Great Prog bands who weren't one of "the Big Five"

Discussion in 'Music Corner' started by Tristero, Aug 10, 2017.

  1. tdgrnwld

    tdgrnwld Forum Resident

    This times 10
  2. tdgrnwld

    tdgrnwld Forum Resident

    Ethos (Ardour) is forgotten but kinda interesting
  3. GreenFuz

    GreenFuz Forum Resident

    Although by the time prog took off they were already out of it, Family for Music in a Doll's House.
    Last edited: Aug 12, 2017
  4. Kassonica

    Kassonica Forum Resident

    Clear blue day :)
  5. Zombeels

    Zombeels Forum Resident

  6. tdgrnwld

    tdgrnwld Forum Resident

    I used to see HTM perform regularly at the Cellar Door in Washington DC as a music-obsessed high school student and huge fan of Yes, Genesis, Pink Floyd, Gong, Henry Cow, Robert Wyatt, Gentle Giant. Their records, as good as they are, didn't do justice to the sound they made in that room.

    Washington had a thriving prog scene with excellent bands like Grits (a few discs are available on Cuneiform, but I'm not sure the bad was ever properly recorded), The Muffins (on a local label called Random Radar), and Face Dancer (which went pop and got a major-label deal). But Happy the Man was the undisputed leader.

    They were super-human. A shimmering, multicolored, ultra-high precision sound. Melodies and harmonies that seemed transmitted straight from my dreams.

    Drummer Mike Beck, dressed in a leotard, danced behind a kit enclosed by a sort of cage hung with every kind of random noise maker. Keyboardist Kit Watkins spun swirls of notes from his Minimoog with amazing dexterity. Guitarist Stan Whitaker was nearly as fast and supple on a double-neck 6/12-string Paul Reed Smith. Frank Wyatt built the core of the music, much of which he wrote, on a Rhodes piano and blew occasional sax, and Rick Kennell played knee-deep, rock-solid bass. All of them, as one, could shift in a heartbeat from rocking furiously to suspended in mid-air to coldly mechanical.

    The best recording of theirs to my taste is a live-in-the-studio show they did for Georgetown University's WGTB radio station before making their first album with Ken Scott for Arista. Here's a hint of what they could do - though you don't get to see a sustained performance until around 2:10 and the mix is unfocused:

    Last edited: Aug 12, 2017
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  7. B. Bu Po

    B. Bu Po Forum Resident

    Has anyone mentioned this band / album?
    From 1975, this album by Italian band Maxophone was very Genesis-influenced and quite good.
    yesstiles likes this.
  8. anduandi

    anduandi Forum Resident

    For the old days:
    Beggar's Opera
    Gentle Giant
    Jethro Tull
    For present:
    Porcupine Tree
    Steven Wilson
    Big Big Train
    Samurai Of Prog

    and then some more obscure bands like
    Smalltape (Germany)
    Soup (Norway)soupband « soup official homepage and
    Poor Genetic Material (Germany)
    The latter have Martin Griffith (formerly of Beggar's Opera and his son Philipp on vocals.
    For those of you who want to explore - enjoy :tiphat:
  9. R. Cat Conrad

    R. Cat Conrad While the moderators jest... Well, you know

    D/FW Metroplex
    The good Captain B... :D

    Last edited: Aug 12, 2017
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  10. Xabby

    Xabby Forum Resident

    Galicia (Spain)
    Some Spanish Prog albums:


    Gotic - Scenes (1978) The sound of this band reminds Camel


    Iceberg - Sentiments (1977)
    Prog with some jazz-rock orientation and mediterranean sounds (5 albums)


    Bloque - Música para la libertad (1981)
    Melodic prog rock (6 albums)


    Cai - Más allá de nuestras mentes diminutas (1978)
    Prog with Andalusian sounds (4 albums)


    Outeiro - Ollos de Marzal (1980) Prog with jazz elements and celtic sounds
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  11. libertycaps

    libertycaps Forum Resident

    Portland, OR, USA
    Already bought an Ange CD and Happy the Man-s/t LP is on the mental want list.
    izgoblin, tdgrnwld and thematinggame like this.
  12. SoporJoe

    SoporJoe Top 5 Reviewer

    British Columbia
    Not a band, but Johnny Warman is a favorite of mine.
  13. libertycaps

    libertycaps Forum Resident

    Portland, OR, USA
    Can't quite put Captain Beyond in the Prog camp, but killer band just the same. More "Heavy Psych" for me.
    DaverJ likes this.
  14. libertycaps

    libertycaps Forum Resident

    Portland, OR, USA
    Someone needs to start a
    Great Heavy Psych bands who weren't one of "the Big ___"

    I'll gladly contribute.
  15. Xabby

    Xabby Forum Resident

    Galicia (Spain)
    From Italy, the great prog band NOVA


    Nova - Vimana (1976)


    Nova - Wings of Love (1977)

    For this Italian band, members of Brand X collaborated among which was Phil Collins.
  16. R. Cat Conrad

    R. Cat Conrad While the moderators jest... Well, you know

    D/FW Metroplex
    Captain Beyond was definitely in the prog-mold (IMO), unless keyboards (mellotron or synthesizer) are qualifiers. The entire first album is trippy, but in a very progressive way, from avant garde instrumentals to bizarre vocal flourishes and spoken word delivery. But you're right, CB is difficult to define as progressive compared to prog groups featuring keyboards. And the progressive side of Captain Beyond is more jazz oriented than orchestral.

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  17. Frosst

    Frosst Vinyl-obsessive kiddo

    I would replace ELP with Rush
  18. CBS 65780

    CBS 65780 "Could I do one more immediately?"

    Dublin, Ireland

    After that for me it's random albums by the following more than any single act.
    Egg. Hatfield And The North. The Soft Machine. Van Der Graaf Generator. Matching Mole. Third Ear Band.
    I would include Hamill, Ayers and Wyatt solo albums too.

    But Caravan and Camel for me above all others.
    thematinggame likes this.
  19. Fishoutofwater

    Fishoutofwater Forum Resident

    Camel, Gong, Hatfield the North, Khan, Rush and Pavlov's Dog to name a few
  20. thematinggame

    thematinggame Forum Resident

    At the time (=early to mid seventies) the term "progressive" was used in a much wider sense than the term "prog" is used today , some of the artists mentioned fall under the "progressive" banner but not under "prog"
  21. libertycaps

    libertycaps Forum Resident

    Portland, OR, USA
  22. pool_of_tears

    pool_of_tears Music Appreciator

    Eastern Iowa
    The first few Brand X albums were in the prog vein :)
  23. Tristero

    Tristero Forum Resident Thread Starter

    I would say that this is closer psychedelia, though it has some proto-prog moments. On the other hand, I think Fearless still features a progressive sound, albeit within more concise song structures (I'm thinking of a mini-suite like "Spanish Tide" in particular). I guess I view Family as another one of these bands that was influential to the movement while sort of operating outside of it.
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  24. Horse Majeure

    Horse Majeure Forum Resident

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  25. Captain Groovy

    Captain Groovy Forum Resident

    Freedonia, USA
    Gotta give #5 spot IMO to one of the CLASSIC "first guys" to bring it a larger audience, commercially. And the albums they produced during their early days are MASTERPIECES - so Procol Harum or The Moody Blues.

    I'd give the edge to Procol Harum, which I think are the greatest of a genre I focus on mostly in-studio, not "live". So I never quite "got" the endless improv quality of live bands, but man, prog rock has some tight and well-calculated studio production.

    I can't argue about Camel (great) and all the other off and on great guys, and to boot, I'm not sure even where this genre begins and end - I can't say The Moody Blues in general since they ventured a bit out of this realm by the 80s, and I'm sure any "self-respecting" prog fan would dismiss a good pop record as they should IMO (as "prog record" I meant - ****, enjoy anything you want!). So they never got bad, just got away from this genre.

    But Procol Harum.

    The non-LP single, "Whiter Shade of Pale" is just one of many, many classics. The first LP to Shine On Brightly (Side B is one amazing prog piece), A Salty Dog - all in the late 60s. Classic band, great, great band.

    My favorite "prog rock" band, but like The Kinks in their own genre - they need to be in any list that covers it IMO.

    Love their newer album Novum, but you know - it's so indie these days... who knew it even came out unless you are actively paying attention?

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