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Re: When did this Industry explode?

PostPosted: Sat Sep 27, 2014 9:34 pm
by Jamie Renton
Pete Fowler wrote: I really liked Jamie's Abigail's Party link, but I don't think it's right.


I daresay you're right Pete. To tell the truth I was but a nipper in the early 70s, so don't really know what I'm talking about when it comes to prog, but don't feel that complete ignorance should in any way prevent me from having an opinion (I'll make a Cultural Studies academic yet). Also, I just liked the idea of linking prog, Abigail's Party, Sade and my being a pretentious romantic failure.

PS not bein' funny but I think Bogbrush always ends the thread "Great stuff guys" (just sayin')

Re: When did this Industry explode?

PostPosted: Sat Sep 27, 2014 11:11 pm
by Chris P
Is bogbrush's 'guys' gender non-specific? Private Eye has always been the best of mainly single sex schooled men hasn't it? But (many of?) the public and some? selective entry schools now have mixed intake for A levels or maybe before. Is this irrelevant? Our old man's a PE consumer, it's how he outmanoeuvres some hippies & dogmatists, but they (pe) don't know everything in the political world let alone the world by any means. So not yet essential for the tired of eyes, brain & british estab

Re: When did this Industry explode?

PostPosted: Sun Sep 28, 2014 1:02 am
by Adam Blake
Rob Hall wrote:I bought 'Pictures at an Exhibition' the day it came out. There, I've said it. It was cheap, and even though I was very poor, it was a no brainer.


Oh, so did I. It was £1.35 I think, instead of £2.19 for a full price album. I remember being puzzled by it, as I was very familiar with the piece in Ravel's orchestrated form (it was one of my dad's favourites) and I couldn't understand why ELP should have done this to this piece. All I knew of them at this point was the track that was on "El Pea" - an Island Records sample that I had managed to pick up cheap. This was called "Knife Edge" and was suitably crass organ based rock not that far from Atomic Rooster who I really liked. I liked "Knife Edge" too - even if it do go into a bit of a Bach two-part invention at one point (maybe I was perplexed by these things because I was usually familiar with the classical pieces being vandalised). But "Pictures At An Exhibition"... It's telling that I never played it to my dad. I was kind of ashamed of it. As Lester Bangs seems to be haunting this thread it seems appropriate to mention that one of Lester's best and funniest record reviews is the one he wrote of this album - perhaps second only to his epic demolition of "Chicago Live At Carnegie Hall, Vols 1, 2, 3 & 4."

Pete: if any record I had been involved with had had a glowing review from Lester I would be able to die a happy man!

Andy: yes to "pleasing Daddy"!! Haha! But it was also a non-macho thing: prog was perfect for overgrown mummy's boys. Jon Anderson's lyrics, all that fake Tolkien! God...

Chris: Gong were not prog, I don't think, despite all those Pot Head Pixie concept albums they were always perceived as a hippy band - like Man or Quintessence or Hawkwind - whose music grew out of the psychedelic rock'n'roll (and jazz in Gong's case) experience, as opposed to the quasi-classical noodlers.

Extricating the strands is fascinating to me because it's like going back to my 12 year old self and trying to sort him out. At the time, I absorbed it all like a sponge. And bubblegum pop as well (which was having a bit of a renaissance with Chinn-Chapman et al). If only Pickettywitch had been as good as their name......

Sorry if this is boring to the rest of you. What I would like to do is address just how weird things got (musically) at the tail end of the 60s (ie. very) and how this weirdness was subsidized by a confused and amazed record industry. What were the strands and how were they arrived at - oh, I don't mean in a Pete Frame family tree sort of way but in a musicological sense. "I Am The Walrus" by The Beatles, for example is a very odd piece of music and also very powerful. That is was by The Beatles meant it was heard by millions of people. What happened to that influence? Anyway...

Re: When did this Industry explode?

PostPosted: Sun Sep 28, 2014 7:57 am
by AndyM
On your last point, 'I Am the Walrus' invented ELO. But we shouldn't hold that against it.

Re: When did this Industry explode?

PostPosted: Sun Sep 28, 2014 8:35 am
by Chris P
haha!

Re: When did this Industry explode?

PostPosted: Sun Sep 28, 2014 8:36 am
by Chris P
isn't there a wizard brummie around, when u're lookin fer a spell?

Re: When did this Industry explode?

PostPosted: Sun Sep 28, 2014 8:52 am
by Jamie Renton
Chris P wrote:Is bogbrush's 'guys' gender non-specific?


Yes. although most of the contributors to PE's spoof messageboard are men (they've got that right).

Re: When did this Industry explode?

PostPosted: Sun Sep 28, 2014 9:09 am
by Chris P
haha! (again) or wrong (hahaheeho)

Re: When did this Industry explode?

PostPosted: Sun Sep 28, 2014 10:24 am
by NormanD
To crudely summarise the book by Harry Shapiro ("Waiting for the Man: The Story of Drugs and Popular Music"), the music followed the drugs. The bands provided the background to what the audience was stoned on. Prog developed when audiences sat cross-legged on the floor and listened, or nodded and listened. Soul appealed to dube chewing mods dancing for hours. Loads of music is great for boozed up , happy shouting people. Dope? Well, endless (so they seem at the time) twiddly solos.

And then we get to the destructive opiates which broke into the mainstream (beyond the hipster jazz ghetto). The continual thump of bpms echo your MDMA heartbeats.

The music biz signs up whatever's likely to sell - either the original or the second-hands and the substitutes. When it doesn't know what's going to sell, or it invests in the wrong choices, and the quickly outdated ones, the execs start moaning and cutting back.

Music = soap powder. What's the difference when money's involved?

Re: When did this Industry explode?

PostPosted: Sun Sep 28, 2014 10:31 am
by Garth Cartwright
I know nothing about music in academia - beyond various musicologists making contact re' Balkan music: they tend to be very serious, have no interest in popular music and often can play and read music - but I have long noted how punk/post-punk has taken over as the main form of reference for "serious" music writing. No surprise that unis are full of dour chaps referencing obscure punk records as both John Peel and the NME have championed punk as ground zero for music since 1977 and this created a certain media mindset that has endured. And the dire likes of Greil Marcus (Lipstick Traces) and Jon Savage (England's dreaming) have written pompous books that posit punk as some kind of revolution akin to the beheading of King Charles. And get taken seriously by serious chaps. Also, McLaren and Crass's referencing of European avant garde art movements/ theorists surely warms many an academic's heart? Being able to go on about Berlin in the 1930s or Paris in 68 as re your dour art school indie band or gumby skinhead band must make things seem "deep".

Andy, is sexuality such a determining factor in this debate? Savage is gay and absolutely worships dull British rock records. Just as Jon Lusk is gay and takes world music very seriously. Then there's Peter Mandelson who took Tony Blair very seriously.

Prog rock does remain popular but as I've never had any connection with it then I have no idea why it commands such a following. Maybe it's too boring even for academics?

Punk seemed so fertile and so much fun when i was a kid. It's depressing to find how entire genres of rock music worship various strands and take what was irreverent and adolescent so seriously.

Re: When did this Industry explode?

PostPosted: Sun Sep 28, 2014 10:44 am
by Adam Blake
Norman: quite agree. The music and the drugs are inseparable. This supports my theory that cocaine ruined pop/rock around 1975. Cocaine was too expensive for the masses so for the first time the musicians were on a different drug to the audience. Then there's the fact that cocaine turns you into a horrible, soulless cartoon of yourself... (Interesting that Stephen Fry has just 'come out' about being a cocaine addict for many, many years. It explains so much!)

Garth: I think prog is very fertile ground for academia, but it would involve a certain amount of musicological knowledge which, as Andy points out, they generally don't have. WHY were people like Keith Emerson injecting Bach two-part inventions into brainless rock songs, in between great rock'n'roll showbiz routines like stabbing the keyboard? This is more fun than Crass ever were! (I liked Savage's book "England's Dreaming", by the way, and I'm quite picky about rock'n'roll books.)

Re: When did this Industry explode?

PostPosted: Sun Sep 28, 2014 10:47 am
by AndyM
Garth, I don't think sexuality is a determining factor in every area, but I feel the need to insist it shouldn't be left out when thinking about the music/society relationship. Your own heterosexuality, for example, seems closely tied to a number of your musical preferences and allegiances. It also informs your immediate assumption that talking about sexuality means talking about people who are gay. As I tell my white students, race isn't just about black folks.

Re: When did this Industry explode?

PostPosted: Sun Sep 28, 2014 11:15 am
by NormanD
Andy, I agree with your comments re. 'sexuality' - it needs to be seen far more widely than gay/straight, especially if insensitive or dumb stereotyping is to be avoided (like asking gay men specifically about disco, or lesbians about line dancing). And Garth, I may be out of touch, but have you outed someone in your post?

Re: When did this Industry explode?

PostPosted: Sun Sep 28, 2014 11:37 am
by Garth Cartwright
Oh, I agree that sexuality and race have all kinds of resonances and, yes, my white, working class, heterosexuality has shaped much of my tastes. Just was asking Andy about his emphasis on "straight" males being those who tended to drone on about punk - I tend to find that the media present gay men as often camp and authorities on disco, fashion etc while most of my gay friends refute this, Lusk being one who rants about how he hates house music, girl pop and opera which so many gay men are supposed to love. Norman: both Jons are very much openly out and have been so as long as I've been aware of them. Not sure about Mandelson - am I revealing something here that you were unaware of?

Re: When did this Industry explode?

PostPosted: Sun Sep 28, 2014 12:00 pm
by Chris P
suck on it garth! (some prog) my dear buddy garth, Your so wise I forget yr younger than me! don't they have ganja & speed in NZ? mind the brown acid man.. you need some 'pure' psychedelicatisation. Available at yr local psychedelicatessen