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Thread: Michael Giles - Progress

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    Member Digital_Man's Avatar
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    Michael Giles - Progress

    This is an album I remember hearing about a while ago (possibly on here). I thought I heard that the inspiration was to make some kind of travel music and that made me curious since recently I was thinking about what music is good for travelling. Anyway, I was looking for a physical copy online (preferably cd) and was somewhat surprised that I couldn't find one anywhere (not on ebay, amazon, discogs, synphonic, etc). It is however on youtube so that's where I was listening to it (I didn't finish listening to it yet though). Based on what I heard so far it sounded somewhat mellow and had an almost Steely Dan kind of vibe.
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  2. #2
    Quote Originally Posted by Digital_Man View Post
    Based on what I heard so far it sounded somewhat mellow and had an almost Steely Dan kind of vibe.
    I'd say it has a bit more of a Canterbury vibe, but I'll buy the Steely Dan comp. It's sophisticated and polished pop music with a jazzy bent either way. The Giles brothers rhythm section alone makes it worthwhile.

    My copy is a 2002 Voiceprint edition. it's a bit on the loud side. Were someone like Esoteric to re-issue it, I'd certainly be in line.
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  3. #3
    I bought it through Gary Davis' The Artist Shop. It's an album I like very much. I don't hear the Steely Dan similarity (Progress is mostly instrumental), other than the excellent musicianship. It has a vague resemblance with John G. Perry's Sunset Wading maybe. The title track is excellent and it was regularly performed live by the 21stCSB.

  4. #4
    I didn’t even know this existed, probably as archival releases tend not to drop with lots of fanfare, at least not since the original 90s prog-reissue boom.
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    Member Digital_Man's Avatar
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    I forgot all about the artist-shop. It seems like they are just a catalog now with no descriptions of the music and no pages for each lable or or artist. They don't have Progress anyway but I might look through their catalog to see if anything else jumps out at me.

    I might be a bit off with the SD comparison. I was just going by something I heard in the beginning of it on youtube. I'll need to listen more. I still would prefer a cd copy though and so if Esoteric does a re-issue I hope it won't sell out before I can buy it.
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    Member Digital_Man's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Progbear View Post
    I didn’t even know this existed, probably as archival releases tend not to drop with lots of fanfare, at least not since the original 90s prog-reissue boom.
    Yes, it's archival. It was recorded in 1978 and not released until 2002. Apparently Michael wasn't very happy with parts of it but it's not known if he ever re-recorded any of it before finally releasing it. I'm not sure if I'm allowed to post full album videos on here from youtube but if you look for it on there you can easily find it. I didn't listen to the whole thing yet but it sounds like very good stuff so far and as long as you don't expect anything over the top or bombastic, since it does seem rather laid back overall, you might enjoy it.
    You can't take a photograph of Uzis on a street corner.

  7. #7
    Quote Originally Posted by Digital_Man View Post
    Yes, it's archival. It was recorded in 1978 and not released until 2002. Apparently Michael wasn't very happy with parts of it but it's not known if he ever re-recorded any of it before finally releasing it. I'm not sure if I'm allowed to post full album videos on here from youtube but if you look for it on there you can easily find it. I didn't listen to the whole thing yet but it sounds like very good stuff so far and as long as you don't expect anything over the top or bombastic, since it does seem rather laid back overall, you might enjoy it.
    According to Discogs, Hugh Padgham is credited with “post production,” so apparently Mike tasked him with fixing things up for the CD release. Listening to it now and I am definitely getting a Sunset Wading vibe from this.
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    Member Kcrimso's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Progbear View Post
    According to Discogs, Hugh Padgham is credited with “post production,” so apparently Mike tasked him with fixing things up for the CD release. Listening to it now and I am definitely getting a Sunset Wading vibe from this.
    I need to hear Progress as I really love Sunset Wading!
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kcrimso View Post
    I need to hear Progress as I really love Sunset Wading!
    Yes, you do. Both albums do have a similar vibe indeed. Progress desperately needs a reissue IMO.

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    I'd seen this cover but never listened to the album until just now. I agree with the Sunset Wading comparisons to some extent, although the drumming has a surprisingly forceful quality relative to the over gentleness of the music, and it's fairly high in the mix (not surprisingly I suppose). Departure has some really beguiling melodies and great interplay between different guitar & key layers. Rolling Along has some electric piano lines that are fairly SD-ish and almost kind of a funky quality, though it's a pretty stiff version of funk. In general the the quieter parts are more appealing, but there are great moments in the more upbeat tracks too. I can see why he'd have mixed feelings about it but there's some quite nice stuff here. Unfortunate that it seems impossible to get a hard copy at a reasonable price, or at all if you live in the States.

  11. #11
    According to the liner notes and if I remember correctly, it's not that MG thought the material was weak, but rather that he thought it wasn't the right time for that type of music (read: prog) anymore. Remember 78 was the rise of punk.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Frankk View Post
    According to the liner notes and if I remember correctly, it's not that MG thought the material was weak, but rather that he thought it wasn't the right time for that type of music (read: prog) anymore. Remember 78 was the rise of punk.
    I guess Rush never received that memo when they released Hemispheres. Didn't the first UK album come out in 78 too? You also had National Health, Happy The Man and a whole bunch of other stuff. Someone started a thread on music from this era so I won't go crazy trying to list everything from that general time period. Anyway, if it was the record company making that decision that's one thing but did he really think this album would sell a whole lot even if punk didn't come along? Not that it's bad or anything but prog has always been a rather niche genre.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Digital_Man View Post
    I guess Rush never received that memo when they released Hemispheres. Didn't the first UK album come out in 78 too? You also had National Health, Happy The Man and a whole bunch of other stuff. Someone started a thread on music from this era so I won't go crazy trying to list everything from that general time period. Anyway, if it was the record company making that decision that's one thing but did he really think this album would sell a whole lot even if punk didn't come along? Not that it's bad or anything but prog has always been a rather niche genre.
    Yeah, much as I love National Health & Happy the Man, they weren't exactly setting the world on fire sales-wise. And this album is relatively sedate and pastoral even by prog standards, an odd fit for someone whose main marketing potential is the connection to King Crimson. Record company trepidation seems plausible.

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