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Was prog actually popular in the 70s??

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Topic: Was prog actually popular in the 70s??
Posted By: fudgenuts64
Subject: Was prog actually popular in the 70s??
Date Posted: April 22 2013 at 23:28
Hi, I'm curious to know whether the most well known prog had some popularity at it's peak. Like, was stuff like Close to the Edge or Foxtrot commonly known during that time or just a mere niche? This was before my time so I'm very curious to know exactly what prog significance was during it's peak.  

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Replies:
Posted By: Atavachron
Date Posted: April 22 2013 at 23:40

here's an article I wrote on the matter -


When Prog Ruled the World


It did, y'know, for a brief and shining moment. When released in the U.S. in early 1971, Emerson, Lake and Palmer's first record peaked at number 18 on the Billboard charts. Yes's Close to the Edge (1972) reached #3. Jethro Tull's monster child Thick as a Brick -- one continuous cut that spanned both sides of an LP, something almost unheard of even then –- made it to #1 during 1972. As did A Passion Play in '73. That's right, numero uno for an album many consider to be the most overblown and pretentious piece of music ever put to record. Pink Floyd's Wish You Were Here, too, in '75.

It barely seems possible. Was this the same planet we currently reside on? A place where today such albums would be considered by the general public more as theater than modern rock music, seen as a novelty, or worse, a gimmick. A selfish overindulgence by groups who thought rock had become high art, and with the temerity to actually sell it to people. What was occurring in the post-psychedelic landscape of the early 1970s, and what had happened to individual perception that caused such ambitious breakthroughs to become marketable?

In many ways, it isn't terribly surprising when one considers the sheer quality of the music; Thick as a Brick with its catchy melodies, storybook lyrics, clever cover, and very digestible mix of acoustic folk with hard rock and classical. A winner before it was it was ever heard. The newness and palatable art-pop on ELP's first, sophistry and challenging structures in Close to the Edge, and the elegance and crystal waters of Wish You Were Here. All pinnacles of where rock had been and how far it had come, and each one further inspired and improved upon. A true progression of both form and of quality. As well, other smaller prog artists were able to follow on the coattails of these successes, eking out a living if only in their own countries. That's not to say The Stones, McCartney, Simon & Garfunkel, Chicago and Elton John weren't the undisputed kings of sales, but the British Invasion hadn't ceased with The Beatles' break-up. No, it had expanded, morphed seemingly overnight into something altogether new and extraordinary that took not only from rock's past, but from the best the western world's entire musical history had to offer. The rules had exploded, the sky was limitless and people seemed ready for an era both marvelous and maddening in its creative spirit. It was clear: Progressive Rock was a movement, and by the time it was over would produce some of the most startling, meticulous and difficult popular music the world has even known. And all during the course of about ten years.

And people were buying it, listening to it. A few even seemed to be enjoying this masturbatory nonsense, apparently lauded only by beard-stroking academics with no girlfriends and a little too much time on their hands. Even more unexpected was that this new 'art rock' was an extension of what had come just before, a much further push into territory The Beatles, Jefferson Airplane, Moody Blues, Doors, The Who and others had only hinted at. It was unusual because most new musical forms are a reaction against their siblings of the old guard, a turning away of the past fueled by a desperate need to be expressively different. But a few mavericks in Britain, Europe and North America, some of whom had formal musical backgrounds and larger visions of what was possible within a rock format, decided to raise those stakes, not change them. It was a time when the bigger the concept, higher the ambition and finer the skills - the more a musician was willing do and farther able to go - the more people seemed interested. The audience had grown-up and instead of rejecting its history, wanted more. The timing was right and the artists were ready-- a fleeting convergence when everything that had been accomplished in the previous decade, the inventive and free spirit of those times, had set the stage for something far greater.

The record-buying public weren't the only ones charmed. Commercial music, that pool of anonymously recorded and publicly owned stuff you hear slapped on a cheap TV show, pasted to endless radio spots or piped-in at the local mall had suddenly adopted a space age & synthesizer motif, sounding remarkably like a watered down ELP. Pretty soon everything from the local news to the new season of In Search Of sported music undeniably influenced not by Pop, Rock 'n Roll, Folk or the other popular genres, but by what the Prog musicians had been offering for years.

Then things changed. Some say Disco killed Prog with its polyester, new haircuts, and hijacking of symphonic arrangements. Others think it was Punk, its 'rebellion' against the rock establishment and bloated acts that system supported. In fact the truth isn't so simple and frankly neither Disco nor Punk had much hand in progressive rock's recession. Time moves on, generations grow out of their past and new replaces old. And though music journalism's passionate love affair with Punk rock and tenuous relationship with Prog probably hastened its demise, the press wasn't the culprit. All three musical styles developed around the same period, paralleling one another much of the time. Each provided a unique voice in modern music and an alternative to the massive Pop market, and each eventually succumbed to its own weight.

Thankfully progressive rock survived. Just barely. A handful of bands scattered around the world didn't give-in to the pressure and kept making rock for the thinking person, playing to an oblivious world caught up in the Reagan era. A few veterans like Yes and Pink Floyd re-emerged in the 80s and offered some quality music to a thankful if tiny audience. Still others such as Rush just kept going, some feel at the price of their artistry, making many more albums and even getting a few radio hits along the way. Luckily in our time, the internet has saved Prog from going under and offers not only an easy way to find the music of these new and old bands, but a worldwide community filled with likeminded lovers of the rock progressive. So enjoy, and Prog on!





Posted By: Dean
Date Posted: April 23 2013 at 00:26
Yes.
 
 
....next!


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If you cannot be wise, pretend to be someone who is wise and then just behave like they would - Neil Gaiman


Posted By: richardh
Date Posted: April 23 2013 at 01:11
King Crimson,Yes , ELP, Genesis, Rush, Pink Floyd, Camel,Jethro Tull were all big sellers. Rush and Genesis actually sold more records during and after punk.

Gentle Giant not so much so. VDGG never had a big selling album in the UK although were big in Italy and other continental countries. There were loads of prog bands whose sales were modest to say the least. The Seventies was the decade of the so called 'Supergroup' and prog was in a good position to exploit this. Add the synthesiser and suddenly you have a succesfull  commercial formula that lasted a good while until people just got bored with it.


Posted By: Hercules
Date Posted: April 23 2013 at 04:16
Of course it was.
 
Look at the album charts of the time.


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I have many faults. Being wrong is not one of them.


Posted By: Gerinski
Date Posted: April 23 2013 at 05:50
Sure it was. But you have to consider that the offer of pop-rock music and entertainment in general was much more limited than now, so any music released had automatically more chances of exposure and of becoming popular.
Nowadays pop-rock music is an element of the young generations culture and entertainment but only one of many, along with computers and tablets, video-games, tons of movie releases and TV offer, social networks, phone texting and so many others, so except for the really big mainstream hits, most of the music released is nearly by definition a niche entertainment. Exposure as such has become easier with the internet, YouTube etc, but the chances of becoming really popular among such a dense offer of entertainment is actually smaller, and the cultural importance of pop-rock in the young generations culture has become rather marginal.

In the 1970's rock music was the predominant cultural expression and artistic entertainment for young people and the quantity of music released was more limited. Of course much music remained obscure, but the chances of exposure and of getting some success were much bigger.
Many people would actually favour more pop-oriented rock such as Bowie, Lou Reed, Peter Frampton, the albums by the ex-Beatles, Iggy Pop, The Who, ELO etc or the heavier side with Purple, Zeppelin, Sabbath etc, but they would almost surely be also exposed to proper Prog and would likely have in their discographies some ELP, Yes, Genesis, Camel, Pink Floyd, Supertramp, KC etc, at least their most famous albums (even some Zappa was quite common to be present in most people's discography, even if fewer people actually listened to them Wink).

If Prog would have only come into existence today, I doubt that it would have become as popular as it did in the 70's, if only because the offer of alternatives for the young is so much bigger. Conversely any other new rock style having popped up in 1969-1970 instead of Prog would likely have become popular too. Timing played a role.


Posted By: Stool Man
Date Posted: April 23 2013 at 06:19
Looking in my book of British Chart hits,  Yes had Number One hit albums in 1973 & 1977, and six other Top Ten hit albums in the 70s.  Pink Floyd had Number One hit albums in 1970 & 1975, plus four more Top Ten hit albums.  ELP had a Number One hit album in 1971, plus another six Top Ten hit albums.  Genesis had seven Top Ten hit albums.  Jethro Tull had four Top Ten hit albums.
That's a total of thirty two Top Ten chart albums in the 1970s, just for those five bands. 
Pink Floyd  Dark Side Of The Moon stayed on the charts for fourteen years without dropping out.  Mike Oldfield's  Tubular Bells was on the charts for over five years. 
 
Success is measured by lots of people buying the music, and that's measured by the charts.


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rotten hound of the burnie crew


Posted By: HolyMoly
Date Posted: April 23 2013 at 06:51
Originally posted by Atavachron

here's an article I wrote on the matter -

......


Great article!  thanks for sharing that.


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My other avatar is a Porsche / http://raregoat.bandcamp.com" rel="nofollow - RARE GOAT bandcamp page

NEVER forget: the ant can carry eight times its own weight.
Or is it nine?

- Kehlog Albran


Posted By: chopper
Date Posted: April 23 2013 at 06:54
Originally posted by Hercules

Of course it was.
 
Look at the album charts of the time.
Exactly, and the Annual Melody Makers awards were pretty much a clean sweep for Yes, ELP and Genesis for best musician awards. It was certainly the biggest music genre at my school (until punk came along).

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http://www.last.fm/user/chopper777/?chartstyle=basicrt10" rel="nofollow">


Posted By: Cactus Choir
Date Posted: April 23 2013 at 07:45
I think Yes, ELP, Jethro Tull and Pink Floyd were the most commercially successful prog bands internationally in the "golden era" (1970-74). At least they were the ones getting into the US Top 10 which was the biggest and most lucrative market. Gabriel era Genesis were popular in the UK but didn't get really big in the US until they started going "pop" (And Then There Were Three). I just checked and Invisible Touch was their biggest album (6x Platinum). There's no accounting is there....

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"And now...on the drums...Mick Underwooooooooood!!!"

"He's up the pub"


Posted By: Moogtron III
Date Posted: April 23 2013 at 08:38
Years ago I made a thread about an Italian chart of best selling albums in a certain month in 1972, which I found in Armando Gallo's book "I Know What I Like" (about Genesis, obviously). This is the chart I'm talking about

  1. Van der Graaf Generator – Pawn Hearts
  2. Premiata Forneria Marconi – Storia Di Un Minuto
  3. Emerson, Lake & Palmer – Pictures At An Exhibition
  4. Genesis – Nursery Cryme
  5. King Crimson – Islands
  6. Fabrizio De André – Non Al Denaro, Non All’Amore Né Al Cielo
  7. George Harrison – Concert For Bangla Desh
  8. John Lennon – Imagine
  9. Mina – Mina
  10. Led Zeppelin – Led Zeppelin IV
  11. Yes- Fragile
Pretty amazing, isn't it? Imagine that that would be the actual chart of best selling albums in your country.


Posted By: Josef_K
Date Posted: April 23 2013 at 08:56
Originally posted by Moogtron III

Years ago I made a thread about an Italian chart of best selling albums in a certain month in 1972, which I found in Armando Gallo's book "I Know What I Like" (about Genesis, obviously). This is the chart I'm talking about

  1. Van der Graaf Generator – Pawn Hearts
  2. Premiata Forneria Marconi – Storia Di Un Minuto
  3. Emerson, Lake & Palmer – Pictures At An Exhibition
  4. Genesis – Nursery Cryme
  5. King Crimson – Islands
  6. Fabrizio De André – Non Al Denaro, Non All’Amore Né Al Cielo
  7. George Harrison – Concert For Bangla Desh
  8. John Lennon – Imagine
  9. Mina – Mina
  10. Led Zeppelin – Led Zeppelin IV
  11. Yes- Fragile
Pretty amazing, isn't it? Imagine that that would be the actual chart of best selling albums in your country.

Wow, Pawn Hearts at #1 along with Islands and Nursery Cryme that high up? :S Three albums which really didn't matter at all on an international level, but also three of my favorite albums.


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Leave the past to burn,
At least that's been his own

- Peter Hammill


Posted By: twosteves
Date Posted: April 23 2013 at 09:34
Yes, very very popular---Yes selling out 4 nights at Madison Sq Garden kind of popular. Who can do that today but a handful of artists. And across the pond---just or more popular in it's overall impact---


Posted By: progbethyname
Date Posted: April 23 2013 at 10:19
Prog sure was quite popular. Found out that even Goblin's PROFUNDO ROSSO album sold over a million copies in 1976. The prog message was clearly out there. It was massive. :)

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Lots to love about the Prog Metal powerhouse band, 'Threshold.'


Posted By: lazland
Date Posted: April 23 2013 at 10:40
Yes.

And, verily, it shall become so againWink


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In Lazland, life is transient. Prog is permanent.


Posted By: moshkito
Date Posted: April 23 2013 at 10:42
Originally posted by fudgenuts64

Hi, I'm curious to know whether the most well known prog had some popularity at it's peak. Like, was stuff like Close to the Edge or Foxtrot commonly known during that time or just a mere niche? This was before my time so I'm very curious to know exactly what prog significance was during it's peak.  
 
YES.
 
At least as far as KLOS and KMET in Los Angeles and KNAC ... Yes was probably the best known of these as Genesis did not quite take off until "Selling England By The Pound", though they were one of those "darling" imports!
 
AFAIK, in London the term "progressive" was already used, but in California it was still considered "art rock", though I already considered these folks the modern composers of my time and yours ... and did not separate rock, jazz and bullmerde from any other music, like everyone else does and states that it is not worth of discussion in order to make music history ... IT IS ... or our generation is a bunch of worthless geeks that never learned anything ... except to copy "the master" ... and both you and I have an issue with that, I'm sure!
 
Unffortunately, for the record, Genesis became even more famous after Peter Gabriel and the work that we DO consider "progressive", which tends to distort the equation! Pink Floyd was already seminal and important in these stations, and SPECIALLY the FM radio (these were) because they were STEREO as opposed to the regular radio ... and this IS ... the great wakeup time about music ... since before the fidelity was next to nill and poor.
 
It is VERY important that we understand that ... since in many ways the advent of "stereo" helped a lot of this music seem a lot more important than before ... and this is something that we do not consider enough. Go check out the rinky dinky AM band and listen to a few songs played there and then go listen to a big name FM station on the same radio ... that difference is MASSIVE to differentiate the VALUE of the music itself, and "progressive" music made FULL use of that ability ... like the top ten was not doing at the time! This is a lot LESS visible and an issue today, as the lowest level mp3 or iTunes is even better than most olf FM station signals in those days!
 
It's easy to say ... you had no idea!
 
I do think that a few years later in America, FM radio went commercial and the value of these bands dropped some, to the point where the big sellers were more important ... and this had a tendency to hurt the whole process and create the glamour thing and then the louder still thing (like the Rolling Stones at 125 decibels were not loud!), and then ... anything else!


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... none of the hits, none of the time ... you might actually find your own art, or self, and forego lousy heroes or Guru's!

www.pedrosena.com


Posted By: moshkito
Date Posted: April 23 2013 at 10:50
Originally posted by Dean

Yes.
 
 
....next!
 
Profound!
 
Clap


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... none of the hits, none of the time ... you might actually find your own art, or self, and forego lousy heroes or Guru's!

www.pedrosena.com


Posted By: brainstormer
Date Posted: April 23 2013 at 10:54
Not just prog but at least on Long Island radio in the 1970s, one could hear Tangerine Dream. 

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--
Robert Pearson
Regenerative Music http://www.regenerativemusic.net
Telical Books http://www.telicalbooks.com
ParaMind Brainstorming Software http://www.paramind.net




Posted By: octopus-4
Date Posted: April 23 2013 at 11:01
If I'm not wrong the fist sold out date achieved by Genesis was in Rome and I think Italy is the country where VdGG have been more successful than in any other country in terms of charts.  
From what I personally remember, in the early 70s in Italy we had no TVs or radios other than the national ones which were used to apply censorship. Aqualung was censored for its anti-christian contents. The media offer was sticking on the popular artists coming from the 50s. Even though some of them were good (Gaber, De Andre, Tenco) the majority was very poor, so whenever anything "new and fresh" arrived on the shops it became a cult counterposed to what was considered mainstream.
Prog in Italy became very popular (but not under this name) thanks to home taping and to very few TV and radio shows. 
Local political issues had a positive effect as left winged bands like Area and Stormy Six became representative of a way of making music and made their listeners used to more challenging sounds. 

This scenario started to change in 1976/77 and the 80s were in Italy poorer than in other countries, I think.
The above is my personal perception of how I have lived these years. History can be different.



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Curiosity killed a cat, Schroedinger only half.


Posted By: moshkito
Date Posted: April 23 2013 at 11:16
Originally posted by Moogtron III

Years ago I made a thread about an Italian chart of best selling albums in a certain month in 1972, which I found in Armando Gallo's book "I Know What I Like" (about Genesis, obviously). This is the chart I'm talking about

  1. Van der Graaf Generator – Pawn Hearts
  2. Premiata Forneria Marconi – Storia Di Un Minuto
  3. Emerson, Lake & Palmer – Pictures At An Exhibition
  4. Genesis – Nursery Cryme
  5. King Crimson – Islands
  6. Fabrizio De André – Non Al Denaro, Non All’Amore Né Al Cielo
  7. George Harrison – Concert For Bangla Desh
  8. John Lennon – Imagine
  9. Mina – Mina
  10. Led Zeppelin – Led Zeppelin IV
  11. Yes- Fragile
Pretty amazing, isn't it? Imagine that that would be the actual chart of best selling albums in your country.
 
Only 3 of these albums were "played" on the big stations in Los Angeles. I know that KNAC did play at least 3 more, but KNAC did not have the signal that the big 2 did, that covered almost ALL of Southern California ... and you can learn some of this in Radio Kaos which was about KMET! Jim Ladd was in those stations!  There was a reason why PF sold out the Hollywood Bowl in the fall of 1972!


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... none of the hits, none of the time ... you might actually find your own art, or self, and forego lousy heroes or Guru's!

www.pedrosena.com


Posted By: moshkito
Date Posted: April 23 2013 at 11:41
Originally posted by Atavachron

here's an article I wrote on the matter -

When Prog Ruled the World
...


 
It's good ... 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.
 
That alone, is much more influential than anything else ... and remember that the rinky dinky hit radio was so bad that it even had short versions of many pieces of music ... like "Light My Fire" ... "In a Gadda Da Vida" and many other pieces!
 
The sales that FM radio generated in America, made this even more valuable in Europe ... why? ... because the number was easily 3, 4, 5 or 20 times more than even London was selling ... and IF that was not the case, Yes, Jethro Tull and so many others would have never gotten the attention they did!
 
Pop radio only had a couple of things by Jimi and Janis, and stuff that I call "token" (these days) but was NOT representative of what eventually became progressive. Tom Payne, drummer and friend who was also a DJ at one  AM station in Santa Barbara could not play Moody Blues' first album stuff, and neither could he play Elton John, until later with Crocodile Rock, because the cuts were too long!
 
So, in many ways, your sensibility and mine was helped with radio. I do not know, or have read, how this helped in Europe as yet ... but I can tell you that Nektar got almost 60% of all their sales in one year in the LA area alone, which tells you the quantity was massive, compared to London, or Germany! And only the likes of KNAC and the lesser FM stations were playing Nektar, but they were a major "import" band along with Le Orme, Banco, Klaus Schulze, and others.


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... none of the hits, none of the time ... you might actually find your own art, or self, and forego lousy heroes or Guru's!

www.pedrosena.com


Posted By: presdoug
Date Posted: April 23 2013 at 11:47
^I have heard that Triumvirat were played on the FM radio with frequency for a while in the mid-seventies. They also appeared on ABC's In Concert, and Spartacus entered the top 40 albums listing in America.

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"and what music unites, man should not take apart"--Helmut Koellen                               


Posted By: Blacksword
Date Posted: April 23 2013 at 12:12
Originally posted by moshkito


Originally posted by Dean

Yes.
 

 

....next!

 
Profound!
 
Clap


Well, you can't argue with the album sales. Big sales and sell out concerts equates to popularity by any measure of success in the music industry. There's not much depth to the matter. People just liked prog in very large numbers.

Shame it had to change really...

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Ultimately bored by endless ecstasy!


Posted By: moshkito
Date Posted: April 23 2013 at 12:28
Originally posted by presdoug

^I have heard that Triumvirat were played on the FM radio with frequency for a while in the mid-seventies. They also appeared on ABC's In Concert, and Spartacus entered the top 40 albums listing in America.
 
Ktyd did in Santa Barbara, to the point where Guy decided to play something else! I think that Guy would even suggest (so would I, btw) that some of the folks played this mostly because Guy knew imports and they got a hold of Spartacus before Guy did ... Guy had played "Illusions on a Double Dimple" (sp.!) but by that time some of the folks in the station did not like Guy finding all the "new" bands and sounds! Heck, Guy should have gotten the credit for the "Average White Band" ... but never will ... you should have heard the fun promos he create for them making fun of impresarios in American Record Companies! They are funny ... and when hearing it 40 years later? ... 100 times funnier!


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... none of the hits, none of the time ... you might actually find your own art, or self, and forego lousy heroes or Guru's!

www.pedrosena.com


Posted By: moshkito
Date Posted: April 23 2013 at 12:38
Originally posted by Blacksword

...
Well, you can't argue with the album sales. Big sales and sell out concerts equates to popularity by any measure of success in the music industry. There's not much depth to the matter. People just liked prog in very large numbers.

Shame it had to change really...
 
It didn't ... it's the same thing today as yesterday ... I still go around telling people to listen to something different and some folks reject it and some don't.
 
The only difference betwee today and yesterday, is I'm 50 lbs fatter, (!!!!!) and uglier, not to mention older!
 
Other than that, there are different venues today, just like yesterday, and the internet sales make up for the ability to not travel and see things in a different country that was not cheap then ... and hurt many bands. Sean Ahearn broke even on Gong in 1995, but he took in in the shorts in 1997 and then got Gong for free in 1999 in SF for the Festival, where he took a licking for at least 100k -- because Brand X, Porcupine Tree and the other "known" bands did not pull much of anything else at all!
 
Gong was also huge in the "import" business, btw ... but the appreciation for what they did has diminished a lot and is often dismissed as just drug crazed music, instead of the seriousness and quality that it deserves.
 
 
 
 


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... none of the hits, none of the time ... you might actually find your own art, or self, and forego lousy heroes or Guru's!

www.pedrosena.com


Posted By: Prog_Traveller
Date Posted: April 23 2013 at 13:44
I'd say it was kind of like it is now. Right now SOME prog bands are popular. Back then SOME prog bands were popular. However, there were more bands that were popular back then and they were more popular. Also they were more likely to be recognized as PROG(JT, PF, Yes, ELP, Genesis, KC etc). Most of the bands breaking though today aren't necessarily recognized as PROG by the kiddies. Wink

You could ask this same question about any genre. Was punk ever popular? Was heavy metal ever popular. THe answer is some bands in those genres were but not all. The same thing with just about any music genre.

My official answer is yes to some degree it was. To some degree it still is. The 80's and 90's not so much. Smile


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Posted By: Slartibartfast
Date Posted: April 23 2013 at 13:57
It's really funny whenever someone in the forums asks this question.  I was there, and yes it was. Big smile  Then punk allegedly came along and killed it when it was getting too self indulgent or whatever, total bullcrap.  I got on board around '78 and it was still going on strong.

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Posted By: Progosopher
Date Posted: April 23 2013 at 14:55
Yes indeedy, Prog was popular, but it was not the only style of music hitting high on the charts.  Some good information on this thread. Thumbs Up

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The world of sound is certainly capable of infinite variety and, were our sense developed, of infinite extensions. -- George Santayana, "The Sense of Beauty"


Posted By: Atavachron
Date Posted: April 23 2013 at 16:31
Originally posted by HolyMoly

Originally posted by Atavachron

here's an article I wrote on the matter - .....

Great article!  thanks for sharing that.

Thank you for reading.




Posted By: aapatsos
Date Posted: April 23 2013 at 16:42
Originally posted by lazland

Yes.

And, verily, it shall become so againWink
I can actually see this trend... world domination is happeningTongue


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"Prog Heavy Petting" show - every Monday 7-9pm UK time on http://www.justincaseradio.com" rel="nofollow - http://www.justincaseradio.com , the first progressive radio in Greece


Posted By: Prog_Traveller
Date Posted: April 23 2013 at 17:49
Originally posted by Slartibartfast

It's really funny whenever someone in the forums asks this question.  I was there, and yes it was. Big smile  Then punk allegedly came along and killed it when it was getting too self indulgent or whatever, total bullcrap.  I got on board around '78 and it was still going on strong.



OK, just wondering what prog bands do you consider to have been popular in the late seventies who were playing prog in the late seventies? I can't wait to hear the answer. Smile


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Posted By: Atavachron
Date Posted: April 23 2013 at 18:32
 ^ I think his point is that in 1978 music was generally still open-ended, e.g. in prog you had, among other things, Heavy Horses, which both reached #19 on Billboard and was an album showing little signs of the recessive period of a few years later.




Posted By: Tony R
Date Posted: April 23 2013 at 19:07
Going For The One was advertised on TV in the UK. That tells you all you need to know.


Posted By: otto pankrock
Date Posted: April 23 2013 at 19:24
When I was growing up in the early '70s progressive rock or FM radio rock was what the big boys were listening to. AM music, single, hits etc. were for kids or people who just wanted background music.
Towards the end of the '70s prog. was still around but new music was coming out as well. Some bands like Yes were just running out of gas.
Myself? I started discovering some of the European bands and other British bands that radio just wasn't playing. Bands like Grobschnitt. I didn't discover Goblin until about 1983 or so.


Posted By: AreYouHuman
Date Posted: April 23 2013 at 20:34
Another U.S. radio station that really prog-rocked listeners was WLAV in Grand Rapids. Two of their DJs, Aris Hampers and Doc Donovan, in the bygone days when DJs were allowed to program their shows, were especially active in exposing listeners to not only ELP, Yes Procol Harum, Moody Blues and Pink Floyd but also Gentle Giant, Greenslade, Triumvirat, Stackridge, Strawbs, Caravan, Camel, Fireballet, Renaissance, Esperanto, David Sancious, PFM…you get the idea. Genesis, of course, well before their big commercial success. They were playing Kansas from their first album on. Some other fairly high-profile acts, oddly, I never heard them play, like Soft Machine, VDGG, and Curved Air. But they were a huge force in irreversibly reshaping my musical tastes from 1974 on.


Posted By: Stool Man
Date Posted: April 23 2013 at 21:38
On the http://www.officialcharts.com/archive-chart/_/3/1973-05-26/" rel="nofollow - UK Album Charts webpage you can see the top 40 for any week.  In the 1973 example I've linked to, which I randomly selected from that year, you can see Yessongs was at No 7 that week (not bad for a triple LP) as well as albums by Wishbone Ash at No 12, Pink Floyd at No 20, and Uriah Heep at No 23. 
Randomly choosing http://www.officialcharts.com/archive-chart/_/3/1971-12-04/" rel="nofollow - a week from 1971 to give a second example, we can see ELP at No 3, Yes at No 7, and Pink Floyd at No 14. 
 
You can of course search that site to look at any week of your choosing.


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rotten hound of the burnie crew


Posted By: The Dark Elf
Date Posted: April 23 2013 at 22:10
In Detroit, we had three great rock stations: WABX , the first Detroit radical/progressive FM station in the 60s and 70s  with "Headphones Only" every night (Floyd, Kraftwerk, Traffic, Procol Harum, King Crimson, etc.), and everything else from Iggy and the Stooges to Savoy Brown to John McLaughlin; WRIF played album sides all night long (Yes, ELP, Zeppelin, Deep Purple, Sabbath, Floyd, Tull, Genesis, etc.);  and WWWW, known as "Quadzilla(the first quadrophonic station in the state), played the quad versions of War Child and Aqualung in their entirety, and also had "All Night Album Replay", where listeners called in requests for albums.

It was a great time to listen to radio.


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Please pay a visit to my blog... http://darkelffile.blogspot.com/" rel="nofollow - The Dark Elf File ...a slighty skewed journal of music reviews, literary comment, fan-fiction and interminable essays.


Posted By: humor4u1959
Date Posted: April 23 2013 at 23:00
Yes, prog rock was very popular in the 1970's. However, it was limited to just a few bands as far as radio play goes. Tull, ELP, & Yes were probably the most played.

In terms of concert venues, those aforementioned bands sold out large arenas of 10,000+ people. However, I saw Genesis w/Peter Gabriel in 1974 at an auditorium that held only 4,500. But, they did sell it out. Venues of that size or smaller were the norm for Procol Harum and King Crimson as well. I don't see this as a failure as the acoustics in real theaters are superior to sports arenas anyway. Plus, you can see the band better too!

Lastly, (and I know I'll offend some with this comment) prog rock's death was inevitable because so much of it was pretentious and pompous. It also was often unnecessarily complex. Sometimes less IS actually more. Twenty minute songs with intricate play became obsolete to many. However, those old prog groups will always have a devout following, as they should. Just my opinion, mind you.

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Posted By: Garion81
Date Posted: April 23 2013 at 23:22
FM Radio was the catalyst  for the promotion of progressive rock of many varieties.  Record companies were bewildered of what people wanted to hear and signed a lot of groups in the late 60's that would never have been signed 10 years later.  The advent of FM formats from AM megawatt stations was clearly the way for companies to promote these bands. Unfortunately FM  could only reach a 50 mile radius at best so most of this music could only be heard in larger population centers which explains the fact in the US the Northeast, some big midwest cities  and large population centers on the West Coast were the places that progressive rock thrived. By about 1975-76 the record companies were creating format styles and radio stations followed suit.  Free format shows and DJ driven playlists became a thing of the past very quickly and gave way to more strict playlists and styles.  This alone had more to do with the decline of the older bands and the squelching of newer bands being signed and recorded which did exist in America. 

One other point is in 1976 and 1977 I saw Gentle Giant playing in 5000 seat arenas in LA,  Triumvirat on a bill with Jefferson Starship and  Fleetwood Mac in 1975 and PFM at a local college. I missed them but Genesis on the Lamb tour were playing 5000 seat places as well.  Yes not the success as the big names but still not bad.  I think in certain areas this was pretty popular music from 1966 through 1977.   


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


Posted By: richardh
Date Posted: April 24 2013 at 01:18
Originally posted by Slartibartfast

It's really funny whenever someone in the forums asks this question.  I was there, and yes it was. Big smile  Then punk allegedly came along and killed it when it was getting too self indulgent or whatever, total bullcrap.  I got on board around '78 and it was still going on strong.

In the UK it was on the wain from about 1978 onwards. America was always a bit different in this regards and was more prepared to accept a more commercial FM radio version of prog.
Europe on the other hand was perhaps a bit more discerning. Rush became massive in the late seventies and pretty much stuck out like a sore thumb in the British charts. I remember Hemispheres appearing in the top ten and Radio One playing Trees. Seemed werdly out of place and Rush continued to be weirdly out of place. Of course the likes of Mike Oldfield and Pink Floyd were big enough to ride out the punk storm but the prog scene in general took a noticeable nose dive in the UK during that period.


Posted By: BlackenedGass
Date 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!


Posted By: Stool Man
Date 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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rotten hound of the burnie crew


Posted By: octopus-4
Date 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.


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Curiosity killed a cat, Schroedinger only half.


Posted By: progbethyname
Date 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!

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Lots to love about the Prog Metal powerhouse band, 'Threshold.'


Posted By: progbethyname
Date 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!

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Lots to love about the Prog Metal powerhouse band, 'Threshold.'


Posted By: Neu!mann
Date 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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"Sacred cows make the best hamburger." - Mark Twain


Posted By: twosteves
Date 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


Posted By: cstack3
Date 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.  




Posted By: Bitterblogger
Date 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.


Posted By: elpprogster
Date 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.


Posted By: kenethlevine
Date 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


Posted By: richardh
Date 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.


Posted By: sukmytoe
Date 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.  
 
 
 


Posted By: Cactus Choir
Date 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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"And now...on the drums...Mick Underwooooooooood!!!"

"He's up the pub"


Posted By: chopper
Date 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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http://www.last.fm/user/chopper777/?chartstyle=basicrt10" rel="nofollow">


Posted By: Cactus Choir
Date 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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"And now...on the drums...Mick Underwooooooooood!!!"

"He's up the pub"


Posted By: rogerthat
Date 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. 


Posted By: dogen
Date Posted: April 25 2013 at 10:21
Yes it was popular. I was there!


Posted By: richardh
Date 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.


Posted By: progbethyname
Date 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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Lots to love about the Prog Metal powerhouse band, 'Threshold.'


Posted By: progbethyname
Date Posted: April 25 2013 at 14:04
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.


Agreed. You have a good point here as usual, and I will agree upon the 80% figure of musical 80's output to avoid. Lol. I think I only 20% as well, but that 20% is so dam good regardless of its increased pop content. :) Anyway, good talking with you again. :)

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Lots to love about the Prog Metal powerhouse band, 'Threshold.'


Posted By: silverpot
Date Posted: April 25 2013 at 17:11
The only other kind of music I was aware of at the time (apart from older genres) was disco. So, I suppose prog rock was rather mainstream. 


Posted By: Lord_Adon
Date Posted: April 25 2013 at 21:21
If prog were popular it would have been called pop.



Posted By: Atavachron
Date Posted: April 25 2013 at 21:28
^ But, briefly, it was pop in the same sense that Led Zeppelin was pop.   The fact that something is pop doesn't mean it has to be Seals & Crofts.   I hate to say it but at its height of popularity, Prog rock was a fad.   A good one, but a fad all the same.   After the wave crashed it was left with a small but devoted fanbase, and was without doubt no longer a pop medium.



Posted By: Stool Man
Date Posted: April 26 2013 at 00:45
Every genre of music is a fad, but some stick around longer than others.  In the 50s when Harry Belafonte started having Calypso hits many thought that Calypso would replace Rock 'n' Roll

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rotten hound of the burnie crew


Posted By: chopper
Date Posted: April 26 2013 at 07:22
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?
Yes.


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http://www.last.fm/user/chopper777/?chartstyle=basicrt10" rel="nofollow">


Posted By: octopus-4
Date Posted: April 26 2013 at 07:38
Originally posted by chopper

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?
Yes.
Headbangerlove that album


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Curiosity killed a cat, Schroedinger only half.


Posted By: chopper
Date Posted: April 26 2013 at 08:37
Originally posted by Lord_Adon

If prog were popular it would have been called pop.

It was but it wasn't.

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http://www.last.fm/user/chopper777/?chartstyle=basicrt10" rel="nofollow">


Posted By: progbethyname
Date Posted: April 26 2013 at 09:39
I agree with a lot of what has been said on this forum topic, but to label an album as 'most successful' just because it sold the most might be a mistake. 90125 of Yes's career was their commercial hit, but to say that album is more successful than Relayer or Close to the edge would be a mistake. We should be clear that on an artistic, defining moment in prog music's history those albums are the real 'successors.' As far as making $$ (if you wanna call that grand success) yes, 90125 takes it. Anyway. Let's be careful with our terms. :) Success of an album should not be defined by its sales or wealth. The album should be defined by its place and effect in prog music's history. Think of how bands attribute their success and influence to Yes and a lot will say it wasn't because of 90125!!! Lol. Prog was so incredibly popular in the 1970's. More popular than any other generation. :)

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Lots to love about the Prog Metal powerhouse band, 'Threshold.'


Posted By: chopper
Date Posted: April 26 2013 at 10:13
I was just making the point that 90125 is Yes' biggest selling album. You can measure success in terms of sales but you can't measure success in terms of prog history, not objectively anyway.

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http://www.last.fm/user/chopper777/?chartstyle=basicrt10" rel="nofollow">


Posted By: Cactus Choir
Date Posted: April 26 2013 at 10:35
Originally posted by progbethyname

90125 of Yes's career was their commercial hit, but to say that album is more successful than Relayer or Close to the edge would be a mistake. We should be clear that on an artistic, defining moment in prog music's history those albums are the real 'successors.'


I'd still say Yes was at its most consistently successful in both commercial and artistic terms in the 70s. 90125 was their top seller, but was the only album to make the US Top 10 in the 80s whereas they had several in the Top 10 in the 70s - Fragile, CTTE, Tales and Relayer.


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"And now...on the drums...Mick Underwooooooooood!!!"

"He's up the pub"


Posted By: twosteves
Date Posted: April 26 2013 at 10:41
90125 isn't prog--it's AOR and it was the 80's (Asia, Invisible touch) and I've always thought 90125 --the group should be called Cinema.Wink


Posted By: progbethyname
Date Posted: April 26 2013 at 10:50
Originally posted by chopper

I was just making the point that 90125 is Yes' biggest selling album. You can measure success in terms of sales but you can't measure success in terms of prog history, not objectively anyway.


Cool cool, but I believe you can. For many people to mention your album throughout prog history as being a staple of strong artistic merit I'd say that is huge success. Recognition is a form of success and you can quantify success, I believe, in this manner. :)

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Lots to love about the Prog Metal powerhouse band, 'Threshold.'


Posted By: Stool Man
Date Posted: April 26 2013 at 16:02
Regardless of which Yes album was their biggest seller, they were extremely popular during the 1970s.  Same goes for Pink Floyd (extremely popular in the 70s even disregarding DSOTM), and many other prog bands with more than one 70s album release.

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rotten hound of the burnie crew


Posted By: sukmytoe
Date Posted: April 26 2013 at 16:25
If album sales had anything to do with the quality of music then I guess "prog" would be in trouble as it would mean that Michael Jackson's music was of a far better quality than anything that we like here. Heavy sales equates to selling many albums to many people and Justin Bieber will know all about that. You sell more music to musical airheads than you do to serious listeners as there are way more airheads out there who are interested in fads and catchy jingles as opposed to more complex music that you have to spend time with to get what it's about.
90125 and the like were never meant for the serious prog listener - they are aimed at the masses.
 


Posted By: lucas
Date Posted: April 26 2013 at 16:30
The most popular rock music of the seventies for sure. No wonder that there were so many prog acts back in those days !

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"Magma was the very first gothic rock band" (Didier Lockwood)


Posted By: sukmytoe
Date Posted: April 26 2013 at 16:46
The early 70's was a magical time for music and there was no term like "Prog Rock" with reference to the music that was being made. Had PA existed back then there would have been a lot more prog gracing this site as a lot of music was then in fact progressive in that many bands were exploring and creating different territories in music. I would go so far as to say that in 1973 Grand Funk Railroad was progressive in every sense of the word as they were exploring new musical barriers as were many of the other Rock bands. Alice Cooper would have been "prog" back then without any shadow of a doubt.
We did have a term for music back then which kind of meant the same thing that "prog" does to us today - that term was "Underground". If I wanted Uriah Heep, Black Sabbath, Grand Funk, Pink Floyd, Osibisa etc I looked under the "Underground" category in many record stores.
Looking for "Heavy Metal" sections in record bars back then was pointless as the category only really came into being later on. I remember "Popular", "Rock", "Classical", "Jazz" and "Underground" being the different sections in the best record store here.
Music was a melting pot and it was an exciting melting pot back then and what you listened to almost defined who you were to peers in school etc. I remember that my then love of "Black Sabbath", "Uriah Heep" and "Yes" just about got me relegated to one of the lads in "that group of kids over there" -  who were a bit more spaced out than what the masses were.


Posted By: Dean
Date Posted: April 26 2013 at 17:01
Funny that when I was in high school we called it Prog Rock and I left school in 1973 strange how it was called different things in different countries by different people you'd a thunk that everyone would have called it by the name people who lived in the country that invented it would have called it but no that kind of logical thing just didn't happen I wouldn't be at all surprised if people in oh I dunno Antarctica or somewhere didn't call it Fox's Head And A Frock Rock or something luckily by the time Punk came along in 1977 at least the Punks knew it was called Prog Rock otherwise they would have had to have proclaimed death to the dinosaurs of the Underground and that would have really confused people especially commuters that the like who travel to work each day on the Underground or the Progressive Railroad as they would have had to called it or something and that would be plain daft or maybe just pointless because the could have gone by bus or perhaps bought a bicycle or just walked oh look a butterfly I like butterflys but I couldn't eat a whole one.

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If you cannot be wise, pretend to be someone who is wise and then just behave like they would - Neil Gaiman


Posted By: Stool Man
Date Posted: April 26 2013 at 17:21
OK, who spiked Dean's tea? LOL

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rotten hound of the burnie crew


Posted By: Dean
Date Posted: April 26 2013 at 17:31
Six years of reading the same old bollocks can have a similar effect.

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If you cannot be wise, pretend to be someone who is wise and then just behave like they would - Neil Gaiman


Posted By: ExittheLemming
Date Posted: April 26 2013 at 18:23
Originally posted by Cactus Choir

Originally posted by progbethyname

90125 of Yes's career was their commercial hit, but to say that album is more successful than Relayer or Close to the edge would be a mistake. We should be clear that on an artistic, defining moment in prog music's history those albums are the real 'successors.'


I'd still say Yes was at its most consistently successful in both commercial and artistic terms in the 70s. 90125 was their top seller, but was the only album to make the US Top 10 in the 80s whereas they had several in the Top 10 in the 70s - Fragile, CTTE, Tales and Relayer.


Nothing to say about your post. Just wanted to pass compliments on your GROOVY AVATAR - I was one of those unfortunate souls who loved BOTH ELP and the Clash simultaneously and was considered suitable for sectioning under the mental health act by both the Punks and the Hippies (no bad thing really, not belonging to a tribe...)


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http://s312.photobucket.com/user/exitthelemming/media/SignaturePic2.jpg.html" rel="nofollow">


Posted By: Slartibartfast
Date Posted: April 26 2013 at 18:44
Here's to not liking things just because you were expected to. Thumbs Up

It was reviled, we were hunted down like rabid animals.

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Posted By: progbethyname
Date Posted: April 26 2013 at 19:49
Originally posted by sukmytoe

If album sales had anything to do with the quality of music then I guess "prog" would be in trouble as it would mean that Michael Jackson's music was of a far better quality than anything that we like here. Heavy sales equates to selling many albums to many people and Justin Bieber will know all about that. You sell more music to musical airheads than you do to serious listeners as there are way more airheads out there who are interested in fads and catchy jingles as opposed to more complex music that you have to spend time with to get what it's about.
90125 and the like were never meant for the serious prog listener - they are aimed at the masses.

 


Yyyyyyyyyeeeeeeeeeeeeesssssssss!!!

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Lots to love about the Prog Metal powerhouse band, 'Threshold.'


Posted By: rogerthat
Date Posted: April 26 2013 at 20:48
Originally posted by sukmytoe

If album sales had anything to do with the quality of music then I guess "prog" would be in trouble as it would mean that Michael Jackson's music was of a far better quality than anything that we like here. Heavy sales equates to selling many albums to many people and Justin Bieber will know all about that. You sell more music to musical airheads than you do to serious listeners as there are way more airheads out there who are interested in fads and catchy jingles as opposed to more complex music that you have to spend time with to get what it's about.
90125 and the like were never meant for the serious prog listener - they are aimed at the masses.
 

Well, I can't think of any prog rock frontman who had/has even close to the sheer charisma of Jackson or who could dare attempt to pull off what Jackson did.  This is not to say Jackson was the greatest artist of all times as I certainly don't equate greatness with album sales but there is no reason to put him down just because he was popular.  Jackson brought music listeners across the universe together for the first and the last time since the Beatles.   And I wonder what do you have to say to the fact that DSOTM alone comfortably outsells Bieber's career album sales thus far by a ratio of 3:1.  Listen to the lyrics of Time and then to those of Don't Stop till you get enough.  They both hit upon the zeitgeist of their time, encapsulated their era in a few words, whether by intention or accident.   There's not a lot of music, prog or otherwise, that has that genius.  Even the 2008 re-issue of Thriller sold over 15 million copies.  It's not just a trendy fad and it's not going away.


Posted By: Atavachron
Date Posted: April 26 2013 at 20:56
^ We all know MJ was an entertainer like no other--  at least most of us do.


Posted By: The Doctor
Date Posted: April 26 2013 at 20:58
^I always thought he was kind of meh.  People like David Bowie and Prince were much better pop song writers and entertainers IMO.

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I can understand your anger at me, but what did the horse I rode in on ever do to you?


Posted By: Bitterblogger
Date Posted: April 26 2013 at 21:12
Originally posted by progbethyname

Originally posted by sukmytoe

If album sales had anything to do with the quality of music then I guess "prog" would be in trouble as it would mean that Michael Jackson's music was of a far better quality than anything that we like here. Heavy sales equates to selling many albums to many people and Justin Bieber will know all about that. You sell more music to musical airheads than you do to serious listeners as there are way more airheads out there who are interested in fads and catchy jingles as opposed to more complex music that you have to spend time with to get what it's about.
90125 and the like were never meant for the serious prog listener - they are aimed at the masses.

 
!!!

Sure, it's apparent that music aimed at accessibility tends to lose something in complexity. Look at what is #1 at the movie box office every week--a blockbuster rather than an art film.
My main point, though, is that record sales are a rough guide to whether you're connecting to your potential (not just assured) audience--significant when record companies were the big swinging dicks they were then. When a confluence of crossover fans (here meant as those not regular purchasers of your music), critics (to the extent they influence demand) and diehard fans all indicate that appeal through buying and sharing, I'd say quality has been achieved.
Since you mention 90125, I believe such a confluence occurred--prog fans alone can't account for the popularity it enjoyed. And I give Yes--especially Squire and Rabin--credit for doing what they felt was necessary to remain viable. After all, they'd been gone for 3 years. Had it not been the phenomenon it was, the band itself might not have survived 3 decades (!) since.


Posted By: Atavachron
Date Posted: April 26 2013 at 22:17
Originally posted by The Doctor

^I always thought he was kind of meh.  People like David Bowie and Prince were much better pop song writers and entertainers IMO.
Perhaps, but Jackson's athletic ability, musical restraint and taste were refreshing after the tragically hip artistry of Prince and Bowie.



Posted By: cstack3
Date Posted: April 26 2013 at 23:54
In the 70's, I never heard of the term "prog rock."  Yes, ELP, King Crimson etc. were usually referred to as "art rock" or "theater rock" or something.  

Led Zeppelin, Deep Purple, The Who and even Jethro Tull were usually termed as "hard rock," with more of a musical foundation in the American blues.  Jimmy Page once bristled that Led Zep was termed "heavy metal" and stated that "hard rock" was the correct term. 

Regardless, it seems that many of these bands drew immense crowds at huge venues, whether indoors or outdoors, well into the 1980's.   The concerts were immense pot-smoking parties, crowded with legit hippies, wanna-be hippies, all sorts of freaks and straights....very tame, no fights etc.  (well, usually).  

The alternative side to prog would have been pop....Jackson Five, Cowsills, The Carpenters, Captain and Tenille, etc.  I think they tended to play much smaller venues and didn't have the draw that prog had.  If they did, I never heard about it.  

So yes, what we call "prog" was hugely popular in the 1970s.  And, it was damn fun too!  


Posted By: Metalmarsh89
Date Posted: April 27 2013 at 00:46
Originally posted by Stool Man

OK, who spiked Dean's tea? LOL


My thoughts exactly. Smile


Posted By: richardh
Date Posted: April 27 2013 at 02:20
Originally posted by chopper

Originally posted by Lord_Adon

If prog were popular it would have been called pop.

It was but it wasn't.

Dark Side Of The Moon found the perfect balance and arguably was closer to pop than prog but then we have the discussion about what is prog. ie long complex tracks instead of music for radio consumption. Some bands were clever enough to straddle both things but that was a tightrope that you could only fall off eventually.


Posted By: Cactus Choir
Date Posted: April 27 2013 at 03:45
Originally posted by ExittheLemming

 
Nothing to say about your post. Just wanted to pass compliments on your GROOVY AVATAR - I was one of those unfortunate souls who loved BOTH ELP and the Clash simultaneously and was considered suitable for sectioning under the mental health act by both the Punks and the Hippies (no bad thing really, not belonging to a tribe...)

It is rather fine isn't it?  I can't take credit for it though as I stole it from another website. I actually got into Prog and grew my hair in the summer of 1977. As timing goes it was right up there with Godley and Creme releasing a TRIPLE concept album the same year.LOL Didn't much care for the Clash but loved the Stranglers, which gave me some limited street cred and probably stopped me getting beaten up once or twice at school.


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"And now...on the drums...Mick Underwooooooooood!!!"

"He's up the pub"


Posted By: Dean
Date Posted: April 27 2013 at 06:16
Originally posted by progbethyname

Originally posted by sukmytoe

If album sales had anything to do with the quality of music then I guess "prog" would be in trouble as it would mean that Michael Jackson's music was of a far better quality than anything that we like here. Heavy sales equates to selling many albums to many people and Justin Bieber will know all about that. You sell more music to musical airheads than you do to serious listeners as there are way more airheads out there who are interested in fads and catchy jingles as opposed to more complex music that you have to spend time with to get what it's about.
90125 and the like were never meant for the serious prog listener - they are aimed at the masses.

 


Yyyyyyyyyeeeeeeeeeeeeesssssssss!!!
Nnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnoooooooooooooooo!!! Pig
 
A lot of really dumb things can be said on this subject and all of it to do with elitism and pretentiousness - the whole mindset that what you like is better than anything everyone else likes because you are a better person and have better taste and better appreciation of music. Calling people who buy music you don't like "airheads" is playground taunting and best left there.
 
I own Thriller, I can't say that I liked it much after the first two or three plays and it sits in my album rack unplayed since 1983, but I do recognise its quality on all levels, I can also recognise that a lot of music that we call Prog falls short even if I do like it a lot and play it regularly.
 
The age-group and social profile of the people in the 70s who were into Prog are the same demographic who listen to whatever was considered "serious" music in later decades - those people didn't listen to Donny Osmond or Bananrama or the Spice Girls or Justin Bieber. When making these comparisons you have to compare like with like - comparing the best of one genre you like to the worse of another that you would never buy regardless of which decade you were born in is specious, just as comparing whatever is "in" with the current generation of young white male well-educated types (I dunno, I'm too old to even guess what they listen to but I bet it's not Justin Bieber) to the teeny-bopper music of the 70s is fallacious.


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If you cannot be wise, pretend to be someone who is wise and then just behave like they would - Neil Gaiman


Posted By: HackettFan
Date Posted: April 27 2013 at 08:17
What counts as popular is a tricky thing. Zeppelin was popular among cool people (of any age). Michael Jackson was popular but not very cool. I would have been socially embarrassed to be anywhere close to someone grooving to that in highschool. I knew some of Prog in the 70s though only peripherally, but among white males in the suburbs in the early 80s in the confines of Western NY it was exceptionally popular in a sort of cool underground fashion. There was no shame about being uncool playing Prog music or wearing Prog t-shirts when I was in highschool in the early 80s.. The same may perhaps cannot be said about other geographical regions, I don't know. But getting back to the seventies, I know Dean has a good sense of the scene in its the Prog main homeland, but a thing I'm curious about is how widespread was its success geographically in the 70s. I suspect that at it's height it may have been exceptionally popular in the northeast US, but never really swept the nation. Happy to be wrong though.


Posted By: tamijo
Date Posted: April 27 2013 at 10:00
Was never exceptionally popular in Denmark, if we are talking Yes Genesis King Crimson ELP VDGG GG, and compare to Deep Purple, Black Sabbath, Status Que, Nazereth, Slade , Sweet. Ect.
Prog was for a special kind of listener, even at its prime.
Not to mention all the Mainstream stars, Donny Osmond, Elton John, Wings, Fleetwood Mac, ect, was doing much better (no surprise)
Pink Floyd is the only prog band, making it very big, in the 70's, in Denmark.
And then some of the "more or less prog" like Manfred Man, Mike Oldfield, Supertramp, Roxy Music, Bowie.






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My Music: www.jokeinc.bandcamp.com" rel="nofollow - www.jokeinc.bandcamp.com
My blog: www.tamijo2013.wordpress.com" rel="nofollow - www.tamijo2013.wordpress.com


Posted By: tamijo
Date Posted: April 27 2013 at 10:07
Originally posted by The Doctor

^I always thought he was kind of meh.  People like David Bowie and Prince were much better pop song writers and entertainers IMO.
Thumbs Up


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My Music: www.jokeinc.bandcamp.com" rel="nofollow - www.jokeinc.bandcamp.com
My blog: www.tamijo2013.wordpress.com" rel="nofollow - www.tamijo2013.wordpress.com


Posted By: Argonaught
Date Posted: April 27 2013 at 10:08
Unless my memory is playing dirty tricks on me, the label "progressive rock" (let alone "prog") didn't use to be the primary descriptor of great many bands that we are discussing here on PA today. 

Many of the top bands listed here, Pink Floyd, Yes, Rush, Jethro Tull and others used to be called symphonic-, art-, psychedelic-, hard-, folk- etc. rock.  

   


Posted By: progbethyname
Date Posted: April 27 2013 at 10:11
Originally posted by HackettFan

What counts as popular is a tricky thing. Zeppelin was popular among cool people (of any age). Michael Jackson was popular but not very cool. I would have been socially embarrassed to be anywhere close to someone grooving to that in highschool. I knew some of Prog in the 70s though only peripherally, but among white males in the suburbs in the early 80s in the confines of Western NY it was exceptionally popular in a sort of cool underground fashion. There was no shame about being uncool playing Prog music or wearing Prog t-shirts when I was in highschool in the early 80s.. The same may perhaps cannot be said about other geographical regions, I don't know. But getting back to the seventies, I know Dean has a good sense of the scene in its the Prog main homeland, but a thing I'm curious about is how widespread was its success geographically in the 70s. I suspect that at it's height it may have been exceptionally popular in the northeast US, but never really swept the nation. Happy to be wrong though.


Your wrong just in one small area where by MICHEAL JACKSON was very cool. Have you seen that f**ker Dance? sh*t, everyone was moonwalking in 1982. Lol

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Lots to love about the Prog Metal powerhouse band, 'Threshold.'


Posted By: progbethyname
Date Posted: April 27 2013 at 10:16
Originally posted by Dean

Originally posted by progbethyname

Originally posted by sukmytoe

If album sales had anything to do with the quality of music then I guess "prog" would be in trouble as it would mean that Michael Jackson's music was of a far better quality than anything that we like here. Heavy sales equates to selling many albums to many people and Justin Bieber will know all about that. You sell more music to musical airheads than you do to serious listeners as there are way more airheads out there who are interested in fads and catchy jingles as opposed to more complex music that you have to spend time with to get what it's about.
90125 and the like were never meant for the serious prog listener - they are aimed at the masses.

 
Yyyyyyyyyeeeeeeeeeeeeesssssssss!!!

Nnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnoooooooooooooooo!!! Pig
 

A lot of really dumb things can be said on this subject and all of it to do with elitism and pretentiousness - the whole mindset that what you like is better than anything everyone else likes because you are a better person and have better taste and better appreciation of music. Calling people who buy music you don't like "airheads" is playground taunting and best left there.

 

I own Thriller, I can't say that I liked it much after the first two or three plays and it sits in my album rack unplayed since 1983, but I do recognise its quality on all levels, I can also recognise that a lot of music that we call Prog falls short even if I do like it a lot and play it regularly.

 

The age-group and social profile of the people in the 70s who were into Prog are the same demographic who listen to whatever was considered "serious" music in later decades - those people didn't listen to Donny Osmond or Bananrama or the Spice Girls or Justin Bieber. When making these comparisons you have to compare like with like - comparing the best of one genre you like to the worse of another that you would never buy regardless of which decade you were born in is specious, just as comparing whatever is "in" with the current generation of young white male well-educated types (I dunno, I'm too old to even guess what they listen to but I bet it's not Justin Bieber) to the teeny-bopper music of the 70s is fallacious.


You don't wanna know what they listen to. You would cry in your soup. I say soup because you claim to be 'so old' so I assume you have no teeth. Lol. Na seriously though Dean you are very open minded and offer a lot of great insights to topics that revolve around youth or experience. Are you of the BOOMER generation?

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Lots to love about the Prog Metal powerhouse band, 'Threshold.'


Posted By: rogerthat
Date Posted: April 27 2013 at 10:28
I am not white but I am young and male and I know lots of people who don't like prog but are interested in rock.  None of them like Spice Girls or Bieber.  Bieber has just become a cliche to diss everything that is to do with mainstream music as if the mainstream has never promoted any artists better than him.



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