40. close to the edge

“So here we are, decades after the fact and it’s still difficult to discuss the music of the band known as Yes without somehow disparaging it as overwrought, pretentious, guilty of trying too hard. To which I say, f*** that (unless you’re talking about their later stuff – the 1980s and beyond, some of which I’m pretty sure is on perpetual repeat in hell’s jukebox). Because the good stuff, the grand stuff, the vast and virtuous and ambitious stuff of their early-mid 1970s phase, we need that stuff, particularly Close To The Edge (the song and the album, but particularly the side long song). Because it’s true, I think, the edge isn’t a place, the edge doesn’t exist. You’ve either gone too far and you’re falling the long fall into oblivion, or you’ve found that sweet spot just short of it where everything opens up. All those BIG unifying passions and ideas that have been floating in and around you since before puberty even – the idea of indivisibility. Jehovah and Allah and Jesus and Muhammad and Krishna and every known and unknown god or whatever, all one big happy. Bigger than any cathedral, that’s for sure. Because every church, every creed, every ideology gets it wrong the instant it claims to have gotten it all right. Because even if you have vast chunks of the truth, you can’t have it all. It’s the nature of it, beyond mortal comprehension. So the very claim of TRUTH divides us, sets loose corrosive elements, brings the f***ing roof down.

Which is what’s going on in the middle of Close To The Edge, I think, the part where the church organ kicks in. That’s the capital T Truth failing. That’s the cathedrals all collapsing, and the mosques, the temples, the synagogues. That’s the outside crashing in, the inside gushing out. Now that you’re saved, now that you’re whole. Seasons will pass you by. You get up. You get down.  It’s all so clear once you stop trying to make sense of it. Just smoke a doob, put on the headphones, stretch out and let it all be … for eighteen and a half minutes anyway. Maybe the best damned band on the planet. Ever. Or certainly close to it. Hell even Led Zeppelin had to be looking over their shoulders by 1972. Because Yes simply had more going on. Hell, they had Rick Wakeman and his mountainous stacks of keyboards, conjuring choirs and orchestras and all manner of big and mysterious colours and textures and everything really, or damned close to it anyway. As close as anyone got at the time, and maybe ever since. Because has there ever been another time like it? We were definitely close to something.” (Philip Random)

267. halleluwah

“It’s true. Can saved us all at least a decade before most of humanity even knew of their existence (my corner of it anyway). Because while everybody else was reeling from the meltdown of the Beatles, the deaths of Jimi Hendrix, Janis Joplin, Jim Morrison, the end of 1960s in general, backtracking deeper and deeper into so-called authentic blues, or going all progressive, singing of castles, strange kingdoms, lost dimensions (not that there was anything particularly wrong with it) … the Communist-Anarchist-Nihilist combo known as Can (operating out of their own schloss in Koln, West Germany) were still fiercely working the now, deep into the pretty much infinite groove of Halleuwah, the Lord be praised indeed! Howls and riffs and passing rips of melody and noise and the best f***ing drummer ever — the whole mad stew still sounding fresh and dangerous and profoundly ahead of its time even now, decades later. Why is it not way higher on this list then? Good question. I guess I must’ve been just post a phase of listening to it too much when I was compiling things.” (Philip Random)

335. father of night, father of day

Manfred Mann’s Earth Band being an example of a darned strong outfit that never bothered much for hype or glory, particularly in their early days, but rather just put everything they had into the music. In the case of Father of Night Father of Day, that meant taking a sub two minute Bob Dylan acoustic throwaway about the glory of God etc and electrifying it, amplifying it glorifying until it was almost ten minutes long, and miles higher. The whole album’s a killer by the way, 1973’s Solar Fire. The Roaring Silence got all the sales and notoriety three years later because it contained Blinded By The Light, but Solar Fire is superior by orders of magnitude, the definition of a rock that was progressive, and at a time when that still mattered.” (Philip Random)

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)

gentlegiant-1972-promo

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.

solid-crop-50

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.

solid-crop-49

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.

11. The Solid Time Of Change

Part eleven of the Solid Time of Change  aired Saturday July-30-2016 c/o CiTR.FM.101.9.

Podcast (Solid Time begins at around the 5 minute point). Youtube playlist (not completely accurate).

This continues to be Randophonic’s main focus, our overlong yet incomplete history of the so-called Prog Rock era (presented in countdown form) – 661 records from 1965 through 1979 with which we hope to do justice to a strange and ambitious time indeed, musically speaking.

solid-crop-11

Part eleven of the journey went as follows:

  1. Frank Zappa – peaches in regalia
  2. Mothers of Invention – dog breath in the year of the plague
  3. Led Zeppelin – friends
  4. Bo Hansson – the sun [parallel or 90 degrees]
  5. Chicago – a hit by Varese
  6. Chicago- dialogue [part-2]
  7. Pink Floyd – take up thy stethoscope and walk
  8. Pink Floyd – biding my time
  9. Khan – Space Shanty
  10. Khan- hollow stone [including Escape of the Space Pirates]
  11. Yes – madrigal
  12. Genesis – a trick of the tail
  13. Genesis – entangled
  14. Genesis – Fountain of Salmacis
  15. Shawn Phillips – She was waiting for her mother at the station in Torino …
  16. Shawn Phillips – whaz’ zat [etc]

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.

7. The Solid Time Of Change

Part seven of the Solid Time of Change aired Saturday June-25-2016 c/o CiTR.FM.101.9.

 

Youtube playlist [incomplete and slightly inaccurate]. Podcast download (Solid Time begins at around the 5 minute point).

The Solid Time of Change is Randophonic’s latest project, an overlong yet incomplete history of the so-called Prog Rock era – 661 records from 1965 through 1979, presented in countdown form, with which we hope to convey some sense of what was indeed a strange and ambitious time.

solid-crop-07

Part seven of our journey went as follows:

  1. Van der Graaf Generator – theme one
  2. Roxy Music – in every dream home a heartache
  3. Godley + Crème – I pity inanimate objects
  4. Horslips – King of morning Queen of day
  5. Horslips – ride to hell
  6. Captain Beyond – as the moon speaks
  7. Captain Beyond – Armworth – myopic void
  8. Brian Eno – dead finks don’t talk
  9. Mothers of Invention – oh no
  10. Mothers of Invention – Orange County Lumber Truck
  11. Mothers of Invention – weasels ripped my flesh
  12. Chilliwack – changing reels [edit]
  13. Annexus Quam – osmose 1
  14. Mike Oldfield – Hergest Ridge [fragments]
  15. Anthony Phillips – Henry: portraits from Tudor times
  16. Steve Hackett – hands of the priestess
  17. Steve Hackett – a tower struck down
  18. Steve Hackett – hands of the priestess (2)

Solid Time of Change #8 airs Saturday, July 2nd at 11 pm (Pacific time) c/o CiTR.FM.101.9, with streaming and download options available within twenty-four hours.

6. The Solid Time Of Change

Part six of the Solid Time of Change aired Saturday June-11-2016 c/o CiTR.FM.101.9.

 

Youtube playlist (possibly not the exact versions that were played). Podcast.

This is Randophonic’s latest countdown, the 661 Greatest Records of the so-called Prog Rock era, an overlong yet incomplete history of whatever the hell happened between 1965 and 1979 – not in all music, not even in most of it, but definitely in a bunch of it, particularly during those five years in the middle (1969-1974).

What is Prog Rock? Is it different somehow from progressive rock, or for that matter, rock that merely progresses? These may seem like simple questions, but they are in fact doors that open unto some of the most complex enigmas of our time, and thus as good a reason as any for a year of radio.

solid-crop-06

Part six of our journey went as follows:

  1. Peter Hammill – the institute of mental health is burning
  2. David Bowie- See Emily Play
  3. Brand X – the sun in the night
  4. Donovan- cosmic wheels
  5. Turtles – grim reaper of love
  6. Nektar- do you believe in magic
  7. Nektar – desolation valley
  8. Nektar – waves
  9. Steppenwolf – monster
  10. Wishbone Ash – the king will come
  11. Wishbone Ash – throw down the sword
  12. Genesis – chamber of 32 doors
  13. England – all alone
  14. England – three piece suite
  15. Jethro Tull – for Michael Collins, Jeffrey and me
  16. Jethro Tull – Pibroch cap in hand
  17. Electric Light Orchestra – Kuiama

Solid Time of Change #7 airs Saturday, June 18th at 11 pm (Pacific time) c/o CiTR.FM.101.9, with streaming and download options available within twenty-four hours.