Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Progressive rock, years later

Back when I was in high school, in the 1970s -- before rap, before alternative rock, even before New Wave and punk -- the music the intelligent kids listened to was called "progressive rock." My friends and I liked bands such as Yes, Genesis, Kansas, Emerson Lake and Palmer, and so on.

It's hard to know what to think of it now. Rock critics unanimously hate progressive rock, so it's easy to overrate the stuff, on the ground that rock critics are a bunch of useless, pretentious idiots. I've just started driving a car with a CD player, and I listened to Kansas on the hour-long commute to work this morning. A lot of it sounded kind of screechy and bombastic. I tried putting Emerson, Lake and Palmer on my Slacker radio station, and eventually deleted the band when I noticed that I disliked every ELP track they played.

But when I listen to the "Live At Montreaux" Yes album I downloaded recently from Emusic, I think it sounds pretty darn good. Genesis and solo Peter Gabriel still sounds good to me, too. I read an interview with Phil Collins back in the heyday of progressive rock, and when they asked him about those groups, he said the only band he liked was Yes. Maybe he was on to something.


Dr. Andrew said...

DUDE! Thanks for your musical support with the existence of this blog. I agree with you and what you are saying with this post.

What has happened to REAL progressive music? Prog has gone by the way of prog-metal.

I am part of the project Indra's Net; "Progressive Classical Music for Progressive Rock Fans". Our intention is to produce classically based music = like we ALL used to listen to back in the 1970's = YES, Genesis, etc. We will happy to send you a FREE CD when our album comes out if you will review it here on your blog, and tell your friends and family!

Check out our ROUGH demos online:

Thank you.
Dr. Andrew Colyer

Jeffrey Biegel said...

I was not a fan of the progressive rock in the 1970s, but now in 2007, I play Keith Emerson's Piano Concerto and love it to death! I must have believed as a 12 year old in 1973 that if you liked that stuff, you were high on God-knows-what. Ah, youth!

Genesis Tribute Band Gabble Ratchet said...

I've got to agree with you. Yes and Genesis are the two that still stand. They both produced multiple masterpieces. I just saw Genesis yesterday at the Hollywood Bowl. It's great to see rockers that actually are excellent musicians. Phil Collins has an terrific voice and is one of the unsung drummer gods of rock and roll. Love Tony Bank's symphonic sensibility.

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