Friday, July 24, 2020

McQ's Best Of 1969 Vol 5 - Prog Gods, Krautrock Kings, and Canterbury Chaps

Inspired by the mid-60s progressive pop and psychedelic work of The Beatles, The Beach Boys, The Byrds, The Zombies, Pink Floyd, and Frank Zappa's, a new generation of musicians became enthralled with the notion that the rock music could be so much more than just a tight three-minute single delivered in standard 4/4 time, and instead could achieve the musical sophistication of classical music, the extemporaneousness of jazz, the lyrical sophistication of the era's best folk music, and have the impact of high modern art.

For these artists, it was all about a merger of genres and a fluid freedom of sounds, and the studio, not the concert stage, was their preferred home.

Following the great progressive pop-wave of those mid-60s artists, the first to push forward the progressive trend, acts like The Moody Blues, The Nice, and Procul Haram focused on incorporating classical textures and weighty lyricism, but by 1969, the movement had exploded into three distinct subsets.

The Canterbury scene, led by Kevin Ayers and The Soft Machine, which focused on incorporating free Jazz textures and tons of woodwinds into the music.

The emerging, super trippy Krautrock scene in Germany, led by two bands out of the same original collective, CAN and Amon Duul II, which was initially focused on exploring the spontaneous, jammy freedom of Jazz, but sticking with a distinctly rock instrumental palette while doing so, and the more orchestrally driven UK acts most listeners first associate with the prog-rock today - bands like Yes, Jethro Tull, and King Crimson.

Well, they are all here in their nascent form, as well as several other early adopters, in this epic, almost four-hour look back at the year in which prog-rock was officially born.

Here's The Spotify link.  Enjoy!

Set 1 (Sailor's Lament)
1. Theme - Moondog (3:00)
2. A Salty Dog - Procul Harum (4:40)
3. Living In The Past - Jethro Tull (3:21)
4. I Talk To The Wind - King Crimson (6:06)
5. I See You - Yes (6:53)
6. Dem Guten, Schonen, Wahren - Amon Duul II (6:14)
7. Lalena - Deep Purple (5:06)
8. Elegy - Colosseum (3:10)
9. Lovely To See You - The Moody Blues (2:34)
10. Girl On A Swing - Kevin Ayers (2:50)
11. Father Cannot Yell - CAN (7:03) 
12. Sympathy - Rare Bird (2:48)
13. Careful With That Axe, Eugene - Pink Floyd (8:49)
14. Ian Underwood Whips It Out - The Mothers Of Invention (5:05)
15. Love Without Sound - White Noise (3:07)
16. Paraphysical Introduction, Pt. 1 - Soft Machine (1:01)
17. A Concise British Alphabet, Pt. 1 - Soft Machine (0:10)
18. Hibou Anenome And Bear - Soft Machine (5:59)
19. It's Five O'Clock - Aphrodite's Child (3:32)
20. Memory Of A Free Festival - David Bowie (7:11)

Set 2 (God's Junk)
21. Bouree - Jethro Tull (3:46)
22. Too Much Between Us - Procul Harum (3:42)
23. Butty's Blues - Colosseum (6:44)
24. Sweetness - Yes (4:37)
25. Peaches En Regalia - Frank Zappa (3:39)
26. In The Court Of The Crimson King - King Crimson (10:03)
27. Minsym #1 - Moondog (6:00)
28. Plallus Dei - Amon Duul II (20:49)
29. Grantchester Meadows - Pink Floyd (7:28)
30. Song For Insane Times - Kevin Ayers (4:01)
31. Reasons For Waiting - Jethro Tull (4:07)
32. Gypsy (Of A Strange And Distant Time) - The Moody Blues (3:34)
33. Alice - Deep Purple (12:10)

Encore 1
34. The Valentyne Suite - Colosseum (16:53)
35. Fat Man - Jethro Tull (2:51)
36. Every Little Thing - Yes (5:42)
37. Epitaph - King Crimson (8:47)
38. Pilgrim's Progress - Procul Harum (4:30)

Encore 2
39. You Doo Right - CAN (20:28)

About the 1969 Prog God Orchestra Members:

Moondog: More coming soon!

Procul Harum: More coming soon!

Jethro Tull: More coming soon!

More coming soon!

King Crimson: More coming soon!

Yes: More coming soon!

Amon Duul II: More coming soon!

Deep Purple: More coming soon!

Colosseum: Another inspiring first time discovery for me in my look back at the music of 1969 was Valentyne Suite (Strong Recommend), the sophomore effort from English progressive jazz-rocker ensemble Colosseum . So taken was I with this pioneering, lively and unpredictable effort, I ended up using a full 80% of it in these mixes, favoring the record's jazzier and/or more experimental highlights - Elegy, Butty's Blues, and the sixteen minute prog-odyssey title track - on this mix here, and one of the album's two harder-rocking tracks, The Kettle, on our early metal mix Vol 14 - Hindenburgs Rising

The Moody Blues: More coming soon!


Kevin Ayers: More coming soon!

CAN: More coming soon!

Rare Bird: More coming soon!

Pink Floyd: More coming soon!

The Mothers Of Invention: More coming soon!

White Noise: More coming soon!

Soft Machine: More coming soon!

Aprohdite's Child: More coming soon!

David Bowie: More coming soon!

Frank Zappa: More coming soon!

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