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ROCKING THE CLASSICS: English Progressive Rock and the Counterculture [Englisch] [Taschenbuch]

MACAN
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Kurzbeschreibung

9. Januar 1997
Few styles of popular music have generated as much controversy as progressive rock, a musical genre best remembered today for its gargantuan stage shows, its fascination with epic subject matter drawn from science fiction, mythology, and fantasy literature, and above all for its attempts to combine classical music's sense of space and momumental scope with rock's raw power and energy. Its dazzling virtuosity and spectacular live concerts made it hugely popular with fans during the 1970s, who saw bands such as King Crimson, Emerson, Lake and Palmer, Yes, Genesis, Pink Floyd, and Jethro Tull bring a new level of depth and sophistication to rock. On the other hand, critics branded the elaborate concerts of these bands as self- indulgent and materialistic. They viewed progressive rock's classical/rock fusion attempts as elitist, a betrayal of rock's populist origins. In Rocking the Classics, the first comprehensive study of progressive rock history, Edward Macan draws together cultural theory, musicology, and music criticism, illuminating how progressive rock served as a vital expression of the counterculture of the late 1960s and 1970s. Beginning with a description of the cultural conditions which gave birth to the progressive rock style, he examines how the hippies' fondness for hallucinogens, their contempt for Establishment-approved pop music, and their fascination with the music, art, and literature of high culture contributed to this exciting new genre. Covering a decade of music, Macan traces progessive rock's development from the mid- to late-sixties, when psychedelic bands such as the Moody Blues, Procol Harum, the Nice, and Pink Floyd laid the foundation of the progressive rock style, and proceeds to the emergence of the mature progressive rock style marked by the 1969 release of King Crimson's album In the Court of the Crimson King. This 'golden age' reached its artistic and commerical zenith between 1970 and 1975 in the music of bands such as Jethro Tull, Yes, Genesis, ELP, Gentle Giant, Van der Graaf Generator, and Curved Air. In turn, Macan explores the conventions that govern progressive rock, including the visual dimensions of album cover art and concerts, lyrics and conceptual themes, and the importance of combining music, visual motif, and verbal expression to convey a coherent artistic vision. He examines the cultural history of progressive rock, considering its roots in a bohemian English subculture and its meteoric rise in popularity among a legion of fans in North America and continental Europe. Finally, he addresses issues of critical reception, arguing that the critics' largely negative reaction to progressive rock says far more about their own ambivalence to the legacy of the counterculture than it does about the music itself. An exciting tour through an era of extravagant, mind-bending, and culturally explosive music, Rocking the Classics sheds new light on the largely misunderstood genre of progressive rock.

Produktinformation

  • Taschenbuch: 324 Seiten
  • Verlag: Oxford University Press USA; Auflage: New. (9. Januar 1997)
  • Sprache: Englisch
  • ISBN-10: 0195098889
  • ISBN-13: 978-0195098884
  • Größe und/oder Gewicht: 23,3 x 15,6 x 2,1 cm
  • Durchschnittliche Kundenbewertung: 3.8 von 5 Sternen  Alle Rezensionen anzeigen (4 Kundenrezensionen)
  • Amazon Bestseller-Rang: Nr. 319.041 in Fremdsprachige Bücher (Siehe Top 100 in Fremdsprachige Bücher)

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Produktbeschreibungen

Pressestimmen

An impressive piece of work ... Macan knows this music backwards and forwards: he combines a fan's detached knowledge of minutiae with what if often a quite sophisticated agenda of cultural criticism. Robert Walser a wonderful account of the Yes-Genesis-ELP crowd, and much, much more John Covach, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill

Synopsis

Few styles of popular music have generated as much controversy as progressive rock, a musical genre best remembered today for its gargantuan stage shows, its fascination with epic subject matter drawn from science fiction, mythology, and fantasy literature, and above all for its attempts to combine classical music's sense of space and momumental scope with rock's raw power and energy. Its dazzling virtuosity and spectacular live concerts made it hugely popular with fans during the 1970s, who saw bands such as King Crimson, Emerson, Lake and Palmer, Yes, Genesis, Pink Floyd, and Jethro Tull bring a new level of depth and sophistication to rock. On the other hand, critics branded the elaborate concerts of these bands as self- indulgent and materialistic. They viewed progressive rock's classical/rock fusion attempts as elitist, a betrayal of rock's populist origins. In Rocking the Classics, the first comprehensive study of progressive rock history, Edward Macan draws together cultural theory, musicology, and music criticism, illuminating how progressive rock served as a vital expression of the counterculture of the late 1960s and 1970s.

Beginning with a description of the cultural conditions which gave birth to the progressive rock style, he examines how the hippies' fondness for hallucinogens, their contempt for Establishment-approved pop music, and their fascination with the music, art, and literature of high culture contributed to this exciting new genre. Covering a decade of music, Macan traces progessive rock's development from the mid- to late-sixties, when psychedelic bands such as the Moody Blues, Procol Harum, the Nice, and Pink Floyd laid the foundation of the progressive rock style, and proceeds to the emergence of the mature progressive rock style marked by the 1969 release of King Crimson's album In the Court of the Crimson King. This 'golden age' reached its artistic and commerical zenith between 1970 and 1975 in the music of bands such as Jethro Tull, Yes, Genesis, ELP, Gentle Giant, Van der Graaf Generator, and Curved Air. In turn, Macan explores the conventions that govern progressive rock, including the visual dimensions of album cover art and concerts, lyrics and conceptual themes, and the importance of combining music, visual motif, and verbal expression to convey a coherent artistic vision.

He examines the cultural history of progressive rock, considering its roots in a bohemian English subculture and its meteoric rise in popularity among a legion of fans in North America and continental Europe. Finally, he addresses issues of critical reception, arguing that the critics' largely negative reaction to progressive rock says far more about their own ambivalence to the legacy of the counterculture than it does about the music itself. An exciting tour through an era of extravagant, mind-bending, and culturally explosive music, Rocking the Classics sheds new light on the largely misunderstood genre of progressive rock.


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Kundenrezensionen

3.8 von 5 Sternen
3.8 von 5 Sternen
Die hilfreichsten Kundenrezensionen
1 von 1 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
5.0 von 5 Sternen The single best book on Progressive Rock. 18. Februar 1999
Format:Gebundene Ausgabe
This is easily the best book on progressive rock on the market.
The reason that the books by Stump and Martin can't hold a candle to this book is that the author is writing about the MUSIC, from the point of view of a scholar who speaks the language of the classical music tradition.
Stump's analysis of the counter-counter-culture of the dissonant wing of progressive rock and Martin's analysis of the political implications of progressive rock are fun. But ultimately, these do -not- give us anything that we fans didn't get by reading all the interviews of our groups in music magazines over the years.
Macan does. His analysis of the harmonic and rhythmic qualities of pieces such as "Tarkus" actually taught me something about music that I hadn't known. It is impossible to read this book without rushing out to play some CD's (or LP's) that you haven't listened to in a long time.....
War diese Rezension für Sie hilfreich?
4.0 von 5 Sternen Progressive Rock gets a book about it! 29. Oktober 1997
Format:Taschenbuch
Edward Macan's book reads like a thesis on progressive rock, its place in modern music history, and relationship with the counterculture it grew out of. He uses his musicology background and a good sense of cultural theory to very thoroughly investigate and explain the many facets that shaped progressive rock, including in depth chapters on the music, the visuals, and the lyrics in progressive rock. To illustrate things further one chapter looks at four specific pieces of music: ELP's "Tarkus", Yes's "Close to the Edge", Genesis's "Firth of Fifth", and Pink Floyd's "Wish You Were Here". Macan's focus is the English prog rock scene, although he does make mention of both North American and Continental European bands in his discussions of styles and social relevancy. "Rocking the Classics" also touches on practically all of the related styles of music and bands, from jazz-rock fusion, English folk-rock and heavy metal, to minimalism and avant-garde electronic music. In a sense, I discovered much about what makes me enjoy many of the bands I listen to. The book also delves into prog rock's standing in critical circles and touches a little on more recent progressive rock output, even though the majority of the book concentrates on the 70's. Macan compliments things with an appendix containing a very nice discography and personnel listings for most of the bands he has written about.
As a non-musician I often felt challenged to follow many of Macan's music analyses, however I surmise musicians will appreciate such depth. I also found Macan's style quite dry at times, but preferred that this was not a book written by a typical rock critic.
Lesen Sie weiter... ›
War diese Rezension für Sie hilfreich?
4.0 von 5 Sternen A Good Summary 25. Februar 1999
Von Ein Kunde
Format:Taschenbuch
Macan's contribution to the burgeoning field of prog rock literature serves as an excellent summary of the genre. As one reviewer mentioned above, it is highly unlikely to tell seasoned vets anything they don't already know, but the excellent discography of all the major bands at the end of his book is well worth the price of admission. It's important to remember that Macan is a musicologist, and therefore tends to analyse his chosen genre in highly technical terms. If you're a trained musicologist, then the esoteric language won't be a problem, but the frequent discussions of "polytonal triads" "bass ostinatos" and "momentary shifts to A phrygian" (to name but a few) will leave the average reader feeling somewhat alienated, although Macan does his best to describe the jargon in simple terms. One slight gripe I have with the book is Macan's open dismissal of all the major progressive rock bands after 1980. Macan convincingly argues that the "loss of creativity" of the major bands was partly due to the titanic changes in the record industry during the late 70's, but he then goes on to practically ignore the major band's output in the 1980's. Hasn't Macan heard Yes's "I'm Running" or "Final Eyes" for instance? But apart from that slight flaw, Macan's book is an excellent introduction into the world of progressive rock.
War diese Rezension für Sie hilfreich?
2.0 von 5 Sternen apparently, it's all because of the drugs (man)! 1. Juli 1998
Von Ein Kunde
Format:Taschenbuch
While the book is informative (although it told me little that i didn't already know, just from listening to the music and hanging around in record stores for the last 30 years), i found three points very irksome...
1. the wholesale dismissal of prog-rock from countries other than England. Macan's focus is (self-admittedly) England, but that's not the problem...the problem is his contention that other countries made no significant contributions to the genre, which is patently _false_.
2. the importance he places on hallucinogens and other drugs...there are more references to drugs than to all but the most significant bands/ musicians.
3. his attribution of some sort of organized "agenda" or even conspiracy among rock critics against Prog-Rock....while it is undeniable that certain critics (and some quite prominant ones) _did_ hate the genre, the theory of a "party-line" in opposition to the genre seems outright silly.
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Amazon.com: 3.7 von 5 Sternen  16 Rezensionen
17 von 17 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
5.0 von 5 Sternen The single best book on Progressive Rock. 18. Februar 1999
Von lking@math.washington.edu (Lawrence King) - Veröffentlicht auf Amazon.com
Format:Gebundene Ausgabe
This is easily the best book on progressive rock on the market.
The reason that the books by Stump and Martin can't hold a candle to this book is that the author is writing about the MUSIC, from the point of view of a scholar who speaks the language of the classical music tradition.
Stump's analysis of the counter-counter-culture of the dissonant wing of progressive rock and Martin's analysis of the political implications of progressive rock are fun. But ultimately, these do -not- give us anything that we fans didn't get by reading all the interviews of our groups in music magazines over the years.
Macan does. His analysis of the harmonic and rhythmic qualities of pieces such as "Tarkus" actually taught me something about music that I hadn't known. It is impossible to read this book without rushing out to play some CD's (or LP's) that you haven't listened to in a long time.....
14 von 14 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
4.0 von 5 Sternen A Good Summary 25. Februar 1999
Von Ein Kunde - Veröffentlicht auf Amazon.com
Format:Taschenbuch
Macan's contribution to the burgeoning field of prog rock literature serves as an excellent summary of the genre. As one reviewer mentioned above, it is highly unlikely to tell seasoned vets anything they don't already know, but the excellent discography of all the major bands at the end of his book is well worth the price of admission. It's important to remember that Macan is a musicologist, and therefore tends to analyse his chosen genre in highly technical terms. If you're a trained musicologist, then the esoteric language won't be a problem, but the frequent discussions of "polytonal triads" "bass ostinatos" and "momentary shifts to A phrygian" (to name but a few) will leave the average reader feeling somewhat alienated, although Macan does his best to describe the jargon in simple terms. One slight gripe I have with the book is Macan's open dismissal of all the major progressive rock bands after 1980. Macan convincingly argues that the "loss of creativity" of the major bands was partly due to the titanic changes in the record industry during the late 70's, but he then goes on to practically ignore the major band's output in the 1980's. Hasn't Macan heard Yes's "I'm Running" or "Final Eyes" for instance? But apart from that slight flaw, Macan's book is an excellent introduction into the world of progressive rock.
12 von 12 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
4.0 von 5 Sternen Progressive Rock gets a book about it! 29. Oktober 1997
Von Daniel Kirkdorffer - Veröffentlicht auf Amazon.com
Format:Taschenbuch
Edward Macan's book reads like a thesis on progressive rock, its place in modern music history, and relationship with the counterculture it grew out of. He uses his musicology background and a good sense of cultural theory to very thoroughly investigate and explain the many facets that shaped progressive rock, including in depth chapters on the music, the visuals, and the lyrics in progressive rock. To illustrate things further one chapter looks at four specific pieces of music: ELP's "Tarkus", Yes's "Close to the Edge", Genesis's "Firth of Fifth", and Pink Floyd's "Wish You Were Here". Macan's focus is the English prog rock scene, although he does make mention of both North American and Continental European bands in his discussions of styles and social relevancy. "Rocking the Classics" also touches on practically all of the related styles of music and bands, from jazz-rock fusion, English folk-rock and heavy metal, to minimalism and avant-garde electronic music. In a sense, I discovered much about what makes me enjoy many of the bands I listen to. The book also delves into prog rock's standing in critical circles and touches a little on more recent progressive rock output, even though the majority of the book concentrates on the 70's. Macan compliments things with an appendix containing a very nice discography and personnel listings for most of the bands he has written about.
As a non-musician I often felt challenged to follow many of Macan's music analyses, however I surmise musicians will appreciate such depth. I also found Macan's style quite dry at times, but preferred that this was not a book written by a typical rock critic. Some may argue that Macan elevates progressive rock to a level akin to the pomposity that befell the music in the late 70's, but I think that would be an unfair assessment. Macan's arguments may be somewhat pedantic at times, but I found them sound and well presented. I think that anyone interested in discovering more about progressive rock will find this an excellent guide, and would recommend the book others.
9 von 9 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
5.0 von 5 Sternen A balanced and mature approach 6. Juli 1998
Von Ein Kunde - Veröffentlicht auf Amazon.com
Format:Gebundene Ausgabe
Ed Macan has succeeded in writing the quintessential book on progressive rock music. While not an album-by-album review, the book looks at the origins of prog, the kind of society that allowed its growth, critical reaction to it, the definition of progressive rock, the aftermath of the 70s heyday and many other topics. Aided by a "song study" of 4 different progressive rock epics, Macan explores that which separated progressive rock from contemporary rock music. This book is an absolutely essential starting point for anyone interested in looking at progressive rock from a scholarly angle. While not everyone will agree with Macan's ideas, they are well thought out and defended and will provide plenty of food for thought.
12 von 14 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
4.0 von 5 Sternen Quite informative 28. August 2001
Von BENJAMIN MILER - Veröffentlicht auf Amazon.com
Format:Taschenbuch
I find this book to be quite informative in the world of progressive rock. It's useful when you want to know how prog rock originated, the sociality of prog rock, why rock critics who have no life like Lester Bangs and Dave Marsh trashed the genre (simply because they live in a fantasyland that rock should forever be just like Little Richard). But I also found a few things I objected about. He acted like England was the only place for progressive rock. Yes, it originated in England, many of the most important prog rock originated there, but it's absolutely ludicrous to believe that the rest of the world did not contribute to prog rock, like the Italian scene, for example. There is a brief mention of non-British prog bands, but he didn't make much of an effort to bring in to focus their works, like Banco, PFM, Pulsar, Triumvirat, Eloy, etc. Also he made it sound like the minute you entered the 1980s, all the analog keyboards were replaced by digital, when in reality, it wasn't until the mid 1980s that the transformation from analog to digital was complete. He does tend to dismiss a lot of the major prog band's works from the 1980s, and often that holds true, try listening to Genesis' Invisible Touch. But he didn't say all bad stuff about the 1980s. The Post-Progressive section actually says favorable stuff about Edhels, Djam Karet, and Ozric Tentacles. He didn't even complete object to digital. He just objected when musicians use digital synthesizers just for solely synthetic sounds just to take the easy way out. There is a bunch of technical terms, as one has pointed out, that leaves many readers alienated, but there's plenty of stuff even the average reader can understand. Just don't buy this book expecting details in to how many prog bands are out there and how many albums they had. Buy this to know how prog originated, what was the social trends that brought the rise of progressive rock, and what brought it down, as well the technical side of progressive rock.
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