Wondrous Stories: For Whom We Give the Meddle

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"A decade ago prog was the preserve of the diehard. Now [2011] is set to be a glorious summer of prog." Nick Shilton, Classic Rock Presents: Prog! Between June and September 2011, bands such as Caravan, Arena, Focus, Wishbone Ash, Magma, Jethro Tull, Dream Theater, Spock's Beard, Hawkwind, Supertramp, and Van der Graaf Generator (to name a few) descended upon England either as part of multi-legged tours, or during extravagant Progressive Rock festivals (oftentimes, both). Progressive Rock is again quasi-popular, prompting further analysis of its original popularity, the reasons for its decline and its resurgence(s). Progressive Rock, while not a widespread culturally enduring genre of music, is one of the most technical and genuinely artistic forms of rock music. Progressive Rock came about by a greater desire for intellectualism in popular music, primarily through technical ability and artistry inherent of the genre; similar reasons for its decline are the associated elitism, and the intrinsic nature of popular entertainment. Fundamentally, progressive rock transcends genre and style, reaching across virtually every musical discipline. Britannica defines 'progressive rock' as "'intellectual' album-oriented rock [...] either classically influenced [...] employ[ing] complicated and conceptual approaches to music." Progressive rock (casually abbreviated to 'prog', which includes all progressive sub-genres including but not limited to progressive metal, progressive folk, zeuhl, as well as certain space rock, fusion and psychedelic albums). As shown by Britannica's definition, it is far easier to define the genre qualitatively (through tendencies) than through labels. Throughout the 1960s, psychedelic music was emerging... ... middle of paper ... ...5 Mark S. Spicer, "A Review of Rocking the Classics: English Progressive Rock and the counterculture, by Edward Macan," review of Rocking the Classics: English Progressive Rock and the counterculture, by Edward Macan, Contemporary Music Review, Vol. 18 part 4 (2000), pp. 151 John Covach, "Echolyn and American Progressive Rock,” Contemporary Music Review, Vol. 18 part 4 (2000): 17. Hall, "10 Great Prog Rock Guitarists" Gibson, February 3, 2011, accessed November 5, 2011, http://www.gibson.com/en-us/Lifestyle/Features/10-great-prog-rock-guitarists/ Kevin Holm-Hudson, "Apocalyptic Otherness: Black Music and Extraterrestrial Identity in the Music of Magma," Popular Music and Society, Vol. 26 No. 4 (2003): 481. Chris McDonald, "Open Secrets: Individualism and Middle-Class Identity in the Songs of Rush,” Popular Music and Society, Vol. 31 No. 3 (2008): 318.

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