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Is Abbey Road a "progressive" album?


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#1 LeaveMyThingAlone

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Posted 13 August 2019 - 12:02 PM

Based on many "proggy" attributes, I think Abbey Road as an album qualifies as one of the earliest progressive albums. The 8 song side 2 medley is, for me, the coolest thing the Beatles have ever done and It's the odd and sudden tempo changes, the seamless transition from song to song without so much as a pause, and the Individual jam sessions on "The End" that make it progressive in nature. Even songs like Come Together and Mawell's Silver Hammer sound progressive. Others would say that the straightforward rock/pop songs like Something, Oh Darling, and Here Comes the Sun on side 1 would disqualify it, but I would argue that not every song has to have proggy attributes for an album to qualify as progressive. The whole genre was barely developing in 1969 and to this day you can ask 10 different people the definition of progressive music and get 10 different answers...

Thoughts?

Edited by LeaveMyThingAlone, 13 August 2019 - 12:03 PM.


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#2 1-0-0-1-0-0-1

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Posted 13 August 2019 - 01:00 PM

View PostLeaveMyThingAlone, on 13 August 2019 - 12:02 PM, said:

Based on many "proggy" attributes, I think Abbey Road as an album qualifies as one of the earliest progressive albums. The 8 song side 2 medley is, for me, the coolest thing the Beatles have ever done and It's the odd and sudden tempo changes, the seamless transition from song to song without so much as a pause, and the Individual jam sessions on "The End" that make it progressive in nature. Even songs like Come Together and Mawell's Silver Hammer sound progressive. Others would say that the straightforward rock/pop songs like Something, Oh Darling, and Here Comes the Sun on side 1 would disqualify it, but I would argue that not every song has to have proggy attributes for an album to qualify as progressive. The whole genre was barely developing in 1969 and to this day you can ask 10 different people the definition of progressive music and get 10 different answers...

Thoughts?

Even "Here Comes the Sun" has some odd-time sigs (5/4, I believe) in the middle section.

#3 treeduck

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Posted 13 August 2019 - 01:19 PM

It's a heavy metal album in my eyes! There's even a song called SHE'S SO HEAVY! What more evidence do you need?? :haz:

#4 blueschica

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Posted 13 August 2019 - 01:47 PM

View Post1-0-0-1-0-0-1, on 13 August 2019 - 01:00 PM, said:

View PostLeaveMyThingAlone, on 13 August 2019 - 12:02 PM, said:

Based on many "proggy" attributes, I think Abbey Road as an album qualifies as one of the earliest progressive albums. The 8 song side 2 medley is, for me, the coolest thing the Beatles have ever done and It's the odd and sudden tempo changes, the seamless transition from song to song without so much as a pause, and the Individual jam sessions on "The End" that make it progressive in nature. Even songs like Come Together and Mawell's Silver Hammer sound progressive. Others would say that the straightforward rock/pop songs like Something, Oh Darling, and Here Comes the Sun on side 1 would disqualify it, but I would argue that not every song has to have proggy attributes for an album to qualify as progressive. The whole genre was barely developing in 1969 and to this day you can ask 10 different people the definition of progressive music and get 10 different answers...

Thoughts?

Even "Here Comes the Sun" has some odd-time sigs (5/4, I believe) in the middle section.

I'd argue that "Here Comes the Sun" is pretty prog as well! The arpeggiated chords remind me of certain Yes songs (although the influence would be the other way around; Yes covered an old Beatles song on their first album.)

#5 ReRushed

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Posted 13 August 2019 - 02:50 PM

Not at all. But I do think Side 2 did influence many progressive musicians. Take Genesis for instance, whose members are professed Beatles fans, don't you think the way the Beatles threaded songs together on Side 2  of Abbey Road influenced or inspired a song like "Supper's Ready"?

Edited by ReRushed, 13 August 2019 - 06:50 PM.


#6 Rick N. Backer

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Posted 13 August 2019 - 03:00 PM

I don't think so.  Abbey Road is a great album. :P

#7 vaportrailer

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Posted 13 August 2019 - 03:11 PM

View Post1-0-0-1-0-0-1, on 13 August 2019 - 01:00 PM, said:

View PostLeaveMyThingAlone, on 13 August 2019 - 12:02 PM, said:

Based on many "proggy" attributes, I think Abbey Road as an album qualifies as one of the earliest progressive albums. The 8 song side 2 medley is, for me, the coolest thing the Beatles have ever done and It's the odd and sudden tempo changes, the seamless transition from song to song without so much as a pause, and the Individual jam sessions on "The End" that make it progressive in nature. Even songs like Come Together and Mawell's Silver Hammer sound progressive. Others would say that the straightforward rock/pop songs like Something, Oh Darling, and Here Comes the Sun on side 1 would disqualify it, but I would argue that not every song has to have proggy attributes for an album to qualify as progressive. The whole genre was barely developing in 1969 and to this day you can ask 10 different people the definition of progressive music and get 10 different answers...

Thoughts?

Even "Here Comes the Sun" has some odd-time sigs (5/4, I believe) in the middle section.

Believe it or not: 11/8 + 4/4 + 7/8 repeated a few times.

"Happiness is a Warm Gun" is another one that's all over the place time-signature-wise.

Is Abbey Road a prog album? Sure, why not.
Are the Moody Blues prog?

But what is prog? Google says:
"a style of rock music popular especially in the 1970s and characterized by classical influences, the use of keyboard instruments, and lengthy compositions."

Abbey Road seems to fit the definition.  
But it's a very squirrely definition.

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#8 New_World_Man

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Posted 13 August 2019 - 03:41 PM

Progressive but not "prog rock(which was still more or less in an embryonic state anyway)."

Edited by New_World_Man, 13 August 2019 - 03:43 PM.


#9 RushFanForever

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Posted 13 August 2019 - 04:06 PM

Abbey Road made the list of 5 Influential Prog Albums by Non-Prog Bands.

Edited by RushFanForever, 13 August 2019 - 04:13 PM.


#10 New_World_Man

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Posted 13 August 2019 - 04:10 PM

It looks like that article is no longer visible. I wonder what the other four were. I'm guessing A night at the opera was one of them.

#11 New_World_Man

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Posted 13 August 2019 - 04:11 PM

Here we go: https://www.prog-sph...non-prog-bands/

#12 Entre_Perpetuo

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Posted 13 August 2019 - 05:40 PM

Of course it is. The Beatles laid the foundations for the genre starting with A Day In The Life, and King Crimson laid the cornerstone with In The Court Of The Crimson King.

#13 bluefox4000

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Posted 13 August 2019 - 05:42 PM

Hard to say......one might consider the side 2 suite kinda maybe progressive.

i just call it a great record.

Mick

#14 stoopid

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Posted 13 August 2019 - 05:43 PM

Abbey Road is one of my favorites by any band.  Sure, it's progressive.  A lot of stuff in the 60s was, rock was in its adolescence and a lot of bands were 'experimenting'.  ;)

#15 LeaveMyThingAlone

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Posted 13 August 2019 - 07:36 PM

View Postbluefox4000, on 13 August 2019 - 05:42 PM, said:

Hard to say......one might consider the side 2 suite kinda maybe progressive.

i just call it a great record.

Mick

Indeed it is. I’ve never really delved deep into the Beatles albums and just knew the stuff that was on “1” and the usual stuff, but thanks to The Beatles channel on XM , I’ve gained a deeper appreciation for them. I only recently learned there was a melodic suite on Abbey Road and have been playing the shit out of the whole album, Side 2 is absolutely brilliant and George Harrison’s guitar work on songs like She Came in through the Bathroom Window is wonderful...

#16 Fordgalaxy

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Posted 13 August 2019 - 07:54 PM

Depending on what definition you believe about progressive music, just about any song could be so.

#17 Segue Myles

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Posted 14 August 2019 - 11:30 AM

 treeduck, on 13 August 2019 - 01:19 PM, said:

It's a heavy metal album in my eyes! There's even a song called SHE'S SO HEAVY! What more evidence do you need?? :haz:

You and me both

#18 chemistry1973

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Posted 14 August 2019 - 11:47 AM

100% - a proto-prog-rock masterpiece.

No Yes or Genesis without it. Perhaps not the prog/70s version of Floyd either. Dark Side of the Moon (recorded at Abbey Road) probably would not have happened.




Not so incidentally, I'm performing this album in its entirety at the Santa Monica Playhouse, August 14th!

Tickets here!

https://g.co/kgs/c1ph1E

#19 Rick N. Backer

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Posted 14 August 2019 - 12:51 PM

View PostFordgalaxy, on 13 August 2019 - 07:54 PM, said:

Depending on what definition you believe about progressive music, just about any song could be so.

What if your definition is, "mostly pretentious, overwrought, horsesh*t?"  :)




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