The Bands of Progressive Rock


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The Bands of Progressive Rock

  1. 1. The Bands of Progressive Rock A roughly chronological guide by Lucas Crawford.
  2. 2. Although not usually associated with the genre, The Beatles are often credited with helping start progressive rock, especially with their album, Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band. The album shows an album-wide theme, musical experimentation, and influences from classical music, all characteristics of progressive rock.
  3. 3. PINK FLOYD
  4. 4. Genesis, especially the Peter Gabriel years, is often called one of the most influential and extravagant progressive rock bands. With their wide instrumentation and theatrical concert performances, they became one of the first really popular progressive rock bands.
  5. 5. POWERPOINTS: INNOCENT PRESENTATIONS OR RUTHLESS KILLERS? PG. 5 The St. Cleve Chronicle JETHRO TULL AN ECLECTIC FLAUTIST AND OTHER BLUES MUSICIANS START A BAND IN 1967, RISE TO STORY BEHIND “THICK AS A PROGRESSIVE ROCK STARDOM BRICK” DECLARED FICTICIOUS Released in 1972, Jethro Tull’s album, Thick as a Brick, was actually a poem by a young Gerald “Little Milton” Bostock, according to the newspaper sleeve, but recent evidence has shown that these claims might be false. LIES, pg. 4 The band, Jethro Tull (not to be confused with the Scottish inventor of the same name), started out as a blues band, but upon the release of their second album, they rapidly approached the genre of progressive rock. Heavily influenced by jazz, blues, and folk, the sound of Jethro Tull is like no other band. In 1971, they released their best known album, Aqualung, which expanded their fan base, allowing them to experiment more with music. The result of this experimentation was the massive Thick as a Brick. With one 20minitue song on each side, they had plenty of room to expand musical ideas, Ian Anderson, flautist-singer-occaisonal guitar player of Jethrto Tull which they did amazingly, producing one of progressive rock’s best albums
  6. 6. An often underrated group, Kraftwerk started as the krautrock band, Organisation in 1967. Kraftwerk was a band who was far ahead of their time. If you listen to some of their 70’s albums, especially Die Mench Maschine (The Man Machine) you could easily think that it is techno from the early 2000’s. Their first big success was the album Autobahn. The great title track didn’t get much radioplay; it was 20 minutes long. That album was their first to feature heavy use of synthesizers, especially the Moog MiniMoog, and ever since, their albums had featured 100% synthesizers, some of them even home made. Kraftwerk didn’t sound like other progressive rock bands, and some may argue that they aren’t really progressive rock, but the influence that they have had on electronic music (and hence, progressive rock) will always be considered an immense force.
  7. 7. A band that is sadly known for one song, Procol Harum had massive success with their song, “A Whiter Shade of Pale”, but they are so much more. This Gary Brooker and Robin Trower band has output amazing, hard-rocking progressive rock songs, some of their best being on the albums, Salty Dog and Broken Barricades. The song Conquistador, although not very popular when it was released on their first album, was a big hit in the US when it was released on Live in Concert with the Edmonton Symphony Orchestra.
  8. 8. Caravan, and other bands from the ‘Canterbury Scene’, although not technically “progressive rock”, have a lot of importance in making progressive rock what it was. Founded in 1968, Caravan mixed pop-ish music with some sort of weird psychedelic-folk music, but the results sound a lot better than that statement. One of their most famous album is In the Land of Grey and Pink (I won’t name any other albums, their names get comically suggestive). Side B has a great 20 minute song, “Nine Feet Underground”, that features a Hammond organ through a guitar amp as the main instrument.
  9. 9. King Crimson (Now It Gets Real) Although they weren’t really a huge hit, King Crimson will always be considered one of the best progressive rock bands. Founded by guitar player Robert Fripp in 1968 as a mix between jazz-fusion and early progressive rock, they have always been very different. Their first album, In the Court of the Crimson King, had pretty good success, with the help of the songs “21st Century Schizoid Man” and “In the Court of the Crimson King”. Between 1968 and 1974, there were three different lineups, the last of which they had some of their greatest success. With John Wetton on bass and vocals (from Family, later joined Asia), Bill Bruford on drums (from Yes), David Cross on violin, and Robert Fripp on guitar, they had a much harder sound and released three albums in this time. First, Larks’ Tongues in Aspic, a huge success, then Starless and Bible Black, with most songs actually recorded live, although you can’t tell, and then Red, their most selling album in the US. After a hiatus from 1975-1980, they released a very different album, but I talked about that’s another story…
  10. 10. Yes is often considered the epitome of progressive rock. The melodic bass lines and frequent synth solos made them the unofficial definition of progressive rock. The song “Roundabout” helped popularize the band, and the massive album Tales from Topographic Oceans, with four side-long songs, really defined their sound and the sound of progressive rock in the late 70’s.
  11. 11. RUSH RUSH RUSH RUSH RUSH | RUSH RUSH RUSH ® RUSH RUSH RUSH ®RUSH rUsh rush Rush µ® RUSH RŒSH Formed in 1968, the Canadian rock band Rush originally consisted of Geddy Lee on bass and vocals, Alex Lifeson on guitar, and John Rutsey on drums. After the first album, Rutsey was replaced by Neil Peart, and the lineup has stayed constant since. After releasing a few hard rock albums, they started to enter progressive rock with Caress of Steel, but it was a commercial failure. The next year, they released 2112, which was a huge success. They have since released numerous albums and they are third in number of platinum and gold albums, after The Rolling Stones and The Beatles. They recently released their first concept album, and went on a world tour that sold out every venue. They have left their mark on progressive rock, and they will always be considered one of the most important bands of the genre. (and yes, I have the Rush font pack)
  12. 12. Electric Light Orchestra ELO, although more pop-oriented than other progressive rock bands, definitely belong in the genre. Lead singer Jeff Lyne’s first band, The Move, was a psychidellic rock band, and as time went on, their sound changed to be more rock-oriented, but with an orchestral side. The most ‘progressive rock’ ELO got was with Face the Music, and Out of the Blue.
  13. 13. Emerson Lake & Palmer In 1970, three musicians, Kieth Emerson, keyboardist from The Nice, Greg Lake, bassist from King Crimson, and Carl Palmer, drummer from Atomic Rooster, formed one of progressive rocks most defining bands. When asked what is progressive rock, many people will answer Yes and ELP. The reason for their popularity in the genre is caused greatly by Emerson’s keyboard playing. He used the piano, electronic organ and the Moog synthesizer in ways that would be at home in rock music and in classical compositions. This, along with the powerful bass and drums, and the lyrical themes, made ELP one of the best known bands of their era. Their greatest success was with Brain Salad Surgery and the song, “Karn Evil 9: 1st Impression, Part Two”. After this, they released a few more albums, but then declined, and broke up in 1978. Some say that their sound was too overblown, too prog-y, and that they were the reason for the downfall of progressive rock, and although they did meet their demise at the end of the progressive rock heyday, the genre still lives on with the help of more recent bands.
  14. 14. The Alan parsons project
  15. 15. Theme Guide 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9. 10. 11. 12. 13. Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band, The Beatles The Wall, Pink Floyd Foxtrot, Genesis Thick as a Brick, Jethro Tull Man Machine, Kraftwerk Procol Harum, Procol Harum In the Land of Grey and Pink, Caravan Red, King Crimson Yes, Yes Just a bunch of Rush stuff. Electric Light Orchestra II, Electric Light Orchestra Emerson, Lake & Palmer, Emerson, Lake & Palmer I Robot, Alan Parsons Project