FORTEGAVERSO: THE MARCH OF THE MELLOTRONS: PROG WARS

martes, diciembre 18, 2007

THE MARCH OF THE MELLOTRONS: PROG WARS



El youtube es Genesis (formación Gabriel, Hacket, Ruthherford, Collins, Banks) interpretando Musical Box en la TV Belga. Una joya.

Y lo que sigue es solo para progholes de corazón

MARCH OF THE MELLOTRONS
The Best Classic Progressive Rock Album Ever

Welcome to the fifth in our series of periodic music geek essays structured sports tournament style, with 64 worthy contenders slugging it out head-to-head for the crown at the end of the article. Prior tourneys have included The Worst Rock Band Ever, Rock's Greatest Secret Bands, Best of the Blockbusters and Slaughtering the Sacred Cows. (And for a peek at the unintended consequences of such articles, see this page). This season's contest seeks to identify and applaud the Best Classic Progressive Rock Album Ever. And I have to tell you . . . this is the one I probably feel most passionate about, since Progressive Rock ("prog" for short convenience's sake) has formed the backbone of my listening habits for as long as I have been buying, spinning, talking and writing about music. I've had over 1,000 record and concert reviews and music-related interviews see print publication over the years, but this topic, and this essay, is the one that moves me the most.

So . . . with input and argument from several folks (thanks, you know who you are), I've developed what I think is a solid list of the 64 greatest classic Progressive Rock albums. I've organized them, sat on, mulled and looked at the brackets for a few days, and feel like this list is good, and the brackets are sound. I had to get a little more precise on setting these brackets than I do in most of the these contests to preclude having bands competing against themselves in the early rounds, and to space out some of the obvious title contenders as well.

A review of the criteria for inclusion on the list:

1. The album must have been issued between the release of King Crimson's In the Court of the Crimson King (October 1969) and Emerson, Lake and Palmer's Love Beach (October 1978), the beginning and end points of the classic prog era. I wrestled a little bit with the beginning and end dates, and originally was going to close with the release of Asia's debut album (1982), the first huge-selling, prog-family-tree related album that didn't really sound anything like prog. There were two precursor records prior to In the Court that I was thinking of including for honorary/influence reasons: Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band by the Beatles (first popular use of the Mellotron, first concept album), and Days of Future Passed by the Moody Blues (the birth of orchestral rock, which deeply and significantly impacted prog), but I opted to drop them from the contest, noting their import here instead for the record. Other suggested (and good) end dates for the classic prog era were the dawn of Pop Yes (of "Owner of a Lonely Heart" in 1983), or some combination of Phil Collins' "You Can't Hurry Love" and "Sussudio," and/or Peter Gabriel's "Big Time" and "Sledgehammer" in the '85/'86 period. But I think it really came down to either Love Beach or Asia. I remember how I was very, very excited for that Asia album, based on who was on it (prog all-stars John Wetton, Carl Palmer, Steve Howe and slightly lesser light, at the time, Geoff Downes), and how I was very disappointed when I got it, since there wasn't much progressive flavor to it at all, really. But I'd had that feeling earlier: While Asia was certainly a disappointing landmark, I still recall my shocked reaction to the cover image of Love Beach, (which looked more like a disco record than a prog one), and was similarly let down by the music within the package. Punk had done its damage by then, as had unreasonable record company expectations, which were the real catalyst behind the lesser quality of Love Beach when compared to its predecessors, both by ELP and their progressive rock fellows. Prog as we knew and loved it in the '70s died around the time that ELP took that photo on the beach. (Is that why ELP's trio are smiling so broadly in that picture? Is it giddy relief?) I should note that by shifting from Asia to Love Beach, I only lost two of my original 64 albums, Pink Floyd's The Wall and Peter Gabriel's third album . . . and if we'd gotten to a point where only two classic prog records were issued in a four year period, then I think that further cements 1978 as the proper end year. And before you write to snark at me about neo-prog and how great it is and how much I am missing by excluding it . . . I know that. Maybe someday I will do a best neo-prog record competition. But not now, for the same reasons that I wouldn't critique Green Day and Blink 182 against the Sex Pistols and the Clash. There are leaders, and there are followers. This essay is going to be about the prog leaders.

Y la guerra se desata aquí

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1 Comentarios:

A la/s 8:34 p. m., Blogger Gonzalo Martinez dijo...

Aproveché de escuchar los cuatro finalistas de un tirón.
Gracias!!

 

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