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Old 09-12-2012, 10:26 AM   #1 (permalink)
cgw
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Default Define "prog-lite"

Do bands like Boston, Kansas, Journey count as prog?
If not - can I call bands like Supertramp and Renaissance prog-lite? (a semi-rhetorical question)
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Old 09-12-2012, 11:01 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Boston, Kansas, Journey are certainly not prog --- I believe two of them at least are seen as AOR (not sure about Kansas; some of their work might be seen as prog but I doubt you'd find them on any prog site).

Supertramp are often spoken of in the same breath as prog rock; certainly their earlier compositions like "It's a long road" and "Fool's overture" could be regarded as such, but later on they became quite commercial, say from "Breakfast in America" on, so for me they would not really be what I would think of as a prog rock band. Renaissance I don't know.

Never heard of prog-lite: if it's a subgenre you're trying to make up or assign, you'd need to define its parameters...

Edit: Progarchives.co.uk lists Kansas as "Symphonic prog", so maybe; though they also show Journey (JOURNEY!) as "prog related". Hmm. Other than their really early albums, I don't see it...
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Old 09-12-2012, 11:07 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Boston, Kansas, Journey are certainly not prog --- I believe two of them at least are seen as AOR (not sure about Kansas; some of their work might be seen as prog but I doubt you'd find them on any prog site).

Supertramp are often spoken of in the same breath as prog rock; certainly their earlier compositions like "It's a long road" and "Fool's overture" could be regarded as such, but later on they became quite commercial, say from "Breakfast in America" on, so for me they would not really be what I would think of as a prog rock band. Renaissance I don't know.

Never heard of prog-lite: if it's a subgenre you're trying to make up or assign, you'd need to define its parameters...

Edit: Progarchives.co.uk lists Kansas as "Symphonic prog", so maybe; though they also show Journey (JOURNEY!) as "prog related". Hmm. Other than their really early albums, I don't see it...
Shame on you, Kansas were very much prog in the 1970s.
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Old 09-13-2012, 04:49 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Yeah I thought they might be but I haven't heard much of their output, except really for "Somewhere to elsewhere", which is a pretty damn fine album, so I wasn't really sure about them.

But come on: Boston? Journey? Where do these ideas come from???
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Old 09-13-2012, 05:05 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Never heard of prog-lite: if it's a subgenre you're trying to make up or assign, you'd need to define its parameters...

I am making up a definition. I'm just looking for opinions on what "prog" covers.


In my mind Boston, Kansas, Foreigner, Styx, Journey are all lumped togther (in a late 70's group of bands). Can I assume you are not calling Kansas prog (and not the others) just because they have a violin?
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Old 09-13-2012, 10:34 AM   #6 (permalink)
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If I had to define "prog-lite" in four words, it would be

"Crime of the Century"
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Old 09-13-2012, 12:24 PM   #7 (permalink)
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I am making up a definition. I'm just looking for opinions on what "prog" covers.


In my mind Boston, Kansas, Foreigner, Styx, Journey are all lumped togther (in a late 70's group of bands). Can I assume you are not calling Kansas prog (and not the others) just because they have a violin?
Not at all. As it happens Unknown Soldier has pointed out that I am in fact wrong about them, and they are seen as prog. Boston, Foreigner, Styx and Journey however are generally accepted as AOR or melodic rock, but they would never be seen as any sort of prog. There is nothing of the tenets of prog in their songs: no long keyboard solos, no multi-part compositions, no lyrics about mythology: not even a flute!

Certain bands are accepted as being in particular genres, though some do cross over from one to the other. In the case of these four bands though, you are certainly barking up the wrong Wishing Tree....
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Old 09-13-2012, 01:10 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Yeah I thought they might be but I haven't heard much of their output, except really for "Somewhere to elsewhere", which is a pretty damn fine album, so I wasn't really sure about them.

But come on: Boston? Journey? Where do these ideas come from???
They were well past their best when that album came out and doesn't approach the quality of their 1970's work their "Golden Era"

Most of the AOR bands so of that era had superb musicians, who were on a par with any prog artists. Had Boston been around say 5 or 10 years earlier they probably would've been a prog band.

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In my mind Boston, Kansas, Foreigner, Styx, Journey are all lumped togther (in a late 70's group of bands). Can I assume you are not calling Kansas prog (and not the others) just because they have a violin?
A lot of this is open to interpretation, but I'd rank the bands above as follows. In fact to make things even more confusing, when I talk about all my favourite AOR bands, I usually call them just soft rock bands or even west coast rock.

Prog rock- I'm sure you know what this is
Pomp rock- Condensed prog that is streamlined. Often called Arena Rock to confuse people even more. Was only really used in the 1970s.
AOR- Fusion of soft rock and hard rock, based on melody but the power was there. Heavily produced to provide commercial appeal.

Kansas- Prog then later AOR
Boston- AOR
Foreigner- AOR
Styx- Prog/Pomp then around 79 became an AOR band.
Journey- The early stuff with Greg Rolie was art rock/prog rock before becoming an AOR band.

In answer to your earlier question. Only Kansas were an out and out prog rock band.
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Old 09-13-2012, 04:13 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Journey- The early stuff with Greg Rolie was art rock/prog rock before becoming an AOR band.
What is the difference between prog and art rock???
I've always called what I thought was prog "art rock".
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Old 09-13-2012, 05:06 PM   #10 (permalink)
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It really depends on how you want to classify your so-called "prog-lite".

Are you talking about bands that add progressive element to standard rock songs, along the lines of Foreplay/Longtime and Bohemian Rhapsody?

Or are you talking about bands like 80's Yes, 80's Genesis and the aforementioned Supertramp who are clearly progressive rock bands but add radio-friendly rock elements to their sound?

Or is it right in the middle at something like Achilles Last Stand, where it's equal parts progressive and rock?

Maybe having those parameters will help you.
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