Search the FAQ Archives

3 - A - B - C - D - E - F - G - H - I - J - K - L - M
N - O - P - Q - R - S - T - U - V - W - X - Y - Z - Internet FAQ Archives Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ), Part 4/8

[ Usenet FAQs | Web FAQs | Documents | RFC Index | Property taxes ]
Archive-name: music/progresive/general
Posting-Frequency: biweekly
Last-modified: Wed Nov 20 9:40:19 1996

See reader questions & answers on this topic! - Help others by sharing your knowledge
The most recent ascii and postscript versions of these FAQs
are available at

The Web versions are available at:

All mail addresses in these FAQs should be mailto: URLs
so you can mail anyone mentioned in the FAQs easily. (That is, as
long as your browser supports mailto: URLs). Newsgroup
names should be news: URLs so you can read any newsgroup
mentioned here by clicking them (again, providing your browser
supports them). Also, some names are links to the Web pages of

This file may be freely distributed as long as it is not modified
in any way and contains this notice.

*Please Note:* All ftp, and web addresses are given in
	       standard URL format. If you are not familiar with
	       this then read this short explanation. Simple URL
	       format looks like this:


A URL as given above can be entered as it is into any Web
browser. If you intend to use standard ftp, the starred part
should be used as the address of the machine to which you should
connect and the immediately following section as the directory to
look in when you are connected. The part preceding the starred
section can be ignored in this case.

The following people have contributed to making this file what it

Malcolm Humes (
Peter Thelen (
John Lukes (John.Lukes@EBay.Sun.COM)
Joerg Rhiemeier (
Rob Walker (
Marcelo Spindola Bacha (
Peter Stoller (
David Rogoff (
John Szpara (
Dan Barrett (
Ken Stuart (
Jon Neill (
Kent Gabrin (
Alan J. Mallery (ajmaller@ouray.Denver.Colorado.EDU)
Phil Zampino (
Mike Borella (
Phil Kime (

			About Progressive Music

Are there different categories of progressive music? (Answer
contributed in part from from Mike McLatchey)
Conventionally, yes. There are many sub-genres, and crossover genres.
Here is a brief and necessarily incomplete listing of the genres
frequently discussed on r.m.p (some text is taken from the *GEPR*
(see FAQ 5, FAQ 7 and below)).


As the name suggests, a form concentrating on ambience rather than
normal characteristics such as melody, harmony and rhythm.

*Examples:* Some Eno, Laraaji, much new age music.

Art Rock

A name that is used to refer to early explorative work that had roots
in pop.  Quite often a display of attitude in addition to any musical
features. It is an abused term that seems to refer as much to
appearence as to music in its more common coinage.

*Examples:* Be Bop Deluxe, early Eno, Roxy Music


A region in England where a unique style originated. The region's
name has now become the label for the style of music. One of the
earliest forms recognised as progressive, Canterbury music emphasises
laconic complexity and usually sounds identifiably English. The ideas
resulting from this form of music were very original. Often quite
jazzy in a light and airy sort of way, integrating jazz influences in
unique ways.

*Examples:* Caravan, Soft Machine, Hatfield & The North, National

Classical Rock

More accessibly related, bands starting with The Nice that attempted
to fuse classical music with rock structures.  Often felt to be quite
pompous yet were quite successful in their time.  Often a three man

*Examples:* The Nice, ELP, Le Orme, Ekseption, Trace, The Trip

Electronic Progressive

Often mis-categorized by being as "new age", much of this music was
around far before that abused term was coined.  Very explorative,
this is a wide open field and is typified by the use of almost all
electronic equipment, hence the name. There is often a concentration
on sonority and texture over and above other musical attributes.
Often very spacious and ethereal. Sometimes quite darkly powerful but
not in the way that ambient industrial material tends to be. The
sorts of sounds explored tend to be within the less extreme
synthesiser range.

*Examples:* 70's Tangerine Dream, Klaus Schulze, Steve Roach, some
Popol Vuh, later Kit Watkins, Jean-Michel Jarre


Often hard core experiemental material. The fringes of music where
almost anything can happen. Almost always difficult for the
newcomer.  Considerable use of noise, found objects, music concrete
and sometimes even power tools. Generally focusing on texture and
sonority to the expense of all else. A fascinating area for the

*Examples:* Einstrzende Neubauten, Nurse With Wound, Hafler Trio,
Main, Coil


Explorative jazz-rock: a fusion as the name suggests. Maybe a little
jazzier than most progressive music, but rockier than most jazz.
Quite a established and exciting genre with often virtuoso playing.

*Examples:* Mahavishnu Orchestra, Brand X, Iceberg, Arti+Mestieri


Slighltly politically uncorrect term used harmlessly to refer to a
form of usually rather strange rock originating from Germany in the
70s. Typified by a loose, improvisational style with a large
proportion of experimentation and slightly whimsical flavour. Often
difficult to listen to, quite sinister and covertly intellectual.
Very influential in all sorts of areas even today. Some people regard
it as the precursor to industrial music proper which is fair: there
are similarities but probably as many differences. See Chris Moon's
informative Krautrock guide at:


*Examples:* Can, Amon Dl II, Faust, Xhol, Agitation Free, early
Tangerine Dream, Ash Ra Tempel

Neo-Classical Progressive

Music that fused 20th century classical music with new rock
structures. Sometimes referred to as "chamber rock, this can be
difficult to appreciate at first as artists of this ilk were way out
on a limb and quite different. Also, it tends to be very complex,
requiring many listens to reach a fair appreciation. One of the least
understood genres about which most people are completely oblivious
yet one of the most rewarding.

*Examples:* Univers Zero, Art Zoyd, ZNR


Symphonic rock done in a typically simplified or more commercial
format. Often rich and melodious but without the complexity of
traditional progressive music. Mostly an 80's and 90's phenomenon.

*Examples:* Marillion, iQ, Pendragon, Twelfth Night, Aragon, Jadis,
Grey Lady Down

Progressive Folk

A variety of music that took simple folk songs and did something
quite new with them. There were many forms of this.

*Examples:* Emtidi, Witthser & Westrupp, Malicorne, Mellow Candle

Progressive Metal

Heavy metal that is influenced by symphonic rock or fusion. Usually
is much more complex than standard metal and emphasising virtuoso

*Examples:* Dream Theater, Fates Warning, Watchtower, Siege's Even,
Cynic, Atheist

Rock In Opposition (RIO)

A name coined by ex-Henry Cow drummer Chris Cutler. This type of
music consistently defies categorization (except for "RIO") and is
extremely challenging and often hard to listen to. However, it is
very rewarding in the long run. The lyrical bent is often political,
especially for those bands Cutler has a hand in. Technically, bands
like Art Zoyd and Univers Zero are RIO as they subscribed to Cutlers
broad musical ethic in its original conception. However, the label
has outgrown its original political connotations and is now used to
refer to artists potraying a similar approach to the seminal Henry
Cow, the central RIO band. See Q's and A's below for a better
description of RIO. See Phil Zampino's ( Web site
for much information on RIO labels and artists at:


*Examples:* Henry Cow, Art Bears, Samla Mammas Manna, News From
Babel, Thinking Plague, Etron Fou Leloublan etc.

Space Fusion

A rough term given specifically to the superb band Gong for their
unique blend of jazz fusion and extended sweeping ambience. Often
very energetic and concentrating on long jams of psychadelic tinged
soloing. Generally a high level of musicianship in tight restraint to
give a clean, atmosphere of bright and effervescent fusion. "Swooshy"
is a perfect adjective.

*Examples:* Gong, Ozric Tentacles, Neo, Carpe Diem, some Djam Karet

Space Rock

Like the above but without the jazz edge, more of a straight forward
type of space rock. Hawkwind were almost the be all and end all of
this genre and were the innovators.

*Examples:* Hawkwind, Amon Dl (the English line-up)

Symphonic Progressive

Characterized by rich keys/synths and very melodic vocals and often
structured like a piece of classical music, arranged for an extended
rock instrumentation. Very much stretching the limits of the rock
format. If someone derides progressive music, this is almost always
the sort of thing they are talking about. You will often hear this
genre mistakenly used as a synonym for the entirety of progressive
music and called "pretentious" or "overblown". Criticisms that
completely miss the point and often belie some misguided idea that
all good music must either display a certain feature or must be
simple and "direct".

*Examples:* Yes (early), Genesis (early), Camel, Atoll, Mirthrandir,


One of the truly unique and little-known areas of music typified and
largely due to the incredible French band Magma. It is a term used to
refer to a particular brand of jazz fusion, sometimes with heavy
Coltrane influences but adopting a grandiosity and harmonic language
from certain classical works, particularly Stravinsky's "Les Noces".
Unlike anything else and a personal favourite of the present FAQ
maintainer. Often powerful beyond words.

*Examples:* Magma, Weidorje, Zao, Shub-Niggurath, Honeyelk, Musique



What countries does progressive music come from?
Just about everywhere. Most people reading r.m.p are familiar with
the famous British progressive bands, and most have at least heard of
progressive acts from France, Italy, Germany and the USA. Progressive
music is truly international though. There are progressive artists
from just about every continent, as well as from many places you
would not think of. In Europe, there are artists from Poland, Sweden,
Finland, Spain, Switzerland, The Czech Republic, Austria, and Greece.
In South America, there are quite a few notable acts from Argentina,
Brasil, and Chile. Even the Middle East is represented with Zingale
from Israel. Japan has always been very strong and in Korea,
progressive music even gets radio airplay.


 Is there a difference between "progressive" and "good"?
 Obviously. Many progressive music fans (myself included) have been
 guilty at some time of either considering all the bands they like
 "progressive", or defining progressive to mean music that they
 consider "good". While this seems to be a human error that many of
 us make, please think twice before posting to r.m.p about a band
 just because you like them. For example, I would consider bands like
 Deicide "progressive" in important ways: they push the boundaries of
 rhythmic interplay, play very complex music with technical skill
 etc., but discussions about them do not really belong on r.m.p.


Just because an artist has released one or more progressive albums,
does that mean that everything they do is progressive?
No. This is a common misconception. Though we call them "progressive
music artists", the artists themselves are not progressive - the
music is. Once progressive does not means always progressive. There
are many examples of bands that once made great progressive music,
but have turned to churning out worthless pop music. There seems to
be a trend from progressive music to a more accessible form of music
in many bands' histories, and unfortunately, they rarely return to
what many perceive to be their best work.


Does lyrical content count towards progressive-ness?
Well written lyrics can never hurt any form of music, but there are
no rules that progressive music has to have good lyrics. Many bands
that display progressive music also display extremely poor lyrics. In
the same sense, many progressive bands are instrumental. Of course,
just because a band has good lyrics, it does not automatically make
them progressive. In other words, progressive music and intelligent
lyrics have little or no obvious correlation. Another issue to
consider is progressive music and progressive politics. While these
are two different things, there is some crossover. However, one does
not necessarily imply the other.


But didn't this form of music die in the late seventies?
No. FAQ 8 was specifically designed to give a quick overview of some
currently active artists. Please look at it. True, bands like Yes,
ELP, and Genesis have lost most of their "progressiveness", thus
making it seem like the fan base for progressive music disappeared
around 1979. However progressive music is still extremely strong. In
the eighties it was largely underground, though many artists put out
music equally as progressive as in the seventies. Now, in the
nineties, progressive music has had a revival of sorts, as dozens of
independent labels have been signing new and exciting artists. There
are hundreds of progressive, experimental and innovative bands
currently active, recording, and/or touring. In fact, today, we have
some of the finest music in the genre being made: it is just harder
to spot and find. To combat this, look at FAQ 2, FAQ 6 and FAQ 8.


How did start?
Discussions of progressive music used to occasionally happen on
newsgroups like alt.rock-n-roll and, and on mailing
lists like Gibraltar as well as others dedicated to specific artist.
In mid-1992, Scott McMahan started gradually
a number of people wandered in and started offering reviews of new
and old music in this genre and a helping hand to new and old fans of
progressive music interested in broadening their musical horizons.
With the general degeneration of the alt.* heirachy coupled with its
limited distribution, was proposed and passed
its CFV on May 2nd 1995.


Can I talk about Yes on
---------------------------------------------------------------------- exists and is the place to discuss Yes on the net.
However, since Yes was one of the more influential progressive bands,
it only makes sense that Yes should be talked about on r.m.p.
However, not everyone can agree about the "progressiveness" of newer
Yes, and many flamewars have erupted over this issue, and related
issues. So, was created. While a.m.y is still a
relatively new newsgroup (created in June, 1994), it still is not
certain whether all discussion of Yes will go to a.m.y or not.
Probably not. If you are not certain which newsgroup to post Yes
material to, here is a handy guide.

Yes that has nothing to do with prog in general --
Yes in context with some other prog band(s) -- both (r.m.p and a.m.y)
A reference to Yes when discussing another prog band -- r.m.p
Pre-Rabin Yes -- a.m.y and maybe r.m.p (use your judgement)
Rabin-era Yes -- a.m.y
How much you hate Trevor Rabin or Yes in general -- neither

The point is that many people want to be able to discuss Yes in
detail without being flamed for liking the 80's and 90's version of
the band. Others would like to be able to state their (negative)
opinions about Yes without being flamed. Other prog fans do not
listen to Yes, and are tired of 90% of the discussion on r.m.p being
about Yes. The advantages of a.m.y include (hopefully) taking care of
these three issues. One possible disadvantage is that people who
might have developed an interest in other progressive rock bands via
Yes discussion on r.m.p may not get that chance any more. In any
case, these are tenative guidelines to follow. What you post and
where you post it is up to you. If you would like to avoid starting
flamewars and useless discussions, following these guidelines may


I read a review on and it made the band sound
good.  But when I got the album, it was awful!!  What should I do?
Nothing. People who write reviews should not be held responsible for
whether everyone reading the review agrees with them or not. Since
everyone has a different idea of what is good and what is not, take
that into consideration before buying. When reading reviews, you may
want to read as much as you can by a particular author to see if that
person's tastes seem to be close to yours. If you disagree with the
author's opinion 50% or less of the time, then you should think twice
about buying something on that person's recommendation. In general,
it is better to get a consensus of more than three opinions before
you make a purchasing decision, or even better, try to listen to the
music before buying it. While it can be very hard to find obscure
progressive music to buy, much less to listen to, you can listen to a
friend's copy first, or ask someone to tape a copy for you. I have
bought things based on minimal information (usually in the grip of a
CD frenzy at a fair with cash in my hand) and it has been truly aw


There is a progressive band I really do not like, but I do not want
to post a negative review of them because some people reading the
newsgroup might like them, or the band themselves may eventually read
the review and get mad at me. What should I do?
Post it. Negative reviews are a positive thing. Not all progressive
music is as good as the rest or even good at all. It is important to
differentiate between the excellent, good, mediocre, and poor,
especially since the average cost of a CD is $15-$20 (US) or 12-20
(UK). While not everyone will agree with your point of view, if you
present your arguments in a non-inflammatory manner, most people will
respect you for it.  The deification of some progressive artists
brings a lack of perspective that in turn hurts the fans more than
helps them. By writing a negative review, even on a progressive
"sacred cow", you may make both new and experienced listeners alike
re-assess their viewpoints, which is always good. But, of course,
this does not mean you should always write negative reviews. Be fair,
but firm.


Somebody said that people without formal musical training cannot
appreciate progressive music. I am a non-musician who really enjoys
progressive music, and I am insulted by this person's "elitist"
attitude. Why do people say these things?
Sometimes because of silly ideas about classical training and
sometimes because of valid insights. Training is neither necessary
nor sufficient for "real" appreciation, mainly because there is no
such thing as "real" appreciation. There are many aspects to
appreciate and everyone has their nuances. However, I will say that
an understanding of music can greatly aid your understanding of a
piece and I have found that, for example, an understanding of rhythm
greatly enhances my appreciation of much music. However, I know
classically trained musicians who adore Status Quo exactly because
analysis is so pointless there. Musical training cannot hurt. There
are no guideliens for this. Some people find that an appriciation of
the exact music score of a piece ruins their nave appreciation. I
have found this on occasion: learning to play a line you admire can
spoil its mystique. This question has no answer. Experiment for


Are there any proggresive musicians on the net?
Many, including Kit Watkins, Allan Holdsworth, Episode, Now,
Anekdoten, Yezda Urfa, Echolyn, Kurt Rongey, Marco Olivetti (TNR),
Mind Gallery, Kalaban, Tony Levin, Mastermind and many others.


So what are their addresses?  I want to write to them!
If they want people to write, they will advertise the fact. However
if they post to r.m.p, you can always reply.


Are there any mail order sources or record label representatives on
the net?
Many and the number is growing. See FAQ 2. For example, one of the
first net mail order outlets was started by Ranjit Padmanabhan and
Ken Golden of Laser's Edge can take credit card email orders. Expect
this to become more and more common with mail order outlets putting
their catalogues on-line. There are a few reputable outlets currently
interested in this. Keep your eyes open for anouncements.


Is it true that Phil Collins has not always been the vocalist in
Yes. There were 6 Genesis albums before Phil Collins took over on
lead vocals, although he did the occasional song and backing vocals
before this. Peter Gabriel was the lead vocalist from 1969 until his
departure in 1974.


What is the relation between Renaissance and Illusion?

From (Steve Pearce): The original Renaissance
was formed from the ashes of the Yardbirds. The main members were:
Keith Relf, Jane Relf, Jim McCarty, Louis Cennamo (I think) and
someone else. They released a self titled album in about 1969 or
1970. They recorded a second album (called *Illusion*) but I believe
it didn't get a full release at the time. The band then went through
major personnel changes, in fact went the dust cleared NONE of the
original members remained.

The new line up was: Annie Haslam, John Tout, Jon Camp, Terry
Sullivan and a guitarist who names escapes me. They released an album
called *Prologue*(interestingly on the later *Live from Carnegy
Hall*, Annie calls *Prologue* their first album, the new lineup
obviously didn't consider the output of the previous lineup).
Although the lineup was new there were still some continuity as some
of the songs on *Prologue* and the next album (*Ashes Are Burning*)
were written or co-written by Jim McCarty. By the third album (*Turn
of the Cards*) Michael Dunford who had been writing for the band and
had played on a part time basis joined the band full time and this
line up is considered to be the "Classic" line up of Renaissance.

In the meantime some of the original members of Renaissance (I think
Keith Relf had died by this time) got together and formed a new band
called Illusion, I think Eddie Knightsbridge and John Hawken were
also members (come to think of it I think Hawken was in the original
Renaissance as well). They released an album called *Out of the Mist*
and a self titled one (I've heard they recorded maybe a couple more
but have never seen them).


I have heard that Magma created their own language. Is this true?

Yes. Magma's drummer (and leader) Christian Vander created the
language "Kobaan", which is what you are hearing sung on most Magma
albums. Recently, work has gone into compiling a phrasebook of Kobaan
worlds and their Engligh translations. You can find this on the Magma
home page at


From Marcelo Spindola Bacha ( Kobaan is not
exactly a Vander idea, it was based in an original project from Klaus
Blasquiz, as results of some of their studies about representing
graphically other kind of phonemas ... Kobaan is not really a
language, it is quite incomplete, and it is always changing, as
Vander says. It sounds rather Germanic and slightly Russian.


What is "The Progressive Music Survey" that people talk about? What
is its relation to the Gibraltar Encyclopedia of Progressive Rock?
How do I get a copy?

They are the same thing. It is a huge listing of progressive bands,
with their discographies and reviews and overviews of their
releases.  It was originally compiled by Dave Markfield in late 1991,
but a more recent version was put together by Mike Taylor in early
1993.  It is an A to Z dictionary of progressive music, and though it
is still incomplete, it contains info on over 1100 artists. To get an
ascii copy, ftp to


Please not that the HTML versions are always the latest; the ascii
copies are usually not quite up to date. Mike Taylor made a printed,
bound version available but it is currently sold out. Mail him for
more information at

The *GEPR* (see FAQ 4and FAQ 7) is now properly on-line at its new
home in the US. There are currently two mirrors, one in Europe and
another in the US. Choose the site nearest to you for the fastes

		 Home site (maintained by Mike Taylor)


		  UK mirror (maintained by Phil Kime)


		 US mirror (maintained by Adam Levin)


NOTE: If you are looking for an idea of what particular bands sound
like, or are new to prog and want to get an idea of what is out
there, I strongly suggest perusing the survey.


Are bands like Pink Floyd, Supertramp, Styx, Kansas and Rush
That depends on who you ask. There are many people who do consider
them progressive, and many who do not. There are albums by each of
these bands that may generally be considered progressive, but even
some die-hard fans of the aformentioned groups will admit that each
has put out non-progressive material as well.


I saw an album by a band called Area, but it did not seem like it was
from the Italian fusion band ... ?
There are two Areas, the one you saw is probably the US band.  The
Italian band is the progressive one. Keep in mind that there are a
handful of bands that have "namesakes". Here is a list:

Ain Soph
(1) Canterbury style band from Japan
(2) Gothic band from Italy

(1) Australian neo-progressive band
(2) US metal band

(1) Italian progressive fusion band
(2) US trio

(1) UK group with Steve Howe and John Wetton
(2) Late 70s Midwest USA progressive band

(1) The Current neo-progressive band from the US
(2) The Defunct progressive band on Syn-Phonic
(3) A doom metal band from the UK

(1) Italian progressive band
(2) Mexican progressive band
(3) Dark (gothic?) Ambient/Dance ??

Deus ex Machina
(1) Recent Italian progressive band
(2) Mexican "cyberpunk" band.

(1) Hard-rock psychedelic band from LA circa 1971
(2) Swiss progressive band circa 1978
(3) UK band that put out *Almost Abandoned*

(1) Austrian synthesist/guitarist
(2) Psychedelic band from early 70's

(1) The one everyone knows
(2) some satanic band??
(3) Argentian prog band??

(1) Mexican prog
(2) Avant-garde /industrial band (no 'a' in the name)

(1) British neo-progressive band
(2) German hip-hop

Arthur Brown's Kingdom Come
Avant-weird-psych-prog band from early seventies.

Victor Periano's Kingdom Come
US spinoff of the above, more like keyboard-oriented stadium rock.

Kingdom Come
Late eighties Zeppelin influenced metal band.

(1) French Zeuhl band
(2) Argentian prog band

(1) Old British band with progressive tendencies
(2) The popular US band

(1) From Belgium
(2) From US
  (1) German mid-'70s prog
(2) British psych/prog band from 1969.
(3) US psych/blues band, one album from 1969

(1) British neo-progressive
(2) something else, put out an album named *The Beauty of Escaping*
on Geffen in 1990

Wild(e) Flowers
(1) Early Canterbury progressive band
(2) Mainstream US band??



Are there any progressive rock radio shows?
A few. Descriptions are not by the FAQ maintainer.
  Alternative Oldies
  New Orleans Metro Area
  WTUL 91.5 FM
  Saturday, 6-8pm
  Mike Taylor
  Music Played: Any rock recorded 1985 or prior.  Most shows feature
  at least some progressive rock and often are entirely prog and
  fusion. Occasionally, the show focuses on psychedelia and


  A Web radio station ... you can download the shows and listen to
  them using RealAudio Player. See bottom of FAQ 5.


  Key West, Florida
  See below
  43553 Ellsworth St. Suite B, Fremont, CA 94539
  Every Monday evening 9PM - Midnight
  John Szpara
::Music Played::
  General progressive rock, from the early seventies on up.

*Station information*
WOZN  98.7 FM     Key West, Florida       Sunday Evening
10PM-Midnight WPLT  93.9 FM     Plattsburgh, New York   Sunday
Evening around 8PM-10 WOUI  88.9 FM     Chicago, Illinois
Wednesday Evening 6PM-8PM

Playlists for the previous week are posted each week on r.m.p.


  Forward Progress
  Bryan/College Station, Texas  (A and M University)
  Limited. It's a cable station, which means that if you get cable in
  the area, you can hook up the cable (through a transformer) to a
  stereo system, like an antenna. Odds are, only people who live in
  B/CS, or use our cable system, will be able to get it.  :(
  KANM, Cable Radio 99.9 FM.
  10am-Noon, Mondays.
  Mike Bourgon
::Music Played::
  Pretty much anything Progressive.  I'm playing quite a bit of stuff
  from the "new prog" bands, like Magellan, Shadow Gallery, Echolyn,
  etc.  However, I also play Genesis, Marillion, IQ, Animator, Big
  Picture, Mind Gallery, Magma, Steve Hackett, ELP, Camel, Soft
  Machine, etc.  I'm planning on getting Deus Ex Machina soon, along
  with nglagrd.  Anything that's really good, and gets plugged on
  r.m.p, I'll probably wind up getting (eventually).


  The Sheltering Sky
  WBGU, 88.1 FM
  Bowling Green, OH
  Wednesdays from 7pm to 9pm
  Doug Maynard
::Music Played::
  Broad. Anything I can get my hands on. Classic groups (Yes, ELP,
  Marillion, Kansas, Crimson, Rush, Tull, Gentle Giant, etc...) as
  well as newer or lesser known groups (Ozric Tentacles, Iluvatar,
  Witsend). My collection is modest, but growing.


  WCWM Williamsburg, VA 90.7 FM
  Sunday 10am-noon
  Bill Maciejewski
::Music Played::
  I often play King Crimson, Brian Eno, Frank Zappa, Wire, Pink
  Floyd, Genesis, Discipline, David Sylvian, etc. and a lot more
  obscure stuff. I tend to like wierd instrumentals a lot and
  probably play a lot of things people might not consider progressive
  (but I do, so I play it.  Ha!). See Web page for setlists etc.



Were there not US releases of some Italian progressive albums with
the same music  but lyrics in English?

Yes, there were several. Most notably, PFM released *Storia d'un
Minuto*, *Per Un Amico*, and *L'Isola di Niente* in Italian.
Manticore (I think this was Peter Sinfield's label...he did write the
lyrics for the English verison but I have also heard ELP started it)
released *Photos of Ghosts* and *The World Became the World* with
remixed instrumentation and English vocals and titles. These
partially cover the three Italian albums. *Photos of Ghosts* is
basically all of *Per Un Amico*, plus `Generale!' which is from
*Storia d'un Minuto*. *The World Became the World* is *L'Isola di
Niente* plus the title track, from *Storia d'un Minuto*. Both of the
English versions are poor pressings, and in general, people agree
that the original Italian versions are far superior, both technically
and performance-wise.

Other bands to do the same are RDM (*Contamination* is the English
version of *Contaminazione*) and Maxophone (English version has the
same title).


Which Focus album(s) contain "Sugar Island" and "House of the King"?
Although "House of the King" was originally released on *Focus III*,
it's now available on the CD release of , *In and Out of Focus*.
"Sugar Island" is also available on *IaOoF*.


What is the Mellotron and how does it work? What are related

From (Peter Stoller): The Mellotron is a keyboard
instrument in which the sounds are produced by strips of prerecorded
analog tape dragged slowly over playback heads. Think of it as a
mechanical, analog sample-playback device. Tape `patches' were
usually of strings, choirs, flutes and such. The Beatles were
probably the first to use them, but the Mellotron was popularized by
King Crimson, the Moody Blues and Genesis. (Wakeman used them with
Yes, but they were rarely dominant. Emerson never used one.) Songs
such as Crimson's "In the Court of the Crimson King" and Genesis'
"Watcher of the Skies" are good examples of the Mellotron sound.

The Chamberlin was a similar instrument from a different
manufacturer, and Wakeman had someone build him an improved version
of the Mellotron called the Birotron. Patrick Moraz played a Vako
Orchestron, which was the same principal, but using the playback
technology employed in film projectors, rather than tape.

From (David Rogoff): For each key there is a
5' length of tape (= 8sec @ 7.5''/sec). One end rests on a capstan
(rotating metal cylinder that runs the width of the whole keyboard.
On each key is a pinch roller. When you press the key down, the tape
is pressed against the capstan and starts moving. This is exactly the
same as in a cassette deck.  Also under the tape (again one for each
key) is a tape playback head. So, the tape is pulled across the head,
generating the sound. If you hold the key for more than 8 seconds the
sound (and the tape) just stops. When you let go of the key, a spring
pulls the tape back. This takes about a 1/8 second, so you can't play
64th note trills on the thing. In fact, you never want to hit the
keys: you sort of push them down. The action takes some getting used

Also, Each tape is 3/8" wide made up of 3 1/8" tracks for 3 different
sounds. A big lever moved the whole tape head assembly from side to
side to chose the different sounds. If you have access to a 1/2" four
track reel-to-reel you can make your own tapes pretty easily. It just
takes a long time! I've been describing the Mellotron-400, the most
common and most "portable" model.


Eddie Jobson is credited on the King Crimson album USA. Was he ever
in the band?
No, Jobson was not a member of Crimson, but he did get called in to
do overdubs on *USA*. Apparently Fripp had fired Cross by that point
and needed someone to do the overdubs. The majority of what you hear
on the album is Cross. Jobson did not perform the material live.


I do a lot of tape trading in order to find out about more obscure
(non-bootleg) progressive music. Is this legal?

Note that this response only applies to US copyright law. As of this
writing there has not been a specific legal precedent set. In other
words, a case has not been brought before a court involving taping of
non-bootleg material. The current status of the law regarding home
taping is best summed up by Terry Carroll's Copyright FAQ at:



Suppose I tape an album or a CD for a friend anyway. Is this helping
or hurting the artist of the work?
It depends who you tape it for. If you are taping it for somone who
will buy the original if they like it, then it is basically free
advertising and can only help the artist. The other person would not
have bought it anyway if they had not heard it. However, if you are
taping it for people who will just keep the copy even if they love
it, you are hurting them. It is not a clear cut help/hurt ... it
depends on the idiosyncracies of the people involved. Seeing as prog
is a minority area where artists need support (and generally deserve
it), I personally make it a policy to buy every album I hear and like
on an original format. Consider it an act of tribute. I have even
baought back catalogue material when I have tape copies that I rarely
listen to. I consider it an honour to own good music on an original
format, you may be different. Use your own discretion but be aware
that what you choose to do may well be illegal and this FAQ is
certainly not suggesting any such behaviour. Tape trading in minority
music sim


What does RIO stand for?

 From (Peter Stoller): Rock In Opposition. It was
 an assemblage of European progressive bands who were defining a
 style "in opposition" to the English language domination of the pop
 music industry. Key elements were that groups sang in their native
 languages (or, in Magma's case, created their own), and they drew
 much of their source material from their own national folk, popular
 and classical musics, instead of using the American blues-based

RIO started as the name of a festival in London organised by Henry
Cow in 1978 and featuring groups from Italy, Sweden, France and
Belgium. After the concert, they decided to formalize the coalition.
They organized tours and festivals in each others countries.
According to Henry Cow drummer/lyricist Chris Cutler, RIO as an
organization failed due to political and philosophical differences:
there is no longer an official RIO, and has not been for some time
but it succeeded and has continued to grow as a cultural phenomenon.

The original RIO artists were Henry Cow, Samla Mammas Manna, Univers
Zero, Art Zoyd, Stormy Six, Art Bears, Aqsak Maboul, and Etron Fou
Leloublan.  Associated artists include Magma, Albert Marcoeur, ZNR,
Feliu y Joan Albert, Musica Urbana, Goebbels & Harth,
Kraldjursanstalten, Unrest, Work & Play, The Residents, Faust, L.
Voag, Mnemonists, This Heat, Cassiber, Thinking Plague, Haniwa Chan,
and John Oswald. (There are, of course, many others.)  This
information was derived from Cutler's book, "File Under Popular" (see
FAQ 3).

From Mike Borella ( The term RIO is now used
as a way of describing some of the more indescribable musics created
today by artists that are influenced to some degree by the original
RIO artists. The "new" RIO influenced bands would include U Totem,
Thinking Plaugue, 5UU's, Lacrymosa, and maybe Banda Elastika. So when
someone says that a new band sound like RIO, you know that maybe be
influenced by RIO or are just weird/elcectic or just strange.

See Phil Zampino's ( Web site dedicated to RIO
artists and labels at:



How many versions of Gentle Giant's
*Free Hand*

 have been on CD, and what are the differences?

From (Daniel Barrett): There have been 4
versions on CD: two from One Way Records in the USA, and two from
Terrapin Trucking, a.k.a. Road Goes On Forever (RGOF), in Great
Britain.  Summary: there are large differences between the first
three versions, and the Terrapin/RGOF versions are acknowledged by
fans to be the best.

Now for the longer answer. The first CD came from One Way Records,
number CDL 57338.  This disc was mastered from inferior American
master tapes and sounds very muffled.  If you turn up your treble
control, the disc sounds almost normal, but overall the sound is

In response to complaints from fans, One Way recalled all the old
CD's from stores, sought out better master tapes, and rereleased
*Free Hand* with the SAME identification number, CDL 57338.  It is
not possible to distinguish between the first and second *Free Hand*
CD's from the packaging.  The only way to tell by eye is to open the
package and examine the code number stamped on the disc rim.  The old
disc says "AM6/CDL 57338", and the new disc says "ESK 1 <010> CDL

The second One Way disc has much better sound. The master tape that
One Way used, however, is a very strange one.  It is not the same
tape that was used for any previous release of the album, and the
music is actually different from the original! In "Time To Kill",
Derek Schulman sings some of the lines instead of Ray Schulman; for
example, `And with no questions then, he finds his way'. In "On
Reflection", the drums come in half a verse earlier than in the
original. And worst of all, at the climax of "On Reflection", when
the full band comes crashing in, the drums are barely audible! This
CD is worth owning because it is different from any previous release,
but it is notrepresentative version of the album.

Next, Terrapin/RGOF released their first *Free Hand* disc,
identification number RGF CD 1004. It uses the correct master tapes
and has very good sound quality. I find it a little bit bass-heavy,
but it is much better than the other versions. Some fans complained
that the disc had too much hiss, and Terrapin/RGOF remastered it to
remove hiss, giving the disc a new identification number, TRUCKCD
004. Reportedly, the differences between the two Terrapin/RGOF discs
are minor. If you own only 1 *Free Hand* CD, get this one.


This FAQ is maintained by Phil Kime( Comments,
questions, and criticisms are positively always welcome.  This text
was taken in part from the previous versions of this FAQ, which were
maintained by Scott McMahan, and Mike Borella. The FAQs were brought
into being originally through the sterling efforts of Malcolm Humes.
Many thanks go to all of these gentlemen for their excellent work.
=                    Phil Kime (                   =
=             Centre for Cognitive Science/Dept of Philosophy         =
=                         University of Edinburgh                     =

User Contributions:

Comment about this article, ask questions, or add new information about this topic:

[ Usenet FAQs | Web FAQs | Documents | RFC Index ]

Send corrections/additions to the FAQ Maintainer:
Phil Kime <>

Last Update March 27 2014 @ 02:11 PM