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The Nice no longer protoprog - why not?

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Topic: The Nice no longer protoprog - why not?
Posted By: earlyprog
Subject: The Nice no longer protoprog - why not?
Date Posted: May 19 2006 at 07:41
Just noticed that The Nice is no longer listed as proto-prog but as symphonic prog.
 
If so, The Nice must have recorded a fullblown prog album before King Crimson's "In the Court..." which they never did! Their albums clearly show that the concept of symphonic rock was not implemented, otherwise at least one of their albums would have been pure prog as is the case of "In the Court...". Admittedly, they had many individual tracks that would be categorized as prog but never a full album. I would say that less than 50% of the material on each of their albums would be characterized as prog. Their last proper album "Five Bridges" was released after "In the Court..." but not even that is pure prog and about half of that music wasn't even written by themselves!.
 
How can The Nice possibly be symphonic prog and not proto-prog?


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Replies:
Posted By: Sean Trane
Date Posted: May 19 2006 at 07:55
I 'll  let the Symphonic team answer because it was their decision
 
Proto-prog was created with The Nice in mind, their early two albums are more psych than prog  given the short tracks) but proto-prog turned out a bit differently than originally foreseen
 


Posted By: akin
Date Posted: May 19 2006 at 08:01
Why In the Court of Crimson King? Itīs just 3 mellotron-driven ballads like Moody Blues, an avantgarde noisy song and a jazzy jam. If this is fullblown prog, the Nice, Moody Blues are fullblown prog too.


Posted By: chopper
Date Posted: May 19 2006 at 08:07
Originally posted by earlyprog earlyprog wrote:

Just noticed that The Nice is no longer listed as proto-prog but as symphonic prog.
 
If so, The Nice must have recorded a fullblown prog album before King Crimson's "In the Court..." which they never did!
I don't understand that criteria! Why does this have to be true for a band to be symphonic? That would disqualify 90% of symphonic prog.


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Posted By: earlyprog
Date Posted: May 19 2006 at 08:08
I would rather relegate the discussion whether The Nice or KC was the first symphonic prog band to another thread. My concern is the aguments behind switching the prog genre for The Nice from proto to symphonic prog.

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Love is the answer. Or enjoy very cold straight or with sugar.


Posted By: Snow Dog
Date Posted: May 19 2006 at 08:24
The Nice are Proto prog and symphonic in nature, and as they are close to ELP in style, they were accepted, after my suggestion, by the Symphonic Team.

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Posted By: earlyprog
Date Posted: May 19 2006 at 08:47
Originally posted by Snow Dog Snow Dog wrote:

The Nice are Proto prog and symphonic in nature, and as they are close to ELP in style, they were accepted, after my suggestion, by the Symphonic Team.
 
Snow Dog, dare you say which of their albums you consider to be symphonic prog? As I stated earlier, many of their tunes are symphonic prog in my book also, but the majority are not symphonic prog. I don't know how high a percentage of the album needs to be symphonic prog before I would consider the album to be symphonic prog but at least 50%. The Nice does not reach that percentage.
 
Their music does not indicate to me that they at any time deliberately set out to make a symphonic prog album. That concept remains to have been first employed by King Crimson - as I see it.


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Love is the answer. Or enjoy very cold straight or with sugar.


Posted By: Drachen Theaker
Date Posted: May 19 2006 at 11:05
Originally posted by earlyprog earlyprog wrote:

I don't know how high a percentage of the album needs to be symphonic prog before I would consider the album to be symphonic prog but at least 50%. The Nice does not reach that percentage.
 
What about Ars Longa Vita Brevis? A 20 minute orchestra-backed multi-part suite using classical themes on side 2 and the 8-9 minute classical adaptation Karelia Suite on side one. I make that about 75% of the album could be classed as "symphonic prog".


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"It's 1973, almost dinnertime and I'm 'aving 'oops!" - Gene Hunt


Posted By: earlyprog
Date Posted: May 19 2006 at 12:10
Drachen, I would still argue that it remains proto-prog as long as the symphonic prog concept is not fully implemented. If The Nice had that in mind when they did the "Ars..." album, the remaining 25% would also be symphonic prog.
 
If King Crimson hadn't applied the symphonic prog concept to an entire album, you could speculate that The Nice sooner or later probably would have made a fully symphonc prog album, but that's not how history went.
 
I won't accept "Ars..." as the first symphonic prog album - that title goes to "In the Court..."


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Love is the answer. Or enjoy very cold straight or with sugar.


Posted By: Mandrakeroot
Date Posted: May 19 2006 at 12:17
THE NICE IS SYMPHONIC PROG...
without doubt!!!!!!!


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Posted By: Drachen Theaker
Date Posted: May 19 2006 at 12:29
I tend to agree about In the Court being the first full symphonic prog album, earlyprog (although Moonchild is a boring lengthy jam rather than symphonic). The Nice were a psych band who rapidly evolved into a prog band c68-69.
 
It's very difficult to make definitive statements as lots of bands were being influenced by each other in the late 60s.
 
But I will say that if 50% is the criterion to be a symphonic prog album, then Ars Longa passes your test!Wink


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"It's 1973, almost dinnertime and I'm 'aving 'oops!" - Gene Hunt


Posted By: Dick Heath
Date Posted: May 19 2006 at 12:31
Hey us old prog fan always saw/heard Nice as one of the first prog music bands - no such thing as proto-prog in the 60's or the 70's. So what I long believed as one misuse of the term proto here, has one less "victim" of misrepresentation.


Posted By: Garion81
Date Posted: May 19 2006 at 12:36
Originally posted by earlyprog earlyprog wrote:

I would rather relegate the discussion whether The Nice or KC was the first symphonic prog band to another thread. My concern is the aguments behind switching the prog genre for The Nice from proto to symphonic prog.
 
You can't have one discussion without the other because you used ITCOTCK as the starting point. 
Wink
 
 
 


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"What are you going to do when that damn thing rusts?"


Posted By: earlyprog
Date Posted: May 19 2006 at 14:49
Originally posted by Garion81 Garion81 wrote:

Originally posted by earlyprog earlyprog wrote:

I would rather relegate the discussion whether The Nice or KC was the first symphonic prog band to another thread. My concern is the aguments behind switching the prog genre for The Nice from proto to symphonic prog.
 
You can't have one discussion without the other because you used ITCOTCK as the starting point. 
Wink
 
 
 
 
By moving The Nice from proto to symphonic prog, PA is effectively saying that The Nice made the first pure prog album. In theory, The Nice could have been a symphonic prog band had "Five Bridges" - being released after In the Court - been 100% symphonic prog as opposed to its predecessors but it isn't. Five Bridges is no more symphonic prog than Ars or their selftitled album.
 
It opens up for other proto-prog bands being shifted to symphonic prog such as Vanilla Fudge - even their 1967 debut which - as I remember - does nort even have a single selfwritten track.


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Love is the answer. Or enjoy very cold straight or with sugar.


Posted By: The Lost Chord
Date Posted: May 19 2006 at 14:52
Originally posted by akin akin wrote:

Why In the Court of Crimson King? Itīs just 3 mellotron-driven ballads like Moody Blues, an avantgarde noisy song and a jazzy jam. If this is fullblown prog, the Nice, Moody Blues are fullblown prog too.
 
full true


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"Only the sun knew why"


Posted By: richardh
Date Posted: May 19 2006 at 15:32
Not sure if its helpfull but ELP never made a 100% symphonic prog album.The Nice 'Ars Longa Vita Brevis' is actually very close to ELP in content.That and Five Bridges qualify The Nice as 'symphonic prog' IMO although I would put 'The Thoughts Of Emerlist Davjack' as 'proto prog'.'The Nice' falls somewhere between the 2 stools.


Posted By: FragileDT
Date Posted: May 19 2006 at 15:48
Originally posted by Snow Dog Snow Dog wrote:

The Nice are Proto prog and symphonic in nature, and as they are close to ELP in style, they were accepted, after my suggestion, by the Symphonic Team.

    

Exactly. It seems to me "oldprog" (I believe that is your name) that you are just nervous that we are saying that the Nice released the first "full-blown" symphonic prog album instead of "In the Court..." which you obviously hold on a high pedastal as the "first full blown symphonic prog album." Now, if you do listen to and have the Nice's albums, it is obvious that they are VERY VERY similar in content to ELP. The symphonic prog side of ELP IS emerson's songwriting while Greg Lake writes the sappy balads that make the band less symphonic IMO.

Saying that the nice never recorded a "full-blown" symphonic prog album is the same as saying ELP never did either. ELP always includes either a sappy balad from Lake or a stupid song like "Are you ready Eddy?" To me, it just seems as if you won't admit that symphonic prog was being done before Crimson's first album.

The way you are saying a band isn't symphonic prog unless they had the intent to write an entire symphonic prog album. The thing you are missing is that there was NO symphonic prog back than. No name for any of the progressive subgenres that we've come accustomed to today. So how could the Nice or EVEN King Crimson possibly sit down and say, "We are going to write a full-blown symphonic prog album" as you are saying.

The bottom line is, the Nice are much more prog than most of the proto-prog bands despite the fact that some of their material is "proto-prog" and the genre was created for bands just like them, that highly influenced the progressive scene. And I will quote Snow Dog to conclude our reasoning in including the Nice in symphonic prog "The Nice are Proto prog and symphonic in nature, and as they are close to ELP in style" and that's why they are now listed as symphonic prog.

EDIT: A good way to think of it is, look at King Crimson's genre listed on the site? It is art rock. Why? Well, King Crimson has done way too many styles to just be considered symphonic prog. They've only had 2 symphonic albums, though the creators of the first (as many say) symphonic prog album, cannot only be considered symphonic prog.
    

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One likes to believe
In the freedom of music
But glittering prizes
And endless Compromises
Shatter the illusion
Of integrity


Posted By: micky
Date Posted: May 19 2006 at 18:08
Originally posted by Snow Dog Snow Dog wrote:

The Nice are Proto prog and symphonic in nature, and as they are close to ELP in style, they were accepted, after my suggestion, by the Symphonic Team.


hahahah you must pull more weight than I do Wink I suggested it to Ivan early on and was shot downLOL


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Posted By: akin
Date Posted: May 19 2006 at 21:38
Originally posted by earlyprog earlyprog wrote:

Drachen, I would still argue that it remains proto-prog as long as the symphonic prog concept is not fully implemented. If The Nice had that in mind when they did the "Ars..." album, the remaining 25% would also be symphonic prog.
 
If King Crimson hadn't applied the symphonic prog concept to an entire album, you could speculate that The Nice sooner or later probably would have made a fully symphonc prog album, but that's not how history went.
 
I won't accept "Ars..." as the first symphonic prog album - that title goes to "In the Court..."


Neither 21th Century Schizoid Man nor Moonchild are symphonic, so it makes In the Court of Crimson King 50% symphonic prog (20min symphonic and 19 non-symphonic).

Your arguments lead us to conclude that the first symphonic prog album was Deep Purple - Concerto for Group and Orchestra, that is 100% symphonic prog (no psychedelic, jazz, avantgarde, etc, blues, beat, folk).


Posted By: earlyprog
Date Posted: May 20 2006 at 06:17
Originally posted by FragileDT FragileDT wrote:

It seems to me "oldprog" (I believe that is your name) that you are just nervous that we are saying that the Nice released the first "full-blown" symphonic prog album instead of "In the Court..." which you obviously hold on a high pedastal as the "first full blown symphonic prog album." Now, if you do listen to and have the Nice's albums, it is obvious that they are VERY VERY similar in content to ELP. The symphonic prog side of ELP IS emerson's songwriting while Greg Lake writes the sappy balads that make the band less symphonic IMO.     
 
I'm not at all nervous that The Nice and not King Crimson released the first "near-full-blown" symphonic prog album. I'm just not convinced (yet) that they did. If they did, I suppose "Ars longa..." is the benchmark album future discussions should relate to.
 
The interviews in the recently issued Isle of Wight DVD suggest that it wasn't until the beginning of ELP that Emerson et al. had a clear concept of what they wanted to do. This lack of "symphonic" concept in the music of the Nice is what bothers me and shows they were still proto-prog - they were not a fully developed symphonic prog act. It occurs to me that it required an "intellectual" like Fripp to converge and organize all the ideas that were floating around in the proto-prog scene to come up with a clear concept which shone through on ITCOTCK.
 
Because The Nice are similar to ELP you therefore infer that The Nice is symphonic prog. But there is (at least) one important difference in the two bands: The Nice - like all other proto-prog bands -incorporated mainly american influences like blues and jazz (and Dylan, not the least), while ELP deliberately adapted European music like classical and folk music. Thus, ELP took everything a step further and had a clear concept about their music.
 
The only thing that can convince me that The Nice is a symphonic prog band is that they ended up making a full-blown or "very-near-full-blown" symphonic prog album. PA's definition of proto-prog bands is not clear on this matter as The Nice obviously was in existence prior to 1969 (why this year BTW) and influenced the development of progressive rock. "Five Bridges" is clearly more symphonic than any other The Nice album but continues to be flawed by spychedelia (One of those People), non-self-written music (somewhat lack of originality), incoherency (no clear genre, partial use of orchestra - NO CONCEPT) and less technically skilled musicians (Jackson is lacking in the bass and singing departments). But this is as symphonic and prog it got.


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Love is the answer. Or enjoy very cold straight or with sugar.


Posted By: micky
Date Posted: May 20 2006 at 08:37
Originally posted by akin akin wrote:

Originally posted by earlyprog earlyprog wrote:

Drachen, I would still argue that it remains proto-prog as long as the symphonic prog concept is not fully implemented. If The Nice had that in mind when they did the "Ars..." album, the remaining 25% would also be symphonic prog.
 
If King Crimson hadn't applied the symphonic prog concept to an entire album, you could speculate that The Nice sooner or later probably would have made a fully symphonc prog album, but that's not how history went.
 
I won't accept "Ars..." as the first symphonic prog album - that title goes to "In the Court..."


Neither 21th Century Schizoid Man nor Moonchild are symphonic, so it makes In the Court of Crimson King 50% symphonic prog (20min symphonic and 19 non-symphonic).

Your arguments lead us to conclude that the first symphonic prog album was Deep Purple - Concerto for Group and Orchestra, that is 100% symphonic prog (no psychedelic, jazz, avantgarde, etc, blues, beat, folk).


bravo!!! Clap  I was shot down on suggesting Deep Purple for Symph as well hahahahahha. Wink


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Posted By: richardh
Date Posted: May 21 2006 at 15:20
Originally posted by akin akin wrote:

Originally posted by earlyprog earlyprog wrote:

Drachen, I would still argue that it remains proto-prog as long as the symphonic prog concept is not fully implemented. If The Nice had that in mind when they did the "Ars..." album, the remaining 25% would also be symphonic prog.
 
If King Crimson hadn't applied the symphonic prog concept to an entire album, you could speculate that The Nice sooner or later probably would have made a fully symphonc prog album, but that's not how history went.
 
I won't accept "Ars..." as the first symphonic prog album - that title goes to "In the Court..."


Neither 21th Century Schizoid Man nor Moonchild are symphonic, so it makes In the Court of Crimson King 50% symphonic prog (20min symphonic and 19 non-symphonic).

Your arguments lead us to conclude that the first symphonic prog album was Deep Purple - Concerto for Group and Orchestra, that is 100% symphonic prog (no psychedelic, jazz, avantgarde, etc, blues, beat, folk).
 
I Talk To The Wind isn't symphonic prog either.That leaves only 2 tracks! Conclusiion: Ars Longa Vita Brevis is more symphonic prog than In The Court.However ITCOTCK is still much better.(but thats not what we are talking about)


Posted By: The Wizard
Date Posted: May 21 2006 at 15:30
I don't there's a better example of a proto-prog band. They are symphonic, but proto-prog first and foremost.

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Posted By: omri
Date Posted: May 21 2006 at 16:54
Again we spend too much time & energy about labeling and categorization and neglect the much more important thing (I mean - the music).
With all my love to King crimson I never thought they were the first (I do agree that prog was different after ITCOTCK but not cause it's their best work (it's not, IMO) and not cause it's the first symphonic album).
I do'nt know if Micky said it befor me or after but I also claimed months ago that the nice is not proto prog but fully prog band (and personally I'm glad it was changed - good work Snow dog !).
However I find the argue about "Ars longa vita brevis" or ITCOTCK as the first symphonic prog album redicilious cause for me "Days of future passed" of the moody blues is that album and I think that just like the nice, the moodies are fully prog (yeh, an early one) . Again, It is not their best work IMO but this (I believe) is the album we can concider as the start of it all.


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omri


Posted By: Dick Heath
Date Posted: May 21 2006 at 17:23
Goodness gracious

We never slapped such loaded terms as symphonic prog on the music in 1969........it was progressive music and it was emerging from underground music.  BTW I don't think prog expert and Krimson biographer,  Sid Smith ever used that term to describe and contain Krimson in the text of The Court of King Crimson.


Posted By: micky
Date Posted: May 21 2006 at 17:41
Originally posted by omri omri wrote:

Again we spend too much time & energy about labeling and categorization and neglect the much more important thing (I mean - the music).
With all my love to King crimson I never thought they were the first (I do agree that prog was different after ITCOTCK but not cause it's their best work (it's not, IMO) and not cause it's the first symphonic album).
I do'nt know if Micky said it befor me or after but I also claimed months ago that the nice is not proto prog but fully prog band (and personally I'm glad it was changed - good work Snow dog !).
However I find the argue about "Ars longa vita brevis" or ITCOTCK as the first symphonic prog album redicilious cause for me "Days of future passed" of the moody blues is that album and I think that just like the nice, the moodies are fully prog (yeh, an early one) . Again, It is not their best work IMO but this (I believe) is the album we can concider as the start of it all.


take credit for it hahahha.. I've always thought they were a prog band... I'm not sure about this proto-prog stuff (talk about over-categorizing).. in Micky's black and white world.. you're prog...or you're not.


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