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My Musical Journey

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30 March 2010

Jon Neudorf

I have listened to progressive music for a number of years now. The first progressive rock album I heard was likely Pink Floyd's Dark Side of the Moon, way back in the mid '70s. I have two older brothers who helped shape my musical tastes. Of course, many people would not consider DSOTM progressive rock but I will save that topic for another time. Listening to that album peeked my interest and led to forays into The Moody Blues, Supertramp, Talking Heads, Camel, Roxy Music, Rush, City Boy, Horslips, Manfred Mann's Earth Band, Alan Parson's Project, The Beatles, Genesis, David Bowie, Yes, and so many others.

There were times however, when I travelled down a different path. The punk scene of the mid to late '70s was a big influence on my taste and still is to this day. Electronic music coming out of Britain, like Joy Division, also played a part in my musical upbringing. Electronic music had a profound effect and the European blitz movement with bands such as Classix Nouveaux, Depeche Mode and Spandau Ballet were all integral to the scene. Hey, even 80's hair metal was worth a listen back in the day. I still pull out the odd CD from time to time and relive those glorious '80s. Some of the albums that caught my attention in those formative years were: U2 – War, The Cars – The Cars, Talking Heads – Fear of Music, Blondie – Parallel Lines, The Who – Who Are You, The Kinks – Misfits, The Kinks – Sleepwalker, Roxy Music – Avalon, Steely Dan – Aja, Wings – Wings Over America, BOC – Agents of Fortune, ELO – Out of the Blue, Ultravox – Vienna, The Jam – Sound Affects, Elvis Costello – Armed Forces, The Clash – London Calling, Cream – Disraeli Gears, Deep Purple – In Rock, Neil Young – Rust Never Sleeps, Warren Zevon – Excitable Boy, Sad Cafι – Facades, Joe Jackson – Night and Day, and many more too numerous to mention, but all were pivotal in my earlier years.

The grunge scene of the early '90s came and went and I began searching for different music with no such luck. Don't get me wrong, I still love to listen to the progressive classics from Yes, Genesis, Floyd, Tull, etc and kept hoping for the elusive Roger Water's solo album post Amused To Death, which never did come, Ca Ira not withstanding. I did not hear any new bands which came close to the heyday of the '60s and '70s. In effect, I thought the music had died a slow death. Maybe what Don Maclean had lamented many years earlier actually came true … "Bye-bye Miss American pie. Drove my chevy to the levee but the levee was dry. Them good old boys were drinkin' whiskey and rye. And singin', this will be the day that I die…The day the music died.". You know, I used to drive a Chevy but, being strictly a beer man, I never really developed a taste for rye whiskey. Now back to the topic at hand. The '90s, for me, was an abhorrent decade for music. Not that there wasn't anything good coming out back then, I just didn't hear it. Oh sure there were a few great bands like Nirvana, Soundgarden and Pearl Jam, but nothing captured my attention like the bands from my youth. Or so I thought.

About six years ago I started to search for new music on the internet and visited this very site, and others like it, on a number of occasions. The first couple of bands that caught my attention were Spock's Beard and The Flower Kings. Yes, I got bit by the dreaded neo prog bug. I owe much to this often maligned genre of music as it started me on a new musical journey discovering bands I had no idea even existed. Maybe the '90s were not so bad after all.

Once I started reviewing music my musical palette has grown by leaps and bounds. The sheer abundance of quality artists making great music is awe inspiring. It absolutely blows my mind every time I think about it. Those immortal words - "the day the music died" – might not be reality for a very long time indeed. Sorry Mr. McLean.

To be continued…

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