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Thread: Seminal prog albums you’ve never even listened to

  1. #201
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    Quote Originally Posted by Zappathustra View Post
    Progressive Ears: the place where Zappa is an asshole and Bitches Brew a mundane record (and Kind of Blue an average, overrated work).
    Realizing that this is a generalization to make a point, I think it is a bit of an over-generalization to imply that PE membership as a whole holds these views. From what I have read here, some think Zappa is a nasty character and others say he was great and gracious to fans. Some love Bitches Brew to the max and others state that it just doesn't resonate with them. Kind Of Blue has some mixed reviews as well on PE, but most believe it was a "seminal" recording to some degree or another. I view it as PE is the place where discourse occurs and opinions vary on these points, which is what makes this thread interesting. I don't own any Zappa but have heard some of his works over time. Don't care to go further with his catalogue but his personality isn't that important to me. I have KOB and OTC by Miles, but didn't connect with me. I did get into his later stuff that is probably not well liked here, such as "Tutu", "Amandla" and "Doo Bop".

    These type of discussions remind me of the quote that I heard in Psychology class relating to how the brain reacts to sensory perception: "What is beautiful music to some ears is merely noise to others". To me, that sums up PE very well.

  2. #202
    Quote Originally Posted by alucard View Post
    Maybe not like, but you will hear and understand where they come from, which might or not help you to appreciate their music.
    It might help, but I don't think it always does. My dad, who is a great lover of traditional jazz, doesn't like anything that is made after 1930 - 1935, to a point he doesn't even consider it jazz. I like some jazz, Dave Brubeck, Gogo Penguin, among others, but don't really care for traditional jazz, just like I don't care much for rock 'n' roll.

  3. #203
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    Quote Originally Posted by SunRunner2 View Post
    Realizing that this is a generalization to make a point, I think it is a bit of an over-generalization to imply that PE membership as a whole holds these views. From what I have read here, some think Zappa is a nasty character and others say he was great and gracious to fans. Some love Bitches Brew to the max and others state that it just doesn't resonate with them. Kind Of Blue has some mixed reviews as well on PE, but most believe it was a "seminal" recording to some degree or another. I view it as PE is the place where discourse occurs and opinions vary on these points, which is what makes this thread interesting. I don't own any Zappa but have heard some of his works over time. Don't care to go further with his catalogue but his personality isn't that important to me. I have KOB and OTC by Miles, but didn't connect with me. I did get into his later stuff that is probably not well liked here, such as "Tutu", "Amandla" and "Doo Bop".

    These type of discussions remind me of the quote that I heard in Psychology class relating to how the brain reacts to sensory perception: "What is beautiful music to some ears is merely noise to others". To me, that sums up PE very well.
    Well said! PE is a place where people have courage to also criticise "the sacred cows".
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  4. #204
    Yes, of course it winds down to simple issues of personal taste, as all art does. But also it demands some level of argumentation a bit higher than "Zappa is an asshole". It also demands some sort of coherence to make any opinion credible. It is a little bit odd to praise artists that have been profoundly influenced by Zappa, then completely eradicate Zappa with no argumentation whatsoever apart from personal dislike.

    As I wrote beneath, artists like Zappa or Miles do not have to prove their worth, since they enjoy a universal acclaim, far wider than our little, progressive corner of the world. It is for the unconvinced critic to bring some serious argument on the table and prove their respective unworth. Zappa is an asshole is no argument - it's just a verbal fart in our faces.

  5. #205
    Member Guitarplyrjvb's Avatar
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    ^^ Yeah. If we ignored all artists who have been described as assholes (in some cases, some of them really were!), we'd be missing out on some great music: Richard Wagner, Christian Vander, Miles Davis, Zappa and, I'm sure, a bunch of others. That said, I think the only argument one needs to make about music they don't like is simply that they don't like it!

    One of my favorite guitarists is Steve Howe. He's been described as an asshole, too, but I guess I don't really care. His personality or those of most other musicians doesn't matter to me if my experience of them is just to listen to their music. Doesn't mean I'd ever want to be friends with them or even like them.

    I'd even generalize to artists beyond musicians. If we excluded the assholes, we'd be missing out on a lot of beautiful and meaningful paintings, writings, etc.
    Last edited by Guitarplyrjvb; 12-31-2019 at 02:42 PM.

  6. #206
    Quote Originally Posted by alucard View Post
    Maybe not like, but you will hear and understand where they come from, which might or not help you to appreciate their music.
    I think you are assuming that if someone doesn't like the music, it's because they don't "appreciate" it. It's the same kind of defense mechanism some prog fans get into generally ("more people would like prog if only they understood it"). It's sometimes hard to accept that other people don't like the things you do.

  7. #207
    Orange Tick Squasher Buddhabreath's Avatar
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    Yes, assholes often squeeze out some great shit and it is useful to have discussions with differing opinions. It doesn't matter at all that somebody has different tastes in music than I do. Everyone is free to agree with me or be wrong. Hmmmm, I sound like an asshole (just without the great shit).

    Joe, I will be interested to know if you have any different takes after revisiting Bitches Brew. It is best to be in a relaxed, spaced state of mind and not expect typical structure or melodic development (but you already know that). It's not for everybody and liking or not liking ir doesn't diminish the validity of anyone's personal esthetics, of course. There's plenty of seminal stuff I don't care for, I'm sure.
    Last edited by Buddhabreath; 12-31-2019 at 01:11 PM.
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  8. #208
    Member Guitarplyrjvb's Avatar
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    ^^ Will be delving in on the next listening session!

  9. #209
    Quote Originally Posted by Guitarplyrjvb View Post
    ^^ Yeah. If we ignored all artists who have been described as assholes (in some cases, some of them really were!), we'd be missing out on some great music: Richard Wagner, Christian Vander, Miles Davis, Zappa and, I'm sure, a bunch of others. That said, I think the only argument one needs to make about music they don't like is simply that they don't like it!

    One of my favorite guitarists is Steve Howe. He's been described as an asshole, too, but I guess I don't really dare. His personality or those of most other musicians doesn't matter to me if my experience of them is just to listen to their music. Doesn't mean I'd ever want to be friends with them or even like them.

    I'd even generalize to artists beyond musicians. If we excluded the assholes, we'd be missing out on a lot of beautiful and meaningful paintings, writings, etc.
    Indeed, some artists can be assholes, have political viewpoints I don't agree with, or might have done other things I wouldn't support, but in the end it's the art that counts.

    Currently reading a book about musicians under nazism, including people who where killed, collaborated, or were supporters of Hitler.

  10. #210
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    Which brings to mind a key question relating to the core of this thread: What determines which albums or musical works are "Seminal"? And, can an artist or artists have more than one "seminal" album? Do all or at least most of the classic prog bands have seminal works in their catalogue? Or, was the seminal work or works done before them? If it was all done before them, there are no seminal progressive rock works (I can't accept that). As a demonstrative first brush attempt to address these questions, here is my take on potential seminal albums by 6 classic prog bands:

    King Crimson - In The Court Of The Crimson King
    Yes - Fragile
    Genesis - Foxtrot
    Jethro Tull - Thick As A Brick
    Moody Blues - Threshold Of A Dream
    Tangerine Dream - Phaedra

    Consensus or refutation?
    Last edited by SunRunner2; 12-31-2019 at 02:35 PM. Reason: Thick, not Think

  11. #211
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rarebird View Post
    Indeed, some artists can be assholes, have political viewpoints I don't agree with, or might have done other things I wouldn't support, but in the end it's the art that counts.

    Currently reading a book about musicians under nazism, including people who where killed, collaborated, or were supporters of Hitler.
    A few of the acclaimed German/Austrian conductors were accused of being Nazi sympathasizers: Karajan and Furtwängler are two that come to mind.

  12. #212
    Quote Originally Posted by Rarebird View Post
    It might help, but I don't think it always does. My dad, who is a great lover of traditional jazz, doesn't like anything that is made after 1930 - 1935, to a point he doesn't even consider it jazz. I like some jazz, Dave Brubeck, Gogo Penguin, among others, but don't really care for traditional jazz, just like I don't care much for rock 'n' roll.
    Actually the same for me , my father liked big bands and we listened a lot to Duke Ellington, Count Basie and Benny Goodman at home, but my father just listened for his pleasure while I try to discover new music and put it into a historical perspective. While I still listen to prog I listen mainly these days to old folk blues and I am more and more amazed by it's "authentic" simplicity.
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  13. #213
    Member Steve F.'s Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Guitarplyrjvb View Post
    ^^ Will be delving in on the next listening session!
    my easy suggestion: start with disc two this time.
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  14. #214
    Quote Originally Posted by Guitarplyrjvb View Post
    A few of the acclaimed German/Austrian conductors were accused of being Nazi sympathasizers: Karajan and Furtwängler are two that come to mind.
    They are both mentioned in the book. There is a lot more to it, than one might think. Karajan was a member of the nazi-party and a regular asshole, as one might notice from this joke:
    "Böhm, Bernstein and Karajan are talking about who is the best conductor. Böhm says he is, because the audience adores him. Bernstein says, he is, because God told him so and Karajan replies: "When did I tell you, because I can't remember saying that."

  15. #215
    From the Gnosis Top 100, I haven’t heard:

    1. Coltrane: A Love Supreme (which is on the list twice, which I find annoying; “special editions” should be folded together with the main issue. See also: In Cauda Venenum by Opeth, which is in the Year End Top 100 on RYM THREE TIMES!)
    2. King Crimson: The Great Deceiver Live 1973-1974
    3. Eskaton: 4 Visions (only heard partially)
    4. John Coltrane: The Complete 1961 Village Vanguard Recordings (box)
    5. Magma: Trilogie Theusz Hamtaahk
    6. Magma: K.A (Köhntarkösz Anteria)
    7. Miles Davis: The Cellar Door Sessions 1970
    8. Miles Davis: The Complete Bitches Brew Sessions (only heard the regular edition)
    9. Gentle Giant: Giant on the Box (DVD+CD) (don’t know if there’s anything unique to this collection, apart from the DVD)
    10. Miles Davis: The Complete 'On the Corner' Sessions (again, I’ve heard the regular album, but not the “everything we rescued from the cutting-room floor” special edition)
    11. Present: Barbaro (ma non troppo)
    12. Univers Zero: Relaps: Archives 1984-1986
    13. King Crimson: The Nightwatch
    14. John Coltrane: First Meditations
    15. Magma: Ëmëhntëhtt-Ré
    16. Weidorje: S/T
    17. John Coltrane: Giant Steps
    18. Miles Davis: The Complete In A Silent Way Sessions


    I wish there was a way to filter out all the live albums, “special editions,” box sets, archival releases et al. I really don’t know how “seminal” all those KC live bootlegs or reformed Magma albums are, really, and I don’t really know how essential the Coltrane releases are to a progressive rock fan. But I really ought to listen to that Weirdorje album one day.
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  16. #216
    Member moecurlythanu's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MYSTERIOUS TRAVELLER View Post
    I must have a minimum of 250 albums I really do not like, but they were so hyped by their fans that I had to get them just to see what the fuss was about
    Quote Originally Posted by Sputnik View Post
    But once you've invested some cash, your motivation to try definitely goes up, and I held onto a lot of albums that I didn't like that much trying desperately to wring some value from them. A few I've actually still got, though not anywhere near 250!

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  17. #217
    Quote Originally Posted by Progbear View Post
    From the Gnosis Top 100, I haven’t heard:

    1. Coltrane: A Love Supreme (which is on the list twice, which I find annoying; “special editions” should be folded together with the main issue. See also: In Cauda Venenum by Opeth, which is in the Year End Top 100 on RYM THREE TIMES!)
    2. King Crimson: The Great Deceiver Live 1973-1974
    3. Eskaton: 4 Visions (only heard partially)
    4. John Coltrane: The Complete 1961 Village Vanguard Recordings (box)
    5. Magma: Trilogie Theusz Hamtaahk
    6. Magma: K.A (Köhntarkösz Anteria)
    7. Miles Davis: The Cellar Door Sessions 1970
    8. Miles Davis: The Complete Bitches Brew Sessions (only heard the regular edition)
    9. Gentle Giant: Giant on the Box (DVD+CD) (don’t know if there’s anything unique to this collection, apart from the DVD)
    10. Miles Davis: The Complete 'On the Corner' Sessions (again, I’ve heard the regular album, but not the “everything we rescued from the cutting-room floor” special edition)
    11. Present: Barbaro (ma non troppo)
    12. Univers Zero: Relaps: Archives 1984-1986
    13. King Crimson: The Nightwatch
    14. John Coltrane: First Meditations
    15. Magma: Ëmëhntëhtt-Ré
    16. Weidorje: S/T
    17. John Coltrane: Giant Steps
    18. Miles Davis: The Complete In A Silent Way Sessions


    I wish there was a way to filter out all the live albums, “special editions,” box sets, archival releases et al. I really don’t know how “seminal” all those KC live bootlegs or reformed Magma albums are, really, and I don’t really know how essential the Coltrane releases are to a progressive rock fan. But I really ought to listen to that Weirdorje album one day.
    I make lists out of Gnosis, without ever counting the boxsets (it's sheer cheating if you do. People who don't like the original album will never rate, so it's pure 14 and 15 by fans of the album).

    I am shocked by your statement that you've never listened to A Love Supreme. If I am correct you jump up in the most obscure record always with an established opinion, so really I don't know what to say about this. Except that just press somewhere the button and listen to the bloody thing!

  18. #218
    That's Mr. to you, Sir!! Trane's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Progbear View Post
    I wish there was a way to filter out all the live albums, “special editions,” box sets, archival releases et al. I really don’t know how “seminal” all those KC live bootlegs or reformed Magma albums are, really, and I don’t really know how essential the Coltrane releases are to a progressive rock fan. But I really ought to listen to that Weirdorje album one day.
    yup, that's a frustration as well for me.

    I kind of wish they'd not even be present in there. Some of these boxsets (Art Zoyd, Henry Cow for ex) are even broken down by individual discs (which I find interesting), but also think they shouldn't be included in top list, since they're not stand-alone releases


    however, I have no problems whatsoever for jazz or other music genres albums being included (although I don't see the point of Madonna's album being listed), especially if they've been rated as excellent by so many gnostics.
    I also am somewhat saddened that jazz albums are not getting more ratings.
    my music collection increased tenfolds when I switched from drug-addicts to complete nutcases.

  19. #219
    Quote Originally Posted by per anporth View Post
    There's an interesting observation by Herbie in the sleeve notes for the Colombia reissue, pertaining to KoB: "Known primarily as the first modal jazz record (he had explored modality in small amounts on his three previous albums), this was Davis' first album that was all about 'feel'. In other words, the mood & temper of the sessions were consistent & emotionally stimulating. "

    This is one of these observations that is so obviously true as soon as you read it, that it risks seeming banal. But I think what's really significant is how this take on KoB would be equally correct applied to, for instance, OtC, In a Silent Way, & possibly also the work of the 2nd Quintet. In other words, KoB paves the way for how Miles will work in the future, whatever the musical space he is exploring. At the same time, this also opens up a whole new way in which jazz music (& music more generally) can be - in a way that I'm not sure even Coleman does (although, of course, he is simultaneously opening up new spaces for jazz to explore).

    And maybe, without KoB, without this realisation that the music of an lp could be unified by feel, having a consistent mood & temper, we wouldn't have had the progressive rock idea of unified "concept" albums, with a consistency of musical & conceptual theme...
    It's certainly an interesting (and true) observation.

    I tend to think that, whilst this was the first application of the idea by Miles, it probably wasn't the first jazz LP to have been put together on the basis of creating a unified mood. The immediate thought that occurred was Herb Ellis's Nothing But The Blues (1958) - you probably know it, a little gem of an album (with a band of Ellis, Stan Getz, Roy Eldridge, Ray Brown and Stan Levey). I am sure there are other, and perhaps better, examples but am still scratching my head over that a bit.
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  20. #220
    Ok - interesting question - top of my head, not being thorough...

    1.- Can - I haven't heard one note of any albums of that band.... after all these years... No "Egg Bamyasi" (sp?) or "Tago Mago".. truly... I mean, from what I read about them it sounds like I should like them, so weird, ha?... Back in the day of only physical formats, there was always something else that I wanted more... Now in these days, even with Spotify, there is always something else that I feel like listening... weird...

    2.- Well - lots of seminal Prog Metal, from the likes of bands like Pain Of Salvation, Symphony X, etc.. but to be fair this is the kind of avoidance the OP was not talking about...

    v

  21. #221
    Member Guitarplyrjvb's Avatar
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    Just had a listen to Bitches Brew with Disc 2 first as Steve suggested. I have to say, I still don't get it. To me, it's just basic grooves with improvisation over the top. There's little in the way of thematic development to render the music memorable. I guess I have this problem with a lot of fusion. I like to have richer composed material as a basis for the instrumental excursions rather than just a framework for soloing. That said, there's some impressive musicianship on this thing which is basically played by a "Who's Who" of the jazz/rock world. It's interesting to hear McLaughlin in a more restrained role than he was in Mahavishnu. Anyhow, this stuff probably just isn't my bag.

  22. #222
    Member Since: 3/27/2002 MYSTERIOUS TRAVELLER's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Zappathustra View Post
    I make lists out of Gnosis, without ever counting the boxsets (it's sheer cheating if you do. People who don't like the original album will never rate
    if I went through the trouble of hunting down an album that a bunch of people fawned over and I hated it, you bet I'm gonna rate it.
    Now, that being said... I will NOT rate an album which I auditioned once on Yoot and hated. For me, I gotta have the LP or at least lossless files and listen several times to see if it grows on me
    Why is it whenever someone mentions an artist that was clearly progressive (yet not the Symph weenie definition of Prog) do certain people feel compelled to snort "thats not Prog" like a whiny 5th grader?

  23. #223
    Member Steve F.'s Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Guitarplyrjvb View Post
    Just had a listen to Bitches Brew with Disc 2 first as Steve suggested. I have to say, I still don't get it. To me, it's just basic grooves with improvisation over the top.
    I would say that your observation is (1) absolutely correct and (2) that is actually the point of all Miles’ electric classics from 1969-75; it’s absolutely NOT about composition, it’s about a loose framework for improvisation.

    Quote Originally Posted by Guitarplyrjvb View Post
    There's little in the way of thematic development to render the music memorable....Anyhow, this stuff probably just isn't my bag.
    Based on your statement, and your reaction to what you correctly described as it’s m.o., I would completely agree; it’s just not your bag....

    Hey! Life and music is like that. I’ve bought and sold White Light/White Heat THREE times in my life, because of glowing reports from, well, EVERYONE, and I ALWAYS end up thinking “meh”.

    This is your White Light/White Heat! Wear your ‘meh’ proud!!!!!

    So it goes.
    Last edited by Steve F.; 01-01-2020 at 09:05 PM.
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  24. #224
    Member Guitarplyrjvb's Avatar
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    ^^ Hah!

  25. #225
    Member Zeuhlmate's Avatar
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    Is Echolyn seminal?- I have never heard an Echolyn album....

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