PROGRESSIVE FOURPLAY A—D

I generally don’t last long in Facebook groups. Someone will say something offensive and/or ignorant I’ll hurriedly hit “Leave Group”. Sometimes, which is far worse, I’ll respond/react only to then see the thing collapse into a foetid swamp as my stomach sinks at roughly the same rate. And that’s just the music groups.

Nevertheless, one club I’ve actually enjoyed is Prog Collectors. What I like is it’s inclusivity. In addition to the broad canon of prog, one can post psychedelia, jazz-rock or ambient albums and see them warmly responded to. A trend has emerged to post groups of CDs, often in half-dozen lots. It’s kind of fun seeing what lurks in peoples collections.

My contribution has been a series called Progressive Fourplay. That title needing little explanation, I thought I’d share the first four posts here. I won’t bore you with details other than a couple of ‘sub-genre’ descriptors and a rough ‘star’ rating, but feel free to share any likes or ask about any of the artists. If such music is not your thing, there are always the album covers to enjoy. Prog On!

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AGITATION FREE — At The Cliffs Of River Rhine  [Rec. 1974, rel. 1998] Psychedelic, Krautrock, Progressive ***

AFTER THE FIRE — Signs Of Change  [1978] Progressive, folk-rock, art rock ***

AMON DÜÜL II — Phallus Dei  [1969] Psychedelic, Krautrock, Progressive ***

A TRIGGERING MYTH — The Remedy Of Abstraction  [2006] Progressive ****

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PETER BANKS — Two Sides Of Peter Banks [1973] Progressive ***

PHILIPPE BESOMBES — Libra [1975] Electronic, experimental, soundtrack ***

DAVID BOWIE — All Saints (Collected Instrumentals 1977-1999) [2001] Electronic, composed, ambient ****

JACK BRUCE — Things We Like [1970] Jazz-rock ****

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CAMEL — On The Road 1972 [Rec. 1972, Rel. 1992] Progressive, classic prog ***

CAVEMAN SHOESTORE — Flux [1994] Progressive, adventurous ***

CLUSTER — One Hour [1994] Electronic, experimental, ambient ***

CURVED AIR — Midnight Wire [1975] Art rock, progressive ***

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DEUTER — D [1971] Electronic, experimental, krautrock ****

DJAM KARET — Still No Commercial Potential [1998] Progressive rock ***

THE DURUTTI COLUMN — The Return Of The Durutti Column [1980, Re-issue 1996] Avant-garde, ambient, experimental ****

DRUCKFARBEN — Druckfarben [2011] Progressive, symphonic prog ****

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13 comments

  1. I recognise couple these, which I listened to after a prompt by VC. I think I am even starting to appreciate the covers!
    Thanks
    DD

    Liked by 1 person

  2. kingclover · · Reply

    I can tell you’re the kind of prog guy who’s REALLY into it. The only one that I know in that first group Is Amon Duul, and that’s only because everybody has heard of that one. In the second group the only one I know really is the David Bowie. That’s an excellent album because it’s got all the instrumentals from Heroes and Low and a bunch of odds and ends and B-sides and stuff. It’s a good way to listen to those. I know Camel and Cluster but not those particular albums. And the only other one I heard of is Durutti Column. I used to have some Krautrock albums that were kind of not super well-known like Birth Control and Eloy, but most of these ones here I don’t know at all. It’s all really interesting though.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. That’s a pretty good hit rate, Mr Kingclover. Yes, progressive music has been my core curriculum since the mid-70s and I do like to share bits now and then.
      Those two ‘krautrock’ bands you mentioned are both interesting. Birthcontrol have a kind of Blood Sweat and Tears vibe in some of their work while Eloy are more symphonic prog. I have most of the Eloy albums but only a few Birthcontrol. In my reply to Hotfox below, there’s a little more on that term!

      Like

    1. Thanks Aaron! I do love sharing a bit o’ prog. 😆

      Liked by 1 person

  3. I think, Amon Düül probably hit exactly what was popular at the time in the USA, in England and in Australia (?) under the trademark “Krautrock”.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’ve done a lot of reading and research on this over the decades. Other than an influential cohort in the UK, led by the wonderful John Peel, the music that was labelled ‘krautrock’ did not really make a blip anywhere else in the english speaking world.
      I discovered Can, Thirsty Moon, Neu!, Faust and so on via a tiny record store in a hidden arcade in downtown Melbourne in 1974. It was years before I met anyone who’d heard of any of those bands! My understanding is that this was true in the US as well; a select few were tuned in to this adventurous and powerfully unconventional music. The most popular Amon Düül II album (to the best of my knowledge was ‘Yeti’; it’s psychedelic elements and insistence on putting rock into progressive rock connected with the early 70s vibe.
      It’s fascinating stuff. Regarding the silly umbrella term ‘krautrock’, Alan Freeman, probably the most knowledgeable person on indie German music of the 70s in the english-speaking world, has been obsessed with finding the fist use of the term for years now. He believes it first appeared, in Germany, in Spring 1971. Not in the UK music press as has been widely circulated. If you are on Facebook, hotfox, hit me up via Vinyl Connection and I’ll send you the link.
      Cheers, Bruce

      Liked by 1 person

      1. kingclover · · Reply

        Neu!, Faust and Can

        Like

        1. kingclover · · Reply

          Neu! and Faust and Can are the only ones that I think were fairly well known in the U.S. Even my father had those, so I know they couldn’t have been too obscure. Kraftwerk and Tangerine Dream are probably the only ones that had any kind of commercial success though.

          Liked by 1 person

      2. Hi Bruce. Thanks for your detailed comment. In the late 60’s early 70’s I was interested in The Mothers of Invention, Grateful Dead and Velevet Underground and so I came across German progressive rock groups. There weren’t many bands back then. My first LP was “Electrip” by Xhol Caravan. I don’t think “Phallus Dei” by Amon Düül II is any better than “Psychedelic Underground” by Amon Düül I. In any case, both albums had many new ideas that found their way into pop music.

        Liked by 1 person

        1. That’s for sure. One of the great gifts of any/all progressive music was to expand the canvas of pop/rock. For which we are eternally grateful. Amen. 🙂

          Liked by 2 people

  4. Cluster! I forgot all about that album. Great grouping here, Bruce. Also glad to see the Peter Banks. – Marty

    Like

    1. Cheers Marty. Cluster are so interesting in all their eras!

      Liked by 1 person

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