Archives » Prog Rock
Tuesday Afternoon was followed as a single by Voices in the Sky (with its flute flourishes and distinctive vocal from Justin Hayward) which, like its follow-up, the hard-driving perennial favourite Ride My See-Saw, featured on the next LP, the even more pretentious concept album, In Search of the Lost Chord. That was the first Moody Blues LP I bought – possibly my first ever and there’s barely a dud on it – with the possible exception of the spoken passages and the final track OM. Its standout is the Ray Thomas song Legend of a Mind embedded within the House of Four Doors sequence with its classical pretensions placing the group’s output firmly in Prog territory.
By this time the Moodies were firmly established as my favourite band.
Then we had this song – later to feature on On The Threshold of a Dream – which I remember in its review of the single the NME referred to as “beautifully constructed.” Here the group plays it live.
I didn’t buy the Moodies’ next single, Tuesday Afternoon, a song which – like Nights In White Satin – appeared also on the LP Days of Future Passed but I remember hearing it on the radio and thinking it was almost as good. It seems the single version was edited down to a ludicrous 2 minutes 16 seconds – missing out the repeat of the opening riff and Tuesday afternoon chorus.
This is how it appeared on the LP and so contains the orchestral afterpiece tagged on by conductor Peter Knight. Knight’s “classical music” interludes linked all the songs on the LP – supposedly to demonstrate the record label Deram’s new “Deramic Sound System.” The story that the band were asked to record an album based on Dvorak’s New World symphony but instead recorded their own songs without the label’s knowledge has been disputed.
Edited (7/6/14) to add:- Those orchestral interludes and the fact that it was a concept album probably make Days of Future Passed one of the first prog rock albums.
The Strawbs were the favourite band of another of my schoolfriends. Only somewhat proggy, they were on the folkish end of the prog rock spectrum.
This is a rockier track though.
I’ve not had some prog rock for a while so here’s a track from King Crimson’s first album In the Court of the Crimson King.
There’s some great portentous guitar and nice heavy mellotron on this.
King Crimson: Epitaph (including “March for No Reason” and “Tomorrow and Tomorrow”)
The place The Troggs had for me in the 60s and Sweet in the early 70s was taken by Marillion in the early 80s.
Marillion have been forever tagged with the Prog Rock label and while their first songs – especially the 17 minute long Grendel and most of the debut album Script For a Jester’s Tear – fit that bill (which was why I got into them in the first place) by the time of Fugazi they had mainly moved on to a more guitar based rock sound.
Their initial success, though, shows that Prog wasn’t as moribund a genre as its detractors would have had it.
I think I first saw them on television on The Oxford Road Show (who remembers that!) when this was one of the songs they played. Despite it being from Fugazi there is still a hint of Prog and echoes of Genesis.
This clip, though, is from Top of the Pops. Check out Fish – with hair!
Speaking of ELO, this was their first single from that eponymous first album, Electric Light Orchestra.
Heavy cellos; as well as brass.
The guitar riff has been much copied. (Yes, Paul Weller, I’m looking at you.)
I’ve not had any prog rock for a while so here is Italy’s finest, Premiata Forneria Marconi (or PFM,) with a beezer. (Just wait for the hook about one and a half minutes in.)
Thank God if sometimes your oyster holds a pearl.
And for added value here’s a video of the band performing Celebration on The Old Grey Whistle Test.
Stephen Baxter’s Emperor, which I have just finished reading, has as its motive force a Weaver of Time’s tapestry. Inevitably it brought to mind this song.
Family’s songs didn’t usually have straightforward structures and so they stray into Prog Rock territory.
This is probably the track which really switched me on to prog rock. I had been softened up by Procol Harum and had, I think, a few Moody Blues LPs by this time but this was something different.
I heard The Court Of The Crimson King for the first time on Pick of the Pops. Alan Freeman did not just play the top twenty but other more eclectic stuff. I particularly remember the name Rabbi Abraham Feinberg.
Anyway, one day this came on and I thought “Wow. What is that?”
The video here shows, for some bizarre reason, bits of one of Ian Stewart’s geology programmes for the BBC.