Friday, September 19, 2014

What is "progressive" music??

After having read that Peter Gabriel had been awarded a "Prog music God" award a discussion I had a few years ago with a (much) younger man came to my mind.

We were in Zimbabwe National Park Mana Pools and somehow started discussing music. We got into talking about Keith Moon of The Who, probably one of the best drummers that ever lived. Just listen to anything they did while he was in the band, it sounds like the guy has 4 hands and 4 feet. 

And so when he claimed that The Who were a "prog band" I was totally lost.

See here is where cultural issues comes into it. In Sweden "progressive music" bands had not so much to do with the music as the lyrics and the message. When I grew up in the 70's. There more or less had to be a message of the people's power, revolution awaiting around the corner and so on. This could very well also be musically "revolutionary" and often was but the message was more important than the music, so to speak.

It took me some years to understand that in this case I was wrong, Sweden is probably totally unique in this. But to listen today to Genesis "The Lamb lies down on Broadway" and realise that out of that remarkable band came:
1. Peter Gabriel, of course
2. Phil Collins
3. Mike and the Mechanics

And when I can get my hands on "Who's Next".. "Won't get fooled again" for those of you who watched CSI: Miami

Progressive for sure! 

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