Top positive review
28 people found this helpful
The essence of prog rock nicely captured
on 26 December 2010
All in all a good effort to extract the essence of progressive rock, from the golden era och the 70's until today. Die hard fans of Yes, Genesis, ELP, Dream Theater etc will probaly not find anything they don't already know about their favorite bands, but perhaps they will make new acquaintances, since there are chapters also about more obscure parts of prog rock like the german kraut rock scene and the italian scene. The book is intelligently written in a biographical style and there's plenty of photographs to lighten up the layout. The title and the cover of the book is perhpas a bit misleading; the title is indeed a quote from a Yes song - Roundabout - but it really associates more to psychedelia than to progressive rock and the Roger Dean-like typeface underlines that assoiciation. Now, prog and psychedelia did indeed to a certain extent go hand in hand back in the days, the prog rock kind of built on tha map drawn by the late 60's freeform rock music for pot-smokers and trippers that said a song could be 20 minutes long instead of 3 and didnt have to follow the pop-radio formula of verse, chorus, bridge etc, it didn't even have to be vocal music. But personally I don't regard ambient psychedelia like Set the Controls For the Heart of the Sun from Pink Floyd Umma Gumma as progressive rock, to me prog rock is more equivalent to more elaborate, symphonic rock and technically accomplished composing and playing, like the Karn Evil 9 Suite by ELP or Thick as a Brick by Jethro Tull. But this may not be the definition of others. In this book you don'thave to choose, you get it all, from far out kraut-rockers and Pink Floyd to technical show-offs like Rush and Dream Theater. I recommend it. It's not the ultimate encyclopedia of progressive rock, but a nice compilation to capture the essence of the genre.