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Progressive rock recommendations?

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    Vili Maunula

    This perhaps goes mainly to BMWRider, who in his profile mentioned liking progressive rock, but in case someone else is a prog fan as well, don’t hesitate to participate.

    I have recently felt the urge to get to know progressive rock better, but don’t really know where to start. I know Yes and Genesis, which I quite like. My favourite progressive rock is, however, on some early albums by the Greek composer Vangelis (who is better known for his synth based later works and film scores for movies like Blade Runner). Vangelis’s prog albums like Earth (1973), The Dragon (1971) and 666 (1972) mix rock sounds with jazz and world music sounds, are really worth checking out. Although note that the first two are only available as bootlegs (while 666 was released as the last album of Vangelis’s then-band Aphrodite’s Child).

    Do you know these albums, BMWRider? If you do, can you recommend anything that is even vaguely similar?

    Hmm. This now also reminds me that I need to post a news item that I’ve been meaning to write for a few days now, but haven’t somehow yet managed to do it. Off I go to do that.

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    Jeremy

    RUSH simply the best band ever, some may disagree, but their wrong =) 39 years of rocking, and still as powerful as ever

    Its actually why am up early on a Saturday, am waiting foe tickets to go on sell for a up-coming tour. Last time I end up paying $1000 each for the best seats to a scout because I missed the early sell. Hoping this time I can avoid that

    No really progressive, but am a big fan of 70’s rock that some do classify as progressive

    Tom Petty, Led Zeppelin, Black Sabbath/Ozzy, Deep Purple, Pink Floyd, Queen come to mind

    Am fairly new to it, consider most of this bands died out before I was born =(

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    Vili Maunula

    I will check out Rush, who I know by name but from who I probably couldn’t recognize a single song.

    From your list, Ozzy is very familiar to me, as is the early Black Sabbath, and the rest of the bands are obviously known to me although I have never owned any of their albums. Or I may have some Deep Purple somewhere, and I do have Pink Floyd’s film The Wall, although I have yet to watch it.

    You don’t by any chance happen to like Todd Rundgren, or his more (prog) rock-oriented band Utopia? I really like his music, although there again my preferences lean towards his more pop oriented sound (the 1972 album Something/Anything? is simply a masterpiece).

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    Jeremy

    Might want to consider buying Rush’s R30 DVD/CD box set, the price is a little high but it should be very easy to find it where you are. Its live footage and recordings of their last world tour, if you dont like what you see and hear, there no point in continuing, as it gives a overall summary of them anything else just dives deeper.

    Critic and commercial failures, but they have a insanely huge loyal fan base, and what I find to be among the best song lyrics ever written, plus the drummer is widely consider the best ever-period.

    I never heard Todd Rundgren, but will try to get that 7 samurai CD later today and along with it I pick up something from his.

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    BMWRider

    I would say that Rush was a progressive band in its earlier incarnations, but has been a straight out rock band for some time, since the late 70s. I like Peart well enough, but would argue that drummers like Christian Vander and Bill Bruford are more proficient than he is, but it is really a matter of opinion. I have never been overly impressed by the size of a drummer’s kit. Peart’s lyrics are interesting, but you have to listen to Geddy Lee sing them which has always been my problem with Rush. I own some Rush CDs, but have never really considered them a progressive band, I think they are much more derivative of Led Zeppelin with maybe a bit of Yes thrown in.

    Vili you would probably enjoy the works of Jade Warrior, a 70s contemporary of Vangelis and AC, who I also like. I love Steve Hackett’s solo work. Additionally with your love of Todd and Utopia I would suggest a look at Echolyn and Sweden’s The Flower Kings. If you enjoy Gabriel era Genesis, I would suggest you check out The Tangent and maybe Fish. Let me know if you would like some “sampler” music, I can probably throw something together for you.

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    Vili Maunula

    Thanks for the recommendations, BMWRider! I’ll certainly check out the names you mentioned — if there is something good about Finland (where I am forced to spend the next 12 months as you may remember), it is the country’s library system which is very extensive and free to use. I’m sure to be able to pick up works by everyone you mentioned once I get myself to a library!

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    Jeremy

    One reason I hate labeling styles of music is because everyone has a different concept of what the title means.

    I have different concept of progressive than you.

    To me the bands you mention are more world, easy rock, jazz fusion. Progressive bands to me are Rush and Dream Theater, though I believe Dream Theater has some connections with The Flower Kings. In which cause, all the bands I mention would be far from what I believe you and Vili consider progressive.

    I disagree entirely with your statements about Geddy and Peart but to avoid a huge post thats really only my opinion, versus yours, we’ll just have to agree to disagree.

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    BMWRider

    Dream Theater is considered progressive metal in the prog community, and that is certainly a respectable part of that world. I saw Dream Theater when they opened for Marillion and thought they were accomplished, it was only their lead singer that got on my nerves. I use the label Progressive Rock as a majority of prog fans do, there are some arguments within the community (most would disagree with my assessment of Rush) as to what is included, but there is general agreement about the roots. The big progressive bands in the late 60s and 70s were The Moody Blues, King Crimson, Yes, Genesis, Gentle Giant, Jethro Tull, Kansas, and Emerson Lake and Palmer. There were also bands from Canterbury like Hatfield and the North and Soft Machine that reflected a more fusion sound, but they are still a part of the community. Of course Camel and Caravan, the RIO sound of Magma, Zao, and Amon Duul II, the Krautrock masters like Tangerine Dream, Faust and Can; and the zaniness of Frank Zappa are all a part of the wonderful world of prog. Progressive Rock attracts a pretty geeky crowd and they have done a great job over the years of classifying and recording the history of the genre. There are several great references on prog, and I am pretty well read on the subject, but if you would like outside sources I’ll be happy to provide them.

    Remember you started your post with Rush is the best band ever…., I know you were being fun, but I had to respond. I have followed progressive rock since the early 70s and remember when Rush fans were looked at as the prog equivalent of Kiss fans. While I respect Rush, and feel that Fly by Night and A Farewell to Kings are outstanding albums, I think that Spirit of the Radio marks their departure from prog, just as Abacab marked Genesis’ departure.

    My tastes run to more symphonic bands like Yes, Gabriel era Genesis, Marillion (with Fish), Gentle Giant, Pendragon, IQ, Pallas, Marillion, Salem Hill, Spock’s Beard, The Flower Kings, and the like. I am also a huge fan of Porcupine Tree, Riverside, and some Opeth, so prog metal is a sound I enjoy from time to time too. Music is a personal choice, and I respect your opinion, besides we agree on movies. I came up with my recommendations for Vili based on his enjoyment of Utopia and Vangelis. BTW, the Flower Kings connection to Dream Theater is that Roine Stolt and Mike Portney were in Transatlantic together. A nice band that I saw live a few years ago.

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    Jeremy

    I agree with what you say, found the read interesting. I never heard about Rush fans being the Kiss fan equivalents-thats a bad thing. I hate KISS but understand how the fans could be connected, regardless how unfair that my be.

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