8/30/10

Obscure Grooves #9: Let's Get Progged



Glad you could drop by for another set of sinfully underplayed tunes from yesteryear.  I wouldn't exactly say the Edgar Broughton Band was ever a household hame, but I must say they deserve more attention than they get.  They've got that prog/acid rock 70s vibe down pat.  I don't know much about them, but I've enjoyed their album immensely.  The song I've selected for you is "Madhatter" from their eponymous 1971 LP.

Edgar Broughton Band 1971



Download track

Here's another one from 1971 called "Tuely's Day" by the progressive rock group The Road.  In 1971, bubblegum music was experiencing a dry spell, and it was hurting labels like Kama Sutra and Buddha which had specialized in the brand.  Prog rock is the direct descendant of psychedelic rock; the drug element, creativity, experimentation, and disregard for the mainstream were still there; however, it had morphed into a more pretentious and heavy-handed beast, often unlistenable to the average shmoe.



This is not to say all prog music was below the radar. Some groups like Pink Floyd and Yes became Billboard successess. The Kama Sutra label was hoping for a success with The Road.... unfortunately, The Road kinda sucked.

Maybe I'm being a little harsh, but The Road is the textbook example of why prog rock fell out of favor. It's so philosophical, so experimental and "intelligent".... where's the fun? No wonder people were itching for KC & the Sunshine band. By the mid 70s, prog rock had largely morphed into the AOR format and Kama Sutra and Buddha went on to score big with the Super Fly soundtrack and Gladys Knight LP's.

What became of The Road? No idea. But forty years later they're featured on a blog called Retrospace. Thats gotta count for something.





Lastly, we have ex-Tangerine Dream member, Klaus Schulze.  His 1973 album, Cyborg, is surely a pioneering work in avant-garde music. It's alien sounds grow on you after a while, so I won't say Klaus is the predecesor of Yanni and Tesh, whom I hate.  In fact, the strange ambient sounds remind me a bit of David Bowie's album Low. The song I've included for is called "Neuronengesang", which I assume means something like "brain song".  Take a listen.


7 comments:

  1. I've heard that song from the Edgar Broughton Band.

    The Road album cover is absolutely ghastly. There's no way I would have bought it. Of course, now, I would have to have it.

    RetroHound.com

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  2. I've never heard of The Road before. There's a band out of Minneapolis called Spymob that immediately came to mind when I heard "Tuely's Day".
    Just reminds me of the recycling existence that is rock and roll.

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  3. Ew, those guys in The Road have skin that looks like baby bottoms D:

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  4. Yhe best of the prog rockers (you mention two, Yes and Pink Floyd, and I'd add Moody Blues and Procol Harum) to that mix) made music that was more complicated, and yes, philosophical, than your average 1960s and early 1970s rock band. But not all were that good. I think there is good reason that the Edgar Broughton Band and The Road are forgotten today. They were forgettable upon 1st listen. Yes, that The Road album cover is something to behold. I'm not sure that Klaus Schulze belongs in that prog rock category. Certainly Tangerine Dream does, but his solo work was way out there.

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  5. That's one Klaus album I don't have. Thanks for the 411. I always love your tatee in Moldie Oldies, Gilligan !

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  6. Thanks, Gilligan, for the Klaus Schulze album; it's one we don't own yet.
    Schulze's Moondawn and Trancefer are also excellent. Definitely Prog, albeit Electronica is more befitting genre.
    Mike Oldfield's Tubular Bells is a certain classic.
    More "out there" is Andrew Roudin's Tragoedia. This LP demands intense concentration, best played when your mind is just right.
    On a lighter note is a very listenable Fresh Aire II by Manhein Steamroller.
    Three forgotten bluesy psych LPs that have been on my recent rotation are :
    Mind Garage - Again !; their version of Paint It black is a standout track. Crome Syrcus (self); the 17.5 minute The Love Cycle takes baroquey movements with funky psych interludes and hippie narrations and packages them in some very '68 flavor Bangor Flying Circus (self); Killer instrumental of Eleanor Rigby! These are fantastic R&B psych records loaded with fuzz and organ riffs that demand good eargoggles (Koss Pro 4AA) or warm speakers like KLH Model 6's.
    Hope you can share them soon on your blog.

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  7. I was never a fan of Prog or the Edgar Broughton Band but Edgar and co are very interesting/entertaining in the recent BBC documentary "Heavy Metal Britannia".

    The entire programme is a also a horrifying role call of what various one time sex gods/old rockers look like now :-)

    By the way many thanks and congratulations for this great blog.

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