Tag: Progressive Rock

1969, Music

On the Threshold of a Dream (1969) by The Moody Blues

Many people, or at least many rock critics, consider the Moodies to be the first ever progressive rock band or, at the very least, creators of the first ever progressive rock album. Now, I haven’t heard the previous album, but I have heard their album which supposedly invented the genre (Days of Future Passed) and …

1974, Music

Queen II (1974)

I think it’s safe to say that there’s no other band that sounds like Queen: hard rock plus operatic vocals plus other weird arty or proggy ideas, in a really accessible package, with occasional diversions into other genres that shouldn’t fit – pick a Queen record and there’s usually at least one of these. I …

1974, Music

Kansas

When I was curating albums for the latest episode of my podcast, I glanced and the Wikipedia entry for this album and saw a 5 star review. I sighed and figured “Fine, Kansas it is.” I looked again later and realized that the ranking came from a site I didn’t put much credence in. But, …

1973, Music

Mekanïk Destruktïw Kommandöh (1973) by Magma

The first time I heard Koenji Hyakkei I thought “Oh my god, what is this?!?!” and kind of lost my mind. It seemed like someone had invented a new spin on prog rock in the 1990s and I had just missed it during my teens. It was a while before I knew about Zeuhl or …

1973, Music

Sabbath Bloody Sabbath (1973) by Black Sabbath

Is a band that does one particular thing very well, like Black Sabbath, allowed to evolve? It’s one of those tricky questions. On the one hand, we expect many if not most artists to evolve in some way. (Thank the Beatles for that, if you hate that.) On the other hand, some bands (AC/DC, Ramones, …

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 …

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, …