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    Is there a bias in favor of 70's Prog?

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    Cylli Kat (0fficial) View Drop Down
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    Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Cylli Kat (0fficial) Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Topic: Is there a bias in favor of 70's Prog?
        Posted: May 03 2020 at 09:38
    Being in my mid fifties, I grew up with prog from the 60's, 70's, etc.

    And, in looking at the top albums of all time here at PA, I've noticed that the first 16 are from the 70's.
    It seems that many reviewers here have a predilection towards the halcyon days of the 70's as being the greatest age of prog.

    While I love so much of the prog from the 70's, I wonder if sometimes we're overlooking (and possibly underrating / undervaluing) some albums from beyond the 70's that to me, have moments of genius equal to (or sometimes greater than) our beloved 70's albums.

    Prog doesn't have to sound like "Close to the Edge" for me to love it.

    And by its very definition, progressive should be moving forward, not always hearkening back to the past for it to be valid.
    I also perceive that progressive music seems to be morphing into quite a diverse landscape (and that fact is certainly not neglected here at PA), but again, I seem to perceive a bias in favor of the 70's.

    Is this just pareidolia on my part? Or is this a valid observation?
    I'm very interested in your opinions, whether you agree with me or not.


    Edited by Cylli Kat (0fficial) - May 03 2020 at 09:43
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    siLLy puPPy View Drop Down
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    Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote siLLy puPPy Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: May 03 2020 at 09:47
    Yes, because if you dig deep enough many of the newer artists are borrowing ideas and sounds from that period. Progressive rock stopped being "progressive" and became a sanctioned orthodoxy. That doesn't mean there aren't outstanding original artists in the modern era but they seem to lurk in modern obscurity and perhaps the world will require 40 years to catch up to their musical visions. It seems modern prog artists are much more likely to find success by being retro than by crafting a new original prog style. There are always outliers but the 70s exhibited one of the greatest musical explosions of creativity in all of history so it's hard not to be biased towards that area in terms of extremely creative music.

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    dougmcauliffe View Drop Down
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    Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote dougmcauliffe Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: May 03 2020 at 09:53
    Yeah, people here would rather talk about the same 20 albums that have been getting praised for 40+ years. I love CTTE, Foxtrot, Red etc, but there is nothing new to be said about them. A modern album will never crack the top 15 on this website unfortunately, it抯 like people who think Metallica are the peak of metal, their best albums are up there, but there is so much better or equally great stuff since. The last 3 decades are packed with brilliant music. The context of when something came out matters very little to me, if someone hears the 搑etro?prog before the apparent 搒ource,?what is more fresh to them? Imo, for an album to be one of the best, wether or not it抯 揼roundbreaking?is irrelevant to me. Good music holds up over time and shouldn抰 be a 搚ou had to be there?thing. People talk about music not progressing when truthfully its just their taste that hasn't progressed.

    Edited by dougmcauliffe - May 03 2020 at 10:00
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    Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote TCat Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: May 03 2020 at 10:01
    Plus people are constantly fighting over what is progressive and what is not especially with the newer albums (post 1990 mostly).  The so-called prog lovers can't decide what should be considered prog now that there are so many different styles.  But, all along, progressive music has been pushing music to the limits and beyond, so those that should be the most accepting of new styles and forms are many times the same ones trying to shun anything new as being progressive.  As long as there is innovation in music form and style, there will be progressive music.

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    Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Rick1 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: May 03 2020 at 10:04
    Prog rock died out in the late 70s with the great simplification.  i agree with Bill Martin - Henry Cow's 'Western Culture' recorded in 1978 and released in 1979, was the last, great progressive album.  All that has followed is pastiche and the genre became increasingly conservative.  That said, progressive music continued in other genres.
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    Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Logan Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: May 03 2020 at 10:08
    There is a bias towards the classic prog era and certain classic Prog bands. It's not surprising that the charts, which are simply an amalgamation of ratings over many years, would favour classic prog. For a site that's been around since the early 2000s, and has been amassing ratings since at least 2004, I found it rather surprising to see an album in the top 20 which is only a few years old (and it rose up the charts very quickly). That said, there's a lot of love at this site for more modern music.
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    Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Psychedelic Paul Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: May 03 2020 at 10:13
    While it's certainly true that I have a preference towards 1970's prog, I like a lot of modern neo-prog bands too, including:- Anathema; Astra; Blackmore's Night;  Ayreon; Dream Theater; Magenta; Mostly Autumn; & Porcupine Tree.
     
    By the way, Cristi, if you're reading this, I meant "neo-prog", as in modern prog, not Neo-Prog (in capitals), as a distinct prog sub-genre. Wink


    Edited by Psychedelic Paul - May 03 2020 at 10:16
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    Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Manuel Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: May 03 2020 at 10:17
    Since I grew up in the "Golden Era" of progressive music, I tend to like more that period, since I have so many fond memories related to the music. However, It's true that many new acts are really goog, some actually quite excellent, but don't really get enough recognition. I personally gave up the idea of "Prgo" being the ultimate, and if it doesn't qualify as prog, is not worth it. I like music, and if the music is good and I like it, I'll listen to it. It's as simple as that. Once the label "Prog" was attached to the music, things got to "standarized" for me.
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    Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Lewian Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: May 03 2020 at 10:31
    Personally I don't rate 70s stuff over everything later (I think there are three albums from the 70s in my personal top 20), but I think it's quite natural. Prog started in 1969 and grew and was fresh and original in the seventies, which besides gave the prog genre its name. So if you bring together a group of prog enthusiasts, what they agree on is the 70s classics. Most of them will love some more recent music, but exactly which will vary wildly. For ending up in the "top albums" music needs to be loved by (almost) everyone, and on a prog site that's the 70s classics. 
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    Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote lazland Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: May 03 2020 at 10:45
    If you look a wee bit deeper, you will find a lot of love and appreciation for modern prog on this site. The tendency for people who start reviewing, and I was no different, is to turn to the classic period, but time spent on the site does make one appreciate the sheer depth and great stuff out there which is newer.


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    Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote AFlowerKingCrimson Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: May 03 2020 at 11:01
    To some degree there probably is. I think those who are actually big prog fans(ie most on this site)are less biased towards it then say the mainstream media who seems to only recognize(and appreciate)the 70's era(if they acknowledge it all). There are unfortunately a lot of fans of the seventies era who will never discover the modern prog bands(and will have it stuck in their head that prog died in 1978 or thereabouts). 

    Many that do discover the post 70's stuff won't necessarily become fans because they will think nothing could be as good as the old stuff. For the most part progressive music(and prog rock) fans are open minded and are will to take chances and listen to different things and ultimately get bored with the same old Yes, Genesis, Rush, Pink Floyd, King Crimson, ELP, etc stuff. For some that's good enough and they have no desire to explore further. As Ian Anderson might say they are "living in the past." :)


    Edited by AFlowerKingCrimson - May 03 2020 at 11:02
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    Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote The Dark Elf Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: May 03 2020 at 11:27
    It's not a bias, the music was simply better. Without equivocation.
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    Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Logan Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: May 03 2020 at 11:31
    I'd actually put an album such as U Totem's self-titled (from 1990) over most of the generally acclaimed classic Prog albums. And to me an album such as Close to the Edge has always been underwhelming.

    Edited by Logan - May 03 2020 at 11:32
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    Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Matti Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: May 03 2020 at 11:32
    I love the classic 70's prog that I grew up with (well, I had to look back in time, being born in 1970). But I definitely prefer learning/finding more and more contemporary prog instead of endlessly re-listening to those classics. And even though I've reviewed way over thousand albums here, I have very rarely allowed myself to write a 746th, 185th or even a 37th review of anything. That would feel sort of pointless.

    There are multiple times more prog bands in this Millenium than there were in the seventies, even if one counted only good bands. That's one reason why a contemporary prog band cannot reach similar popularity as the classics: too much competition. But of course there are bands that have reached massive popularity during later decades, such as Pendragon and IQ. I wish the number of reviews would spread a bit more evenly.
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    Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote AFlowerKingCrimson Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: May 03 2020 at 12:23
    Originally posted by Matti Matti wrote:

    I love the classic 70's prog that I grew up with (well, I had to look back in time, being born in 1970). But I definitely prefer learning/finding more and more contemporary prog instead of endlessly re-listening to those classics. And even though I've reviewed way over thousand albums here, I have very rarely allowed myself to write a 746th, 185th or even a 37th review of anything. That would feel sort of pointless.

    There are multiple times more prog bands in this Millenium than there were in the seventies, even if one counted only good bands. That's one reason why a contemporary prog band cannot reach similar popularity as the classics: too much competition. But of course there are bands that have reached massive popularity during later decades, such as Pendragon and IQ. I wish the number of reviews would spread a bit more evenly.

    I'm the same age as you(almost exactly one month younger; just turned 50 last month). Anyway, like you I got into the classic prog stuff first(although not quite growing up with it concurrently). 

    There might be a lot more prog bands now then in the old days but maybe only if for no other reason than modern prog stretches from the 90's(or 80's depending on your definition)all the way up until now. That's a good 20 plus years and a lot more than the original wave produced. However, and I'm sure you're aware of this already but I'll state it anyway, there are tons of lesser known prog bands from the 70's(and even quite a few stretching into the 80's)that have been buried or just didn't become famous for whatever reason. Not all of these were great but many were. Almost every country has these bands and I won't try to name some of them here but there really were a lot(many of them only put out one or two albums at the time).  

    There is a lot of competition like you say. I think one reason some of the 90's bands who became big(at least in prog circles)such as Porcupine Tree, The Flower Kings, Echolyn, Spock's Beard and Anglagard is because there wasn't as much competition at the time and so they stood out. That could have also been the case(to a degree)with IQ, Marillion, Pendragon and maybe one or two others in the 80's. These days though not many bands really stand out as far as being popular goes and the ones who kind of do more times than not(imo)have at least one foot in metal, alternative or indie or some other non prog genre.


    Edited by AFlowerKingCrimson - May 03 2020 at 13:07
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    Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote siLLy puPPy Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: May 03 2020 at 12:35
    ^ newer prog bands also successfully cross-pollinated with newer styles of music that didn't exist during prog's golden years. Metal, post-punk, electronica etc. Also production techniques allowed more elaborate band sounds that were more accessible to anybody who had a fertile creative imagination. Still though, most of these artists were merely bringing classic prog sounds into the modern era. Every prog sub-genre without exception got its start in the 60s or 70s. Even post-rock started in Kraut and more technical extreme metal bands had the root sounds based in early heavy prog.

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    Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote geekfreak Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: May 03 2020 at 12:57
    Originally posted by Logan Logan wrote:

    There is a bias towards the classic prog era and certain classic Prog bands. It's not surprising that the charts, which are simply an amalgamation of ratings over many years, would favour classic prog. For a site that's been around since the early 2000s, and has been amassing ratings since at least 2004, I found it rather surprising to see an album in the top 20 which is only a few years old (and it rose up the charts very quickly). That said, there's a lot of love at this site for more modern music.
     

    I agree there`s a bias element for the 70`s golden yrs but I have found some amazing newer band todays modern prog bands
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    Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Progosopher Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: May 03 2020 at 13:07
    Since this period of time defined the Prog genre, it is no surprise that the artists from that era are rated very high. A Facebook friend of mine recently asked who was the greatest guitar player of all time. At first I went with the leading name - Jimi Hendrix, but then as I though more, I changed my view and gave the title to Andres Segovia because he popularized the guitar and laid the foundation for it becoming such the popular instrument it is today. This is not to say that he was the best, because many later classical guitarists are better. The same argument goes for 70s Prog. Those bands may not be the best, but they helped created something new. It is the creativity that raises them. If not for them, we would not be here today discussing the issue. I do not think there is a clear bias on this site, but the 70s are highly prominent for these reasons and those are good reasons.
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    Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote AFlowerKingCrimson Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: May 03 2020 at 13:16
    Originally posted by siLLy puPPy siLLy puPPy wrote:

    ^ newer prog bands also successfully cross-pollinated with newer styles of music that didn't exist during prog's golden years. Metal, post-punk, electronica etc. Also production techniques allowed more elaborate band sounds that were more accessible to anybody who had a fertile creative imagination. Still though, most of these artists were merely bringing classic prog sounds into the modern era. Every prog sub-genre without exception got its start in the 60s or 70s. Even post-rock started in Kraut and more technical extreme metal bands had the root sounds based in early heavy prog.

    So which is it?

    newer styles of music that didn't exist during prog's golden years. Metal, post-punk, electronica etc.

    Or 

    Every prog sub-genre without exception got its start in the 60s or 70s.


    Some of these subgenres like you said didn't really exist in the earlier days so I agree with first statement here.  They did evolve but that's not the same as getting their start. For example, although I don't deny that post rock(much of it anyway)was influenced by Krautrock they are still pretty different and you can't necessarily always draw the lines between the two.Typically Talk Talk is considered the first post rock band and not Neu or Can although I would be surprised if Neu in particular weren't influential to post rock. It's kind of like Led Zeppelin were influential to metal but they weren't metal themselves. The same with Queen, VH and other bands. Prog metal is also imo it's own thing. Black Sabbath had progressive elements and so did Iron Maiden and later bands but they typically weren't considered prog metal. However, prog metals lineage is more metal than prog if I had to choose. Rush were an influence no doubt but does anyone really consider them prog metal let alone metal? I guess they were like LZ that way. They were influential but not part of the prog metal scene(regular metal in the case of LZ). I do agree that nothing comes from nothing and prog itself wasn't just created out of thin air. 

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    Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote AFlowerKingCrimson Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: May 03 2020 at 13:22
    ^Although I will keep my post as is I now realize what you were saying. I misunderstood you the first time. I think I thought you were talking about post rock, metal etc as part of prog subgenres when you probably just meant those genres(as disaparate from prog)and not thinking of them as part of prog(ie prog metal). I still am not sure I agree with the second part though unless of course we are talking about influences since obviously there technically was no post rock or prog metal(as it is today) in the 60's or 70's and probably a few others. I guess we don't really need to split hairs about it though.

    Edited by AFlowerKingCrimson - May 03 2020 at 13:23
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