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What is Prog?

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Showing 51-75 of 329 posts in this discussion
Posted on 20 Mar 2012 23:33:08 GMT
The term prog was created to describe Marillion etc by the music press-bands whose music was anything but progressive in the true sense -regressive would have been a better word -reg rock! In the 70s I thought progressive meant different or kind of moving forwards and experimenting as of course most of the 70s bands in this discussion were attempting in various ways from Roxy Music through to Van Der Graaf Generator. I also had a book in the early 70s called Great Pop Stars in which Roxy were described as 'an energetic progressive music group' and get this. Crosby.Stills and Nash were described as 'a progressive vocal group'. I kid thee not!

Posted on 21 Mar 2012 08:24:53 GMT
easytiger says:
Soft Machine, Quintessence, Coliseum-more?

Posted on 21 Mar 2012 08:54:30 GMT
The definition of progressive music is (as with the music that comprises the genre) not constant. True progressive musicians seek to reinvent the genre whereas others just create crude imitations of the 70s prog groups. Saying modern bands aren't progressive because only bands made before 1976 could be is narrow-minded and a bit of a contradiction of the genre.
It's when you listen to a band and think to yourself "i've never heard anything like that" is when you can almost put a finger on what prog is. Other than that, insisting that prog "was" rather than prog "is" is simply a fallacy. One [+Digital Booklet]

In reply to an earlier post on 21 Mar 2012 09:18:50 GMT
Last edited by the author on 21 Mar 2012 09:22:05 GMT
S.R.J says:
"was created", Richard thats just silly!. You make some excellent points but to assert a term was 'created' to describe one bands particular brand of music is , well.........silly.The term was around long before Marrilion, as I and other posters have demonstrated.

Posted on 21 Mar 2012 09:23:20 GMT
Graeme says:
At the risk of repeating an earlier point, it's really just music at the end of the day, and you either like it or you don't. We like labels, or, rather, the music industry likes labels. Labels can be used to form clubs that you can join, and you can then 'fund' that club by buying the music that identifies you as a member. That's nothing new; definitely not progressive!

If Bohemian Rhapsody is progressive (and I think it is) then Paranoid Andriod is progressive (though less complex in terms of overall structure). Beethoven must also have been part of the progressive movement!

Good thread, and enjoying the discussion. Let's add 'symphonic rock' (Nightwish, Epica, Delain, Knight Area, etc) to the mix. Are they prog?

Posted on 21 Mar 2012 10:06:10 GMT
easytiger says:
Just had a thought and I'm not picking on you mate "Rock music based around the principals of Classical music with the emphasis on keyboards rather than guitars".
Therefore you could say that an early example of progrock was "Whiter Shade of Pale" followed later by "Joybringer" and followed up much later by "Nightporter" by Japan, all for obvious reasons. Now then, I would guess that prog people would say they weren't or would they?

Posted on 21 Mar 2012 10:09:04 GMT

Posted on 21 Mar 2012 10:12:33 GMT
easytiger says:
Well that looks a right old lively thread. Must all be away at organ lessons.

Posted on 21 Mar 2012 14:25:39 GMT
It has been said before, or is this a reprise in typical prog style?

Posted on 21 Mar 2012 15:28:15 GMT
easytiger says:

In reply to an earlier post on 21 Mar 2012 15:35:08 GMT
MC Zaptone says:
easytiger, I appreciate the cordiality of your posts and don't think for a sec. that you're picking on me. I think it's fair to say though that I stated: "Perhaps wrongly, I know amongst my peers, had you asked them to sum up Progressive Rock at that time they would have said: "Rock music based around the principals of Classical music with the emphasis on keyboards rather than guitars". That's how we saw it at the time, I'm not suggesting that we were right or knew better than anyone else.
As for the Prog. scene back then, I soon realised it was made up almost entirely of young men who liked intellectualising about the music in each others company. Personally I preferred going out in the company of nubile young ladies, getting my leg over and enjoying all kinds of different music in the process ;O)
Ps. In hindsight, you are probably right about those songs you mentioned.

Posted on 21 Mar 2012 15:41:48 GMT
easytiger says:
Agreed. Sex n drugs n rocknroll or " listen to the perfect cadence on that!". No choice is there really. @~:)

Posted on 21 Mar 2012 15:44:19 GMT
I hope Mrs. W doesn't read this forum.

In reply to an earlier post on 21 Mar 2012 15:58:31 GMT
MC Zaptone says:
She wasn't born then!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

In reply to an earlier post on 21 Mar 2012 18:04:27 GMT
N. Hudson says:
With regard to Procol Harum, I would consider them prog, and I suspect many others would also. As an experiment I just googled the words procol harum and prog, and there are plenty of pages there to suggest that Procol Harum are accepted as being prog.

I also agree with what Graeme said about labels. While I have no problem particularly with the term prog (and allow it to embrace a far wider range of bands than it seems some here do), I think some labels are a little more meaningess - for example, art rock. Many prog bands, or bands with prog leanings seem to be deemed art rock (and vice versa). So what the heck is art rock? Is it just another term for prog? If so, then it is redundant. If not, then it is rather vague and meaningless. (Or not?)

Regarding Queen, given that my first purchase of their music was Queen II (probably their proggiest), then I find it easy to say that Queen was prog rock in the early days (and Bohemian Rhapsody would be just one such example, since it has been used as such a couple of times in this thread so far). Procession into Father to Son is proggy. The whole White side/Black side is proggy - the Black side especially, as a suite of thematically linked songs, is proggy. And March of the Black Queen is proggy.

In reply to an earlier post on 21 Mar 2012 18:50:38 GMT
[Deleted by Amazon on 21 Mar 2012 18:54:44 GMT]

Posted on 21 Mar 2012 19:31:24 GMT
N. Hudson says:
That will be a lesson to you, Red Mosquito, not to say naughty words like mummy firetruckers! ;)

(Red Mosquito says:

I agree NH. I think Queen II belongs to the prog family. Other bands not mentioned:- Druid, Ange, Jade Warrior, Greenslade, Egg, Nektar, Kingdom Come. I believe the whole prog movement fizzled out in or around 1977.
Do the likes of Radiohead, Jackie O [Mummy Firetrucker], Ian Boddy produce progressive music? Yes they do but they are not Prog imo. Prog came to an end a long time ago. Of course, the whole debate is subjective therefore, by definition, I'm wrong.

Posted on 21 Mar 2012 19:38:02 GMT
It is a frog to someone with no teeth and the cold.

Posted on 21 Mar 2012 19:52:44 GMT
NH, I have said this many times, but for your benefit I will repeat myself. Progressive music has indeed progressed. It is the old hippies and crusties who are still stuck in the 70s and they are the ones who refuse to see outside of the 70's. In a nutshell - The music HAS progressed, those who are in denial haven't!

In reply to an earlier post on 21 Mar 2012 20:30:28 GMT
N. Hudson says:
For my benefit? I am one of those who agrees that progressive music has indeed progressed! :D

However, your synopsis is perhaps too simplistic - as you suggest that those in denial are stuck in the 70s, implying (or perhaps I am merely inferring) that they are happy to agree about 70s prog, but deny the label to any modern music. There seems, to me, to be plenty of denial of the label to 70s bands I would consider prog!

Posted on 21 Mar 2012 23:10:50 GMT
Last edited by the author on 21 Mar 2012 23:30:08 GMT
MC Zaptone says:
Oh dear, I'm finding this tedious now. Prog. was a movement that existed in the mid-seventies and then faded away, it was followed by a movement called Punk which also came and went, end of.
I think some people define it simply by musical construction but it wasn't, it was a movement, just like punk, it came with it's own attitude, fashion and drugs. It seemed to come in response to another movement, namely Glam Rock and at a time when acid was the drug of choice for thousands of people and that somehow sparked a wave of interest in spiritual/fantasy and musical complexity. I expect for some it was an expression in opposition to a depressed Britian, whose cities streets were swathed in grey corrugated metal sheeting, where skin-heads past their sell-by-dates were still kicking the shít out of longhairs and Pąkis (their word, not mine). For others it may have seemed the perfect way to 'progress' the 'experimental' music that had been informed by the sixties hippie movement. I don't think they realised it at the time but looking back lots of people I knew looked at the Roger Dean covers, the dope, the acid as a way of escaping what had become a harsh reality, the idealistic sixties 'power to the people' movement had failed, the suits had won, corporate America was on the march and consumer led capitalism was here and Glam Rock, flashy and shallow, seemed to represent that ideology and many hated it.
There are plenty of bands out there right now who make similar music to both, take their inspiration from both but call their music neo-prog. or symphonic prog. or hardcore punk or nu-punk because no matter how it's dressed up or tagged it just isn't Progressive Rock as it was. Musically it may even be far superior to the original or fits the tag nicely in the mind of the listener or journalist but it won't ever be the same as the original because it was more than just music, it was a phase, a social snapshot. Just like the swing revival clubs that are popping up here in London and all over Europe will never quite capture that mood or place-in-time exactly.

Posted on 22 Mar 2012 00:52:07 GMT
Last edited by the author on 22 Mar 2012 00:56:35 GMT
MCW, I remember years ago in the (long lost) Rumbelows store, that anything that was worth listening to was found in the "contempory" section. Thats where all the best album covers were worth looking at and was my first awareness of prog. Yes, M Oldfield, Floyd, KC, BJH et al. I don't recall the musically identified as Prog till a lot later. Taking a note from MK re underground music, experimental/fusion etc. But the "collective prog" tag wasn't identified clearly till a later date. As far as I can remember is that it was first used collectively by the punks as a derogative term. So the baby was washed out with the water and any band/artist who had an inkling of prog was slagged off similarly (Except Fripp). I disagree that the punks became progressive, as it was actually the opposite. (Short, angry songs with no talent) which then became part of the "alternative" genre, to which I considered that it was an alternative to music. When it became safe for prog to climb from under its rock in the early 90's someone decided that to use the previous "dirty word" as a flag to hold whilst reassembling the genre, what is now prog. As said, there are still those who still hold those halcyon days high, but how can 40 year old music progress? Well the answer is simple. it has progressed into something else, something that the "old hippies and crusties" won't either identify or acknowledge what is happening today in the genre currently.

Posted on 22 Mar 2012 01:07:42 GMT
Last edited by the author on 26 Mar 2012 15:26:48 BDT
Mondo Ray says:
It's fascinating that all you younger music philosophers haven't, over the years, progressed beyond the pretty ancient term, "prog(ressive)"

Posted on 22 Mar 2012 01:47:40 GMT
I'll take that as a compliment Ray (Says 50 year old Trooper). But it is the right term as the music has progressed. Evolved or morphed hasn't the same ring to it.

Posted on 22 Mar 2012 07:14:26 GMT
Last edited by the author on 22 Mar 2012 07:30:08 GMT
Red Mosquito says:
This is just one example to illustrate my view which of course is wrong but nevertheless it's mine!
Shackleton's Voyage This, and music of a similar ilk is often labelled as progressive. I and many others were listening to music like this 35/40 years ago. I don't hear the progression. Same concepts, same album covers, same musicians (often) same music.

Public Image [2011 Remaster] When prog died. This became the new prog along with this OK Computer Both bands eventually (quickly in the case of PiL) stopped progressing imo but at least they tried.

Prog Is Not a Four Letter Word: Compiled By Andy Votel This is the lesser known face of prog. The product description and the reviews make interesting reading imo
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Discussion in:  rock discussion forum
Participants:  42
Total posts:  329
Initial post:  18 Mar 2012
Latest post:  24 Jul 2013

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