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Make me care about [or at least respect] prog rock.
MUFF WIGGLER Forum Index -> Artist Discussion Goto page Previous  1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8  Next [all]
Author Make me care about [or at least respect] prog rock.
Phil Manzanera's first group Quiet Sun is very Crimson influenced. Eno is onboard.
No love for Atomic Rooster!
i try but after this... i really still hate prog.
It's just derivative and then ridiculously sterilized music.
Wasted talent in MOST cases.

sduck wrote:
The Steven Wilson is great - better than most of the PT stuff.
I really love Porcupine Tree though. Especially the album In Absentia:

sduck wrote:
I like that IQ album, but not as much as the last one, which I think is the best thing they've done.
Frequency? Yes, a great album, one of my most favorites by them. I didn't even know about The Road Of Bones album until I started looking for a sample of Frequency for this thread! hihi

sduck wrote:
Never heard the other two, but like them both, and have added them to my emusic save for later list. Took a bit of research, but the RRR is apparently a reunion of sorts of Sleepytime Gorilla Museum, who if they haven't been mentioned in this thread already, they should have been, and have now.
With Karnivool I'd suggest starting with the album Themata (I never get tired of the title cut! love and hey, there is a cello in there! Mr. Green ):

and then go to Sound Awake:

I'm not really familiar with the Asymmetry yet, another new album by a favorite band that I wasn't aware of and just heard the other day! d'oh!

sduck wrote:
Oh! Cheer Accident! Listen to them!
Yes, I like them a lot and have had their Fear Draws Misfortune for a few years. It took me a while to really like them. Reminds me a bit of some of Zappa's stuff, which is oftem amazing and I really respect the heck out of all involved but it's not something I feel like listening to very often.

sduck wrote:
Happy the Man
Oh yeah, I'm a major fan!!!

Of course when I start going down this path with bands like Happy The Man I start thinking about jazz/rock fusion which is as near and dear to me as prog, mostly! hihi

The Dregs

Return To Forever

Mahavishnu Orchestra

Farmers Market anyone? hyper
kwaidan wrote:
No love for Atomic Rooster!
Oh yeah! love one of my favorite songs to play in the first rock band I was in was Sleeping For Years of the DEATH WALKS BEHIND YOU album! thumbs up

Also off that album, Gentle Giant fans should give the track Nobody Else a listen! I think it may predate most Gentle Giant albums hmmm..... but it might not be that hard to trick someone that didn't know better that this is an early Gentle Giant demo! hihi eek!
sduck wrote:
I haven't seen mention of National Health, which in my opinion is the epitome of that style - Dave Stewart is one of the best keyboardists out there

Saw National Health live and they were really really good - very powerful on stage - yet the album was a disappointment - very thin production.
Another curio worth a mention is Family's Music in a Doll's House - more psychedelia than prog but proto prog in its ambitions.

sduck, JohnLRice, glad to see some more recent stuff has also been put up here as well. Lots to listen to! Have yet to check out PT.
Jaspo: Here's some more 70s era Utopia, this is from the album Another Live, and showcases the very talented Roger Powell.
Here's another contemporary band - Haken -

sduck wrote:
Here's another contemporary band - Haken -

WOW, that was awesome! thumbs up we're not worthy screaming goo yo SlayerBadger! hyper
Dr. Sketch-n-Etch
sduck wrote:
Oh, and reading back a bit - I find it surprising that the good Doctor doesn't like Gentle Giant! They're right up there with the stuff he professes to like - I suspect he just hasn't given them an unbiased listen. Please give them a fair shake!

Well, sduck, since you press the point, let me try to make my thoughts and opinions on this matter more clear (even to myself):

1) I don't dislike Gentle Giant. It just doesn't do much for me. The track you posted sounds an awful lot like it something straight outta the Renaissance. It reminds me of the music I used to play in the viol consort I belonged to in grad school. There is (for me) absolutely zero emotional resonance in this music. I don't mean to criticize it, as it is very skillfully done, and there is an awful lot about it to like and admire. It simply doesn't touch me, personally.

2) I don't roll all of the so-called "prog rock" bands into the same burrito. (Again, to me) there is almost nothing remotely alike about Gentle Giant and Yes. The only equivalencies I can find are that they are both consist of very skilled players, they are both English, and they both play long songs. Yes never played anything (of which I am aware) that sounded remotely like a renaissance faire band (which is how this Gentle Giant track sounds to me). Gentle Giant has a bit more in common (musically) with very early Genesis, perhaps, or even Jethro Tull in their "folk" period, although again the similarities are very slight.

3) Here I will be a bit more critical. There is something that bugs me about virtually all of the Gentle Giant that I have heard (including that Youtube track). It seems to me to be somewhat incoherent, compositionally. For me, the strongest bands are the ones with the strongest songs. I defy anyone to actually remember much about the song in that video. It sounds like a lot of potentially interesting compositional and stylistic elements that never gel into anything compelling. I am thinking about Jethro Tull's song "Baker Street Muse" that was posted recently -- the part just after our protagonist goes "into the Marylebone Road" -- you know the part? You can probably hum it, it is so memorable and so catchy, after about 6:35 in the video. This particular passage has similar instrumentation to the Gentle Giant track, and an old-English sort of feel, but it is just such superior songwriting.

I spoke earlier in the thread about how I am grabbed in the first five seconds of Yes's song "Siberian Khatru" (and never let go). None of Gentle Giant's songs that I have heard has grabbed me in remotely the same way. Instead, when I start to hear one of their tracks, my response is "oh, this is clever, and mildly interesting." One Yes song that doesn't grab me right away is "To Be Over" from the Relayer album of 1974. Indeed, it sounds almost Gentle Giant-like for the first two minutes (except that East Indians have taken over the renaissance faire). However, that song has such a devastating middle section (starting at 5:29 in the video) that it doesn't matter. Here it is:

Another Yes song that has massive emotional impact (for me) is "Awaken" from the Going for the One album of 1977. This song is also considered by Jon Anderson to be their finest achievement (and he's not wrong). My favourite part starts with the beautiful pipe organ and harp interlude at 6:35 and ends with the amazing pipe organ toccata at 12:13, and then an ecstatic climax ending with organ, choir, and slide guitar at 13:30. One of the things I love the most about this track that the lyrics are pretty crystal-gazing and mystical, but the music is loud and aggressive (while still sounding almost classical), and the seamless integration of the pipe organ (actually recorded at a cathedral several miles up the road from the studio and literally phoned in) with the rest of the band. I also love the gentle way that the song ends. A unique track, and (to me) light years beyond Gentle Giant compositionally.

Fair enough - I agree with you on some of that, and don't on the rest, and that's about normal. I don't really think comparing Yes and GG is fair, they're both so unique. And wonderful...
Dr. Sketch-n-Etch
sduck wrote:
Fair enough - I agree with you on some of that, and don't on the rest, and that's about normal. I don't really think comparing Yes and GG is fair, they're both so unique. And wonderful...

Well, yes, that's part of the point I was trying to make, that they are too different to be lumped into the same "genre" (which isn't really a genre).

So as not to sound too negative, I must say that I really liked some of the stuff presented here recently, expecially the Dixie Dregs track (whoa), Return to Forever (I'm a long-time fan of both Corea and DiMeola), Todd Rundgren's Mister Triscuits, and even the Haken track (although I hated the singer's voice) and the Karnivool stuff (which sounded more "metal" to me than prog, but what do I know?). And, of course, Visions of the Emerald Beyond is one of my all-time favourite albums (one of the four that changed my life in that other thread).
Dr. Sketch-n-Etch wrote:
"To Be Over" from the Relayer album & "Awaken" from the Going for the One album
thumbs up applause Two of my absolute favorites by Yes! love Om

Gentle Giant are very different from Yes, and just about any other band, so there is nothing to show you that you might like the same, but, if you ever have any aspirations to think of them with kindness, try these two songs? hmmm..... hihi Hug

OK good Doctor, how about the band Echolyn? I often think they are equally influenced by Yes and Gentle Giant! eek! hmmm..... hihi

I love this one:

A lot of the other stuff on that same album is a little overwhelming to me though. I love it but, it's often so dense with rhythm and harmonies and changes it can be exhausting to try to listen to the whole album.

This is one from another Echolyn album I really like, especially for the nice guitar and synth solo section in the middle. The guitar reminds me of a cross between Howe and Clapton and the synth reminds me of the Oakley VCO sine demo! w00t hihi :
Dr. Sketch-n-Etch
First off, important business:

Happy 70th birthday
Dr. Sketch-n-Etch
So, JohnLRice, I liked those two Gentle Giant tracks better -- they were more coherent songs. I like a lot of their music, actually, but it's more of an abstract thing, whereas Yes is more of a visceral thing.

I liked the Echolyn track a lot musically. I would say that I hear much more Gentle Giant than Yes in their style -- like a Gentle Giant that rocks harder.

To be honest, the thing I probably like the least about Gentle Giant (and Echolyn) is the lead vocals. The vocal lines sound forced to me, with a lot of fussy intervals. I like a simpler vocal melody, delivered in a less fussy manner, but with more drama. The singer in Gentle Giant (is it Derek Shulman?) never just belts out a tune -- he's too busy playing vocal gymnastics. Jon Anderson has amazing pipes and he can really belt out a tune. Plus, his lines are typically simpler and more direct. Just think about the final chorus of "I Get Up, I Get Down" -- that is singing that sends chills down my spine! I just don't get any of that from these other bands. Or, how about "Once we did run; How we chased a million stars and touched as only one can...." That one kinda makes me cry a little bit when I hear it.

Here's another band with a brilliant singer who sends chills down my spine. Unfortunately, they are no longer together. Tell me what you think of Australia's George and their lead singer, the incomparable Katie Noonan (arguably Australia's greatest living pop singer). This song is called "Release" from their debut album Polyserena (an amazing album, BTW, as is their second (and sadly, final) album, Unity). Enjoy!

In case you're doubting George's "prog cred" you should know that George performed Jon Lord's "Concerto for Group and Orchestra" with Jon Lord and the Sydney Symphony at the iconic Sydney Opera House in 2003. George formed at the University of Queensland in Brisbane to compete in a "battle of the bands" contest. They didn't have a name, and when someone asked them, one of them jokingly said "George" and it stuck. The other contestants must've been shitting their pants when these guys hit the stage! The songs are mostly written by Katie and her brother Tyrone (keyboards). They alternated lead vocal duties.

Here's another video, from their second album, so you can see what they look like. This is "Still Real" from Unity.
kwaidan wrote:
Obliviously, Radiohead are familiar with Robert Wyatt, especially Rock Bottom.

Henry Cow Concerts with Slap Happy and Robert Wyatt is another favorite.

Hawkwind Space Rituals.

I was thinking about Robert Wyatt and Henry Cow as well, though Robert Wyatt's music can't be reduced to any genre.
I love this song, I first heard it in 1986 when I was a teenager, robert wyatt's voice gave me instant shivers, it was quite a departure from the post-punk I enjoyed listening to then.
still moves the same way it did when i first heard it,

dont know if its pure prog rock, but definatelly progressive

Ozric Tentacles ETERNAL WHEEL
GeneralBigBag wrote:
Trying some Yes now.

Well, I'm obviously 10 pages late to this thread, but of all the prog I have enjoyed, the only albums I still listen to regularly are _Close to the Edge_ and _Fragile_ and various live shows from that period.

I realize Jon Anderson is a space goat from Planet NewAge, and certainly the band would eventually drop some awfully pretentious stuff, but the good stuff is awfully good and their many-people-improvising-at-once skills were unparallelled.

Plus Chris Squire's bass tone on CttE is the stuff of legend.
GeneralBigBag wrote:
But that bass tone in Close To The Edge. That is a fine thing.

Hah! You found out before I chimed in to tell you smile
Dr. Sketch-n-Etch
I know someone who absolutely hates Chris Squire's bass tone on Close to the Edge (yeah, I'm talking 'bout YOU, Moog$Fool$). Different strokes, I guess.
I kept avoiding mentioning my own self promotion in this thread but I keep thinking some folks here might enjoy or at least be interested in an old prog rock band I used to be in called Theatre. We were heavily incluenced by a lot of the bands discussed here, especially Yes, ELP, Genesis, Kansas, Rush, etc
See this thread for more:
Enjoyed that Haken piece - not sure if it should be quite that long!
Surprised to see they are Brits - seemed very US. Some lovely textural layers in there - damn but YouTube sounds crap.

Always liked Octopus .. but could never get to enjoy Jon A's voice
..though ahem, cough splutter, State of Independence is a brilliant pop song. For some reason the Donna Summer version moved me to tears last I heard it.
Not going to join in on the discussion on what prog is/was/should be, but thought I might just throw in a couple of newer proggy bands that I've enjoyed. I absolutely hate Porcupine Tree and Steven Wilson, so this is all less boring, more heavy psyched, weird, or rocked out. Might not be the usual prog as people might want it to be, or think it is. But then there's always, and ever will be, Wilson for that lot. No offence, obviously, just not up my alley. MY ASS IS BLEEDING

Titan, also harboured Steve Moore from Zombi. Think they split up by now.

Gigantes, Liverpool, quite unique sounding. Dense.

Astra, San Diego, very influenced by 70's prog. Lovely production, great melodies.

Diagonal, London prog, almost jazz-prog.

Psicomagia, defo jazz-prog. Members of Astra and Radio Moscow.

My Brother the Wind, Swedish impro/space/prog, with emphasis on the more psychedelic parts. Great for hazey days.

Mugstar, UK neo-kraut-prog-ish awesomeness. Very hypnotic.

Bonus track, Dublin prog-punksters No Spill Blood. Hard hitting, acquired taste perhaps, but I guess so too is prog overall. Luv 'em.
CJ Miller
So much interesting music posted here! I have not had time to listen to much of it yet.
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