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Progressive Rock Music
Progressive rock is a genre of rock music that applies a more classically influenced structure, and which is often characterized by a more eclectic, ambitious, and grandiose sound. It arose in the 1960s with a largely British movement that saw rock artists and rock bands attempt to achieve new forms, forms which allude to the sophistication of jazz or classical music. Major progressive rock artists and bands who helped define the genre include Pink Floyd, Jethro Tull, Yes, Genesis, Rush, Emerson Lake & Palmer, The Alan Parsons Project, The Moody Blues, King Crimson, Kraftwerk, Brian Eno, and Caravan.
The Sound of Progressive RockProgressive rock distinguishes itself from other rock music genres by attempting to combine rock and psychedelia with classical, symphonic, and literary elements. Progressive rock records usually blur the common song structures and forms with an inserted musical interlude, and thus come in long compositions. Moreover, progressive rock expands traditional rock instrumentation (and takes guitar solos to even loftier heights); experiments with different sounds; draws influence from the rhythms of jazz and classical; and has less of a melodic focus than other types of rock, for it explores atonal or different harmonies. Lyrical themes are also more ambitious, as are the art and presentation of progressive rock albums.
The History of Progressive RockThe progressive rock genre originated in the late 1960s British psychedelic scene, with rock groups combining rock with classical symphonic music. Popular progressive rock pioneers included Pink Floyd, The Moody Blues, Soft Machine, Genesis, The Nice, Pretty Things, and Jethro Tull. From the late 1960s leading up to the 1970s, progressive rock surpassed the critical and commercial popularity of traditional rock, with rock artists and bands in Britain, elsewhere in Europe, and then in America becoming more “symphonic”. These include Yes, Kansas, Electric Light Orchestra, King Crimson, and Emerson Lake & Palmer. There also emerged, in the mid-70s, a form of progressive rock that was purely instrumental, spearheaded by the band Kraftwerk from Germany.
Almost as quickly as it grew, progressive rock began to experience a decline in the late 1970s, giving way to more pop-oriented rock genres like punk. The 1980s did see something of a revival, albeit ushered by a new wave of musical innovation, with progressive rock bands and artists like Marillion, Journey, Electric Light Orchestra, Boston, Foreigner, Supertramp, IQ, Saga, Asia, even Genesis, Pink Floyd and Rush changing their direction and simplifying their progressive-influenced music. On the other hand, there were groups and artists like Fred Frith, Henry Kaiser, Robert Fripp, Material, and Public Image Limited who took progressive rock into more avant-garde territory. In addition to these, Sigur Ros, Godspeed You! Black Emperor, Mostly Autumn, The Mars Volta, Radiohead, and Muse can be said to incorporate some of the experimental elements of the genre.
Progressive Rock Record LabelsProgressive rock became so popular in the 1970s that record labels were being built around it. Major ones associated with the progressive rock genre include Atlantic, which released the quintessential Yes album, Fragile; Virgin, which has released works by Mike Oldfield; and Capitol, which was responsible for releasing progressive rock records and albums by, among many others, Pink Floyd.
Progressive Rock Albums, Progressive Rock Records, and Progressive Rock CDsSome say that progressive rock is responsible for the most ambitious forms of rock music. Some say the most pretentious. Find out for yourself here at MusicStack. “Pink Floyd” CDs, “Jethro Tull” CDs, “Yes” CDs, “Genesis” CDs, “Rush” CDs, “Emerson Lake & Palmer” CDs, “The Alan Parsons Project” CDs, “The Moody Blues” CDs, “King Crimson” CDs, “Kraftwerk” CDs, “Brian Eno” CDs, and “Caraven” CDs, among other progressive rock albums, records, and CDs, are all available, as are progressive rock vinyl LPs.
Popular Progressive Rock Artists