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The Show That Never Ends : The Rise And Fall Of Prog Rock (2017)
(Book)

Call Number MARKETPLACE/781.660904/WEIGEL,D


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LocationCall NumberItem Status
MarketplaceMARKETPLACE/781.660904/WEIGEL,DDue 04-23-18
Published: New York : W. W. Norton & Company, [2017]
Edition:  First edition
Description:  xx, 346 pages, 8 unnumbered pages of plates : illustrations ; 25 cm
ISBN/ISSN: 9780393242256, 0393242250, 9780393242256, 0393242250 :,
Language:  English


The Show That Never Ends is the definitive story of the extraordinary rise and fall of progressive ("prog") rock. Epitomized by such classic, chart-topping bands as Yes, Genesis, Pink Floyd, Jethro Tull, and Emerson Lake & Palmer, along with such successors as Rush, Marillion, Asia, Styx, and Porcupine Tree, prog sold hundreds of millions of records. It brought into the mainstream concept albums, spaced-out cover art, crazy time signatures, multitrack recording, and stagecraft so bombastic it was spoofed in the classic movie This Is Spinal Tap. With a vast knowledge of what Rolling Stone has called "the deliciously decadent genre that the punks failed to kill," access to key people who made the music, and the passion of a true enthusiast, Washington Post national reporter David Weigel tells the story of prog in all its pomp, creativity, and excess. Weigel explains exactly what was "progressive" about prog rock and how its complexity and experimentalism arose from such precursors as the Beach Boys' Pet Sounds and the Beatles' Sgt. Pepper. He traces prog's popularity from the massive success of Procol Harum's "Whiter Shade of Pale" and the Moody Blues' "Nights in White Satin" in 1967. He reveals how prog's best-selling, epochal albums were made, including The Dark Side of the Moon, Thick as a Brick, and Tubular Bells. And he explores the rise of new instruments into the prog mix, such as the synthesizer, flute, mellotron, and--famously--the double-neck guitar. The Show That Never Ends is filled with the candid reminiscences of prog's celebrated musicians. It also features memorable portraits of the vital contributions of producers, empresarios, and technicians such as Richard Branson, Brian Eno, Ahmet Ertegun, and Bob Moog. Ultimately, Weigel defends prog from the enormous derision it has received for a generation, and he reveals the new critical respect and popularity it has achieved in its contemporary resurgence



Children of the Blitz -- The psychedelic boom -- A billion times the impact -- Moog men -- A higher art form -- Hammers and bells -- Complexity freaks -- Fripperies -- Death knell -- Neo-prog -- The nostalgia factory

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Progressive rock music -- History and criticism
Rock music -- History and criticism -- 1971-1980
Rock music -- History and criticism -- 1961-1970
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Prog Rock's Twisted Tale

Progressive rock is probably the most-maligned sub-genre of popular music (although disco gives it a run for its money). However, when played by truly adventurous musicians, prog rock could be pretty, magnificent, experimental or terrifying, often within the same 23-minute suite. Here, David Weigel tries to tell prog's story--from the heady joining of psychedelia and classical music in Procol Harum's "Whiter Shade of Pale" to 70s classics by King Crimson, Genesis, Yes, ELP, Rush, etc., through to the corporate-prog of Asia, and finally on to the artists who kept prog alive from the 90s to the present (Dream Theater, Porcupine Tree/Steven Wilson, The Mars Volta, etc.). If there's any central figure to all this, it's King Crimson's Robert Fripp, who kept breaking up his band just as it seemed on the verge of popular success, never compromising his musical vision. As a fan, it's easy to complain that the narrative is a bit too Anglo-centric (although some French and Italian bands are mentioned), but it generally gets the story right, and enough names and albums are dropped to give curious readers good music to track down.
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04/27/2011
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