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The Beatles and Progressive Rock
2 November 2016
9.59am
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Expert Textpert
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Rishikesh
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I don't think there's a thread about this already. 

I was reading Genesis, Chapter and Verse, a book about the history of the band Genesis, and there was a quote to the effect that The Beatles had been a big influence on them because of songs like "A Day In The Life " and the Abbey Road medley, where the songs were composed of different sections that were put together. I forget who it was that said that, but I know that John Lennon is one of Tony Banks's favorite vocalists, Phil Collins is a big Beatles fan (with George being his favorite), and Steve Hackett has said in interviews before that The Beatles were an influence.

Also, both Phil Collins and Peter Gabriel have covered Beatles songs. (PC: Tomorrow Never Knows . PG: Strawberry Fields Forever , Imagine ).

Progressive rock bands like Genesis took these Beatles ideas and formed a whole genre around them. There is one big difference, though--Hackett has noted before that the music of Genesis was entirely European, almost classical, whereas rock originally had a more African and blues influence.

I thought it was interesting that John said (this was on a 1975 TV interview, the Tomorrow Show I think) that Elvis had made black music popular for white people, and The Beatles took that black music and made it sound even more white.  I guess progressive rock bands followed and made it even more white?

"This Beatles talk bores me to death.” —John Lennon 

2 November 2016
2.49pm
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sgtpepper63
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The Beatles pioneered a lot of things that is used in Progressive Rock:

1. Taking full advantage of the studio

2. Using multiple overdubs

3. Singing songs that aren't love songs

4. Using unusual instruments

5. Having a classical influence

6. Multiple songs that connect to each other

They also influenced multiple Prog bands, such as:

Rush

Queen

Genesis

Yes

King Crimson

And they even influenced Dream Theatre

5 November 2016
12.34pm
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Beatlebug
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It's Dream Theater, actually, because they're American. Just being pedantic. a-hard-days-night-paul-5

Naturally the term 'prog rock' = Pink Floyd to me ahdn_george_06... here's what Roger Waters has said about the Beatles' influence on him as a budding songwriter: 'I learned from John Lennon and Paul McCartney and George Harrison that it was okay for us to write about our lives, and what we felt — and to express ourselves. … That we could be free artists and that there was a value in that freedom. And there was.' 

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WeepingAtlasCedars

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5 November 2016
2.54pm
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sgtpepper63
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Silly Girl said
It's Dream Theater, actually, because they're American.

I'm American and I always thought theatre was the proper way to spell it instead of theater, similar to some other commonly garbled and misspelled words like restraunt or Berenstein (properly pronounced restaurant and Berenstain). To hell with English pronunciation, am I right.

5 November 2016
3.10pm
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limitlessundyinglove
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Ooh!  A thread about Prog!a-hard-days-night-ringo-6

I agree that The Beatles were a huge influence on the Prog genre, but I think musically, they lacked the pure skill that some musicians in Prog had.  Don't get me wrong, The Beatles were excellent musicians (especially George and Paul), but they just didn't have the flashiness and technical skill that would put them up there with the likes of Keith Emerson or Robert Fripp.  You don't really see The Beatles playing in 13/4, do you?  

Anyway, Prog/Art Rock is sorta taking what The Beatles started with abnormal lyrics/instruments/compositions and taking it to the next level.  The Beatles probably couldn't make something like In The Court Of The Crimson King, but said album wouldn't exist without them.  The Beatles even appear on the cover of King Crimson's Lizard for crying out loud!

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5 November 2016
3.11pm
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Starr Shine?
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Theater is better than theatre in all contexts

https://youtu.be/52nwiTs7bk8

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16 April 2019
11.39am
dougpitts
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Sgt. Pepper 63 above I think has pinpointed specific groups where there is a clear Beatles influence, along with the particular composing techniques used by these groups that did not have any prior existence in popular music outside of the Beatles. All of psychedelia somewhat points the way to progressive, but progressive has a much higher structure to it than psychedelia. You could say that Strawberry Fields is psychedelic, but it has a specific structure to it without the rambling sonic washes/collages seen in pure psychedelia. Penny Lane is pop but with a more complex melody than any pop of its time. Side 2 of Abbey Road is much like the multi-parted suites seen in progressive, such as Tull's Thick as a Brick or Yes' Close to the Edge.

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