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Prog !! is it a one man effort , or a Teamwork !

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Cirrusminor View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Cirrusminor Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Topic: Prog !! is it a one man effort , or a Teamwork !
    Posted: September 08 2013 at 14:59
Progressive music is rather complex technically and requires very good technical skills to be played. We all know that one of the characteristics of prog music is to be mostly instrumental, regardless of the fact that it’s the keys, the guitar or the wind instruments to lead the dance; this adds to complexity and all band members must perform at their best to keep the sound going on. According to this logic, prog can’t be but a teamwork.
But I would like to understand better what trackstoni meant with his question. ‘Cause prog is a teamwork in songwriting and performing, but can be (and often is) a solo effort if you mean the inspiration, ideas, creativity, motivation and all what makes one’s personality transferred to music. There are many examples (think Yes without Anderson, Genesis without Gabriel, VDGG without Hammill, just to fish in the usual bunch).
Really a challenging question, I think, but one that helps to understand better what prog is, and what it’s not.
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Post Options Post Options   Quote The.Crimson.King Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: September 06 2013 at 23:03
Originally posted by dr wu23

IMO it is a joint effort in that some one in the band usually  brings an idea forward but in all the great prog bands the various members contribute their part to create the finished product. As some one mentioned above there are  very few solo works by 'leaders' that equal the quality of the band they came from. To me that says 'teamwork' even if one person came up with the original melody line, etc.
Would the song/idea sound as good and have the same impact without the input and playing of these specific band members?

This is why prog bands (or any genre of band) is usually an illustration of the "the total is greater than the sum of it's parts" concept.  The first example I recall hearing this applied to was The Beatles.  In the early 70's critics were falling all over themselves trying to figure out why John, Paul, George, & Ringo's solo work - though often first rate - just didn't have the magic of the fab four.  There's something that happens in the practice room between band members that just can't be duplicated by one guy telling everyone else what to do.  Frank Zappa is another classic example...there are many hardcore fans that still contend that his best work was with the original mothers when it was a real band, not just Frank with some hired hands (though I love both facets of his work)   
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Post Options Post Options   Quote dr wu23 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: September 06 2013 at 14:33
IMO it is a joint effort in that some one in the band usually  brings an idea forward but in all the great prog bands the various members contribute their part to create the finished product. As some one mentioned above there are  very few solo works by 'leaders' that equal the quality of the band they came from. To me that says 'teamwork' even if one person came up with the original melody line, etc.
Would the song/idea sound as good and have the same impact without the input and playing of these specific band members?
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Chris S Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: September 06 2013 at 06:56
Originally posted by freyacat

I think of Mike Oldfield as an enlightening case in point. With Mike, you get the composer who writes every note on his albums, and then proceeds to play 99% of the instruments.

Mike Oldfield's albums from the 70's are true prog masterpieces, and yet, most of us would agree that they are less exciting than a Yes or King Crimson album. I would also argue that this lack of excitement stands apart from specific concerns about style or quality of music.

If Mike Oldfield had been humble enough to work within a band, to have his ideas checked against the ideas of other brilliant musicians, what amazing music might have resulted?

 
Would have to disagree with this. Oldfield's 70's works did have contributors but not many and yes he was the main ingredient, up to Incantations at least and Amarok in 89'. These albums were by far more exciting than Crises, Islands, and say Heaven's Open. They were still good but not as exciting as Oldfield in the driving seat so with additional band members not quite as good. I would also defend that the guy never lacked excitement in his music nor would the music need to achieve ' amazing' status as it was already better than ' amazing'.
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Dean Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: September 06 2013 at 05:58
Originally posted by progbethyname

^ hey Dean, your post sounds like a direct/similar formation of how my beloved Nine Inch Nails team is run.
Anyway, well said. I appreciate this post.
Sure, as are most "solo" efforts (hey, we all regard NIИ as Reznor and Reznor as NIИ whether we are ardent fans or casual observers) - even Oldfield picked guest musicians with care and off the top of my head I can't think of an Oldfield album that does not have guest musicians. Bowie and Zappa were merely extreme examples chosen to illustrate the point; Gabriel's solo albums with contributions from Fripp, Eno, Fast, Levin, Rhodes, etc remain solo albums not team-collaborations. Ayreon is Luccassen regardless of who he picks for his team, the same for Stolt, and Wilson.
 
On a band level I could cite Anderson in Tull, Waters in Floyd, Rutherford and Banks in Genesis, Fripp in Crimson, Froese in Tangerine Dream, Allen in Gong, Bellamy in Muse, Åkerfeldt in Opeth, Gildenlöw in PoS. Every band has key members who guide the band towards the end result but seldom do solo albums by those people ever result in something as good as they produced with the band.
 
So that's not to say that other members in those bands were not key in determining the sound of the band and their ultimate success - Floyd without Waters remained "Floyd", Floyd before Gilmour was still "Floyd", Floyd recorded albums with better keyboard players than Wright and with better drummers than Mason but they didn't produce better "Floyd" albums. The combination of all four together gave us something different that is generally accepted as being greater than the sum of the parts even when Waters was driving the bus; Waters can record solo albums with Beck or Clapton (who Gilmour has acknowledged as "better" guitarists by more than just false-modesty or mutual respect) but they are not "Floyd", something is missing - whether that is commitment, control/restraint, chemistry, understanding, connection, contribution - that is not determined by ability or prowess.


Edited by Dean - September 06 2013 at 06:19


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Post Options Post Options   Quote Guldbamsen Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: September 05 2013 at 11:02
I read Dean's post last night and I agree with everything he said. Only a few albums spring to mind, where the music is conjured up outside of this mindset. Amon Düül ll's Yeti for instance, where everybody seems to be at the driving wheel at the same time. No real 'author' in play - no real 'director'. Democracy in full swing. To be fair, these albums are very rare - and perhaps even rarer done successfully.  
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Post Options Post Options   Quote progbethyname Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: September 04 2013 at 15:30
Originally posted by freyacat

I think of Mike Oldfield as an enlightening case in point. With Mike, you get the composer who writes every note on his albums, and then proceeds to play 99% of the instruments.

Mike Oldfield's albums from the 70's are true prog masterpieces, and yet, most of us would agree that they are less exciting than a Yes or King Crimson album. I would also argue that this lack of excitement stands apart from specific concerns about style or quality of music.

If Mike Oldfield had been humble enough to work within a band, to have his ideas checked against the ideas of other brilliant musicians, what amazing music might have resulted?


Nice. Well said.
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Post Options Post Options   Quote progbethyname Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: September 04 2013 at 15:28
^ hey Dean, your post sounds like a direct/similar formation of how my beloved Nine Inch Nails team is run.
Anyway, well said. I appreciate this post.
Belhold the power and gift of BEARD! As Damian Wilson sports a beard now his voice somehow got even better than it already was. :)
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Dean Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: September 04 2013 at 15:02

Doh! - White - I knew that! Embarrassed



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Post Options Post Options   Quote lazland Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: September 04 2013 at 14:46
^ agree with every single word, except to pedantically point out that Bruford had naff all to do with Tales....he had a buggered Orf!


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Post Options Post Options   Quote Dean Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: September 04 2013 at 14:23
Anyway, since my attention has been drawn to this thread:
 
I think genuine collaborative teamwork is a very rare thing, many things are the product of teams but most of those are the impetus of one or two members carried through to everyone else. An idea extrapolated and elaborated so that each will do their bit, guided by the vision of the master planner, but one person is in control. Adding a bass-line, drum-fill or solo or a verse is a contribution nothing more - it is not the framework or the form, nor was it the seed or the germination of the idea to the end result. If we take something obvious, like Tales From Topographic Oceans, we can see that the team-effort is delineated and demarcated into who did what and why and where if we look and listen and pay attention (Anderson and Howe at the helm, Brufford White and Squire powering the engine and Wakeman piecing it all together). This is perhaps more collaborative than say Frank Zappa, but not by much. Zappa, (who was writer, composer and arranger -though not necessarily simultaneously), could present a piece fully formed and fully realised for the band to play, but when he simply directed his musicians to improvise, he was still in control, still the impetus, still the provider of ideas and structure. Even when telling the bass-player to play something in one meter and one key while telling the drummer to play in a different meter and the keyboardist to play in another key while he used his guitar to bind it all together, he was composing in real-time - arranging in real-time, and his name appears on the credits ("written, composed and arranged by Frank Zappa, unless otherwise noted"). David Bowie is another example of the same, he could not play the guitar like Ronson, Fripp, Alomar or Slick, nor could he ever have written what they eventually played so their contributions to "his" music are their own, yet they remain uniquely "Bowie" because he was the conduit that channelled the composition towards the goal. The skill of Zappa and Bowie is in the choices they made, the people they picked to realise the ideas that formed in their heads:
 
 
So to address the OP's question I would posit that even in the most team-like collaborations of Progressive Rock, one man did most of the thinking and directing, the rest were actors and players.
 
 


Edited by Dean - September 04 2013 at 15:05


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   Quote timothy leary Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: September 04 2013 at 12:53
I can accept that reasoning

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Post Options Post Options   Quote Dean Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: September 04 2013 at 12:50

I try not to, but I am not perfect, even I buckle when provoked. However, this is not "do as I say, not say as I do", I'm simply defusing a silly argument - if that means drawing the fire towards me then so be it.



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 timothy leary Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: September 04 2013 at 12:43
^because you never bicker jitterbug
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Dean Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: September 03 2013 at 13:14

Oh good grief. Three sexagenarians bickering like children at bedtime.

Only on this forum could you witness such a thing. Disapprove
 
Time to chill guys.


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 moshkito Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: September 03 2013 at 12:46
Originally posted by timothy leary

Mosh has a way of talking down to people and claims to have badges for being from a certain time period. I don't care how old you are sometimes you can learn from those younger than yourself. His verbal spankings are harmless, Carry on with the who is oldest pissing match. Me, I will take a famous line from that wonderful classic "Blazing Saddles"....."We don't need no stinking badges".
 
It's sad that you take things this way ... I am not into badges, but I'm not sure you can forget the time you were stabbed, or hurt ... for example, so your comment is out of line!
 
And I hope that you can, at least, separate the good that sometimes comes with the bad. Or vice versa!
 
And this is not about "spanking", coming from someone that had many a belt and wood busted over my back and behind, in my younger days ... I do not believe in chastisement ... but obviously ... some of you folks don't believe in learning, or finding out that some folks feel, and think, differently, just because they do not kiss your rosy red as$ or any of your sub-cultural idealism and comments!
 
There ... I did my Ernest Borgnine impression in my favorite western. The Wild Bunch!


Edited by moshkito - September 03 2013 at 12:51
... none of the hits, none of the time ... you might actually find your own art, or self, and forego lousy heroes or Guru's!

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Post Options Post Options   Quote moshkito Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: September 03 2013 at 12:16
Originally posted by The.Crimson.King

...
I think making it "all about the singer" is a historical trend which stems from record industry greed.  
...
 
Please see the TOM DOWD DVD ... it will change your wording on this for sure ... it didn't start there ... it started with movie studios in America wanting to ensure their stars brought in the goods!
 
It also hurt the music, specially black music in America, which 10 years later recovered very nicely thanks to the likes of Blue Note and Detroit and all that.
 
... none of the hits, none of the time ... you might actually find your own art, or self, and forego lousy heroes or Guru's!

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Post Options Post Options   Quote freyacat Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: September 03 2013 at 10:23
I think of Mike Oldfield as an enlightening case in point. With Mike, you get the composer who writes every note on his albums, and then proceeds to play 99% of the instruments.

Mike Oldfield's albums from the 70's are true prog masterpieces, and yet, most of us would agree that they are less exciting than a Yes or King Crimson album. I would also argue that this lack of excitement stands apart from specific concerns about style or quality of music.

If Mike Oldfield had been humble enough to work within a band, to have his ideas checked against the ideas of other brilliant musicians, what amazing music might have resulted?
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Post Options Post Options   Quote timothy leary Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: August 21 2013 at 10:54
Mosh has a way of talking down to people and claims to have badges for being from a certain time period. I don't care how old you are sometimes you can learn from those younger than yourself. His verbal spankings are harmless, Carry on with the who is oldest pissing match. Me, I will take a famous line from that wonderful classic "Blazing Saddles"....."We don't need no stinking badges".
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Post Options Post Options   Quote trackstoni Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: August 21 2013 at 10:30
Originally posted by moshkito

Originally posted by Slartibartfast

Originally posted by trackstoni

   Nothing to add , my Question is above !!  Wink 
And yet you added a comment right after that, YOU FIEND!!! Tongue
 
 
The problem is that I am not sure that he is reading what is being written, except the one liners, and thus, his responses are not about the subject, specially when it gets deeper into it.
 
Sad.
 
When one has the opportunity to learn more, one goes back to kindergarten? ... ok ... whatever!

  the Simple Man just Said to me <  you're an a****le >  and knows nothing about Progressive !  deal with it the Way you Want !   if you're Pushing me moskito , i'm Far away from that , so , let's stick to the Music instead of having Fun !  i'm among the Eldest on this Site , you Respect that  !!  i use to respect your reaction with gratitude , but not anymore !  if i was Stupid , i'm not here answering your stupid comment //
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