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    The Story of Prog... well, some of it, or just the bits I like


    Posts : 1740
    Join date : 2009-06-09
    Location : Reading, UK

    The Story of Prog... well, some of it, or just the bits I like

    Post by purpleblues1 on Fri Aug 27, 2010 11:44 am

    Whilst racking my brains for a group who's output was worthy of an entry in our "Rate an artist" section, I stumbled into an old man with straggly long hair, a wispy beard , a crazed look in his eye and a strange creature clasped in his arms.
    "Good day sir, and a pleasant day it would be to, If it weren't for the dragon.." he was in mid flow when I coughed and spluttered "Dragon?" what are you on?

    He paused for breath, looked me square in the eye, then offered to tell me a tale of daring, avarice and greed across the seas of time and space, a tale of mythical creatures, lost love, long misplaced childhoods , bards and magicians locked in mortal combat, treachery felled the heroes, fortune favoured the brave and the pure of heart wandered through the vale of misery looking around with mortified hopes and clutching at straws
    "Where are the prophets, where are the visionaries?" I asked,
    All in good time, dear knave, all in good time.
    He rearranged his posture ( not a pleasant sight, I can tell you)and as the last syllable leaped for freedom out of that brown stained tooth guarded chasm, my body jerked into stillness. I could not move, my whole being was focused on the ancient mouth as it formed words that were at once both terrible and yet full of beauty
    He spoke to me of ages past, when man and nature were in harmony, he told tales of girls with faraway eyes and he told of the boy with the thorn in his side, the man who sought the light in the black, and more, much more.
    Then he shimmered, shook himself, jumped up, apologised for wasting my time and was grateful that I'd let him ramble on until he no longer knew what is and what should never be.
    As he spoke, he faded like a reflection in glass fades as the light from behind you fades
    I blinked, he was gone, leaving only a smell of damp wool and a library card. I picked up the card with a pair of tweezers that were waiting around , and exited, stage left...
    To the Library of Prog, for that was the name embossed on the card.
    I approached the library cautiously, it was easy to find as it was situated on the road to nowhere, which was the first left off the boulevard of broken dreams , It sat on top of Solsbury Hill , basking in the warm summer sun of memories

    In the library were many books, the first I picked , or rather , it picked me , was a tome entitled " Prog for Dummies".
    It coyly opened its cover and inside I heard a sound, getting louder and louder... acoustic guitars, mellotron,drums, electric guitars, all tumbled out in a heap, then rearranged themsleves into a strange engine shape and began to play.
    This is what they played....

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    Last edited by purpleblues1 on Tue Aug 31, 2010 3:47 am; edited 3 times in total (Reason for editing : add updated mediafire link and artwork)

    Posts : 1740
    Join date : 2009-06-09
    Location : Reading, UK

    Re: The Story of Prog... well, some of it, or just the bits I like

    Post by purpleblues1 on Sun Aug 29, 2010 4:47 pm

    1 Porcupine Tree – BornLiveDie
    2 Pink Floyd – One Of These Days
    3 Honeyroot - Sound Echo Location
    4 Marillion – Market Square Heroes
    5 IQ – Subterrania
    6 Riverside – The Same River
    7 Satellite – Fight
    8 Unitopia – Nothing Lasts forever
    9 Transatlantic – Mystery Train
    10 Spock’s Beard – Stranger in a Strange Land
    11 Marillion – Easter
    12 The Flower Kings – Different People
    13 Eloy – On The Verge OF Darkening Lights
    14 It Bites – The Ice Melts Into Water
    15 Twelfth Night – Art And Illusion.
    A Translation:
    We are gently escorted into the Purpleblues Prog room by the exhortations of “Bornlivedie” from “Signify “ by Porcupine Tree, which sets up “One Of These Days” from “Meddle” by the Grand Masters of Prog, Pink Floyd. Not the most obvious of PF tracks, but this classic of lyrical minimalism drives us on, the insistent driving bass line and honky tonk piano serve to mislead the uninitiated, but he faithful are rewarded with the slicing slide guitar and SFX.
    The mix then sublimely changes to “Sound, Echo, Location” from Honeyroot. Nowhere in any dictionary of Prog will you find a chapter or even a footnote for them, but in my world, the fractured keyboards entwined with the treated voices and the SFX make this a Prog track…
    So we are now deep in he suburbs of Prog City and we have the first of our “Prog Classics”, Marillion. Their debut single ( or 12” EP as these things were back in the start of the 80’s). The influence of punk’s nihilism is evident , yet the accusation of “Genesis “ clones dogged the Fish era band, totally without substance unless you were to witness the live event, during which the tall garrulous scot would regale the audiences with rambling introductions that owed much to one Peter Gabriel
    The Resurgence of Prog in the 80’s is now labelled as the “Neo” Prog movement in the anorak toting world of progfans, so we move to a band still touring, still stretching the boundary of what “Prog” should be. IQ, here represented by the title track from “subterranean, that most Prog of things, a concept album / tour/ DVD.
    Then we are off on a quick global jaunt, over the rusting Iron Curtain to the People’s Republic of Prog , or Poland as the rest of the EC know it.
    For a little country, it excels in the emerging scene with terrific bands like Riverside and Satellite that mould Prog with Metal and Post-industrial gothic sentiments into a coherent soundscape that appeals to young and old Progfans alike.
    Riverside have moved into the darker, sparsely illuminated side streets of Metal and grunge, whilst Satellite have been seduced by the bright lights and false promises of a more radio friendly approach. The tracks here are taken from their respective debut albums, and fine pieces of Prog they are too.

    Last edited by purpleblues1 on Mon Aug 30, 2010 4:58 pm; edited 1 time in total

    Posts : 1740
    Join date : 2009-06-09
    Location : Reading, UK

    there's more...

    Post by purpleblues1 on Sun Aug 29, 2010 5:45 pm

    Then it’s off to the other side of the world. Australia. Not a country renowned for its Progginess, but
    Unitopia are attempting to change that view with deceptively tuneful and adventurous lyrical songs., The fact hat they have some great on line video’s to promote their music is not harming them either. I posted their “Pigeon impossible “ you tube clip a while back, go check it out for proof that Prog can be funny ! in a good way.
    Then we reach the heart of the matter. Modern Prog is a small world, everyone seems to know each other and “guest appearances” are the rule rather than the exception.
    The masters of this cross pollinated village are Transatlantic.
    Take a renowned Prog meta l drummer, a multi-instrumentalist lyricist with strong spiritual values who can out sing 99% of the field, add a Scandinavian guitar legend and finish the quartet with a quietly understated English bass player and you get a bona fide “supergroup”. “Mystery Train “is from their debut CD, SMPTe, released back in 2000.Since then they released a follow up epic, toured, gave us the obligatory 2CD/”DVD deluxe live set, broke up, then reformed last year, released the quintessential Prog Album, a single track 80 minute conceptual piece, Headlined the High Voltage Festival in Hyde Park and then vanished into the fog.
    Then we have examples of ¾ of the sum that makes the whole. Spock’s Beard never toured “Snow”, their masterpiece: A double album concept about an albino psychic and his life and suffering. Sounds dreadful, yet contains moments of beauty and real emotional force, one of which is presented here.
    Then a further offering from Marillion, “Easter”, a great track featuring the “new” vocalist ,Steve Hogarth, who’s now bee nin the band much longer than that lanky Scotsman..
    Then onto the Scandinavian element, the guitar toting Swede, Mr Roine Stolt… and his day job, The Flower Kings. A nice vibe floating through the ether here, leading us nicely to Germany’s finest Prog export of the 70’s and 80’s, Eloy. They crashed into the Prog world from krautrockland and brought a pile of synthesisers with them, and cosmic prog never sounded so celestial!
    And now we are approaching the halfway point on our journey, and who better to guide us there than Cumbria’s finest, It Bites, captured here live and in full dry ice and spot lit guitar solo mode.
    They then pass the baton to Reading’s contribution to 80’s Prog, Twelfth Night. Now I must confess to being a little biased as they were old drinking buddies, and I still keep in contact with Brian , the drummer today. Well of the line-up that blazed a trail through the M4 to headlining the Marquee, only he and Clive the bass player remain, but the reformed and expanded 2010 version are a potent force as witnessed by Mrs PB and me earlier this year….

    And in part 2 , we will discuss how one tiny Scandinavian town can produce not 1 but 2 world class Prog rock behemoths – Black Bonzo and Moon Safari, we will dive into the strange world of Galahad, play spot the riff with the masters of Progressive Metal, Dream Theatre and explore the moons of Genesis and untangle the complex web of musical threads that all lead to one Arjen Lucasson….
    Oh and throw in a few choice tracks from the PB library too

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    Re: The Story of Prog... well, some of it, or just the bits I like

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