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Aggie87

Viva Prog Rock

685 posts in this topic

Not sure there's a thread devoted to progressive rock around here, so I thought it might be worth starting. Any new (or reissued) prog-related purchases you've really enjoyed, want to point others toward, etc.? Or seen any concerts worth sharing? Or anything else prog related?

My take - the latest King Crimson album, The Power to Believe is fantastic! I've been playing it quite a bit lately, and think it's one of their better recent recordings. It's the four-piece lineup, with Fripp, Belew, Gunn & Mastelotto. There are some loud, industrial moments on there, as well as some moments of real beauty. KC is coming to Stuttgart next month, so I may finally get a chance to see them live. I'll have to be sure and ask Fripp for an autograph ;)

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I've already got tickets for the Yes concert on June 20th. Rick Wakeman has returned to the fold (Aric would be ecstatic, I'm sure), so it's the "classic" lineup that produced Tales from Topographic Oceans and Going for the One. Of course this lineup also gave us Tormato, so there are no guarantees. I've recently seen them with both their six-man Ladder lineup, as well as with the symphony orchestra last year. But this'll be my first time seeing Wakeman play the classic stuff, so that should be interesting.

I'll still put out a big recommendation for Yes' last album, Magnification, which is as good as their 70's output, IMO. Most of their other more recent recordings haven't aged as well for me.

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Edited by Aggie87

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I still hold the 'prog rock' of the early to mid-70s in great affection...I love 'Tales of Topographic Oceans', for goodness sake! Even the band seem to be forever apologising for it! Now 'Relayer' they should apologise for....

From about 1975 my interest rapidly disappears. I did have a Yes album from the late 90s which did nothing for me. What happened to that amazing melodic gift they once had?

KC are one of the few bands of that era who still consistently produce rewarding albums. I too love 'The Power to Believe'. There's alot of life in Fripp yet.

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My take - the latest King Crimson album, The Power to Believe is fantastic! I've been playing it quite a bit lately, and think it's one of their better recent recordings. It's the four-piece lineup, with Fripp, Belew, Gunn & Mastelotto. There are some loud, industrial moments on there, as well as some moments of real beauty. KC is coming to Stuttgart next month, so I may finally get a chance to see them live. I'll have to be sure and ask Fripp for an autograph ;)

I think The ConstruKction of Light is a stronger album. Good luck getting an autograph from Fripp. :rolleyes:

Edited by 7/4

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In middle/high school I was the biggest Genesis fan on the planet I reckon. The Gabriel-era of course, although the early records with Phil Collins in front (before Abacab) are good records. Actually, I don't mind the later stuff either up until the last one without Phil. We Can't Dance was not a prog record, nor was Invisible Touch, so it doesn't matter.

Anyway, I tried getting into Yes, but never found them as interesting as the Gabriel-era Genesis. I did like Gentle Giant though. It just seemed to me at the time that every other prog band I listened to were "doing it just to do it" if you know what I mean. Genesis always seemed to be doing it because that's the music they HAD to create together. The records just sound natural, like they were meant to be that way instead of forced.

It's weird, I know.

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Anyway, I tried getting into Yes, but never found them as interesting as the Gabriel-era Genesis. I did like Gentle Giant though. It just seemed to me at the time that every other prog band I listened to were "doing it just to do it" if you know what I mean. Genesis always seemed to be doing it because that's the music they HAD to create together. The records just sound natural, like they were meant to be that way instead of forced.

It's weird, I know.

What about Close To The Edge? I'd rate it their best album or at least this year I would.

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Can is about as far as I go into prog. Tago Mago and Ege Bamyasi still spun a bi in my house, but not as much as four or five years ago.

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I think with prog rock you had to be there at the time. The bloated nature of things after about '73 is what everyone remembers (mega stadiums, dry ice, ever more costly stage sets, silly capes and costumes); its hard to appreciate just how fresh and colourful all this music was when it first emerged from the swamp of plodding blues-rock. I can still remember the thrill of hearing 'The Yes Album' in early 1971. There was nothing quite like it.

In an alternative universe Rick Wakeman would have fallen into that curry and drowned, Yes would have quit the stadiums and gone acoustic and then worked on developing their melodic side and that wonderful way they had with instrumental textures in the early 70s. Maybe they could have got Donal Lunny from Planxty/The Bothy Band in Wakeman's place. His marvellously propulsive bouzouki would have suited them to a tee and provided a much more interesting texture than great washes of synth.

Yes as a folk club band. Now that would have had possibilities!

Edited by Bev Stapleton

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Big fan of Yes, saw them in the Round in the 70's. I think they where the first to do that..

Fragile and Close to the Edge are their best. IMHO

The recent Rhino remaster of Fragile sound amazing. It included a live version of America and a early mix version of Roundabout.

These two also got the Rhino threatment

Yes-Six bonus tracks that add about 40 minutes of new music.

The Yes Album the bonus tracks are "Your Move" and the "Life Seeker" portion of "Starship Trooper". It also includes the studio version "Clap".

The sound really is excellent. Would really hope they put out Closer to the Edge soon or maybe even an SACD of it.

Edited by Mnytime

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I must say,I find recent KC a little off the prog map,more industrial metal,haven't heard the new one yet,but the 70's stuff and the 80's version is bang on.Yes,Genesis-hell I was a grammar school boy what else was there to listen to(Rush,Zeppelin too)-Fragile still knocks me out.I was listening to Drama the other week...even that was good!!

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I was listening to Drama the other week...even that was good!!

At the time I didn't like it. How could they even try to replace Jon Anderson??? Years later I warmed to Drama....whatta rockin' album!!! Killer rhythm with some ripping guitar! Maybe even the last time Steve Howe had a killer gtr tone with Yes. I'll have to check up on that last statement.

Did you know that after Zep, Jimmy Page played a bit with Squire and White? The working name of the band was XYZ, but it didn't work out. :(

Except for all the blues influences, I think of Led Zep as a prog-rock band.

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The media was calling it Led Yes at the time. Though it was more than just those three. Also, it was rumored that Rick Wakeman and Carl Palmer might be involved. Geffen was actually trying to put it together and get them signed.

Edited by Mnytime

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I'm recall being outraged by the Buggles joining Yes at the time,but musically felt the band really were trying to compensate by playing "Yesmusic").Can't say it was my favourite but probably beats Tormato in the long run.Haven't heard anything since-what was the last one like?

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The autograph comment was tongue-in-cheek, 7/4. It's seems to be fairly well known that Fripp frowns upon them, just as he does people taking photographs at KC concerts. Shows are brought to a grinding halt when flashes go off (witness Heavy ConstruKction), and fans admonished.

What is it about Relayer you don't care for, Bev? I think Gates is a fantastic epic, as good as anything off of Tales. I thought Moraz brought some new sounds into the Yes-fold, and it would've been interesting to see where they might have gone, had he stayed in the band longer. I'm not as fond of Sound Chaser, though to be honest.

I enjoy all of Yes' music up through Drama, with the exception of Tormato, though that one even has some redeeming moments on it. Past that though, it's slim pickings. From the Yes-west lineup, I think Talk came the closest in spirit to the classic material. It might be worth a spin to see what you think.

After that, the studio material from the two Keys to Ascension albums is well worth a listen, IMO. It's from the Anderson/Howe/Wakeman/Squire/White lineup. The easiest way to get this without purchasing both double disc sets (that also include live material) is to pick up Keystudio, which is a budget release with pretty shoddy artwork. But the material is VERY good, for this late in the band's career.

The other nugget from late era Yes is Magnification which I mentioned above. It's the four-piece lineup, meaning no keyboard player. But this role was replaced by a symphony orchestra, and the music was written with that in mind, not "tacked on" or embellished afterwards. The music is great, and worth a look also for anyone wanting to check out later Yes.

Alot of the rest of the later Yes material is not very good, to be honest.

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The autograph comment was tongue-in-cheek, 7/4.  It's seems to be fairly well known that Fripp frowns upon them, just as he does people taking photographs at KC concerts.  Shows are brought to a grinding halt when flashes go off (witness Heavy ConstruKction), and fans admonished.

I'm very familiar with Fripp's policys. I've seen Crimson 'bout 7 times, Frippertronics/Soundscapes 'bout 10-12 times, League of Crafty gtrs, at least twice...I think I bought my frist Crimson album in ...'75-'76? Not to mention all the spin off bands...

Sorry, I missed the tongue-in-cheek icon.

Edited by 7/4

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I'd love to have seen League of Crafty Guitarists! Bet that was quite a show. I've been enjoying the California Guitar Trio quite a bit over the last few years - still on the lookout for their first, Yamanashi Blues though.

Have you seen KC on their current tour? I would've liked to have seen the double-trio, but if the album is any indication, then this version of KC should put on quite a show too.

Hey Mny - The next round of Yes remasters is supposedly coming up in the fall, and according to what I've read goes through Big Generator. Could be some really interesting bonus tracks on some of the classic stuff. Oh, and I think there was also a DVD-A of Fragile that was released, if you're interested. I think Kevin Bresnahan has it, IIRC.

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I'd love to have seen League of Crafty Guitarists!  Bet that was quite a show.  I've been enjoying the California Guitar Trio quite a bit over the last few years - still on the lookout for their first, Yamanashi Blues though.

I saw them at the Bottom Line, NYC and in Central Park, must have been in the '80s. Very intense, lot's of tension.

I've lost count of how many times I've heard the California Gtr Trio.

I just thought of another one: I saw Fripp and Sylvian, the (NYC union) sound guys mixed Fripp way too low. There was a young guy sitting next to me complaining about how it was his first time to see Fripp and he couldn't even hear him. Almost in tears too.

At least Damage was released!

Have you seen KC on their current tour?  I would've liked to have seen the double-trio, but if the album is any indication, then this version of KC should put on quite a show too. 

No, the last time was the Double Trio on their first tour. And that's probably the last time too. I can't deal with the Rock crowds. I'm happy enough with Heavy ConstruKction.

The last time I heard Fripp was when he did a 3 or 4 day set of shows at the World Financial Center Wintergarden Atrium in Nov. 2000. Sets at noon and in the evening. I caught two of them.

As for Yes, but not quite Yes: check out Turbulence by Steve Howe (he doesn't sing on it!), Bill Bruford Billy Currie (keys) and others. A fine instrumental album.

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The DVD-A of Fragile is awesome!!! Great sound, and you can access multi-ch and stereo mixes of the tunes on any dvd player which isn't possible with earlier releases (i.e. F Mac-Rumours, N Merchant-Tigerlily,...).

Since this is a prog-rock thread, our prior discussions of Genesis had led me to thinking something:

As their Seconds Out album was really my first introduction to the Gabriel-era songs, I've always kind of preferred the way Phil sings them to Peter. And it led me to thinking it's because Phil actually sings them, whereas, to me, Peter Gabriel doesn't really sing. He more talk-sings. It's his great voice...he can project and of course he came up with those great melodies. But I think Phil wrung a lot more from them. This talk-singing Peter does, I think this could be said of his entire career. He has a wonderful voice; he is not a wonderful singer. I don't think he actually sings, like most singers do.

Just something that occurred to me recently... :w

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As for Yes, but not quite Yes: check out Turbulence by Steve Howe (he doesn't sing on it!), Bill Bruford Billy Currie (keys) and others. A fine instrumental album.

I've got that cd. I recall diggin' it and also that it seemed a lot of the songs were structures that ended up being tunes on the "Union" reunion album, fleshed out with lyrics, etc.

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As for Yes, but not quite Yes: check out Turbulence by Steve Howe (he doesn't sing on it!), Bill Bruford Billy Currie (keys) and others. A fine instrumental album.

I've got that cd. I recall diggin' it and also that it seemed a lot of the songs were structures that ended up being tunes on the "Union" reunion album, fleshed out with lyrics, etc.

I had a promo copy of Turbulence two years before it came out. I guess those riffs were sitting around waiting to be used for a while! :)

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My take - the latest King Crimson album, The Power to Believe is fantastic! I've been playing it quite a bit lately, and think it's one of their better recent recordings.

Have it, also really enjoying it. I didn't know this kind of music was still being done so well.

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Parkertown: As their Seconds Out album was really my first introduction to the Gabriel-era songs, I've always kind of preferred the way Phil sings them to Peter. And it led me to thinking it's because Phil actually sings them, whereas, to me, Peter Gabriel doesn't really sing. He more talk-sings. It's his great voice...he can project and of course he came up with those great melodies. But I think Phil wrung a lot more from them. This talk-singing Peter does, I think this could be said of his entire career. He has a wonderful voice; he is not a wonderful singer. I don't think he actually sings, like most singers do.

Jumping off from this as a tangent point - alot of people say they prefer the Gabriel era to the Collins era of Genesis. I believe most people who say this really are saying they prefer the "prog" Genesis to the "pop" Genesis. The reason I make this differentiation is due to the two post-Gabriel studio albums that they put out, Trick of the Tail and Wind & Wuthering. These albums, though Collins sang on them, were every bit as prog as what came before, and IMO as good as the Gabriel-led stuff.

The change that occurred to set them off down the "pop" path was the departure of Steve Hackett at this point. The group was then down to it's pop lineup of Collins/Banks/Rutherford. "Follow You Follow Me" became the blueprint for all of what came after - shorter, poppier songs with fewer instrumental passages. There were a couple of good moments on Duke and Abacab, but still not like what came before. I still haven't heard the album they did without Collins, Calling All Stations, so I don't know if it's more prog or pop.

But for me the delineation for Genesis is Hackett/post-Hackett, instead of Gabriel/Collins.

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I agree and have frequently said that it was Hackett's presence that elevated things - even if he is not responsible for all the good things.

However, to be fair, there was a big move toward pop with "Your Own Special Way" on W&W and while I like most of both TotT and W&W, there is a noticeable difference between these and the Gabriel material. Not that all the PG stuff sounds alike. I don't know that I can put TotT and W&W up there with Foxtrot and SEbtP. They're good, but they're not *that* good, which to me, says more about the brilliance of SEbtP, let's say. There was also a huge difference in the live shows. When PC took over, Genesis went from being mysterious to being mundane. It wasn't a theater anymore, it was a rock gig. And down the slippery slope they went. With Hackett out of the way, forget it.

I do like FGtR and Trespass, but again, Hackett's joining moved things up.

Mike

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Some of Hackett's early solo albums were really nice-up to Spectral Mornings anyway-met him once and(drunkenly) said that he was going down the wrong(AOR)path with "Highly Strung"-I agree they plummeted when he left,then sadly he did likewise tho' I don't know what he's up to now.Anyone remeber that album he did with Steve Howe?GTR!!!Freeway rock....bad move

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It's like city street rock, but faster. Unless it's LA freeway rock.

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