Thursday, April 12, 2012

Tales from the Progressive Oceans

Here im starting a new series of posts about the music category thas is called Progressive Rock.
(Or Prog Rock, or Art rock, you name it).
Progressive Rock was mainly an English thing. What I mean is that mostly english bands were involved in it. Of course there are bands from everywhere that played progressive (even from Japan), but at a percentage of 79% I believe are English.
Here I will present some very good records (according to my oppinion but also in general), so it maybe will be a nice place for some of you to get an idea about this great music style.
Because allthough it is rock, it'is a very unique kind of rock. With long songs many times, many changes withing the songs, strange instruments sometimes, or total absence of classic rock instruments some other times, (guitar for example), and even classical orchestras playing together with the band.
If there is something very characteristic about this music idiom it is the complete absence of refrains at most of the times. You know, the part of the song that you sing slowly when you are doing a job at home, or when you are in the car, you will not find it here. Because this music is not the music to listen when you deal with other things. You have to sit down and listen!
Many of the musicians involved in this are coming from music schools or universities, with classic studies in music, perfectionists that most of the times they tried to combine their classical studies with rock sounds. But it doesnt end there. The lyrics are often odd, poetic, hard to understand sometimes, and also lets not forget the album covers. The usual rock album covers with the band in any possible photograph are absent here. Here you will see paintings, strange photographs, and so on.
What I want to say is that Progressive Rock is Art!
Starting from the cover, until the last piece of music inside the record.
Here I will be presenting some classic prog records, some others not so known, and I will also include sometimes records from bands that are not considered as progressive, but at some point they released 1-2 records that can fall into this category. So, the hard-core progressive fans please be a little open minded about it! :)
P.s: The picture you see is a painting from Roger Dean, and it was the cover of the album 'Tales from Topographic Oceans' by Yes. (Now you also know where the title of this post came from...)