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Beyond and Before: Progressive Rock Since the 1960s [Kindle Edition]

Paul Hegarty , Martin Halliwell
3.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)

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Book Description

A sweeping new study, Beyond and Before considers the high period of the early to mid-1970s, where there was widespread acceptance of the ‘progressive’ approach of detailed instrumentation, extended tracks and conceptual linkage and development across albums. Hegarty and Halliwell assess the roots of progressive rock, arguing convincingly that a fusion of styles, approaches and genres defined the 1970s period, and the authors develop tools to assess other, later progressive musics. Each set of connections are justified and grounded by close textual readings of musical works, a consideration of their material presentation, and an examination of performance and cultural contexts.

Through close analysis, the authors show that something ‘progressive’ underpins many subgenres of rock. Featuring discussions not just of the obvious subjects and albums, but also of music by artists as diverse as Kate Bush, Talk Talk, Mars Volta, Tortoise, Joanna Newsom, Sonic Youth and Radiohead, Beyond and Before is ideal reading for anyone who's interested in exploring the history and meaning of progressive rock in all its forms.



Editorial Reviews

Review

"Examining every aspect of progressive rock - words and music, theatre and politics - Hegarty and Halliwell deftly unpick the tangled threads of tradition and radicalism that make up the genre's tapestry. In addition to shedding vital new light on an often maligned and misunderstood phase in rock's history, this probing and incisive study tracks prog's continued and unexpected reverberations through popular music long after punk had supposedly vanquished and banished it." Simon Reynolds, author of Retromania: Pop Culture's Addiction to Its Own Past and Rip It Up and Start Again: Postpunk 1978-84


"Beyond and Before is a wonderful account of both the rich legacy and the ongoing story of progressive rock in all its forms. At last, here is a book that gives prog its due respect as a vital part of the history of rock music, without tying it to a simplistic narrative of over-ambition, decadence and decline. The best thing about the book is its comprehensive, nuanced definition of what counts as progressive. In Hegarty and Halliwell's capable hands we journey from such unlikely precursors of the concept album as Frank Sinatra and Duke Ellington, through the 1970s Golden Age of Jethro Tull, Genesis and Pink Floyd to contemporary exponents as various as Spock's Beard, Porcupine Tree and The Decemberists." - Greg Walker, Regius Professor of Rhetoric and English Literature,
University of Edinburgh


"This is a great book. Hegarty and Halliwell have rescued progressive rock from the condescension of history by crafting a work that is smart, sympathetic, and impressively sweeping in its coverage of a much derided, yet enormously diverse and influential transnational music. Whether your taste is Porcupine Tree or Pink Floyd, Epica or ELP, Mike Oldfield or Midlake, there is plenty to admire and ponder in this ambitious and compelling account. By offering an expanded definition of prog rock in terms of its roots, musical and lyrical characteristics, geographic sources, artwork, performance practices, and legacies, Beyond and Before offers an exhilarating read." - Brian Ward, Professor of American Studies at the University of Manchester


"Beyond and Before provides a genuinely superb exploration of the amphibious identity of post-60s rock. As an artist who has navigated through various musical subcultures over the years, I am impressed with the broad scope and meticulous research of this comprehensive text." - Benjamin A. Vierling, www.bvierling.com.


"As broad as it is long, this book is the first I have read that is neither condescending nor overly polemic in its dealing with the subject. The wide area of music that it covers thankfully takes in much more than the usual suspects. Having followed the genre (sometimes unknowingly) since my first single purchase of 'See Emily Play' I was always bemused by the catch-all heading of 'Progressive Rock' back in the 1970s in which Floyd and other bands I liked fell. However, it has been so long established I guess we have to live with it despite the pejorative status amongst sections of the music press. If they were to read this book then perhaps they might be better informed. It is a fascinating read with entries about Gabriel as much as Gong, Miles as much as Marillion, Bernstein as much as Bowie. A brilliant book - the standard upon which any that follow must be measured against." - Mark Wilkinson, www.the-masque.com


“This is a great book. Hegarty and Halliwell have rescued progressive rock from the condescension of history by crafting a work that is smart, sympathetic, and impressively sweeping in its coverage of a much derided, yet enormously diverse and influential transnational music. Whether your taste is Porcupine Tree or Pink Floyd, Epica or ELP, Mike Oldfield or Midlake, there is plenty to admire and ponder in this ambitious and compelling account. By offering an expanded definition of prog rock in terms of its roots, musical and lyrical characteristics, geographic sources, artwork, performance practices, and legacies, Beyond and Before offers an exhilarating read.” - Brian Ward, Professor of American Studies at the University of Manchester


"Beautifully written and full of insightful and fascinating information and analysis. I recommend it highly." - David Tibet,
www.copticcat.com


"Beyond and Before is a very well researched and insightful book covering a lot of ground in the music world. It strikes just the right balance between academic and popular writing, which is no mean feat. I learnt a lot reading this and particularly enjoyed chapter 12 on post-progressive rock, which highlights the wonderful band Talk Talk from that era. It’s totally engaging and well worth a read if you’re any kind of music fan." - James Marsh, Artist, Designer, Author, www.jamesmarsh.com



About the Author

Paul Hegarty teaches Philosophy and Visual Culture at University College Cork, in Ireland. He is the author of Noise/Music (Continuum, 2007). He jointly runs the experimental record label dotdotdotmusic, and performs in the noise bands Safe and La Société des Amis du Crime.

Martin Halliwell is Professor of American Studies at the University of Leicester, UK. He is the author of American Culture in the 1950s (Columbia UP, 2007) and editor of two series for Edinburgh University Press: Twentieth-Century American Culture and Edinburgh Critical Guides to Literature.


Product Details

  • File Size: 2824 KB
  • Print Length: 328 pages
  • Publisher: Continuum (May 8, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B0057WBCTO
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #981,987 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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1 of 3 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Not very musical December 25, 2013
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Prog-rock is all about the music - not the lyrics, and not some wild philsophy. Unfortunately, the book seems to wander about the least-important subjects of the genre. You don't get any interviews or facts, just academic tidbits and thoughts on semantic ramblings that are of no interest to a true progger. I bought this and really couldn't finish it - I got that bored. A real shame.
I've read most of the books about progressive rock published so far, except Bill Martin's, but it seems that this one has missed the point: how progressive rock managed to mix the world of rock with the world of classical music and serious music.
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3 of 9 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Good book, although a bit boring. Recommended anyway August 18, 2012
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I enjoy the book, although sometimes it gets boring. It's an essay, not a kind of encyclopedia, so don't expect wide coverage of the genre. Recommended.
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