March’s Record Club: PROG

 

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We’re back at Glossop Labour Club on Thursday 10th March for a long-awaited night of classic prog rock. The session will be hosted by John Lyon, who has also put together the below overview of what to expect on the night.

IT’S HERE AT LAST – A CLASSIC PROGRESSIVE ROCK NIGHT WITH AMAZING SOUNDS PRESENTED BY JOHN LYON

Progressive (prog) Rock 1968 – 1972

The genre grew out of the 1960s space rock of Pink Floyd and the classical rock experiments of bands such as The Moody Blues, Procol Harum, The Syn and The Nice.

Here is a collection of my favourite prog LPs that I was listening to between 1968 and 1972. Some are well-known, some obscure, but all pushed things forward under the name of prog music. I will be playing selected songs from these albums. By its very nature, prog rock demands more effort on the part of the listener than other genres of music. Musicians in prog rock typically display a high degree of instrumental skill.

KING CRIMSON – In The Court  Of The Crimson King (Island, 1969)

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This is often acclaimed as the greatest prog album ever and has every ingredient of a piece of art. It’s an undisputed masterpiece. Even Tony Blair cites 21st Century Schizoid Man as his favourite song, and Jimi Hendrix said in an interview with Melody Maker that it was the best album he’d ever heard. Need I say more!

T2 – It’ll All Work Out In Boomland (Decca, 1970)

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My favourite prog album by an obscure band, this seminal album is the era’s greatest moment. Boomland is pure class; its highlight a twenty minute epic, Morning. It’s a work of supreme brilliance that has all the right ingredients, especially the stunning guitar work by 17 year old whizz-kid, Keith Cross.

CLEAR BLUE SKY – Clear Blue Sky (Vertigo 1970)

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In 1970, this fine rocking trio were known as ‘X’ and got their lucky break when they were discovered in a local youth club by Nirvana’s Patrick Campbell-Lyons. He sensed their enormous potential and offered them a deal on the spot. When they got into the studio, Led Zeppelin were recording their third album next door and Jethro Tull were downstairs making Aqualung. For such an inexperienced band, Clear Blue Sky’s own material was top notch, though it suffered from hurried production.

GENESIS – Nursery Cryme (Charisma, 1971)

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What more can I add about this legendary album? It made history and probably helped pen the term ‘progressive rock’.

The opening “Musical Box” is a wonderful mini rock opera, with nursery rhyme influences mixed with bombastic keyboards and drums. It really is a true prog classic and essential for anyone new to the genre wishing to find the essence of early 1970s prog.

VAN DER GRAAF GENERATOR – Van der Graaf Generator 68 – 71 (Charisma, 1972)

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VAN DER GRAAF GENERATOR is known for its extrovert dynamics (ranging from slow, calm & peaceful to fierce & heavy), its intense and emotional ‘love it or hate it’ vocals by Peter Hammill, its celebrated contribution to extended progressive songwriting and its combination of psychedelic, jazz, classical and avant-garde or even acid influences. Moreover, VdGG can be seen as the first band that was to combine the very progressive with the very personal, whereas other bands used to work with abstractions and fantasy. Peter Hammill has a talent for singing out intense anger, panic and confusion whilst still being able to sing warm and caring in other passages. The band never really fitted in the symphonic progressive rock subgenre because of its widespread influences and unique style, though they would have symphonic leanings throughout their career. Unusual for the time was the focus on organ, drums and sax, whereas in the sixties the guitar and the bass guitar had played a major role.

Depending on time constraints, other classic tracks from this era will be played.

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PROG – An evening of classic Progressive Rock
Thursday 10th March from 8pm
Glossop Labour Club, Chapel Street, Glossop, SK13 8AT
FREE ADMISSION


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