View Full Version : Favorite Prog band- then and now

12-17-2002, 10:14 AM
What was your favorite Prog band when you first got into Prog, and what year was it?
Also, what is your favorite Prog band now?

While I listened to college radio as early as '71, I didn't hear a lot of Prog or wasn't very aware of it. It was my older brother's birthday party in the summer of '72 when my ears were truly opened to this wonderful world.

Ronnie was opening presents and became VERY EXCITED when he opened the brand new ELP album. He immediately cued up "Hoedown", turned it up LOUD, and went into a Keith Emerson imitation. Later that day Ronnie chewed me out for listening to "HIS album". (I was 12 at the time).

Guess what album I received for Christmas? To this day, Trilogy is like an old friend. "The Endless Enigma" is a great wake up song for me on lazy mornings. I became a ELP fan. I also started listening to Genesis and Pink Floyd. I didn't know much about a band named Yes except that my oldest brother had "Close To The Edge" on 8-track and I was not allowed to TOUCH his 8-track!

I remember seeing a commercial for Yessongs and how cool the artwork was. I vaguely remember hearing the song on the commercial. It was "Roundabout". I liked it so much, I shelled out the 22.00 for Yessongs.
ELP remained my fave band up until Works. I enjoyed Yes a lot also, but I finally started exploring Pink Floyd's older albums. Floyd has been a favorite for many a year.

But after all the dust has cleared, Yes stands as my favorite today. The Ladder was a fantastic album. Magnification is fairly decent. But their best body of work remains with The Yes Album through Relayer.

12-17-2002, 04:37 PM
Through most of my childhood, I listened to 80's pop rock, usually from Britain and Australia. My favorites were Duran Duran, INXS, Men At Work, Peter Gabriel, The Church, The Outfield, etc. I still listen to all these bands today whenever the mood strikes me.

When I started high school (sorry if this makes anyone feel old :D), Nirvana, Pearl Jam, and the rest of the grunge scene was strongly taking over and I developed a taste for heavier music. I started looking to the bands that influenced them and discovered what most people knew--the classic rock of the 1970's pretty much defined rock music for everything after. At work during the summers home from college, I started listening to my all-time favorite radio station (after AM, of course ;)), 107.5 FM, WCCN out of Neillsville, WI (aka The Rock), which played just about anything that came from the 60's, 70's, and 80's--just so long as it rocked! They would often play Pink Floyd, Rush (I was already into Rush, but didn't really know what progressive rock was), ELP, and Yes, but at the time, I was more into Led Zeppelin, Foreigner, Journey, and Kansas (I still don't really see these guys as that progressive), along with my growing interest in metal and industrial (Metallica, Nine Inch Nails, Ministry, etc.). Again, all these bands remain in my collection and I listen to them frequently.

During my freshman year of college, I joined a Classical Music CD club in an attempt (successful, IMO) to broaden my horizons. I found myself attracted mostly to Romantic-era composers and their followers: Beethoven, Brahms, Wagner, Mahler, & Dvorak all became favorites. But a lot of the time, I'd fall asleep listening to the slower, less energetic passages. "What this stuff needs," I thought to myself, drifting into dreamland, "is an electric guitar or some keyboards!" Enter Emerson, Lake and Palmer.

During the break of my 1st and 2nd year of college, I noticed ELP's "Lucky Man" was in constant rotation for some reason and I couldn't stop singing the song to myself. So I went out and picked up ELP's Greatest Hits (still not sure if I'd like anything else, but at least I'd have the one song). I was awestruck and amazed by what I'd heard. And I began to learn of the term progressive rock, but still wasn't sure what to expect from all the other choices. I still listened to Rush, owned "Dark Side Of The Moon" (but preferred "The Wall" for some reason), and liked Yes when I heard them on the radio, but I just didn't know. Enter the greatest boxed set in my entire collection of CD's.

Rhino Records released "Supernatural Fairy Tales: The Progressive Rock Era, 1967-1976," a 5-disc boxed set, around 1995. This was the first turning point in my musical journey. After absorbing each and every song, I soon had collected almost every album by ELP, Genesis, and Yes and had a jumping-off point for numerous bands that I had never even heard of. I HIGHLY RECOMMEND this set for anyone who needs a place to start getting into progressive rock.

So now I had all the albums of the big five: Rush, Pink Floyd, ELP, Yes and Genesis--I was content but soon found myself wishing for more. Despite a Yes release every 2 years or so, new progressive music seemed to be out of my reach (I still had trouble using the term progressive music, not fully understanding its meaning). After college, I started my current job, and met a good friend who introduced me to Spock's Beard, Dream Theater, and several other prog metal bands. Suddenly faced with an overabundance of web-surfing time (hence the unbelievable length of this post!), I quickly discovered Aural Moon from the Progressive Rock Radio Network (www.progradio.net).

From this fabulous progressive rock mecca, I learned of bands no one I knew had ever heard of, let alone listened to. Bands like Ayreon, King Crimson (yeah, even they didn't make the playlist of WCCN), Marillion, Anekdoten, Anglagard, and Galleon all became new favorites. And following the "family trees" of these artists and many others has become the best way I have found to discover new music that interests me. By far Aural Moon has been the most influential turning point in my musical journey. Davin, Jim, you guys rock! Thank you for this great station and all this great music.

Long Live Aural Moon!


PS: So to answer your questions, clactdj:
Emerson, Lake, and Palmer was my big fave in 1996, the year I made contact!
My favorites now are probably Genesis and Yes, constantly switching positions on the chart, depending on my mood.

12-17-2002, 07:14 PM

Thanks for the reply. One thing I learned from listening to commercial (as opposed to college) Classic Rock stations is that they usually only play the songs that were "hits" on the radio earlier. Thus you probably only heard Lucky Man and From The Beginning from ELP. I doubt that you ever heard Tarkus or Karn Evil 9. The same principal probably applied to Genesis. A "Misunderstanding". No, they just wanted to play songs folks were familiar with.

I'm sure you probably heard only "Carry On My Wayward Son", "Dust In The Wind", and maybe "Play The Game Tonight" by Kansas. If you don't have their Leftoverture album, you owe it to yourself to get it. While they may rock a little more than Yes, ELP, or Genesis, they are most definitely progressive.

I loved listening to WRAS 88.5 FM during the 70s. They played complete album sides (back when vinyl LPs were the norm) 6 times per day. They had all request album sides on saturday where the DJ picked 5 suggestions and let the callers vote. I bought a LOT of music based on what I heard on that station.

I would never have purchased Nektar's "Remember The Future" if I had not heard it first. You'll find there are a lot of great albums that were released in the 70s that never get airplay except in places like AM.

12-18-2002, 12:53 PM
Speaking of Kansas... Although it's not my favorite prog-genre I find them quite enjoyable. I prefer them to the symphonic neo-prog bands of today (Flower Kings, Spock's etc). I'm actually listening to Song For America as a write this. Probably their best(?) from a prog-point of view and the one to get after the classic Leftoverture

12-19-2002, 12:45 PM
As far as Kansas, I would recommend "Song For America" and "Point Of Know Return" as starting points for prog fans. Even though POKR contains their biggest hit (Dust In The Wind), it is also very prog oriented throughout. The self-titled first album also has some of their finest moments - "Journey From Mariabronn" is amongst my all time favorite Kansas songs.

12-19-2002, 03:38 PM
I own the 2-disc Kansas Set which has most of the progressive songs from their first six albums, all of which I owned at one time. I sold 5 of them, keeping Leftoverture, because "Cheyenne Anthem" and "Miracles Out Of Nowhere" weren't on the box set. If you like Kansas's progressive stuff, but don't want to buy four or five different albums to get it all, then the two-disc set is probably for you. It was released somewhere around 1995 and has the main hits, the prog stuff and a new track "Wheels," which I thought was pretty good.

01-02-2003, 09:44 PM
I'd suppose I started listening to Prog music around 1971 with Yes and ELP, when I was 13 years old (that pretty much dates me) "Roundabout" was probably the song that was my introduction to the scene. Throughot high scholl, up until mid-1975, my exposure was pretty much limited to Yes, ELP (which became my favorite in those years),Pink Floyd, and the more popular Zappa stuff (like Apostrophe).

Then when I entered college friends introduced me to the likes of Genesis, Gentle Giant, King Crimson, the progressive works of Jethro Tull, and a number of others. I was hooked, but after college and the 1970's- I grew weary of not seeing anything new on the scene, and the "dead years" took me away from the scene.

It's only been a year or so since, through the Internet and websites like this one, did I discover that progressive Rock is back- and that there is so much going on.

So now I am discovering new artists that I really like- Echolyn, Transatlantic, Cairo, Marillion, Spock's Beard, Ozric Tentacles and I am still learning about others as I listen more. Also, I am discovering old artitis from the 70's that I didn't pay much mind to back in the old days- Caravan, Mike Oldfield, Camel, and Happy The Man ,to name a few.

It's great to se that the scene is alive again and well- it's as if I had died and come back to life!