Soft Machine, above.
For many years, I’ve been fairly opposed to the whole concept, never mind the music, of progressive rock. Many years ago, a friend’s dad played me Pictures At An Exhibition by Emerson Lake and Palmer, and it put me right off. (And I do like classical music).
Added to which, as someone who felt that punk was what had led to his beloved indie scene, it was a feeling that progressive rock’s sole function was to be so damn hideous that punk had to happen. With the exception of Pink Floyd -‘ They’re not prog, they’re good!’ I snapped at someone one time – I saw the early seventies as a wasteland, with a few notable exceptions -Bowie, Roxy, Nico, Reed etc.. and American soul and funk. I bought a Yes best of a few months ago, it ended up being returned fairly quickly. I love much of Peter Gabriel’s solo stuff, yet find much of the Genesis stuff hideously self-indulgent. I have of course since discovered Richard Thompson and John Martyn. I don’t see them as prog, but they have helped me realise that there was great music there in the first part of the seventies. I’d always loved Kraftwerk; in the last few months Can, Faust, Neu, Amon Duul II and Harmonia have shown that Germany was producing weird and wonderful stuff, and in the case of these, it influenced some of the more open-minded punks. (See here for more about that Johnny Rotten show on Capital Radio. Not a Stooges or Dolls track in sight).
Perhaps it’s time to be a little less blinkered. I suppose Steve at Teenage Kicks must take the credit for pointing me in the direction of both of these tracks, they are fabulous. I’ve posted them before but I figure these are definitely worth hearing again.
Matching Mole -‘O Caroline.’ mp3
Roy Harper -‘When An Old Cricketer Leaves The Crease.’ mp3 (both cropped up here, no less!)
And these two tracks are pretty cool, too:
Soft Machine -‘I Should Have Known.’ mp3
Kevin Ayers -‘Oh! Wot A Dream.’ mp3