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Progressive rock (shortened as prog; also known as classical rock or symphonic rock; sometimes conflated with
art rock Art rock is a subgenre of rock music that generally reflects a challenging or avant-garde approach to rock, or which makes use of modernist, experimental, or unconventional elements. Art rock aspires to elevate rock from entertainment to an arti ...
) is a broad
genre Genre () is any form or type of communication in any mode (written, spoken, digital, artistic, etc.) with socially-agreed-upon conventions developed over time. In popular usage, it normally describes a Category of being, category of literature, m ...

genre
of
rock music Rock music is a broad genre of popular music that originated as "rock and roll" in the United States in the late 1940s and early 1950s, developing into a range of different styles in the mid-1960s and later, particularly in the United States and ...
that developed in the
United Kingdom The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, commonly known as the United Kingdom (UK) or Britain,Usage is mixed. The Guardian' and Telegraph' use Britain as a synonym for the United Kingdom. Some prefer to use Britain as shortha ...

United Kingdom
and
United States The United States of America (USA), commonly known as the United States (U.S. or US), or America, is a country Contiguous United States, primarily located in North America. It consists of 50 U.S. state, states, a Washington, D.C., federal di ...

United States
throughout the mid-to late 1960s, peaking in the early 1970s. Initially termed "
progressive pop Progressive pop is pop music that attempts to break with the genre's standard formula, or an offshoot of the progressive rock genre that was commonly heard on AM radio in the 1970s and 1980s. It was originally termed for the Proto-prog, early p ...
", the style was an outgrowth of
psychedelic Psychedelics are a subset of hallucinogenic drugs whose primary effect is to trigger non-ordinary states of consciousness (known as psychedelic experience A psychedelic experience (known colloquially as a trip) is a temporary altered state ...
bands who abandoned standard
pop Pop or POP may refer to: Places * Gregorio Luperón International Airport (IATA code POP), Puerto Plata, Dominican Republic * Pop, a tributary of the river Jijia in eastern Romania * Poppleton railway station (station code), York, England People ...
traditions in favour of
instrumentation Instrumentation is a collective term for measuring instruments that are used for indicating, measuring and recording physical quantities. The term has its origins in the art and science of Scientific instrument, scientific instrument-making. Instr ...
and
composition Composition or Compositions may refer to: Arts * Composition (dance), practice and teaching of choreography * Composition (music), an original piece of music and its creation *Composition (visual arts) The term composition means "putting togethe ...
al techniques more frequently associated with
jazz Jazz is a music genre that originated in the African-American communities of New Orleans, Louisiana, United States, in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, with its roots in blues and ragtime. Since the 1920s Jazz Age, it has been recognize ...
,
folk Folk or Folks may refer to: Sociology *Nation *People * Folklore ** Folk art ** Folk dance ** Folk hero ** Folk music *** Folk metal *** Folk punk *** Folk rock *** British folk rock ** Folk religion * Folk taxonomy Arts, entertainment, and media ...

folk
, or
classical music Classical music generally refers to the formal musical tradition of the Western world The Western world, also known as the West, refers to various regions, nations and state (polity), states, depending on the context, most often consis ...
. Additional elements contributed to its "
progressive Progressive may refer to: Politics * Progressivism is a political philosophy in support of social reform Political organizations * Congressional Progressive Caucus, members within the Democratic Party in the United States Congress dedicated to th ...
" label: lyrics were more poetic, technology was harnessed for new sounds, music approached the condition of "
art Art is a diverse range of (products of) human activities involving creative imagination to express technical proficiency, beauty, emotional power, or conceptual ideas. There is no generally agreed definition of what constitutes art, and i ...
", and the studio, rather than the stage, became the focus of musical activity, which often involved creating music for listening rather than dancing. Prog is based on fusions of styles, approaches and genres, involving a continuous move between
formalism Formalism may refer to: * Form (disambiguation) * Formal (disambiguation) * Legal formalism, legal positivist view that the substantive justice of a law is a question for the legislature rather than the judiciary * Formalism (linguistics) * Scienti ...
and
eclecticism and the Grand Boulevard in Budapest Budapest (, ) is the capital and the List of cities and towns of Hungary, most populous city of Hungary, and the Largest cities of the European Union by population within city limits, ninth-largest city in ...
. Due to its historical reception, prog's scope is sometimes limited to a stereotype of long solos, long albums, fantasy lyrics, grandiose stage sets and costumes, and an obsessive dedication to technical skill. While the genre is often cited for its merging of
high culture High may refer to: People with the name * High (surname)High is a surname. Notable people with the surname include: *Jason High (born 1981), American mixed martial artist *Martha High (born 1945), American singer *Monique Raphel High (born 1949), ...
and
low culture Low or LOW or lows, may refer to: People * Low (surname), listing people surnamed Low Places * Low, Quebec, Canada * Low, Utah, United States * Lo Wu station (MTR code LOW), Hong Kong; a rail station * Salzburg Airport (ICAO airport code: LOWS ...
, few artists incorporated literal classical themes in their work to any great degree, and only a handful of groups purposely emulated or referenced classical music. The genre coincided with the mid-1960s economic boom that allowed record labels to allocate more creative control to their artists, as well as the new journalistic division between "pop" and "rock" that lent generic significance to both terms. Prog saw a high level of popularity in the early-to-mid-1970s, but faded soon after.
Conventional wisdom The conventional wisdom or received opinion is the body of ideas or explanations generally accepted by the public and/or by experts in a field. In religion, this is known as orthodoxy. Origin of the term The term is often credited to the economist ...
holds that the rise of
punk rock Punk rock (or simply punk) is a music genre A music genre is a conventional category that identifies some pieces of music Music is the art of arranging sounds in time to produce a composition through the elements of melody, harmony, ...
caused this, but several more factors contributed to the decline. Music critics, who often labelled the concepts as "pretentious" and the sounds as "pompous" and "overblown", tended to be hostile towards the genre or to completely ignore it. After the late 1970s, progressive rock fragmented in numerous forms. Some bands achieved commercial success well into the 1980s (albeit with changed lineups and more compact song structures) or crossed into
symphonic pop A symphony is an extended musical composition in Western classical music, written by composers, most often for orchestra. Although the term has had many meanings from its origins in the ancient Greek era, by the late 18th century the word had tak ...
, arena rock, or
new wave New Wave may refer to: Music * New wave music, a genre of popular music that originated in the 1970s Albums * ''New Wave'' (Against Me! album) or the title song, 2007 * ''New Wave'' (The Auteurs album), 1993 * New Wave (Dizzy Gillespie album ...
. Early groups who exhibited progressive features are retroactively described as "
proto-prog Proto-prog (short for proto-progressive) is the earliest work associated with the first wave of progressive rock Progressive rock (often shortened to prog; sometimes called art rock Art rock is a subgenre of rock music that generally refle ...
". The
Canterbury scene The Canterbury scene (or Canterbury sound) was a musical scene centred around the city of Canterbury, Kent, England during the late 1960s and early 1970s. Associated with progressive rock, the term describes a loosely-defined, improvisational s ...
, originating in the late 1960s, denotes a subset of prog bands who emphasised the use of
wind instrument A wind instrument is a musical instrument that contains some type of resonator (usually a tube) in which a column of air is set into vibration by the player blowing into (or over) a Mouthpiece (wind instrument), mouthpiece set at or near the en ...

wind instrument
s, complex chord changes and long improvisations.
Rock in Opposition , London. The ticket below the flyer reads: "FIVE ROCK GROUPS THE RECORD COMPANIES DON'T WANT YOU TO HEAR." Rock in Opposition or RIO was a Social movement, movement representing a collective of progressive bands in the late 1970s united in the ...
, from the late 1970s, was more
avant-garde The avant-garde (; In 'advance guard' or 'vanguard', literally 'fore-guard') are people or works that are experimental, Wikt:radical#Adjective, radical, or unorthodox with respect to The arts, art, culture, or society.John Picchione, The New Av ...
, and when combined with the
Canterbury Canterbury (, ) is a City status in the United Kingdom, cathedral city and UNESCO World Heritage Site, situated in the heart of the City of Canterbury, a local government district of Kent, England. It lies on the River Stour, Kent, River Stour. ...
style, created
avant-prog Avant-prog (short for avant-garde progressive rock) is a style that appeared in the late 1970s as the extension of two separate progressive rock sub-styles: Rock in Opposition (RIO) and the Canterbury scene. History and characteristics A host ...
. In the 1980s, a new subgenre, neo-progressive rock, enjoyed some commercial success, although it was also accused of being derivative and lacking in innovation.
Post-progressive Post-progressive is a type of rock music Rock music is a broad genre of popular music that originated as "rock and roll" in the United States in the late 1940s and early 1950s, developing into a range of different styles in the mid-1960s and la ...
draws upon newer developments in popular music and the avant-garde since the mid 1970s.


Definition and characteristics


Scope and related terms

The term "progressive rock" is synonymous with "
art rock Art rock is a subgenre of rock music that generally reflects a challenging or avant-garde approach to rock, or which makes use of modernist, experimental, or unconventional elements. Art rock aspires to elevate rock from entertainment to an arti ...
", "classical rock" (not to be confused with
classic rock Classic rock is a US radio format which developed from the album-oriented rock (AOR) format in the early 1980s. In the United States, the classic rock format comprises rock music ranging generally from the mid-1960s through the mid 1990s, primari ...
), and "symphonic rock". Historically, "art rock" has been used to describe at least two related, but distinct, types of rock music. The first is progressive rock as it is generally understood, while the second usage refers to groups who rejected
psychedelia Psychedelia refers to the psychedelic subculture A subculture is a group of people within a culture Culture () is an umbrella term which encompasses the social behavior and Norm (social), norms found in human Society, societies, as well ...
and the hippie counterculture in favour of a
modernist , Solomon Guggenheim Museum 1946–1959 Modernism is both a philosophy, philosophical movement and an art movement that arose from broad transformations in Western world, Western society during the late 19th and early 20th centuries. The moveme ...
,
avant-garde The avant-garde (; In 'advance guard' or 'vanguard', literally 'fore-guard') are people or works that are experimental, Wikt:radical#Adjective, radical, or unorthodox with respect to The arts, art, culture, or society.John Picchione, The New Av ...
approach. Similarities between the two terms are that they both describe a mostly British attempt to elevate rock music to new levels of artistic credibility. However, art rock is more likely to have experimental or avant-garde influences. "Prog" was devised in the 1990s as a shorthand term, but later became a transferable adjective, also suggesting a wider palette than that drawn on by the most popular 1970s bands. Progressive rock is varied and is based on fusions of styles, approaches and genres, tapping into broader cultural resonances that connect to avant-garde art,
classical music Classical music generally refers to the formal musical tradition of the Western world The Western world, also known as the West, refers to various regions, nations and state (polity), states, depending on the context, most often consis ...
and
folk music Folk music includes #Traditional folk music, traditional folk music and the genre that evolved from it during the 20th-century folk revival. Some types of folk music may be called world music. Traditional folk music has been defined in several wa ...

folk music
, performance and the moving image. Although a unidirectional English "progressive" style emerged in the late 1960s, by 1967, progressive rock had come to constitute a diversity of loosely associated style codes. When the "progressive" label arrived, the music was dubbed "
progressive pop Progressive pop is pop music that attempts to break with the genre's standard formula, or an offshoot of the progressive rock genre that was commonly heard on AM radio in the 1970s and 1980s. It was originally termed for the Proto-prog, early p ...
" before it was called "progressive rock", with the term "progressive" referring to the wide range of attempts to break with standard pop music formula. A number of additional factors contributed to the acquired "progressive" label: lyrics were more poetic; technology was harnessed for new sounds; music approached the condition of "art"; some harmonic language was imported from jazz and 19th-century classical music; the album format overtook singles; and the studio, rather than the stage, became the focus of musical activity, which often involved creating music for listening, not dancing. Critics of the genre often limit its scope to a stereotype of long solos, overlong albums, fantasy lyrics, grandiose stage sets and costumes, and an obsessive dedication to technical skill. While progressive rock is often cited for its merging of high culture and low culture, few artists incorporated literal classical themes in their work to any great degree, and only a handful of groups purposely emulated or referenced classical music. Writer Emily Robinson says that the narrowed definition of "progressive rock" was a measure against the term's loose application in the late 1960s, when it was "applied to everyone from
Bob Dylan Robert Dylan (born Robert Allen Zimmerman; May 24, 1941) is an American singer-songwriter, author and visual artist. Often regarded as one of the greatest songwriters of all time, Dylan has been a major figure in popular culture during a care ...

Bob Dylan
to
the Rolling Stones The Rolling Stones are an English Rock music, rock band formed in London in 1962. Active for almost six decades, they are one of the most popular and enduring bands of the rock era. In the early 1960s, the Rolling Stones pioneered the gritty ...

the Rolling Stones
". Debate over the genre's criterion continued to the 2010s, particularly on Internet forums dedicated to prog. According to musicologists
Paul Hegarty Paul Anthony Hegarty (born 25 July 1954 in Edinburgh) is a Scottish Association football, football player and manager. He was captain of Dundee United F.C., Dundee United during their most successful era in the 1970s and 1980s, winning the list ...
and Martin Halliwell, Bill Martin and Edward Macan authored major books about prog rock while "effectively accept
ng
ng
the characterization of progressive rock offered by its critics. ... they each do so largely unconsciously." Academic John S. Cotner contests Macan's view that progressive rock cannot exist without the continuous and overt assimilation of classical music into rock. Author Kevin Holm-Hudson agrees that "progressive rock is a style far more diverse than what is heard from its mainstream groups and what is implied by unsympathetic critics."


Relation to art and social theories

In early references to the music, "progressive" was partly related to
progressive politics Progressivism is a political philosophy Political philosophy is the philosophical study of government, addressing questions about the nature, scope, and legitimacy of public agents and institutions and the relationships between them. Its t ...
, but those connotations were lost during the 1970s. On "progressive music", Holm-Hudson writes that it "moves continuously between explicit and implicit references to genres and strategies derived not only from European art music, but other cultural domains (such as East Indian, Celtic, folk, and African) and hence involves a continuous aesthetic movement between
formalism Formalism may refer to: * Form (disambiguation) * Formal (disambiguation) * Legal formalism, legal positivist view that the substantive justice of a law is a question for the legislature rather than the judiciary * Formalism (linguistics) * Scienti ...
and
eclecticism and the Grand Boulevard in Budapest Budapest (, ) is the capital and the List of cities and towns of Hungary, most populous city of Hungary, and the Largest cities of the European Union by population within city limits, ninth-largest city in ...
". Cotner also says that progressive rock incorporates both formal and eclectic elements, "It consists of a combination of factors – some of them intramusical ("within"), others extramusical or social ("without")." One way of conceptualising
rock and roll Rock and roll (often written as rock & roll, rock 'n' roll, or rock 'n roll) is a genre of popular music Popular music is music with wide appeal that is typically distributed to large audiences through the music industry. These forms and sty ...
in relation to "progressive music" is that progressive music pushed the genre into greater complexity while retracing the roots of romantic and classical music. Sociologist Paul Willis believes: "We must never be in doubt that 'progressive' music followed rock 'n' roll, and that it could not have been any other way. We can see rock 'n' roll as a deconstruction and 'progressive' music as a reconstruction." Author Will Romano states that "rock itself can be interpreted as a progressive idea ... Ironically, and quite paradoxically, 'progressive rock', the classic era of the late 1960s through the mid- and late 1970s, introduces not only the explosive and exploratory sounds of technology ... but traditional music forms (classical and European folk) and (often) a pastiche compositional style and artificial constructs (
concept album A concept album is an album packaged in book form, like a photograph album An album is a collection of audio recordings issued as a collection on compact disc (CD), Phonograph record, vinyl, audio tape, or another medium. Albums of recor ...
s) which suggests
postmodernism Postmodernism is an intellectual stance or mode of discourse defined by an attitude of skepticism Skepticism ( American and Canadian English Canadian English (CanE, CE, en-CA) is the set of varieties of the English language Eng ...
."


History


1966–1970: Origins


Background and roots

In 1966, the level of social and artistic correspondence among British and American rock musicians dramatically accelerated for bands like
the Beatles The Beatles were an English Rock music, rock band formed in Liverpool in 1960, whose best-known line-up comprised John Lennon, Paul McCartney, George Harrison and Ringo Starr. They are regarded as the Cultural impact of the Beatles, most infl ...

the Beatles
,
the Beach Boys The Beach Boys are an American Rock music, rock band that formed in Hawthorne, California, in 1961. The group's original lineup consisted of brothers Brian Wilson, Brian, Dennis Wilson, Dennis, and Carl Wilson, their cousin Mike Love, and frien ...

the Beach Boys
and
the Byrds The Byrds () were an American rock Rock most often refers to: * Rock (geology) A rock is any naturally occurring solid mass or aggregate of minerals or mineraloid matter. It is categorized by the minerals included, its Chemical compoun ...
who fused elements of cultivated music with the vernacular traditions of rock. Progressive rock was predicated on the "progressive" pop groups from the 1960s who combined rock and roll with various other music styles such as Indian
raga A ''raga'' or ''raag'' (IAST The International Alphabet of Sanskrit Transliteration (IAST) is a transliteration scheme that allows the lossless romanisation of Brahmic family, Indic scripts as employed by Sanskrit and related Indic languag ...

raga
s,
oriental The Orient is a term for the East East is one of the four cardinal direction The four cardinal directions, or cardinal points, are the directions north North is one of the four compass points or cardinal directions. It is the opposite ...
melodies and
Gregorian chant Gregorian chant is the central tradition of Western plainsong, plainchant, a form of monophony, monophonic, unaccompanied sacred song in Latin (and occasionally Greek (language), Greek) of the Roman Catholic Church. Gregorian chant developed ma ...

Gregorian chant
s, like the Beatles and
the Yardbirds The Yardbirds are an English rock band, formed in London in 1963. The band's core lineup featured vocalist and harmonica player Keith Relf, drummer Jim McCarty, rhythm guitarist/bassist Chris Dreja and bassist/producer Paul Samwell-Smith. ...
. The Beatles'
Paul McCartney Sir James Paul McCartney (born 18 June 1942) is an English singer, songwriter, musician, and record and film producer who gained worldwide fame as co-lead vocalist, co-songwriter, and bassist for the Beatles. One of List of best-selling music ...

Paul McCartney
said in 1967: "we he bandgot a bit bored with 12 bars all the time, so we tried to get into something else. Then came Dylan,
the Who The Who are a British Rock music, rock band formed in London in 1964. Their classic lineup consisted of lead singer Roger Daltrey, guitarist and singer Pete Townshend, bass guitarist and singer John Entwistle, and drummer Keith Moon. They are c ...
, and the Beach Boys. ... We're all trying to do vaguely the same kind of thing." Rock music started to take itself seriously, paralleling earlier attempts in jazz (as
swing Swing or swinging may refer to: Apparatus * Swing (seat), a hanging seat that swings back and forth * Russian swing, a swing-like circus apparatus * Sex swing, a type of harness for sexual intercourse * Swing ride, an amusement park ride consistin ...
gave way to bop, a move which did not succeed with audiences). In this period, the
popular song Popular music is music Music is the art of arranging sounds in time through the elements of melody, harmony, rhythm, and timbre. It is one of the universal cultural aspects of all human societies. General definitions of music include c ...
began signalling a new possible means of expression that went beyond the three-minute
love song A love song is a song about Romance (love), romantic love, falling in love, broken heart, heartbreak after a breakup, and the feelings that these experiences bring. A comprehensive list of even the best known performers and composers of love so ...

love song
, leading to an intersection between the "underground" and the "establishment" for listening publics. Hegarty and Halliwell identify the Beatles, the Beach Boys,
the Doors The Doors were an American Rock music, rock band formed in Los Angeles in 1965, with vocalist Jim Morrison, keyboardist Ray Manzarek, guitarist Robby Krieger, and drummer John Densmore. They were among the most controversial and influential roc ...
,
the Pretty Things ''The'' () is a grammatical Article (grammar), article in English language, English, denoting persons or things already mentioned, under discussion, implied or otherwise presumed familiar to listeners, readers, or speakers. It is the definite ar ...
,
the Zombies The Zombies are an English rock band formed in 1960 in St Albans and led by keyboardist and vocalist Rod Argent and vocalist Colin Blunstone. The group scored a British and American hit in 1964 with " She's Not There". In the US, two furth ...

the Zombies
,
the Byrds The Byrds () were an American rock Rock most often refers to: * Rock (geology) A rock is any naturally occurring solid mass or aggregate of minerals or mineraloid matter. It is categorized by the minerals included, its Chemical compoun ...
,
the Grateful Dead The Grateful Dead was an American rock band formed in 1965 in Palo Alto, California Palo Alto () is a charter city located in the northwestern corner of Santa Clara County, California Santa Clara County, officially the County of Santa Cla ...
and
Pink Floyd Pink Floyd were an English Rock music, rock band formed in London in 1964. Gaining an early following as one of the first British psychedelic music, psychedelic groups, they were distinguished for their extended compositions, sonic experime ...
"not merely as precursors of prog but as essential developments of progressiveness in its early days". According to musicologist Walter Everett, the Beatles' "experimental timbres, rhythms, tonal structures, and poetic texts" on their albums ''
Rubber Soul ''Rubber Soul'' is the sixth studio album by the English Rock music, rock band the Beatles. It was released on 3 December 1965 in the United Kingdom, on EMI's Parlophone label, accompanied by the non-album double A-side single "Day Tripper" / "W ...
'' (1965) and ''
Revolver .357 Magnum The .357 Smith & Wesson Magnum, .357 S&W Magnum, .357 Magnum, or 9×33mmR as it is known in unofficial metric designation, is a smokeless powder Smokeless powder is a type of propellant used in firearms and artillery that produc ...
'' (1966) "encouraged a legion of young bands that were to create progressive rock in the early 1970s". Dylan's poetry,
the Mothers of Invention The Mothers of Invention were an American rock band from California. Formed in 1964, their work is marked by the use of sonic experimentation, innovative album art, and elaborate live shows. Originally an R&B band called the Soul Giants, the ...

the Mothers of Invention
's album ''
Freak Out! ''Freak Out!'' is the debut studio album packaged in book form, like a photograph album An album is a collection of audio recordings issued as a collection on compact disc (CD), Phonograph record, vinyl, audio tape, or another medium. Album ...
'' (1966) and the Beatles' '' Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band'' (1967) were all important in progressive rock's development. The productions of
Phil Spector Harvey Phillip Spector (December 26, 1939January 16, 2021) was an American record producer, musician, and songwriter known for his innovative recording practices and entrepreneurship in the 1960s, followed decades later by his two trials and c ...

Phil Spector
were key influences, as they introduced the possibility of using the recording studio to create music that otherwise could never be achieved. The same is said for the Beach Boys' ''
Pet Sounds ''Pet Sounds'' is the 11th studio album by the American rock band the Beach Boys, released May 16, 1966 on Capitol Records. It was initially met with a lukewarm critical and commercial response in the United States, peaking at number 10 on ''B ...
'' (1966), which
Brian Wilson Brian Douglas Wilson (born June 20, 1942) is an American musician, singer, songwriter, and record producer who co-founded the Beach Boys. After signing with Capitol Records in 1962, Wilson wrote or co-wrote more than two dozen Top 40 hits for t ...

Brian Wilson
intended as an answer to ''Rubber Soul'' and which in turn influenced the Beatles when they made ''Sgt. Pepper''. Dylan introduced a literary element to rock through his fascination with the
Surrealists Surrealism was a cultural movement which developed in Europe in the aftermath of World War I World War I or the First World War, often abbreviated as WWI or WW1, was a global war originating in Europe that lasted from 28 July 1914 to ...

Surrealists
and the
French Symbolists Symbolism was a late nineteenth-century art movement of French art, French, Russian art, Russian and Art of Belgium, Belgian origin in poetry and other arts seeking to represent absolute truths symbolically through metaphorical images and language ...
, and his immersion in the New York City art scene of the early 1960s. The trend of bands with names drawn from literature, such as
the Doors The Doors were an American Rock music, rock band formed in Los Angeles in 1965, with vocalist Jim Morrison, keyboardist Ray Manzarek, guitarist Robby Krieger, and drummer John Densmore. They were among the most controversial and influential roc ...
, Steppenwolf and
the Ides of March The Ides of March (; la, Idus Martiae, Late Latin: ) is the 74th day in the Roman calendar, corresponding to 15 March. It was marked by several Religion in ancient Rome, religious observances and was notable for the Romans as a deadline for sett ...
, were a further sign of rock music aligning itself with high culture. Dylan also led the way in blending rock with folk music styles. This was followed by folk rock groups such as the Byrds, who based their initial sound on that of the Beatles. In turn, the Byrds' vocal harmonies inspired those of
Yes Yes or YES may refer to: * An affirmative particle in the English language; see yes and no Education * YES Prep Public Schools, Houston, Texas, US * YES (Your Extraordinary Saturday), a learning program from the Minnesota Institute for Talented ...
, and
British folk rock British folk rock is a form of folk rock which developed in the United Kingdom from the mid 1960s, and was at its most significant in the 1970s. Though the merging of folk and rock music came from several sources, it is widely regarded that the ...
bands like
Fairport Convention Fairport Convention are a British folk rock band, formed in 1967 by Richard Thompson (guitar, vocals), Simon Nicol (guitar, vocals), Ashley Hutchings (bass guitar) and Shaun Frater (drums, percussion), with Frater replaced by Martin Lamble a ...

Fairport Convention
, who emphasised instrumental virtuosity. Some of these artists, such as
the Incredible String Band The Incredible String Band (sometimes abbreviated as ISB) were a British psychedelic folk band formed by Clive Palmer, Robin Williamson and Mike Heron in Edinburgh in 1966. The band built a considerable following, especially in the British c ...
and Shirley and
Dolly Collins Dorothy Ann Collins (6 March 1933 – 22 September 1995), was an English folk musician, arranger and composer. She was the older sister of Shirley Collins. Born in Hastings, Sussex (now East Sussex), she grew up in an artistic, socialist, ...
, would prove influential through their use of instruments borrowed from world music and
early music Early music generally comprises Medieval music In the broadest sense, medieval music or the music of the Middle Ages encompasses the music of the Western Europe during the Middle Ages, from approximately the 6th to 15th centuries. It is the ...
.


=''Pet Sounds'' and ''Sgt. Pepper''

= ''Pet Sounds'' and ''Sgt. Pepper'', with their lyrical unity, extended structure, complexity, eclecticism, experimentalism, and influences derived from classical music forms, are largely viewed as beginnings in the progressive rock genre and as turning points wherein rock, which previously had been considered dance music, became music that was made for listening to. Between ''Pet Sounds'' and ''Sgt. Pepper'', the Beach Boys released the single "
Good Vibrations "Good Vibrations" is a song by the American rock music, rock band the Beach Boys that was composed by Brian Wilson with lyrics by Mike Love. Released as a single on October 10, 1966, it was an immediate critical and commercial hit, topping recor ...
" (1966), dubbed a "
pocket symphony A pocket symphony is a song with extended musical form, form. The term was popularized by English journalist Derek Taylor, who used it to describe the Beach Boys' 1966 single "Good Vibrations". (The description of a "pocket" symphony had appeared ...
" by
Derek Taylor Derek Taylor (7 May 1932 – 7 September 1997) was an English journalist, writer, publicist and record producer. He is best known for his role as press officer to the Beatles, with whom he worked in 1964 and then from 1968 to 1970, and was one ...
, the band's publicist. The song contained an eclectic array of exotic instruments and several disjunctive key and modal shifts. Scott Interrante of ''
Popmatters ''PopMatters'' is an international online magazine An online magazine is a magazine published on the Internet, through bulletin board systems and other forms of public computer networks. One of the first magazines to convert from a print magazi ...
'' wrote that its influence on progressive rock and the psychedelic movement "can't be overstated". Martin likened the song to the Beatles' "
A Day in the Life "A Day in the Life" is a song by the English rock band the Beatles that was released as the final track of their 1967 album ''Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band''. Credited to Lennon–McCartney, the verses were mainly written by John Lenn ...
" from ''Sgt. Pepper'', in that they showcase "the same reasons why much progressive rock is difficult to dance to". Although ''Sgt. Pepper'' was preceded by several albums that had begun to bridge the line between "disposable" pop and "serious" rock, it successfully gave an established "commercial" voice to an alternative youth culture and marked the point at which the
LP record The LP (from "long playing" or "long play") is an analog sound storage medium On a reel-to-reel tape recorder (Sony TC-630), the recorder is data storage equipment and the magnetic tape is a data storage medium. Data Data are uni ...
emerged as a creative format whose importance was equal to or greater than that of the single.
Bill Bruford William Scott Bruford (born 17 May 1949) is an English retired drummer, composer, producer, record label owner and musicologist who first gained prominence as a founding member of the progressive rock band Yes. After his departure from Yes, Bru ...
, a veteran of several progressive rock bands, said that ''Sgt. Pepper'' transformed both musicians' ideas of what was possible and audiences' ideas of what was acceptable in music. He believed that: "Without the Beatles, or someone else who had done what the Beatles did, it is fair to assume that there would have been no progressive rock." In the aftermath of ''Sgt. Pepper'', magazines such as ''Melody Maker'' drew a sharp line between "pop" and "rock', thus eliminating the "roll" from "
rock and roll Rock and roll (often written as rock & roll, rock 'n' roll, or rock 'n roll) is a genre of popular music Popular music is music with wide appeal that is typically distributed to large audiences through the music industry. These forms and sty ...
" (which now refers to the 1950s style). The only artists who remained "rock" would be those who were considered at the vanguard of compositional forms, far from "radio friendly" standards, as Americans increasingly used the adjective "progressive" for groups like Jethro Tull,
Family In human society A society is a Social group, group of individuals involved in persistent Social relation, social interaction, or a large social group sharing the same spatial or social territory, typically subject to the same Politics, ...
, East of Eden,
Van der Graaf Generator Van der Graaf Generator are an English progressive rock band, formed in 1967 in Manchester Manchester () is a city and metropolitan borough in Greater Manchester, England. The city has the country’s List of English districts by populatio ...

Van der Graaf Generator
and
King Crimson King Crimson are an English progressive rock Progressive rock (often shortened to prog; sometimes called art rock Art rock is a subgenre of rock music that generally reflects a challenging or avant-garde approach to rock, or which make ...
.


Proto-prog and psychedelia

According to
AllMusic AllMusic (previously known as All Music Guide and AMG) is an American online music database. It catalogs more than three million album entries and 30 million tracks, as well as information on musicians and Musical ensemble, bands. Initiated in ...

AllMusic
: "Prog-rock began to emerge out of the British psychedelic scene in 1967, specifically a strain of classical/symphonic rock led by
the Nice The Nice were an English progressive rock band active in the late 1960s. They blended Rock and roll, rock, jazz and European classical music, classical music and were keyboardist Keith Emerson's first commercially successful band. The group w ...
,
Procol Harum Procol Harum () are an English rock Rock most often refers to: * Rock (geology) A rock is any naturally occurring solid mass or aggregate of minerals or mineraloid matter. It is categorized by the minerals included, its Chemical compo ...

Procol Harum
, and
the Moody Blues The Moody Blues were an English rock music, rock band formed in Birmingham in 1964, initially consisting of keyboardist Mike Pinder, multi-instrumentalist Ray Thomas, guitarist Denny Laine, drummer Graeme Edge, and bassist Clint Warwick. The g ...
(''
Days of Future Passed ''Days of Future Passed'' is the second album and first concept album A concept album is an album packaged in book form, like a photograph album An album is a collection of audio recordings issued as a collection on compact disc (CD ...
'')." The availability of newly affordable recording equipment coincided with the rise of a London
underground Underground most commonly refers to: * Subterranea (geography), the regions beneath the surface of the Earth Underground may also refer to: Places Commercial and cultural venues * The Underground (Boston), a music club in the Allston neighborhood ...
scene at which the psychedelic drug LSD was commonly used. Pink Floyd and
Soft Machine Soft Machine are an English rock music, rock band from Canterbury formed in mid-1966 by Robert Wyatt (drums, vocals, 1966–71), Kevin Ayers (bass, guitar, vocals, 1966–68), Daevid Allen (guitar, 1966–67), and Mike Ratledge (organ, 1966 ...
functioned as
house band A house band is a group of musicians, often centrally organized by a band leader, who regularly play at an establishment. It is widely used to refer both to the bands who work on entertainment programs on television or radio, and to bands which a ...
s at all-night events at locations such as
Middle Earth Middle or The Middle may refer to: * Centre (geometry), the point equally distant from the outer limits. Places * Middle (sheading), a subdivision of the Isle of Man * Middle Bay (disambiguation) * Middle Brook (disambiguation) * Middle Creek (dis ...
and the
UFO Club The UFO Club (pronounced "you-foe") was a short-lived part of the UK underground, British counter-culture scene in London during the 1960s. The club was established by Joe Boyd and John Hopkins (political activist), John "Hoppy" Hopkins and fe ...
, where they experimented with sound textures and long-form songs. Many psychedelic, folk rock and early progressive bands were aided by exposure from
BBC Radio 1 BBC Radio 1 is a British national radio station owned and operated by the BBC. It specialises in modern popular music and Contemporary hit radio, current chart hits throughout the day. Radio 1 provides alternative genres at night, including elec ...

BBC Radio 1
DJ
John Peel John Robert Parker Ravenscroft (30 August 1939 – 25 October 2004), known professionally as John Peel, was an English disc jockey A disc jockey, more commonly abbreviated as DJ, is a person who plays recorded music for an audience. Mos ...
.
Jimi Hendrix James Marshall "Jimi" Hendrix (born Johnny Allen Hendrix; November 27, 1942September 18, 1970) was an American musician, singer, and songwriter. Although his mainstream career spanned only four years, he is widely regarded as one of the most ...

Jimi Hendrix
, who rose to prominence in the London scene and recorded with a band of English musicians, initiated the trend towards guitar virtuosity and eccentricity in rock music. The Scottish band 1-2-3, later renamed
Clouds In meteorology Meteorology is a branch of the atmospheric sciences which includes atmospheric chemistry and atmospheric physics, with a major focus on weather forecasting. The study of meteorology dates back millennia, though significan ...
, were formed in 1966 and began performing at London clubs a year later. According to ''Mojo'' George Knemeyer: "some claim [that they] had a vital influence on prog-rockers such as Yes, The Nice and Family." Symphonic rock artists in the late 1960s had some chart success, including the singles "Nights in White Satin" (the Moody Blues, 1967) and "A Whiter Shade of Pale" (Procol Harum, 1967). The Moody Blues established the popularity of symphonic rock when they recorded ''Days of Future Passed'' together with the London Festival Orchestra, and Procol Harum began to use a greater variety of acoustic instruments, particularly on their 1969 album ''A Salty Dog''. Classical influences sometimes took the form of pieces adapted from or inspired by classical works, such as Jeff Beck's "Beck's Bolero" and parts of the Nice's ''Ars Longa Vita Brevis (album), Ars Longa Vita Brevis''. The latter, along with such Nice tracks as "Rondo" and "America (West Side Story song), America", reflect a greater interest in music that is entirely instrumental. ''Sgt. Pepper's'' and ''Days'' both represent a growing tendency towards song cycles and suites made up of multiple Movement (music), movements. Focus (band), Focus incorporated and articulated jazz-style chords, and irregular off-beat drumming into their later Rock based Riffs, and, several bands that included jazz-style horn sections appeared, including Blood, Sweat & Tears and Chicago (band), Chicago. Of these, Martin highlights Chicago in particular for their experimentation with suites and extended compositions, such as the "Ballet for a Girl in Buchannon" on ''Chicago (album), Chicago II''. Jazz influences appeared in the music of British bands such as Traffic (band), Traffic, Colosseum (band), Colosseum and If (band), If, together with
Canterbury scene The Canterbury scene (or Canterbury sound) was a musical scene centred around the city of Canterbury, Kent, England during the late 1960s and early 1970s. Associated with progressive rock, the term describes a loosely-defined, improvisational s ...
bands such as
Soft Machine Soft Machine are an English rock music, rock band from Canterbury formed in mid-1966 by Robert Wyatt (drums, vocals, 1966–71), Kevin Ayers (bass, guitar, vocals, 1966–68), Daevid Allen (guitar, 1966–67), and Mike Ratledge (organ, 1966 ...
and Caravan (band), Caravan. Canterbury scene bands emphasised the use of wind instruments, complex chord changes and long improvisations. Martin writes that in 1968, "full-blown progressive rock" was not yet in existence, but three bands released albums who would later come to the forefront of the music: Jethro Tull, Caravan and Soft Machine. The term "progressive rock", which appeared in the liner notes of Caravan's 1968 self-titled Caravan (Caravan album), debut LP, came to be applied to bands that used classical music techniques to expand the styles and concepts available to rock music. The Nice, the Moody Blues, Procol Harum and Pink Floyd all contained elements of what is now called progressive rock, but none represented as complete an example of the genre as several bands that formed soon after. Almost all of the genre's major bands, including Jethro Tull,
King Crimson King Crimson are an English progressive rock Progressive rock (often shortened to prog; sometimes called art rock Art rock is a subgenre of rock music that generally reflects a challenging or avant-garde approach to rock, or which make ...
,
Yes Yes or YES may refer to: * An affirmative particle in the English language; see yes and no Education * YES Prep Public Schools, Houston, Texas, US * YES (Your Extraordinary Saturday), a learning program from the Minnesota Institute for Talented ...
, Genesis (band), Genesis,
Van der Graaf Generator Van der Graaf Generator are an English progressive rock band, formed in 1967 in Manchester Manchester () is a city and metropolitan borough in Greater Manchester, England. The city has the country’s List of English districts by populatio ...

Van der Graaf Generator
, Emerson, Lake & Palmer, ELP, Gentle Giant and Renaissance (band), Renaissance, released their debut albums during the years 1968–1970. Most of these were folk-rock albums that gave little indication of what the band's mature sound would become, but King Crimson's ''In the Court of the Crimson King'' (1969) and Yes’ Yes (Yes album), self-titled debut album (1969) were early, fully-formed examples of the genre. Critics assume these albums to be the logical extension and development of late 1960s work exemplified by the Moody Blues, Procol Harum, Pink Floyd and the Beatles.


1970s–1980s


Peak years (1971–1976)

Most of the genre's major bands released their most critically acclaimed albums during the years 1971–1976. The genre experienced a high degree of commercial success during the early 1970s. Jethro Tull, Emerson, Lake & Palmer, ELP, Rush (band), Rush,
Yes Yes or YES may refer to: * An affirmative particle in the English language; see yes and no Education * YES Prep Public Schools, Houston, Texas, US * YES (Your Extraordinary Saturday), a learning program from the Minnesota Institute for Talented ...
and
Pink Floyd Pink Floyd were an English Rock music, rock band formed in London in 1964. Gaining an early following as one of the first British psychedelic music, psychedelic groups, they were distinguished for their extended compositions, sonic experime ...
combined for four albums that reached number one in the US charts, and sixteen of their albums reached the top ten. Mike Oldfield's ''Tubular Bells'' (1973), an excerpt of which was used as the theme for the film ''The Exorcist (film), The Exorcist'', sold 16 million copies. Progressive rock came to be appreciated overseas, but it mostly remained a European, and especially British, phenomenon. Few American bands engaged in it, and the purest representatives of the genre, such as Starcastle and Happy the Man, remained limited to their own geographic regions. This is at least in part due to music industry differences between the US and Great Britain. Cultural factors were also involved, as US musicians tended to come from a blues background, while Europeans tended to have a foundation in classical music. North American progressive rock bands and artists often represented hybrid styles such as the complex arrangements of Rush (band), Rush, the hard rock of Captain Beyond, the Southern rock-tinged prog of Kansas (band), Kansas, the jazz fusion of Frank Zappa and Return to Forever, and the eclectic fusion of the all-instrumental Dixie Dregs. British progressive rock acts had their greatest US success in the same geographic areas in which British heavy metal bands experienced their greatest popularity. The overlap in audiences led to the success of arena rock bands, such as Boston (band), Boston, Kansas (band), Kansas, and Styx (band), Styx, who combined elements of the two styles. Progressive rock achieved popularity in Continental Europe more quickly than it did in the US. Italy remained generally uninterested in rock music until the strong Italian progressive rock scene developed in the early 1970s. Progressive rock emerged in Yugoslavia in the late 1960s, dominating the Yugoslav rock scene until the late 1970s. Few of the European groups were successful outside of their own countries, with the exceptions of Dutch bands like Focus (band), Focus and Golden Earring who wrote English-language lyrics, and the Italians Le Orme and Premiata Forneria Marconi, PFM, whose English lyrics were written by Peter Hammill and Peter Sinfield, respectively. Some European bands played in a style derivative of English bands. The "Kosmische music" scene in Germany came to be labelled as "krautrock" internationally and is frequently cited as part of the progressive rock genre or an entirely distinct phenomenon. Krautrock bands such as Can (band), Can, which included two members who had studied under Karlheinz Stockhausen, tended to be more strongly influenced by 20th-century classical music than the British prog bands, whose musical vocabulary leaned more towards Romantic music, the Romantic era. Many of these groups were very influential even among bands that had little enthusiasm for the symphonic variety of progressive rock.


= Progressive soul

= Concurrently, African-American popular musicians drew from progressive rock's conceptual album-oriented approach. This led to a progressive-soul movement in the 1970s that inspired a newfound sophisticated musicality and ambitious lyricism in black pop. Among these musicians were Sly Stone, Stevie Wonder, Marvin Gaye, Curtis Mayfield, and George Clinton (funk musician), George Clinton. In discussing the development, Martin cites 1970s albums by Wonder (''Talking Book'', ''Innervisions'', ''Songs in the Key of Life''), War (band), War (''All Day Music'', ''The World Is a Ghetto'', ''War Live (album), War Live''), and the Isley Brothers (''3 + 3''), while noting that the Who's progressive rock-influenced ''Who Are You'' (1978) also drew from the soul variant. Dominic Maxwell of ''The Times'' calls Wonder's mid 1970s albums "prog soul of the highest order, pushing the form yet always heartfelt, ambitious and listenable".


Decline and fragmentation

Political and social trends of the late 1970s shifted away from the early 1970s hippie attitudes that had led to the genre's development and popularity. The rise in punk ideologies, punk cynicism made the utopian ideals expressed in progressive rock lyrics unfashionable. Virtuosity was rejected, as the expense of purchasing quality instruments and the time investment of learning to play them were seen as barriers to rock's energy and immediacy. There were also changes in the music industry, as record companies disappeared and merged into large media conglomerates. Promoting and developing experimental music was not part of the marketing strategy for these large corporations, who focused their attention on identifying and targeting profitable Niche market, market niches. Four of progressive rock's most successful bands – King Crimson, Yes, ELP and Genesis – went on hiatus or experienced major personnel changes during the mid-1970s. Macan notes the September 1974 breakup of King Crimson as particularly significant, calling it the point when "all English bands in the genre should have ceased to exist". More of the major bands, including Van der Graaf Generator, Gentle Giant and U.K. (band), U.K., dissolved between 1978 and 1980. Many bands had by the mid-1970s reached the limit of how far they could experiment in a rock context, and fans had wearied of the extended, epic compositions. The sounds of the Hammond organ, Hammond, Minimoog and Mellotron had been thoroughly explored, and their use became clichéd. Those bands who continued to record often simplified their sound, and the genre fragmented from the late 1970s onwards. In Robert Fripp's opinion, once "progressive rock" ceased to cover new ground – becoming a set of conventions to be repeated and imitated – the genre's premise had ceased to be "progressive". The era of record labels investing in their artists, giving them freedom to experiment and limited control over their content and marketing, ended with the late 1970s. Corporate artists and repertoire staff exerted an increasing amount of control over the creative process that had previously belonged to the artists, and established acts were pressured to create music with simpler harmony and song structures and fewer changes in meter. A number of symphonic pop bands, such as Supertramp, 10cc, the Alan Parsons Project and the Electric Light Orchestra, brought the orchestral-style arrangements into a context that emphasised pop singles while allowing for occasional instances of exploration. Jethro Tull, Gentle Giant and Pink Floyd opted for a harder sound in the style of arena rock. Few new progressive rock bands formed during this era, and those who did found that record labels were not interested in signing them. The short-lived supergroup U.K. was a notable exception since its members had established reputations; they produced two albums that were stylistically similar to previous artists and did little to advance the genre. Part of the genre's legacy in this period was its influence on other styles, as several European guitarists brought a progressive rock approach to Heavy metal music, heavy metal and laid the groundwork for progressive metal. Michael Schenker, of UFO (band), UFO; and Uli Jon Roth, who replaced Schenker in Scorpions (band), Scorpions, expanded the modal vocabulary available to guitarists. Roth studied classical music with the intent of using the guitar in the way that classical composers used the violin. Finally, the Dutch-born and classically trained Alex Van Halen, Alex and Eddie Van Halen formed Van Halen, featuring ground-breaking whammy-bar, tapping and cross-picking guitar performances that influenced "Shred guitar, shred" music in the 1980s.


=Commercialisation

= Some established artists moved towards music that was simpler and more commercially viable. Arena rock bands like Journey (band), Journey, Kansas (band), Kansas, Styx (band), Styx, GTR (band), GTR, Electric Light Orchestra, ELO and Foreigner (band), Foreigner either had begun as progressive rock bands or included members with strong ties to the genre. These groups retained some of the song complexity and orchestral-style arrangements, but they moved away from lyrical mysticism in favour of more conventional themes such as relationships. Genesis transformed into a successful pop act, and a re-formed Yes released the relatively mainstream ''90125 (album), 90125'' (1983), which yielded their only US number-one single, "Owner of a Lonely Heart". These radio-friendly groups have been called "prog lite". One band who remained successful into the 1980s while maintaining a progressive approach was Pink Floyd, who released ''The Wall'' late in 1979. The album, which brought punk anger into progressive rock, was a huge success and was later filmed as ''Pink Floyd – The Wall''.


Post-punk and post-progressive

Punk and prog were not necessarily as opposed as is commonly believed. Both genres reject commercialism, and punk bands did see a need for musical advancement. Author Doyle Green noted that post-punk emerged as "a kind of progressive punk". Post-punk artists rejected the high cultural references of 1960s rock artists like the Beatles and Bob Dylan as well as paradigms that defined rock as "progressive", "art", or "studio perfectionism". In contrast to punk rock, it balances punk's energy and skepticism with art school consciousness, Dadaist experimentalism, and atmospheric, ambient soundscapes. World music, especially African and Asian traditions, was also a major influence. Progressive rock's impact was felt in the work of some post-punk artists, although they tended not to emulate classical rock or Canterbury groups but rather Roxy Music, King Crimson, and krautrock bands, particularly Can. Punishment of Luxury's music borrowed from both progressive and punk rock, whilst Alternative TV, who were fronted by the founder of the influential punk fanzine ''Sniffin' Glue'' Mark Perry (musician), Mark Perry, toured and released a split live album with Gong (band), Gong offshoot Here & Now (band), Here & Now. The term "post-progressive" identifies progressive rock that returns to its original principles while dissociating from 1970s prog styles, and may be located after 1978. Martin credits Roxy Music's Brian Eno as the sub-genre's most important catalyst, explaining that his 1973–77 output merged aspects of progressive rock with a prescient notion of new wave and punk. New wave, which surfaced around 1978–79 with some of the same attitudes and aesthetic as punk, was characterised by Martin as "progressive" multiplied by "punk". Bands in the genre tended to be less hostile towards progressive rock than the punks, and there were crossovers, such as Fripp and Eno's involvement with Talking Heads, and Yes' replacement of Rick Wakeman and Jon Anderson with the pop duo the Buggles. When King Crimson reformed in 1981, they released an album, ''Discipline (King Crimson album), Discipline'', which Macan says "inaugurated" the new post-progressive style. The new King Crimson line-up featured guitarist and vocalist Adrian Belew, who also collaborated with Talking Heads, playing live with the band and featuring on their 1980 album ''Remain in Light''. According to Martin, Talking Heads also created "a kind of new-wave music that was the perfect synthesis of punk urgency and attitude and progressive-rock sophistication and creativity. A good deal of the more interesting rock since that time is clearly 'post-Talking Heads' music, but this means that it is post-progressive rock as well."


Neo-progressive rock

A second wave of progressive rock bands appeared in the early 1980s and have since been categorised as a separate " neo-progressive rock" subgenre.Ewing, Jerry. "Pathways." Classic Rock Presents Prog. 17 March 2010. p.61 These largely keyboard-based bands played extended compositions with complex musical and lyrical structures. Several of these bands were signed by major record labels, including Marillion, IQ (band), IQ, Pendragon (band), Pendragon and Pallas (band), Pallas. Most of the genre's major acts released debut albums between 1983 and 1985 and shared the same manager, Keith Goodwin, a publicist who had been instrumental in promoting progressive rock during the 1970s. The previous decade's bands had the advantage of appearing during a prominent Counterculture, countercultural movement that provided them with a large potential audience, but the neo-progressive bands were limited to a relatively niche demographic and found it difficult to attract a following. Only Marillion and Saga (band), Saga experienced international success. Neo-progressive bands tended to use Peter Gabriel-era Genesis (band), Genesis as their "principal model". They were also influenced by funk, hard rock and
punk rock Punk rock (or simply punk) is a music genre A music genre is a conventional category that identifies some pieces of music Music is the art of arranging sounds in time to produce a composition through the elements of melody, harmony, ...
. The genre's most successful band, Marillion, suffered particularly from accusations of similarity to Genesis, although they used a different vocal style, incorporated more hard rock elements, and were very influenced by bands including Camel (band), Camel and
Pink Floyd Pink Floyd were an English Rock music, rock band formed in London in 1964. Gaining an early following as one of the first British psychedelic music, psychedelic groups, they were distinguished for their extended compositions, sonic experime ...
. Authors Paul Hegarty (musician), Paul Hegarty and Martin Halliwell have pointed out that the neo-progressive bands were not so much plagiarising progressive rock as they were creating a new style from progressive rock elements, just as the bands of a decade before had created a new style from jazz and classical elements. Author Edward Macan counters by pointing out that these bands were at least partially motivated by a nostalgic desire to preserve a past style rather than a drive to innovate.


1990s–2000s


Third wave

A third wave of progressive rock bands, who can also be described as a second generation of neo-progressive bands, emerged in the 1990s. The use of the term "progressive" to describe groups that follow in the style of bands from ten to twenty years earlier is somewhat controversial, as it has been seen as a contradiction of the spirit of experimentation and progress. These new bands were aided in part by the availability of personal computer-based Digital audio workstation, recording studios, which reduced album production expenses, and the Internet, which made it easier for bands outside of the mainstream to reach widespread audiences. Record stores specialising in progressive rock appeared in large cities. The Shred guitar, shred music of the 1980s was a major influence on the progressive rock groups of the 1990s. Some of the newer bands, such as the Flower Kings, Spock's Beard and Glass Hammer, played a 1970s-style symphonic prog but with an updated sound. A number of them began to explore the limits of the CD in the way that earlier groups had stretched the limits of the vinyl LP.


Progressive metal

Progressive rock and Heavy metal music, heavy metal have similar timelines. Both emerged from late-1960s psychedelia to achieve great early-1970s success despite a lack of radio airplay and support from critics, then faded in the mid-to-late 1970s and experienced revivals in the early 1980s. Each genre experienced a fragmentation of styles at this time, and many metal bands from the new wave of British heavy metal – most notably Iron Maiden – onwards displayed progressive rock influences. Progressive metal reached a point of maturity with Queensrÿche's 1988 concept album ''Operation: Mindcrime,'' Voivod (band), Voivod's 1989 ''Nothingface (Voivod album), Nothingface'', which featured abstract lyrics and a King Crimson-like texture, and Dream Theater's 1992 ''Images and Words''. Progressive rock elements appear in other metal subgenres. Black metal is conceptual by definition, due to its prominent theme of questioning the values of Christianity. Its Death growl, guttural vocals are sometimes used by bands who can be classified as progressive, such as Mastodon (band), Mastodon, Mudvayne and Opeth. Symphonic metal is an extension of the tendency towards orchestral passages in early progressive rock. Progressive rock has also served as a key inspiration for genres such as post-rock, post-metal and avant-garde metal, math rock, power metal and neo-classical metal.


New prog

New prog describes the wave of progressive rock bands in the 2000s who revived the genre. According to ''Entertainment Weekly''s Evan Serpick: "Along with recent success stories like System of a Down and up-and-comers like the Dillinger Escape Plan, Lightning Bolt (band), Lightning Bolt, Coheed and Cambria, and the Mars Volta create incredibly complex and inventive music that sounds like a heavier, more aggressive version of '70s behemoths such as Led Zeppelin and King Crimson."


2010s

The Progressive Music Awards were launched in 2012 by the British magazine ''Prog (magazine), Prog'' to honour the genre's established acts and to promote its newer bands. Honorees, however, are not invited to perform at the awards ceremony, as the promoters want an event "that doesn't last three weeks".


Festivals

Many prominent progressive rock bands got their initial exposure at large rock festivals that were held in Britain during the late 1960s and early 1970s. King Crimson made their first major appearance at the Stones in the Park, 1969 Hyde Park free concert, before a crowd estimated to be as large as 650,000, in support of
the Rolling Stones The Rolling Stones are an English Rock music, rock band formed in London in 1962. Active for almost six decades, they are one of the most popular and enduring bands of the rock era. In the early 1960s, the Rolling Stones pioneered the gritty ...

the Rolling Stones
. Emerson, Lake & Palmer debuted at the Isle of Wight Festival 1970, 1970 Isle of Wight Festival, at which Supertramp,
Family In human society A society is a Social group, group of individuals involved in persistent Social relation, social interaction, or a large social group sharing the same spatial or social territory, typically subject to the same Politics, ...
and Jethro Tull also appeared. Jethro Tull were also present at the 1969 Newport Jazz Festival, the first year in which that festival invited rock bands to perform. Hawkwind appeared at many British festivals throughout the 1970s, although they sometimes showed up uninvited, set up a stage on the periphery of the event, and played for free. file:Supertramp0062.jpg, Supertramp performing in 1979 file:King Crimson - Dour Festival 2003 (01).jpg,
King Crimson King Crimson are an English progressive rock Progressive rock (often shortened to prog; sometimes called art rock Art rock is a subgenre of rock music that generally reflects a challenging or avant-garde approach to rock, or which make ...
performing at the Dour Festival, 2003 Renewed interest in the genre in the 1990s led to the development of progressive rock festivals. ProgFest, organised by Greg Walker and David Overstreet in 1993, was first held in UCLA's Royce Hall, and featured Sweden's Änglagård, the UK's IQ, Quill and Citadel. CalProg was held annually in Whittier, California during the early 2000s. The North East Art Rock Festival, or NEARfest, held its first event in 1999 in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania and held annual sold-out concerts until 2012's NEARfest Apocalypse, which featured headliners U.K. (band), UK and Renaissance. Other festivals include the annual ProgDay (the longest-running and only outdoor prog festival) in Chapel Hill, North Carolina, the annual Rites of Spring Festival (RoSfest) in Sarasota, Florida, The Rogue Independent Music Festival in Atlanta, Georgia, Baja Prog in Mexicali, Mexicali, Mexico, ProgPower USA in Atlanta, Georgia, ProgPower Europe in Baarlo, Netherlands, and ProgStock in Rahway, NJ, which held its first event in 2017. Progressive Nation tours were held in 2008 and Progressive Nation 2009, 2009 with Dream Theater as the headline act. "Night of the Prog" in St Goarshausen (Germany) is an established European progressive rock festival held every July during 2–3 days for 12 years.


Reception

The genre has received both critical acclaim and criticism throughout the years. Progressive rock has been described as parallel to the classical music of Igor Stravinsky and Béla Bartók. This desire to expand the boundaries of rock, combined with some musicians' dismissiveness toward mainstream rock and pop, dismayed critics and led to accusations of elitism. Its intellectual, fantastic and apolitical lyrics, and shunning of rock's blues roots, were abandonments of the very things that many critics valued in rock music. Progressive rock also represented the maturation of rock as a genre, but there was an opinion among critics that rock was and should remain fundamentally tied to adolescence, so rock and maturity were mutually exclusive. Criticisms over the complexity of their music provoked some bands to create music that was even more complex. Most of the musicians involved were male, as was the case for most rock of the time, Female singers were better represented in progressive folk bands, who displayed a broader range of vocal styles than the progressive rock bands with whom they frequently toured and shared band members. British and European audiences typically followed concert hall behaviour protocols associated with classical music performances, and were more reserved in their behaviour than audiences for other forms of rock. This confused musicians during US tours, as they found American audiences less attentive and more prone to outbursts during quiet passages. These aspirations towards
high culture High may refer to: People with the name * High (surname)High is a surname. Notable people with the surname include: *Jason High (born 1981), American mixed martial artist *Martha High (born 1945), American singer *Monique Raphel High (born 1949), ...
reflect progressive rock's origins as a music created largely by Upper class, upper- and Middle class, middle-class, White-collar workers, white-collar, college-educated males from Southern England. The music never reflected the concerns of or was embraced by working-class listeners, except in the US, where listeners appreciated the musicians' virtuosity. Progressive rock's exotic, literary topics were considered particularly irrelevant to British youth during the late 1970s, when the nation suffered from a poor economy and frequent strikes and shortages. Even King Crimson leader Robert Fripp dismissed progressive rock lyrics as "the philosophical meanderings of some English half-wit who is circumnavigating some inessential point of experience in his life". Bands whose darker lyrics avoided utopianism, such as King Crimson, Pink Floyd and Van der Graaf Generator, experienced less critical disfavour. "I wasn't a big fan of most of what you'd call progressive rock", remarked Floyd guitarist David Gilmour. "I'm like Groucho Marx: I don't want to belong to any club that would have me for a member."


List of progressive rock artists


See also

*
British folk rock British folk rock is a form of folk rock which developed in the United Kingdom from the mid 1960s, and was at its most significant in the 1970s. Though the merging of folk and rock music came from several sources, it is widely regarded that the ...
* Free jazz * List of musical works in unusual time signatures * Minimal music * Musique concrète * Second Viennese School * Serialism * Third stream * Timeline of progressive rock * :Progressive rock record labels


Notes


References


Sources

* * * * * * * * * *


Bibliography

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *


Further reading

* Lucky, Jerry. ''The Progressive Rock Files''. Burlington, Ontario: Collector's Guide Publishing, Inc (1998), 304 pages, (paperback). Gives an overview of progressive rock's history as well as histories of the major and Underground music, underground bands in the genre. * Lucky, Jerry. ''The Progressive Rock Handbook''. Burlington, Ontario: Collector's Guide Publishing, Inc. (2008), 352 pages, (paperback). Reviews hundreds of progressive rock bands and lists their recordings. Also provides an updated overview, similar to The Progressive Rock Files. * Snider, Charles. ''The Strawberry Bricks Guide To Progressive Rock, 3rd Edition''. Chicago, Ill.: Kindle Direct Publishing (2020) 572 pages, (paperback). A veritable record guide to progressive rock, with band histories, musical synopses and critical commentary, all presented in the historical context of a timeline. * Stump, Paul. ''The Music's All That Matters: A History of Progressive Rock''. London: Quartet Books Limited (1997), 384 pages, (paperback). Smart telling of the history of progressive rock focusing on English bands with some discussion of American and European groups. Takes you from the beginning to the early 1990s. * Weingarten, Marc. ''Yes Is The Answer: (And Other Prog-Rock Tales)''. Barnacle Book/Rare Bird Books (2013), 280 pages, . Defense of the genre. * Yfantis, Vasileios. ''Is Prog Rock Really Progressive?''. CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform (2020), 119 pages, . Exploring the evolution and the future of the genre. {{DEFAULTSORT:Progressive Rock Progressive rock, British rock music genres British styles of music American rock music genres American styles of music Progressive music genres, Rock