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Rollersnake
May 9, 2005

Please, please don't let me end up in a threesome with the lunch lady and a gay pirate. That would hit a little too close to home.

TheForgotton posted:

Gentle Giant fans: I have everything from their first album through Free Hand. Should I quit while they were ahead? I've heard they tried for a poppier, more commercial sound near the end so I've stayed away from their last four albums.

Interview is I think their best album, and one of my favorite albums of the '70s. After that—I'd go as far as to say Civilian has some good tracks as well as Missing Piece, but overall they don't do the whole pop thing so well. Giant for a Day is pretty drat bad, but compared to other crap albums by formerly great prog bands, it's waaay better than, say, '90s Yes.

Edit: Random prog recommendations:
Gazpacho - Night (2007)

A moody, entrancing, strikingly beautiful blend of symphonic rock and post rock that I can't stop listening to. The band are heavily influenced by Marillion, and nowhere is this clearer than in their vocalist's similarity to Steve Hogarth, but this is just above and beyond anything Marillion have ever done, and I'm speaking as a Marillion fan. Manages to be dramatic and emotional without lapsing into cheesiness and pomposity. I've probably overstated the importance of Marillion here to describe their sound, so even if you have an aversion to or don't care about Marillion, check this out.

Magma - Ëmëhntëhtt-Rê (2009)

Magma are perhaps the only progressive band I know of that manage to get better and better with age. This is the concluding chapter to the album trilogy that also includes Köhntarkösz (1974) and K.A. (2004), and it's absolutely loving fantastic. There's quite a bit of material on here that found its way onto earlier albums (including iconic pieces like Zombies and Hhai), but in this context it's like hearing it all again for the first time. And on that note, I honestly can't think of a better introductory album to Magma than this one. If you haven't heard Magma, think Wagnerian opera melded with heavy jazz and soul music, sung in an invented language that lends itself equally to operatic and jazz scat vocals. And it's all ecstatic and terribly frightening.

Camel - Moonmadness (1976)

Camel are probably second only to Genesis when it comes to prog bands who write great melodies, and it's a close second at that. This is the last and (I think) best album by their "classic" lineup and probably the one with the broadest appeal among prog fans. If you like this, and wouldn't mind something a bit more poppy and ambient, I'd also highly recommend Nude—a concept album about a Japanese soldier stranded on an island after World War II, which I actually think is their best album.

Rollersnake fucked around with this message at Mar 26, 2010 around 23:37

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Rollersnake
May 9, 2005

Please, please don't let me end up in a threesome with the lunch lady and a gay pirate. That would hit a little too close to home.

teen bear posted:

Is Night better or worse than Tick Tock? That's all I've heard by them so far and I enjoyed it quite a bit.

It's waaay better than Tick Tock, I'd say. That was my introduction to them as well, and after hearing Night, Tick Tock suddenly became a disappointment, as I knew what they were capable of.

Rollersnake fucked around with this message at Mar 28, 2010 around 04:49

Rollersnake
May 9, 2005

Please, please don't let me end up in a threesome with the lunch lady and a gay pirate. That would hit a little too close to home.

Stutes posted:

Echoing the recommendations for Fragile as a good introduction to Yes, but with one caveat: skip the second track, Cans and Brahms. I had a copy of Fragile for years, but never listened past Roundabout because the next song sucked so hard.

What are you talking about, Cans and Brahms is a great introduction to solo Rick Wakeman.

As someone who possibly loves Yes too much (I'm one of those few who thinks Tales from Topographic Oceans is their best album), I think The Yes Album is a better introduction to the band. It's less diverse than Fragile, and lacks that extra dimension Rick Wakeman brought to their sound, but it's a more solid album overall—if you like one track off The Yes Album, you're probably going to like all of them, whereas I think Cans and Brahms, We Have Heaven, and Five Per Cent for Nothing are going to test a lot of new listeners' patience.

Or, if you're already into progressive music and have somehow avoided Yes, feel free to dive right in and start with Relayer or something. Just avoid Tormato and basically everything they did from Big Generator onward—the few good tracks to be found among those albums aren't worth wading through the rest.

...and I don't care what anybody else says—Buggles Yes were loving awesome.

Rollersnake
May 9, 2005

Please, please don't let me end up in a threesome with the lunch lady and a gay pirate. That would hit a little too close to home.

Tripplejol posted:

Owner of a lonely heart owns!

It does, and it's also '80s Yes.

Here, have some '90s Yes. Warning: this is really loving terrible.

X-Ray Pecs posted:

What are some good recommendations for prog that's similar to King Crimson's Discipline? It's probably my favorite King Crimson album, but I don't know much that sounds similar to it. Any ideas?

Discipline is basically a new wave album, so my top recommendations would be Talking Heads' Remain in Light and The Police's Synchronicity. The latter's applicable as Andy Summers did a couple of albums with Robert Fripp, and the King Crimson influence is definitely there, especially on Mother. And Adrian Belew played on Remain in Light, of course.

Haraksha posted:

Been listening to Red. It's awesome, but I think he slows down a little bit too much towards the end.

Red's a good album, but with the wealth of live Crimson material that's now available, it seems a little weak by comparison.

Listen to the version of Starless on the rerelease of USA. It absolutely blows away the studio version, with perhaps the most passionate playing I've ever heard from Fripp.

Rollersnake fucked around with this message at Mar 30, 2010 around 03:30

Rollersnake
May 9, 2005

Please, please don't let me end up in a threesome with the lunch lady and a gay pirate. That would hit a little too close to home.

Haraksha posted:

I'm always hesitant to get live albums because even when a band is great live, the album rarely conveys that. King Crimson live is good though?

Not always good, but it's not at all unusual for them to completely surpass the studio versions live. I'm not that much of a fan of USA as a whole, but that performance of Starless is just immaculate, and Asbury Park is a great improv. Absent Lovers I feel should be everyone's introduction to '80s Crimson, as almost every performance on that album surpasses the studio version. One of the best live albums I've ever heard.

The King Crimson Collectors' Club releases are more for the diehard fans and vary wildly in quality.

Rollersnake fucked around with this message at Mar 30, 2010 around 04:09

Rollersnake
May 9, 2005

Please, please don't let me end up in a threesome with the lunch lady and a gay pirate. That would hit a little too close to home.

Tripplejol posted:

What is considered a must-have King crimson album

Larks' Tongues in Aspic, definitely. Dark, subtle, beautifully textured album, my favorite by Crimson, and very different from either of the albums you've heard so far. King Crimson had so many different lineups—don't expect consistency from them.

I'd go into more detail, but maybe late for work.

Edit: Lizard suffers from uneven writing and Gordon Haskell's lovely voice, but Cirkus is a classic. Islands I'm more fond of, though I wouldn't put it in even my top five King Crimson albums. Sailor's Tale kicks rear end, Prelude: Song of the Gulls and the title track are very pretty, Ladies of the Road is a complete embarrassment.

Rollersnake fucked around with this message at Mar 30, 2010 around 11:39

Rollersnake
May 9, 2005

Please, please don't let me end up in a threesome with the lunch lady and a gay pirate. That would hit a little too close to home.

With ELP I recommend starting with either their debut or Brain Salad Surgery, as IMO those are the only two that are good almost all the way through. They were a very inconsistent band even in their prime, and embody the cheesy excesses people associate with prog more than any of the other bands in the "big five."

Rollersnake
May 9, 2005

Please, please don't let me end up in a threesome with the lunch lady and a gay pirate. That would hit a little too close to home.

I thought it was five, and the fifth was Jethro Tull. I don't think I've heard any consensus on this one way or the other, and it's kind of a silly label anyway.

Anyway, here's some more recommendations:

Can - Radio Waves (1997)

A really excellent compilation of rarities that's focused on the lineups with Damo Suzuki and Malcolm Mooney. Most importantly, it features the full version of Up the Bakerloo, a sprawling piece that's on par with the best stuff from Tago Mago. I also love Turtles Have Short Legs, a song that's even goofier and catchier than Vitamin C, and there's a great performance of Little Star of Bethlehem where Mooney gets some impressive lyrical flow going and ends up sounding hilariously close to modern hip hop. In Germany in 1968.

Adrian Belew - Side Four (2007)

There's a rumor going around that the collaboration between Robert Fripp, Mel Collins, and Jakko Jaksyk, along with Tony Levin and Gavin Harrison, is going to turn into the new King Crimson lineup. While I have no idea if this is true or not, I'm kind of half-hoping it is—the last few King Crimson albums have not been among my favorites, and while there are a lot of old King Crimson fans who insist that Crim would be better off without Adrian Belew, I'm inclined to believe it's Adrian who'll be better off without King Crimson. His recent work with the Adrian Belew Power Trio has been amazingly good, and they're one of the best live bands I've had the pleasure of seeing. The real highlights of this album aren't the King Crimson tracks, or even his old solo stuff, but his new material—which is I think the best thing you can say about musician who's done so much. Writing on the Wall wows me with its sheer energy, and Beat Box Guitar features an amazingly display of technique from drummer Eric Slick.

Philip Glass - Songs from Liquid Days (1986)

I have no qualms about stretching the definition of "progressive rock" to include this album. It's a gorgeous blend of minimalist classical music and pop songwriting with contributions from many other artists of interest, including Paul Simon, Laurie Anderson, and David Byrne. This should appeal to many fans of classically-influenced rock music, and is one of the freshest-sounding albums I've heard from the mid-'80s.

Rollersnake fucked around with this message at Apr 1, 2010 around 16:23

Rollersnake
May 9, 2005

Please, please don't let me end up in a threesome with the lunch lady and a gay pirate. That would hit a little too close to home.

My opinion of THRAK goes back and forth. There are times when tracks like People and Walking on Air seem really lightweight and cheesy, THRAK seems too aimless in its chaos, and VROOOM/VROOOM VROOOM seem like pale rehashes of Red with clumsy overlong codas, but sometimes I just love it all.

One of my favorite parts of THRAK has always been "Inner Garden." It's just a tiny transitional song in two parts, but it's strong enough to have been a considerably longer piece, almost frustratingly so. Belew does the same thing with "What Do You Know" on his album Op Zop Too Wah.

...and speaking of Op Zop Too Wah, it's something that every fan of Belew-era Crimson needs to hear. The opening track, Of Bow and Drum, is, like, the greatest thing Adrian Belew has ever written.

Edit: Oh, nice, there's a professionally-shot video of him performing it with the Power Trio: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LDq83DkOGmE

And the disgustingly good Beat Box Guitar: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=50PC...feature=related
Haha, these weren't up when I posted about the Power Trio before.

Rollersnake fucked around with this message at Apr 20, 2010 around 18:58

Rollersnake
May 9, 2005

Please, please don't let me end up in a threesome with the lunch lady and a gay pirate. That would hit a little too close to home.

Sprint posted:

^^^^ Just want to say thank you for this site! Am finding fantastic deals on albums I've been having trouble getting. Are they usually reliable/good quality?

I've been ordering from Wayside for years, and I've never had any problems. Awesome store.

As for getting into Magma, maybe it's just me, but I started with MDK and it didn't really grab me. I'm still not much of a fan of MDK the album as it lacks that ending section they added later (Mekanik Zain?)—the live version on Theusz Hamtaahk Trilogie is absolutely fantastic, though. IMO, the best introductory Magma albums are Live/Hhai and Emehntehtt-Re. Maybe Kohntarkosz too.

Echoing Free Hand as the best introduction to Gentle Giant—On Reflection might be the best thing they ever did, and there's not a weak track on the album. I'd also highly recommend Interview to those more into the avant garde side of prog, as it's one of their most experimental, and certainly their angriest and most dissonant.

Another great starting point is Out of the Woods (rereleased with some additional content as Totally Out of the Woods), a compilation of their BBC sessions. A good deal of their best material is represented, and the performances are stunning. Plus you get City Hermit, a great early track that isn't on any other album.

Rollersnake fucked around with this message at Apr 28, 2010 around 04:25

Rollersnake
May 9, 2005

Please, please don't let me end up in a threesome with the lunch lady and a gay pirate. That would hit a little too close to home.

n_w_f posted:



Of the albums I've heard, this one's the most accessible. Apart from the side long "De Futura", the other five explore vibrant and distinct musical themes that don't ever feel repetitive or meandering (The title track, for example, has an almost latin feel to it while retaining all the character of a typical Magma piece), a tendency that can sometimes bring down some of their other music for me. The bass tones on this album are unbelievable.

If you like Udu Wudu, you should check out Attahk, which is another really diverse album, and is more in a funky, upbeat vein. If you really like that era of Magma (I do, but a lot of the zeuhl purists don't care for it), there are some great live albums you should check out—Concert Bobino (also available as a live DVD) and Retrospektiw III.

Merci, their last studio album before they disbanded in the '80s, is full-blown disco at points, but it's really fun and catchy, and there are some beautiful pieces that rank among their best material, like The Night We Died. There's also the bizarre "Otis"—Christian Vander's tribute to Otis Redding, and the one Magma track just about everyone will hate unless they have a weird sense of humor. It's too sincere and the almost-orgasmic moans of "Ooootisss" crack me up too much for me to not love it.

Rollersnake
May 9, 2005

Please, please don't let me end up in a threesome with the lunch lady and a gay pirate. That would hit a little too close to home.

The Great Aspie posted:

I started listening to Magma with Kobaia. The 70s fusion feel made it easier for me to acclimate to the Zeuhl that would be in later albums.

That's how it was for me too, except with 1001 Degrees Centigrade. It's funny that that's the album that hooked me, as I now consider it among their weakest. Not that it's bad or anything—IMO, Magma have never released a bad or even mediocre album, and I can't honestly say that about any other artist I'm familiar with who has been as prolific.

Even Merci I really respect. Particularly in how it's described in the liner notes as "six songs about death" and it's just so goddamn happy! It's a complex and engaging album even despite its failures and being the closest they ever came to a mainstream sound.

Rollersnake
May 9, 2005

Please, please don't let me end up in a threesome with the lunch lady and a gay pirate. That would hit a little too close to home.

I prefer Dream Theater when they're leaning toward the metal side of prog-metal—Dream Theater are almost always at least kinda cheesy, and I have a higher tolerance for cheese in metal than I do in other contexts. I think I play Train of Thought more than any of their other albums, and the Twelve-Step Suite is my favorite thing they've ever done. When do we get a live album with that performed in its entirety?

Also, as they're all virtuosos, Dream Theater are a really great covers band, though they kind of try too hard to be faithful to the originals. Still, I sometimes I think I enjoy their Number of the Beast more than the original.

I haven't really enjoyed Kevin Moore's work with Dream Theater, or either of the Chroma Key albums I've heard, but I absolutely love the first OSI album. Figure that out.

Rollersnake
May 9, 2005

Please, please don't let me end up in a threesome with the lunch lady and a gay pirate. That would hit a little too close to home.

It's this issue that makes progressive rock difficult to talk about. I use the term "progressive rock" to refer to rock music that is or was ambitious, innovative, and forward thinking and "prog" to refer to the bands who make music in the vein of what was originally called "progressive rock." So to me "progressive rock" is exactly what that phrase literally means, and "prog" is more of a genre label.

I don't even know why I'm talking about this. It's irritating to talk about, and read about. But the confusion permeates the progressive rock community, and the NEARfest lineups seem to embody it. You have genuinely innovative bands like Magma performing at the same festival as neo-prog bands like Magenta—because both are considered progressive rock, and yet have nothing in common with each other besides that label.

There are entire online communities dedicated to progressive rock who haven't come to any consensus, and I doubt we're going to make any progress in this line of discussion in this thread. I'm perfectly okay with continuing to discuss Yes and King Crimson alongside Magma and Univers Zero, and Dream Theater and Spock's Beard. There's a lot of overlap in interests, and I feel really trite saying this, but music doesn't necessarily have to be innovative in order to be good or interesting. (I personally have more respect for the innovators, but quite often enjoy complex, well-composed, totally formulaic prog rock.)

Rollersnake
May 9, 2005

Please, please don't let me end up in a threesome with the lunch lady and a gay pirate. That would hit a little too close to home.

Hellequin posted:

I mean have you really listened to the lyrics of Yes?

There's someone around on SA who has a Yes avatar with the text "Flying shining purple wolfhound, show me where you are." I thought that was a great parody of Jon Anderson's lyrical style, until I later realized that's actually a line from Yours is No Disgrace. That said, even if it is all pseudo-mystical gibberish, Yes's lyrics in the '70s were at least pretty, well-crafted pseudo-mystical gibberish, which is more than a lot of bands could manage.

I guess it's just a matter of taste. I can forgive good music with bad lyrics except in extreme cases (Gong's Shamal album—dear God), but ultimately lyrics aren't vitally important to my enjoyment of music. I'd probably never be able to listen to metal otherwise.

Krautrock seems to me more of an extension of psychedelic rock than prog rock was, or at least a different direction with similar origins. There's the spaciness and hard edge of psychedelic rock, the chaos of free jazz, influences drawn from world music and electronic music, and the notable absence of neoclassicism, though all of these elements are seldom apparent in the same band. It's also kind of a problematic term when used as a genre label, both due to the hugely diverse range of bands that are considered krautrock and the existence of bands that would be considered krautrock if only they were from Germany (High Tide, '72-'74 King Crimson).

Speaking of High Tide, anyone who's a fan of the Cross/Wetton/Bruford era of Crimson needs to have a listen to Sea Shanties. As well as possibly being the heaviest album released in 1969, it's frequently surprisingly similar to what King Crimson would be doing in three years. I have no idea whether they were influenced by High Tide, or if it's just coincidence and any similarities can be explained as the result of both bands having a violinist and baritone vocalist.

Rollersnake
May 9, 2005

Please, please don't let me end up in a threesome with the lunch lady and a gay pirate. That would hit a little too close to home.

If you like The Sleepwalkers, you might as well check out the rest of Godbluff. I think it's probably their best album overall.

Pawn Hearts I love except for Man-Erg, but only because that brings back uncomfortable memories of high school drama club—specifically this one guy rehearsing a song for a Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde musical. I think that's the trouble I have with Peter Hammill's vocal style as a whole—too often there's something very overwrought and Broadway musical about it.

The Quiet Zone/The Pleasure Dome is also a really good album, particularly Cat's Eye/Yellow Fever (Running). Incredibly cumbersome title, but the song builds up well, and has this awesome pulsing bass riff that reminds me of Fischerspooner, or something.

Rollersnake fucked around with this message at Jun 9, 2010 around 22:13

Rollersnake
May 9, 2005

Please, please don't let me end up in a threesome with the lunch lady and a gay pirate. That would hit a little too close to home.

Art Bears - The Song of Investment Capital Overseas

Rollersnake
May 9, 2005

Please, please don't let me end up in a threesome with the lunch lady and a gay pirate. That would hit a little too close to home.

Jorghnassen posted:

Hehe, the only prog album I ever listen to (outside of Pink Floyd) is #14 on their top list... Harmonium is underrated.

I love Harmonium. I had never heard of them prior to reading Progarchives, and they're still probably the best discovery I've made through that site.

Rollersnake
May 9, 2005

Please, please don't let me end up in a threesome with the lunch lady and a gay pirate. That would hit a little too close to home.

KevinHeaven posted:

You know I might get crucified for saying this, but I think Genesis' Duke album is pretty decent. I like the blend of pop and prog with the hint of soul that is present in some of the songs. "Behind The Lines," "Duchess," "Duke's Travels," "Duke's End," "Cul-De-Sac," and especially the forgotten "Man Of Our Times" all have progressive elements that make Duke a decent album.

It is a good album—Misunderstanding is just lovely enough to drag down the album as a whole, much like Follow You, Follow Me on And Then There Were Three. Behind the Lines, Duchess, Guide Vocal, Turn It On Again, Duke's Travels, and Duke's End form the "Duke Suite," which I believe was originally intended to be together on the album.

Rollersnake
May 9, 2005

Please, please don't let me end up in a threesome with the lunch lady and a gay pirate. That would hit a little too close to home.

You haven't really suffered through Misunderstanding until you've heard it on Three Sides Live. I want to strangle Phil for that.

Rollersnake
May 9, 2005

Please, please don't let me end up in a threesome with the lunch lady and a gay pirate. That would hit a little too close to home.

RexDart posted:

From the albums mentioned here, I think 90% of the people in this thread would love Kayak's See See the Sun. It doesn't go outside the box much, but it's a great representative of early 70's prog as a whole.


I have the remastered Red, and the sound improvement is huge. My old CD issue of ITCOTCK just sounds awful after listening to the remastered Red, even accounting for the lower levels in older style mixing. I really should pick up the remaster.


Land of Grey and Pink, Rotters' Club, and National Health pretty much covers as much territory in Cantebury prog as necessary for anyone who wants a taste of it. If I could own only three records from that scene it would be those. The common element in all three of those albums is competent drumming, which seems to make a world of difference in that genre. That said, my biggest gripe about that subgenre is the often meandering, directionless vocals, and there's plenty of that on Rotter's Club, though I still recommend it.

I always thought Camel's instrumental record The Snow Goose counted as part of that scene too, and that's worth hearing though it falters near the end. I don't know if Gong's Radio Gnome Invisible trilogy counts in there, I might recommend it but it's really inconsistent -- the first two parts are much better than the last, but even they are rather mixed experiences.

I don't consider You weaker than the rest of the trilogy at all. Sure there's nothing as hilarious as I Am Your Pussy or Prostitute Poem, but Master Builder and A Sprinkling of Clouds are among their best ever pieces and are just essential space rock—The Ozric Tentacles seem to have based their entire sound on them.

Also it's no longer a trilogy, as Shapeshifter, Zero to Infinity, and 2032 are considered parts 4, 5, and 6—though Shapeshifter was only labeled part 4 after the fact and doesn't really explicitly follow the "storyline," such as it is.

Rollersnake
May 9, 2005

Please, please don't let me end up in a threesome with the lunch lady and a gay pirate. That would hit a little too close to home.

Honestly, all of the Daevid Allen-era Gong stuff is good, except for maybe Continental Circus (forgettable film soundtrack) and the Gongmaison Live at the Fridge DVD (I think this was intended to be a "dance music" project, but it just sounds like Gong with a bad drummer).

If you're a fan of fusion and/or melodic percussion, it's well worth exploring Pierre Moerlen's Gong. Even though they weren't called Pierre Moerlen's Gong until Downwind, Gazeuse! and Expresso II are basically the same group. Expresso II and Leave It Open are probably their most consistently good albums, though the opening suite of Time is the Key is absolutely loving excellent—like a lost Mike Oldfield epic. And speaking of Mike Oldfield, he plays lead guitar on Downwind. Just avoid Breakthrough like the plague—it's a cheesy, horrible album, and I think Pierre Moerlen must have been a Scientologist at the time, as one track has L. Ron Hubbard lyrics.

Shamal, the first album after Daevid and Gilli left, is a weird transitional album that's closer to classic Gong than the Pierre Moerlen era—it's kinda like Mike Howlett's Gong, with Mr. Howlett taking on the roles of vocalist and (absolutely awful) lyricist. Still, the instrumental pieces are fantastic.

Rollersnake
May 9, 2005

Please, please don't let me end up in a threesome with the lunch lady and a gay pirate. That would hit a little too close to home.

acker posted:

Not really, it has the same kind of electric piano thing going on for maybe the first 30 or 40 seconds and that's about it. I definitely thought that on my first listen though.

On the other hand, yeah, the Dogs thing is pretty blatant. what the hell steven

Early Porcupine Tree (circa The Sky Moves Sideways) is extremely derivative of Pink Floyd—I'm surprised they're still imitating Floyd, but at least it seems to be limited to a few tracks and not their entire style.

Rollersnake
May 9, 2005

Please, please don't let me end up in a threesome with the lunch lady and a gay pirate. That would hit a little too close to home.

I've been on a major Zappa kick lately, and anyone who hasn't heard You Can't Do That on Stage Anymore, Vol. 2: The Helsinki Concert absolutely needs to. The band is basically a reduced version of the Roxy & Elsewhere lineup, but they're super tight, and all the disgustingly intricate pieces are performed perfectly and ecstatically.

Also interesting is Philly '76, which I wouldn't recommend to a Zappa neophyte as it's heavily biased toward his slower, blues rock oriented stuff, which I'm generally not too fond of. It's a full show from a very short-lived lineup featuring soul vocalist Lady Bianca (she quit after about a month, allegedly due to abusive audiences), and it's some of the only recorded Zappa material with a female vocalist—she does a drat good rendition of Dirty Love, which is a song I otherwise don't really give a gently caress about. The biggest highlights for me are great early performances of Titties & Beer and City of Tiny Lites that differ substantially from their most familiar renditions. And they also play a surprising amount of Flo & Eddie-era material, if you're into that sort of thing.

Iatethirtybugs posted:

Just wanted to plug a few overlooked prog Albums:

Klaatu-Hope


Klaatu was rumored to be a reunited beatles in the late to mid 70s due to the fact that some of the tracks off their first album sound almost exactly like the beatles, as well as having no credits of any kind on the album. As it turns out they are just three dudes from Canada but they managed to churn out at least one masterpiece. Hope is Klaatu's second album and quite a bit different from their other works. Its a concept album with great beatlesque melodies and amazing production values as well as a positive uplifting message. anyone who has never heard it should really give it a chance.

I think this is their best, but Long Live Politzania might be the most embarrassingly cheesy thing I've ever heard, and this from a band with a song called "Anus of Uranus." Aside from that, it's very pretty, pleasant prog-pop.

Rollersnake fucked around with this message at Aug 22, 2010 around 20:55

Rollersnake
May 9, 2005

Please, please don't let me end up in a threesome with the lunch lady and a gay pirate. That would hit a little too close to home.

Namacuix posted:

I got introduced to prog through Genesis and have since found it really my kind of music, even as my otherwise eclectic tastes wander over the years. I would highly recommend A Trick of the Tail and Wind and Wuthering and especially Seconds Out to other Genesis fans that never gave the Phil Collins era a chance. I actually like the poppish Genesis (for completely different reasons), but the era after Gabriel left with Hackett still on I think I actually their most polished work.

I haven't had a chance to really try out The Mars Volta, having only heard one song of theirs ("The Widow"), but I am interested. I hadn't seen any mention or talk of them here in the thread,so I was curious if anyone had any recommendations or comments.

De-Loused in the Comatorium is their first album, and most popular. It's maybe their strongest melodically, but more conventional-sounding than anything they did afterward.

If you're into prog, I recommend starting with Frances the Mute, which I still think is their best. Not a single weak track, and the worst thing I can say about it is that some of the dissonant instrumental sections (like the end of The Widow) go on for too long. One of my favorite albums of this past decade.

Amputechture has the loving incredible Day of the Baphomets, in which they delve into a similar sort of manic jazz rock as early King Crimson. It's perhaps the best thing they've ever done, but altogether the album is kind of long-winded and tedious. I like it more now than I did when it came out, though.

The Bedlam in Goliath is their most difficult album. It's very dissonant, and relentlessly heavy from beginning to end with no room to breathe whatsoever. I actually like it quite a bit, but it's a very difficult album to listen to in one sitting.

Octahedron I consider their weakest album. The band described it as an "acoustic" album, which it isn't, but it's quieter and simpler than anything they've done since De-Loused. The problem is that it isn't nearly as strong as De-Loused melodically, so it ends up being pretty forgettable overall.

Rollersnake fucked around with this message at Aug 22, 2010 around 21:15

Rollersnake
May 9, 2005

Please, please don't let me end up in a threesome with the lunch lady and a gay pirate. That would hit a little too close to home.

MrBling posted:

Prog metal is absolutely my least favourite thing about the metal genre. I can see why people like it, but I just get nothing from it. But that's mostly because most prog metal bands seem to mistake "progressive" for "overly technical" which is a common mistake.

I'd rather listen to prog.rock or fusion'ish stuff personally.
There was quite a large danish prog/fusion scene in the 60s and 70s which tends to get overlooked for the very good reason that most of it didn't really see widespread release. A couple of labels are re-releasing a lot of it on CD these days though.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P_sLTwJGA5s

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=STVqzhwsc0k

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=31J6Ecv6jpc

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mWBqApV2jOI

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=m52bmdwUL8M

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=A7DVW8RKyLQ

Thanks for these. I'm really digging Culpeper's Orchard in particular. I love music in that proggy hard rock style.

Secret Oyster are unfortunately one of two bands I've seen live during which I've dozed off during the performance. It was an early evening set too, so they have no excuse.

Rollersnake fucked around with this message at Nov 29, 2010 around 23:37

Rollersnake
May 9, 2005

Please, please don't let me end up in a threesome with the lunch lady and a gay pirate. That would hit a little too close to home.

FullEnglshBrkfst posted:

Anyone who is a fan of King Crimson, especially the first album, has to check out McDonald and Giles' record from 1970, which involved a good portion of the first KC lineup... I just listened to it yesterday, expecting good things, and I was pretty blown away. It's got a lot of the great drumming, flutes, woodwinds that you find on some of the ITCOCK songs like "I Talk to the Wind", and is overall more light-hearted, but still gets really crazy (e.g. "Birdman" about 10 minutes in all the way to the end).

Here's Birdman (just the beginning, follow some youtube links for the other parts):
http://www.youtube.com/user/sbritt#...F/5/gZ2GMtgsWTo

The most interesting part of the McDonald & Giles album to me is Flight of the Ibis, which is musically what was originally supposed to be the King Crimson song Cadence and Cascade. The song was sort of split in half with the departure of Ian McDonald; King Crimson wrote new (not terribly different) music to accompany Sinfield's original lyrics, and McDonald had someone else compose lyrics for his original music.

Have a listen:

King Crimson - Cadence and Cascade
McDonald & Giles - Flight of the Ibis

Bonus: A previously unreleased version of Cadence and Cascade featuring Greg Lake on vocals. It's not quite as polished as the final version on In the Wake of Poseidon, but I've always hated Gordon Haskell's crappy simultaneously croaky and nasal voice.

Rollersnake fucked around with this message at Dec 21, 2010 around 22:08

Rollersnake
May 9, 2005

Please, please don't let me end up in a threesome with the lunch lady and a gay pirate. That would hit a little too close to home.

I like Kansas alright, but I don't think they're at all in the same league as the big British prog bands. They're excellent from a technical standpoint, but just about everything I've heard from them is derivative and/or lacking in personality. Magnum Opus is undoubtedly one of their best pieces, but my personal favorite is probably Journey from Mariabronn. I love Robbie Steinhardt's violin work on this.

Rollersnake
May 9, 2005

Please, please don't let me end up in a threesome with the lunch lady and a gay pirate. That would hit a little too close to home.

I loved Drama, so I'm at least a little bit interested in their newest album, but I'll probably never accept Fake Jon Benoit David—you can't just replace your frontman with a soundalike! That's just disgraceful.

Though I'm sure it never would have worked out, I wish they'd instead brought back Trevor Horn as a full member, who has a lot more to offer the band than sounding like the old guy (which he doesn't and I never had a problem with). I hear he's singing lead on the title track, and I'm happy for that at least.

Rollersnake fucked around with this message at Apr 26, 2011 around 00:59

Rollersnake
May 9, 2005

Please, please don't let me end up in a threesome with the lunch lady and a gay pirate. That would hit a little too close to home.

T-Paine posted:

Drama is a really great album, so this has potential, and I agree that The Ladder and Magnification were both sorely underrated, especially with tracks like "Face to Face," "The River," "New Languages," and "Lightning Strikes" from former and the title track, "We Agree" and "Give Love Each Day" from the latter. Then again I think all of Yes's post-90125 output is underrated, and Keystudio is one of their best albums as a whole.

I don't understand the appeal of Keystudio at all. Everything on it is mind-numbingly repetitive and overlong, the lyrics are Jon Anderson at his preachiest and cringingly bad, and it's the classic Yes lineup so you can't even pin the blame on Trevor Rabin or Billy Sherwood. There are one or two good bits buried in Mind Drive and That That Is, and Sign Language is a decent but unmemorable instrumental, but overall this is what cemented in my mind that there would never be another good Yes album. That the same band who made Tales from Topographic Oceans and Going for the One and Tormato could produce something this bad.

I do consider Union a bit underrated, though—not because it's good, but because it still has the reputation of being Yes's worst album, and I think they've since done much worse. Still, I would call I Would Have Waited Forever one of their best pop songs (I actually like it more than Owner of a Lonely Heart), and there are some other good tracks throughout like Masquerade and Take the Water to the Mountain. Saving My Heart might be the single worst song Yes ever did, though.

Edit: Had almost this same discussion 13 months and six pages ago.

Rollersnake fucked around with this message at Apr 27, 2011 around 19:55

Rollersnake
May 9, 2005

Please, please don't let me end up in a threesome with the lunch lady and a gay pirate. That would hit a little too close to home.

I'm still listening to it right now, but if it holds up, this is the best they've done since 90125—there's not much that stands out as truly great, but everything is at the very least adequate. It's actually really refreshing that Benoit David sounds closer to Trevor Horn than Jon Anderson on this, as most of my negativity toward this lineup stems from early videos where he seemed like nothing more than Fake Jon.

Edit: Best Yes album since 90125, though it feels weird to make that comparison, as now more than ever I feel compelled to judge Buggles-Yes as a separate band instead of an interesting aberration. This is Buggles-Yes's long overdue second album, it's good, and it isn't a rehash of Drama.

Rollersnake fucked around with this message at Jul 12, 2011 around 04:44

Rollersnake
May 9, 2005

Please, please don't let me end up in a threesome with the lunch lady and a gay pirate. That would hit a little too close to home.

Gianthogweed posted:

When I first heard the album I hated "Saving My Heart" so much that I made up my own lyrics for it, "Saving My Fart". I'm saving my fart for you, On your face I'll go poopoo, till the poo poo in my guts runs dry, in your mouth my turds will die, there's a place in my fart for you...

You're like the fourth person I know of, including myself, that mentally rewrote it as "saving my fart," though you were definitely the most dedicated. The song practically begs you to make it about farts.

Rollersnake
May 9, 2005

Please, please don't let me end up in a threesome with the lunch lady and a gay pirate. That would hit a little too close to home.

Gimmedaroot posted:

Random thoughts:

I rather enjoy the new Yes album, I'm trying not to let Geoff Downes' diary mess it up for me...what an rear end in a top hat.

I had the same reaction, but wasn't Rick Wakeman ultra-conservative too? And Igor Khoroshev sexually assaulted that security guard. Maybe Yes wouldn't truly be Yes without an rear end in a top hat keyboardist. Though I'm thankful Downes seems to have stopped blogging since the riots broke out as I really, really did not want to read what he had to say about them.

Caravan are totally brilliant and I need to listen to them more. I first fell in love with In the Land of Grey and Pink years ago and still only have... two more albums. The Camel album Breathless is also a must-have for Caravan fans as it features Richard and Dave Sinclair, and ends up sound like the midpoint between the two bands... Caramel?

Rollersnake fucked around with this message at Aug 26, 2011 around 16:09

Rollersnake
May 9, 2005

Please, please don't let me end up in a threesome with the lunch lady and a gay pirate. That would hit a little too close to home.

I was going to say it's a bit insulting to see The Strawbs referred to as "Rick Wakeman's band before Yes," and then I remembered From the Witchwood is the only album of theirs I really love.

Edit: They were also Sandy Denny's band before Fairport Convention, and the archive release "Sandy Denny and the Strawbs" is definitely worth a listen too. Not prog, but who cares?

Rollersnake fucked around with this message at Aug 31, 2011 around 02:16

Rollersnake
May 9, 2005

Please, please don't let me end up in a threesome with the lunch lady and a gay pirate. That would hit a little too close to home.

I've recently fallen back into my consuming obsession with the DGM Live library and King Crimson Collector's Club. The first four shows the Islands lineup played have excellent-quality soundboard recordings of varying degrees of completeness that are super interesting if you're a diehard fan. This lineup's sound changed so much over the course of a year—if you've only heard Earthbound and other recordings from that tour, it's almost unbelievable to hear the same band performing the likes of The Court of the Crimson King and Lady of the Dancing Water. Plus The Sailor's Tale in its early, unfinished form gives rise to some awesome improvs—in the April 12th one, Fripp plays a fragment of what would later be Larks' Tongues in Aspic, Part 1.

What's both frustrating and compelling about this lineup is that their performances were extremely uneven, and not even in the same ways from one day to the next. What I really need is a compilation of the best bits. DGM of course released Ladies of the Road years ago, but now that I have seven loving shows I think I could do better myself. Also, I still haven't found a performance of 21st Century Schizoid Man that compares to the one on Earthbound.

Rollersnake fucked around with this message at Sep 12, 2011 around 19:01

Rollersnake
May 9, 2005

Please, please don't let me end up in a threesome with the lunch lady and a gay pirate. That would hit a little too close to home.

evvywevvy posted:

Lately, I've been all about Curved Air. They were active in the first couple years of the 70s in London, and they made a lot of classical-inspired rock music (including a bunch of Vivaldi arrangements). My favorite song of theirs is Marie Antoinette: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Nv8zhRa3-zE

Some of their stuff gets pretty close to zeuhl, like Over and Above: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NnhykJqbIzk

Overall very excellent stuff. Their albums Airconditioning (1970) and Phantasmagoria (1972) are the only two I've got, but the word seems to be that their others are for completists only, and feature a lot of weak material.

I loving love Air Cut, and it is not at all a weak album or only for completists.

Metamorphosis is an early Eddie Jobson composition that I think ranks among his best, and Easy is just a perfect piece of proggy hard rock and maybe the best song they ever did.

Rollersnake
May 9, 2005

Please, please don't let me end up in a threesome with the lunch lady and a gay pirate. That would hit a little too close to home.

I'm still upset that Stick Men/Belew will be playing near me the only day of the week I cannot possibly go, as I have a 4-hour long evening class that meets only once a week and I cannot afford to miss. I saw the Belew Power Trio on their first tour, and it was in all honesty one of the best shows I've ever seen, so I urge anyone with an interest in progressive music to go see them.

Rollersnake
May 9, 2005

Please, please don't let me end up in a threesome with the lunch lady and a gay pirate. That would hit a little too close to home.

Earwicker posted:

Has anyone here heard this album? Watcher of the Skies: Genesis Revisited

It's a 1996 album where Steve Hackett got together with the 1974 King Crimson lineup plus 20 random vocalists and programmers(?) to cover old Genesis songs. Which I half want to look for and am half assuming is really horrible

George Starostin apparently thinks it's the worst thing Hackett's ever done. I disagree with his reviews fairly often, but these nostalgia projects always fill me with a sense of foreboding anyway, so I'm not exactly eager to check it out myself.

Rollersnake
May 9, 2005

Please, please don't let me end up in a threesome with the lunch lady and a gay pirate. That would hit a little too close to home.

Eh, I have a soft spot for Starostin because I started reading him back in high school and discovered a lot of bands I love through his reviews, largely because he's more of a historian than a lot of reviewers and he's sometimes a very entertaining writer. If you want to read him at his best, check out his Ween page—he's done a better job of communicating that band's brilliance than anyone else I've ever read. This of course doesn't excuse his wonky criteria, and I've lost count of the number of times he's completely missed the loving point of an album/band, and written hateful reviews of albums I love—his reviews of Wish You Were Here and Gentle Giant's Interview, and his Zappa page almost in its entirety stand out in my memory as the worst offenders.

That said quite a bit of Genesis Revisited is up on YouTube, and it seems really uneven and frequently sounds embarrassingly dated.

Rollersnake fucked around with this message at Nov 4, 2011 around 17:43

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Rollersnake
May 9, 2005

Please, please don't let me end up in a threesome with the lunch lady and a gay pirate. That would hit a little too close to home.

His Starless and Bible Black review was even worse, I recall. He hated Fracture, and literally thought it was an improv piece. He does obviously enjoy getting a rise out of people, but most of the time I'm quite sure he's really that dense.

I remember his Frank Zappa page as consistently the worst thing he ever did—I can't really recall concrete examples, and I don't want to reread it because I should really be working right now and it made me physically angry. I do recall he hated Bongo Fury because of "Captain Beefheart's lovely voice." He's also the goddamn champion of deploring anything remotely dissonant and of hating an artist's definitive works and then lavishing praise on the albums even the hardcore fans don't like.

It's generally not because of his opinions that I enjoyed reading him, but his armchair historian approach to rock music. The guy reviewed a lot of progressive rock, krautrock, British folk rock, and things beyond the scope of mainstream reviewers, so I ultimately forgive him for having lovely, misinformed opinions on a lot of things. Through his reviews, I discovered The Residents, Genesis, Gong, Caravan, Can, Gryphon, Tim Buckley, The Swans, and a zillion other artists I love. And hell, The Beatles were pretty much all I listened to prior to my teen years, so his Beatles reverence doesn't even get on my nerves that much—it was, at least, something I could relate to back then.

And it's not all bad. I reiterate my recommendation for his Ween page, and he also did a very entertaining track-by-track review of the Nuggets compilations. These are also among the later things he wrote on his old site—he definitely got a lot better, and a lot of his worst work (the King Crimson and Zappa pages for example) is probably as old as the site itself.

Rollersnake fucked around with this message at Nov 18, 2011 around 04:00

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