Sunday, September 14, 2014


I actually made a post for the old blog of progressive/art rock a few years back utilizing YouTube videos. The problem was some links wouldn't post and some of the songs were not available because of legal issues. I've found if most people are interested in a song I post on a playlist, they will find it on one of the many music download websites by Googling the title and artist name.

I decided to go ahead with this concept after hearing "The Art Rock Suite" by National Lampoon while working on the song parody post from a few weeks ago.

Progressive rock or art rock is a genre of music that has for the most part disappeared, with the exception of Dream Theater (I think Coldplay might count as prog rock too). It was at it height of popularity in the early 70s to the late 80s. It was never popular among rock critics. It may be responsible for punk due to the fact that punkers hated it. For the most part, women don't care for it. Once a staple of classic rock radio station, many programmers these day say that it "attracts the Dungeon and Dragons geek crowd."

The stigma of prog/art rock may come from the fact that it appealed to an older crowd and many times more intellectual crowd. One famous group claimed that their audience was predominantly "bearded, pipe-smoking, college professors and hippies" until they had a number one hit and video on MTV, then teenage girls began showing up at their concerts. KTXR's Wayne Glenn has told about finding a lone prog rock LP in the collections of elderly couples, who have given or sold him their records. Part of the punkers contention with prog rock was that it was an attempt to make rock and roll nice, boring and commercial.

Another thing point out as a reason they dislike prog/art rock is it is cliched. Like other forms of popular music such as heavy metal (which prog is confused with by some people), hip-hop and country, prog has its cliches.
  1. Surreal, profound and flowery lyrics. A lot of mythology and Romanticism thrown in too.
  2. Orchestras and string sections.
  3. More emphasis on keyboards than guitars.
  4. The songs are long, usually between 5 to 25 minutes long.
  5. The cover of the album is a fantasy or sci-fi painting, usually by Roger Dean (above), Frank Kelly Freas or H.R. Giger.
  6. Sudden change in tempo or crescendo.
  7. A big finish.
  8. Most prog/art rock groups are British. Few are American (Kansas, Styx).
So let me give a playlist of great prog/art "masterpieces" for your Ipod or for you to hunt down on CDs or LP. NOTE: These ares not ranked or in any particular order, just as they came up on my Ipod.

1. "Suite Madam Blue" Styx
2. "Bohemian Rhapsody" Queen
3. "Bloody Well Right" Supertramp
4. "Catherine of Aragon" Rick Wakeman
5. "Conquistador" Procol Harum (The 1972 live version)
6. "Carry On Wayward Son" Kansas
7. "March of the Mad Duke's Circus" Ars Nova (Another early prog/art rock band from L.A)
8. "Rock & Roll Dreams Come True" Jim Stienman
9. "Welcome to the Machine" Pink Floyd
10. "Tubular Bells" Mike Oldfield
11. "Heat of the Moment" Asia
12. "Do It Again" Steely Dan
13. "Spirits In the Night" Manfred Mann's Earth Band
14. "Green Eyed Lady" Sugarloaf
15. "July Morning" Uriah Heep
16. "Locomotive Breath" Jethro Tull
17. "The Fountains of Salmacis" Genesis (Peter Gabriel era)
18. "When the Heart Rules The Mind" GTR
19. "I've Seen All Good People" Yes
20. "The System of Dr. Tarr and Prof. Feather" Alan Parson Project
21. "Rondo" The Nice
22. "Turn It On Again" Genesis (Phil Collins era)
23. "Dream Weaver" Gary Wright
24. "Karn Evil #9 (1st Impression)" Emerson, Lake and Palmer (a.k.a "Welcome back my friends to the show that never ends")
25. "Art For Art's Sake" 10CC
26. "God Gave Rock and Roll To You" Argent
27. "Cold as Ice" Foreigner
28. "Mad Puppet" Goblin
29. "In the Court of the Crimson King" King Crimson
30. "Nights in White Satin" Moody Blues
31.  "Nice, Nice, Very Nice" Ambrosia
32.  "Roll Over Beethoven" Electric Light Orchestra
33. "Silent Running (On Dangerous Ground)" Mike & the Mechanics
34. "Joy" Apollo 100
35. "Pretty Ballerina" The Left Banke (Many believe the first prog rock band)
36. "Mars" Isao Tomita (Note: Not "Mars: Bringer of War." He does a version of that song too.)
37. "A Farewell To Kings" Rush (I knew if I left off Rush, their fans would whine)
38. "Gravedigger" The New York Rock & Roll Ensemble
39. "Theme from Clockwork Orange" Walter Carlos


1 comment:

Jason Wert said...

Love it. I wondered if ELP would make an appearance.

And Rush fans don't whine. We just correct ignorant bastards who don't see their brilliance. Big difference there. :)

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