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Golden Brown by The Stranglers : Progressive?

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softandwet View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote softandwet Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Topic: Golden Brown by The Stranglers : Progressive?
    Posted: August 13 2020 at 12:31
This Stranglers song hit me earlier today on the radio : harpsichord, weird time signature, weird key signature, experimentation with multiplication of the lead singer voice, etc

THIS IS PROG! I shouted.
But then I look up the band on Wikipedia, and so progarchives, and discovered that it was, unfortunately, not a prog band at all. I was truly disappointed to understand that this song was a kind of a UFO in their discog.

But how would you have react in this case? Would you have made the link between progressive music and this song, or would you have just ignored it?
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Psychedelic Paul Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: August 13 2020 at 13:16
Nope. The Stranglers "Golden Brown" is about as appealing to me as Gordon Brown. Disapprove
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Gentle and Giant Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: August 13 2020 at 14:36
Great song, never prog though and never thought it as such.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Hercules Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: August 13 2020 at 17:15
The Stranglers were always an anachronism amongst bands that were close to the punk scene. They were one of the few bands with a keyboard player - and a good one at that - and they went far beyond the punk norm in terms of experimentation. I felt they exploited the punk scene rather than were ever truly part of it.
And they do have undoubted prog influences, even though they were never a prog band.
Big Country also came out of the punk scene (the Skids) but made music with strong prog influences whilst never actually being prog. They're one of my favourite bands.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Hrychu Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: August 13 2020 at 20:35
Nope. It's not prog rock but it's cool nonetheless.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote dr wu23 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: August 13 2020 at 22:24
Some of the Stranglers songs were brilliant imho but I wouldn't call that track prog, but this lp is surely out there and parts are proggier than many bands on PA.
Weird and bizarre  to say the least....and it's one of my favorite strange lp's.
2 tracks.....







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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote AFlowerKingCrimson Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: August 13 2020 at 23:15
Listening to the song now on youtube. Nope not prog. If it is then Belle and Sebastian would have to be prog too.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote richardh Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: August 14 2020 at 00:36
Very clearly is prog but not everything they did was. Stuff like 5 Minutes and No More Heroes still fall under New Wave rather than prog. 'The British Doors' was apparently what someone once called them.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Mortte Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: August 14 2020 at 01:14
Golden Brown is not UFO track in Stranglers Discography, it fits really well into La Folie-album where it is, although I think it´s greatest song in that album. Stranglers were the ones in seventies some journalists blamed not to be punk, because some members were too old and also many of them were great musicians. I would call them post-punk from the beginning but everybody can call them whatever they like. Not my most fav post-punk band, but like them anyway quite much!
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Blacksword Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: August 14 2020 at 01:45
It's proggy, but no, not really. It is what it is, an excellent song which happens to have a harpsichord in it, and happens to be in 13/8 time. The recurring "are the Stranglers prog rock?" debate will now ensue (again)

Golden Brown is one of the greatest hit singles ever written by any band, of any genre IMO.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote chopper Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: August 14 2020 at 01:46
Interestingly there was something about this in the latest edition of Prog where they interviewed Rick Wakeman and JJ Burnel. From memory 2 of them went to the pub and left Dave Greenfield and Jet Black to write something and when they came back they'd come up with a sort of "prog" suite and the only bit they liked became "Golden Brown". Sorry typing this from memory as I can't find my copy of Prog at the moment.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote BaldFriede Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: August 14 2020 at 02:02
Jean and I consider The Stranglers to be prog, simply because they often use real polyphony which is rare in prog even (Gentle Giant are a band that often use it). Any band that uses this highly advanced compositional technique should be considered as prog.


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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Manuel Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: August 14 2020 at 06:21
Originally posted by Hrychu Hrychu wrote:

Nope. It's not prog rock but it's cool nonetheless.
Agreed.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote chopper Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: August 14 2020 at 06:34
Originally posted by BaldFriede BaldFriede wrote:

Jean and I consider The Stranglers to be prog, simply because they often use real polyphony which is rare in prog even (Gentle Giant are a band that often use it). Any band that uses this highly advanced compositional technique should be considered as prog.
 
You've mentioned this before and I think you said it was in a track on Black And White. Could you remind me which track(s) as my thicky musician mind isn't sure what you mean by polyphony?
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (1) Thanks(1)   Quote Greenmist Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: August 14 2020 at 07:12
No, wouldent consider it prog rock at all, for a start its too repetitive.  No complex structures nothing.

Best thing about that song was when someone made a parody of it and called it Gordon Brown

"Treasurey waste, data misplaced, get out of town, James Gordon Brown"
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Psychedelic Paul Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: August 14 2020 at 07:16
Originally posted by Greenmist Greenmist wrote:


Best thing about that song was when someone made a parody of it and called it Gordon Brown

 
I had no idea there was a Gordon Brown parody version when I mentioned Gordon Brown earlier, although the name of the song is so similar it almost begs for a parody version to be made. Smile
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Muskrat Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: August 14 2020 at 08:50
Prog or not ?
Impossible question if you don't definite this term. So, what is progressive rock ?
I'm afraid that each of us have his own idea. Anyway, there's no copyright on it.

There was a time when I thought that only Yes played prog. LOL
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Lewian Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: August 14 2020 at 09:10
There are songs that immediately shout "I'm prog" at the listener and there are songs that shout "I'm not prog". Golden Brown obviously doesn't fall in any of these categories (at which it is not alone by any means). If a genuine and generally accepted prog band had done it, nobody would complain it's not prog. However making a prog case for this song in an isolated manner is rather an uphill battle.

It shows that it's a different discussion whether a song is prog or whether a band is prog. There is no objective truth on these matters in any case (ultimately such categories are meaningless, but discussing something meaningless is what we do all the time anyway), but the discussion is a different one.

BTW I belong to the big group of people who love this song. Whether it's prog or not doesn't matter much though.


Edited by Lewian - August 14 2020 at 09:12
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote HolyMoly Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: August 14 2020 at 10:09
They’re a pretty unique band in general. Not even sure the term “prog” would do them justice. I’d just call it “interesting, ambitious music”.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Droxford Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: August 14 2020 at 14:11
I rate The Stranglers very highly. Though they appeared with the Punk/New Wave of 1976/1977 , they created their own niche as it were. The Stranglers'  fabulous  'Black and White'  album (1978)  is sadly very overlooked. Their keyboardist, Dave Greenfield , was often counted as being influenced by Ray Manzerk, but claimed to be more influenced by Jon Lord. And I can see the connection , particularly with Deep Purple's 'Burn' album. 
But wouldn't count them as prog. Doesn't mean that they didn't ever display some Prog influence now and then. 

Originally posted by HolyMoly HolyMoly wrote:

They’re a pretty unique band in general. Not even sure the term “prog” would do them justice. I’d just call it “interesting, ambitious music”.
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