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View Full Version : Why does the USA still love Prog?


Rikki Nadir
06-19-2001, 05:08 PM
So here's a thing. In the 1970s, the united kingdom (and mostly the English bit) gave birth to some great Progressive Rock. I won't list them all, but if I say - Yes, Genesis, Floyd, King Crimson, Roxy, VDGG etc you get the idea. Then along came punk rock in 1976 and swept all that away. Now, the kingdom is a prog desert (largely), with no radio station (not even Bob Harris or John Peel) playing any prog, and only the likes of Radiohead to keep the flame alive (other than through the myriad tribute bands playing the circuit).

Contrast with the USA. Yes live in California and still play to large audiences, new bands (eg spock's beard) come along, the scene is alive (or at least so it seems from here). Jethro Tull tour the US and get an audience, then Ian Anderson comes home to Scotland and does he play concerts? More than likely not. He goes back to farming salmon.

So, gentle website buddies, pray do tell - why does the USA (and other bits of the world) still love prog, when the UK has turned its back on this bit of its musical heritage?

What do you think?

Yesspaz
06-20-2001, 09:29 PM
Good question...

Rush is Canadian. Kansas came from, uh, I forgot. Everyone just kinda congregated here (US). But as for there being a prog rock "scene" here, nope. There are a scattered few of us, but not enough to really light a flame. Heck, even Jim and Avian have never met! Radio stations only play old Yes, Pink Floyd, Rush, and occasionally ELP. That's pretty much it. No Genesis, Oldfield, or KC. Anything proggish gets slated in the press, unless it's KC, whom critics love.

We do have Dream Theater, King's X, Porcupine Tree, Tool, Stavesacre, and DOZENS of indie bands producing quality, but that's about it.

Rather than why it's percieved to be thriving here, what's your take on why it's not in the UK?

BigTwin
06-21-2001, 03:28 PM
There's no prog radio over here either (at least, not that I know of in my general vicinity)...the "classic rock" station in OKC is just about like Spaz's description. Radio is strictly a numbers game and it's gotten worse in the last 20 years, with companies like Clear Channel. On the bright side, prog has often been referred to as "thinking-mans rock", so revel in your intellectual superiority!

ButtGoodAndQuik
07-14-2001, 03:19 PM
Or "Math Rock"...

Prog seems so international in flavor (especially those crafty Italians). Although, I wouldn't say that England has turned it back on it. Look who is still busy... Eno, Simon Phillips, Robert Fripp, Bryan Ferry, Bill Bruford, John Wetton, the list goes on. Keep in mind, though, Prog has a quite a bit to compete with, basically the simpletons that listen to that 4/4 extruded bilge on a daily basis, spoon fed by people who don't give a crap about quality and follow the almighty market forces. That didn't seem to be the case when it was "created" in England. I don't think it matters if England "gave up" on Prog, if that's what you think happened. As long as the genre lives and there is ample supply, I will be happy. Hope you are, too.

claycorn
07-22-2001, 07:09 AM
i read that statement,yes the uk is like the usa in some ways in others not really.prog is every where in the world.from russa to south america.what a wonderful time to love this music! there is an old saying(punk not dead) hmm prog never died:p

museman
03-19-2006, 09:33 AM
:rockband: what about IQ ,Marillion PT many others I think the UK will come back to deliver once again .variety of prog since those early days only shows me the best music in the world is still on the small scale but the net is delivering to the world .[This music has taken me on endless journey from the mind to the heart]

Andyyyy
03-19-2006, 12:45 PM
I don't know how you all feel, but as I evolved musically, I went from the more simple to the more complex. I don't mean to sound elitist about my taste, but it's just how it evolved. I started out in the 60s with top 40 and surf music because I wasn't into the Beatles like EVERYONE was (though today I can appreciate some of their music). Toward the later 60s and early 70s I got into classical and jazz, and jazz-rock in terms of popular music. I also liked what the "underground" FM stations played, like the long version of Light my Fire, or In the Court of the Crimsom King. Then, around the late 70s, I rented a room from a drummer. He was bored by 4/4 and introduced me to Genesis, Gentle Giant, Yes, Bruford, et al. I was hooked! Have been ever since. I still enjoy classical and jazz, but no more pop for me.

Long live prog!

Rick and Roll
03-19-2006, 07:16 PM
Wow lots of new and long lost contributors here...

I recommend Strangefish...like Riverside, they've released two of the more outstanding CD's of the 00's (that sounds weird):confused:

I'm not in Britian, but they still rule to me...

PFD
03-20-2006, 02:41 PM
I'm not so sure I agree with your main premise. I think classic prog bands still gather a crowd in Britain. Yes still tours there, as does Jethro Tull, (when Ian's not fish farming).

I know of bands, on the other hand, that can perform to far more people in Britain than the USA. Marillion being the key example. Their last album charted 3 singles in the UK (albeit through a contrived promotional scheme), but didn't make a dent here.

Porcupine Tree, although gaining in popularity in American, have been performing for years in Britain.

Pendragon...IQ...Arena...all do reasonably well in the UK.

I think the main difference is population. If only 2 per cent of America's population likes prog...that will always be a larger number than 2 percent of Britain's population.

Andyyyy
03-20-2006, 08:56 PM
I think that my point was missed. Prog requires active listening. Prog satisfies the person who actually hears what's going on in the music as opposed to someone who just wants background noise with a bit of a beat. I cannot answer why (and I don't know if this is correct) the Brits seem not to embrace prog as much as we Americans. Matter of fact, our Gentle Giant list has people from all over the globe, including many from the home of the Boys in the Band, the UK. OTOH, how is it that Italy has so embraced prog? Could there be a cultural difference which would support the level of listening that prog requires? Could it be Italian wine? American beer? Swedish Vodka? Polish Vodka (especially Chopin)?

I dunno, but am hopelessly addicted to prog and I love it! It's definately not a commercial genre, but if enough of us feel this way it can once again become commercial. There is a difference, I think, in how the younger generations like prog. The only music frm my parents' generation that I liked was jazz and classical. Nothing else. And you were not cool if you listgened to Lawrence Welk with your parents. But both my boys (18 and 22 years old) grew up with my prog. Both play guitar and both have a natural feel for odd rhythms. My older son loves King Crimson, Yes, Gentle Giant and other prog bands from the 70s. I can see a new generation getting hooked like we are :)

VAXman
03-21-2006, 06:21 AM
So, gentle website buddies, pray do tell - why does the USA (and other bits of the world) still love prog, when the UK has turned its back on this bit of its musical heritage?

What do you think?
Because it's great music and, despite the appearance presented the rest of the world from our exported media depicting us all as "American IDLEs", some of us need something a bit more intellectually stimulating and challenging than hip-hip-rap-crap and Jerry Springer.

Yesspaz
03-21-2006, 12:28 PM
Man, is this thread old! Blast from the past and active again...

Rick and Roll
03-21-2006, 12:39 PM
Man, is this thread old! Blast from the past and active again...

I get it now. Museman responded to it.....I didn't even look at the dates. No wonder there's old Moonies.

I retract my earlier post. PFD was right, this is a specious premise, and I should look next time before having a conversation with ghosts:aua:

mossy
03-21-2006, 07:35 PM
:grinz:

BornBrilliant
03-28-2006, 12:45 PM
There's no prog radio over here either (at least, not that I know of in my general vicinity)...the "classic rock" station in OKC is just about like Spaz's description. Radio is strictly a numbers game and it's gotten worse in the last 20 years, with companies like Clear Channel. On the bright side, prog has often been referred to as "thinking-mans rock", so revel in your intellectual superiority!


agree'd about the last part. My friend and I never really considered prog to be a huge thing in the US; but I'm not so sure anymore. There's alot of people who have HEARD of the genre, but dont listen. Or, they listen to bands such as Queen, Pink Floyd, Yes, Rush, and Genesis but dont know that it's PROG. They just consider it plain ol' rock. So there probably are alot more fans out there in the US they just dont realize they're fans yet ;).
So why does US still love prog? :dunno:

Rick and Roll
03-28-2006, 01:04 PM
agree'd about the last part. My friend and I never really considered prog to be a huge thing in the US; but I'm not so sure anymore. There's alot of people who have HEARD of the genre, but dont listen. Or, they listen to bands such as Queen, Pink Floyd, Yes, Rush, and Genesis but dont know that it's PROG. They just consider it plain ol' rock. So there probably are alot more fans out there in the US they just dont realize they're fans yet ;).
So why does US still love prog? :dunno:

Sounds like we're getting into that "what is prog" discussion again.

All of the bands above really rock as much as "prog". Look at the album "Going For the One". The title cut is a flat-out rocker, and Awaken is well, Awaken8-)

I don't tend to classify it, I just listen.