Want to Get Drunk on Progressive Rock? Listen to These 5 Albums:

One of my greatest musical passions is progressive rock. There is just something so magical and immensely captivating in mixing rock with elements of classical music, all wrapped up under layers of complex instrumentation, life-changing lyrics, intense experimentation and supreme technicality. Not to mention the groundbreaking album artworks those beautiful compositions come with. The origins of progressive rock are quite debatable – many people, including myself, believe that it all started in the late 60s as a logical advancement of psychedelic rock. It’s important to mention the significance of albums like “Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band” by The Beatles which is credited by many critics as the album where the idea of progressive rock began. It wasn’t until the ‘70s when prog rock found its way to the hearts of the general audience. Albums like “The Dark Side of the Moon” (1973) by Pink Floyd completely transformed the notion that this type of music is very difficult to enjoy. For the rest of the decade, prog rock was a predominant force on the worldwide music scene, especially among British audiences. Rock acts like YES, Emerson, Lake & Palmer, Pink Floyd, King Crimson, Genesis, Jethro Tull, The Moody Blues, Frank Zappa and many more are notable names in the genre.

My gigantic adoration for progressive rock grew out of a couple of albums which till today remain my ultimate soul-feeding musical pieces. The following albums are definitely part of the list. Not only that, but each of them has its own unique place in the history of progressive rock and music in general. If you are not so familiar with the genre and are looking for the start, look no further – these five records are surely going to provide you with the ultimate progressive rock experience. Noticeably, I haven’t included the earth-shattering prog rock titles like “The Dark Side of the Moon” by Pink Floyd because I wanted to demonstrate a little bit of variety and give the green light to other equally essential records. Also, Pink Floyd are a completely different monster.
Please enjoy my selection and I hope those albums can bring you at least a little bit of the comfort they bring me.


King Crimson – In The Court of the Crimson King (1969)

king-crimson-in-the-court-of-the-crimson-king-1969This might be a bit heavy for some listeners who are not accustomed to the sound of progressive rock but bottom line is – every conversation about progressive rock should begin and end with this album! Historically relevant, highly experimental, critically acclaimed and seen by many as the birthplace of progressive rock – meet King Crimson’s 1969 debut album “In The Court of Crimson King”. Personally, I see is as one of the most impactful forces in the history of rock in general. Where do we even begin with this album? Jazz, blues, classical influences, psychedelic rock elements, mind-blowing lyrics, questioning your entire existence. “In The Court of Crimson King” is THE progressive rock album! The monumental artwork is another reason behind the album’s significance – just look at it! That is how you will react when you listen to King Crimson for the first time!


Yes – Fragile (1971)

Yes - Fragile - Roger DeanIf you want to experience progressive rock at its fines, YES’ “Fragile” (1971) is another album you should devote your time to. “Roundabout” is YES’ ultimate classic and one of the reasons behind the commercialization of progressive rock. People were, and still are, simply in love with the elegant guitars of Steve Howe, accompanied by mindblowing organs, stunning keyboards, mind-altering drums and of course Jon Anderson’s a-list vocals. This whole record is a fantasy coming alive. It became a rock staple and influenced generations of musicians.


Emerson, Lake & Palmer – Brain Salad Surgery (1973)

emerson-lake-palmer-brain-salad-surgery-1973And ladies and gentleman the album that changed my life – Emerson, Lake & Palmer’s “Brain Salad Surgery” (1973). This record is like a door to a new colorful world, a world in which there are no limitations to what your body and soul can experience. I can’t even begin describing why this album is such a huge masterpiece. “Still. . . You Turn Me On”,“Toccata”,“Karn Evil 9” – all sending you on a mind-altering journey after which you feel like a different person. The trio is simply phenomenal – Keith is running through the keyboard with unimaginable precision; Carl is the king of the drums and Greg’s impactful but gentle vocal delivery is releasing you from every little trace of stress and negativity. That’s just how it affects me…


Jethro Tull – Thick as a Brick (1972)

jethro-tull-thick-as-a-brick-1972Jethro Tull’s “Thick as a Brick” is just one 44-minute song which really does it for me. Concept, parodies and tricks aside, I do really enjoy diving into the atmosphere of this musical treasure from time to time. You click on “play” and for the next 40 minutes you have the perfect background to your work. I feel like this type of music synchronizes quite well with your work tempo and gives you that extra push! (Or maybe It’s just me). It’s a beautiful piece of progressive rock and musically speaking it is the whole package, not to mention the dozens of instruments we get to enjoy throughout this tune – trumpet, saxophone, timpani, violin and so much more.


Rush – Moving Pictures (1981)

rush-moving-pictures-1981Another album you have to listen to if you are into “progressive rock mood” would be Rush’s “Moving Pictures” (1981). Both critically and commercially acclaimed this is one of the albums that truly deserve a spot on your shelf and in your heart. I included it as a part of my selection because despite coming out relatively late, compared to other progressive rock jewels, it did manage to leave a lasting trail of classic prog rockers and radio staplers. It’s a perfect combination between hard rock, adopting a lot of experimental techniques and state of the art technologies to craft the perfect sound. It’s accessible progressive rock at its finest; a natural evolution of a genre!


 

P.S. I don’t own any audio or visual material used in this publication. All the rights and credits go to the owners and/publishers.
The publication expresses my personal opinion and in no way is trying to make a generalized statement. Please be kind and considerate when you read and/or comment.
Cheers~

My Top 10 Rock Songs about “TIME”

You guys know that crafting playlists with songs addressing a specific theme or suitable for a particular occasion is one of my favorite things to do! It all goes back to my favorite past time when I was a little girl – recording music from the radio and making mixtapes for pretty much every possible mood or situation. Some things never change I guess…

These weeks I have been thinking about a very sensitive topic – time. Probably because I am at this point in my life where every second of my day is filled up with work and countless of projects and tasks but I seem to have been using the phrase “I don’t have time” way too often. That’s not how a person should live their lives – it’s not about having time, it’s about making time and being in control of your own day…and that’s something I lack. Maybe some of you, guys can understand me.

I don’t want to get philosophical and all but the concept of time can be pretty scary. The mere thought of this mysterious, life-eating master of our universe who dictates every step of our lives can make you shiver. We are so obsessed with checking our clocks and scheduling our lives second by second that sometimes I think we forgot how to stay “that’s it” and start using our limited time more wisely and happily. Time waits for no one – you can’t buy it with money and you can’t control it. The only thing you can do is learn how to make special, spend it with beautiful people, and fill it with love, smiles and joy. It may sound quite romantic and idealistic, but every second counts and every moment is precious – find the time to love, laugh and experience all the beautiful things live can offer you.

The concept of time is a very popular theme in all forms of art – poetry, painting and of course, music. Many brilliant musicians have dedicated a song or two to the idea of time and all of its encompassing notions, such as living for the moment; spending it with someone you love; choosing the right time to do something; how time changes everything; waiting no more or simply leaving it all in the hands of time and so many other related twists. Since this is a place where we celebrate rock music, I will naturally be focusing on rock acts, the way they interpreted time and incorporated it into their music. I have gathered 10 of my favorite songs, dealing with this subject, all performed by outstanding rock musicians who truly managed to deliver their message about time, each in its own  tasteful and special way. I do hope that those melodies and most importantly lyrics, will somehow remind you that even though we are here, on this planet, for a limited amount of time, we should find a way to fill it with what gives our souls wings to fly. Last, but not least, it’s a collection of incredible rockers which surely deserve your attention.

PLAYLIST:

THE ALAN PARSONS PROJECT – “Time” (1980)
PINK FLOYD – “Time” (1973)
JOURNEY – “Precious Time” (1980)
CREAM – “Passing the Time” (1968)
ROXETTE – “Spending My Time” (1991)
CHICAGO – “Does Anybody Really Know What Time It Is? “ (1969)
ASIA – “Only Time Will Tell” (1982)
BAD ENGLISH – “Time Stood Still” (1991)
ALICE COOPER – “Time to Kill” (1987)
RUSH – “Time Stand Still” (1987)


 

THE ALAN PARSONS PROJECT – “Time” (1980)

Time
Flowing like a river
Time
Beckoning me
Who knows when we shall meet again
If ever
But time
Keeps flowing like a river
To the sea
Goodbye my love
Maybe for forever
Goodbye my love
The tide waits for me
Who knows when we shall meet again
If ever
But time
Keeps flowing like a river (on and on)
To the sea
To the sea


PINK FLOYD – “Time” (1973)

And you run and you run to catch up with the sun but it’s sinking
Racing around to come up behind you again
The sun is the same in a relative way, but you’re older
Shorter of breath and one day closer to death…


JOURNEY – “Precious Time” (1980)

How it rescued me, baby, baby it rescued me.
Oh, there’s a place in time not far from here,
A place we all could see;
So if you’re lookin’ for a better day,
Touch the sky and see.
Oh, precious time placed it’s hand on me;
Oh, precious time, how it rescued me.


CREAM – “Passing the Time” (1968)

Passing the time, everything fine.
Passing the time, drinking red wine.
Passing the time, everything fine.
Passing the time, wine and time rhyme.
Passing the time.
It is a long winter,
Away is the summer.
She waits for her traveller
So far from home.
She sits by the fireside,
The room is so warm.
There’s ice on the window,
She’s lonely alone…


ROXETTE – “Spending My Time” (1991)

I get up and make myself some coffee
I try to read a bit but the story’s too thin
Then I thank the Lord above
That you’re not there to see me
In this shape I’m in
Spending my time
Watching the days go by
Feeling so small
I stare at the wall
Hoping that you think of me too
I’m spending my time…


CHICAGO – “Does Anybody Really Know What Time It Is?“ (1969)

As I was walking down the street one day
A man came up to me and asked me what the time was that was
on my watch, yeah
And I said
Does anybody really know what time it is
I don’t
Does anybody really care
care
If so I can’t imagine why
about time
We’ve all got time enough to cry…


ASIA – “Only Time Will Tell” (1982)

Now, sure as the sun will cross the sky
This lie is over
Lost, like the tears that used to tide me over
(Only time will tell)
One thing is sure
That time will tell
(Only time will tell)
If you were wrong
The brightest ring around the moon
Will darken when I die…


BAD ENGLISH – “Time Stood Still” (1991)

Time stood still
As we walked into the night together
The memory is locked in our hearts forever
It seems just like yesterday
Time stood still…


ALICE COOPER – “Time to Kill” (1987)

Well, I was born on a dead end street I’m cold blooded but I always felt the heat.
All my friend are dead and gone
If there’s a hell, I’m one step closer to it
Somewhere I crossed the line
Somewhere I’m lost in time
I lost my soul and now I’m losing my min
Time to kill
I’ve had enough of all your lies
I’ve only got time to kill
I’ve seen the fire in my eyes
I’ve only got time to kill…


RUSH – “Time Stand Still” (1987)

(Time stand still)
I’m not looking back
But I want to look around me now
(Time stand still)
See more of the people and the places that surround me now
Freeze this moment a little bit longer
Make each sensation a little bit stronger
Experience slips away
Experience slips away…


 

P.S. I don’t own any audio or visual material used in this publication. All the rights and credits go to the owners and/publishers.
The publication expresses my personal opinion and in no way is trying to make a generalized statement. Please be kind and considerate when you read and/or comment.
Cheers~

Playlist: 10 Of the Longest Classic Rock Songs

 

I was just listening to Pink Floyd’s “Shine on You Crazy Diamond” when suddenly I felt like I should browse through my music library and try to find some classic rock songs that go a little (sometimes a lot) over the average song duration. Those epic tunes have always been my favorites – there’s something so special and engaging…I mean sharing 10-20 minutes of your life with a song is indeed an engagement and this means that the song has to be more than extraordinary. I have always been fascinated by how those true rock artists manage to maintain a song for over 10 minutes – it’s quite the challenge, isn’t it?

When it comes to lengthy musical pieces, I think we can mostly find them in jazz or nowadays in electronic music. However, I argue that the rock music scene from the 60s, 70s, 80s and even 90s has a lot to offer when it comes to epic long tunes. In no particular order, here are 10 examples, chosen by me, of classic rock songs that go over the average song length. I do hope you have about 2 and half hours of your life to spend with them.

Cheers


 

Rush – “2112”

The title track from Rush’s fourth studio album was an absolute ground-breaking moment for the Canadian rockers. The story is set in the future – in the year of 2112 when there’s no music. A man, however, discovers the magic of music and everything changes.


Deep Purple – “Child in Time”

“Child in Time” comes from Deep Purple’s 1970 album – “Deep Purple in Rock”. It’s a very straightforward protest against the Vietnam War. Interesting fact, the song is actually based on It’s a Beautiful Day‘s psychedelic song “Bombay Calling”. Ian Gillan once said in an interview, “There are two sides to that song – the musical side and the lyrical side. On the musical side, there used to be this song ‘Bombay Calling’ by a band called It’s A Beautiful Day. It was fresh and original, when Jon was one day playing it on his keyboard. It sounded good, and we thought we’d play around with it, change it a bit and do something new keeping that as a base. But then, I had never heard the original ‘Bombay Calling’. So we created this song using the Cold War as the theme, and wrote the lines ‘Sweet child in time, you’ll see the line.’ That’s how the lyrical side came in. Then, Jon had the keyboard parts ready and Ritchie had the guitar parts ready. The song basically reflected the mood of the moment, and that’s why it became so popular.”


The Velvet Underground – “Sister Ray”

Some late ‘60s vibes with Velvet Underground! Nothing special to say about this song – it’s typical Lou Reed from the beginning till the end of it. It may be all about drugs, violence and all of these bad things in life; however the song has definitely something else to offer as well.


Pink Floyd – “Shine on You Crazy Diamond”

In my book, the kings of maintaining both lengthy and breathtaking rock tunes have to be Pink Floyd. Throughout their career, they have a great number of tracks that go over the average song duration. However, I chose those two songs specifically because I feel like they both perfectly illustrate how powerful a lengthy song can be and how well it can play with your emotions and moods. On top of that we get brilliant instrumentals, skillful improvisations and numerous important parts and details that go one after another like waves.

Pink Floyd – “Echoes”


The Doors – “The End”

Jim Morrison wrote this song about his girlfriend, however in time, it turned into something much deeper and meaningful. “The End” is one of their most emblematic tracks, coming from their self-titled debut album. He once said, Everytime I hear that song, it means something else to me. It started out as a simple good-bye song… Probably just to a girl, but I see how it could be a goodbye to a kind of childhood. I really don’t know. I think it’s sufficiently complex and universal in its imagery that it could be almost anything you want it to be.”


Guns N’ Roses – “November Rain”

And it all comes back to this song – one of Guns N’ Roses’ greatest accomplishments of their career. “November Rain” is a beautiful power-ballad that ruled the first half of the 90s. Read more about it here: The Story of Guns N’ Roses’ “November Rain”


King Crimson – “Starless”

“Starless” has pretty much everything I love about progressive rock  – smooth intro, saxophone accompaniments, jam sessions, long improvisations and memorable drums. The tune comes from King Crimson’s seventh studio album – “Red”, released in 1974.


Led Zeppelin – “Achilles Last Stand”

Achilles Last Stand” is a very essential song for the future development of British heavy metal music. Written by Jimmy Page and Robert Plant in Page’s home in California, the tune simply changed the course of rock history. On top of that, it impresses with John Bonham’s powerful drumming and John Paul Jones‘s bass line.

Jimmy Page has often referred to “Achilles Last Stand” as his favorite Led Zeppelin song.


Yes – “The Gates of Delirium”

YES are the other absolute masters of lengthy and epic rock tunes. “The Gates of Delirium” is a 22 minute progressive saga based on Leo Tolstoy’s War and Peace. It starts with a vocal section and it evolves into a mythical and rather long instrumental section. By the end of the song, you finally realize that for the past 20 minutes you have experienced the whole range of feelings – from tenseness and anxiety to calmness and hope.


 

 

[PLAYLIST] This Week in Classic Rock Songs

 

Greetings, everyone and happy new week!

It’s Monday, so it’s time for my weekly mixtape. This week, once again, I collected 10 favorite songs from my music library and came up with this splendid classic rock music playlist. Simply put, it’s a compilation of songs I really enjoy listening to on a daily basis. There’s no particular order or concept behind the “mixtape” I’ve prepared. The only idea behind it is to kick off the new week with some serious rock ‘n’ roll tunes! Also, I think such “mixtapes” are the perfect opportunity to travel back in time, relive the amazing moments or just remind ourselves of some great rock music! Let’s roll! Happy Listening!


 

 

Tina Turner – Steamy Windows (1989)

 

Alice Cooper – This Maniac’s Inlove With You (1989)

 

Helloween – I Want Out (1988)

 

YES – Owner of a Lonely Heart (1983)

 

Poison – Talk Dirty to Me (1986)

 

Rush – Tom Sawyer (1981)

 

Deep Purple – Mistreated (1974)

 

Judas Priest – Better By You, Better Than Me (1978)

 

Dio – Don’t Talk to Strangers (1983)

 

and let’s finish off with a more gentle classic rock song from the late 80s….

The Cure – Lovesong (1989)