Sunday 24 May 2009

Is this the best prog album ever made?

Selling England has been voted the best ever prog album by readers of Classic Rock Presents Prog.

I voted in the poll, which has just been published in the second issue of Prog, and put Selling England at number one. However, I haven't listened to it properly for a while so, as the light faded, I drifted off into the garden for a listen on my iPod to give it a critical appraisal.

I could go on and on about the extraordinary ensemble playing, sophisticated writing and arrangements, the beautiful pastoral feel and the several key moments on the album that almost define prog at its best.

But I won't. I'll just say that, yes, it is the best prog album ever made.


Leo said...

I probably agree. It's one of the best prog albums of the 70s. However hearing Gentle Giants In a glass house for the first time was almost a life changing experience. Going to see Gryphon in London in June. Talking about great bands.

As I now you follow todays music; you should check out Grizzly Bear. They just released an album called "Veckatimest". What a wonderful album. Full of brilliant musical twists and turns. Progressive pop.


Jim said...

There is no way I could choose one album, Close to the Edge, the Lamb, Animals, English Boy Wonders, In a Glass House (yes), Thick as a Brick, Suffocating the Bloom....but I'm not sure I'd list Selling England. It has some of the best moments ever (musically they don't come any better) but for me it doesn't stand as a whole, the lyrics let it down, and haven't aged well. It's a great album, certainly top 100 ... but the best?

Leo should check out Field Music (I'm assuming he knows all about Echolyn).

Leo said...

Hi Jim,

Leo knows all about Field Music. Brilliant band. And I've been a Echolyn admirer for many years.

Does Jim know Alfie?


Jim said...

Hi Leo.

I love Alfie, it was so sad they split - just as channel 4 started to use the music as a background. I bought the last album on the launch date and was given an exclusive concert ticket to see the band play live in Newcastle. (I guess they did this all over the country). It was so cool, one of the best gigs I've seen. We were all shouting requests but they told us since we hadn't paid we were getting the new album like it or not, and I loved it. A word in your ear is still my favourite, but they did some great albums. I've been trying to convert Greg for years.

Gregory Spawton said...

Alfie schmalfie ;-)

Leo said...

I saw Alfie a couple of years ago in Amsterdam. Great concert but a very very poor attendance. Why doesn't Greg like them??

I watched the you tube clip about the recording of the Brass section for the new album. Sounds great. Very British and pastoral. TDM was a giant leap forward, but on the basis of the clips I heard from the new album it's going to be even better. In the past you never had much support from the prog press but with TDM that changed. TDM was a perfect mixture of old school prog mixed with influences from bands like Oceansize, Sigur Ros and...........Alfie ;--)And the new album is going to convert even more people!!


PS: Going to listen to Grizzly Bear again.

Gregory Spawton said...

Hi Leo

I do like Alfie - it's just getting the time to listen to music these days. I buy lots of CD's, then I put them on the shelf. If they get as far as my iPod, they may get heard.

I am hoping for big things with The Underfall Yard - it's all coming together beautifully at the moment.