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Was prog actually popular in the 70s??

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BlackenedGass View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote BlackenedGass Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Topic: Was prog actually popular in the 70s??
    Posted: April 24 2013 at 02:34
It was certainly popular enough to make several hundreds of thousands of people to want to carry on making it after it stopped being popular!
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Stool Man Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: April 24 2013 at 03:13
Originally posted by BlackenedGass

It was certainly popular enough to make several hundreds of thousands of people to want to carry on making it after it stopped being popular!
Quoting from the main PA page "music discographies from 7,787 bands & artists" - not sure there are several hundreds of thousands of people in fewer than 8000 bands, (there'd be more than twenty people in every single band, and they can't all have the rotating lineups of some)
 
But your point is fine - plenty of people still making the music
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Post Options Post Options   Quote octopus-4 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: April 24 2013 at 03:23
Originally posted by Stool Man

Originally posted by BlackenedGass

It was certainly popular enough to make several hundreds of thousands of people to want to carry on making it after it stopped being popular!
Quoting from the main PA page "music discographies from 7,787 bands & artists" - not sure there are several hundreds of thousands of people in fewer than 8000 bands, (there'd be more than twenty people in every single band, and they can't all have the rotating lineups of some)
 
But your point is fine - plenty of people still making the music
We don't count tribute and cover bands, usually. Thinking to all the people who may have attempted a career and failed to achieve a contract before internet, I think there are enough aborted projects which would raise the total number of players and composers.
Curiosity killed a cat, Schroedinger only half.
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Post Options Post Options   Quote progbethyname Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: April 24 2013 at 11:44
Accessibility is a key term that should be closely attached to the 70's generation of prog musicianship. I look at GENESIS as the front runners for being absolute genius's by the way they shaped their sound to adapt with the times and create massive hits. You look at how much Genesis's overall sound changed from the years 1971-1976. Their was a reason for it. The album, TRICK OF THE TAIL ushered in a new, more accessible style of prog that people of the 70's gen really freakin' enjoyed. As much as we like to cut up and make fun of GENESIS for just how much their sound changed, especially in the 80's, but their was a big reason for it. Long story short, when I think of GENESIS I think of creative expression and accessibility. They are Geniuses and absolute masters by how they combined pop and prog so wonderfully together. I do not care what anyone says, but I think they are the titans of the prog world and still the big leaders. In 1976 they pretty much created the start of the Neo Prog genre. Then they took it one step further in the 80's by blending a new style of a more simple and stylized version of pop music by adding prog to the mix. MASTERS I SAY!!! MASTERS!
I kneel to the alter of ARCAM.
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Post Options Post Options   Quote progbethyname Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: April 24 2013 at 11:45
Accessibility is a key term that should be closely attached to the 70's generation of prog musicianship. I look at GENESIS as the front runners for being absolute genius's by the way they shaped their sound to adapt with the times and create massive hits. You look at how much Genesis's overall sound changed from the years 1971-1976. Their was a reason for it. The album, TRICK OF THE TAIL ushered in a new, more accessible style of prog that people of the 70's gen really freakin' enjoyed. As much as we like to cut up and make fun of GENESIS for just how much their sound changed, especially in the 80's, but their was a big reason for it. Long story short, when I think of GENESIS I think of creative expression and accessibility. They are Geniuses and absolute masters by how they combined pop and prog so wonderfully together. I do not care what anyone says, but I think they are the titans of the prog world and still the big leaders. In 1976 they pretty much created the start of the Neo Prog genre. Then they took it one step further in the 80's by blending a new style of a more simple and stylized version of pop music by adding prog to the mix. MASTERS I SAY!!! MASTERS!
I kneel to the alter of ARCAM.
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Neu!mann Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: April 24 2013 at 12:02
Originally posted by moshkito

I do believe that in America, FM radio is the difference ... because you could not play longer cuts in the AM radio, and it also did not have the FIDELITY and QUALITY that the new "FM" was giving it, which made the music so much more important and better.
 
Yes indeed. In 1977, when Prog was supposed to be dying, I stayed up late to hear ELP's Works, Volume 1 played in its entirety the day it was released, on the premier FM radio station in San Francisco (I can't remember the call numbers now). The same station in early 1978 also invited Peter Hammill for an on-air interview before his solo gig at the Mabuhay Gardens (a Filipino restaurant by day / punk rock venue at night!)
 
Even in the lighter format of AM radio, shorter songs like Tull's Bungle in the Jungle were in heavy rotation at the time.
 
Prog in the '70s wasn't just popular, it was mainstream..!
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Post Options Post Options   Quote twosteves Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: April 24 2013 at 17:09
Originally posted by progbethyname

Accessibility is a key term that should be closely attached to the 70's generation of prog musicianship. I look at GENESIS as the front runners for being absolute genius's by the way they shaped their sound to adapt with the times and create massive hits. You look at how much Genesis's overall sound changed from the years 1971-1976. Their was a reason for it. The album, TRICK OF THE TAIL ushered in a new, more accessible style of prog that people of the 70's gen really freakin' enjoyed. As much as we like to cut up and make fun of GENESIS for just how much their sound changed, especially in the 80's, but their was a big reason for it. Long story short, when I think of GENESIS I think of creative expression and accessibility. They are Geniuses and absolute masters by how they combined pop and prog so wonderfully together. I do not care what anyone says, but I think they are the titans of the prog world and still the big leaders. In 1976 they pretty much created the start of the Neo Prog genre. Then they took it one step further in the 80's by blending a new style of a more simple and stylized version of pop music by adding prog to the mix. MASTERS I SAY!!! MASTERS!

I agree with this---but you didn't have to say it twice.LOL
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Post Options Post Options   Quote cstack3 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: April 24 2013 at 17:32
*ahem*  I was there....my first concert was CTTE, 22 September, 1972.    

The AM radio band in the Chicago area was replete with progressive music....singles that received very heavy local airplay included "From The Beginning" by ELP, "Roundabout" by Yes, "Small Beginnings" by Flash, and "Hocus Pocus" by Focus.  

FM radio was dominated by prog, or prog-related bands including Deep Purple and Led Zeppelin.  We had famous "underground" FM stations that played Magma, VDGG, Tangerine Dream and other non-commercial music, particularly in the late evening hours.  

The concerts were huge....prog bands like Yes, ELP and Tull sold out immense venues such as the Chicago Stadium and Chicago Amphitheater for double-night shows, consistently.  

This is Steve Howe from the "Solo Album" tour, 14 August, 1976.  This was taken during "Ritual" (note the Les Paul Junior he's playing).  It was a huge outdoor show at a racetrack.  

So, yes, prog was actually popular in the 1970s.  


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Post Options Post Options   Quote Bitterblogger Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: April 24 2013 at 18:09
I feel, despite the POV of an earlier post, that significant numbers of the mainstream rock press did hasten the Prog genre decline in the '70's halcyon era. It never attracted enough chicks, and that is anathema to what rock critics think popular music should do.
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Post Options Post Options   Quote elpprogster Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: April 24 2013 at 18:26
Just an example how Prog bands were sucessful in the 70´s: lokk at ELP charting:
 
Emerson Lake & Palmer: #4 UK, #18 US;
 
Tarkus: #1 UK, #9 US;
 
Pictures at an Exhibition: # 3 UK, #10 US;
 
Trilogy: # 2 UK, #5 US;
 
Brain Salad Surgery: # 5 Uk, # 11 US;
 
Welcome Back My Friends to the Show That Never Ends: #5 UK, #4 US;
 
Works, Vol. I: # 9 Uk, #12 US;
 
Works, Vol. II: #20 UK, # 37 US;
 
Love Beach: #48 UK, #55 US.
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Post Options Post Options   Quote kenethlevine Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: April 24 2013 at 23:20
It was popular, and it was mismanaged on commercial radio for the most part, or it might have fared better in the long run commercially.  The big big names got tons of airplay, but the obscure groups stayed obscure because they got little or no airplay.  Among the few non UK/North American groups I ever remember hearing on Montreal's FM station were PFM, Tangerine Dream,  Kraftwerk.  It became like another hit parade unfortunately.  A glance here at the thousands of reviews for relatively few artists and the numerous artists with very few reviews shows that this is still the case.  Luckily now at least one can largely one's own decisions about what to listen to

Edited by kenethlevine - April 24 2013 at 23:21
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Post Options Post Options   Quote richardh Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: April 25 2013 at 01:27
Originally posted by progbethyname

Accessibility is a key term that should be closely attached to the 70's generation of prog musicianship. I look at GENESIS as the front runners for being absolute genius's by the way they shaped their sound to adapt with the times and create massive hits. You look at how much Genesis's overall sound changed from the years 1971-1976. Their was a reason for it. The album, TRICK OF THE TAIL ushered in a new, more accessible style of prog that people of the 70's gen really freakin' enjoyed. As much as we like to cut up and make fun of GENESIS for just how much their sound changed, especially in the 80's, but their was a big reason for it. Long story short, when I think of GENESIS I think of creative expression and accessibility. They are Geniuses and absolute masters by how they combined pop and prog so wonderfully together. I do not care what anyone says, but I think they are the titans of the prog world and still the big leaders. In 1976 they pretty much created the start of the Neo Prog genre. Then they took it one step further in the 80's by blending a new style of a more simple and stylized version of pop music by adding prog to the mix. MASTERS I SAY!!! MASTERS!

I agree apart from the last sentence

I love the prog/pop balance of those late seventies albums but in the eighties they became very inconsistent musically. Some tracks like Domino and Home By The Sea are absolute gems but then there was dross like We Can't Dance and Invisible Touch. I think Banks wanted to keep one foot in the prog camp while Phil and Mike were clearly balancing the band more towards pop . You can deduce this by what they were doing with their own side and solo projects.That was their choice of course and its been my choice to download the tracks that I like and avoid 80% of their output from 1980 onwards.
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Post Options Post Options   Quote sukmytoe Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: April 25 2013 at 01:36
Originally posted by richardh

Originally posted by progbethyname

Accessibility is a key term that should be closely attached to the 70's generation of prog musicianship. I look at GENESIS as the front runners for being absolute genius's by the way they shaped their sound to adapt with the times and create massive hits. You look at how much Genesis's overall sound changed from the years 1971-1976. Their was a reason for it. The album, TRICK OF THE TAIL ushered in a new, more accessible style of prog that people of the 70's gen really freakin' enjoyed. As much as we like to cut up and make fun of GENESIS for just how much their sound changed, especially in the 80's, but their was a big reason for it. Long story short, when I think of GENESIS I think of creative expression and accessibility. They are Geniuses and absolute masters by how they combined pop and prog so wonderfully together. I do not care what anyone says, but I think they are the titans of the prog world and still the big leaders. In 1976 they pretty much created the start of the Neo Prog genre. Then they took it one step further in the 80's by blending a new style of a more simple and stylized version of pop music by adding prog to the mix. MASTERS I SAY!!! MASTERS!

I agree apart from the last sentence

I love the prog/pop balance of those late seventies albums but in the eighties they became very inconsistent musically. Some tracks like Domino and Home By The Sea are absolute gems but then there was dross like We Can't Dance and Invisible Touch. I think Banks wanted to keep one foot in the prog camp while Phil and Mike were clearly balancing the band more towards pop . You can deduce this by what they were doing with their own side and solo projects.That was their choice of course and its been my choice to download the tracks that I like and avoid 80% of their output from 1980 onwards.
I don't know that I agree that it was Collins and Rutherford that took the band in a pop direction more than what Banks did - it must be remembered that Banks was essentially the "leader" of Genesis, a position which he very jealously guarded. Having watched many interviews with the band members I do perceive that it was Banks that took the band to where they ultimately went, more so than the other two. Looking at Banks's first few solo albums they were a lot commercially weaker than anything that Collins or Rutherford did but they weren't any less pop in flavor. I do also perceive that it was Banks who was the weaker musician taking into account any of the other members - he was very skilled with the use of keyboards but as a writer he never equalled any of those who left with his solo output. My sense is that his musical contribution to the band was massive however he was the weaker when it came to pure musicality in the end. I don't know it for a fact but I get the distinct impression that Gabriel's and Hackett's leaving of the band was very much engineered by Banks in a few ways.  
 
 
 


Edited by sukmytoe - April 25 2013 at 01:57
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Cactus Choir Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: April 25 2013 at 09:47
Looking at the US chart positions for Genesis albums is pretty interesting.

The likes of ELP and Yes were at their commercial peak as prog bands, but Genesis got more successful the less prog (and from my point of view less interesting) they got:

1969             From Genesis to Revelation              - 170           
1970             Trespass                                              —           
1971             Nursery Cryme                                    —           
1972             Foxtrot                                                 —           
1973             Selling England by the Pound            - 70           
1974             The Lamb Lies Down on Broadway   - 41           
1976             A Trick of the Tail                               - 31           
1977              Wind & Wuthering                             - 26           
1978             ...And Then There Were Three...       - 14           
1980             Duke                                                   - 11           
1981             Abacab                                               -  7           
1983             Genesis                                               - 9           
1986             Invisible Touch                                     - 3           
1991             We Can't Dance                                  - 4 

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Post Options Post Options   Quote chopper Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: April 25 2013 at 09:57
Originally posted by Cactus Choir


The likes of ELP and Yes were at their commercial peak as prog bands,           
but 90125 is Yes' most succesful album, I believe, and is hardly their most prog.
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Cactus Choir Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: April 25 2013 at 10:07
Originally posted by chopper

Originally posted by Cactus Choir


The likes of ELP and Yes were at their commercial peak as prog bands,           
but 90125 is Yes' most succesful album, I believe, and is hardly their most prog.


Is it the biggest in sales terms? It got to number 5 in the US while both Fragile (3) and Close to the Edge (4) got higher and had lengthy stays on the chart. And it was a bit of a one-off on the back of Owner of a Lonely Heart being a hit. Unlike Genesis they didn't keep getting albums in the top 10 through the 80s, so I'd still argue their commercial peak was in the 70s prog era.
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Post Options Post Options   Quote rogerthat Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: April 25 2013 at 10:09
Originally posted by Bitterblogger

I feel, despite the POV of an earlier post, that significant numbers of the mainstream rock press did hasten the Prog genre decline in the '70's halcyon era. It never attracted enough chicks, and that is anathema to what rock critics think popular music should do.


The critics have certainly played a stellar role in ensuring it remains dead and buried (in the mainstream).  I guess when prog was popular, they couldn't really fight it but they were free to ignore it and pretend that a significant chapter in the evolution of rock never happened at all. 
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Post Options Post Options   Quote dogen Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: April 25 2013 at 10:21
Yes it was popular. I was there!
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Post Options Post Options   Quote richardh Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: April 25 2013 at 13:48
Originally posted by Cactus Choir

Originally posted by chopper

Originally posted by Cactus Choir


The likes of ELP and Yes were at their commercial peak as prog bands,           
but 90125 is Yes' most succesful album, I believe, and is hardly their most prog.


Is it the biggest in sales terms? It got to number 5 in the US while both Fragile (3) and Close to the Edge (4) got higher and had lengthy stays on the chart. And it was a bit of a one-off on the back of Owner of a Lonely Heart being a hit. Unlike Genesis they didn't keep getting albums in the top 10 through the 80s, so I'd still argue their commercial peak was in the 70s prog era.

Going For The One was their biggest seller in the UK. I remember it being included on the top hundred selling albums of the seventies (UK) and there were very few prog albums in that list outside of Pink Floyd.
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Post Options Post Options   Quote progbethyname Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: April 25 2013 at 13:58
Originally posted by Cactus Choir

Looking at the US chart positions for Genesis albums is pretty interesting. The likes of ELP and Yes were at their commercial peak as prog bands, but Genesis got more successful the less prog (and from my point of view less interesting) they got:1969             From Genesis to Revelation              - 170            1970             Trespass                                              —            1971             Nursery Cryme                                    —            1972             Foxtrot                                                 —            1973             Selling England by the Pound            - 70            1974             The Lamb Lies Down on Broadway   - 41            1976             A Trick of the Tail                               - 31            1977              Wind & Wuthering                             - 26            1978             ...And Then There Were Three...       - 14            1980             Duke                                                   - 11            1981             Abacab                                               -  7            1983             Genesis                                               - 9            1986             Invisible Touch                                     - 3            1991             We Can't Dance                                  - 4 

Sad isnt it. WE CAN'T DANCE is their highest selling album. So many people out there, in my opinion, are such dorks and wouldnt gravitate towards prog because of its layered intricacies. A lot of people are lazy, especially when it even comes to listening to music. :(









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