Metal Tree: [2nd Edition] Taking a parallel path... Progressive Rock while not always metal was influential [Metal Tree: 5] 1963 - 1974

in #metalree4 years ago (edited)

Progressive Rock was a movement with an interesting mentality. This would go on to influence many other styles of music and particularly quite a lot of Heavy Metal. It however, would have a direct reaction form as another type of music (Punk Rock). We will explore that side path tomorrow. This series began in this first post explaining this series and it has a link to all of the other posts at the very bottom.

I believe it is important we get both of these side paths talked about a bit before we move onto the next sections. These two styles of music were part of the musical genetic cocktail floating around in the primordial sonic sea. The existence of them and what they were may help I think in explaining what inspired some of the various things that happened in metal.

I generally like to open with a link or reference to the Metal Evolution series, Sam Dunn, and Banger Films. This was a path on the metal evolution poster made by Sam that was never actually explored in the form of a documentary film. This will be one of the few that I do not work off of his material other than starting with the bands he has listed in his branch on that genealogical chart.

There are however, a few documentaries out there not made by Sam Dunn that I was able to find on Google. I will provide some of those here if you prefer to watch them. I am writing this post as I found them, so I obviously have not watched them myself yet.

Rock Family Trees The Prog Rock years - full length version - 49:47

British tv documentary top ten progressive rock 1.Camel, King Crimson, hawkwind - 24:47

There is a full length documentary that the above second video apparently came from, but the audio is MUTED on youtube due to copyright claim. It is worthless to have a documentary about music if you can't hear the music. If you have a chance and are interested you might be able to track down that BBC documentary from another source.

Let Us Begin

This style exploded from the seeds of The Beatles album Sgt. Pepper's, mixed with the Psychedelic movement, intellectual exploration, musical experimentation, and musical skill. It resulted in very unique and exploratory sounding albums at the time. They were often (though not always) quite technically complex compared to what was coming out at the time. They were known for long songs, and frequent lengthy instrumentals. There was jazz, rock, classical, and many other types of sounds mixed to become what is known as Progressive Rock.

One common thing about Progressive Rock is that it experiments with a lot of different sounds. This can end up with the "They are not X, they are Y" type statements. In reality, they are Prog, so they are also probably BOTH X and Y. Progressive bands tend to mingle and merge many other styles in their sonic experiments. I will for example mention Rush in this post as they are a Prog band and many of their songs are definitely more rock than metal. They however, are perhaps one of the earliest that could be considered Progressive Metal, so when we get to the post on that topic they will also appear there.

Furthermore I have some acts in this post that will appear in the Shock Rock post because either what they were doing was progressive, or it had an impact on the progressive acts.

It should also be noted that almost all Progressive Rock acts will go on to incorporate keyboards, organ, or some type of keys based instrument in their show. This is not true of all examples though.

The Beatles

Band First Release: 1963
Nationality: United Kingdoms - Liverpool
Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band: 1967 (Very Prog Rock)
Known For: being the Beatles. Their influence spread all over the place and still does today. They always seemed to be a progressive band in that they pushed constantly into new areas. They have two albums that sound very much like the way Progressive Rock would tend to go later on. Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band, and then Yellow Submarine. You don't usually see this band listed in Progressive Rock lists, but I believe they should be there and may in fact be one of the earliest examples of the style.

The Making of Sgt Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band - 1:28

lucy in the sky with diamonds- The beatles | Lyrics - 3:35

The Animals

Band First Released: 1964
Nationality: United Kingdoms
Known for: "The House of the Rising Son" and many other songs. They are a prolific band that explored a lot of different sounds (aka Progressive) and they were recommended by @richq11.

The Animals - House Of The Rising Sun (LYRICS) - 4:29

The Animals - We Gotta Get Out Of This Place - 3:12

The Moody Blues

Band First Released: 1965
Nationality: United Kingdoms
Known for: Quite a lot of different sounds. Some of their music may not scream Progressive, but then other titles just might qualify.

The Moody Blues - Nights In White Satin (Tribute To Winter) (Long Version) - 7:38

The Beau Brummels

Band First Released: 1965
Nationality: United States of America
Known for: A different sound. They kind of sound like Progressive movement merged with a lot of the California style of the time. That is not unusual considering they are from San Francisco, California. I actually have never heard of these guys but me mentioning The Moody Blues inspired @richq11 to remember some other "weird" bands and this was one of them. In researching them before this edit I discovered there are forums dedicated to this band as Progressive Rock so it seems they do deserve to be here.

Beau Brummels -- Still In Love With You Baby...1964. - 2:29

The Zombies

Band First Released: 1965
Nationality: United Kingdoms
Known for: "She's Not There" which I've heard many times. I didn't know who performed it as this was another one of the "weird" bands that @richq11 remembered when I mentioned The Moody Blues. I started researching them and they do seem like they likely deserve to be in this early Progressive Rock mix.

THE ZOMBIES Greatest Hits - 48:57

Pink Floyd

Band First Release: 1967
Nationality: United Kingdoms - London
Known for: Many things but particularly The Wall. Their earlier stuff had that experimental, prog rock style sound to it, and it could be argued they continued to be experimental enough that they perhaps still belonged in the Progressive Rock group. On the other hand they also tended to switch to more accessible and less musically acrobatic songs later on. Yet as I stated in my intro to Let Us Begin section one of the hallmarks of a Progressive Rock band is that they could be labeled as many different styles. I do believe this also describes what I know of Pink Floyd. I've had friends that loved Pink Floyd, but I personally never really got into them, so finding the best song choices to express this may not go as those of you that know them would recommend. Feel free to comment and give me suggestions if you believe I should change the choices.

Pink Floyd - Lucifer Sam - 3:07

Pink Floyd - Set The Controls For The Heart Of The Sun - 9:57

The Doors

Band First Release: 1967
Nationality: United States
Known for: Jim Morrison and his poetic approach to things. This band did have a bit of that early Progressive Rock style. Other people might call them Psychedelic Rock but, that actually describes a lot of Progressive Rock.

The Doors - Light My Fire - 7:07

The Crazy World of Arthur Brown

Band First Release: 1967
Nationality: United Kingdoms
Known for: Crazy stage acts and essentially being the seed from which the Shock Rock movement would draw a lot of inspiration. There was also an element of Progressive Rock mixed in here. It often seems if you look at the border where someone is trying something new and there is not quite a label for it as it draws from many sources that it is considered Progressive. If everyone starts to mimic a style without really expanding it into new areas it usually will end up with a label of its own that can collectively describe all of these people that play a similar style, or have a similar approach.

Fire - The Crazy World Of Arthur Brown @ TOTP 1968 - 2:43

The Nice

Band First Release: 1967
Nationality: United Kingdoms
Known for: being the early band of Keith Emerson (Emerson, Lake, & Palmer) and being one of the earliest examples of the Progressive Rock sound. I was unfamiliar with this band until I researched this article. Watching this video in its entirety I definitely see and hear progressive rock here. In fact out of ALL the acts above this sounds the most like where the sub-genre of Progressive Rock tends to most often go.

The Nice (feat. Keith Emerson) - Hang On To A Dream - 7:18

The Nice - America 1968 - 4:31

The Strawbs

Band First Release: 1969
Nationality: United Kingdoms
Known For: They started as a bluegrass group and moved onto folk and progressive rock. Wikipedia notes they also had a brief stint with Glam Rock. In other words, they expressed themselves in many styles. They merged many styles. This is a hallmark of a Progressive Rock band.

Strawbs - Lay down 1973 - 3:28

Strawbs - Part of the union 1973 - 2:50


Band First Release: 1969
Nationality: United Kingdoms
Known for: Progressive Rock. This band appears on every Progressive Rock list I've ever seen. They are a very influential band in terms of the experimentation, long instrumentals, and musical prowess.

Yes - Roundabout - 8:36

Top Ten Yes Songs - 10:00

YES - Owner of a Lonely Heart (Official Music Video) - 6:41

Yes Rock Hall of Fame Induction 2017 - Owner of a Lonely Heart - 8:31

King Crimson

Band First Released: 1969
Nationality: United Kingdoms
Known for: Progressive Rock. As with Yes this is a band that always is listed on Progressive Rock lists. They also have gone on to be extremely influential. They influenced bands like Dream Theater and even Metallica. I surprisingly was well into adult hood before I'd ever heard of them. I'd heard Rush, Yes, and other bands and was already a huge Dream Theater fan when I first heard about King Crimson. I'm not sure how I missed them up to that point. I remember the first time I heard about them was from one of my parents friends Eric Nice who was a local carpenter and guitarist in my home town. He has since passed away. I was talking to him passionately about Dream Theater when he started telling me about King Crimson. A lot of great musicians have passed through membership in this band.

King Crimson - Asbury Park (OFFICIAL) - 11:59

King Crimson - Starless - 12:36

Easy Money - 8:46


Band First Released: 1969
Nationality: United Kingdoms
Known for: Progressive Rock. This band along with Yes and King Crimson always appears on Progressive Rock lists. Phil Collins who was a drummer/vocalist for Genesis actually went on to quite a large commercial success in the 80s as a solo act. MTV was good to him. Peter Gabriel was also in Genesis and went on to great solo commercial success.

Genesis Match of the day - 3:20

A&E Biography: Genesis - [Documentary] (2008) - 44:57

Emerson, Lake & Palmer

Band First Released: 1970
Nationality: United Kingdoms.
Known for: being a power trio and this is where Keith Emerson went after leaving The Nice.

ELP - Full Concert - Live in Zurich 1970 - Remastered (Belgium Pop Shop) + Bonus Track - 52:01

Top 10 Songs From Emerson Lake and Palmer According to Their Fans - 8:40

Uriah Heep

Band First Released: 1970
Nationality: United Kingdoms
Known for: Being a progressive band who declined in popularity by the 1980s and has a near cult like popularity. I had heard the name growing up many times, and I know I've heard some of the songs, but I don't know a lot about them. If any of my readers wish to contribute some more details I will edit this post and gladly add some more information.

Uriah Heep - Wizard - 2:59

Uriah Heep -- Lady In Black Official Live Video HQ - 5:17

Uriah Heep Greatest Hits | Uriah Heep Playlist 2016 - 1:56:08


Band First Released: 1971
Nationality: United Kingdoms
Known For: Starting out with this name hoping to land a gig sponsoring Camel Cigarettes and when that didn't pan out they simply focused on their music and were a Progressive Rock act.

Camel - Snow Goose Excerpts - 9:37

Camel - Never Let Go - 6:21


Band First Released: 1972
Nationality: United States of America
Known For: Many experimental sounds. They are most definitely a Progressive Rock band, but as with Progressive they overlap and experiment with many styles. As such they have already been listed in my Early US Metal acts, as some of their songs definitely could fit well with the Metal label.

Styx - Come Sail Away - 4:28

Styx - Suite Madam Blue - 6:32

Styx - Boat On The River - 3:10

Styx - Too Much Time On My Hands - 4:32


Band First Released: 1973
Nationality: United Kingdoms
Known For: Being musically amazing. They are musically amazing in all aspects. Vocals as mentioned in the Early UK Metal are the amazing Freddie Mercury before his death. There is also the amazing Brian May on guitar. How often is it that the guitarist is also an Astrophysicist?

Queen - Bohemian Rhapsody - 5:50

Queen - I Want To Break Free (Official Video) - 4:31

Queen - Live at LIVE AID 1985/07/13 [Best Version] - 24:36

Queen - We Will Rock You (Official Video) - 2:14


Band First Released: 1974
Nationality: United States of America
Known for: "Dust In the Wind", and "Carry On My Wayward Son" though they have many awesome songs. This is a very good progressive rock band. I almost included them in the Early U.S. Metal post and I really should have. They are like any good Progressive Act that they can explore many styles. Some of those styles could easily be considered early metal.

Kansas - Dust in the Wind (Official Video) - 3:19

Kansas - Carry On My Wayward Son (Official Video) Unofficial ReMastered - 5:20

Kansas - Point of Know Return - 2:53


Band First Released: 1974
Nationality: Canada
Known For: Being musically diverse. Their early stuff sounded heavily Led Zeppelin inspired but they very quickly found their own sound. They deserve to be on every Progressive Rock list, though they also are perhaps one of the earliest examples of what could be considered Progressive Metal. In fact, when Sam Dunn interviewed them they did not seem to disagree with this assessment. They are the hallmark of a great Progressive band in that they cannot be pinned down to one style and tend to flow across multiple classifications. Wherever their imagination takes them. They are also phenomenal musicians.

2112: Overture / The Temples Of Syrinx / Discovery / Presentation / Oracle: The Dream /... - 20:32

Rush - Closer To The Heart - 2:55

Rush - YYZ Live (Rio) - 4:38

Rush - Tom Sawyer - 4:34

Rush- Spirit Of The Radio - 5:02

Rush-Something For Nothing (Lyrics) - 3:57


Progressive music has only one distinct thing about it. It cannot pinned comfortably down to one style. Thus we call it Progressive Rock when at its roots it goes towards Rock most often. We call it Progressive Metal when it is more the metal style it tends to root in. It is important to note the true important word here is Progressive. It is an indicator that these musicians will gladly explore, mix, and match any music style that interests them at the time and mix them together. They are also often some of the most skilled musicians you'll find in the industry. It is quite often some of the most technically complicated music you could ever strive to play out there. Some people had a negative reaction to this. This negative reaction inspiring a new style of music has happened before. Tomorrow I will explore the negative reaction to Progressive and what grew from those seeds of dissatisfaction.

If you missed previous posts


The metal is more and more valuable. What a good selection, the Doors is goldmetal in this post.

I have a lot of respect for the Beatles because they could have kept recording the same pop songs forever and still made a fortune. Yet they weren't satisfied with that and pushed the boundaries of what rock music could be. Look at all the great artists they inspired.

I like a few Uriah Heep songs but never really got into them. According to the expanded liner notes in the remastered Deep Purple In Rock album, when the mark II lineup first formed they rehearsed in the same building as a band called Spice. Spice later became Uriah Heep. According to Simon Robinson (he wrote the liner notes), Spice heard Purple playing and said we need to sound more like that! Ritchie Blackmore has always said Purple got their style from Vanilla Fudge. That's the beautiful thing about music, it can inspire artists to take an idea and make it their own.

Sam Dunn made an excellent Rush documentary called Beyond the Lighted Stage. If you like Rush it is worth watching.

Yep, I've seen "Beyond the Lighted Stage"... It's actually on my PLEX server. :)

No doubt about Metal is more value and such great inventions. we also can watch GoldMetal.
Such a nice sharing man!

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