Progressive rock / metal

Shadow

Deluxe Edition
Staff member
Re: Progressive Rock (sixties / seventies / eighties)

SinisterMinisterX said:
Sorry if I was unclear - I wasn't referring to the music. However, most of Zappa's later albums are guitar solos, weird Synclavier stuff, orchestral works and other extremely experimental stuff. So I do think a new listener is wise to avoid it for the nonce, and get to know the 70s stuff first. Much of the later stuff is great, but I think it's hard to take if you're not already a fan of Zappa's better-known works.

I just wanted to point out to people who are unfamiliar with Zappa that the humour was really a minor part of his work.

I like Joe's Garage a lot, but I never cared much for Tinsel Town Rebellion. Only about half of that album is enjoyable to me. I'd say You Are What You Is, released in the same year, is a superior record.

As this thread is about prog, one Zappa album from the 80s has to mentioned: Ship Arriving to Late to Save a Drowning Witch. That album contains "Drowning Witch", which is one of the most complex and amazing prog epics I've ever heard. I recall Zappa saying it was the only song his live band never got exactly right.
 

______no5

The Angel Of The Odd
Re: Progressive Rock (sixties / seventies / eighties)

Also to mention Steve Vai on impossible guitar  ;)

In Tinsel town though, he was only the 3rd rhythm guitarist -awesome :bigsmile:
 

SinisterMinisterX

Illuminatus
Staff member
Re: Progressive Rock (sixties / seventies / eighties)

If you think you can handle the most bizarre thing Zappa ever did, find yourself a copy of Civilization Phase III.

On his early album Lumpy Gravy, Zappa recorded some people talking with their heads inside of a grand piano, creating a strange resonance in the sound. Only a few clips were used on Lumpy Gravy. Zappa used many more clips from these sessions on Civ III, putting them between almost every musical number.

And those musical numbers? Zappa's Synclavier madness at its most avant-garde.
 

Forostar

Ancient Mariner
Re: Progressive Rock (sixties / seventies / eighties)

SinisterMinisterX said:
On his early album Lumpy Gravy, Zappa recorded some people talking with their heads inside of a grand piano, creating a strange resonance in the sound.

Hahahah! Excellent trivia!  :)
 

Forostar

Ancient Mariner
Re: Progressive Rock (sixties / seventies / eighties)

SinisterMinisterX said:
.. the phenomenal The Yes Album.

I heard this one yesterday and I was disappointed. The vocals are not my cup of tea and maybe that's why the music has to make up for it. But even if these songs were instrumentals, I thought that -apart from the final song- the music was surprisingly dull and slow. It lacked the excitement, dynamics and melodic inventiveness that I search for in this type of music.

SinisterMinisterX said:
They were at their peak for the next two albums, when they had Rick Wakeman on keys: Fragile and Close To The Edge.

I hope that these fit better to my taste. If not, so be it, at least I tried. Later I'd like to dive into old Genesis.
 

SinisterMinisterX

Illuminatus
Staff member
Re: Progressive Rock (sixties / seventies / eighties)

Well, like just about any band, Yes might not be for everyone. But Fragile is probably their most popular album, as in the one liked by the most people - largely because the first song was a huge hit. I suggest trying that before Close To The Edge.

If and when you do listen to CTTE, be prepared: the first few minutes of the title song are strange, even by Yes standards.
 

Forostar

Ancient Mariner
Re: Progressive Rock (sixties / seventies / eighties)

SinisterMinisterX said:
Genesis
They weren't quite as successful as some other Gods Of Prog here, but their influence has perhaps been greater than any other band's ... it's impossible to conceive of Marillion if there had not been Genesis first. The essential albums are Foxtrot and Selling England By The Pound, but (like Shadow said) anything from Nursery Cryme to Wind And Wuthering excels.

I just bought Wind & Wuthering on LP (2nd hand) for 3 euro. I'm mighty curious!
This was the last album before Genesis switched into the famous trio line-up. Recorded in Holland, love the artwork. Going to play (some of) it now.

Just finished the album and I really liked it. Especially the album opener, "Eleventh Earl of Mar" is very cool!
Haunting music, with some kick ass melodies and sturdy bass playing underneath.
 

SinisterMinisterX

Illuminatus
Staff member
Re: Progressive Rock (sixties / seventies / eighties)

That album closes with one my favorite Genesis songs: "Afterglow". Next time you listen to it, remember this: that recording is a first take. One pass and done!
 

Shadow

Deluxe Edition
Staff member
Re: Progressive Rock (sixties / seventies / eighties)

I'm going to throw out a recommendation for Blackwater Park, an obscure German prog rock band whose only album, Dirt Box, came out in 1971. They had a pretty heavy style with lots of great riffs - although nowadays they're most famous for inspiring the title of an Opeth album.

Two songs from the album: "Mental Block" and "Rock Song".
 

SinisterMinisterX

Illuminatus
Staff member
Re: Progressive Rock (sixties / seventies / eighties)

Shadow said:
...an obscure German prog rock band...

There are quite a few of those. I've read some about that scene but never gotten into it.

The other country especially noted for great but obscure prog is Italy.
 

Shadow

Deluxe Edition
Staff member
Re: Progressive Rock (sixties / seventies / eighties)

I'm superficially familiar with what is known as "krautrock", but that's neither prog rock nor a genre. I don't know anything about the Italian scene.

Come to think of it, Nektar are English but were based in Germany. They did some really good stuff.
 

SinisterMinisterX

Illuminatus
Staff member
Re: Progressive Rock (sixties / seventies / eighties)

I didn't know Nektar was English. I always thought they were German...

"Krautrock" has only become non-prog with the passage of time, as prog has become more defined. When it was new, no one knew what it was. It obviously wasn't prog the way Yes is prog, but it was definitely out of the mainstream and had some prog thinking behind it. So it's sort of on the edge of prog, not on its musical merits, but on what they were trying to accomplish.

At least, that's what I get from the bit I know about it.
 

Perun

Dominus et deus
Staff member
Re: Progressive Rock (sixties / seventies / eighties)

I remember a special about Krautrock in a German magazine I had been reading a good number of years back (around 2002/03). If you guys want to, I can dig up the issue and extract a list of bands mentioned there.
 

Forostar

Ancient Mariner
Re: Progressive Rock (sixties / seventies / eighties)

Shadow said:
I don't know anything about the Italian scene.

I know a colleague who is a specialist in Italian prog rock. I don't know much of it myself but I assume the scene was huge.

It even has its own wiki page: click

This is also interesting:

Although almost all of these bands were from the UK, the genre was growing popular elsewhere in continental Europe. Triumvirat led Germany's significant progressive rock movement, while Tangerine Dream, Faust, Can and Neu! led the related Berlin School and Krautrock movements.

Focus and Trace formed in the Netherlands, France produced Ange, Gong, and Magma, and Greece saw the debut of Aphrodite's Child led by electronic music pioneer Vangelis. Spain produced numerous prog groups, including Canarios and Triana. Scandinavia was represented by: Norwegian band Popol Vuh, Swedish band Kaipa and Finnish band Wigwam. Italian progressive rock is sometimes considered a genre unto itself, highlighted by bands like PFM, Banco, Quella Vecchia Locanda, Metamorfosi, New Trolls, Area, Le Orme, Goblin, Museo Rosenbach, Il Balletto di Bronzo, and Locanda Delle Fate.
 

Shadow

Deluxe Edition
Staff member
Re: Progressive Rock (sixties / seventies / eighties)

Forostar said:
(...) Norwegian band Popol Vuh (...)

I don't know that band, but the German Popol Vuh was one of the best krautrock groups, creating very interesting combinations of soft instrumentation and psychedelia. Their Aguirre and Nosferatu albums (both partially soundtracks for Werner Herzog films) are excellent.

SinisterMinisterX said:
"Krautrock" has only become non-prog with the passage of time, as prog has become more defined. When it was new, no one knew what it was. It obviously wasn't prog the way Yes is prog, but it was definitely out of the mainstream and had some prog thinking behind it. So it's sort of on the edge of prog, not on its musical merits, but on what they were trying to accomplish.

"Krautrock" is one of those terms that cover such a vast spectrum of styles that it doesn't really mean anything. Some of the bands, like Can, could certainly be described as prog rock. Others, like Tangerine Dream and Popol Vuh, were not even rock to begin with.
 

Forostar

Ancient Mariner
Re: Progressive Rock (sixties / seventies / eighties)

Shadow said:
I don't know that band, but the German Popol Vuh was one of the best krautrock groups, creating very interesting combinations of soft instrumentation and psychedelia. Their Aguirre and Nosferatu albums (both partially soundtracks for Werner Herzog films) are excellent.

Yep:

Popol Vuh (German band), a 1970s German cosmic music band
Popol Ace, a Norwegian progressive rock band that changed its name from Popol Vuh to avoid confusion
 
Instrumental and sung prog rock bands

I was wondering if anybody of you could name a few prog rock bands (of all times) to add to my collection. It would be really good if you could bring both an instrumental and a non-instrumental band to the table. If you know any obscure bands it will be even more appreciated.
 

Mega

Ancient Mariner
Re: Instrumental and sung prog rock bands

Camel comes to mind, but I'm sure you already know them.
 
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