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Thread: The Prog Appreciation Thread

  1. #46
    Senior Member seven four's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Delicious Manager View Post
    It might be useful to understand that, particularly in the heady 1970s, Yes's lyrics (nearly always written by lead singer Jon Anderson) were as much about the SOUND they made as they were about the actual meaning. Actually, it's often MORE about the sound than the meaning. So, Anderson used words almost like his musical instrument, playing with timbres, accents, vowel sounds and overall aural effect. The silliness is a by-product of that and needs to be put to the back of one's mind.
    I like how they didn't make sense most of the time. I can't even find pretentious in there. Quality in senseless Jon Anderson lyrics declined as the '70s became history, as did progrock.

  2. #47
    Senior Member Strange Magic's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Delicious Manager View Post
    It might be useful to understand that, particularly in the heady 1970s, Yes's lyrics (nearly always written by lead singer Jon Anderson) were as much about the SOUND they made as they were about the actual meaning. Actually, it's often MORE about the sound than the meaning. So, Anderson used words almost like his musical instrument, playing with timbres, accents, vowel sounds and overall aural effect. The silliness is a by-product of that and needs to be put to the back of one's mind.
    Very astute observation. In rock and pop, decipherable, comprehensible, clearly-articulated, meaningful lyrics are icing on the cake; it's the music that first seizes and then holds the imagination. Often, if or when one bothers to read the lyrics, one is either totally disappointed, utterly confused, or delighted, but the music continues to work its magic.

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  4. #48
    Senior Member starthrower's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dr Johnson View Post
    I listened to "Euclid". Not bad and there is nothing wrong with her voice.
    I'm really impressed with the entire album. I listened to the complete 2 disc set twice. And I rarely find any current prog rock music that gets me excited.

  5. #49
    Senior Member Dr Johnson's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by starthrower View Post
    I'm really impressed with the entire album. I listened to the complete 2 disc set twice. And I rarely find any current prog rock music that gets me excited.
    I've just listened to another track ("Suspicions"). I now think that the girl's voice is a definite asset. Another appealing feature is the fact that there is some jazz in the mix.

    Well found!
    'In our way, Johnson strongly expressed his love of driving fast in a post-chaise. "If (said he) I had no duties, and no reference to futurity, I would spend my life in driving briskly in a post-chaise with a pretty woman;"' Boswell's Life of Johnson.

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  7. #50
    Senior Member Simon Moon's Avatar
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    I am a huge prog fan. Been so since about '73.

    My listening these days is about 40% prog, 35% classical, and about 25% jazz and fusion.

    I pretty much like all subgenres of progressive music, but my favorite has to be avant-prog.

    Bands like: Henry Cow, Thinking Plague, Aranis, Univers Zero, Art Zoyd, and many others. It was listening to bands like these that got me into classical, since their main influences are mid 20th century classical composers.

    Magma is another band that is high on my list. They created a genre of their own. I just saw them live here in LA about 2 weeks ago! What a phenomenal performance! it took me hours to pick my jaw off the floor.

    I still listen to the classics from the 1st golden age of Prog from time to time. Genesis, YES, King Crimson, National Health, Camel, Gentle Giant, VDGG, etc. No matter how much I've heard them, some of their melodies, musicianship and innovation hold up extremely well.

    Much of the prog of the 70's from the rest of Europe, besides Great Britain, is equal too the better known British bands. PFM, Banco, Arti e Mestieri, Le Orme, Area, Il Balletto Di Bronzo, Picchio dal Pozzo, and other Italian bands. Germany, France and Spain also had their share of top quality bands.

    After a decade and a half long drought, beginning in the mid 90's, a 2nd golden age started, and has been going pretty strong continuously since.

    The earliest 90's band that really made an impact, was Anglagard from Sweden. Sure, they were influenced by some 70's bands (KC, Gentle Giant, SFF), but they did such a good job of making those influences their own, it all sounded fresh. And live, they were extremely impressive, playing some quite complex music, effortlessly.

    Other standouts from the 90's to the present are/were:

    Deus ex Machina from Italy, After Crying from hungary, Kenso fro Japan, Akinaton Retard from Chile, Thinking Plague from the US, NeBeLNeST from France, DFA from Italy, Höyry-Kone from Finland, and many more.

    The above are all pretty unique, and not very derivative of the 70's bands.

    But to be honest, I really don't mind bands that show their influences, as long as they are writing great melodies, performing them well, and making an attempt at putting their own signature on them.

    For example, Underground Railroad from the US, had some definite Genesis influences, but added some avant garde touches, fusion guitar, and tweaked it enough to make it pretty unique.

    I also am a big fan or prog-metal. Prog-metal has come a long way since Dream Theater. Don't make the mistake of thinking that all (or even a major fraction) of prog-metal is as shallow and pretentious as DT. That would be like thinking that all prog is pretentious as ELP, just because they were the most public face of prog for many people.

    There are many prog-metal bands with some real depth to their music, as well as their lyrics.

    Speaking of lyrics. While I understand that many think that prog lyrics can be trite and pretentious, that was never a big deterrent for me. I can just listen to the vocal melodies and what they add to the music, without paying much attention to the words. For me, good lyrics can definitely be a positive, bad lyrics do not detract from the music. Hell, I have a huge prog collection sung in foreign languages that I don't understand. Not understanding them detracts zero from the music, for me.
    Last edited by Simon Moon; Apr-08-2016 at 02:27.
    And if there were a god, I think it very unlikely that he would have such an uneasy vanity as to be offended by those who doubt His existence - Russell

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  9. #51
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    Geez, nobody likes Zevious? You guys amaze me.

  10. #52
    Senior Member Simon Moon's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Morimur View Post
    Geez, nobody likes Zevious? You guys amaze me.
    Love 'em!

    Seen them live a couple of times.
    And if there were a god, I think it very unlikely that he would have such an uneasy vanity as to be offended by those who doubt His existence - Russell

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  12. #53
    Senior Member starthrower's Avatar
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    I listen to more jazz and ECM stuff than prog. I don't listen to much rock music anymore. But for the past 20-30 years, Zappa and Mike Keneally have my favorites as far as rock goes. I own just about every release of their's, which is a lot of music.

    I got into the avant rock thing for a little while but I lost interest. A band like Thinking Plague is unique, and they are extremely talented musicians, but that music doesn't make me feel good. It seems so gloomy and ultra serious.

    I enjoy the Canterbury stuff a lot more. Soft Machine, National Health, Kevin Ayers, Hatfield and the North, and several of Hugh Hoppers solo releases.

    As far as more current stuff, I love Helmet Of Gnats, but they don't release many albums, so I've burned out on the last couple. But they make great sounding records, and their compositions are superb! And their guitarist Chris Fox is as good as anybody I've ever listened to.

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  14. #54
    Senior Member seven four's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by starthrower View Post
    I enjoy the Canterbury stuff a lot more. Soft Machine, National Health, Kevin Ayers, Hatfield and the North, and several of Hugh Hoppers solo releases.
    Egg & Bruford too!

    I don't listen to Henry Cow as much as I used to, but I love them too. I should do something about that soon.

  15. #55
    Senior Member Casebearer's Avatar
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    ^^^
    ^^^
    ^^^
    ^^^
    Thanks Simon for your extensive post on 2nd generation progrock. I thought progrock was dead, at least that it had no living children in some sort of health. Glad to hear it survived.

    Difficulty with extensive posting (and knowledge) of course is that at the receiving end you don't know where to begin when you lack the knowledge. So I'm soliciting for personal advice. What I like in first generation progrock and what I don't like that much I've listed below. Maybe you could advice me on two or three children of progrock I need to pay a visit?

    What I like
    King Crimson
    Yes
    Henry Cow
    Pere Ubu/David Thomas & the bla bla bla (if you want to count them in)
    Jethro Tull
    Caravan
    (and of course Zappa, but he's in another league all together, as is Beefheart)

    What I don't care for that much or sometimes even hate
    Genesis
    Camel
    Gentle Giant (don't know them that well to be honest)
    Supertramp
    Traffic
    UK (although I'm in doubt)

    I would also be interested if the division I make makes any sense to anyone else? If so we might organize different churches to prevent getting mixed up, ha ha.

  16. #56
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    Quote Originally Posted by Simon Moon View Post
    Love 'em!

    Seen them live a couple of times.
    Looks like you and I are the only ones, Simon.

  17. #57
    Senior Member starthrower's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Casebearer View Post
    ^^^

    What I like
    King Crimson
    Yes
    Henry Cow
    Pere Ubu/David Thomas & the bla bla bla (if you want to count them in)
    Jethro Tull
    Caravan
    (and of course Zappa, but he's in another league all together, as is Beefheart)

    What I don't care for that much or sometimes even hate
    Genesis
    Camel
    Gentle Giant (don't know them that well to be honest)
    Supertramp
    Traffic
    UK (although I'm in doubt)

    I would also be interested if the division I make makes any sense to anyone else? If so we might organize different churches to prevent getting mixed up, ha ha.
    I'm very familiar with Gentle Giant, and I happen to think that they were absolutely brilliant! But nevertheless, many people don't care for them, or haven't bothered to give them a good listen. I love everything they did from Acquiring The Taste through Interview. That would cover the years 1971-1976.

    I don't know if Traffic qualifies as prog rock? But I like Low Spark Of High Heeled Boys. I think it's a great album.

    Camel I never really warmed up to. I have their Live Record album, and many of the compositions don't feel very strong to me.

    I rarely ever listen to Supertramp. But they wrote some good songs.

    I have a bunch of Genesis albums, but I only get in the mood for them once a year or so.

    I never listen to UK, but I'm a great admirer of Bruford and Holdsworth.

    Overall, I'm more a fan of your preferred list of bands. But as I said, maybe once or twice a year.

    I'm an old fart, so I prefer quiet music. You know, that wimpy ECM stuff. I'm into Egberto Gismonti, Ralph Towner, John abercrombie, and Eberhard Weber. And I like the old Pat Metheny stuff, and John Scofield.

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  19. #58
    Senior Member norman bates's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by starthrower View Post
    I enjoy the Canterbury stuff a lot more. Soft Machine, National Health, Kevin Ayers, Hatfield and the North, and several of Hugh Hoppers solo releases.
    I agree, the Canterbury sound is definitely my favorite part of prog. Robert Wyatt in particular is definitely one of my favorite musicians.
    If I have to think of my favorite prog tunes he's there even when he's just doing the second voice for someone else.

    With Michael Mantler (and Carla Bley, Terje Rypdal, Jack de Johnette and Steve Swallow)
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lBumJ0Z7nCw

    With Kevin Ayers (and Mike Oldfied playing one of the most enchanting guitar parts I've ever heard in a rock tune)
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5j7AIUnRf4w
    What time is the next swan?

  20. #59
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    Quote Originally Posted by Casebearer View Post
    What I like
    King Crimson
    Henry Cow
    I would also be interested if the division I make makes any sense to anyone else? If so we might organize different churches to prevent getting mixed up, ha ha.
    I think we may be in the same church, or at least subscribe to the same belief system.

    These two likes suggest (if you've not heard them) Thinking Plague. They are not derivative and are "serious" but all their albums are very creative endeavours I would say.

    And not to bang on, but I really do think you might like Gosta Berlings Saga. They're a bit more jazzy groovesome but still in the overall tag of "prog rock."

    I need to check out one or two of Simon Moon's contemporary name checks...

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  22. #60
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    Quote Originally Posted by starthrower View Post
    Helmet Of Gnats,
    Till you posted this, I'd forgotten all about them! I had "II" but it must have gone in some purge at some point!

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