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Prog Rock Special - part 1
October 3, 2008 6:17 PM   Subscribe

It’s been a long, weird and expensive week all over. Why not stay in tonight and watch guys (mostly) with long hair playing strange and difficult music from a long lost decade?

Gentle Giant, King Crimson and Hawkwind just not enough? How about a little more (or perhaps way too much) Van der Graaf Generator, Can, FM, Roxy Music, Edgar Winter, Captain Beyond, Guru Guru and, of course, Jethro Tull and Yes.

Warning. Some of these are not complete versions. You may be confused.
posted by philip-random (47 comments total) 34 users marked this as a favorite

 
I just knew as soon as I saw this post that one of the links was going to lead to a Gentle Giant performance... how I loved them. They made high school bearable, they did, along with a few other bands to which I'm forever grateful.
posted by jokeefe at 6:30 PM on October 3, 2008


My very favourite Gentle Giant song, His Last Voyage. Bless them, they were so odd.
posted by jokeefe at 6:40 PM on October 3, 2008


Yes.

'Nous sommes du soleil'...ah,yes...a quarter of one of the masterpieces of progressive rock -- 'Tales from Topographic Oceans.'
posted by ericb at 6:52 PM on October 3, 2008


Oh wow! I think I just came in somebody's pants. First Rush Hashanah, now this? It's a little prog boy's wet dream, apparently.
posted by Eideteker at 7:24 PM on October 3, 2008


P.S. Sorry to whoever's pants those were.
posted by Eideteker at 7:24 PM on October 3, 2008


Huh. Never heard Gentle Giant and just checked out His Last Voyage while doing other things (and snozzled on too much wine). I like it. Kind of Jethro Tull without the flute, er, if that isn't offensive to anyone.

Thanks for the links lineup!
posted by Durn Bronzefist at 7:27 PM on October 3, 2008


Lemmyyyyyyy!
posted by Liquidwolf at 7:28 PM on October 3, 2008


*listens to "knots"*

Uh, no. That's much weirder.

(I think I like it)
posted by Durn Bronzefist at 7:29 PM on October 3, 2008


Never heard Gentle Giant ... Kind of Jethro Tull without the flute, er, if that isn't offensive to anyone.

No offense taken. I'd say, Tull without the blues or the flute.
posted by philip-random at 7:31 PM on October 3, 2008


Lived across the hall from Hawkwind. Warwick Road, London, 1973. They were fun neighbors. :)
posted by nickyskye at 7:34 PM on October 3, 2008 [1 favorite]


I love King Crimson in all their iterations. Nice one!.

I got to say, those prog rock guys wore some goofy shit back then, even if they were good musicians.

Bill Bruford did get around did he not?

I'll be your Roundabout...
posted by Eekacat at 7:35 PM on October 3, 2008


Oh, and when I was in College at UC Davis, Jethro Tull did rehearsals at the Rec Hall there. I remember going to the gym and hearing them practice. Good times!
posted by Eekacat at 7:36 PM on October 3, 2008


That first link to Gentle Giant needs more cowbell. A LOT more cowbell.
posted by Justinian at 7:45 PM on October 3, 2008


*slaps forehead*

And there of course is Tull in the lineup. Didn't even see that.
posted by Durn Bronzefist at 7:47 PM on October 3, 2008


GENTLE GIANT
The Unfair Reputation of Prog-Rock Concept Albums
Especially Free Hand (1975)

posted by Fuzzy Monster at 7:49 PM on October 3, 2008 [2 favorites]


Wow, Dharma for One, yet? Great choice, dude. I'm guessing if that's your cuppa, that you enjoyed much of the stuff off Nightcap. That's a pleasant surprise. Thanks, again.
posted by Durn Bronzefist at 7:49 PM on October 3, 2008


Wow, Dharma for One, yet? Great choice, dude. I'm guessing if that's your cuppa, that you enjoyed much of the stuff off Nightcap.

What I've heard from Nightcap is stuff that's come my way via various downloads over the years, so I'm not really clear on the whole package. As for Dharma For One, the version I'm most familiar with is the live version from Living In The Past. If the version linked to here isn't that exact performance, it's definitely from the same tour.
posted by philip-random at 7:58 PM on October 3, 2008


Why must you keep bringing up my shameful teenage progrock period?! It was a phase! It was the 70s! I was a high school debater for god's sake!!
[collapses sobbing]

YES, I DID SEE JETHRO TULL AND UFO AT THE COLISEUM! I made a Face Ditch VIDEO, it's true! But that was along time ago, I'm much better now.

I really am. And "We're Only In It For the Money" is more prog than prog anyway.
posted by msalt at 7:58 PM on October 3, 2008


And "We're Only In It For the Money" is more prog than prog anyway.

Everything starts with the Mothers.
posted by philip-random at 8:04 PM on October 3, 2008


Let me tell you, it is a nice package. It really hangs together. But then, well, it's prog rock we're talking about, so of course the whole is greater than the sum of its parts. Not quite theme/concept, which is fine by me.

But really enjoying the other stuff here which (aside from Yes and Roxy) I've not heard. Awesome awesome.
posted by Durn Bronzefist at 8:10 PM on October 3, 2008


I was a little too young to catch all this when it first started happening, but yeah, I've got my prog cred. Gentle Giant, at the Armadillo, 1979. Yes, at the "Superdrum," as it was called then, 1980. ("Reuinion" tour, with all the orig. members) King Crimson on the Discipline tour 1981?, at Austin Opera House, and again at Austin Music Hall on the Thrack! tour in 1995. The best of all though, were Todd Rundgren & Utopia at the Armadillo in '80, & Peter Gabriel on the Security tour in 1982 at the Austin Colosseum. I didn't go to a concert for a year after that Gabriel show, because there was just no point.
posted by Devils Rancher at 8:32 PM on October 3, 2008


Peter Gabriel on the Security tour in 1982 at the Austin Colosseum. I didn't go to a concert for a year after that Gabriel show, because there was just no point.

My Bloody Valentine did that to me in 1992. I still haven't completely recovered ... although Dungen was good fun last year.
posted by philip-random at 9:14 PM on October 3, 2008


Speaking of Todd Rundgren 1978
posted by netbros at 9:34 PM on October 3, 2008 [1 favorite]


Metafilter: On soft gray mornings widows cry; the wise men share a joke.
posted by infinitewindow at 9:37 PM on October 3, 2008 [1 favorite]


Great post. I remember so much of this, back in the day when rock and prog bands were actually allowed to PLAY their instruments, and often at some length. Satriani and a handful of others aside, where did that all go?
posted by Seekerofsplendor at 9:43 PM on October 3, 2008


...from a long lost decade.... Syntelman's March of the Roaring Seventies! Is this post good? Thank you!
posted by Kronos_to_Earth at 10:18 PM on October 3, 2008


Emerson, Lake and Palmer's cover of Aaron Copeland's Hoedown. I guess they liked his stuff 'cause they also did Fanfare for the Common Man. Here's Still You Turn Me On and Lucky Man (solo, Greg Lake). I couldn't find a decent live recording of Lucky Man with all three of them, but here's the LP recording with a slideshow. I Believe in Father Christmas with a surprise and happy ending.

Great post, philip-random!

Edgar Winter Group - Frankenstein...now, that's tough one to cover!
posted by sluglicker at 11:47 PM on October 3, 2008


I miss the Old Grey Whistle Test
posted by chuckdarwin at 1:40 AM on October 4, 2008


Discipline

Matte Kudasai

Elephant Talk

Thela Hun Ginjeet

Sheltering Sky

Three of a Perfect Pair
posted by chuckdarwin at 2:01 AM on October 4, 2008 [1 favorite]


Lived next door to Hawkwind, eh?

Coincidentally, I'm trying to get a Hawkwind cover band up. I have all the personnel except a drummer (and will pay for the rehearsal space...)

I think all this music is great, btw. Except, where's the Krautrock?! I just spent all day listening to Faust!!
posted by lupus_yonderboy at 2:14 AM on October 4, 2008


When critics dismissed Gentle Giant as pretentious, they had a neon sign made that would flash PRETENTIOUS during live gigs. Some of those albums keep getting better even after scores of listens -- so much complexity and detail.

Prog is still around, but it's pretty deep underground. There's an English band called Frost that released an absolute masterpiece called Milliontown in 2006 -- that's my favorite album of the last two years, but it sold only 9,000 copies.

Frans Keylard hosts a four-hour orgy of modern prog on Thursday nights on the Rogue's Gallery podcast -- a good way to discover new artists.
posted by futility closet at 4:50 AM on October 4, 2008 [2 favorites]


mmm... a big heaping bowl of steaming prog! what a way to start the morning

thanks, philip-random! (I see you've got "part 1" in the title there - so, I'm looking forward to future installments - don't forget Magma & good old Gong)

me, I like me the Red/Starless & Bible Black times of King Crimson - went looking for some & found this fantastic jazzed-out cover of Starless by some japanese outfit - anyone know who they are?
posted by jammy at 6:37 AM on October 4, 2008


Man! You kids is making me feel old.
posted by doctorschlock at 7:59 AM on October 4, 2008


Except, where's the Krautrock?!

Can, Guru Guru ... and watch out for Part 2 next time the entire world economy tanks (ie: in a few weeks).
posted by philip-random at 10:19 AM on October 4, 2008


went looking for some & found this fantastic jazzed-out cover of Starless by some japanese outfit - anyone know who they are?

Don't know who they are but thanks for the link. The amazing thing is how close the rhythm section sticks to the original King Crimson form, particularly in the second half ... and yet, lose the mellotron and the Robert Fripp guitar apocalypse and you find yourself in a significantly different sonic realm.
posted by philip-random at 10:34 AM on October 4, 2008


Hmmm.... I've never self-linked in a thread before, but if anyone's interested, I wrote a piece originally called A Child's Introduction to Prog for Junkmedia last year.
posted by jokeefe at 12:09 PM on October 4, 2008 [1 favorite]


The amazing thing is how close the rhythm section sticks to the original King Crimson form, particularly in the second half ... and yet, lose the mellotron and the Robert Fripp guitar apocalypse and you find yourself in a significantly different sonic realm.

I know! and I really really like Fripp's guitar apocalypse in the original... but the more I listened to this, the more it grew on me - the bassist is so on tip yet so delicate, the drummer is possessed, the piano player is a freakin' lyrical bodhisattva & the clarinet player is entirely in his own world & it ALL WORKS - dang!

please, anyone, who is this? here's the name (I think) in Japanese:
新岐阜ステーションデパート

(man, I wish it didn't cut out at the end like that...)
posted by jammy at 3:34 PM on October 4, 2008


roy harper

genesis - supper's ready 1

supper's ready 2

supper's ready 3

musical box
posted by pyramid termite at 5:01 PM on October 4, 2008


Magma! Hell yes. Mekanik Destruktiw Kommandoh Part One, from 1977.
posted by jokeefe at 5:56 PM on October 4, 2008


Nice post!

I have a soft spot for Gentle Giant's Two Weeks in Spain. It's got that 1978 aesthetic nailed.

PFM also have a special place in my heart.
posted by medeine at 6:06 PM on October 4, 2008 [1 favorite]


this fantastic jazzed-out cover of Starless by some japanese outfit

And fantastic it indeed is! Thank you so much for this. It's even better than "Starless and Bible Black Sabbath" by the Acid Mothers Temple. Not that the tune is even remotely similar, just the title is worth the price of admission alone.
posted by phax at 6:45 PM on October 4, 2008


Ooh, PFM. Though I'm afraid that The World Became the World hasn't held up all that well for me... but for a while there, in 1976, smoking dope at lunch hour amongst the trees on the edge of the school grounds, it was everything I could have wanted and dreamed of. Sigh.
posted by jokeefe at 10:36 PM on October 4, 2008


PFM are still playing-- footage from last year.

Time isn't kind, is it? Never mind.
posted by jokeefe at 10:43 PM on October 4, 2008


jokeefe, thanks for the article. You're a few years older than I but we clearly walked a similar path through those difficult teen years ... even as far as eventually "progressing" from Ian Anderson to Joe Strummer when the prog overloads finally blew their loads for good and only punk could save the day.

But I must disagree with you one point. The lyrics of Yes's Close To The Edge make perfect sense.
posted by philip-random at 11:42 AM on October 5, 2008


The lyrics of Yes's Close To The Edge make perfect sense.

i'm still wondering if those flying purple wolfhounds ever showed up for them
posted by pyramid termite at 12:25 PM on October 5, 2008


this post and thread have made my weekend. thanks, y'all.
posted by CitizenD at 1:28 PM on October 5, 2008


But I must disagree with you one point. The lyrics of Yes's Close To The Edge make perfect sense.

Oh lord. This has made my day. I'm off to ponder the infinte meaning of the, um, void, or something.
posted by jokeefe at 3:17 PM on October 7, 2008


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