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Your introduction to Prog Rock ...


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Many of us have been prog rock fans and it influences our music.. It is such an unlikely and unusual genre. What is your story?

 

I heard Rick Wakeman's Statue of Justice on the radio and I rushed out to buy that album. Intrigued, I picked Tales from Topographic Oceans from the local library. But the album that sealed the deal was ELP's Trilogy. Once I heard that, the hook was in. I had to discover all this great music I had missed out on.

 

How did you discover prog?

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I discovered it through friends and although I appreciated it I am one of the few around here that didn't play it or have it as an influence. I have a lot of respect for those guys though.

"Danny, ci manchi a tutti. La E-Street Band non e' la stessa senza di te. Riposa in pace, fratello"

 

 

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ELP and Yes were the bands that got me started, hearing Lucky Man and then Roundabout on the radio.

Then a friend gave me his Trilogy 8-track because it didn't work in his player. It played great in mine! :keys2:

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Progressive rock really isn't my thing nowadays, but this thread does give me an excuse to recall where it fits into my listening development.

 

I started by digging Rolling Stones and Elton John.

Within short order, I was focused on Pink Floyd and ELP.

Brain Salad Surgery was definitely a seminal album.

Next important album for me was Return to Forever's Romantic Warrior.

That led me to RTF's Light as a feather, which really opened my mind.

Next seminal album was Miles Davis' Milestones.

 

All of that occurred by the time I was 14. Since then, I probably spend more time listening to jazz produced between 1955-1968 than anything else.

 

On a related note, I remember seeing an article sometime in the past few years that claimed that a person's favorite music is pretty much determined by whatever they are listening to when they are 14 years old. That is the case with me.

 

To return to the original point of this thread, I still listen occasionally to ELP, but have to admit that most of it sounds pretty dated to me.

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Waaay back in about '70 or so, a schoolmate was an artist and bought Genesis Tresspass just because he liked the album cover. Being classically trained, keyboard parts I could relate to. I was hooked, and have since played in a few Genesis tributes.

 

Although now, playing 'all occasion' music and bands and loving that too.

I would like to apologize to anyone I have not yet offended. Please be patient and I will get to you shortly.
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As teenager in the 80s, a buddy of mine was huge fan of Rock music. He had an extensive album collection. Listening to those records introduced me to Prog Rock and Metal.

 

Rush immediately became my favorite Prog band followed by Yes and National Health. :cool:

PD

 

"The greatest thing you'll ever learn, is just to love and be loved in return."--E. Ahbez "Nature Boy"

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I had a non musician friend who turned me onto all kinds of great stuff. We'd go to his house after school around 9th grade or so and he'd have Gentle Giant, Genesis, Yes, Floyd. He turned me onto Herbie Hancock, Chick/RTF, McCoy Tyner. The guy had not a single musical ability but had all these fantastic albums.

 

They had the obligatory piano in the living room that no one played but me. I cut my teeth on that thing. I even paid to have it tuned.

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I cut my teeth on the live Yessongs album way back in '73/'74 (on 8-track tape, of all things), and it's been a pretty interesting journey ever since. A few years later, I had digested most of the catalog of Yes and ELP, and a couple years after that, Genesis and King Crimson. A few years later, onto some of the more obscure bands: Gentle Giant, Soft Machine, Caravan, National Health, Camel, and probably more than I can name in a single paragraph.

 

While I don't necessarily consider Prog Rock to be my "main" influence, it did open my mind up to other musical forms: classical, jazz, ambient, and avant-garde. I think if I had ignored Prog and stuck with only mainstream Rock as my listening appetite, I would have not developed those musical interests.

 

Strangely enough, I now find myself (finally!) in a Prog Tribute band that plays a lot of this stuff. It's fun and I love it.

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This one. The first record I borrowed in high school that sounded at first, really strange, with a sense of (maybe transformative) menace to, not the body, but to the spirit. This was definitely the gateway drug that set me up really listen to ELP, Yes, KC, etc. when they came out.

 

hqdefault.jpg

 

"gather all my friends unto me, and I'll strangle them with words."

 

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Foxtrot72.jpg

 

My friend played this to me when he bought it, hot off the press and I was instantly blown away - and still am.

How did these 20 year olds write and play such fantastic music and lyrics.

My Genesis tribute is going from strength to strength this year - three sold out shows - it took ten years but prog is back!

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When I was growing up in the 70s, none of the local radio stations were playing prog rock. My first exposure to prog rock was when a friend in the neighborhood just bought Styx Grand Illusion. I used to accompany the high school chorus on piano and they liked to warm up to Come Sail Away and Bohemian Rhapsody. In my first year in college, Tom Sawyer was my introduction to Rush.

 

I heard much more prog rock when I attended college in a large city. Heck my 1st introduction to ELP was ELPowell.

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The beginning was early YES w/ Tony Kaye, ELP and King Crimson.

It all happened in 1969.

 

But what pointed me on the prog stuff was the The Nice w/ Keith Emerson,- so no wonder I also listened to the 1st ELP album,- and 1 year later I was floored by their 1st live album Pictures of an Exhibition.

 

A.C.

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It was around April 6, 1974.

 

I was 13 years old, watching TV and flipping channels. First time I remember seeing Earth Wind and Fire on TV. They were doing interesting line dances and playing music I hadn't heard before. Interesting. Eventually I went off to do something else.

 

When I sat back down in front of the TV later that night, another band was playing. Who is Emerson Lake and Palmer. And what the heck is that huge wall of knobs and wires. And the number of keyboards!!

 

And the music!!! Up until that point my non-classical music encompassed Beatles, Elton John and AM radio.

 

California Jam, 1974.

 

The concert was on April 6, 1974...I think the televised feed was the same day/night, but I'm not sure. What I do know is that ELP @ Cal Jam made a huge impression on me that changed the direction of my musical tastes, record purchases, and eventually career goals.

 

..
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This one. The first record I borrowed in high school that sounded at first, really strange, with a sense of (maybe transformative) menace to, not the body, but to the spirit. This was definitely the gateway drug that set me up really listen to ELP, Yes, KC, etc. when they came out.

 

hqdefault.jpg

 

"gather all my friends unto me, and I'll strangle them with words."

 

Great album! Yeah, these guys were the first to do a full side-length song suite... one year before The Beatles, even!

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The seeds of Prog were sown around 1967-68 by The Moody Blues, Vanilla Fudge, Pink Floyd, Deep Purple, and Procol Harum all of whom I was listening to before Prog became a genre. Actually in the late 60's the term Progressive Rock was first used to describe the emerging heavier bands mostly from San Francisco making interesting albums but only getting singles played on the radio like Moby Grape, Steppenwolf, Iron Butterfly, The Doors, Blue Cheer, Jefferson Airplane, It's a Beautiful Day, etc. The first true Prog record I bought was by The Nice. I was especially taken with the live material on the second side of this album:

 

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My older brother is a guitarist and listened to all the folk-rock stuff of the late-60's/early 70's. He picked up the first ELP album based on hearing Lucky Man on the radio, and I think he kind of hated it, so he gave it to me. I was probably 9 or 10 at the time, and had been taking piano lessons for several years by then. Became a fan immediately.

Turn up the speaker

Hop, flop, squawk

It's a keeper

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ELP's Pictures at an Exhibition. I bought it when it first came out. I went thru side one in silence, mesmerized. Then when the "Blues Variations" Moog theme erupted, I started jumping around the room, yelling "this is the instrument I want to play!" :D

I had heard a Moog once before, on tv... but this was something else. Virtuosity, energy, beauty, and... THAT sound! :)

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I honestly couldn't say which band came first. Odds are it was Jethro Tull because I had a JT 8 track tape (War Child) and I think that might have been it.

 

Although it could have easily have been ELP, Genesis, YES, Pink Floyd or Frank Zappa. All of this stuff sort of collided with me around the same exact time.

 

If memory serves I went from Broadway show tunes and classical music (my father's record collection) to the Beatles to Billy Joel and then straight into the loving embrace of Prog Rock where I stayed firmly ensconced until I started enjoying a much broader spectrum of musical styles in my 40s and I'm now 51.

 

So, I guess you could say I consumed a very steady diet of little more than progressive rock for about thirty years of my existence.

 

I don't regret it.

 

Carl

 

 

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Roundabout was a brief radio hit when I was in high school. It didn't sound like anything else on the airwaves at the time. Yes led me to ELP and Genesis and Gentle Giant and ... well, you knew the rest.

 

I hung out with a bunch of prog rock fans in high school. All of us were straight-A kids. Some of us played, some of us didn't, and we'd invite each other over to our houses to listen to what we had. My poor parents.

Life is too short to be playing bad music.

 

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Kansas: Two for the Show. In my mind, the best live album of all time

 

 

I love yessongs, Tarkus, Brain Salad, but that first listen to Two for the Show really hooked me and I still gravitate back to it.

You want me to start this song too slow or too fast?

 

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I was listening to prog in High School, mid 1970's, along with southern rock, mainstream rock, and any other category of rock and roll there was. I liked everything. However my first ever big concert was Yes on the "second Relayer tour", summer 1976 at RFK Stadium, dubbed the "US Bicentennial Tour". Second big concert was ELP, 1977 "Pictures Of An Exhibition" tour after they had fired the orchestra. I was a very stoned 15-16 year old kid watching and listening to music being played that to this day I still cannot master. But I can try.
:nopity:
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Eighth Grade: I'd been playing piano for 3 years at that point, and my listening habits of Radio, Elton and Kiss (to be fair, that lasted only 6 months, and would have been over quicker had my parents not been so mortified by the blood and tongue) got a shock when my friend (who played guitar) brought over a couple records he stole from his big brother. I was ruined for life. :D

 

http://i937.photobucket.com/albums/ad216/tonysounds/FLYELP.jpg

 

I immediately went and bought a bass (salesman talked me out of a Univox Rick copy and steered into a Hagstrom) and a Univox amp, and an ELP songbook.

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I suppose it depends on what qualifies as Prog. We had a local Radio Station KSHE-95 (still on the air, celebrating its 50th anniversary) that played a lot of at stuff. I suppose I grew up on Styx and Kansas, one of my first records was Grand Illusion. Then I really got into Rush and pretty much bought every album up to and including Power Windows. After that I kind of moved in to other things.

Dan

 

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Prog has never been my favorite, except for Yes, I've always been a big fan of them; otherwise, something has always put me off about the other most well-known groups like Genesis, ELP and Pink Floyd (much of whose stuff to me is just dour and dirge-like, no fun). I like UK a lot but Rush has always left me completely cold. I love jazz fusion, so it's not the musical complexity or virtuosity that turns me off, I think it's more the relentless seriousness / pretentiousness of a lot of it; and what's oftened sounded to me like complexity/virtuosity or sheer harmonic or rhythmic randomness or weirdness for its own sake rather than in support of emotional expression.

Rich Forman

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Emerson, Lake, and Palmer, but I probably didn't even know what "prog" meant back then. All I knew was that I was hearing these incredible compositions featuring rock, classical, jazz, and this dude named Keith who seriously messed me up.

"We don't stop playing because we grow old; we grow old because we stop playing."

- George Bernard Shaw

 

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