IS PROG THE REAL PUNK?
Progressive rock, often referred to as “prog,” emerged in the late 1960s and early 1970s as a response to the dominant musical trends of the time. Bands such as Pink Floyd, Genesis, and King Crimson sought to push the boundaries of rock music, incorporating elements of classical music, jazz, and avant-garde experimentation into their sound. In doing so, these artists were challenging the norms of popular music, taking risks and daring to be different.
In this sense, progressive rock can be seen as the real punk rock. Just as punk rockers of the 1970s were rebelling against the bloated and formulaic excesses of arena rock and disco, prog musicians were challenging the confines of traditional rock music. They were taking the music in new and daring directions, exploring uncharted territory and pushing the boundaries of what was considered “acceptable” in popular music.
Prog was also a movement that was driven by a DIY ethos. Rather than relying on major record labels or the commercial music industry, prog bands often self-produced and self-released their music, using the newfound freedom of independent record labels and the underground music scene to get their music out to the public. This DIY spirit was a hallmark of the punk movement as well, and it’s clear that both prog and punk were fueled by a desire to reclaim control over the music-making process and to break away from the constraints of commercialism.
Additionally, progressive rock was a genre that was often steeped in political and social commentary. Bands like Pink Floyd and Genesis tackled issues such as war, environmentalism, and the alienation of modern society in their music, making them powerful voices for change and activism. In this sense, progressive rock was a genre that was just as politically charged as punk rock, and it’s clear that both genres were driven by a desire to use music as a platform for making important statements about the world.
In conclusion, progressive rock was a genre that was ahead of its time, paving the way for other experimental and alternative music movements that followed in its wake. Just as punk rock was a genre that challenged the norms of popular music, progressive rock was a genre that dared to be different, taking risks and pushing the boundaries of what was considered “acceptable” in popular music. It’s clear that progressive rock was, in many ways, the real punk rock, and its influence continues to be felt in the music of today.