While I don’t listen to nearly as much progressive rock as I once did, I certainly do enjoy it from time to time. Herewith a few prog tunes for (one hopes) your enjoyment.
A while back I wrote about the Manfred Mann (pictured above) album Solar Fire. As I relate there, Mann were part of the original so-called British Invasion but somewhere along the way shifted over into prog rock. If you get a chance, check out that post and album.
Manfred Mann during their second peak years became much more well known for covering Bruce Springsteen songs and it’s entirely possible that their version of “Blinded By the Light” is the more popular.
In fact, their Springsteen cover comes from an album they put out a few years later (1978) called The Roaring Silence. Maybe “Blinded” was their realization that the marketplace was moving forward and perhaps prog wasn’t quite as much the thing as it used to be. But they very much still dabbled in it and I here give you song whose title Pink Floyd somehow overlooked, “Waiter, There’s a Yawn in My Ear:”
Have you ever heard of the Messthetics? I hadn’t either but they toured through these parts recently. I didn’t go see them but I got intrigued by their story and their sound.
Wikipedia lists this Washington, D.C.-based band as “Experimental Rock” which is close enough for me. The band consists of former Fugazi members bassist Joe Lally and drummer Brendan Canty with guitarist Anthony Pirog Their music has been described as “jazz-punk jam.
“Serpent Tongue” should serve as potent enough introduction for ya:
I wrote about Gentle Giant a while back. They are one of the relatively few bands from back in the day that you can look up and find out that yes, they had the good sense to break up when the creative juices dried up rather than hang on forever.
No less a person than the estimable Steven Wilson has seen fit to remaster their catalog. I rarely (if ever) do “encores” but I like their song “Peel the Paint” so much I’ll do it again. And some of you may have missed it last time.
Now that all the dust has settled, Yes is still my favorite prog band and I’m happy to see that they got into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame a while back. I haven’t seen this band since the very early days and someday I’m going to get around to seeing one incarnation of the band or another.
in 1983 they released an album called 90125 which was more commercial but still sounded pretty damn good to me. This album includes the great “Owner of a Lonely Heart.” But I’m going to here go with “Leave It.” Sounds to me like another of those “life on the road” songs:
From Soft Machine’s website: “Their work, from their earliest performances as a psychedelic band who were contemporaries of, and shared stages with, Syd Barrett’s Pink Floyd and the Jimi Hendrix Experience, all the way to being one of Europe’s best known ‘fusion’ groups, has influenced several generations of bands, and continues to be name-checked by today’s hip experimentalists.
Whilst the line-up of Soft Machine may have changed many times since the heady days of the late 1960s, the band’s spirit of musical adventure, and the ease with which it freely avoids being pigeon holed and can move from powerful progressive jazz fusion to atmospheric psychedelia to free improvised jazz-rock to ambient loop music continues to make it both unique and totally contemporary.”
This tune, “Hazard Profile Part 1,” is from a later version of Soft Machine which included guitarist Allan Holdsworth who, oddly enough, I just featured as part of Tony Williams Lifetime post.