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Thread: Is This The Worst Prog Rock Song Of All Time?

  1. #26
    I reckon the worst prog song has to be something off of one of the two Nessie albums; by my estimation the worst 70s prog band. How much of this group can YOU stomach?



    Quote Originally Posted by PixelDelirium View Post
    What? No "Love Beach"?
    “The Gambler” gets my vote as the worst song off of this dog of an album. Nothing but one cliché after another. When he gets to “Satisfaction guaranteed,” I struggle to keep my eyes in my head, they’re rolling so hard. At least “Taste of My Love” made me laugh, even if it was at their expense.
    Confirmed Bachelors: the dramedy hit of 1883...

  2. #27
    Member StarThrower's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by chalkpie View Post
    Are you nuts? That tune is a gem. Whole thing is in 4/4 too. Listen to the placement of each instrument - highly, highly syncopated shit. Brilliant.
    Tell 'em, Frankie! I first heard this as a 14 year old and I thought it was the hippest half minute of music ever. Still do!

  3. #28
    Quote Originally Posted by SunRunner2 View Post
    I recall buying the LP and enjoying side one to the max for the first time through it - and then - Kabam!!! It sounds like a bunch of drunken non-musicians doing their best to destroy a great, majestic album side with a 2 minute, 15 second ode to crappiness. Even if it was a tongue-in-cheek one off, it was completely uncalled for on this classic prog album. What were those three thinking?
    This is what you wrote to me in a very pedantic way on the Asia thread: "I took it for what it was and didn't compare it to the previous works from the band members. It is even more unadvisable to look at it retrospectively that way, based solely on what came before it from the artists in the band (or other bands - as many posts above did). And, as much as posters here hate the "it's not prog" silliness, it seems counterintuitive to pull one song from a early 80's LP and then frame an argument against it based on whether it was a good or great prog song. If you don't like that song, fine - no other comparative reasoning is needed.

    So why don't you take your own advice and swallow Benny the Bouncer. No other comparative reasoning is needed.

  4. #29
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    Quote Originally Posted by Progbear View Post
    I reckon the worst prog song has to be something off of one of the two Nessie albums; by my estimation the worst 70s prog band. How much of this group can YOU stomach?
    Listened to the first few tracks. You're not kidding. Although these guys sound more amateurish than flat-out bad - this is the kind of music they love, so they decided to make some of it themselves, in spite of being so-so musicians and poor writers. The synths all sound like something off a Human League album, although those cheesy factory patches work a whole lot better with the Human League. The vocals, though - ouch! Lead singer a wobbly, affected David Surkamp yelp, back-up vocals a sub-par Queen falsetto chorus.

  5. #30
    Member Kcrimso's Avatar
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    I don' have any problem with "Benny The Bouncer". In fact I quite like it.
    "A waste of talent and electricity." John Peel on ELP

  6. #31
    Member Zeuhlmate's Avatar
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    todd rundgren - 'the wheel' is a pain in the ass on that album.

  7. #32
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lebofsky View Post
    I'm not sure who's joking about what in this thread... but Benny the Bouncer is a great song. I listened to Brain Salad Surgery a lot as a kid, and this tune brought me such joy. Much needed comedy (or aesthetic) relief in what is otherwise a particularly dense, dark album.

    I'd comment on the lyrics in general, but a majority of prog lyrics are sub par - you just sort of learn to accept them as a charmingly weak part of this particular ecosystem. Like all the big bands of this era could have tried a lot harder on this front across the board, but oh well. Next time.

    - Matt
    Is it accurate to judge a song in the context of an album? Counting Out Time is a weak PG Genesis song but in the context of the Lamb, it fits into the cinematic motif.
    “[They] agreed that it was neither possible nor necessary to educate people who never questioned anything.”

  8. #33
    Quote Originally Posted by Progbear View Post
    I reckon the worst prog song has to be something off of one of the two Nessie albums; by my estimation the worst 70s prog band. How much of this group can YOU stomach?.
    While ageeing that Nessie weren't of interest, something like Dream Theater sounds far worse in my book.
    Macht das ohr auf!

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  9. #34
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    Quote Originally Posted by Zappathustra View Post
    This is what you wrote to me in a very pedantic way on the Asia thread: "I took it for what it was and didn't compare it to the previous works from the band members. It is even more unadvisable to look at it retrospectively that way, based solely on what came before it from the artists in the band (or other bands - as many posts above did). And, as much as posters here hate the "it's not prog" silliness, it seems counterintuitive to pull one song from a early 80's LP and then frame an argument against it based on whether it was a good or great prog song. If you don't like that song, fine - no other comparative reasoning is needed.

    So why don't you take your own advice and swallow Benny the Bouncer. No other comparative reasoning is needed.

    Two different things completely and not related to each other. The former comment was addressing the non-prog factor and was looking at what the various members of Asia did in their previous bands compared to the "Heat of The Moment". In the latter I did not compare "Benny" with anything ELP did prior to "Brain Salad Surgery" or any other prior release. Nor did I say it was not prog, etc. I merely stated that "Benny" is a solid candidate for worst prog song in my view and I gave specific reasons why. I swallowed the song for what it was and spit it out as being poor.

    A little sensitive regarding the "pedantic" comment. I stated my case in no uncertain terms, as did you when you addressed your feelings about "Heat" and Asia.

  10. #35
    I like "Are You Ready Eddie?", so there. Ham or cheese.

  11. #36
    Quote Originally Posted by Kcrimso View Post
    I don' have any problem with "Benny The Bouncer". In fact I quite like it.
    This^

  12. #37
    Member Birdy's Avatar
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    Might as well throw the Strawbs "Part Of The Union" into the mix....
    We are the grandchildren of apes, not angels
    But only we are gifted with the eyes to see
    On days without FEAR, when our heads are clear
    That angels, we could be
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  13. #38
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    Nothing wrong with those 3 songs, but "Are You Ready Eddie" was a total waste of space. No competition on that one, for sure.
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  14. #39
    Member Rajaz's Avatar
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    I can never forget the first time I heard "Last Train" by Yes. I just thought oh God, these guys must have been really stoned or bored. Ultimate Classic Rock has it as THE worst song by Yes and any other Prog band:

    182. "Last Train" (Magnification outtake from the 2002 box set In a Word)

    "All aboard the train!" Anderson barks on this limp in-studio jam. We'll pass, thanks. Howe literally strums one chord, and Chris Squire bangs out a muffled bass riff. Calling this a "song" is a stretch. There's scraping the bottom of the barrel, and then there's "Last Train."

    https://ultimateclassicrock.com/yes-songs-ranked/
    Last edited by Rajaz; 2 Weeks Ago at 12:04 PM. Reason: composition

  15. #40
    Quote Originally Posted by BravadoNJ View Post
    5% For Nothing- Yes
    One of their most musically interesting tracks.

    Quote Originally Posted by SunRunner2 View Post
    It sounds like a bunch of drunken non-musicians doing their best to destroy a great, majestic album side with a 2 minute, 15 second ode to crappiness.
    In what way does it "sound like" that? Is it badly made, given its spoofy intention? Is the intrumentation somehow wrong? From what perspective does your logic apply; that cartoonish tunes shouldn't appear alongside (what you obviously perceive as) "majestic" Music in the first place, or is it the specific type of humour involved?

    The song doesn't aspire to be "progressive". It's an intermission relief from more basic or demanding material which might to somebody else, say a conservatory-trained contemporary composer, represent little but drunken non-music in its own right.

    It's a fine whim on a solid album.
    "Improvisation is not an excuse for musical laziness" - Fred Frith
    "[...] things that we never dreamed of doing in Crimson or in any band that I've been in," - Tony Levin speaking of SGM

  16. #41
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    Quote Originally Posted by Scrotum Scissor View Post

    In what way does it "sound like" that? Is it badly made, given its spoofy intention? Is the intrumentation somehow wrong? From what perspective does your logic apply; that cartoonish tunes shouldn't appear alongside (what you obviously perceive as) "majestic" Music in the first place, or is it the specific type of humour involved?

    The song doesn't aspire to be "progressive". It's an intermission relief from more basic or demanding material which might to somebody else, say a conservatory-trained contemporary composer, represent little but drunken non-music in its own right.

    It's a fine whim on a solid album.
    Good questions and points well made. My thinking on "Benny" is that something this whimsical doesn't fit well within the context of the album itself, even as an intermission. It sounds to me like a purposeful throwaway track and the "humor" wasn't well placed in the track queue, given the "Still You Turn Me On" preceding cut and the bombastic second side, which itself has ample humor abounding throughout. I think that a poetic bridge piece or instrumental between the two sides would have worked better as an intermission.

    Meant as humorous or not, to my ears it is beyond silly and has no redeeming qualities, musically or lyrically. It is hard for me to judge if it was badly made, primarily because it is really just fine musicians goofing around in a way that isn't funny or musically pleasing to me. I see that the opinions are somewhat split on this thread, although more appear to like it (or at least not hate it) rather than not. Thus, in the long run your views are probably more representative of how "Benny" was perceived by fans of "Brain Salad Surgery". To me, the album as a whole would have been better served by an instrumental track at that juncture, that didn't try so darn hard to be silly.

  17. #42
    In Ancient Greece, the great dramatic trilogies of Aeschylus, Sophocles etc were always accompanied (at the end) by a satyrical farce. I can imagine someone in the audience just leaving the theater without attending to it. Probably a progressive rock freak.

    The issue, in my humble opinion, is not whether one likes Benny the Bouncer (it's not my favorite piece of music for sure) but rather why one would feel annoyed by it. And this remark is not in any way directed personally to the original poster, but to all of us to ponder and discuss.

  18. #43
    Quote Originally Posted by Zappathustra View Post
    In Ancient Greece, the great dramatic trilogies of Aeschylus, Sophocles etc were always accompanied (at the end) by a satyrical farce. I can imagine someone in the audience just leaving the theater without attending to it. Probably a progressive rock freak.

    The issue, in my humble opinion, is not whether one likes Benny the Bouncer (it's not my favorite piece of music for sure) but rather why one would feel annoyed by it.
    Yes, yup, yeah, word and (not least) uhuh.

    The 'satyrical farce' round-offs (and sometimes windups) were also invested with interactive functions of audience mentality; they were to lend a bridge between the mimesis-effect of existentialist drama on the mind and the need for recuperation in the same mind before an audience member could reenter the "real" world - seeing as a dramatic art experience was perceived as an altering impact. Aristotle wrote of the dangers in omitting such a bridge.

    Did you get to see Ari Aster's film Hereditary? It stirred endless controversy due to how the ending effectively brought about such an "interactive" impulse in being perceived as having tricked the viewer's understanding of the narrative right from the very start of the movie - prompting some of the harshest reactions and responses I've witnessed from a recent film. Audiences were essentially told that "You could have known, had you only been more aware - alas you weren't, you're also prone to the very same fate which bestowed the characters in the story!" And THIS was the horrific experience of watching the movie! Its narrative was constructed as a tool against the real-life shortcoming of an audience's expectations as to how films are basically mere entertainment - they're NOT supposed to challenge or to physically draw you in. Thus the objective was won; People who saw that film were not only scared by the flickering canvas - they were frightened by their own reactions to the threat it posed.

    "Prog rock freaks" mostly don't want levels - no "meta", little aphorism or metaphor, preferably not those dreadful allegories. A dragon-slaying earl swording a shiny virgin's pearl - "progger" would rather not know about its actual meaning.
    "Improvisation is not an excuse for musical laziness" - Fred Frith
    "[...] things that we never dreamed of doing in Crimson or in any band that I've been in," - Tony Levin speaking of SGM

  19. #44
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    my dad used to play BSS all around the house when I was a kid and I always remember loving that tune

    if nothing else that synth noise is pretty unique - always thought it sounded like a noise my Sega Genesis would've made
    Critter Jams "album of the week" blog: http://critterjams.wordpress.com

  20. #45
    Quote Originally Posted by Scrotum Scissor View Post
    Did you get to see Ari Aster's film Hereditary?
    No, but now I need to.

    Your posts are probably the only piece of written text that I need to read 3-4 times to begin to understand. And I have been exposed to some pretty mind-boggling shit in my reading career.

    They never go unnoticed, reply or not.

  21. #46
    I like the song myself.

    One night a buddy and I were tripping on LSD and listening to BSS. We had the revelation that the entire album was a concept piece and that Benny the Bouncer fit perfectly when you considered it as part of the concept. For the life of me I can't remember how the song fit into the concept, or what the concept was, but it made perfect sense to us at the time. Good tune.

  22. #47
    B.S.S. remains my fave ELP album, although I still have a soft spot for the debut (and find both Tarkus and Exhibition somewhat dull). I think the potpourri-idea Works a bit better here than on Trilogy, with the opening pairing of an überbombastic take on the national-spiritual hymn (which is "Jerusalem") alongside their rendition of an avant-garde piano piece (of Ginastera's) amounting to sheer in-yr-face hubris as strong as there ever was. And to form a 35-minute mammoth epic from three completely disparate approaches works wonders for the whole thing. However, what really ceals the deal for me is how they can go from a romantic ballad onto said epic by way of a total joke - expertly executed, yet obviously also packed with the self-insight of realisation as to how they're eventually perceived by an adversary. In fact I'd wish for "Benny" to be an epic itself, preferably multi-sectioned.







    Alright, so "Karn Evil 9" only gets 35 minutes long with the drum solo attached.
    Last edited by Scrotum Scissor; 1 Week Ago at 10:17 AM.
    "Improvisation is not an excuse for musical laziness" - Fred Frith
    "[...] things that we never dreamed of doing in Crimson or in any band that I've been in," - Tony Levin speaking of SGM

  23. #48
    Quote Originally Posted by Scrotum Scissor View Post
    In fact I'd wish for "Benny" to be an epic itself, preferably multi-sectioned.
    One of my very first exposure to Scrotum Scissors treatment was a comment where he demanded a 6 sides triple album reworking of Jeremy Bender.

    I am not too sure anymore of Karn Evil 9 "objective" value. I can only tell with conviction that Keith Emerson's keyboard work is his best achievement, and a completely defining moment for progressive rock music.

    I will relisten tonight going for my nightshift.

  24. #49
    ^ Part two (2nd. impression) of "Karn Evil 9" is the finest thing any of the three ever accomplished, IMHO. I'm still amazed at how brilliant it is when I listen to it today, having heard it a few hundred times already. And it never fails in captivating new listeners.
    "Improvisation is not an excuse for musical laziness" - Fred Frith
    "[...] things that we never dreamed of doing in Crimson or in any band that I've been in," - Tony Levin speaking of SGM

  25. #50
    Orange Tick Squasher Buddhabreath's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Zappathustra View Post
    One of my very first exposure to Scrotum Scissors treatment...
    Careful! An incautious Scrotum Scissors treatment can leave you walking funny for life!
    The combined fortunes of the world's 26 richest individuals reached $1.4 trillion last year — the same amount as the total wealth of the 3.8 billion poorest people.

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