Let’s go back to the 70s! Following the anti-establishment movements of the previous decade,
the hippy movement in the United-States and May 68 in France, a wave of customs liberation
and a huge cultural melting-pot are emerging.
In the Arts, it is a period of experiences and crossbreeding of all kinds. The Beatles show the
way by integrating to their compositions influences from the Orient, classical music, fanfares
or jazz. Soon, at the dawn of the seventies, a cultural ferment unprecedented is emerging
within the popular culture: all the arts are affected by the flood of Pop music.
In Rock music notably, innovation is the key word, and new stylistic
trends spring up out come out from nowhere. Among these, the palm of originality goes
unquestionably to the trend that soon will be called " PROGRESSIVE ROCK ".
Taking advantage of the arrival of new music instruments just at the right moment like the
Mellotron, which, used from the 60s by the ModdyBlues, reproduces perfectly the sounds
of violins and symphonic orchestras, or, in the early 70s, the sounds of the synthesizer,
which is efficiently and spectacularly used by Keith Emerson right away within the group Nice.
PROGRESSIVE ROCK will be able to give rise to a blossoming of new musical experiences
and fascinating cultural interbreedings.
The successful union between classical music and Rock music will give birth to the Symphonic
Rock trend of which most prestigious representatives will be Yes, Emerson, Lake & Palmer,
King Crimson, Genesis ou Gentle Giant.
The alliance with the jazz trend will result in England in the very subtle Canterbury School,
which is at the origin of Soft Machine ( avec Robert Wyatt), Caravan, Camel, Hatfield & the
North, National Health.
The attraction for the Folk, traditional and medieval music will mark groups such as Jethro Tull
or Gentle Giant while the dark universes of science fiction will inspire Vand Der Graf Generator.
It will be a crazy decade of creation all over the place, of wild experimentation and unlimited
frenzy that will mark forever the music history.
After spending ten years in the wildness, due to the arrival of the next trends as well as to a
certain inspiration drying up, PROGRESSIVE ROCK rises from its ashes in the late 80s with
the emergence of the group Marillion and the neo-progressive trend. It blooms nowadays
worldwide thanks to a multitude of groups which are as creative as they are innovative:
every country is affected by the phenomenon, from Europe (Eastern Europe include) to
South America, from Japan to Australia, no music can resist the PROGRESSIVE ROCK
experimenters (now World Music, Contemporary Music etc.)
By coming back to the front of the stage, PROGRESSIVE ROCK has won a new public of
enlightened amateurs, who were tired to only be the consumers of the last fashion promoted
by the media, and generated a whole host of groups swarming worldwide.
It has won its continuity and the right to be recognized as a musical style in its own right.