Discussion in 'The Sound Hound Lounge' started by pcutt, Dec 23, 2017.
I was about 15 when I started on prog. For me it was The Count of Tuscany by Dream Theater
Though not prog, the Abbey Road medley is what sent me in that direction. The local oldies station, WKOM, always played Side Two of Abbey Road in its entirety, and somehow that really formed my idea of how a piece of music should be constructed.
What a great time to grow up, with stuff like Roundabout on top 40 radio!
That was probably the first thing I heard, and I wore out Fragile learning Mood For A Day (which turned out to be pretty accessible for me since I was taking classical guitar lessons at the time) but I was hanging out with older musicians from the get go and I remember one saying “that’s nothing, you need to check out ‘Chickorea’ and Mahavishnu”. I really thought “Chickorea” was a band name (and since it’s not taken, hmmmm ). Then RTF was on late night TV one night and this nineteen year old Italian kid from Jersey was just slaying it on guitar. I was totally hooked. The older dudes started lending me albums right away. So I was into prog and fusion almost as soon as I was discovering rock in general, kind of a weird sideways development. One day I was watching the Glen Campbell Goodtime Hour and other variety shows (Osmond Bros! J5!) and next i’m playing Inner Mounting Flame on a plastic record player.
Just as an aside, I got into Steely Dan very young too. I have a vivid memory of being just at the point where I could noodle along with rock stuff (loved early Doobies) but I’d put on Katy Lied and I was lost after a few measures. What are those chords?? Sumpin’s goin’ on here!
Moody Blues: Threshold of a Dream
Oh, definitely the Top 40 edit of "Roundabout" - I had the 45, with "Long Distance Runaround" on the B-side. I was about 10 when that hit the AM airwaves. Then - Flash, "Small Beginnings"...nobody remembers that one...also another AM-length single edit, ex-Yes Peter Banks on guitar.
From there it was only a few years until I was scouring the import bins for obscure Gong and PFM records.
The first song I remember liking was "Saturday In The Park" by Chicago.
For me it was three albums, The Yes Album, the first ELP album, and then when The Lamb Lies Down album came out. Beyond that there was the 73 Live album by Uriah Heep, the Zappa stuff, Traffic, Happy the Man, etc...but I would say those first three listed were the ones that were more progressive.
I was given a pile of records at 12. In the Court of the Crimson King was in it. That may have started it all. The title song floored me. The next songs that grabbed my attention from various bands were:
KC: Great Deceiver, Starless, Red, Lark's parts un et deux, Fracture
Yes: Yours Is No Disgrace and Starship Trooper
Gentle Giant: Peel the Paint
Genesis Supper's Ready and Dancing on a Volcano
Umma Gamma meant a lot to me early on.
As I got deeper in the catalogs of the prog bands, I fell in love with many, many other songs, but Great Deceiver still sounds super exciting to this day, and In the Court brings me back to the feelings of that first discovery. C'mon, that Mellotron!
I was turned onto John late, like 1980. Changed my whole perception of music and discipline as a musician. I bought The Inner Mounting Flame and Birds of Fire and also had no idea what I was listening too but found it intriguing to the point where I knew a was going to need to listen over and over to understand them. Now almost 40 years later they are part of my DNA!
Can't remember the exact first progressive rock album I heard but it was probably either Fragile, The Yes Album, Thick As A Brick, or Pictures At An Exhibition. I definitely remember parties my older sisters had at our home where there were albums that their friends brought over like Tarkus, Aqualung, Emerson Lake & Palmer there - but I didn't hear them playing, or know that was the music that was playing.
I just was fascinated by the album art, gatefolds, the tiny bits of some foreign plant matter in some of them...
But as a huge fan of early 70s progressive rock, one album rose to the top and is still my number one album of all time:
Pink Floyd ~ Meddle
Maybe because for 1971 which was much earlier than many other albums, it was absolutely staggering that a full side of an album could be that druggy, trippy, disturbing, brilliant, and life-changing. For me at least. I would play Echoes and hide under the covers. It still freaks me out.
Gilmour knew how to paint with sound.
"I Want You (She's So Heavy)" is still my favorite progressive rock Beatles song.
Lennon must have heard King Crimson, somehow. Or knew of Fripp?
May not fit everyone's description of "prog" but my earliest memory of rock that didn't fit the standard radio rock format was EWG's "Frankenstein." I guess I was 11 or 12 years old. Loved the album cut. The chopped-up radio version, not so much.
A couple of years later, a friend's older brother put on Dregs of the Earth, which was followed by a deep dive into Floyd, Yes, Rush, Tull, KC, Genesis, etc. which were my fortress against the early '80s "hair metal vs synth-pop" wars.
My old progressive rock tribute band once played the songs of:
- all in one night.
Needless to say, you've got to REALLY love prog to even attempt to faithfully play it in your own band! It was incredibly difficult, and the band splintered because newer members became tired of the work that was involved from nailing the genre.
Just dubbed the vinyl of They Only Come Out At Night so I can hear it again on my dap. Bought the single as a kid.
I was thinking Frankenstein too, also Hocus Pocus!
Now I own Moving Waves but didn't know who Focus was back then.
But I loved the song when it was played on FM.
Such an incredible guitar riff from Jan.
Yeah, that’s a serious jam!
Rick Wakeman's King Arthur album blew me away...
it was Yes, "Roundabout".
that was about the only 'prog' tune that was available on the radio, my only means at the time..
and even that tune wasn't that 'prog'.
later, it was rush.
2112 opened up new possibilities, with a slightly prog but hard rock feel.
but once i discovered Allan Holdsworth, via bruford, jean luc ponty, tony williams, etc, that was it.
i dialed into Brand X, Al DiMeola, Happy the Man, Genesis, King Crimson, Mahavishnu......
all the typical suspects.
currently, my favorite prog rock is COSMOSQUAD.
kicks mthrphukin @ss.
I owe a lot of my early musical influences to my older brothers and sisters. Their record collections were my source of inspiration and happiness.
Among all of the LPs, there were four that really stood out to me when I was a young, pre-guitar-playing ragamuffin:
ELP - Brain Salad Surgery
Yes - Fragile
Pink Floyd - DSotM
David Bowie - Ziggy Stardust
By the time I was 10 I'd probably heard each of those albums dozens of times.