Progressive Rock (progressive rock or, for short, prog rock) is a direction in rock music that appeared in the late 60s and early 70s and over the next 4 decades managed to win a large audience of fans. In its development, the style went through many ups and downs, which makes its development schedule similar to that of economic growth.
This genre has survived to this day, without losing its relevance. Gaining fans, this genre did not stand still, but was constantly undergoing changes, which resulted in the emergence of new subgenres emerging from progressive rock.
Progressive rock began to take shape in the revolutionary 60s, when there were many different musical movements. It can be said that this decade changed the world. Music was replenished with new genres that did not exist before. Rock began to be enriched with new elements from other genres due to The Beatles, who began to experiment in their music, adding new melodies.
Progressive Rock: Style History
Appeared prog rock in the UK. The Moody Blues, whose album Days Of Future Passed (1967) was the first art rock album, were the first to begin to complicate the music. It is characterized by more complex musical forms compared to previous genres.
Initially, the term “progressive rock” meant the innovation of a particular group, and only later a separate direction began to be called that. Because many bands of the 70s sound a little similar. Examples: Genesis, Rush, King Crimson or Pink Floyd. Some even cite Uriah Heep, Queen or Radiohead, who wrote the Creep song, as part of this genre.
The genre of progressive rock reached its greatest popularity in the first half of the 1970s. At this time, the genre was popularized mainly by groups from the UK, USA and Canada. Progressive rock leaders included Genesis, Yes, Jethro Tull, Pink Floyd, King Crimson, Rush and Kansas.
During the heyday of punk and disco, there was a crisis of ideas among prog rock bands, as a result of which many bands disbanded (King Crimson, Van der Graaf Generator), while others began to use simpler moves in their music (Genesis, Yes).
In the 80s, thanks to the emergence of neo-prog, and then progressive metal, it was possible to somewhat raise the popularity of the genre, which especially began to grow at the beginning of the 21st century with the development of information technology, the emergence of progressively oriented radio stations.
Progressive Rock: The Beginning
The first album to which the term “progressive rock” was applied was King Crimson’s “In the Court of the Crimson King” (1969). Later in the 70s, many classic progressive albums were recorded, which often differed in concept (attachment to a specific topic). Such albums include Pink Floyd’s “The Wall” and Genesis’ “The Lamb Lies down on Droadway” and Camel’s “The Snow Goose”.
In a number of European countries, their own styles similar to prog-rock are being formed: kraut-rock in Germany, symphonic prog in Italy and Zeuhl in France.
In the second half of the 70s, the emergence of punk and disco almost destroyed the popularity of the progressive rock style. Now the genre is a success with a limited circle of listeners.
Progressive rock: style features
The genre is characterized by long compositions. Some of them last 10-20 minutes. Some are even divided into separate parts. So, Shine on you crazy diamond includes 9 parts, and 2112 Rush groups – 7.
Many albums are recorded in the same concept. Such albums can be called records Animals or Dark Side on the Moon by Pink Floyd, where the song Time (Time) was recorded.
Progressive rock is a genre of rock music that originated in England as a development of pichodel rock. Within the framework of the genre, an attempt is being made to bring mass culture (rock and roll, rhythm and blues, merci-beat) closer to academic music.
This attempt is manifested in the citation of classical music and its techniques (many-part suite form, reprises, work with a symphony orchestra), as well as jazz (non-standard rhythmic meters, virtuoso mastery of musical instruments).
It is hardly possible to find at least one characteristic feature of all the artists of the genre, but the peak of the commercial popularity of progressive rock fell on the first half of the seventies, which is why a number of time stamps were assigned to the genre: the sounds of an electric organ, mellotron and analog synthesizers (Moog, VCS3). Today, progressive rock is defined not so much by style, but by an audience that prefers heterogeneous, but well-defined music.