Archive for the ‘Prog Rock’ Category

Prog Rock: music for grown-ups? Well, yes, sort of

January 5, 2009
BBC Four’s suite of programmes on Prog Rock confirmed the view that even Prog has some music for grown-ups.

The genre both attracts and repels this listener. On the positive side:

* Prog encompassed some gifted musicians, notably Robert Fripp, Keith Emerson and Rick Wakeman.

* its leading lights were clever innovators; they were creatively courageous in ditching rock’s blues roots; some of their mixing of rock with classical and jazz fusion worked well.

But much Prog is off-putting, mainly because:

* where the music has lyrics, they’re rarely worth listening to.

* even the best musicians veer towards over-indulgence.

* apart from the major players, the bands are so samey that they undermine the genre’s claim to be innovative.

That said, I enjoyed (re)discovering albums like In The Court Of The Crimson King – King Crimson, and The Ultimate Collection – Emerson, Lake & Palmer. I wouldn’t listen to them frequently, but they are engaging, musically interesting and challenge my prejudices.

But I didn’t linger long over The Ultimate Yes or anything by Caravan or Genesis.

Gerry Smith

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Prog Rock: music for grown-ups?

January 2, 2009
It’s a central commandment of this web site that every music genre contains at least some music for grown-ups.

Even Prog Rock? Genesis? ELP? King Crimson?

Well the commandment’s about to be tested to destruction by BBC Four TV’s series of Prog programmes to be broadcast tonight and over the weekend.

You can watch them online:

www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer

Let me know whether you agree that Prog – yes, even Prog – has at least some music for grown-ups!

Gerry Smith

Purcell, Prog Rock, Michael Brecker

December 30, 2008
FREE! Music for grown-ups on the BBC in the next 10 days

Hidden among its vast TV and radio output, the BBC broadcasts some magnificent music for grown-ups every week of the year. Xmas/New Year is particularly good. And it’s all free – well, sort of….

Thurs 1 Jan
1400 Gounod’s Faust, with Alagna and Gheorghiu – BBC Radio 3
2300 Bob Dylan, Theme Time Radio Hour – BBC Radio 2

Fri 2 Jan
2100 Prog at the BBC – BBC Four
2200 Prog Rock Britannia – BBC Four

Sat 3 Jan
1600 Michael Brecker, Jazz Library – BBC Radio 3
1800 Puccini’s La Boheme, Live from the Met – BBC Radio 3
2100 Prog Rock – BBC Four

Sun 4 Jan
2400 Bob Dylan, Theme Time Radio Hour – BBC 6Music

Mon 5 Jan
1200 & 2200 Purcell, Composer Of The Week – BBC Radio 3 (1/5, continues Tues-Fri)

Tues 6 Jan
2315 Prog at the BBC – BBC Four

Thurs 8 Jan
2300 Bob Dylan, Theme Time Radio Hour – BBC Radio 2

Online access: many BBC radio programmes are broadcast live online – please see the channels’ web sites for details. Some BBC radio and TV programmes are also accessible online via iPlayer for a short period after transmission:

www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer

Gerry Smith

Handel, Keith Richards, Prog Rock

December 23, 2008
FREE! Music for grown-ups on the BBC in the next 10 days

Hidden among its vast TV and radio output, the BBC broadcasts some magnificent music for grown-ups every week of the year. Xmas/New Year is particularly good. And it’s all free – well, sort of….

Wed 24 Dec
1200 & 2200 Puccini, Composer Of The Week (3/5, continues Thurs-Fri) – BBC Radio 3
1830 Carols from King’s – BBC2
1900 Bach at Christmas (3/3) – BBC Radio 3
2200 Bach, Christmas Oratorio from Weimar (4/6, concludes Thurs) – BBC Four

Thurs 25 Dec
1400 Festival Of Nine Lessons & Carols, from King’s – BBC Radio 3
1500 Hansel und Gretel, from Covent Garden – BBC2
1950 Handel’s Messiah, LSO/Davis, from The Barbican – BBC Four
2300 Bob Dylan, Theme Time Radio Hour – BBC Radio 2

Fri 26 Dec
1400 Bob Dylan, Theme Time Radio Hour – BBC 6Music
2200 Quincy Jones: The Many Lives Of Q – BBC Four

Sat 27 Dec
2200 Bob Dylan, Theme Time Radio Hour – BBC Radio 2

Mon 29 Dec
1200 Berlioz, Composer Of The Week (1/5, continues Tues-Fri) – BBC Radio 3
2400 Keith Richards, My Top Ten (1/2) – BBC 6Music

Tues 30 Dec
2400 Keith Richards, My Top Ten (2/2) – BBC 6Music

Thurs 1 Jan
1400 Gounod’s Faust, with Alagna and Gheorghiu – BBC Radio 3
2300 Bob Dylan, Theme Time Radio Hour – BBC Radio 2

Fri 2 Jan
2100 Prog at the BBC – BBC Four
2200 Prog Rock Britannia – BBC Four

Online access: many BBC radio programmes are broadcast live online – please see the channels’ web sites for details. Some BBC radio and TV programmes are also accessible online via iPlayer for a short period after transmission:

www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer

And on the commercial networks:

Thurs 25 Dec
1810 The Three Tenors – More4

Sun 28 Dec
2400 White Stripes Live In Blackpool – 4Music

Gerry Smith