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Member since: 4/1/2009 • Forum posts: 24975 • Last visit: 1/23/2024 8:31:34 PM EST
Location: Atlanta

Progressive Biography

My progressive rock personal history began at the tender age of 5, when my dad gave me two Moody Blues records (On the Threshold of a Dream and To Our Children's Children's Children). Many of my earliest memories are of listening intently to those records, studying every inch of the record sleeves, and pretending I was Tony Clarke. Yes, Tony Clarke, the Moody Blues' producer, who was pictured along with the rest of the band on the inner gatefold sleeve of the Threshold album. I assumed he must be the guy who conducted the orchestra. See, I knew nothing of Mellotrons, I just grabbed two spoons from the kitchen, place the bowl ends in my palms, and away I went, guiding the band through the chaotic waters of "The Voyage".

Apart from the Moody Blues, my early prog education consisted of an early interest in the band Camel. My father got the "Breathless" album around '79 and we were both hooked. He got their back catalog, and in '82 I got to see them live, my first concert at age 13. Around this time, I was also getting heavily into The Pink Floyd, and having studied the intricacies of "The Wall" for a couple of years, I saw "The Wall" as my first R-rated movie when it came out in theaters. You can imagine how that messed my mind up.

I spent a good part of the remainder of the 80s becoming enchanted by punk rock and hardcore punk, admiring the underground DIY spirit and the restless discontent that music represented to me. I think it indirectly shows in my contributions here, giving me a stronger appreciation for bands and albums which challenge convention and embrace difficult music as an honest expression of individuality.

In college in the late 80s, my prog "renaissance" began, as I suddenly saw renewed value in my dad's old Yes and Genesis albums (I primarily liked 80s Yes and Genesis up to that point), and had a new friend at school who was as eager to learn about prog as I was. Upon purchasing a CD copy of Camel's "The Snow Goose", a read through the liner notes informed me of Richard Sinclair's (whom I knew via Rain Dances and Breathless) affiliation with Caravan, and indeed the "Canterbury Scene". That was my first realization that there were not just a dozen prog bands out there, but potentially hundreds. Caravan and Soft Machine were soon my newest musical food.

Fast forward to my post-graduate days, in the early 1990s. The Internet was just starting up, and my aforementioned friend had been frequenting some progressive newsgroups ( or something like that), and he informed me that there were freaks like us ALL OVER THE WORLD, and what's more, other non-Anglo Saxon countries had their own progressive rock too. Sweden, Italy, France (MAGMA!!) and even Iceland had their own rich prog histories. We also learned of mail-order companies like Syn-Phonic and Wayside that could supply us with these elusive albums, now finally available on CD. Between the two of us, we bought many of these CDs just based on the little one sentence blurb in the catalog. Many of these CDs are still in frequent rotation today.

Then, we started contributing to a small prog magazine called Expose' (run by a great guy named Peter Thelen - Peter if you're out there, thanks!), and on occasion I wrote long artist-features (one of which, Spirit, has been "syndicated" and appears on the Gnosis site). My exposure and body of knowledge continued to grow throughout the 90s. My CD collection grew and grew (currently over 3,000).

Then, my friend moved away, I got married to my wife, and my interest in prog waned a bit. My interest in music was strong as ever, but I became more interested in modern independent ("indie") rock. The internet had made it much easier for a wider array of bands to get their music heard, and this new freedom resulted in not only a large volume of new music, but also a lot of really strange things that would never have gotten released in the past. This too has shaped my progressive rock tastes -- giving me a more sympathetic ear to new bands who aren't content with mimicking the styles of the past.

Now on PA, I take what I've learned, and continue to expand it further thanks to the wealth of information and knowledgeable people here.

Reviews distribution by sub-genre

 Sub-genreNb of reviewsAvg rating
1 RIO/Avant-Prog493.59
2 Jazz Rock/Fusion103.90
3 Crossover Prog103.70
4 Prog Related83.63
5 Experimental/Post Metal83.63
6 Symphonic Prog73.86
7 Canterbury Scene73.29
8 Eclectic Prog63.17
9 Post Rock/Math rock63.50
10 Psychedelic/Space Rock53.60
11 Proto-Prog43.50
12 Krautrock34.33
13 Rock Progressivo Italiano23.50
14 Prog Folk24.50
15 Progressive Electronic24.00
16 Zeuhl13.00

Reviews and Ratings

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