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"Victory goes to the player who makes the next-to-last mistake - Chessmaster Savielly Grigorievitch Tartakower (1887-1956)"

Wednesday, January 07, 2009

Let's Prog!...

Way back in the late 1960s/early 1970s when I was not much older than a nipper I started to listen to my brother and sister's records (not being able to afford many of my own). So from an early age I was heavily influenced by a type of music that was frankly beyond my years; progressive rock. Prog rock (as it was known) became wildly successful throughout the early 1970s and throughout that time was my 'dirty little secret' while I was listening to ABBA and disco. Sadly prog had a rapid decline when punk rock came along in 1976/77.

Over the past week or so BBC Four has been broadcasting a number of programmes about prog rock which have brought back many fond memories from my childhood and teenage years. Last night's live recording of Tubular Bells all but brought me to tears.

For a bit of fun I thought I'd list some of my favourite prog rock tracks/albums (in no particular order);

The Nice - America
The Moody Blues - Question
Jethro Tull - Witches Promise
Wishbone Ash - Vas Dis
Yes - Yours Is No Disgrace / Close To The Edge
Emerson, Lake and Palmer - Picture At An Exhibition / Fanfare For The Common Man
The Crazy World Of Arthur Brown - Fire
Camel - Moonmadness
Caravan - The Dog, The Dog He's At It Aagin
Soft Machine - Fanfare All White
Procol Harum - A Whiter Shade Of Pale
King Crimson - Cat Food
The Who - anything from Tommy
The Byrds - Eight Miles High
Pink Floyd - Piper At The Gates Of Dawn / Interstellar Overdrive / Saucer Full Of Secrets
Atomic Rooster - Tomorrow Night
Deep Purple - Hush / Smoke On The Water
Traffic - The Low Spark Of The High Heeled Boys
Family - In My Own Time
Genesis - I Know What I Like / Selling England By The Pound / Lamb Lies Down On Broadway
Egg - Bulb
Gong - Flying Teapot
Supertramp - Rudy / School
Tangerine Dream - Sorcerer
Queen - Seven Seas Of Rhye
Mike Oldfield - Tubular Bells
ELO - Mr Blue Sky
Rush - The Spirit Of Radio
Focus - Hocus Pocus / Sylvia

Ah, memories.

4 comments:

  1. Blimey, you're full of surprises! I too have a prog past. My official Fave Prog Album of All Time is Close To The Edge by Yes, which completely rocked my world at the tender age of 12. Fave Prog Band of All Time is Gong.

    We really warmed to the dude from Egg on last night's show, and Robert Wyatt made some refreshingly perceptive observations on the virtues of dodgy tuning in punk.

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  2. I loved that Roger Dean cover. I used to listen to CTTE and imagine myself flying through that landscape.

    Pink Floyd were so popular when I was at school that people used to ask, "what bands do you like, apart from Pink Floyd of course?"

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  3. Hooray for Roger Dean! I had a Tales From Topographic Oceans poster, and a Greenslade "Bedside Manners Are Extra" poster (it wasn't one of prog's better albums, but the artwork was gorge).

    The thrilling thing about CTTE was: I'd literally heard nothing even remotely like it before. No reference points, so it just sounded like a completely new kind of music. And to this day I can't work out who influenced them musically.

    I finally saw Yes perform the title track from CTTE in 2001 (quite brilliantly, I must say) and wept softly most of the way through.

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  4. Ah, prog (sigh). When it was good it was very, very good. When it was bad it was "The Myths and Legends of King Arthur and the Knights of the Round Table". Yes, *you* Rick Wakeman!

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