This is a brilliant new book named after the opening track on the first Yes album which tracks progressive rock, from its roots which go further back than psychedelia and the late 60s blues boom to its 70s loon panted heyday.
The book also covers more current times discussing contemporary artists who are progressive in differing ways these bands include Sonic Youth and Radiohead.
As an in depth study of its subject “Beyond and Before” considers the high period of the early to mid-1970s, where there was widespread acceptance of the ‘progressive’ approach of detailed and complex instrumentation, extended tracks, conceptual linkage and progression across albums.
The authors look closely at the roots of progressive rock, arguing convincingly that a fusion of styles, approaches and genres defined the 1970s period, and the authors also assess the work of other, later progressive music.
Through close analysis, the authors show that something ‘progressive’ is to be found in many subgenres of rock. Featuring discussions not just of the obvious subjects, bands and albums, but also of music by artists as diverse as Kate Bush, Talk Talk, Mars Volta, Tortoise, This Heat and Joanna Newsom.
Beyond and Before” is ideal reading for anyone who’s interested in exploring the history and meaning of progressive rock in all its forms.
Beyond and Before: Progressive Rock Since the 1960s [Paperback]
Paul Hegarty & Martin Halliwell RRP £12.99
Paperback: 328 pages
Publisher: Continuum Publishing Corporation (18 August 2011)
J W Godbluff