In 1991, I was a 14-year-old kid who had become obsessed with progressive rock. I (regrettably) passed on seeing Yes on their massive Union tour, telling a friend I only knew “Owner of a Lonely Heart,” but not long after they came through Toronto I became a fan. They set me on the road to exploring the sounds of bands not willing to fit any sort of straight format.
Which brought me to King Crimson. Talking about a band that never fit a format – they couldn’t fit a mold, no matter how hard someone may have tried to fit them in to one. King Crimson’s 1969 debut album, In The Court Of The Crimson King, may be the definitive artifact of early progressive rock – esoteric lyrics, long suites, complex time changes – but the band never repeated that effort. Instead, they’d change line-ups and sounds, usually in whatever way guitarist/band mastermind Robert Fripp would choose. Following 1974’s Red (power-trio KC), the band went on hiatus until 1981’s Discipline, which would feature Fripp and returning drummer Bill Bruford working alongside bassist/stick player Tony Levin and guitarist Adrian Belew in a new Crimson iteration.
Which brings us to On (and off) The Road, the glorious new King Crimson box set that captures the band in all its 1980s goodness.
Every year I try to highlight some cool progressive rock offerings for our readers, and this year is no exception. For those of us that love the genre, 2015 was a fairly heady time, as one of the most influential artists in prog passed away.
As a huge fan of Yes, the loss of bassist Chris Squire hit me hard. My first bass was an imitation Rickenbacker, which I discovered not long after purchasing it that it was Squire’s bass of choice. The Fish, as he was known to fans, passed away this spring after a brief battle with a rare form of leukaemia. The band carries on, though, with Squire’s longtime friend and former Yesman Billy Sherwood ably filling his shoes on tour.
Prior to Squire’s passing, two live offerings from Yes were released in 2015. The first, Progeny: Seven Shows From Seventy-Two, is a massive offering of 7 complete shows from 1972, the band’s first tour with drummer Alan White, and done in support of their fifth album, the genre-defining Close To The Edge. The shows are virtually identical in song selection, so this is a release that is really tailor-made for die-hards willing to listen closely for the minutia – a change in phrasing, a variation in solo. The band is on fire, mind you – literally, going for the one each and every night. Read the rest of this entry
This past week Life with Archie #36 came out, and if you’ve been paying attention to various news outlets, and the comics press for the last few months, you know it’s the death of Archie Andrews. But that’s not the end of it, it’s not even the tip of the iceberg. We’ll get a bit of background, and learn all about life and death with Archie, after the jump.