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Old 08-29-2008, 09:08 AM   #19
Hepcat
 
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Music Note Re: Why the evolution of the term "prog"?

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Originally Posted by Annie
In that case, is there any post-pop rock band that ISN'T progressive?
I think the answer to my question is in Annie's question. She hit the nail on the head.

Methinks that progressive rock had its seeds in 1965-1966 with the experimentation of Bob Dylan when he went electric, of the Yardbirds when they recorded "Heart Full of Soul", of the Beatles when they released "Rubber Soul", of the Rolling Stones when they recorded "Paint It Black", etc. These seminal events influenced other bands and by 1967 the pop music scene was rife with experimental bands such as Cream, Jimi Hendrix Experience, Traffic, Spirit, Doors, Vanilla Fudge, Pink Floyd etc. Psychedelia and acid rock had virtually exploded overnight. A new term, "progressive rock", was coined by Thomas Aquinas and others to describe the music of all these experimental bands which had expanded the boundaries of pop music beyond the traditional three minute song.

But this trend was so powerful that by 1968-69 progressive rock had "won". All bands (though not all solo artists) had embraced progressive rock. Even garage rock bands like the Electric Prunes, Amboy Dukes, Strawberry Alarm Clock and the Lemon Pipers were embracing the new experimental progressive rock. The bands that failed to evolve with the times, such as the Dave Clark Five and Herman's Hermits, fell to the wayside.

But any term that comes to refer to everything loses its utility. Therefore by the mid seventies the abbreviated term "prog" evidently came to be more narrowly applied to "art rock" bands such as Pink Floyd, King Crimson, Jethro Tull, ELP, Yes and ELO. It ceased to be applied to more traditional blues influenced ensembles like the Rolling Stones and Led Zeppelin, the heavy metal rockers like Black Sabbath, and the glam rockers like Alice Cooper.

I suppose I should accept the way the nomenclature has evolved but it's tough for me not to bristle when I hear bands such as the Doors, Cream, Led Zeppelin, Santana and the Rolling Stones no longer being classified as "prog". After all, I was there listening when all the experimentation began and progressive rock was born.

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Old 08-29-2008, 10:11 AM   #20
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Exclamation Re: Why the evolution of the term "prog"?

Hightea:

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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.
That used to be true but by the late seventies my musical tastes had expanded to embrace music that didn't fit neatly into the broad "progressive rock" category to which I had wedded my tastes in 1968. For example I've embraced both soul and girl group music from the sixties together with quite a bit of more modern rock.

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Old 08-29-2008, 12:28 PM   #21
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Re: Why the evolution of the term "prog"?

I don't care what they call it, all I want is for the music to
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Old 08-29-2008, 01:10 PM   #22
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Re: Why the evolution of the term "prog"?

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Originally Posted by Hepcat View Post
I suppose I should accept the way the nomenclature has evolved but it's tough for me not to bristle when I hear that bands like the Doors, Cream, Led Zeppelin, Santana and the Rolling Stones are no longer classified as "prog". After all, I was there listening when all the experimentation began and progressive rock was born.

Never thought of the Stones as prog, although they dabbled with new and wondrous forms in the late 60s. The term "progressive rock" has come to define music, by my reckoning, with odd time signatures and atypical lyrics played by exceptional musicians.
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Old 03-25-2020, 08:44 AM   #23
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Exclamation Re: Why the evolution of the term "prog"?

To me it's very clear that these bands originating in the 1960's were all "progressive rock" bands quite simply because they aspired to something more than commercially successful top forty singles:


Beatles
Rolling Stones
Yardbirds
Cream
Led Zeppelin
Traffic
John Mayall & the Bluesbreakers
Byrds
Lovin' Spoonful
Buffalo Springfield
Deep Purple
Santana
Animals
The Who
Ten Years After
Jefferson Airplane
Bee Gees
Doors
Kinks
Grateful Dead
Jeff Beck Group
Quicksilver Messenger Service
Spirit
Them
Spencer Davis Group
Donovan
(Peter Green's) Fleetwood Mac
Jimi Hendrix Experience
Butterfield Blues Band
Electric Prunes
Zombies
Creedence Clearwater Revival
Steppenwolf
Big Brother & the Holding Company


If therefore you're reluctant to include them within the umbrella of "prog" bands, I'd argue that you're not using the terms synonymously. You're using a more restrictive, exclusive definition for "prog" than for "progressive rock". You're limiting your definition of "prog" to that rock music "with odd time signatures and atypical lyrics played by exceptional musicians".

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Old 03-25-2020, 03:30 PM   #24
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Re: Why the evolution of the term "prog"?

I would argue that the bands Foxhound listed above certainly had progressive elements in some of their songs from time to time ...but most of them imho are not what I think of as progressive rock bands and I have no doubt that those bands themselves would have said that to anyone who asked. Simply because rock itself evolved into various forms which carried along many bands doesn't mean those bands were attempting to be 'progressive' or trying to actually be prog rock artists. Bands like King Crimson, Yes, and Genesis on the other hand were imho attempting to truly make music outside the norm.
But as I said in another thread it's all subjective about who was trying to do what and why.
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Old 03-25-2020, 10:04 PM   #25
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Exclamation Re: Why the evolution of the term "prog"?

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...I have no doubt that those bands themselves would have said that to anyone who asked. Simply because rock itself evolved into various forms which carried along many bands doesn't mean those bands were attempting to be 'progressive' or trying to actually be prog rock artists.
Of course those bands weren't deliberately trying to be "progressive". They were just following the path blazed by their rapidly expanding interests. Had they been self-consciously trying to be progressive, they would have been trying too hard and they would not have recorded the good music that they did.

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Old 03-27-2020, 03:10 PM   #26
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Re: Why the evolution of the term "prog"?

Not sure about the 'trying too hard' thing....maybe, maybe not.
Many artists are quite capable of trying to be this or that and succeed handily. I think of King Crimson here because Fripp always wanted to do something outside the box and I think he consciously strove to do that and succeeded well imho. I can't imagine that some of the truly progressive artists weren't intentionally trying to sound different. For instance Gentle Giant...or Van Der Graaf Generator..you don't sound like that by just deciding to play some rock one day. But in general I agree that if you try too hard it will probably sound forced.
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