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Thread: Most Innovative and Talented Prog Rock Artists

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    Spectral Warrior con passion White Knight's Avatar
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    Cool Most Innovative and Talented Prog Rock Artists

    I hereby open nominations for the most innovative and talented progressive rock musicians over the last 40 years or so. My own two top candidates to top the slate would be Jimi Hendrix and Keith Emerson. The floor remains open for further nominees.

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    Vice Admiral Virtuoso Dorsetmike's Avatar
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    The Dutch group Focus, especially Jan Akkerman and Thijs Van Leer

    Renaissance, (1971-80)

    • Annie Haslam (vocals)
    • Michael Dunford (guitar)
    • John Tout (keyboards)
    • Jon Camp (bass, vocals)
    • Terence Sullivan (drums, percussion)

    Sky, John Williams, Herbie Flowers, Tristan Fry, Francis Monkman and Kevin Peek.
    Cheers MIKE.

    How many roads must a man walk down ... ... before he admits he's lost?

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    Spectral Warrior con passion White Knight's Avatar
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    Cool Most Innovative and Talented Prog Rock Artists

    Hi Mike, how are you and yours? I must say that I am unfamiliar with all of the groups which you posted except for a slight remembrance of having listened to a little bit of Renaissance back in the late seventies or early eighties Please let me know if this color is any easier for you to discern. Tata for now. Steve
    Last edited by White Knight; Dec-03-2010 at 06:43.
    Whatever floats your boat May your reach always exceed your grasp

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    Vice Admiral Virtuoso Dorsetmike's Avatar
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    Steve, a few tracks for you to taste Focus

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PvVqR...eature=related

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OznS7...eature=related

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TnTGF5G5B6w

    Loads more on Youtube, I've also posted links elsewhere to tracks by Jan Akkerman in different genre.
    Cheers MIKE.

    How many roads must a man walk down ... ... before he admits he's lost?

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    Vice Admiral Virtuoso Dorsetmike's Avatar
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    And some from Sky, first Bach's masterpiece,

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QgbgU...eature=related

    This shows what a primarily classical acoustic guitarist can do in a rock group!

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y-XrN...eature=related

    Not sure how you'd classify this one.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7Swc1...eature=related
    Cheers MIKE.

    How many roads must a man walk down ... ... before he admits he's lost?

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    Spectral Warrior con passion White Knight's Avatar
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    Most Innovative and Talented Prog Rock Artists

    Mike, thanks so much for sharing those Focus and Sky links from youtube. I am totally blown away by the artistry and talent of Sky. Wow! I never heard of them or their music before; the fact that John Williams--of whom I'd heard--is in this group is no small matter indeed. I will be going to Amazon.com and getting their cds asap! As regards Focus, I owe you an apology as I realized after listening to their cuts that I had in fact seen them as the opening act for either Procol Harum or another British group back in the seventies. Akkerman's yodeling on "Hocus-Pocus brought back that memory. Also that particular song was played a lot on FM "progressive radio" back in the day. The song "Sylvia" is also a keeper! Please let me know if the color ink I'm using in this post is better for you. Hope to hear from you soon and that all is well with you and yours. Steve. p,s. I thought their last piece "Hotta" was a bit overlong and repetitive; nice as a travelogue ad for Sky perhaps As always, Bach is beyond reproach.
    Whatever floats your boat May your reach always exceed your grasp

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    Captain of Water Music Art Rock's Avatar
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    Genesis (with Gebriel and/or Hackett)
    Pink Floyd
    Yes
    Marillion (the Fish years)
    Peter Gabriel solo
    Renaissance
    Focus
    Porcupine Tree
    Kayak
    Camel

    for starters........

    Personally not a big fan of ELP, Jethro Tull or King Crimson (the other usual suspects).

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    Commodore con Forza Soubasse's Avatar
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    I'll echo Art Rock's list mostly especially Peter Gabriel (with or without Genesis) Yes and Focus ... I mean who the hell would ever think of putting yodelling into a rock track? Brilliant!

    I'm quite partial to Spock's Beard as well (the band that is)

    So glad to see Sky cutting the list here - they've come in for a bit of stick on other forums I'm on but I was a huge fan of their first few albums. Francis Monkman's keyboard work still stands out as a quiet influence for me, he really made a synth sound like a synth if you know what I mean. And his pieces don't date either: FIFO and Where Opposites Meet are pieces you can listen to and not think "sounds 70s or 80s" (well I can anyway)

    Went a bit too jazz when Steve Gray joined but they still put out some fine work before Williams left. Didn't think too much of the Mozart album though (a bit "easy listening").

    Saw them live twice - just as impressive on stage as on record (as one would expect with that level of musicianship). Second time I saw them they had none other than Rick Wakeman as guest keyboardist - huge bonus!
    Music is made to transform the states of the soul, for an hour or an instant (J. Alain)

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    Vice Admiral Virtuoso Dorsetmike's Avatar
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    One track on a Sky album intrigues me, the Gavotte and Variations on harpsichord, pure Rameau, except a couple of repeats dropped, I love the piece, have 2 other (Classical) recordings of it. I also played about with the score in Finalé and played the result through GrandOrgue VPO. It does seem out of place on the Sky disc, did they do it in concert?
    Cheers MIKE.

    How many roads must a man walk down ... ... before he admits he's lost?

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    Spectral Warrior con passion White Knight's Avatar
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    Talking Most Innovative and Talented Prog Rock Artists

    Soubasse, I couldn't agree with you more re: your observations pertaining to Sky and Focus. Before yesterday--believe it or not --I had never even known that the group Sky existed! But, thanks to my friend DORSETMIKE, he turned me onto them via Youtube and I was simply blown away by their musical talent and artistry--wow Spot on with Focus as well. Akkerman--I believe that's his name--not only yodels but plays the flute and keyboards as well on "Hocuspocus. If he were an American football player, he would be termed a "triple threat". Hope all is good with you and yours.
    Whatever floats your boat May your reach always exceed your grasp

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    Commodore con Forza Soubasse's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dorsetmike View Post
    One track on a Sky album intrigues me, the Gavotte and Variations on harpsichord, pure Rameau, except a couple of repeats dropped, I love the piece, have 2 other (Classical) recordings of it. I also played about with the score in Finalé and played the result through GrandOrgue VPO. It does seem out of place on the Sky disc, did they do it in concert?
    Monkman in his element on that one. It was no surprise to learn that he was a conservatory-trained harpsichordist. It was also his recording that made me want to take up harpsichord in the Early Music ensembles when I got to University. I can still play most of the Rameau variations from memory. Don't think he ever did it in concert, no

    Whiteknight, Jan Akkerman was the (excellent) guitarist in Focus, it was Thijs van Leer who did organ, flute and vocals.
    Music is made to transform the states of the soul, for an hour or an instant (J. Alain)

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    Vice Admiral Virtuoso Dorsetmike's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Soubasse View Post
    Jan Akkerman was the (excellent) guitarist in Focus, it was Thijs van Leer who did organ, flute and vocals.
    Akkerman is still performing, AFAIK, there are Youtube tracks of him in 2009, Thijs Van Leer is also still touring with a new Focus, see this wiki for details of original and current line ups plus history and discography. (Also links to Akkerman and Van Leer)

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Focus_%28band%29
    Cheers MIKE.

    How many roads must a man walk down ... ... before he admits he's lost?

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    Spectral Warrior con passion White Knight's Avatar
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    Talking Most Innovative and Talented Prog Rock Artists

    Soubasse, Thanks for the clarification on my "triple threat" musician.
    Whatever floats your boat May your reach always exceed your grasp

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    Vice Admiral Virtuoso John Watt's Avatar
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    I gotta mention Phil Collins.
    First, he's the drummer, and back-up vocalist for Genesis, who helped define progressive rock.
    And then he took over lead vocals when Peter Gabriel quit. More progressive hits.
    Phil came out solo, playing and singing traditional American r'n'b, making bigger hits.
    And then Phil came out with an album after his marriage breakdown,
    with songs like "Coming in the Air Tonight", making even bigger hits,
    making his life part of so many others, his emotions, what was happening with him.
    And then his newer originals, Motown flavored, brought him greater success.

    But now, reading about him, how he can't drum because of spinal problems,
    how he's giving up his music career, is difficult for me to understand, or sympathize.
    He says he's into American Civil War history and collectibles, turning away from music.
    I can kinda understand, seeing as how he sung he can't dance and he can't sing,
    but why Phil can't just leave it all behind him, onstage, and be a lead singer,
    is his problem. I hope he realizes it, and that the world is waiting for him.
    He's one player whose journey through life is always worth getting into, even as we age.

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