Modern Prog Rock Makes the Big Time – With Half an Ass

OK, so modern progressive rock has its own iTunes Essentials listing. Great, except there’s nothing by Spock’s Beard or echolyn, both of which are on the iTunes Music Store. Really, it’s more of a Neoprog collection, which isn’t the same thing (in my opinion, it’s pretty boring stuff).

I was happy to see that Farpoint was represented. They are not typical prog, either, but having grown up in the same area of South Carolina, I can say that producing anything unconventional is an act of courage and perseverance in that environment. Trivia: the drummer I mean, uh, lead singer–sorry Clark–was Jesus in a local production of Jesus Christ, Superstar I once played for.

All that being said, the classic progressive rock iTunes Essentials listing is quite good, including even a couple of tracks I haven’t heard before. I question having “Nothing at All” by Gentle Giant as really essential when compared to some of the rest of their output (something off In a Glass House, perhaps?), but the collection was obviously put together by somebody who knew what they were doing.

5 thoughts on “Modern Prog Rock Makes the Big Time – With Half an Ass

  1. As with all lists, I can quibble with this or that. The inclusion of “Free Hand” which is one of GG’s best tracks, pretty much means that the second inclusion from GG can be almost anything, and “Nothing at All” shows a different side of the band. However, tracks from Octopus or Interview would be worth inclusion.

    This also points out some of the holes in the iTunes catalogue, specifically King Crimson, which is sorely missed in any discussion of Prog.

    The inclusion of Porcupine Tree was unsuprising, I was astonished to find Discipline lurking about on the Modern Prog Essentials list. In terms of popularity, echolyn and Spock’s Beard are head and shoulders above Discipline. Not that I don’t love Unfolded Like Staircase, but I’m amazed to see them on a list that misses SB and echolyn.


  2. Yeah, they have only one album from The Nice, either, which would have been a good inclusion. However, it was a performance I didn’t have, including a couple of tunes I’d never heard them do before.

    I just think any of the more complex stuff from the middle period–Octopus, Three Friends, In a Glass House, Power and the Glory, Interview–would have been a better complement to the nearly AOR sound of Free Hand. Which, as you say, is a good tune for an introduction.


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