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Victorian Ghost Stories In Prog?

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The Whistler View Drop Down
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    Posted: November 12 2012 at 20:19

At my local library (Santa Monica actually, but who's counting?), there's a big old rack out the front that holds a lot of what are formally known as "discards;" that is, books that the library has found too moldy to either let out or sell, but hasn't quite the heart to torch just yet, so they offer them gratis to whoever finds their fancy among those particular reams of paper. 

Ahem. 

I took a look, and took a book, called Victorian Ghost Stories. It was a collection of lesser-knowns, an effort to bring to public attention some stuff that wasn't written by Dickens or James or Collins or Doyle or any of the other heavies whose names I've run out of. But it got me thinking, as so many things unfortunately do...

I am a fan of 19th century tales of terror, and I was wondering if anyone knew about some progger songs that have been inspired by that set of stories. I know that "Infant Kiss" by Kate Bush is connected to "Turn Of The Screw," and Radiohead's "Bodysnatchers" and Genesis's "Musical Box" are both related to Victorian unnervings. And, if we're feeling like crossing the Atlantic, Alan Parsons has that whole album of Poe send ups. 

What am I missing? Seems like there oughta be a few more. Proggers are, by nature, a fairly literate lot when it comes to making music, and the siren call of Anglo fingers writing long, complex stories full of big words and atmosphere seems like it would be a natural influence. 

"There seem to be quite a large percentage of young American boys out there tonight. A long way from home, eh? Well so are we... Gotta stick together." -I. Anderson
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote thellama73 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: November 12 2012 at 20:31
I share your love for those types of stories. I can't think of anything off the top of my head other than what you just mentioned, but I would bet someone has done a song based on one of Hawthorne's Twice Told Tales, many of which are quite spooky. (if someone hasn't, they should.)
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote dunwich Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: November 13 2012 at 00:09
As a lover of Poe and Lovecraft, here are some bands that *may* sate your need.
The Italian band Edgar Allan Poe: http://www.progarchives.com/artist.asp?id=91 - no idea whether the lyrics are related though as I don't speak the language.
The Residents have always had a great knack for storytelling, but they tend to be reasonably hit and miss. Check out 1974's Not Available (a rather cryptic concept album), 1981's Mark of the Mole - and if you like that the entire Mole Trilogy, 1988's God in Three Persons (the peak of their storytelling). After that, there's plenty more to delve into!
 
 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote dunwich Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: November 13 2012 at 00:10
Eep, must've read your post incorrectly. For more specifically "tales of terror", go for God in three Persons and The Residents later work as opposed to others mentioned which are more just interesting complex tales.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote VanVanVan Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: November 13 2012 at 00:34
Edenbridge did a song called "The Canterville Ghost" after Wilde's story of the same name. 

EDIT: Though I suppose that ghost story is more comedic than terrifying...


Edited by VanVanVan - November 13 2012 at 00:34
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote ole-the-first Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: November 13 2012 at 01:12
Peter Hammill's 'The Fall of the House of Usher'.
This night wounds time.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Dean Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: November 13 2012 at 03:30

During the 60s Victorian and Edwardian nostalgia was all the rage so many of the British psychedelic bands drew on that as influence - Bowie, The Beatles, Floyd, Soft Machine (ie Kevin Ayres) etc. all have elements of victoriana in their lyrics.

I think Sinfield draws on victorian gothic horror in his lyrics and I've oft wondered whether Moonchild wasn't in someway influenced by this:
Moonchild.gif
... Iron Maiden and Fields of The Nephilim also, though the "horror" in those is more evident.
 
And of course Gentle Giant did Alucard.


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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Jbird Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: November 13 2012 at 08:23

Originally posted by VanVanVan VanVanVan wrote:

Edenbridge did a song called "The Canterville Ghost" after Wilde's story of the same name. 

EDIT: Though I suppose that ghost story is more comedic than terrifying...

I was thinking of that song before I read your post Smile

I can't think of any others, really.....Crimson Glory's 'Masque Of The Red Death', Nightwish's 'Ghost Love Score'.....
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote moshkito Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: November 13 2012 at 12:02
Hi,
I was thinking that The Pearl, The Oyster Redux, and the Carnal Fun of the Cremorne ... would have a lot more material of interest to rock bands ... but we will have to stick with Waterloo Lily!
 
Wink
 
Tongue
 
Embarrassed


Edited by moshkito - November 13 2012 at 12:03
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote progbethyname Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: November 13 2012 at 12:57
ALAN PARSONS PROJECT. 'The fall of the house of Usher' from Tales of mystery and imagination. Egar Alan poe. Genius   
If you have sensitive and analytical sound equipment quality after market audio interconnects/cables make a HUGE difference in overall sound quality...Wider soundstage, reduced microphonics etc etc..
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Dean Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: November 13 2012 at 13:04



Edited by Dean - November 13 2012 at 13:05


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   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote progbethyname Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: November 13 2012 at 13:23
Originally posted by Dean Dean wrote:



If you have sensitive and analytical sound equipment quality after market audio interconnects/cables make a HUGE difference in overall sound quality...Wider soundstage, reduced microphonics etc etc..
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote moshkito Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: November 14 2012 at 14:51
Originally posted by progbethyname progbethyname wrote:

Originally posted by Dean Dean wrote:



 
I have not heard this yet ... and of all TD albums, Tyger, was one of the ones I cared for the least ... somehow those poems did not make it into the music as well, I thought.
 
This will likely be on my Christmas basket to myself!
... none of the hits, none of the time ... you might actually find your own art, or self, instead of paying for a guru or church or social program!



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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote menawati Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: November 14 2012 at 17:40
Future Kings of England did a concept album called 'Who is this who is coming' last year based on an old classic ghost story by M.R. James called 'Oh Whistle and I'll Come To You Lad'.
I read the story (it's in the public domain on the web) and listened to the album and it gave me the willies Shocked
They flutter behind you your possible pasts,
Some bright-eyed and crazy, some frightened and lost.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote The Whistler Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: November 25 2012 at 18:36
Originally posted by dunwich dunwich wrote:

As a lover of Poe and Lovecraft, here are some bands that *may* sate your need.The Italian band Edgar Allan Poe: http://www.progarchives.com/artist.asp?id=91 - no idea whether the lyrics are related though as I don't speak the language.
The Residents have always had a great knack for storytelling, but they tend to be reasonably hit and miss. Check out 1974's Not Available (a rather cryptic concept album), 1981's Mark of the Mole - and if you like that the entire Mole Trilogy, 1988's God in Three Persons (the peak of their storytelling). After that, there's plenty more to delve into!
 
 

There's also an HP Lovecraft...heh.

Well snap. I have heard the Alan Parsons take, and I sorta recall the Peter Hammill, but I never heard of those chaps. Or the Tangerine Dream thing. Had no idea Poe was so prevalent amongst proggers. Thanks; this should be fun investigation/listening. 

"There seem to be quite a large percentage of young American boys out there tonight. A long way from home, eh? Well so are we... Gotta stick together." -I. Anderson
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote The Whistler Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: November 25 2012 at 18:38
Originally posted by menawati menawati wrote:

Future Kings of England did a concept album called 'Who is this who is coming' last year based on an old classic ghost story by M.R. James called 'Oh Whistle and I'll Come To You Lad'.
I read the story (it's in the public domain on the web) and listened to the album and it gave me the willies Shocked

Oh snap! That story still gives me the shivers when I so much as think about. So simple too, in its own sort of way...

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote ghost_of_morphy Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: November 27 2012 at 17:37
Perhaps a bit off date, but Steve Hackett's Spectral Mornings has two songs based on WW I ghost stories.   (Tigermoth and Clocks - The Angel of Mons.)
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote ClemofNazareth Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: November 27 2012 at 18:40

The Decemberists "Leslie Anne Levine", "The Chimbley Sweep" and "Eli, the Barrow Boy" are all about the right timeframe.  

Probably some Rasputina, Stone Angel and Loudest Whisper songs as well, although I can't think of any off the top of my head.


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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Nightfly Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: December 01 2012 at 10:48
I think I read somewhere that Steven Wilson's new album is going to based on ghost stories. Not sure if it'll be 19th century though.

I also have a love of ghost stories, particularly 19th century. I was very pleased when the BBC recently released their Ghost Stories for Christmas series (individually or box set) on DVD. these are based on the likes of Dickens and M R James, The Signalman in particular being a good interpretation. Hopefully Santa will bring me the box set - I've dropped enough hints!
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Dean Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: December 01 2012 at 11:23
Originally posted by Nightfly Nightfly wrote:

I think I read somewhere that Steven Wilson's new album is going to based on ghost stories. Not sure if it'll be 19th century though.

I also have a love of ghost stories, particularly 19th century. I was very pleased when the BBC recently released their Ghost Stories for Christmas series (individually or box set) on DVD. these are based on the likes of Dickens and M R James, The Signalman in particular being a good interpretation. Hopefully Santa will bring me the box set - I've dropped enough hints!
The Signalman would make an excellent Prog concept album. Approve


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