Listening to the Future: The Time of Progressive Rock, 1968-1978

Listening to the Future: The Time of Progressive Rock, 1968-1978

Listening to the Future: The Time of Progressive Rock, 1968-1978

Listening to the Future: The Time of Progressive Rock, 1968-1978

Synopsis

"In the early 1970s, progressive rock bands like King Crimson, Yes, Jethro Tull, and Emerson, Lake, and Palmer produced visionary, adventurous works, often of epic length. Since that time, critics and historians of rock music have marginalized the progressive rock era. However, it is a musical and political mistake to ignore this period of tremendous creativity, a period which continues to influence new rock music. Martin shows that there has always been a progressive trend in rock music, and develops a terminology for understanding how a popular avant-garde arose out of the sonic and social materials of rock. Listening to the Future surveys the progressive bands, from the most celebrated (like Genesis and ELP) to lesser-known but significant groups (such as Henry Cow, Magma, and PFM), and looks at the enduring legacy of progressive rock - covering both the 'neoprogressive' trend and recent works by Yes, Jethro Tull, and King Crimson." Title Summary field provided by Blackwell North America, Inc. All Rights Reserved

Excerpt

A funny thing happened on the way to the forum. About a year-and-a-half ago, I felt sure that I was coming to the end of writing the first book-length study of the music of Yes. Then it came to my attention that a fellow Yesologist named Thomas Mosbo had just published a book on the group, Yes, but what does it all mean? Still, finishing music of Yes in the late spring of 1996 (the book came out in October of that year), and turning to the writing of the book you are reading now, I gave in once more to a feeling of certainty, namely to the idea that I was writing the first intellectually oriented study of the larger field of progressive rock.

Foiled again! Indeed, at a bookstore party for the release of music of Yes, my graduate assistant, Aaron Fichtelberg, came up to me and said, “Hey, have you seen this?” He was holding Edward Macan's Rocking the Classics. As many readers will know, the book features a concert photograph of Yes on its cover. Zeitgeist or what? As a matter of fact, I fervently hope so.

About six months later, as I was entering into the final stages of writing this book, I happen to see an advertisement in The Wire. (This is an English magazine, by the way, that often attacks progressive rock in terms that, by now, are all too well known to readers. Well, The Wire and other nemeses of progressive receive . . .

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