Prog Rock

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A late addition to the Prog Rock scene, Germany's Wilhelm Scream featured traditional airbrushed artwork on their gatefold double album covers, as well as a 38 minute opus to the Battle of Thermopylae.
The Pink Floyd's 1970 Album was panned by PETA.
Original cover for Jethro Tull's "Thick as a Brick"

“The time between the notes relates the color to the scene.”

~ Jon Anderson on umm...

“I much prefer Brighton Rock, or Blackpool if I can't get any of that”

~ Noël Coward on Prog Rock

“We do not write "songs". We write "suites", "epics" and "concept pieces". We do not write "lyrics". we write poetic expressions of the truth of the Universe. GET IT STRAIGHT!!”

~ Pete Sinfield on Prog Rock

“Mekanïk Üdü Wüdü futura de Kommandöh! Magma 1001°Centigrades Janik Top. Špaćank Uć Đaerž. Merci”

~ Christian Vander on God knows what

“I think we need some mandolin around here.”

~ Mike Oldfield on music

“Pfff...Yeah, mandolin. How original.”

~ Ian Anderson on Mike Oldfield on music


~ Mike Oldfield on originality


~ Ian Anderson on Avant-garde

“I had one of those once, before I bought my Minimoog.”

~ Rick Wakeman on women

“Moog sucks. I could ARP your head off!!!”

~ Tony Banks on Moog


~ Mike Oldfield on ARP, Moog and women

“A Flower?!”

~ Peter Gabriel on

“A discipline that does not lead to a compassionate practice may be said to have failed.”

~ Robert Fripp on God knows what

“Where are Karn Evils 1 Through 8?”

~ Annonymous on ELP

“I wish my brother George was here.”

~ Liberace on winning a grammy for his album Frances the Mute

“We'll be right back right after this commercial for Captain Crunch, now featuring Crunchberries!”

~ Mike Keneally on stalling for time while Bryan Beller tunes his 28-string bass

“This is not music”

~ Captain Obvious on Prog Rock

Prog Rock (not to be confused with Prod rock) was a particularly widespread, genre of music, which is thought to be mostly under control now in the civilised world. Groups such as Pink Floyd, Deaf To Van Gogh's Ear, ELP, Genesis, King Crimson, Rush, Yes and the much later Marillion were rife amongst the, pseudointellectual (mainly male) youth, much as the Grunge genre of the early 90's became to deadly effect. Most Progressive Rock bands only lasted a limited time, band members often breaking up due to musical similarities (or in Pink Floyd's case, Roger Waters), except Marillion who defined the Popular Prog Rock genre.

Sometimes referred to as "Prague Rock" due to its roots in Czechloslovakian Folk Music, progressive rock rebelled against the more popular regressive rock, in which artists would work backwards, from material about self actualization, metaphysical ethics and gnoseology, to songs like "Work Sucks", "School Sucks", "I Want My Mommy" and finally "Gurgle Gurgle". In short, progressive rock groups decided to stop writing three-minute songs about sex and instead wrote ten-minute songs about God knows what (although it is believed that Jon Anderson knows the meanings of the lyrics of all prog songs ever written).

And remember: if we'd had CDs in 1971, "Echoes" would have been eighty-seven goddamn minutes long.

Origins of Prog Rock

Prog rock was first founded when some racist Europeans decided they had it with that rock music based on "negro blues" and decided to create rock music based on Aryan classical music. Just like Hitler they were hugely popular at their heyday, but as soon as they tried too hard they were thrown in the trashcan, only to be talked about with shame. Today they mostly hang around dark websites reminsicing about Robert Fripp and Brian Eno's sudden hair loss. Some folks still believe Jon Anderson will lead them back to prog days of yore but Jon (from his hospital bed) has deemed it "Quite improbable and inherently unlikely".

With their love for the flamboyant and theatrical Progressive Rock soon cut a colourful swave through the music scene, as long haired youths nodded knowingly into pints of Guinness and light ales worldwide, whilst discussing the musical virtuosity of Karn Evil 9, or the sheer genius of a 27 minute Mellotron solo, or the sheer genius of a 18 minute guitar solo, or the sheer genius of a 3 second bass solo. Every single progressive band from the heyday used a man named Bill Bruford as a drummer because he thought 4 was 7.

Prog Rock is also known to be the final evolution of Rock music, using over-the-top insane musical composition (which may or may not be influenced by LSD hallucinations) and impossible-to-understand lyrics about moonchildren, tales from topographic oceans or "man-ergs" (confirmed to have been influenced by LSD hallucinations). The lower species called Punk decided to rise against it. Punk defended that each band was supposed to write only one 3 chord song during their carrier, and only change this song's lyrics along the albums. This clashed into a Prog vs. Punk war that lasts to this day, with neither side showing signs of wanting to give up.

Symptoms of Progressive Rock

The Holy Trinity of prog pianism.

Symptoms include:

  • Brain Damage.
  • ...subsequent Brain Salad Surgery
  • Becoming Schizoid, especially in the 21st Century.
  • Being Gentle (This symptom can only affect giants)
  • Listening to bands such as Pink Floyd, Yes, King Crimson, Kansas, Rush, Genesis etc.
  • 27 minute song composition (or longer).
  • Keyboard solos especially where they do not belong (you heard me Emerson)
  • Playing bass guitar
  • ...subsiquently taking over the band andtaking credit for everything the band has written
  • Not being American
  • Mandolins (see Mike Oldfield).
  • "Creative" hair stylings (see here).
  • A cape.
  • A wizard hat.
  • A cape and a wizard hat.
  • Interest in pirates.
  • Going down to Willow Farm to look for butterflies, flutterbies and gutterflies.
  • Getting wood when seeing old pics of Greg Lake.
  • Using an extended Vocabulary
  • Having Breakfast in America
  • Bill Bruford.
  • Dressing up like a killer garden gnome.
  • Getting your ass kicked by Sid Viscious, or kicking Sid Viscious' ass.
  • Being a talented musician wasting talents on useless music.
  • LSD.
  • Being mistaken for Art Rock
  • Being mistaken for Heavy Metal
  • Being mistaken for Avant-garde
  • Being mistaken for Symphonic Rock
  • Being mistaken for Jazz Fusion
  • Being mistaken for Psycadelic Rock
  • Being mistaken for Music that makes sense
  • Dreaming about Being an eskimo and loosing your vision due to someone rubbing a mixture of husky wee-wee (I mean doggy wee-wee) and snow into your eyes
  • Building walls during concerts... Big fuckin' expensive walls.
  • Your wisemen not knowing how it feels to be Thick as a Brick
  • Keith Emerson punching Elton John in the face.
  • Singing about moonlit knights and eclipses.
  • Spitting in fans' faces.
  • Calling The Shaggs better than The Beatles
  • The ability to understand EXACTLY what Peter Gabriel was talking about (Jon Anderson....).
  • Using big, fancy words that mean nothing.
  • Thinking about Modest Mussorgsky.
  • Drugs.
  • Pete Sinfield.
  • Mellotrons.
  • Touring with a saxophone player.
  • Naming a guitar effect after yourself... You heard me, Robert Fripp.
  • Summoning angels with guitar riffs (i.e. Steve Howe in Close to the Edge)
  • Summoning demons with drum riffs (i.e. Danny Carey in every single Tool song ever)
  • Analogue Synthesizers.
  • Time signatures unknown to mankind (for example only the shreddergod John Petrucci of Dream Theater knows how to play 69/420).
  • Starting to get hits in the 80's (which is quite scary for a prog-rocker, we're just not used to it).
  • Starting to talk about modern day warriors and today's Tom Sawyer.
  • Thinking that Winston Churchill dressed in drag, he used to be a British flag, PLASTIC BAG, WHAT A DRAG!
  • Dawn of light flying between the silent and self sources, chased amid fusions of wonder.
  • Several Species of Small Furry Animals Gathered Together in a Cave and Grooving with a Pict.
  • Repeatedly stating that you will be there

If you feel you may be suffering from any of these symptoms we advise you to seek medical and psychiatric help immediately.

WARNING: Latest Research has shown possible links between the spread of Progressive Rock and Kitten Huffing. Remember kids, JUST SAY NO!

A typical notation of a Gentle Giant song.



The Progressive Rock Article Suite I-III

Part I: The Definition

Progressive Rock
What It Is?
It Can't Really Be Defined
Which Leads to Long Battles Boring As Hell Battles Between Morons
"What Is Prog
And What Is Not"

The Truth Lies
The Faraway Galaxies

There's Something On The Loose
Yesterday I Found A Moose... Or Should It Be Goose?
Or Geese Or Meese, Caboose Or Cabeese,
The Mice In The Hice, And The Grouse In The House
Which Jumped Over a Fence
Yes, This Doesn't Make any Fuckin' Sense. Anyway, 'Does Anyone Have Any Good Pot Around Here?'

Concentration, Will Be My Epitaph,

As I drawl on a cracked and open snatch,

If we make it, we can all sit back,

And smoke crack

Shine On You Sane Crystal

In other words Progressive Rock is like Drugs, Drugs & Roll, Rock & Roll, Rocks, Drugs and Spam! (see Jethro Tull for more)

Part II: We Are the Children of Eternal Light / The Author Still Doesn't Have Any Imagination to Come Up With Something Funny, Including 'The Cleaning of the Underwear Drawer', and 'Cthulhu's Lament (in $ flat Sergeant-Major, with change)' (The Development section) in 11/8, 9/8, 5/4, π/7, 9/16, 16mm and acid

Guitar solo (about ten minutes)
Synth solo (about ten minutes)

Well, At Least the Keyboardist Must Wear a Cape.

Bass solo (about two seconds/five notes/not at all)
Drum solo (two minutes, nineteen seconds, by law)
Other guitar solo (about fifteen more minutes)
Random jamming with incoherent lyrics about quantum panties, and audible snoring of the Sound Engineer in the background (about twenty minutes) [[1]]

Part III: The Definition (Reprise in Five)

Progr     essiv     eRock     WhatI     tIs?I

tCan'     tReal     lyBeD     efine     dWhic

hLead     stoLo     ngBat     tlesB     oring

AsHel     lBatt     lesBe     tween     Nerds

"What     IsPro     gAndW     hatIs     Not"

Coda: T-T-T-T-T-That's All Folks! (featuring vocalist: Porky Pig)

Expressionistic soundscapes (or: the Sound Engineer yawns, farts, scratches his stomach, walks into the playing room, missteps on the dwarfed flautist of the band because of thick smoke covering the room and falls on the drum set cursing like a seaman)

"Well At Least It's Fucking Boring And Corny!" - Mr. Obvious (1974)

(fanfares and fade out)

(unfortunately (or not, depending on your preference,) the recorder ran out of tape 17 minutes before the band stopped playing)


Band: Uncyclopediarium
Song:  The Progressive Rock Article Suite Intro

.  - palm mute            /  - slide up to
\  - slide down to        ~  - vibrato
h  - hammer on            b  - Bend
p  - pull off                Suffixes for bend
t  - tap                     f  - full bend     h - half bend  
ph - pinched harmonic        q  - quarter bend  t - tap bend   
*  - see comment             ^  - Hold bend     r - release bend
x  - Succatto                ~  - vibrato bend  e - bend with string breaking
S  - Stutter                 g  - get bent
,  - slight palm mute      () - ghost note, sustained note
(X_X) Ghostface Killah note
"  - tremolo note          <> - Trill
%  - pose                  &  - pluck with an eyebrow 
U  - unintentional action  Y  - really unintentional action
@  - bang the guitar against the monitor
a  - have an acid flashback
q  - do something really fucking stupid
!  - run in circles, waving the guitar in the air
     while uncontrollably picking the strings
u  - untie vocalist's hair from strings
T  - try to tune the string, unsuccessfully
s  - soil yourself on cue and call it avant-garde
F  - set fire to drummer
tb - tab the song while performing it

WARNING: Do not try playing the guitar by banging the strings with your nuts!

       (silence actually because the guitarist is missing)
e ||-------------------|-------------------|-------------------|-------------------|

                                           sound eng: snoring 
e ||-------------------|-------------------|-------------------|-------------------|

        drums: rabadabadam bamdam
e ||-------------------|---------U0--------|-0-----------0-----|-0------------0----|

                          drums: dumdurum dumdum           vocal: D A Ab Wb Щ#
e ||-6\0/7-------------|-5\4---------------|-0-----------%-----|----2--3\2---3-5---|

                sixth string: Zb J# µb @!^#* ouch, it hurts [goes to her mom]
e ||-1\2---4--4--------|-3---5-3-3\2-------|-16h14---10\2------|-24h23-----23h20---|
Bb||-----------2-2be   |                   |                   |                   |

        drums: undistinguishable from line noise    audience: [wakes up]
e ||-24-----------!--!-|-!20--------@6--@-@|@Googol@--@--0-----|--Y8--7h3----------|
B#||--23h20---23---!-!-|---!---------@3-@--|-@                 |                   |
Hb||--22---22h20----!--|---!-!!!u----@4@-@4|--@8--@-@          |                  F|
Cb||---------------!---|-!--!---u---@-2@@2-|--@5-@-@-@---0-----|--Y9h5---7b~e      |
Bb||                   |                   |                   |                   |


One common side effect of Progressive Rock is bankruptcy. This can be caused by the following:

Most of this can be alleviated by contracting different viruses such as Punk or Indie.

See Also

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