For my first article I will try and lay out my vision and expectations for this newspaper. I promise to try and keep my monologuing to a minimum and try not to go off on to many tangents.
Music has always been a passion of mine. I grew up listening to Bowie, Pink Floyd, The Who and Johnny Cash (to name a few) with my father and then when I was in my teenage years moved on to artists such as The Smiths, Nirvana, Radiohead, Porcupine Tree (to name a few more) and spent many a late night listening to the graveyard shift on Radio 1 with Mark Radcliffe and Marc Riley.
It wasn't until my early to mid twenties that I came across the veritable smorgasbord of music that is Progressive Rock and it quickly became my new love and I feverishly hunted out (and still do) new bands and albums to sate my ever expanding appetite.
I should point out at this juncture that from about the age of 15 I became an avid collector of vinyl records, starting out with records by The Smiths & Morrissey and diversifying as time progressed and much to my wife's chagrin I still collect them today.
So as well as retaining my past musical interests I built upon it, becoming a little obsessed if I'm honest, with my new love of Progressive Rock. What drew me in was the musical and lyrical complexity of the individual pieces and the albums as a whole. It challenges the mind and that can't be a bad thing now can it?
Don't get me wrong, I still enjoy other types of rock and indie music and appreciate them as, in a way, parts of the same whole and the point of this newspaper, which I believe was meant to be the point of this first section, is not to attack the genres or artists I have no love for but to go on (and on no doubt) about the music I do like and in such a way that I hope to at least open your eyes to the genre of Progressive Rock and maybe a few other artists/genres you may not have considered before.
Which leads us nicely onto the next section of this opening issue.
What is Progressive Rock?
I'm not even sure that I'm qualified to answer that question, but I will have a go regardless.
Think of Progressive Rock as a fusion of musical styles, you can find elements of psychedelic rock, jazz, blues and even country music in there. Then think of the overall form of progressive rock as being something like a suite of classical music in the way that it is arranged and executed.
It started to come about as a genre in the mid to late 1960's but didn't really pick up steam until the 1970's. People, musical historians etc will all no doubt give differing stories as to the origins to this genre. Some will say the earliest "rumblings" can be heard in Bob Dylan's poetry, while others will cite it starting with Pink Floyd's initial release Piper At The Gates of Dawn. Others may attribute Soft Machine as the founding stone of this musical behemoth. Personally at the end of the day I'm not to worried how it started, I am just glad it did.
Of course these days, thanks to the introduction of easily packaged pop (and if you want to go further back to the 70's, the punk movement) and music that doesn't engage your brain, Progressive Rock has become something of a cult/underground movement.
There are a few of the old bands still in existence (in one form or another) who still release material and some of the slightly newer bands are emerging putting their own spin on Progressive Rock. But it is still very much a shunned genre, in my belief, because it is not easily digestible and requires a great deal of time and effort to get to know "it" so to speak.
I could babble on all day, but i promised I wouldn't and besides you have Wikipedia and Google so I encourage you to use them if you wish to do further research.
Looking forward, going backwards.
Each week I will be taking a record from my collection and dissecting it as best I can and giving you an in-depth a review as I can manage. Mostly they will be from the Progressive Rock genre but there will be a few oddballs in there to, no Justin Bieber, I promise .
That's it for this rather short first issue, hope you subscribe and stick around and I just hope I didn't miss anything...
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