 back in 1973 (because that was never going to happen) because "intelligent" music is crossing generation boundaries more now (even if it is sadly a one-way process), but there are many other bands that have adopted the mantle of "intelligent" music since them.
 
Play "Tales" to a typical kid back in 1973 and most of them would have been dismissive of it (because many of them were - I know because I was there) - even among die-hard Yes fans you would have struggled to get "into a deep conversation about the structure, underlaying form of the music or the metaphysical lyrical content" regardless of how "thought provoking" you find it now... those conversations never happened at the time just as they don't happen today - really - I've never had a thought provoking conversation about the metaphysical lyrical content of 'The Revealing Science of God' and I don't intend to have one any time soon.
 
 


If you cannot be wise, pretend to be someone who is wise and then just behave like they would - Neil Gaiman
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Neelus Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: November 09 2012 at 13:33
Originally posted by Guldbamsen

Originally posted by Neelus


Originally posted by Guldbamsen

Originally posted by Neelus

^ You certainly get it Wink




Why thank you good sir.

I guess it's all about seeking out the right company. I could of course also attend great big commercialized pop festivitas with thousands of teens that all dream about being up on stage in a fabulous outfit wailing their lungs out like Mariah Curry, but I have no interest in that.
Maybe that is where Surrealist went to form his opinion?
He must just learn that the same message can come in different forms.  The old generation is not the only ones that "got it", the medium of conveying it just changed shape.  I happen to like the old way too (classic prog), but I am not blind to whats happening.  Modern times have cool things too Big smile



Exactly. Dancing on a desolate beach somewhere in Denmark - watching the sun appear in a fiery red is one of the most spiritual things I have ever experienced. The dance itself at these things tend to go metaphysical. You 'talk' to each other with it, get to know all these interesting folks by moving to the music - sometimes even without uttering a single word. That may sound rather meh, but when you stumble into them again, you know them and pick up where you left it last time. You may not know their fave colour or their shoe size, but you know them in a different and altogether more appreciative way.


Breaking down boundaries Big smile
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