Ragr

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Finding lots to enjoy with the latest Jane Getter Premonition album Anomalia. She's really stretching out from the instrumental jazz fusion bracket and finding some seriously good songwriting chops to go with the guitar talents. Some great guest players as well as her usual collaborators.

 

PolarBlues

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I've been on a bit of a Renaissance kick the past few weeks. And not just the good stuff, but also the really bad stuff like from Timel-Line as well as tracks from their reformed 2010 ELP which I really didn't care for at the time of its initial release.

But mostly the good stuff.
 

PolarBlues

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Funny you should mention Peter Hammill, because alongside "B-side" Renaissance tracks I've also been playing a lot of "B-side" Hammill of late, which I had not done in a long while. By "B-side" I mean the patchy, 90s solo stuff.
 

PolarBlues

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A bit more Hammill because why not?

As I mentioned I'm revisting his 90s albums at the moment, so here is Curtains. I never entirely made sense of the lyrics, I rarely do, but I sounds like a particularly intricate and twisted story.

 

DarknessoftheEndless

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I grew up a metalhead. But as I've gotten older, my tastes have evolved. Fortunately, my favorite group has evolved as well. Katatonia started off in the Swedish Death metal scene with albums like Dance of December Souls and Brave Murder Day. However, after the singer Jonas Renkse shredded his voice, they took a turn towards gloomy, melancholic goth metal with clean vocals. It wasn't till around the album The Great Cold Distance that they started experimenting with more prog-rock elements. Several albums later, we have Fall of Hearts:


They still trend very much into the gloomy and melancholic. But they've been an inspiration of mine for a long, long time. And with an album out as recently as 2020 (with another album of cut tracks and B-sides in 2021), they are still putting it out. I own all their albums on CD and MP3. But if I were to start a collection other than Chronicles of Darkness/World of Darkness RPG books, it will be Katatonia's vinyls.
 

Ragr

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Sidestepping all the endless "is it prog?" nonsense, I am seriously loving the new album by Izz's singer Laura Meade. "The Most Dangerous Woman In America" is a concept album about those “whose stories remain untold, whose lives have been neutralised by those with unchecked power.” If it has to fit in a genre it's more very angular pop or rock. But I don't really care as it's just great.

 

PolarBlues

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Sidestepping all the endless "is it prog?" nonsense, I am seriously loving the new album by Izz's singer Laura Meade. "The Most Dangerous Woman In America" is a concept album about those “whose stories remain untold, whose lives have been neutralised by those with unchecked power.” If it has to fit in a genre it's more very angular pop or rock. But I don't really care as it's just great.


I was not familiar with Laura Meade, but that sample had me intrigued enough to get the album. Thanks for the tip!
 

ReluctantGM

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I need your help!

A friend has asked me to give them an intro to prog rock. She wants me to send her some tunes so she can get a sense of what it's all about. My first instinct was to send her In The Court of the Crimson King and Tales From Topographic Oceans but on further thought I decided those should wait a bit. Surely there are better songs for the ProgN00b.

What are your suggestions for the best tunes for Intro To Prog?
 

PolarBlues

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I think if I wanted to give a proper, quality and historically representitive selection of Prog, I would suggest these albums:

King Crimson's "Court of the Crimson King"
Genesis "Selling England by the Pound"

Yes "Close to the Edge"

I suggested those threee before on this thread, when someone else asked a similar question. They are true classics.

Personally, I find myself playing a lot of the recent, post 2000 prog. It will never have the stature of the '70s prog innovators but it some ways it feels more mature. I am a big fan of Welsh band Magenta and their albums "The 27 Club" and "Masters of Illusion" are beautifully balanced albums with strong melodies and sophisticated, creative arrangements. Its friendly enough not to spook a newbie away while still being solidly "prog".
 

Ragr

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I can't disagree with PolarBlues PolarBlues suggestions. If I were to propose a 5 song teaser I'd go with:

Genesis - Watcher of the Skies
Pink Floyd - Comfortably Numb
Marillion - King
Dream Theater - Pull Me Under
Porcupine Tree - Arriving Somewhere But Not Here.

That's my go to list for when someone asks for a taste of what can be called prog. It covers multiple decades, different styles and isn't too musically intimidating.
 

ReluctantGM

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I ordered the DVD of Yes's Symphonic Live show from 2002. Gonna have a few friends over to watch it on the big screen. That seems like a pretty good start. Yes?
 

PolarBlues

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I ordered the DVD of Yes's Symphonic Live show from 2002. Gonna have a few friends over to watch it on the big screen. That seems like a pretty good start. Yes?

I posted this link before, but if you are going to do a group viewing of something prog, I would consider the complete, illustrated Lamb Lies Down on Broadway. I think having the text and the visual does enchance the album (not that it needs it) as it was always concieved as a show.

 

Voros

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There's enough different kinds of prog I would find out what other bands they like and then go from there.
 

ReluctantGM

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Quick question - does ELO qualify as prog?

I wouldn't put them into the Prog category. There were a LOT of bands in the 70's that flirted with Prog but were primarily aimed at a different genre. I did a deep dive into ABBA the other day and there were some tunes that definitely leaned Progward.
 

ReluctantGM

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I posted this link before, but if you are going to do a group viewing of something prog, I would consider the complete, illustrated Lamb Lies Down on Broadway. I think having the text and the visual does enchance the album (not that it needs it) as it was always concieved as a show.


THIS IS FANTASTIC!

I'm gonna have to set aside an evening to give this a watch. I love this album so much.
 

Marshal Lucky

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Graeme Edge, drummer for The Moody Blues for 57 years has died. In addition to being the last original member of the band after Mike Pinder retired and Ray Thomas died, Edge was the guest drummer for Sister Rosetta Tharpe on her last UK tour and the last drummer to play with Jimi Hendrix before his untimely demise. On top of that. he was the main inspiration for Animal from The Muppet Show, according to Jim Henson -though I can't imagine why:


Graeme Edge: 1941-2021
 
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Marshal Lucky

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I need your help!

A friend has asked me to give them an intro to prog rock. She wants me to send her some tunes so she can get a sense of what it's all about. My first instinct was to send her In The Court of the Crimson King and Tales From Topographic Oceans but on further thought I decided those should wait a bit. Surely there are better songs for the ProgN00b.

What are your suggestions for the best tunes for Intro To Prog?

If they're new to it, you might want to send them a few of the more pop-friendly prog songs. My particular gateway drug was Asia and early 80s Genesis, Moody Blues and Pink Floyd. You could also give her a "1-2 punch" of I Am A Camera by The Buggles, followed by Into The Lens by Yes. It's the same song written by Geoff Downes and Trevor Horn, only the former is a beautifully crafted pop song (the opening piano is melancholy and evocative as anything I've ever heard) while the latter takes the song and gives it the prog treatment with extended solos and time signature changes, turning it into an 8+ minute epic. Give 'em a listen:


 

ReluctantGM

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If they're new to it, you might want to send them a few of the more pop-friendly prog songs. My particular gateway drug was Asia and early 80s Genesis, Moody Blues and Pink Floyd. You could also give her a "1-2 punch" of I Am A Camera by The Buggles, followed by Into The Lens by Yes. It's the same song written by Geoff Downes and Trevor Horn, only the former is a beautifully crafted pop song (the opening piano is melancholy and evocative as anything I've ever heard) while the latter takes the song and gives it the prog treatment with extended solos and time signature changes, turning it into an 8+ minute epic. Give 'em a listen:



I have been a huge, unabashed fan of the Drama album. Got it when I was 14 and was both mystified (who is that singing?) and enthralled. Machine Messiah had me right at the get go. Into The Lens is one of my favorites! I hadn't heard this Buggles version. It's funny I kept hearing the guitar flourishes in the back of my head as I was watching the video.

Thanks for posting this!
 

Ragr

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Reflecting further on my albums of the year and Meer's Playing House is right up there. They call themselves an "alternative pop orchestra" but they're operating in their own field as far as I've heard this year - the only comparison I can make is The Dear Hunter. I just love, love, love this song.
 

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Stumbled across this article listing the authors list of top 30 Prog songs. Turns out, for all my avowed love of prog, I am not familiar with half of the listed tracks and only agree with handful of those I do know, but at least it takes a broad view of prog and prog-adjecent music across the decades.

 

Voros

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Stumbled across this article listing the authors list of top 30 Prog songs. Turns out, for all my avowed love of prog, I am not familiar with half of the listed tracks and only agree with handful of those I do know, but at least it takes a broad view of prog and prog-adjecent music across the decades.


I agree with a lot of the bands selected, although my own would include a lot more Krautrock, if not the tracks per se.
 

Arthur Frayn

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I'm far more into prog metal (Dream Theater, Crimson Glory, Ayreon) than prog rock, but I listened to a lot of psychedelic rock in college and that genre is at least prog rock adjacent right? (Granted, mostly by process of elimination since it doesn't really fit anywhere else.)

Probably the one track I listened to more than any other in those interesting times was Eternal Wheel (Ozric Tentacles):


So yeah, definitely not what a "true" fan of the genre would consider prog rock, but damn if I would know what else to call it.



 

PolarBlues

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Prog/adjacent/related/inspired/metal/parody... it is all good.. The one rule about the Prog Thread is that we don't nitpick over definitions about what counts as "prog".
 

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My first post. Fits right in with this place (tangentially related to RPGs) :-)

The fact there's a thread about Prog Rock? I think I like this place...

I've been playing Spock's Beard albums, oldest to newest for the last week or so, as I have time. Such good stuff. For the uninitiated, here's something newer that I'm particularly fond of...

 

PolarBlues

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My first post. Fits right in with this place (tangentially related to RPGs) :-)

The fact there's a thread about Prog Rock? I think I like this place...

I've been playing Spock's Beard albums, oldest to newest for the last week or so, as I have time. Such good stuff. For the uninitiated, here's something newer that I'm particularly fond of...


Welcome to The Pub Bleys21. Post a Spock's Beard video makes for a great introduction as far as I am concerned!
 

PolarBlues

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Today I got the latest Magenta album. It's called "The White Witch - A Symphonic Trilogy" (oh yeah, that is a prog album name for sure). It's being presented at Magenta's 9th studio album but I feel that is a bit of a stretch given that it is just a couple of old track given a new orchestral arrangement with some new additional material.

What is fun is the story of the White Witch. In Magenta's debut album there is the original "The Witch" track. It tells a story set in 17th century England during the times of the witch trials. A women who practices the arts (or maybe its just herbalism?) is treated with mistrust by the villagers until the plague strikes. Using her skills, she helps save the village and everyone is friends again. So far so good.

A couple of albums later, Magenta recorded a sequel to the White Witch called Lust. The story picks up some time after the plague is over. The villagers slowly revert to their old selves resulting in the "White Witch" being put on trial and burned on the stake. Bummer. It was all going so well.

Still it's fun idea to have a recurrent character appear in different songs, years apart on different albums, even if it meant spoiling the happy ending. The new album has a third part of this story but I have figured out what happens in it yet. I've only played it a couple of times and got the digital download which doesn't come with the lyrics ( the CD isn't out yet).

It's early days and prog albums take a bit a of time to settle in, but I can't say I am overly impressed. I know it's a very prog thing to go for orchestral arrangements of existing songs, but I never really saw the point of that. I have an extensive classical music collection if I want to hear orchestral music. But I'll give it a bit more time.
 

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PS
Regarding the White Witch Trilogy story, the best I can make it is that the new third part doesn't so much change the original story (she still dies on the stake having saved everyone), but offers a Sliding Doors alternate ending with a happy ending. It anyone else picks up the album in due course and comes to a different understanding of the story, I'd be happy to hear about it.

Oh, and 20 or so after the protagonist of the White Witch was first introduced, we finally learn her real name. It is, apparently, Sarah.
 

PolarBlues

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More about the White Witch, because nobody asked.

Magenta have released a rather ambitious cinematic video with extracts from the new ablum. As such now, not only do we learn the White Witch's name was Sarah, we also can see what she looked like.

I'll be honest, I am still not sure this new orchestral arrangement is an improvement over the original recording of these tracks nor am I entirely sold on the video, it's an interesting curio to share.


I now wait in anticipation as, in another 10 years time or so, Magenta gives the revenge from beyond the grave of Sarah, the White Witch burned at the stake.
 

Dahak

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Chris DeBurgh was an occasional art-rocker in his pre-Lady in Red days, as exemplified by this prog mini-epic:


I'm fairly sure Geoff Tate was familiar with this song. Speak the word/whisper the word...six of one, half dozen of the other.
 

ReluctantGM

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The band Heart was already pretty eclectic in its early days, something usually attributed to it being a "Led Zeppelin clone." But this is definitely prog:


I have heard it said that Heart does Led Zeppelin better than Led Zeppelin. No hate on Zep. I've been a fan since I was a wee gosling. But, I mean, y'know ...

 
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