353. In held ’twas in I

Procol Harum achieved improbable levels of success with their very first single, 1967’s Whiter Shade of Pale, and it was taken rather seriously. Because it was rock meets Johan Sebastien Bach with lyrics obscure enough to almost make you forget that Bob Dylan had taken a vacation, more or less. But then what do you do for an encore? You go further, higher, deeper, longer, you give all of side two of your second album to a single seventeen minute track called In Held Twas In I, which to many ears, ranks as the first genuine prog rock epic. In other words, yeah, it probably goes too far, too high and deep, definitely too long. But what do expect from young men cut loose from the herd, more or less commanded to go climb the highest mountain? Or as the Dalai Lama puts it in the intro. Life is like a beanstalk. Isn’t it?” (Philip Random)

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434. sailor’s tale

“By 1971’s Islands, their fourth album in barely two years, the force of mind and nature known as King Crimson were not so much lost as just a very long way from shore. Down to only two of the original five members, and one of them (Pete Sinfield) had never provided much in the way of actual music, just “… words, sounds and visions, cover design and painting, production” (and in fact, he was on his way out, Islands would be his last Crimson involvement). Robert Fripp, on the other hand, was firmly ensconced on whisper-to-apocalyptic-howl guitar, with Sailor’s Tale a particularly powerful offering. Just wait until whatever high you’re riding is at its peak, then crank the sound system and wait for that sucker punch eruption at around the 4-and-a-half minute point. Not a sudden eruption from silence. No this is far trickier than that. Because the song’s already charging along at that point. It just suddenly goes way further. The earth shakes. The skies open. A gaping hole gets blown from the jigsaw of time.” (Philip Random)

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453. inmate’s lullaby

Second of two in a row from Gentle Giant’s prolific and dense and rather brilliant early 1970s phase. Inmate’s Lullaby being one of those songs that absolutely succeeds insofar as, even if you don’t pay attention to the lyrics, you know what it’s about. It’s about madness, insanity, but in a nice way, like a nice day at the asylum. The inmate looks out his window and smells the flowers and hears the birds and comes to believe he’s in paradise, heaven even. Does heaven have inmates? If it does, you know they have a band, and it likely sounds a lot like Gentle Giant do here, working all manner of archaic and weird (for any kind of rock outfit) instrumentation to evocative effect.

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454. knots

“I first stumbled onto Gentle Giant via late night TV, maybe 1975.  My first thought was, these guys are strange. And I’ve never wavered in that estimation. Or more to the point, the stranger the better. And they never got stranger than Knots, from the album called Octopus, and Knots is nothing if not Octopus like – at least eight separate arms all reaching for something beyond their grasp. I’m sure I’ve heard it a thousand times, yet I’m still not entirely clear how it even goes, though lyrically, it does seem very connected to the psychology of RD Laing.” (Philip Random)

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50. The Solid Time Of Change

The final instalment of the Solid Time of Change aired on Saturday October 21st (c/o CiTR.FM.101.9).

Youtube playlist (not entirely accurate).

The Solid Time of Change has been our overlong yet incomplete history of the so-called Prog Rock era – 661 selections from 1965 through 1979 with which we’ve tried to begin to do justice to a strange and ambitious time indeed, musically speaking.

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The final stage of the journey went as follows:

  • Yes – And You and I
  • King Crimson – Court of the Crimson King
  • Genesis – Supper’s Ready
  • King Crimons – Starless
  • Beatles – A Day in the Life
  • Yes – Close to the Edge

If you’re late discovering all of this and wish to start at the beginning …

Randophonic airs pretty much every Saturday night, starting 11 pm (Pacific time) c/o CiTR.FM.101.9, with streaming and download options usually available within twenty-four hours via our Facebook page. We have no clear plan for what shall happen next beyond more superlative noise in some form or other …

49. The Solid Time Of Change

Installment #49 of the Solid Time of Change aired on Saturday October 14th (c/o CiTR.FM.101.9).

Youtube playlist (not entirely accurate).

The Solid Time of Change has been our overlong yet incomplete history of the so-called Prog Rock era – 661 selections from 1965 through 1979 with which we’ve hoped to do justice to a strange and ambitious time indeed, musically speaking.

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Part Forty-Nine of the journey (the second to last) went as follows:

  • Yes – perpetual change
  • Genesis – the waiting room
  • Genesis – anyway
  • Genesis – here comes the supernatural anesthetist
  • Genesis – the lamia
  • Jethro Tull – Thick as a Brick

The final episode of the Solid Time of Change airs Saturday, October-21, starting at 11 pm (Pacific time) c/o CiTR.FM.101.9, with streaming and download options available within twenty-four hours via our Facebook page.

47. The Solid Time Of Change

Installment #47 of the Solid Time of Change aired on Saturday September 23rd (c/o CiTR.FM.101.9).

Youtube playlist – not entirely accurate.

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.

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Part Forty-Seven of the journey went as follows (selections 28-23):

  • King Crimson – Red
  • Genesis – the carpet crawlers
  • Genesis – Firth of Fifth
  • Yes – The Revealing Science of God
  • Yes – The Gates of Delirium
  • Pink Floyd – shine on you crazy diamond [I-IX]

Fresh episodes air pretty much every Saturday night, 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.

46. The Solid Time Of Change

Installment #46 of the Solid Time of Change aired on Saturday September 16th (c/o CiTR.FM.101.9).

Youtube playlist (not entirely accurate).

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.

solid-crop-46

Part Forty-Six of the journey went as follows (38-29):

  • Donovan – hurdy gurdy man
  • Aphrodite’s Child – the four horsemen
  • Aphrodite’s Child – all the seats were occupied
  • Mothers of Invention – brown shoes don’t make it
  • Beatles – I am the Walrus
  • Genesis – dancing with the moonlit knight
  • Van Morrison – astral weeks
  • Gentle Giant – knots
  • King Crimson – 21st Century schizoid man
  • Mike Oldfield – Ommadawn [part 1]

Fresh episodes air pretty much every Saturday night, 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.

659. Asbury Park

To clarify. King Crimson first performed as a unit in early 1969, quickly knocked the world onto its head by more or less inventing so-called progressive rock, then proceeded to do just that for the next five years. They progressed. The line-up was ever mutating, as were the sounds. Only one thing remained unchanged. Robert Fripp remained seated as he played his mellotron and planet fracturing guitar. Asbury Park is a live improv from a show at the Asbury Park Casino on June 28, 1974, one of the last shows from the last King Crimson tour of the 1970s after which Mr. Fripp would shut the whole outfit down because he’d come to despise the industry he was in, and what it was doing to him. Not that he and King Crimson brand wouldn’t return half a decade later.  But that is a whole other discipline.

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