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on 15 January 2012
I bought a copy of this book for myself shortly after its publication and was so impressed with it that I acquired two more as Christmas presents for friends. Both of whom have subsequently reported on how much they enjoyed it.
What I like most about what Stephen has created is that he's not gone into forensic detail but written about the music and bands with a fan's passion and understanding.
It's very well written and easy to read and appreciate.
A 'must have' for fans of the genre, those who want to learn more about or for the many who were too lazy or blinkered to keep up to date with the burgeoning prog scene once Genesis and Pink Floyd called it a day (I'm talking about the people who only ever go to gigs when it's a tribute band to one of the aformentioned bands).
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on 19 July 2012
Sadly misses the mark by quite a distance. Two main problems, firstly the very characteristic that so often distances prog fans from others is an aloof "I know better than you" attitude which is apparent here. This is made more irritating when there are several research failures, notably the statement that Genesis were signed to Chrysalis records (it was Charisma). The second is the authors inability to find a better word than "delicious" to describe everything from a guitar solo to a record cover. There is no doubt that Lambe is a fan but I expected better than this.
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on 18 February 2012
My priorities are a little different from those of this guy, I suppose. In quite an unclear manner he goes through his memories of Prog, choosing favourite albums and talking a great deal about Yes. If it's for newbies there isn't enough basic info; if it's for more expert readers I'd think there needs to be more on the music. A good overview of more modern Prog notwithstanding, it's difficult to see the intended audience. A diverting read for a couple of hours, though, and clearly a labour of love.
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on 22 July 2015
Reading this book is like chatting to a knowlegeable and enthusiastic freind who loves progressive rock. The authors passion for the music shines through on every page.

The book gives a straightforward chronological history of symphonic progressive rock from the late 1960's to 2013, including reviews of the authors recommended albums from each period. There are also short chapters discussing the most typical prog instruments (keyboards, guitar, drums, flute etc.), song lyrics, album cover art and the emergence of the internet as a way to discover music.

You can read this book at your computer and try out the bands you don't know much about on the web. By doing this I have discovered Magenta, White Willow, Big Big Train and PFM (among others) and have rediscovered and learned to appreciate bands I never liked very much, such as Gentle Giant (the Octupus album) and Yes (Fragile, Drama and The Yes Album).

To sum up I can't resist borrowing two of the authors favourite phrases. This book is "delicious" Mr Lambe, "I salute you!"
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on 9 August 2014
I'd read anything about prog [never called that at the time to my mind], and the first half of this book really hits the mark. The author tends to agree with most of my thoughts/theories on the main parts of the genre - which helps. It is a reasonably basic exposition but has good bits of detail and I learnt a few new things. I particularly liked the format and found it easy to scan and peruse or study every word. The latter part of the book left me a bit cold - as it valiantly tries to chart the more up-to-date bands and trends. I have little interest in these and find I get confused by modern cross-over attempts.
After the dreaded punk/new wave disaster wrought havoc with the style, I went into mourning - from which I never really recovered.
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on 25 May 2016
sorry, but if you're going to write a history of a genre which involves virtually no original research (not even of contemporary reception of the works in said genre), resting that project entirely on your critical appraisal/description of the bands/works in question, your critical assessment needs to be very, very good. unfortunately even at his best lambe is less insightful and elegant than the pop critic's most feared spectre, patrick bateman. indeed, he comes a mere bawhair away from actually describing the yes album as having "a consummate feel of professionalism, which really gives the songs a big boost"
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on 13 January 2013
Good book and very informative about prog rock !! A worthwhile buy for someone interested in this type of music !!
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on 27 May 2016
Very intresting!
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on 8 August 2015
Great book
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