Tag: Progressive Rock

1993, Music

Focus (1993) by Cynic

Most of the time, when I encounter “progressive death metal” (which this sounds like to me, but which it isn’t categorized as on RYM), I think “this isn’t very progressive.” It usually sounds like more ambitious death metal, but it doesn’t sound very proggy. Well, not so here. If there is one thing this record …

1968, Music

Shine On Brightly (1968) by Procol Harum

Procol Harum remind me of The Moody Blues in a way; not in terms of their sound but in terms of their place in the history progressive rock, and how it evolved. Both bands got in on the ground floor, which makes them pioneers, at the very least. But both also got in before progressive …

1973, Music

Felona e Sorona (1973) by Le Orme

I don’t understand Italian, and I didn’t realize there was an English version – and I don’t really want to listen to that – so whatever this grand concept is, I don’t really know or care. Sometimes it’s better to listen to “High Concept” rock music in another language, that way you’re not confronted with …

1973, Music

The Six Wives of Henry VIII (1973) by Rick Wakeman

I can’t say I like programmatic music a lot of time as I often find the concept completely unhelpful in appreciating the music. (The exception to this is a really great tone poem, wherein the program sometimes helps locate the experience.) So frankly I am unconcerned with whether or not this record does anything with …

1995, Music

As the World (1995) by Echolyn

When I was in my very late teens and early 20s, I absolutely loved prog rock. And I think that, had I heard Echolyn then, I probably would have loved them; I probably wouldn’t have cared about the things that now cause me to be concerned about this kind of music. Because this record satisfies …

1977, Music

I Robot (1977) by The Alan Parsons Project

When I was young and obsessed with prog rock, people used to make fun of me. They would learn I loved prog and they would be bemused or even a little shocked/outraged. And I was confused because I really liked the stuff. Eventually, I realized that those who made fun of my tastes were often …

1974, Music

The Silent Corner and the Empty Stage (1974) by Peter Hammill

This is a weird combination of what sounds like super eccentric singer-songwriter solo stuff and music that is basically Van Der Graaf Generator. It’s an odd mix that I would find less appealing if I didn’t like Hammill or VDGG so much. It’s great that Hammill wrote so much so that even when the band …

1973, 1997, Music

The Nightwatch: Live at the Amsterdam Concertgebouw November 23rd 1973 (1997) by King Crimson

This set was a famous bootleg before it was released for good reason, a bunch of it ended up (in edited form) as a major portion of Starless.

1971, Music

Camembert Electrique (1971) by Gong

This is the first proper Gong album I’ve heard, because, for some reason, I’ve only heard their jazz rock spinoff to date. It seems pretty obvious to me that Allen was once in Soft Machine because this sure sounds to me like the kind of music The Softs were making early in their career. And …

1970, Music

The Grass is Greener (1970) by Colosseum

I didn’t realize this was a weird, US-only hybrid album when I bought it. I somehow convinced myself it was their most recommended album (I guess I was listening to some US critics…). Anyway… The influence of Cream is particularly heavy here, on the opening track and the Bruce cover (even though it wasn’t a …

1976, Music

Strange New Flesh (1976) by Colosseum II

Note: I have never listened to the original Colosseum… “Dark Side of the Moog” gets things off to a great start, despite its title, with some typically bonkers (“mathy” is probably the word we would use now) European jazz rock. I used to eat this stuff up when I was younger, and still have a …

1976, Music

Interview (1976) by Gentle Giant

The idea that this is the first weak Gentle Giant album just doesn’t match what I’m hearing. Yes, I’m not sure the concept holds up all that well (this is a musical “interview” or something…), but the band is still quite capable of making their nutty, extremely inaccessible prog. The songs feel like maybe their …

1971, Music

In the Land of Grey and Pink (1971) by Caravan

When I first listened to this I didn’t like it at all, and I’m not sure why. I didn’t like it to the extent that I removed it from our next podcast, telling my cohost that it “wasn’t one of their best.” I guess maybe it was the lack of Hastings songs – his are …

1969, Music

Amon Duul II: Phallus Dei (1969)

What initially feels like a series of nearly formless psychedelic jams with everyone doing their own thing soon reveals itself to be one of the fundamental early documents of Krautrock (the earliest?) and a huge, huge influence on later musicians, particularly post punk bands (The Fall, for example) and indie rock bands (Stereolab). What’s perhaps …

Music, RIP

RIP Chris Squire

Among the “Big 6” prog bands, Yes was long my least favourite -though, as I age, ELP has taken their place very handily. I have always found their discography rather immense and, well, kind of repetitive – though I have not given it the time I have given King Crimson’s, for example. So, maybe how …

1973, Music

For Girls Who Grow Plump in the Night (1973) by Caravan

I really enjoyed the first Caravan album I heard (that would be their second), despite a few glaring drawbacks, and I looked forward to listening to a later one. But this just doesn’t do it for me.

1971, Music

Tarkus (1971) by Emerson, Lake and Palmer

I think if anyone had any doubt back in 1971 that Emerson was the greatest rock keyboardist ever, the title track to this album probably proved them wrong. It’s too bad that it doesn’t really have the same coherence and oomph of the best side-long prog epics. But it is still the highlight of an …

1977, Music

Works Volume 2 (1977) by Emerson, Lake and Palmer

Years ago, when I was still young enough to maintain that ELP was a truly great band, I gave this a listen or three and rated 6/10. I think I wanted to believe the common idea that this is better than Volume 1 because at least here the bands sometimes sounds like ELP. Well, there’re …

Music, RIP

RIP: Jon Lord

Jon Lord was one of the earliest rock keyboardists – along with people like Keith Emerson – to attempt to fuse so-called “classical” music (actually it was usually romantic) with rock. He convinced his band, Deep Purple, to cover Richard Strauss, among others, to include his string and wind arrangements, and to eventually perform his …

2005, Music

Frances the Mute by the Mars Volta (2005 GSL)

The more I listen to the Mars Volta the more I become convinced that they are pretty much the only mainstream band keeping the spirit – if not the sound – of progressive rock alive. They manage to combine relatively adventurous ideas – whereas early prog rock usually borrowed from Romantic music or mainstream jazz, …