I loved ELP’s version of Mussorgsky’s Pictures at an Exhibition.
I loved Yes. I liked the Moody Blues. Fucking King Crimson.
Kelefah Sanneh wrote about prog rock in the New Yorker earlier this year. You can read his excellent piece here.
I loved much of this music. Virtuosity was important, but so was a big bottom. In my memory this was music that pounded was aggressive, like rock, but also exulted in notes and playing, and felt really good.
Sanneh gets that, which is why I’m here.
One thing I remember was that Scott Muni, the program director of WNEW as well as DJ, would often put on a whole side of Yes or the Moody Blues in order to take meetings while DJing. That usually worked, though WE knew.
There are lots of good suggestions about what you should listen to in Sanneh’s story, so go and listen to them. I’ve had three conversations in recent weeks about the Mahavishnu Orchestra. As Sanneh says, not prog, but passing.
And more than anything, you should listen to Bitches Brew.