Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Prog Albums

My son asked me the other day what was my favorite “Prog” song.  That’s a pretty tough question, and it’s been mulling around in my brain for a couple of days.  I’m not sure I can pick just one, so I decided to do a list.  So, here you go, my favorite Prog songs.  Disclaimer:  Nit claiming this to be the “best”, or any such.  Simply my favorites.  Not in a specific order, though I sort of sorted to put second songs from same bands lower.….  And I’ll try and limit myself to 10:

  • Supper’s Ready – Genesis.  Recorded in ’72 from the album Foxtrot.  Clocking in at just under 23 minutes, and featuring 7 named sections.  
  • And You And I – Yes.  Recorded in '72 from the Album "Close To The Edge". A little short for Prog, at a mere 10:08, featuring 4 sections. 
  • Shine On You Crazy Diamond - Pink Floyd.  Recorded in '75 from the album "Wish You Were Here".  Actually split into 2 distinct tracks on the album.  Parts 6-5 open the album, Parts 6 though 9 close it.  Combined; just over 26 minutes.
  •  Karn Evil 9 – Emerson Lake And Palmer.  Recorded in '73 from the album "Brain Salad Surgery".  Just a bit under 30 minutes, split across sides of the original vinyl.    Perhaps hasn't aged as well as some of the others, but was essential at the time.
  • Thick As A Brick – Jethro Tull.  The winner for sheer mass, Thick As A Brick is the only song on the '72 album, at a whopping 43:46.  Obviously, split across two sides of the original vinyl.
  • Song For America - Kansas.  From the '75 album of the same name.  Another shortie, barely topping 10 minutes. 
  • Tarkus– Emerson Lake And Palmer.  From the '71 album of the same name.  Clocking at a solid 20:35, with 7 sections.
  • The Musical Box - Genesis.  From the '71 album "Nursery Cryme".  A mere 10:27, but all of them great.
  • Heart Of The Sunrise – Yes.  From the '71 album "Fragile".  Clocks in at a bit over 11:30.
  • Gates Of Delirium - Yes. From the  '74 album Relayer.  Another full album side, at 21:30.
I notice that all 10 of these songs come from the period of 1971 through 1975.  Not surprisingly, I'll define that semi-decade as the peak of the prog movement.  With all apologies to the Rush fans.  These 10 songs average over 20 minutes, and make a playlist totaling 3 hr and 45 minutes of awesomeness! 

Side note, Yes is the only one of these bands that I saw in concert.  I saw them twice, in the summer of '76 (With Patrick Moraz on keys) and the summer of '77 (with Rick Wakeman back on keys).  I wish I had seen the other bands...

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