The Show That Never Ends: The Rise and Fall of Prog Rock
- Publish Date: 2017-06-13
- Binding: Hardcover
- Author: David Weigel
The wildly entertaining story of progressive rock, the music that ruled the 1970s chartsâand has divided listeners ever since.
The Show That Never Ends is the definitive story of the extraordinary rise and fall of progressive (âprogâ) rock. Epitomized by such classic, chart-topping bands as Yes, Genesis, Pink Floyd, Jethro Tull, and Emerson Lake & Palmer, along with such successors as Rush, Marillion, Asia, Styx, and Porcupine Tree, prog sold hundreds of millions of records. It brought into the mainstream concept albums, spaced-out cover art, crazy time signatures, multitrack recording, and stagecraft so bombastic it was spoofed in the classic movie This Is Spinal Tap.
With a vast knowledge of what Rolling Stone has called âthe deliciously decadent genre that the punks failed to kill,â access to key people who made the music, and the passion of a true enthusiast, Washington Post national reporter David Weigel tells the story of prog in all its pomp, creativity, and excess.
Weigel explains exactly what was âprogressiveâ about prog rock and how its complexity and experimentalism arose from such precursors as the Beach Boysâ Pet Sounds and the Beatlesâ Sgt. Pepper. He traces progâs popularity from the massive success of Procol Harumâs âWhiter Shade of Paleâ and the Moody Bluesâ âNights in White Satinâ in 1967. He reveals how progâs best-selling, epochal albums were made, including The Dark Side of the Moon, Thick as a Brick, and Tubular Bells. And he explores the rise of new instruments into the prog mix, such as the synthesizer, flute, mellotron, andâfamouslyâthe double-neck guitar.
The Show That Never Ends is filled with the candid reminiscences of progâs celebrated musicians. It also features memorable portraits of the vital contributions of producers, empresarios, and technicians such as Richard Branson, Brian Eno, Ahmet Ertegun, and Bob Moog.
Ultimately, Weigel defends prog from the enormous derision it has received for a generation, and he reveals the new critical respect and popularity it has achieved in its contemporary resurgence.8 pages of illustrations