Is a form of rock-oriented art music that emerged in the late sixties and reached its peak in the seventies and eighties. Progressive rock has more complex texts and longer songs than other popular music.
The forerunners of progressive rock (also known as art rock) were psychedelic rock and the musical experiments of various bands and of Frank Zappa. The style came into being in the sixties after the Beach Boys in 1966 with the album Pet Sounds and The Beatles with Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band had brought pop music in a new direction, with more room for experiment and innovation. Bands like Procol Harum and The Moody Blues then incorporated elements from classical music into their work.
Classic progressive rock
The classic progressive rock itself develops mainly in England from 1969, reaching a peak in the seventies with as main bands Soft Machine, Pink Floyd, King Crimson, Emerson, Lake & Palmer, Genesis, Gentle Giant, Jethro Tull, Van der Graaf Generator, Rush and Yes. In the Netherlands Focus, Ekseption, Solution and Kayak had great success with this style of music.
The music was initially conceived as innovative and was a logical continuation of previous experiments with influences from classical music and jazz. The virtuosity of the musicians, many had a completed training in classical music, stood for complex pieces of music and theatrical effects were not avoided in the performance of the music. Emerson, Lake & Palmer fired a cannon during their live shows, Gentle Giant used more than 30 different instruments during a show, and Jethro Tull released the album Thick As A Brick in a newspaper, where it would have taken more time to newspaper than the album itself.
As the seventies progress, the style is losing more and more influence. Bands often consist of skilled and skilled musicians, but in 1977 the punk revolutionizes and the appreciation and taste of a large part of the audience shifts to the more raw and expressive, primary 3-chords of rock. Around 1980 the genre is dying after death. Only a few bands continue, others change their musical direction. The bands remain successful for the loyal audience.
A revival of the style follows several years later, with bands like Marillion and IQ. There is no question of a progressive style anymore because many bands that belong to this Neo-Prog strongly revert to the music of original bands such as Genesis, and are not very original.
Although in the eighties and nineties many of the old bands make a comeback, prog-rock is for a limited group of enthusiasts, who have little influence on the rest of the music world.
In the nineties the progressive rock in an artistic sense comes alive with bands like Porcupine Tree, The Flower Kings, Spock’s Beard / Neal Morse and TransAtlantic. In the mid-nineties, progressive metal progrock with heavymetal influences also became more popular. Bands like the Dutch Ayreon, with its symphonic spacy rock operas, the American Tool, with their dark cryptic texts, and the American Dream Theater, with their virtuosity, created a revival of the genre.
There are aspects in progressive rock music that are characteristic of the genre. Not every tire will have all these aspects, and the list is also incomplete, but they are strikingly common.
Long compositions, sometimes more than 20 minutes, with sometimes complicated melodies, rhythms and harmonic development. Often these pieces of music are called epics. These pieces are not very commercial, because songs on the radio generally last between 3 and 5 minutes. An early example (perhaps the first in pop music) is In Held Twas In I by Procol Harum, from 17:30 minutes. Other famous examples are Rush ’20-minute 2112, Genesis’ 23-minute Supper’s Ready, Yes’ double-album Tales from Topographic Oceans that consists of only four tracks, and Jethro Tulls 44-minute Thick as a Brick and 45-minute A Passion Play , both a complete album (lp-length was approximately 45 minutes) consisting of a single number.
Related to the long compositions are the so-called suites – pieces that are made up of shorter parts, often each with their own title. The closeness in the musical relationships between these parts is very diverse. Sometimes there are hardly any musical relationships between the parts, and the parts were composed for telling a story or for changing atmospheres. In other cases, the composer follows a classic approach, with high demands on internal relations. These parts are sometimes used as separate songs in live performances anyway. Yes ‘Close to the Edge is made up of four pieces, Rush’ Hemispheres from seven, Caravans Nine Feet Underground from