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Why classic prog faded?

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HackettFan View Drop Down
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    Posted: November 11 2012 at 05:57
Originally posted by rogerthat

About the influence of the industry on music, new wave for instance wasn't necessarily something they shaped and pushed heavily to 'replace' prog.  Sparks had anticipated many aspects of new wave as early as 1973/74 and ABBA too emulated some of these aspects.   By the mid 70s, the industry was ready to sign on new bands playing in what would come to be known as the new wave style.   When the industry exerts its influence, it is typically in a conservative light, as in promoting divas in the late 80s and 90s.  It seems to take time for the industry to accept a new sound and understand that it might have a bigger audience than they believe it does.  Metallica was the biggest rock band of the 90s, I guess, and they had released four albums before they were kind of persuaded to streamline their sound for a larger audience.  In fact, they went to the Grammys in 1988 with arguably their most ambitious album, And Justice for All.  


I was not talking about creating new styles. I was talking about creating momentum and eliminating momentum for one as opposed to another as an effort to over simplify and overgeneralize the market. The only change I was specifically talking about was the lack of interest in Prog. My opinion was that the disinterest in Prog in the music industry was out ahead of the disinterest of consumers. I implied that the music industry was perhaps not all that knowledgable about what the public wanted, at least as I could see things from my neck of the woods. For instance, the Genesis tribute band, Over the Garden Wall, got numerous gigs all over Toronto and Buffalo in the 80s. How did they do this if no one wanted to hear that music anymore? It didn't seem to me that some other style of music was responsible for the demise of Prog. Punk is often blamed for it, but it had virtually zero effect in the States. Okay, it wasn't New Wave either. So...
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Post Options Post Options   Quote HackettFan Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: November 11 2012 at 06:24
Originally posted by Dean

Originally posted by HackettFan

Originally posted by Dean

Originally posted by HackettFan

. I also don't get the notion bandied about that teens aren't interested in the music of their older siblings. For myself and everyone I grew up with, we always wanted to be more adult. No, it wasn't lack of interest or changing interests. It was those with the stranglehold on the record deals that were the agents of change.

I didn't say they weren't interested in the music of their older siblings, I said they wanted the new music made by the artists of their generation. Of course this is difficult to prove or demonstrate, especially since 40 years later we tend to see "the 70s" as one single time period when in reality it wasn't, and that Prog was the dominant music force when in reality it wasn't.

 

I bought Voyage of the Acolyte when it was released - I was 18 at the time - if you were my 9 year old brother would you have listened to it then in 1975? (I'd be impressed if you did, but slightly annoyed as that would make the rest of this paragraphy pretty meaningless). Or did you first hear it when you were 14? or when you were 18? or even later? And when you did first listen to it (whenever that was) do you think you would have been interested in listening to the music I would have been listening to at that time? If you were 17 then I would have been 26 - still an avid music fan and record collector, but now living in an expensive rented flat in London while desperately saving for the deposit on my own house - I bought exactly 5 albums in that year - 2 of them were Prog.

 

I also have to ask what drives the record labels to become the agents of change - if they already had a fatted calf then why kill it off? While the record labels do actively go looking for new talent, that is a gamble for them, they would prefer to keep making money on the "dead certs" that have sold well in the past. Labels do not start new trends in music, they follow them.
I take your distinction, Dean. But I have to testify otherwise. I listened very little to music from musicians of my own generation. The only artists I went to see live in highschool were at big venues. Most of the big artists playing big venues were older simply because they had to be somewhat well initiated to make it to a big venue. I saw Genesis, Jethro Tull, and Van Halen in highschool. Even Van Halen were quite a bit older than me. I had a friend in highschool who was big into Yes, and I think he saw them live. I knew others who went to see the Moody Blues. Later while I was college one of the dominant radio platforms in the 80s was regurgitated 60s and 70s classics. During this period I distinctly remember young teenagers scouring through, not their older sibling's records, but their parents'. I was indeed 9 in 1975. Good guess. I hadn't discovered Voyage of the Acolyte until I was much much older. I did have a friend my age who bought the Lamb Lies Down on Broadway and played it for me when it first came out. He was admittedly pretty hip about music for his age. By the time I was 17 or 18 I was partying around bonfires with my friend's older brothers and sisters. They played lots of Zeppelin and Tull, and some occasional miscellaneous Prog and folk rock. I went as a group with them twice to see Shawn Phillips. There could be a cultural difference, but I always regarded older people as just plain cooler. They could drive. They could drink. And they had seen Steve Hackett live way before I did. I would certainly have been interested in what you were listening to during a good portion of my youth. And now too. As far as the music industry goes I really don't perceive them as simply reflecting what people want. I think they mould and shape popular music more than any underground scene does. I can't prove this. It's just my perception. Admittedly, I might have been influenced by having read too many Robert Fripp interviews.

Then I'd say you were the exception rather than the rule (or rather the exception does not disprove the rule), in my experience the musical taste of teenagers is influence more by their peers than their elders. If we were all influenced by our elders then musical styles would never change and we'd still be listening to Glenn Miller (okay, that's a gross exageration, but you get my drift). Even Neo-Prog was a generation thing - in the 80s old Proggers treated Marillion with distain (Genesis clone tag started then and persists today) and Marillion fans at then time were very unreceptive to Peter Hammill when he supported them.
 

Record labels picked-up on emergent trends, such as Punk, New Wave, Thrash, Grunge, Nu Metal, etc..they did not create them - in every case they were either reluctant or slow to pick them up, but once it seemed they could make money out of them there was a feeding frenzy in signing new bands.

I would just point out a countervailing tendency for youngsters to aspire to things in advance of their age. Cell phones used to be an exclusively adult thing. Now rather young children are miffed if they can't have one

Edited by HackettFan - November 11 2012 at 12:18
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Post Options Post Options   Quote HackettFan Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: November 11 2012 at 07:03
Aargh! This part is my statement not Dean's:
"I think you're right to a certain extent. I would just point out a countervailing tendency for youngsters to aspire to things in advance of their age. Cell phones used to be an exclusively adult thing. Now rather young children are miffed if they can't have one."

(Sorry, I didn't get to the end of the quote before I started writing. My iPhone doesn't allow me to scroll up and down. Didn't preview the post either.)
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Post Options Post Options   Quote rogerthat Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: November 11 2012 at 08:45
Originally posted by HackettFan

Originally posted by rogerthat

About the influence of the industry on music, new wave for instance wasn't necessarily something they shaped and pushed heavily to 'replace' prog.  Sparks had anticipated many aspects of new wave as early as 1973/74 and ABBA too emulated some of these aspects.   By the mid 70s, the industry was ready to sign on new bands playing in what would come to be known as the new wave style.   When the industry exerts its influence, it is typically in a conservative light, as in promoting divas in the late 80s and 90s.  It seems to take time for the industry to accept a new sound and understand that it might have a bigger audience than they believe it does.  Metallica was the biggest rock band of the 90s, I guess, and they had released four albums before they were kind of persuaded to streamline their sound for a larger audience.  In fact, they went to the Grammys in 1988 with arguably their most ambitious album, And Justice for All.  


I was not talking about creating new styles. I was talking about creating momentum and eliminating momentum for one as opposed to another as an effort to over simplify and overgeneralize the market. The only change I was specifically talking about was the lack of interest in Prog. My opinion was that the disinterest in Prog in the music industry was out ahead of the disinterest of consumers. I implied that the music industry was perhaps not all that knowledgable about what the public wanted, at least as I could see things from my neck of the woods. For instance, the Genesis tribute band, Over the Garden Wall, got numerous gigs all over Toronto and Buffalo in the 80s. How did they do this if no one wanted to hear that music anymore? It didn't seem to me that some other style of music was responsible for the demise of Prog. Punk is often blamed for it, but it had virtually zero effect in the States. Okay, it wasn't New Wave either. So...

As far as public taste goes, the commercial success of prog plateaued after around 1975, so if the labels assumed something else would be the 'in thing' and not prog, it would not be a very unreasonable assumption.  Even Fripp had ditched prog by 1975.
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Dean Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: November 11 2012 at 09:18

^ agreed

Originally posted by HackettFan

Originally posted by rogerthat

About the influence of the industry on music, new wave for instance wasn't necessarily something they shaped and pushed heavily to 'replace' prog.  Sparks had anticipated many aspects of new wave as early as 1973/74 and ABBA too emulated some of these aspects.   By the mid 70s, the industry was ready to sign on new bands playing in what would come to be known as the new wave style.   When the industry exerts its influence, it is typically in a conservative light, as in promoting divas in the late 80s and 90s.  It seems to take time for the industry to accept a new sound and understand that it might have a bigger audience than they believe it does.  Metallica was the biggest rock band of the 90s, I guess, and they had released four albums before they were kind of persuaded to streamline their sound for a larger audience.  In fact, they went to the Grammys in 1988 with arguably their most ambitious album, And Justice for All.  


I was not talking about creating new styles. I was talking about creating momentum and eliminating momentum for one as opposed to another as an effort to over simplify and overgeneralize the market. The only change I was specifically talking about was the lack of interest in Prog. My opinion was that the disinterest in Prog in the music industry was out ahead of the disinterest of consumers. I implied that the music industry was perhaps not all that knowledgable about what the public wanted, at least as I could see things from my neck of the woods. For instance, the Genesis tribute band, Over the Garden Wall, got numerous gigs all over Toronto and Buffalo in the 80s. How did they do this if no one wanted to hear that music anymore? It didn't seem to me that some other style of music was responsible for the demise of Prog. Punk is often blamed for it, but it had virtually zero effect in the States. Okay, it wasn't New Wave either. So...

You are seriously understating the effect of Punk and New Wave in the USA - practically every rock music genre that has evolved since then is a direct descendant of what began in CBGB with The Ramones, Television, Richard Hell, Blondie, Talking Heads, The Plasmatics, Kim Fowley, and in other areas with NoFX, The Melvins, Bad Brains, Black Flag... (the list goes on). Thrash Metal is a direct descendant of Hardcore Punk, Grunge is a direct descendant of Punk, Nu Metal is a descendant of Punk and New Wave. I have said many times that Punk did not kill off Prog - because Prog didn't die, it just went back into the underground (background) that spawned it. While some Prog bands found mainstream success in the early 70s, most remained as underground bands, albeit signed to major labels.
 
Tribute bands succeed because the artists they mimic are no longer playing that music, or no longer played the small venues in the small towns and cities through-out the world - Genesis stopped playing Gabriel-era songs (well, there's more to it than that, but that's the gist of it). Over The Garden Wall didn't play stadiums, arenas and other big venues.


Edited by Dean - November 11 2012 at 10:15


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Post Options Post Options   Quote jude111 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: November 11 2012 at 09:33
One theory: Every genre has had a "classic phase" that was over all too soon. I mean, consider punk itself - how soon it arrived in all its abrasive glory, and within 3 years tops evolving into new wave (which itself was good at times, and then quickly evolving and then over just as quickly).
 
A second theory: The 80s killed off all the great genres, not just prog. 70s classic soul and funk and r&b were maudlin pap by the 80s; jazz fusion was gone as well. Punk itself was over by 1980 (even if some of the great punk bands still had some good albums in them).
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Post Options Post Options   Quote The Bearded Bard Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: November 11 2012 at 10:59
Originally posted by richardh

Originally posted by progbethyname

Originally posted by richardh

Originally posted by Dayvenkirq

^ He said "a great album in the '80s", not ... "an album in the '80s".

 

indeedLOL

 

The bands that made prog recognisable simply got old and the bands that should have replaced them were largely ignored after punk. Be Bop Deluxe and Lone Star were two interesting bands that just stopped around 1978 for commercial reasons yet had made some really interesting music. Coloseum 2 were another example. ELP,Yes and Genesis just didn't evolve at all and very few people believe there later albums get close to their earlier albums. Therefore the writing was on the wall regardless of punk happening or not. The baton was never passed on.


I think GENESIS evolved immensely. As the 80's loomed forth GENESIS ushered in a new and fresh sound by blending pop and prog together. I said it once and I'll say it again, DUKE is a masterpiece because it shows the promising evolution of GENESIS all together. In my opinion, GENESIS evolved greatly
actually I'm very fond of Genesis in that immediate post Gabriel era inc up to Duke. I nearly cried when I first heard Abacab and hated Mama.
The thread title is about classic prog and Duke is rarely thought of as that. It was even the butt of a joke in the film American Psycho where Christian Bale's character hales it as their masterpeice. I can't help but sn****r a little. (sorryWink)
Wasn't Invisible Touch Genesis' undisputed masterpiece according to Patrick Bateman?
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Post Options Post Options   Quote moshkito Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: November 11 2012 at 11:04
Originally posted by mister nobody

Well, people got bored of it, I think.
 
I am not sure that boredom had a lot to do with it ... but I do have a couple of ideas here and there.
 
1. The media. This goes back several years, specially the 60's with the media attacking the youngsters, and making many of them look bad, and ignoring the art.
 
2. The record companies. For the most part, the record company thing was always about control, and it is not too hard to extend this to controlling the public as well. The music tastes were "controlled" by top ten, and still are. Thus, when someone did something different, that was not put together by one of the biggies, then it was naturally trashed as not important, and over the top ... except of course, a 20 foot penis on the stage for Mick Jagger to ride on! That should tell you a lot more about it all than anything else ...
 
3. Inspiration. Feeds on itself. When someone sees one person do this, another wants to do it and it keeps going. If not enough folks do it, not many will try it. This is the biggest issue on a lot of music today, that is good, but little of it is above and beyond the area where they are totally out there, and everyone is going to copy them! A lot of this, again, might have to do with the media ... since too many media outlets only like to support the bands they promote and own ... check out USA Today one of these days ... it's all the folks that they are associated with in one way or another ... and independents will not get a word in or a chance! This is, in America specially, part of the "corporatization" of America ... only the corporate goodies can be discussed and sold!
 
4. Education,, or lack of. In general, there are many music scenes that started totally out of frustration with the current status ... you can go back to the history of the arts for the past hundreds of years and you can see reactions to the previous status quo ... and then you get something like The Sex Pistols and that is the total opposite ... that does not have, necessarily, to do with anything else ... except their own battle!
 
5. Europe has a better place that allows for more music experimentation. But America does not believe, or exactly support the "wprld market" thing, and that means that not enough folks will buy the foreign product as much ... and the tastes for the arts, music and everything else suffer, quite often ... you can see it here, in the local symphony, playing the same stuff over and over and over again ... and still not having the guts to even do a Frank Zappa piece! ... thank the Boston Pops for their rich insularity!
 
It's a tough bit to discuss ... but in the end, you have to know, and have one thing going for you ... that you can not have in a social milieu ... yourself! ... and if you don't know the difference, this line will not mean a whole lot to you. If you do it for you, and your life, you will stand by it ... and you and the art piece have a chance to grow, like a child ... otherwise ... it's just sex, right?
... none of the hits, none of the time ... you might actually find your own art, or self, and forego lousy heroes or Guru's!

www.pedrosena.com
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Post Options Post Options   Quote octopus-4 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: November 11 2012 at 11:08
DON'T TOUCH THIS ALBUM Angry

Yes 90125 album cover
Curiosity killed a cat, Schroedinger only half.
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Post Options Post Options   Quote HackettFan Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: November 11 2012 at 11:58
Are we not counting post 1975 things like Wind & Wuthering, Wish You Were Here, and Sheik Yer Bouti?
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Post Options Post Options   Quote progbethyname Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: November 11 2012 at 12:15
Originally posted by The Bearded Bard


Originally posted by richardh

Originally posted by progbethyname

Originally posted by richardh

Originally posted by Dayvenkirq

^ He said "a great album in the '80s", not ... "an album in the '80s".

 

indeedLOL

 

The bands that made prog recognisable simply got old and the bands that should have replaced them were largely ignored after punk. Be Bop Deluxe and Lone Star were two interesting bands that just stopped around 1978 for commercial reasons yet had made some really interesting music. Coloseum 2 were another example. ELP,Yes and Genesis just didn't evolve at all and very few people believe there later albums get close to their earlier albums. Therefore the writing was on the wall regardless of punk happening or not. The baton was never passed on.
I think GENESIS evolved immensely. As the 80's loomed forth GENESIS ushered in a new and fresh sound by blending pop and prog together. I said it once and I'll say it again, DUKE is a masterpiece because it shows the promising evolution of GENESIS all together. In my opinion, GENESIS evolved greatly


actually I'm very fond of Genesis in that immediate post Gabriel era inc up to Duke. I nearly cried when I first heard Abacab and hated Mama.

The thread title is about classic prog and Duke is rarely thought of as that. It was even the butt of a joke in the film American Psycho where Christian Bale's character hales it as their masterpeice. I can't help but sn****r a little. (sorryWink)
Wasn't Invisible Touch Genesis' undisputed masterpiece according to Patrick Bateman?


no it was DUKE. Described it as Transcedental meditation. Still makes me laugh!!
How Transatlantic's Kaleidoscope beat IQ's The Road Of Bones in the Prog album of the year category at this years Prog awards (2014) is beyond me.
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Post Options Post Options   Quote HackettFan Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: November 11 2012 at 12:34
Originally posted by rogerthat


As far as public taste goes, the commercial success of prog plateaued after around 1975, so if the labels assumed something else would be the 'in thing' and not prog, it would not be a very unreasonable assumption.  Even Fripp had ditched prog by 1975.

Sorry, Progbethyname, I was actually referring to RogerThat's comment, which I quoted this time. I agree with you about Duke.
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Post Options Post Options   Quote The Bearded Bard Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: November 11 2012 at 12:39
It was Invisible Touch.
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Rottenhat Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: November 11 2012 at 14:04
Looking at the latter part of the seventies. We all know Gabriel's costumes got bigger.  The ELP crew got enormous.  The bigger the show, the better.  
Did the evolve from musical experimentalism into overblown stage antics during this period cause prog's demise against the punk movement?
Why would the huge show that never ends fail? Were there other factors involved that ended classic prog?

Maybe the lack of belief that the world would turn into some kind of utopia?'

 Didn't the social scientist in the 60's believe that the future would be some kind of holiday resort where nobody was working and nobody was poor?

When this didn't happen, punk happened.


Language is a virus from outer space.

-William S. Burroughs
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Post Options Post Options   Quote progbethyname Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: November 11 2012 at 14:54
Originally posted by octopus-4

DON'T TOUCH THIS ALBUM Angry
Yes 90125 album cover


How Transatlantic's Kaleidoscope beat IQ's The Road Of Bones in the Prog album of the year category at this years Prog awards (2014) is beyond me.
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Post Options Post Options   Quote octopus-4 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: November 11 2012 at 15:14
If you have to..... touch this instead.

Curiosity killed a cat, Schroedinger only half.
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Surrealist Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: November 11 2012 at 15:29
In Prog, generally speaking, you have this idea of a virtuoso at each position in the band.  Would any anyone really argue that Prog drummers are typically much better trained drummers who can play and solo in odd meters etc compared to a typical rock drummer who is just driving the down beat in 4/4 time? 

The Prog bassists were almost always playing more melodically, and much more interesting note selections than someone banging on the E string for 20 minutes. 

The presence of classically train or Jazz trained keyboards are much more prevelant in Prog that pop rock or straight up rock.

The guitar players were usually to some degree classically trained or player much more artfully than just learning a couple of blues scales and repeating the same sequences over different chord changes which was pretty typical. 

If you went to see Robin Trower (whom I love) you basically went to see Robin play blues music.  Two other guys in the band doing nice contributions.. but it was the Robin show.  Same for UFO... I mean it was the Micheal Schenker show.  Even a Progger could appreciate Schenker shredding his epic guitar solo in Rock Bottom or Lights Out.

But in Prog... you might have 5 people there to see and get off on any of the guys in the band.  I have a bassist friend who just worshipped Squire and bought his ticket based upon which side of the stage he was likely to be set up on.
Same for Wakeman and all his caped fans... and the Bruford fanatics, and Steve Howe was God to the technically minded guitar players.  I took a guitar class in University as an easy elective and the entire class was required to learn excerpts from "Mood for Day".  This was in 1983.

ELP... there would be arguments about each one of them being the best in the world at what they did individually.

So what really separated Prog from other genres of rock was the complete virtuostic nature of each position in the band being filled by a real expert.  I remember even Roger Waters being voted "bassist of the year".  

It was the super group mentality..... and on top of that.. the notion that the sum would STILL be greater than the parts...
and this ideology was supported perfectly by the "YES" solo albums.  "Fish out of Water" good, but not YES.  Howe's Beginnings "excellent but don't let him sing another note please!"  "Olias of Sunhillow", spiritual, but definitely missing the other guys virtuostic touches. 

But as drum machines came into vouge, and the silly quest for perfect digital production.. it enabled any band to sound "perfect" using quantization and so on.  These perfect sampled sounds, and midi and all that sounded amazingly tight to the public ear, and it really was a big smoke and mirrors job.  People liked those clean tight sounds, drum machines and so forth.. and that really killed prog.  The Prog bands felt they needed those sounds too.. and they all explored them to their demise.  Then you had the metal scene that said nonsense to those sounds and just went heavy on the low end with lots of flashy guitar solos and hairspray... and they picked up some Prog fans because of the slick solos and such.  Nirvana called them out on that and basically just did Dylan with distortion and fast drumming.  Then the whole coffee house hippie girl with a guitar stuff... Jewel.. etc.  then all the techno and rap and blends of R and B and just rehashing everything from the last 30 years. 

So I will give the Dream Theater has the everyone is a virtuoso thing.. it is Prog Metal and not Prog as a classic genre.

But what the Classic Prog bands did so well was work together... and put the music first and foremost.  Genesis was every bit as much about Collins as it was Hackett.  Crimson was never about Fripp posing as a rock God playing epic solos while standing in a white hot spotlight.  The Classic Prog offerings were much more based upon the idea of an orchestra than a bunch of flashy jazz musicians trading solos. 

The great Prog bands always felt to me a bit understated in what they actually could be doing.  It was about being tasteful, experimental but also very stylish.. which is the main thing that has been missing from most Prog for a long time.
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Dean Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: November 11 2012 at 18:30
Where do all these Prog Musicians go to get their magical powers that are not available to normal musicians? Confused


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Post Options Post Options   Quote HackettFan Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: November 11 2012 at 18:49
Originally posted by Dean

Where do all these Prog Musicians go to get their magical powers that are not available to normal musicians? Confused

EarthQuaker Devices Rainbow Machine. It has a dial labeled 'magic'. Gotta get me one.
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Post Options Post Options   Quote progbethyname Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: November 11 2012 at 20:04
Originally posted by Surrealist

In Prog, generally speaking, you have this idea of a virtuoso at each position in the band.  Would any anyone really argue that Prog drummers are typically much better trained drummers who can play and solo in odd meters etc compared to a typical rock drummer who is just driving the down beat in 4/4 time?  The Prog bassists were almost always playing more melodically, and much more interesting note selections than someone banging on the E string for 20 minutes.  The presence of classically train or Jazz trained keyboards are much more prevelant in Prog that pop rock or straight up rock. The guitar players were usually to some degree classically trained or player much more artfully than just learning a couple of blues scales and repeating the same sequences over different chord changes which was pretty typical.  If you went to see Robin Trower (whom I love) you basically went to see Robin play blues music.  Two other guys in the band doing nice contributions.. but it was the Robin show.  Same for UFO... I mean it was the Micheal Schenker show.  Even a Progger could appreciate Schenker shredding his epic guitar solo in Rock Bottom or Lights Out.But in Prog... you might have 5 people there to see and get off on any of the guys in the band.  I have a bassist friend who just worshipped Squire and bought his ticket based upon which side of the stage he was likely to be set up on.Same for Wakeman and all his caped fans... and the Bruford fanatics, and Steve Howe was God to the technically minded guitar players.  I took a guitar class in University as an easy elective and the entire class was required to learn excerpts from "Mood for Day".  This was in 1983.ELP... there would be arguments about each one of them being the best in the world at what they did individually.So what really separated Prog from other genres of rock was the complete virtuostic nature of each position in the band being filled by a real expert.  I remember even Roger Waters being voted "bassist of the year".   It was the super group mentality..... and on top of that.. the notion that the sum would STILL be greater than the parts...and this ideology was supported perfectly by the "YES" solo albums.  "Fish out of Water" good, but not YES.  Howe's Beginnings "excellent but don't let him sing another note please!"  "Olias of Sunhillow", spiritual, but definitely missing the other guys virtuostic touches.  But as drum machines came into vouge, and the silly quest for perfect digital production.. it enabled any band to sound "perfect" using quantization and so on.  These perfect sampled sounds, and midi and all that sounded amazingly tight to the public ear, and it really was a big smoke and mirrors job.  People liked those clean tight sounds, drum machines and so forth.. and that really killed prog.  The Prog bands felt they needed those sounds too.. and they all explored them to their demise.  Then you had the metal scene that said nonsense to those sounds and just went heavy on the low end with lots of flashy guitar solos and hairspray... and they picked up some Prog fans because of the slick solos and such.  Nirvana called them out on that and basically just did Dylan with distortion and fast drumming.  Then the whole coffee house hippie girl with a guitar stuff... Jewel.. etc.  then all the techno and rap and blends of R and B and just rehashing everything from the last 30 years.  So I will give the Dream Theater has the everyone is a virtuoso thing.. it is Prog Metal and not Prog as a classic genre.But what the Classic Prog bands did so well was work together... and put the music first and foremost.  Genesis was every bit as much about Collins as it was Hackett.  Crimson was never about Fripp posing as a rock God playing epic solos while standing in a white hot spotlight.  The Classic Prog offerings were much more based upon the idea of an orchestra than a bunch of flashy jazz musicians trading solos.  The great Prog bands always felt to me a bit understated in what they actually could be doing.  It was about being tasteful, experimental but also very stylish.. which is the main thing that has been missing from most Prog for a long time.


Being innovative, stylish and tasteful still exists today even with in the prog metal genre.
Albums like OPETH's STILL LIFE, IQ's DARK MATTER and FREQUENCY and of course DREAM THEATER's METROPOLIS PT2: SCENES OF A MEMORY are all tasteful, stylish and innovative. All carry a very unique and intimate sound of their own.
How Transatlantic's Kaleidoscope beat IQ's The Road Of Bones in the Prog album of the year category at this years Prog awards (2014) is beyond me.
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