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Prog Rock - apotheosis or nadir?

Tom Service looks at Progressive Rock, to find out whether it was an apotheosis of rock music, or a folly of over-reaching naivety. He consults keyboard legend Rick Wakeman.

Tom Service looks at Progressive Rock, to find out whether it was an apotheosis of rock music, thanks to the influence of classical music, the virtuosity of the performers and the ambition of its structures - or was it a folly of hopelessly over-reaching naivety and vapid pomposity? For a short period in the early 1970s, rock bands such as Yes, Genesis, ELP and King Crimson were boldly experimenting with their music, devising complex pieces that bore little relation to the simple pop song, and exhibiting dazzling instrumental skills. So why did it all go wrong so quickly? Tom consults Dr Sarah Hill, co-editor of the forthcoming Oxford Handbook of Progressive Rock, and also speaks to legendary keyboard wizard (and ex-member of Yes), Rick Wakeman.

18 days left to listen

29 minutes

Music Played

  • Greg Lake

    Tarkus

    Performer: Emerson, Lake & Palmer.
    • SANCTUARY.
    • TDSAN-009.
  • Emerson, Lake & Palmer

    Manticore

    • Atlantic.
    • 7567-81520-2.
  • Emerson, Lake & Palmer

    Aquatarkus

    • Atlantic.
    • 7567-81520-2.
  • Yes

    Heart of the Sunrise

    • Warner Music Ltd.
    • Warner Music Ltd.
  • King Crimson

    The Court of the Crimson King

    • POLYDOR.
    • 800 030-2.
  • Genesis

    Supper's Ready

    • Charisma.
    • CASCDX-1058.
  • Rick Wakeman

    Arthur

    Performer: Rick Wakeman.
    • A & M.
    • AMLH-64515.
  • Rick Wakeman

    Merlin the Magician

    Performer: Rick Wakeman.
    • A&M.
    • 069490-774 - 2.
  • King Crimson

    21st Century Schizoid Man

    • Musique Sabot ?.
    • KCCD B074.
  • Aaron Copland

    Fanfare For The Common Man

    Music Arranger: Emerson, Lake & Palmer. Performer: Emerson, Lake & Palmer.
    • SANCTUARY.
    • TDSAN-009.
  • Rick Wakeman

    Cans and Brahms

    Performer: Yes.
    • Atlantic Recording Corporation.
    • 7567-82667-2.
  • Yes

    The Revealing Science of God

    • ELEKTRA/RHINO.
    • 8122-73791-2.
  • Richard Wagner

    Lohengrin - opera in 3 acts

    Conductor: Christian Thielemann. Performer: The Philadelphia Orchestra.
    • DG.
    • 4791120.
  • Richard Wagner

    Good Friday music [from 'Parsifal'] - concert version [no voices]

    Conductor: Adrian Boult. Performer: London Symphony Orchestra.
    • emi.
    • czs 7625492.
  • Spinal Tap

    Stonehenge

    • POLYDOR.
    • 817846-2.
  • Modest Mussorgsky

    Pictures from an exhibition for piano

    Performer: Emerson, Lake & Palmer.
    • Victory.
    • 8284662.
  • Gabriel Fauré

    Berceuse (Dolly Suite)

    Performer: Rick Wakeman.
    • President Records.
    • RWCD 36.
  • Rick Wakeman

    Anne Boleyn

    Performer: Rick Wakeman.
    • A&M.
    • 5405682.
  • Rick Wakeman

    Arthur

    Performer: Rick Wakeman.
    • A & M.
    • AMLH-64515.
  • Rick Wakeman

    Merlin the Magician

    Performer: Rick Wakeman.
    • A&M.
    • 069490-774 - 2.
  • Sex Pistols

    Anarchy in the U.K

    • VIRGIN.
    • VJCP 68050.

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