Penk's Prog Odyssey: Yes - Close to the Edge

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Penk!
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Re: Penk's Prog Odyssey

Postby Penk! » 27 Apr 2014, 13:29

algroth wrote:Cool. If you're up for suggestions, I think you could try the first two Soft Machine albums at some point, and maybe some solo Robert Wyatt and Kevin Ayers. You might find a bit to like there.


I actually have those Soft Machine albums, as well as an Ayers anthology and Rock Bottom. I like the odd thing but none of it ever stuck; I expect I'll revisit those albums at some point during the thread.
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Re: Penk's Prog Odyssey: Yes - Fragile

Postby kath » 27 Apr 2014, 15:35

luvluvluv this thread.

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Re: Penk's Prog Odyssey: Yes - Fragile

Postby WG Kaspar » 27 Apr 2014, 15:50

I actually think that Fragile is exactly the right album to test how one would fare with Yes. It's got everything from long trying numbers, poppy ones, short ones everything they ever did condensed in there. Far from their best but still very good and the analysis bar Roundabout is probably both accurate and what most people think anyway.
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Re: Penk's Prog Odyssey: Yes - Fragile

Postby C » 27 Apr 2014, 15:59

The choice of Tull album will be interesting.....




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Re: Penk's Prog Odyssey: Yes - Fragile

Postby WG Kaspar » 27 Apr 2014, 16:03

It's got to be Aqualung
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Re: Penk's Prog Odyssey: Yes - Fragile

Postby algroth » 27 Apr 2014, 16:11

Or it could be Thick as a Brick. Hopefully not A Passion Play. :lol:

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Re: Penk's Prog Odyssey: Yes - Fragile

Postby Mike Boom » 27 Apr 2014, 16:21

Your not going to get very far if you listen to it once. Most Yes albums and definitely the more proggy for Tull albums take at least 4 or 5 intense listens to fully appreciate.

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Re: Penk's Prog Odyssey: Yes - Fragile

Postby soundchaser » 27 Apr 2014, 17:09

I got as far as vile...

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Re: Penk's Prog Odyssey: Yes - Fragile

Postby Loki » 27 Apr 2014, 19:07

Mike Boom wrote:Your not going to get very far if you listen to it once. Most Yes albums and definitely the more proggy for Tull albums take at least 4 or 5 intense listens to fully appreciate.

True. I think an exception might be Thick as a Brick. It hits pretty hard, and grabs you by the boo-boo.
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Re: Penk's Prog Odyssey: Yes - Fragile

Postby slightbreeze » 27 Apr 2014, 19:54

One of the many great things about the prog giants ....Yes, Genesis, Tull, is that they write fabulous melodies.

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Re: Penk's Prog Odyssey: Yes - Fragile

Postby C » 27 Apr 2014, 20:37

WG Kaspar wrote:It's got to be Aqualung


algroth wrote:Or it could be Thick as a Brick.


My money's on Stand Up





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Re: Penk's Prog Odyssey: Aqualung

Postby Penk! » 27 Apr 2014, 21:19

WG Kaspar wrote:It's got to be Aqualung


Yep!

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I recently finished reading the book Harvest, by Jim Crace. Nominated for last year's Booker Prize, it tells the story of the destruction of a rural English village some time in the Stuart era, observed by one of the villagers, an educated serving man who has left his master's manor to be among the peasants and workers, knowing even after working alongside them for years that he can never quite be one of them. It's a superb book.

Ian Anderson reminds me a little of Walter Thirsk, the narrator of Harvest. He was raised in Edinburgh and later Blackpool, and studied Fine Art. But what he really wanted all along was to lie in a ditch in 17th-century Norfolk, scratching his beard and fiddling with himself through piss-stained breeches, and every so often rolling out of the way of a passing plough.

Anderson's image is not one that I can imagine earning his band many new fans in the modern era: a codpiece-wearing, bug-eyed flute-playing goon, a cross between Shakespeare's Robin Goodfellow and the sinister tramp on Aqualung's cover, is not the kind of person most would choose for 45 minutes of entertainment. Jethro Tull, though, do have some pull for me. The folk influences they're known for draw me in, and they are particularly prevalent on Aqualung, in songs like the very pretty 'Cheap Day Return' and 'Wondrin' Aloud', both of which I could quite happily listen to for much longer than their brief running times. 'Mother Goose', in between the aforementioned two tracks on the album, and where Anderson's famous flute gets a proper workout, is also a good effort, although it has a bit more bluesy crunch. These songs are as much psych-folk as prog, I think, Anderson's voice even having a suggestion of finger-in-the-ear about it.

I'm not a big fan of blues rock, though, and that side of the Tull leaves me colder. The famous title track, that opens this record, has some very fine moments but they're largely the acoustic passages. The heavy riffing and sneering vocals do less for me, not just on the title track but on other songs too. After the flurry of attractive folky numbers early on, it's quite disappointing to hear the hard rock of 'Up to Me', and 'My God' sees the album cross over into lumbering, over-serious portentousness for the first time. I did enjoy the nimble-fingered flute solo (with monastic backing vox) on the latter, but in a "don't-overdo-it" kind of way, and I think that though the song is not entirely without charm, it's just too heavy-handed.

The remainder of the record is a mixture of the previous styles, with the same results. I like the lighter, folkier parts, and am not as keen on the pounding rock bits. What I can say, though, is that the riffs are memorable enough and the performances punchy enough to make up for some clumsy transitions and what I generally consider an uninteresting bluesy production. It's a shame that so many of the more delicate, acoustic numbers are so short, as I think this is what I'd like to hear more of from Tull: this is where they really show their ability with a melody and with some intricate but not intrusive playing. The rock numbers are lively and catchy but not as much to my taste, but while they do suffer from being a bit plodding compositionally, they avoid a lot of prog pitfalls by not being too indulgent or overcomplicated (it's not actually that stereotypically proggy, as an album, more just a mix of genres). I've enjoyed listening to this album, certainly a lot more than I thought I would, but it's the folkier side of Tull I want to hear more of; I've heard Thick as a Brick before and wasn't too keen, though I'll give it another go at some point.
Last edited by Penk! on 27 Apr 2014, 21:36, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Penk's Prog Odyssey: Aqualung

Postby der nister » 27 Apr 2014, 21:28

I can't see you being a fan of the heavier Tull
This thread will be in danger of shooting ducks in a barrel
If the obvious albums are always used
I would suggest Heavy Horses or Songs from the Wood as additional choices
It's kinda depressing for a music forum to be proud of not knowing musicians.

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Re: Penk's Prog Odyssey: Aqualung

Postby Goat Boy » 27 Apr 2014, 21:29

Heavy Horses is pretty good actually.
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Re: Penk's Prog Odyssey: Aqualung

Postby Penk! » 27 Apr 2014, 21:39

zphage wrote:This thread will be in danger of shooting ducks in a barrel
If the obvious albums are always used


Well the whole idea was to wade through all the most famous prog albums. Provide an outsider's perspective and so on. Rather than picking and choosing things I think I might like, I'm going to force myself to listen to the whole canon. It's not going too badly so far.
fange wrote:One of the things i really dislike in this life is people raising their voices in German.

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Re: Penk's Prog Odyssey: Aqualung

Postby der nister » 27 Apr 2014, 21:48

penk wrote:
zphage wrote:This thread will be in danger of shooting ducks in a barrel
If the obvious albums are always used


Well the whole idea was to wade through all the most famous prog albums. Provide an outsider's perspective and so on. Rather than picking and choosing things I think I might like, I'm going to force myself to listen to the whole canon. It's not going too badly so far.


i guess it's the onus and baggage
of the obvious targets and the ultimate outcome
i worry about(on a board that needs some good will :D )
It's kinda depressing for a music forum to be proud of not knowing musicians.

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Re: Penk's Prog Odyssey: Aqualung

Postby Goat Boy » 27 Apr 2014, 21:55

Just wait till he gets to Gentle Giant
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Re: Penk's Prog Odyssey: Aqualung

Postby slightbreeze » 27 Apr 2014, 23:49

Goat Boy wrote:Just wait till he gets to Gentle Giant

My money is on Pawn Hearts. THEN we shall see if you're man erg or mouse ;)

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Re: Penk's Prog Odyssey: Aqualung

Postby algroth » 28 Apr 2014, 00:21

For VdGG, I'd probably say H to He's a safer bet. Pawn Hearts is the band at its proggiest, and likely most divisive.

I second (third?) Heavy Horses.

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Re: Penk's Prog Odyssey: Aqualung

Postby Loki » 28 Apr 2014, 01:30

That's the wonderful dichotomy of JT - the more Folkie / acoustic side, and the pounding Rock side. So far you lean twd the former. Interesting.

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