The Solid Time of Change is our overlong yet incomplete history of the so-called Prog Rock era – 661 selections from 1965 through 1979 with which we hope to do justice to a strange and ambitious time indeed, musically speaking.
Part Thirty-Six of the journey went as follows:
Jeff Wayne – Horsell Common + The Heat Ray
Neil Diamond – Holly Holy
Led Zeppelin – in the light
Crosby Stills + Nash – Suite: Judy Blue Eyes
Yes – your move
Yes – all good people
Bob Dylan – desolation row
Grobschnitt – solar music 
Fresh episodes air most Saturday nights, starting 11 pm (Pacific time) c/o CiTR.FM.101.9, with streaming and download options available within twenty-four hours via our Facebook page.
In which Johnny Rotten (aka Lydon) and the ever revolving crowd at Public Image Ltd remind us that the very idea of a love song was problematic come the 1980s, Ian Curtis having slain the beast with Love Will Tear Us Apart (and then he hung himself to emphasize his point). Which didn’t mean that love didn’t exist anymore. It had just become a heavier, more complex and dangerous thing. And take note. This is the original single version, vastly superior to overproduced mess that eventually showed up on album.
“In which Queen unleash one minute fifty seconds of punk rock a good three years before they had a label for such stuff, Modern Times Rock ‘n’ Roll being found on their first album, the one titled simply Queen. And exhibit A when it came to proving that they could do anything any other so-called rock band could do, and better. At least, that was the argument in the Grade Nine ghetto down by the metal work room.” (Philip Random)
“I cannot tell a lie. The first time I heard the name Dead Kennedys, it kind of took my breath away. I didn’t say anything out loud or anything, but I liked the Kennedys, was old enough to remember the assassinations of both JFK and RFK. And now here was this punk band exploiting them. Not that I really even listened to the music really. It was just trash and exploitation, right? With a name like that! It took 1981’s In God We Trust EP to set me straight, particularly We’ve Got A Bigger Problem Now (which I later discovered was a reworking of California Uber Alles from their first album). It was the lounge bit at the beginning that hooked me, the part about happy hour being enforced by law, and a jar of Hitler’s brain juice in the back, and Emperor Ronald Reagan born again with fascist cravings. Welcome to the future. Ready or not.” (Philip Random)
Speaking of Pink Floyd, come 1977, they were pretty much the poster children for all that pompous, bloated, overblown so-called Prog Rock that Punk was supposed to be annihilating. Which made Animals a source of much confusion, because it was so full of uncompromising bile and rage, it would’ve been punk rock if the songs weren’t so long. Pigs gets singled out here for the sheer violence of the instrumental parts, like the worst of dreams. You wake up to air raid sirens. You look skyward into the night, catch a glimpse of a pig the size of a football field, with red laser eyes, and they’re fixed on you.
“The title’s cool. Atom Heart Mother. Doesn’t get much heavier than that. But it’s the cow that grabbed me, which I first saw as a poster in a record store when I was maybe twelve. No group or album name. Just this cow gazing cowlike from its green field. I didn’t get it, but I guess it got me. Later, a friend told me it was Pink Floyd, who I’d heard of but never actually heard (this being a two or three years before Dark Side of the Moon would become as common as allergies in springtime). ‘They’re acid rock,’ said my friend, which instantly meant extreme. Because acid could eat metal, right? But then I actually heard Atom Heart Mother and it was more weird than anything, like a symphony, except it was a rock band, with space ships in the distance, and then choirs and things. No metal being eaten anywhere, unless that’s what the cow was doing, calm, significant, like a Hindu god. I particularly liked the groovy part in the middle.” (Philip Random)
In which Savoy Brown emerge from the depths of their trad-blues commitments to deliver a uniquely laid back but strong 1969 truth – a time when, if you were properly cool, you had very long hair, smoked a lot of dope, and didn’t mince words when it came to your opinion on the f***ed up state of the world, man.
“Track one, side one from the first Pixies album, Come on Pilgrim. I even heard it at the time and, genius that I was, decided it was pretty good, but I was more into noise in those days. I needed things falling apart, a soundtrack for the corrosion inherent in my late 80s worldview. Then maybe eight years later, couch-surfing in Berlin, a half-condemned building east of where the wall had been, I stumbled upon a beat up Eastern Block bootleg copy, left over from those grey and perilous days. I was finally ready.” (Philip Random)