Why no 'USA' Prog bands made the big 5?

Discussion in 'Music Corner' started by Rufus rag, Mar 5, 2018.

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  1. pbuzby

    pbuzby Forum Resident

    Chicago, IL, US
    King Crimson had collective improv while what I've heard from ELP has seemed to me to be Emerson soloing over more or less static backing from Lake and Palmer. Maybe they opened up more on things I haven't heard.
  2. RudolphS

    RudolphS Forum Resident

    Rio de Janeiro
    Welll, we can discuss endlessly who the Big so-and-so are, but the ranking for my personal enjoyment would be like this:

    01. King Crimson
    02. Van Der Graaf Generator
    03. Genesis
    04. Gentle Giant
    05. Camel
    06. Yes
    07. Jethro Tull
    08. Magma
    09. Pink Floyd
    10. Gong
    Last edited: Mar 8, 2018
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  3. Forklifter

    Forklifter Forum Resident

    It seems to me the European progressive bands had more soul and depth while with other progressive bands it was here's a song,it has 38 chords,changes key 9 times,changes tempo 23 times and every body is soloing at the same time.....hope you enjoy it.....if you listen to the opening of Close to the Edge by Yes all of the noodling they do ends at about the time you are ready for it to end and go into a nice melody....other bands would have played that intro for ten minutes.
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  4. zphage

    zphage Beatard

    Bucks County, PA
    Definitely progressive, but may be not prog. Considered one of the premier UK progressive acts supported with unlimited studio time, access and invites to many special non rock events: BBC moon landing simulcast, soundtrack work, dalliances with the avant garde (Geesin, Latham, etc.,, ) seen as thee flagship band on EMI's progressive label, Harvest. The British and European press and television took their every move very seriously as they were seen as pushing music/rock's boundaries = the essence of the progressive movement, but not necessarily post '72 calcified 'prog'.
  5. dmiller458

    dmiller458 Forum Resident

    Midland, Michigan
    So, ELP, Genesis, King Crimson, Jethro Tull, Yes; what is it that makes these five the big five?
  6. RudolphS

    RudolphS Forum Resident

    Rio de Janeiro
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  7. George Co-Stanza

    George Co-Stanza Forum Resident

    True, but they weren't making a dent by being too arty, so they streamlined their sound on Equinox and off they went, but that arty and almost-proggy vibe definitely crept their way into their music more often than not.
  8. RangerXT

    RangerXT Forum Resident

    United States
    Yes that's what I meant, they're not prog. They are progressive.
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  9. tdcrjeff

    tdcrjeff Forum Resident

    Hermosa Beach, CA
    That's it, there's really only the "Big Four." I think there's a pretty strong consensus of ELP, KC, Genesis, and Yes, but a lot of debate about #5. Is Tull prog? Is Floyd prog? Gentle Giant wasn't "big" enough, neither was Camel (my 2nd fave Prog after KC).
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  10. ianuaditis

    ianuaditis Evil Twin

    In metal there seems to be more of a definitive 'that's just (not) metal' attitude, and a real parsing of the various subgenres, whereas this particular discussion is at least going at the definition of genre, the definition of prog/progressive etc.
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  11. SuntoryTime

    SuntoryTime Forum Resident

    Winooski, VT
    I love both sides of Initiation, but especially A Treatise on Cosmic Fire. It really doesn't matter to me whether it is prog or not. Sometimes people on this board navel gaze too much, myself included.
    Chris DeVoe likes this.
  12. dmiller458

    dmiller458 Forum Resident

    Midland, Michigan
    IF you have to be big in order to be one of the big five or big four, how does King Crimson belong?
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  13. yasujiro

    yasujiro Forum Resident

    With long jamming improvisation and obscure instrumentation, Cream was very progressive. But somehow I would hesitate to say they were a prog band.
  14. tdcrjeff

    tdcrjeff Forum Resident

    Hermosa Beach, CA
    You make a good point and maybe it's my personal bias coming though. :)

    They did have a gold record, though!
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  15. drad dog

    drad dog Forum Resident

    New England
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  16. dmiller458

    dmiller458 Forum Resident

    Midland, Michigan
    Seems to be a lot of folks have a similar bias. I love almost all things Fripp, but one gold album doesn't compare to back-to-back number ones.
  17. peteham

    peteham Forum Resident

    Simcoe County
    I'm guessing the combination of great records - commercial success and lasting influence -
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  18. peteham

    peteham Forum Resident

    Simcoe County
    Well Styx were pretty adept at writing great pop songs as part of a broader musical vision - I love Weather Report and Mahavishnu but they have nothing at all to do with Styx but I can enjoy them all equally for completely different reasons -
  19. dmiller458

    dmiller458 Forum Resident

    Midland, Michigan
    Then KC doesn't belong.
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  20. old school

    old school Senior Member

    Progressive Rock was invented in England. By the way their is no such thing as the big five it was the big six.
    King Crimson
    Emerson Lake & Palmer
    Pink Floyd
    Jethro Tull
  21. mark winstanley

    mark winstanley Pick up a fast car, burn my name in the road

    i think before we can name a big "insert number" (whether it serves any purpose or not remains to be seen) we would need an actual definition.
    i see statements like they were progressive not prog etc etc, and i do understand what folks are saying, but it is essentially semantics.
    if we are basing the big "" on sales and influence then some bands mentioned probably won't be on the list because of sales.
    bands that haven't been mentioned (or i didn't see them mentioned) but appear to be considered prog by many (only including bands that at least started in the seventies).

    alan parsons project
    manfred mann's earth band
    mike oldfield
    procul harum
    roxy music
    soft machine
    brian eno
    incredible string band
    steeleye span
    uriah heap
    mahogany rush
    moody blues
    tangerine dream
    wishbone ash
    jean michel jarre

    the main big "" bands that seem to have received a lot of posts here

    king crimson
    pink floyd (are they/aren't they)
    jethro tull (are they/aren't they)
    kansas (are they/aren't they)
    styx (are they/aren't they)
    gentle giant
    van der graph generator

    so where are we with defining this genre?
    and where does this leave the conversation regarding the big ""?
    Last edited: Mar 9, 2018
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  22. Haggis Wampovich

    Haggis Wampovich Professor of Dead Languages

    Three Rivers, USA
    Personally, I’d swap ELP for Pink Floyd.

    I think the fact that these bands created a large body of work that evolved and changed over the decades while retaining elements of their progressive approach makes them ‘the big five’.
    Also that each group also tapped into mainstream conciousness in some way is an important factor.

    Add to that - we are still talking about these artists a half a century after they started.
  23. Barnabas Collins

    Barnabas Collins Forum Resident

    Big Five is just a random number picked by the OP. I've seen Big Six, Big Seven, Big Eight by others. Most seem to agree with Yes/Genesis/ELP but then it gets kind of debatable, depending upon what your definition of prog is.
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  24. old school

    old school Senior Member

    I agree with Ed Macan and his informative book "Rocking the Classics English Progressive Rock and the Counterculture" as the basis of the big six. And King Crimson putting out the first fully developed progressive rock album from 1969.
  25. Barnabas Collins

    Barnabas Collins Forum Resident

    You will never get a consensus on this. Ever. The "what is prog" question has been debated on message boards for decades now as well as in print magazines and books. In addition to your list, you could take any band or singer that ever had a mellotron in their keyboard arsenal and you can be sure, someone somewhere argued that said artist is "prog". I'm convinced that not even Stephen Hawking could successfully define progressive rock.
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