Week 5 task: the legacy of Prog!

This week we are looking at the elaborating forms of rock music that were born out of the ashes of the psychedelic countercultural rock. What we’d like to hear is your take on the legacy of progressive rock. Music that tends to be one of the following:
– symphonic in structure
– conceptually driven
– epic in scale
– often lengthy tracks

Are any contemporary artists indulging in Prog or is it still a dirty word? Any musicians still clinging to the notion of high concept music?

Add tracks to the playlist below:
Spotify playlist

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Week 5 Lecture A materials: Progressive rock?


Screening material




Further reading

Chris Atton (2001). ‘Living in the Past’?: value discourses in progressive rock fanzines. Popular Music, 20, pp 29-46, http://dx.doi.org/10.1017/S0261143001001295 

Simon Frith (1978) The Sociology of Rock, London

Edward Macan (1997) Rocking the Classics: English Progressive Rock and the Counterculture, Oxford: Oxford University Press

Bill Martin (1996) Music of Yes: Structure and Vision in Progressive Rock, Chicago: Open Court Publishing Company

Bill Martin (1998) Listening to the Future: The Time of Progressive Rock, 1968–1978, Carus Publishing Company [Google books]

Week 4 Lecture A materials: Roots, rocks, reggae: the politics of Bob Marley



Further reading

Andy Bennett (2001) Cultures of Popular Music, Buckingham: Open University Press. Chapter 5 ‘Reggae and Rasta Culture’ [Google Books]

Lloyd Bradley (2001) Bass Culture: When Reggae Was King,  London: Penguin [Amazon]

Dick Hebdige (1979) Subculture: The Meaning of Style, Methuen,  Chapter 3.

Simon Philo (2011) ‘“They Got to Go”: Ska versus America’, in Response, Issue 9, [link]

Week 3 Lecture B materials: Afrobeat: and the politics of Fela Kuti



Wider reading:
Randall F Grass (1986) ‘Fela Anikulapo-Kuti: The Art of an Afrobeat Rebel’, The Drama Review: TDR, Vol. 30, No. 1 (Spring, 1986), pp. 131-148 http://www.jstor.org/stable/1145717

Justin Labinjoh (1982) ‘Fela Anikulapo-Kuti: Protest Music and Social Processes in Nigeria’, Journal of Black Studies, Vol. 13, No. 1, (Sep., 1982), pp. 119-134, http://www.jstor.org/stable/2783979

Tejumola Olaniyan (2001) ‘The Cosmopolitan Nativist_ Fela Anikulapo-Kuti and the Antinomies of Postcolonial Modernity’, Research in African Literatures, Vol. 32, No. 2, pp.76-89, http://www.jstor.org/stable/3820905

Derek  Stanovsky (1998) “Fela and His Wives: The Import of a Postcolonial Masculinity.” Jouvert: A Journal of Postcolonial Studies, vol. 2, no. 1, July 1998 http://english.chass.ncsu.edu/jouvert/v2i1/STAN.HTM


You might like… Gabriel Gbadamosi on Fela Kuti (BBC Great Lives series)

Image credits: Toludpilgrim (cc by-sa 3.0)

There’s an interesting 30 minute exploration of Fela Kuti’s eventful life here, courtesy of the BBC and Radio 4.

Poet, playwright, and critic Gabriel Gbadamosi chooses as his Great Life the political maverick and inventor of Afrobeat, musician Fela Kuti, and tells Matthew Parris why his work deserves to be better known.

Whether withstanding ferocious beatings from the Nigerian police, insulting his audiences, or demanding a million pounds in cash upfront from Motown records, his strength and stubbornness were legendary, and his gift for controversy unmatched.

Fela had more than 25 wives, some of whom he beat, and was President of his own self proclaimed Republic. He smoked dope and was the scourge of the rulers of a corrupt Nigerian state and was acclaimed as having the best live band on earth.

Gabriel Gbadamosi is joined by Stephen Chan, professor of International Relations at the School of Oriental and African Studies at the University of London, to discuss the musical and political life of this outspoken force of nature.

Presenter: Matthew Parris

Producer: Melvin Rickarby

Click here to stream the recording or right-click here to save the file as an mp3

You might like… Fela Kuti: Music Is The Weapon (1982)

Image credits: Toludpilgrim (cc by-sa 3.0)

Shot in 1982 on location in Lagos, Nigeria, this hour-long documentary mixes footage of Fela Kuti interviews with live performances, overlaid with some voice-over narration that explains some of Fela’s political beliefs. It goes behind the scenes in his Kalakuta Republic and highlights the threat he posed to the Nigerian authorities