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Re; Prog ???????? by Wilbert
:: Posted by Valhalla on November 02, 2015

I don’t think Yes,Genesis or ELP went for the big money, more like the money came to them! Incredibly influential & ’progressive’ bands they all were! Those guys just wanted to create music & enjoy themselves doing it. The success they achieved is part of the game, the way it is or was. They were always creating new music & then performing certain aspects of it live in concert. I agree with the Zappa comment, much appreciated is Frank & missed greatly.

:: Posted by Wilbert on November 01, 2015

In the sixties and seventies we never used ’Prog’, to begin with.

We used three genres:

Underground, Progressive Rock (full name) and Symphonic Rock.

The genres Progressive Rock and Symphonic Rock were often mixed. Underground was used for bands like Velvet Underground, Mothers of Invention, MC5, etc. "We against society", or something like that.

In my view the Underground was the real Progressive Rock. King Crimson always has been progressive in my view as they always went for the music and new music. And never went for the big money, like Yes, Genesis, ELP etc.

So King Crimson was one of the real Progressive Rock bands for me, next to Zappa etc., but some thought is as Symphonic Rock

Probably because of the Mellotron...............................


2015 THRAK Mix
:: Posted by Fugazi on November 01, 2015

I agree with PPmINTY about the 2015 mix (I’m talking about the stereo mix here) - the harder edge and greater separation of instruments make this the album it was always crying out to be. Adrian’s vocals sound ’drier’ (i.e.less studio treatment), but it gives them a more natural live sound, which perfectly fits in with the overall mix. It also shows what a great singer Ade is. One thing I am struggling with is the 5.1 surround sound mix. It seems too bottom end heavy and muddy. Yes, I know there are two drummers and two bassists, but the bottom end seems to swamp everything, at the expense of clarity of the other instruments. Ade’s vocals also seems lost amongst the five channels. This is (obviously) a personal opinion, so please don’t shoot me down - I’d love to hear other opinions on both mixes.

I've Finally Been THRAKked!
:: Posted by PPmINTY on November 01, 2015

The new remastering of "THRAK" is a revelation!

I have to confess, I didn’t really think that highly of the album the first time around. I thought the Real World Studios [over]production job sounded far too glossy, in comparison with the "VROOOM" e.p. that preceded it. This was where Adrian Belew’s innate Beatle-tendencies finally bubbled to the surface of a King Crimson record, instead of staying on his solo albums where they belong (in my opinion!)

Since the album’s release, several of the songs have been further dulled by perfunctory live versions, first by the noughties King Crimson and then by the Crimson ProjeKCt. Whatever life there was in the songs in the first place had been sucked dry through over-familiarity.

With so many others to choose from, "THRAK" was never going to be the disc I would turn to for my ’Moment Of Crim’.

But Jakko has not so much remixed "THRAK" as he has totally re-imagined it!

It’s a whole fresh new album.

And after twenty years, I finally find "THRAK" exciting to listen to!

Last Great Prog CD of the 70's
:: Posted by microbunny on October 31, 2015

Sorry...didn’t really intend to start one of those "What is Prog?" discussions.  Was just curious to hear what others thought and perhaps uncover something I might not have heard before that I may have missed.

Was really referring to the first wave of music that came out after ITCOTCK and followed in that general musical tradition. The same one rebelled against by punk rock.  Anything after that period really could not help but be changed. Still influenced perhaps, but not the same. Exposure (one of my favourite albums of all time) is clearly influenced by punk and from another world from ITCOTCK. Same with David Bowie’s Low. Eno’s Before and After Science. A whole different thing. You know what I mean.

So that being said...any more candidates?

:: Posted by PPmINTY on October 31, 2015

I think you pretty much nailed it there, Em!

The vernacular usage of the word ’prog’ is a generational thing. Its original meaning has been lost with the dinosaurs (ha!)

I don’t like the term ’prog’ myself. I don’t think it is appropriate anymore. But I recognise how it is used nowadays (idiomatically?)

In a nutshell, King Crimson are most definitely progressive, but not necessarily ’prog’.

I propose we also coin the term ’retrog’ to encompass any band (and their audience) who rigorously adhere to some perceived ’tradition’ of what music should be. ;-)

Re; Prog & other dirty words
:: Posted by Valhalla on October 31, 2015

in my younger days back in the late 60’s, i wondered why the terminology of ’rock’ was applied to or for rock music. I still do in a way, obviously it has it’s origin in ’rock ’n roll’, well I would presume that anyway. We human beings have it ’down pat’ so to speak, with our naming of things in this world, whether it be for practical purposes or simply a trendy cliche sort of thing. Look at most things in life on planet earth & it will have a name or number to it. It needs to, or we wouldn’t be able to ’recognise’ it, broadly speaking that is! We do need some sort of order in our chaos, imagine being in our favourite record store & not having an organised alphabetical listing of our different genres of music? Whether it is correct or not, misleading or just plain silly, is another issue again. Reading a interview with Keith Richards this past week, in regards to other bands that he was asked about or he referred to, he simply put it out as ’it’s all music’! Ole Keef has a way with words, doesn’t he? But he does make a valid point. I don’t like many of the ’classifications’ that many artist are conveniently placed in, but that is the way of things. Now back to ’prog’, is it a dirty word, or at the very least, an abused or misused word! It’s only rock ’n roll, or is it?

The Resurrection of Prog
:: Posted by emory0 on October 30, 2015

PPminty wrote...

"That a piece of rock music which shows itself to be groundbreaking and forward-looking will not necessarily be considered ’prog’ if it doesn’t fit within your ’tradition’ of what ’prog’ should sound like?"

Yeah: I think there’s now two different meanings of the term, and one of them is rapidly dying as history swallows the original context:

1. "Prog rock scum" Prog
This was the way the term was used in the 70s for that group of bands that included Jethro Tull, Yes, Gentle Giant, Genesis, ELP and, sometimes, King Crimson. It’s an historic label that refers to these bands and their propensity for long, noodly jams and faeries-and-castles lyrics. Some of the criticism was fair, some wasn’t, but this version of the term "Prog" is largely historic and only used by aging white males.

2. Neo-Prog Prog
This can mean almost anything these days, but it usually includes non-metal-genre bands that use weird time signatures and extended songs along with at least a modicum of chops. Of course, Porcupine Tree is in this category, as is (I’d say) Opeth, Dillinger Escape Plan, even Tool. (Meanwhile a lot of the Death Metal is pretty clearly proggy but most people don’t seem to use the term for these bands.)

I think younger folks who unashamedly use the term Prog to describe some of their music aren’t even aware of the connotations the term had decades ago. But some of them (with Steven Wilson’s remixes) are starting to view the old 70s Prog as the granddaddies of the music they listen to today.

King Crimson is particularly weird because they’ve weaved and bobbed in and out of this multi-decade conversation. I think that’s why "everyone" has heard of ItCotCK but not SaBB or Red, because these latter clearly don’t fall into what used to be considered Prog and so can’t be nailed into these (now archaic) coffins, uh I mean categories.


Where is Prog Band?
:: Posted by PPmINTY on October 30, 2015

Using phrases like ’traditional prog’... Dismissing Band A or Group B because they’re not ’prog’ but ’more experimental’... These sound like contradictory terms to me.

Are you saying that ’prog’ is not just a short-form of ’progressive’ anymore? That a piece of rock music which shows itself to be groundbreaking and forward-looking will not necessarily be considered ’prog’ if it doesn’t fit within your ’tradition’ of what ’prog’ should sound like?

Progressive = moving, ongoing, advancing. Believing in or striving for constant improvement or new advances. Characterised by an advance over the established forms.

Experiment[al] = [made] to determine the efficacy of something previously untried. An act or approach that is original or unusual. 

Tradition[al] = A mode of thought or behaviour followed by a people continuously from generation to generation, a cultural custom or usage. A set of such customs and usages viewed as a coherent body of precedents influencing the present.

Aphorisms? You want aphorisms?

Art should strive beyond the comfort zone.
Otherwise it becomes merely entertainment.

Putting music into convenient categories is just rack jobbing.

:: Posted by microbunny on October 30, 2015

Thanks for your thoughts on this subject and I have to say that I am in total agreement that 1975 was the year that it began to diminish, although some great music still emerged, it did not have the power of the earlier material from the same bands.  And yes...so much else of what has been talked about is really not from this category of which we are referring. IMHO of prog, it is typified by generally non-typically song oriented music but did have "song-like" elements which would distinguish itself from purely instrumental music like Jazz/Fusion era material. Lots of interesting time signatures used with typically distinguished itself from dance-oriented art music like Talking Heads Remain In Light etc. And different from modular synth German bands like Tangerine Dream/Cluster which I love, but always thought of them as proto-electronica and not prog.

I should have also clarified that the be a GREAT Prog album it should also be something that some could honestly argue is their favourite album from that band. No Zep fan would ever truly consider "In through the Out Door" as their favourite for example. No even Page or Plant would do so.

So that being the clarified subject...what’s your choice for the LAST GREAT prog album of the 70’s ?

The Lamb Lies Down on Broadway?

Wish You Were Here?

Free Hand?

Godbluff ?

Ruth is Stranger than Richard? (stretching the definition here perhaps, although I would certainly say Rock Bottom qualifies)


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