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Old 08-27-2008, 09:45 AM   #1
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Why the evolution of the term "prog"?

I hate the way the word "prog" has evolved over the years.

When I was first exposed to the term "progressive rock" in the late sixties on Thomas Aquinas' show on CFPL in London, it was used to mean any rock music that had any pretentions beyond the most simplistic pop of artists such as Herman's Hermits, Petula Clark, Tommy James & the Shondells, Dave Clark Five, Beach Boys, James Brown, the Supremes, Wilson Pickett, Righteous Brothers, Monkees, Everly Brothers, Four Tops, Leslie Gore, etc. As such the music of groups as varied as the Beatles, Rolling Stones, Yardbirds, Cream, Led Zeppelin, Jethro Tull, Traffic, Santana, Animals, King Crimson, Ten Years After, Jefferson Airplane, Bee Gees, Doors and the Kinks was all classified as progressive rock.

But prog on this board seems to be very narrowly applied to the art rock of such groups as Yes, Electric Light Orchestra, King Crimson, Vanilla Fudge, Pink Floyd, Rush, Moody Blues and Emerson, Lake & Palmer.

I'm not pleased with this development. I prefer the broader definition. What happened?

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Old 08-27-2008, 11:21 AM   #2
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Re: Why the evolution of the term "prog"?

Cindylea could tell you the best.

Look at Prog Archives top albums of all time and you see a variety of bands...including some of those you mentioned.

Thick As A Brick - JETHRO TULL Prog Folk
Selling England By The Pound - GENESIS Symphonic Prog
Foxtrot - GENESIS Symphonic Prog
Close to the Edge - YES Symphonic Prog
Wish You Were Here - PINK FLOYD Psychedelic/Space Rock
Dark Side Of The Moon - PINK FLOYD Psychedelic/Space Rock
In The Court Of The Crimson King - KING CRIMSON Eclectic Prog
Crime of the Century - SUPERTRAMP Crossover Prog
Godbluff - VAN DER GRAAF GENERATOR Eclectic Prog
Pawn Hearts - VAN DER GRAAF GENERATOR Eclectic Prog
Quadrophenia - WHO, THE Proto-Prog
Si On Avait Besoin D'Une Cinquième Saison - HARMONIUM Symphonic Prog
Animals - PINK FLOYD Psychedelic/Space Rock
Hamburger Concerto - FOCUS Symphonic Prog
Per Un Amico - PREMIATA FORNERIA MARCONI Italian Symphonic Prog
Moving Pictures - RUSH Heavy Prog
Red - KING CRIMSON Eclectic Prog
In a Glass House - GENTLE GIANT Eclectic Prog
Birds of Fire - MAHAVISHNU ORCHESTRA Jazz Rock/Fusion
Depois Do Fim - BACAMARTE Symphonic Prog
Uomo Di Pezza - ORME, LE Italian Symphonic Prog
A Farewell to Kings - RUSH Heavy Prog
Elegant Gypsy - DI MEOLA, AL Jazz Rock/Fusion
Nursery Cryme - GENESIS Symphonic Prog
Hybris - ANGLAGARD Symphonic Prog
Io Sono Nato Libero - BANCO DEL MUTUO SOCCORSO Italian Symphonic Prog
Still Life - OPETH Tech/Extreme Prog Metal
Fragile - YES Symphonic Prog
Storia Di Un Minuto - PREMIATA FORNERIA MARCONI Italian Symphonic Prog
Hot Rats - ZAPPA, FRANK RIO/Avant-Prog
Eros - DUN Zeuhl
Still Life - VAN DER GRAAF GENERATOR Eclectic Prog
Hemispheres - RUSH Heavy Prog
Moonmadness - CAMEL Symphonic Prog
Argus - WISHBONE ASH Prog Related
Relayer - YES Symphonic Prog
Remedy Lane - PAIN OF SALVATION Progressive Metal
Larks' Tongues in Aspic - KING CRIMSON Eclectic Prog
Radio Gnome Invisible Vol. 3 - You - GONG Canterbury Scene
Darwin! (original version) - BANCO DEL MUTUO SOCCORSO Italian Symphonic Prog
Red Queen to Gryphon Three - GRYPHON Prog Folk
The Perfect Element Part 1 - PAIN OF SALVATION Progressive Metal
Script For A Jester's Tear - MARILLION Neo Progressive
Free Hand - GENTLE GIANT Eclectic Prog
In The Land Of Grey And Pink - CARAVAN Canterbury Scene
Rock Bottom - WYATT, ROBERT Canterbury Scene
One of a Kind - BRUFORD, BILL Jazz Rock/Fusion
Ommadawn - OLDFIELD, MIKE Crossover Prog
Boris - YEZDA URFA Eclectic Prog
The Doors - DOORS, THE Proto-Prog
Scheherazade and Other Stories - RENAISSANCE Symphonic Prog
Aqualung - JETHRO TULL Prog Folk
Cantofabule (Cantafabule) - PHOENIX Prog Folk
Revolver - BEATLES, THE Proto-Prog
The Human Equation - AYREON Progressive Metal
Caravanserai - SANTANA Jazz Rock/Fusion
The Lamb Lies Down On Broadway - GENESIS Symphonic Prog
Octopus - GENTLE GIANT Eclectic Prog
Valentyne Suite - COLOSSEUM Jazz Rock/Fusion
Lateralus - TOOL Experimental/Post Metal
The Snow Goose - CAMEL Symphonic Prog
H to He, Who Am the Only One - VAN DER GRAAF GENERATOR Eclectic Prog
Memento Z Banalnym Tryptykiem - S.B.B. Jazz Rock/Fusion
Mirage - CAMEL
Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band - BEATLES, THE
Who's Next - THE WHO
Scenes From A Memory Metropolis Part II - DREAM THEATER Progressive Metal
Queen II - QUEEN
https://www.progarchives.com/top-prog...?salbumtypes=1
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Old 08-27-2008, 11:30 AM   #3
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Re: Why the evolution of the term "prog"?

Petula Clark is hardly progressive - by any definition of the word
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Old 08-27-2008, 11:35 AM   #4
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Re: Why the evolution of the term "prog"?

Because if we cant generalise we end up with stupidly large amounts of genres.

Post-prog, nu-prog, pirate-prog, prog-prog, classic prog, death-prog etc.
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Old 08-27-2008, 11:48 AM   #5
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Re: Why the evolution of the term "prog"?

I think the simplest way to characterize the term "prog"'s usage here at CRF2 is that it pertains to Progressive Rock, as opposed to progressive rock.
Like CrazyDiamond said, it's easier if there's a more general term for "that" kind of music...let the geeks parse and delineate further if they'd like.
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Old 08-27-2008, 11:52 AM   #6
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Re: Why the evolution of the term "prog"?

Quote:
Originally Posted by flipflop View Post
Petula Clark is hardly progressive - by any definition of the word
You misread the sentence..." Prog Rock...was used to mean any rock music that had had any pretentions beyond the most simplistic pop of arists such as Herman's Hermits, Petula Clark, "
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Old 08-27-2008, 11:55 AM   #7
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Re: Why the evolution of the term "prog"?

Prog Archives definition...

Progressive rock is an ambitious, eclectic, and often grandiose style of rock music which arose in the late 1960s principally in England, reaching the peak of its popularity in the early 1970s. Progressive rock was largely a European movement, and drew most of its influences from classical music and jazz fusion, in contrast to American rock, which was influenced by rhythm & blues and country, although there are notable exceptions in the New World such as Kansas and Rush — considered by many to be the finest examples of the form. Over the years various sub-genres of progressive rock have emerged, such as symphonic rock, art rock and progressive metal.

Progressive rock artists sought to move away from the limitations of radio formatted rock and pop, and "progress" rock to the point that it could achieve the sophistication of jazz or classical music.

Prog Archives reviews over 2000 bands with 9600 titles, not a narrow definition at all.
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Old 08-27-2008, 03:28 PM   #8
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Re: Why the evolution of the term "prog"?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Hepcat View Post
I hate the way the word "prog" has evolved over the years.

When I was first exposed to the term "progressive rock" in the late sixties on Thomas Aquinas' show on CFPL in London,

Got any proof of that was the term he was using in the late 60's? If he was using the term back then it was a random term he was using. The definition of what prog rock is according to various books and websites is pretty much what Annie got from prog archives. Its this standard that has been used since the mid to late 70's and is universally used around the world. It is broken down into many sub genre's and some band are debatable. For instance Prog archives uses proto prog as a category for certain albums by The Beatles, The Who, Queen, The Doors which IMHO don't consider prog.
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Old 08-27-2008, 03:57 PM   #9
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Re: Why the evolution of the term "prog"?

Quote:
Originally Posted by annie View Post
Quote:
Originally Posted by flipflop View Post
Petula Clark is hardly progressive - by any definition of the word
You misread the sentence..." Prog Rock...was used to mean any rock music that had had any pretentions beyond the most simplistic pop of arists such as Herman's Hermits, Petula Clark, "
I repeat... hardly any pretentions beyond the most simplistic pop music in Petula Clark's output. I adore the few songs I know of hers but hardly, as I said, any artistic aspirations outside of scoring a hit or two.
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Old 08-27-2008, 04:56 PM   #10
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Re: Why the evolution of the term "prog"?

By the very nature of the word itself -- "progressive" -- the music is in a constant state of evolution and motion.

All of the sub genres are there because like all genres, "progressive" music has splintered and divided itself many times over.

Certainly ELP and Yes play a different variation of progressive rock than Mars Volta or Radiohead. Jethro Tull is a completely different animal than Rush. You get the idea...
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Old 08-28-2008, 12:22 AM   #11
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Re: Why the evolution of the term "prog"?

In the early 1970s here in Tennessee, the term "progressive rock" was used exactly as Hepcat described it. It was any music or artist in the broader parameters of the pop or rock genres who aimed beyond the limited parameters of "hit radio" formats towards something more artistic. This could even include a group like The Monkees when they released something like "Porpoise Song".

Progressive rock was, in the early stages of the term's usage, more about the kind of music than the artist who presented it. Neil Diamond and Carole King, for instance, were played on "progressive rock" stations in the early 70s because their music was perceived as pursuing artistic goals more than commercial success.

Even John Denver sometimes got airplay on such stations, depending on the the perceived "progressiveness" of the song or album. Around the time of the Rocky Mountain High and Farewell Andromeda albums, he actually got a fair amount of "FM rock" airplay. I know. I was there, I was listening.

I understand why the term has become more strictly defined over the past 30 years. But to me that's part of the "straitjacket" that we've gotten into musically, and it's not a healthy mindset for the progress of musical creativity in general.
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Old 08-28-2008, 09:06 AM   #12
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Music Note Re: Why the evolution of the term "prog"?

Quote:
Originally Posted by flipflop View Post
Petula Clark is hardly progressive - by any definition of the word
I agree. Petula Clark's music is not progressive precisely because it had "hardly any pretentions beyond the most simplistic pop music".

Among the artists from the sixties who put out simple, unpretentious music was this group:

Herman's Hermits
Petula Clark
Tommy James & the Shondells
Dave Clark Five
Beach Boys
Johnny Rivers
Ronettes
Gerry & the Pacemakers
James Brown & His Famous Flames
Supremes
Wilson Pickett
Trashmen
Archies
Righteous Brothers
Chad & Jeremy
Marvin Gaye
Monkees
Everly Brothers
Four Tops
Leslie Gore
Roy Orbison
Gene Pitney
Four Seasons
Lou Christie
Freddie & the Dreamers
Otis Redding
Guess Who
Gary Lewis & the Playboys
Dusty Springfield
Peter & Gordon

Among the artists from the late sixties who aspired to something more, which some DJs including Thomas Aquinas labelled progressive rock, was this group:

Beatles
Rolling Stones
Yardbirds
Cream
Led Zeppelin
Jethro Tull
Traffic
John Mayall & the Bluesbreakers
Byrds
Lovin' Spoonful
Buffalo Springfield
Deep Purple
Santana
Animals
Who
King Crimson
Ten Years After
Jefferson Airplane
Bee Gees
Doors
Kinks
Grateful Dead
Jeff Beck Group
Quicksilver Messenger Service
Spirit
Them
Spencer Davis Group
Nice
Donovan
Fleetwood Mac
Jimi Hendrix Experience
Simon & Garfunkle
Mamas & the Papas
Paul Butterfield Blues Band
Electric Prunes
Big Brother & the Holding Company
Bob Dylan
Vanilla Fudge
Pink Floyd

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Old 08-28-2008, 09:34 AM   #13
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Exclamation Re: Why the evolution of the term "prog"?

Runtfan:

Quote:
Like CrazyDiamond said, it's easier if there's a more general term for "that" kind of music...let the geeks parse and delineate further if they'd like.
Arrrrgggghhhh!!!! My complaint is just the opposite! I think the term has become too specific. It's not general enough.

Hightea:

Quote:
Got any proof of that was the term he was using in the late 60's?
Oh come on. My memory. I listened to his show religiously in 1968-1970! I was an earnest young man who took my rock music very seriously in those days, sort of like Deja Vu does today. Fortunately I've lightened up over the years.

Quote:
If he was using the term back then it was a random term he was using.
Well Thomas Aquinas may very well have invented the term "progressive rock" then - but it's evolved somewhat from the way he applied it.

Quote:
The definition of what prog rock is according to various books and websites is pretty much what Annie got from prog archives. Its this standard that has been used since the mid to late 70's and is universally used around the world. It is broken down into many sub genre's and some band are debatable. For instance Prog archives uses proto prog as a category for certain albums by The Beatles, The Who, Queen, The Doors which IMHO don't consider prog.
But this constraining of the progressive rock definition to only what I'd consider "art rock" is precisely what I'm decrying!



Reverend Rock:

Quote:
I understand why the term has become more strictly defined over the past 30 years. But to me that's part of the "straitjacket" that we've gotten into musically, and it's not a healthy mindset for the progress of musical creativity in general.
I agree. Sad.

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Old 08-28-2008, 01:51 PM   #14
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Re: Why the evolution of the term "prog"?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Hepcat View Post
Among the artists from the late sixties who aspired to something more, which some DJs including Thomas Aquinas labelled progressive rock, was this group:

Beatles
Rolling Stones
Yardbirds
Cream
Led Zeppelin
Jethro Tull
Traffic
John Mayall & the Bluesbreakers
Byrds
Lovin' Spoonful
Buffalo Springfield
Deep Purple
Santana
Animals
Who
King Crimson
Ten Years After
Jefferson Airplane
Bee Gees
Doors
Kinks
Grateful Dead
Jeff Beck Group
Quicksilver Messenger Service
Spirit
Them
Spencer Davis Group
Nice
Donovan
Fleetwood Mac
Jimi Hendrix Experience
Simon & Garfunkle
Mamas & the Papas
Paul Butterfield Blues Band
Electric Prunes
Big Brother & the Holding Company
Bob Dylan
Vanilla Fudge
Pink Floyd

In that case, is there any post-pop rock band that ISN'T progressive?
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Old 08-28-2008, 02:05 PM   #15
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Re: Why the evolution of the term "prog"?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Hepcat View Post

Quote:
The definition of what prog rock is according to various books and websites is pretty much what Annie got from prog archives. Its this standard that has been used since the mid to late 70's and is universally used around the world. It is broken down into many sub genre's and some band are debatable. For instance Prog archives uses proto prog as a category for certain albums by The Beatles, The Who, Queen, The Doors which IMHO don't consider prog.
But this constraining of the progressive rock definition to only what I'd consider "art rock" is precisely what I'm decrying!

Sorry, but according to All Music...

"Progressive rock and art rock are two almost interchangeable terms describing a mostly British attempt to elevate rock music to new levels of artistic credibility. Prog-rock began to emerge out of the British psychedelic scene in 1967, specifically a strain of classical/symphonic rock led by the Nice, Procol Harum, and the Moody Blues (Days of Future Passed). King Crimson's 1969 debut In the Court of the Crimson King firmly established the concept of progressive rock, and a quirky, eclectic scene was taking shape in Canterbury, led by the jazzy psychedelia of the Soft Machine. Prog-rock became a commercial force in the early '70s, with Emerson, Lake & Palmer, Yes, Jethro Tull, Genesis, and Pink Floyd leading the way. Meanwhile, a more avant-garde scene (dubbed Kraut-rock) was developing in Germany, and eccentric, unclassifiable bands continued to emerge in the U.K. By the mid-'70s, a backlash was beginning to set in; prog-rock sometimes mistook bombast for majesty, and its far-reaching ambition and concern with artistic legitimacy could make for overblown, pretentious music. Its heyday soon came to an end with the advent of punk, which explicitly repudiated prog's excesses and aimed to return rock & roll to its immediate, visceral roots. Still, prog-rock didn't completely go away. A number of AOR bands used prog ideas in more concise songs; plus, Pink Floyd, Yes, and Genesis all had number one singles in the '80s by retooling their approaches. A small cult of neo-prog bands catered to faithful audiences who still liked grandiose concepts and flashy technique; the first was Marillion, and many more popped up in the late '80s and early '90s."
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Old 08-28-2008, 02:07 PM   #16
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Exclamation Re: Why the evolution of the term "prog"?

Quote:
In that case, is there any post-pop rock band that ISN'T progressive?
I'm confused by your term post-pop. If you mean other than pop, then my answer is by definition "No" since by progressive rock I mean anything other than simplistic pop.

If, however, you mean post the outbreak of psychedelic rock in 1967 but prior to the end of the sixties, the answer would be "Yes." Here's some examples of artists from the late sixties who did not fit my definition of progressive rockers:

Andy Kim, Monkees, Bobby Sherman, Archies, Jackson Five, Bobby Goldsboro, Barbara Streisand, Aretha Franklin, Tony Orlando & Dawn, etc.

Quote:
Sorry, but according to All Music...

"Progressive rock and art rock are two almost interchangeable terms describing a mostly British attempt to elevate rock music to new levels of artistic credibility.
I know. But equating the two is precisely what I'm decrying since progressive rock had a far broader meaning when I first encountered the term.
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Old 08-28-2008, 10:58 PM   #17
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Re: Why the evolution of the term "prog"?

when i think of progressive rock i think of yes,emerson,lake and palmer,jethro tull,genesis and pink floyd mostly.
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Old 08-28-2008, 11:09 PM   #18
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Re: Why the evolution of the term "prog"?

Hepcat-I think you take not being prog rock the wrong way. I love prog rock but certainly don't stop there when it comes to great music.

Bands like Led Zep and Black Sabbath were so progressive that they started their own genre

In the case of Jefferson Airplane, Grateful Deaed, Quick Silver Messenger Service,Big Brother & the Holding Company it waseasier to see them lumped together and categorized together. Doesn't not make them progressive just not prog rock cause they started something else.
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