My List of Top 10 or 20 Progressive/art Rock Tunes

Reply Tue 13 Jan, 2009 03:00 pm
for those interested in Peter Green, check out this sound: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9-ELydnDgKY
Reply Tue 13 Jan, 2009 04:06 pm
I saw Peter Green on his comeback. He was awful. the trouble is his backing group were better. Cozy Powell on drums. Neil Murray on bass. They did a cover of Albatross. Watching one of the worlds best ever drummers doing the bub-boom drum bits was painful. Peter Green just hadnt moved on. Cozy powell died soon after. They also did Black Magic woman. Santana did better.
Fleetwood Mac were certainly different in their early days.
Reply Tue 13 Jan, 2009 04:10 pm
@Bi-Polar Bear,
Incredibly these two great bands have been overlooked.
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Reply Tue 13 Jan, 2009 05:34 pm
After mid-70s, Peter Green was a mere shadow of himself as he had electro-convulsive shock therapy. You just can't get a sense of how good and soulful and engaging he was then as he was not the same artist nor person. Too bad you didn't see him before. The Youtube links do him justice, though.
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Reply Wed 14 Jan, 2009 08:12 pm
I've sort of followed the flow of discussion and I don't think I've really agreed with anyone substantially about definitions. And some of the tunes nominated I wouldn't classify as Prog. Art rock on the other hand is, to me, a broader term encompassing among others true Prog.

Anyway, here is what http://www.allmusic.com/ lists as the most important prog/art rock toons (I don't agree with a lot of theirs either - I'm a disagreeable bugger):

21st Century Schizoid Man/Mirrors - King Crimson
Baby's on Fire - Brian Eno
Bohemian Rhapsody - Queen
Future Days - Can
Hocus Pocus - Focus
Hope for Happiness - Soft Machine
I Know What I Like (In Your Wardrobe) - Genesis
I've Seen All Good People: Your Move/All Good People - Yes
In the Land of Grey and Pink - Caravan
Kings and Queens - Renaissance
Locomotive Breath - Jethro Tull
Lucky Man - Emerson, Lake & Palmer
Nights in White Satin - The Moody Blues
Point of Know Return - Kansas
Roundabout - Yes
Still...You Turn Me On - Emerson, Lake & Palmer
Supper's Ready - Genesis
The Lady Rachel - Kevin Ayers
The Weaver's Answer - Family
Time - Pink Floyd
Tom Sawyer - Rush
Virginia Plain - Roxy Music
Vivaldi - Curved Air
Zen Archer - Todd Rundgren

Reply Thu 15 Jan, 2009 04:36 am
Wonderful additons, Hingehead. Thanks for contributing. Thanks for that musical link. I'm checking it out now.While I've heard a lot of those tunes, I certainly have not heard all of them. Something I hope and intend to get around to.

Before I forget: what about Paul Simons' Graceland Album. Progressive music...probably rock.

There are a few factors that affect how and where you might place these in a categories, if you are disposed to doing so. Sometimes it's easier to say what some tune's category is not than what it is.

1. how much of a fan you are of the genre.

2. how narrow you want to define progressive, art or symphonic rock.

2. your age now or age of when you first heard the tunes as to how (or even whether or not) you might consider them. Also, if you heard it when it was fresh and new. A 25-yr- old doesn't consider Moody Blues 'Nights in White Satin' Prog rock, but a 60-yr- old is more likley to. What was progressive and fresh in 1967 won't sound at ALL progressive even in 1975.

3. how exposed and eclectic the listener is. Without a comparison to a broad range of influences in music, not just progressive, the decision is a lot tougher.

Note: Some of what Queen did was what I consider Art or Progressive ('Bohemian Rhapsody'). But it could be debated that they may have turned Arena Rock into art form. They sure helped make it popular.

I have to say I consider almost all of Family, Pink Floyd, King Crimson, most of Brian Eno, much of Genesis w/ Peter Gabriel, Yes, Soft Machine, ELP, much of Roxy Music. Some of the others I'll need to listen to or relisten.

As for Jethro Tull, I can't think of a category, but it was progressive music, for sure. Some music defies categorization. Time signatures, instruments, etc., prohibit. Family's 'Music in a Doll's House' was a perfect example of that.

As far as Renaisssance goes, I hold a special place in my heart for as progressive music, but not Prog rock.
Reply Thu 15 Jan, 2009 05:59 am
For the heck of it, I'm including this one, though they are verrry Punk New Wave:

Ian Dury and the Blockheads 'Hit Me (with your rhythm stick) '

One of the best bass riffs around, on a par with Entwistle.

Reply Thu 15 Jan, 2009 06:08 am
Incidentally, this is the group that made the rock and roll anthem 'Sex & Drugs & Rock & Roll' a big hit.
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Reply Thu 15 Jan, 2009 12:59 pm
Thanks, Aidan, and everyone else, for indulging in this debate...exploration. I'm constantly amazed at the depths of understanding and observation that people have in this online community. How rich we all are for having it here.

Aidan you made some valid points and actually agree with you about 'Hotel California' and how that group changed. It was more fun debating over it, playing devil's advocate, than I had realized. In the process of doing that I was rewarded with some incredible responses and insights and gifted with more "real progressive rock" tunes to explore.
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Reply Thu 15 Jan, 2009 04:36 pm
You make some very good points Raggie - particularly about your age and your introduction to the music. I've never thought of Queen as Prog, their first couple of albums are easy to interpret as trying to jump into the gap left by Led Zepellin's recording hiatus (without the blues edge), and I came to the moody blues after the fact so while I'd call their early output art rock I'd find it hard to call any of it Prog. I think you make an important distinction between prog and progressive, but progressive in your terms is so broad that anyone trying anything new fits in it.

Brian Eno I can't call prog or progressive, I love much of his work but a lot of it (in the 1970s at least, I'd call experimental or just plain whacky).

Other groups that have been mentioned I'd call jazz rock. And I can't call the Eagles progressive - not that they weren't within the boundaries of a mega rock act - the term just means something different to me, if the Eagles are Prog then U2 are even more so. And I think that's where we have a frisson - we just don't agree on the terms.

There hasn't been much discussion of the newer practitioners of the 'progressive' legacy. Bands like the Flaming Lips, and the 'post rockers' like Explosions In The Sky and God Speed You Black Emperor, even Mogwai. Those acts, had they been releasing their stuff back in the seventies, would definitely been marketed as prog rock.

Reply Thu 15 Jan, 2009 06:03 pm
I have backed off categorizing the Eagles as Progressive (see a previous post) as I was attemtping to play devil's advocate to spark some discussion.

I'd call U2 Progressive but critics seem to want to call them post-punk or alternative.

Yeah later Eno is experimental..perhaps earlier he was progressive or art-rock ..hard for me to call that one.

Of course, all that brings up Talking Heads, David Byrne. What to do ... what to do...?
Reply Thu 15 Jan, 2009 10:23 pm
At the time Talking Heads were under the 'New Wave' banner - Psycho Killer (Heads '77), which in your sense was pretty progressive in terms of pushing the boundaries of pop (in the broadest sense of pop), I'd stick XTC in there as well.

The trouble is that as soon as a 'progressive' act has commercial success their sound is perceived as less groundbreaking because you are 'acclimatised' to it.

An example of this would be Adrian Belew and Robert Fripp both of whose guitar playing relied on 'found notes' (dim 5s for example and microtones) that sounded really odd to someone with 70s pop sensibilities, but were both harnessed by David Bowie ('Heroes' with latter and 'Scary Monsters' by the former) to create much more accessible music. These days those sounds out of a guitar aren't really striking.

I also think the work of the musique concrete avant garde composers like John Cage has also filtered into more popular forms of music. The use of non-musical 'found sounds' in commercial recordings is no longer anything to get excited about, but a couple of decades ago it would have branded a track as 'novelty' at best, unlistenable at worst.

There used to be a weekly radioshow somewhere in the world that posted its playlists on alt.music.alternative or one of the old usenet groups, it focused on what it called 'Difficult Music' and that's what I'd call progressive - and prog is rarely what I call progressive.

I like that term. Difficult music. Or 'challenging' music.
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