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Why classic prog faded?

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Guldbamsen View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Guldbamsen Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Topic: Why classic prog faded?
    Posted: November 08 2012 at 02:33
People got fed up with the same ideas getting recycled I guess, and the music that continued the progressive path was either part of the punk scene or it was too weird for most to follow. I am thinking about the RIO avant scene, which was thriving in the 80s.

Makes one wonder just how long generic hip hop and over the top saccharine pop can manage to hold the interest of mass media. Fortunately more and more are looking to the internet for music, and just taking a look at RYM unveils how much diversity that's going down.

Getting back to the premise of the thread, I am glad 'classic prog' didn't endure and keep at it. It wouldn't be classic if it had kept dishing out the same tired formula all through the 80s, and we probably wouldn't be talking like this on this board. I would have missed all the fantastic music that transpired in the 80s as well, which I gather grew out of progs "dying" embers, although it never really died... It became fertilizer for things like art punk and as mentioned before RIO and avant.

Edited by Guldbamsen - November 08 2012 at 02:34
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Slartibartfast Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: November 08 2012 at 03:12
Classic prog never faded, it was just rumored to have.
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Lord Jagged Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: November 08 2012 at 03:46
Capes. Definitely the wearing of capes caused its downfall. That and Rick Wakeman eating a curry during a Yes concert.
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Dayvenkirq Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: November 08 2012 at 07:09
^ I thought the curry eating was just in the studio. Shocked
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Post Options Post Options   Quote KingCrInuYasha Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: November 08 2012 at 09:51
^ No, that was on stage. In his memoirs, Wakeman was telling a roadie that he was thinking of going to an Indian restaurant to get some curry after a concert. The roadie misheard Wakeman and brought the food from said restaurant. Seeing that it was impossible to get the food to a fridge, Wakeman decided it eat it onstage.

Back on topic, it's tempting to say that the genre was becoming a parody of itself, but considering there was some good prog still coming out until the end of the 70s, that probably wasn't the biggest factor. Rather, I think the main problem was that a lot of those groups were either unable or unwilling to adapt to the changing times. Rush, Yes and Genesis were able to do it, due to pop being engrained into their music and King Crimson pulled it off after Fripp had absorbed enough New-Wave influences.

After some listening, I find it funny that a lot of punk bands/lovers said that the movement came into being due to the scene becoming stagnant, when I find that the stagnation didn't occur until well after the movement found its feet. If we take 1975 to be Year Zero of this movement - based on the release of Patti Smith's Horses - here's the records that I liked that came out that same year:

Black Sabbath - Sabotage
Brian Eno - Another Green World
Gentle Giant - Free Hand
Jethro Tull - Minstrel In The Gallery
Led Zeppelin - Physical Graffiti
Pink Floyd - Wish You Were Here
Queen - A Night At The Opera
Rush - Fly By Night, Caress Of Steel
Steely Dan - Katy Lied
Van Der Graaf Generator - Godbluff
Frank Zappa - One Size Fits All

So, yeah, the scene wasn't that much of a wreck, at least not to me.


Edited by KingCrInuYasha - November 08 2012 at 14:00
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Post Options Post Options   Quote rogerthat Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: November 08 2012 at 10:41
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.

Excellent post.   Prog rock may be a genre or approach or whatever but classic prog was just a phase in music at the end of the day, not unlike its more popular cousin classic rock.   Classic rock too fell apart as LZ broke up and Who and DP faded away.   Prog rock  per se changed and new artists kept it going but the dinosaurs who failed to adapt toppled over.  And some big bands who were probably in a good position to adapt, like Pink Floyd, were beset by breakups and friction.   Most of the big prog rock bands were already past their best irrespective of punk.
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Surrealist Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: November 08 2012 at 14:07
If there is one element that defined classic prog more than anything it is the drummers.  Prog drummers are simply much better drummers technically than rock drummers.  They can play in odd meter, and they put forth much more energy than jazz drummers. They are a unique breed and sit at the core of the music.

When the drum machine was intevented.. rock could engage perfect metering and perfect sounds.  Nothing is harder to mic than a drum kit, and poorly recorded drums have been a thorn in the side of music producers for decades.  It was appealing at the time, however empty and void of life those samplers are.  That was the death of prog in my opinion.  Then drum quantization happened and that still goes on today.. so the need for Bruford, Collins, Weathers, Barlow, all those guys became trivialized.  It's a shame.

I agree that the lyrical content of men turning into butterflies might have tired to the ears of many.. but there is no reason Prog couldn't have take lyrics in a different direction.  Zappa did.  Crimson did. 
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Dean Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: November 08 2012 at 15:24
Originally posted by Surrealist

Nothing is harder to mic than a drum kit, and poorly recorded drums have been a thorn in the side of music producers for decades.
 
fragmen crustulam Approve:
LOL
 
But seriously, if you or your sound/studio engineer can't mic-up a drum kit then find someone who can.
 
 
 
....also something else that isn't too hard to learn to do once you put your mind to it:
or
 
Cool


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Post Options Post Options   Quote timothy leary Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: November 08 2012 at 15:33
Nope, its the drums, its in the drums.
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Slartibartfast Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: November 08 2012 at 15:52
Originally posted by Lord Jagged

Capes. Definitely the wearing of capes caused its downfall. That and Rick Wakeman eating a curry during a Yes concert.

OK there's the capes thing, I'll grant you that. You should also throw in the whole synthesizers with lots of patch cords thingy...
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Post Options Post Options   Quote cstack3 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: November 08 2012 at 16:03
Originally posted by Neelus

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?

Quite honestly?  It was the election of Ronald Reagan & the ensuing "War on Drugs" etc.  

As a self-confessed pothead through all of the 1970's, I can say that the entire prog scene was drenched in the smoke of marijuana (at least in the USA).  At most concerts, you could barely see the stage due to the billowing clouds of smoke.  

Mind you, I've seen the CTTE tour, LTIA tour (without Miur, sadly), and nearly everyone we talk about on Pa.  All the concert venues in the '70s were the same....open consumption of marijuana.  Harder drugs were rarely seen.  

Beginning in 1980, attitudes changed.  The youth, ever searching for something new, found the energy of New Wave and punk, and so colliding worlds meant that "classic" prog (called art rock in Chicago) was on the decline.  Pot fell out of fashion as a "hippie drug," tight straight-legged pants replaced bell-bottoms, etc.  

Yes, KC and ELP were quickly and efficiently replaced by The Police, Devo, Blondie, U2 and guys like the Sex Pistols.  It happened VERY rapidly (I was a gigging musician at the time).   The classics ran out of steam, lost their way, and the new guys had all the energy.  

Prog never disappeared, and guys who adapted to these new tastes (Bob Fripp especially) even prospered by embracing the energy of the emerging music, but the young wanted to dance, and it is hard to dance through "The Revealing Science of God."  At least, for me it is!   Cheers, good topic! 


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Post Options Post Options   Quote knumorvid Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: November 08 2012 at 16:15
People got sick of it i guess. i believe that punk was bound to happen. Just as classicism  replaced baroque, romanticism replaced classicism and impressionism replaced romanticism. All movements are full of opposites. 
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Post Options Post Options   Quote twosteves Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: November 08 2012 at 21:04
Punk made it unfashionable---music became simple and went to the other extreme-- but everything old is new again---
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Surrealist Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: November 08 2012 at 21:33
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.




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Post Options Post Options   Quote richardh Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: November 09 2012 at 03:03
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)
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Nov Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: November 09 2012 at 05:00
Originally posted by Neelus

Looking at the latter part of the seventies. We all know Gabriel's costumes got bigger.
This doesn't make sense.

The Lamb tour finished in May 1975 and he left soon after. Hardly the "latter part" of the 70s. In the late 70s he stripped things right back.


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Post Options Post Options   Quote Nov Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: November 09 2012 at 05:02
Originally posted by Prog_Traveller

Gabriel's "superman" costume(and others), 
Do you mean "Slipperman" costume?


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Post Options Post Options   Quote Nov Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: November 09 2012 at 05:06
Originally posted by richardh

ELP,Yes and Genesis just didn't evolve at all
Shocked

Whether you liked it or not, Abacab was incredible evolution at the time and shocked the majority of their 70s fans. They evolved into a stream-lined pop/rock band and became massive as a result.


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Post Options Post Options   Quote Nov Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: November 09 2012 at 05:07
Originally posted by silveraindrop75

all movements fade and morph. nothing stays the same. it never faded, it just changed, and so did the mediums used to present it. you could just as easily stay that it's still here to some degree, and argue that it never faded completely.
Agreed.
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Nov Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: November 09 2012 at 05:10
Originally posted by Surrealist


Genesis - Genesis


I think all three of those albums were released in 1980.  So technically they were probably written in the 70's!
Nonsense.

It was released in 1983 and none of it was written in the 70s.


Genesis of course fell apart
Confused

Fell apart? During the 80s they became one of the biggest bands on the planet.




There are some very strange mis-conceptions about Genesis in this thread.


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