“ Exhaustive guide to the highs and lows of progressive rock in all it's many permutations. „
Back in 1974 or so, when, as a boy, I bought Foxtrot by Genesis, I didn't realise that it was what was called Progressive Rock or that it would be hailed as one of the best Progressive Rock albums of all time, I just liked it! The variety and flow of the music, plus one of the tracks was over 20 minutes long and it made sense. Same happened when I bought Wish You Were Here by Pink Floyd, I just loved the music.
Now over 30 years later, I still listen to the albums (though now on CD), and my love of the music has not diminished. This leads me to ProgArchives.com. This website is my favourite for all things Prog! It was, I believe, set up by a group of guys in their spare time and now it holds, quoted from its home page:
Discographies of 4,643 bands and artists, 24,163 albums (LP, CD or DVD) reviewed or rated, with over 200,000 reviews from 25,000 members
As a background, Progressive Rock is a genre of Rock music born in the 60's, mainly in the UK, and carried forward by the likes of Pink Floyd, Genesis and Yes, to name three of the more well known exponents of the art. I guess that most people would think of Prog as being long tunes, lasting up to 30 minutes or more, with lots of different intricate passages and themes. Well, yes, but there is so much more and this website helps to introduce you to the music and groups that you may like.
I must admit that I was surprised to find so many different categories of Progressive Rock, many of which I had never come across (e.g. Zeuhl, Tech, RIO, etc.). It is also such a worldwide phenomenom, which may be thought of as dominated by the UK and US, but two of my recent favourites are Riverside (Polish) and Gazpacho (Norwegian), both of which came to my attention through the reviews on this site.
There are several parts to the website, leading from the Home Page:
1. By Music type.
2. Top 40 current most searched bands (handy to see what bands are being looked at now) - click on the name and you go to their page (see below)
3. Alphabetical Search on Band/Artist Name.
50 Mp3 tracks from various artists. These are randomly selected, so change from time to time.
Discussion Forums - raised by members for a general chat or Poll.
Top 100 Albums of All time - A list compiled from all the reviews on the website (like dooyoo, the reviews are from the members of the site). Albums from the groups above dominate the top of the chart, but many new bands get a look in, too. A further list of the Top 100 has an mp3 track from each album.
Most current Album reviews - the ones most recently posted.
Most recent Videos posted by members.
There are also tabs to;
Prog Rock Guides, giving a definition of Prog Rock and a guide to the different types (as mentioned above).
Forums - members can discuss anything that takes their fancy!
Prog Radios - a list of recommended radio stations.
Prog Links - as it says, links to other related web-sites.
Band 'Home Page'
From the search, you arrive at the band 'home page'. Here you will find;
A biography of the band
A discography, with a rating for each album, based on reviews/ratings from the members.
If you take Marillion page, for example, it lists over 50 albums and 10 DVDs, and the highest CD rating is achieved by Misplaced Childhood at 4.28 out of 5. There are also 9 mp3 tracks to listen to, taken from various albums by the band. If you then click on a specific album, you can see more details about the album, such as the track-listing, and the reviews.
One slight annoyance - on each of the band's pages, there are adverts for Amazon and eBay, listing items (usually) connected to the band in question, which you have to scroll through to get to the list of albums.
Other than that, I find it easy to use and very helpful. I visit most days to see what new reviews have been listed, which may lead me to check the release/band further.