At 10:53 PM -0800 11/30/09, Mark Hamburg wrote: >On Nov 30, 2009, at 10:43 PM, Mech wrote: > >> I was big into prog rock during the first >>couple of years of high-school (until I >>discovered punk -- seemingly the anti-thesis of >>prog). > >The Stranglers: Prog or punk? Holy cheese! Either you're psychic, Mark, or I'm once again forgetting which stories I've told here on LD (loop de loop, eh?). But whatever the circumstance, it does turn out that it was The Stranglers that ushered me into Punk in the first place. As a teenage Prog keyboardist wannabe, I'd spent the past couple of years dissecting the playing of artists like Wakeman and Emerson (don't be impressed; I sucked then, and I still do), when a friend of mine introduced me to an advance single of The Strangler's "Nice & Sleazy", from Black & White. If you've not heard it before, the break section features a keyboard solo that sounds like Dave Greenfield is literally strangling a synthesizer to death (brilliant!!!). It just happened to be that moment I had an epiphany: music could be just as potent (or more even) by focusing solely on the raw emotion behind the playing, rather than the technical skill and placement of every hemi-semi-demi-quaver. I started shotgunning my ELP records right after that, and haven't really looked back since. Now, as to whether The Stranglers are actually Prog or Punk.... First, it does seem that the established Music Critics [sic] do generally consider their debut album, Rattus Norvegicus, to have the distinction of being the first actual LP released from the UK Punk scene (it supposedly pre-dated The Damned's debut by a couple of weeks and Sex Pistol's Never Mind The Bollocks by several months). That said, all the individual members of The Stranglers were accomplished musicians long before they became associated with Punk, and I think the fact that they could actually pull out some chops when they wished caused them to be viewed with some skepticism by many in the scene at the time. In true Punk fashion, I really don't think they gave a f*ck, though, and could actually play well if it was called for within the song. IMNSHO, I'd say that their first 3 albums -- Rattus Norvegicus, No More Heroes, and Black & White -- should certainly be considered Punk. However, the demise (ne้ suicide) of Punk and the birth of Post-Punk created a very open and "anything goes" environment in the music scene for a number of years. Their subsequent albums were thus free of ideological constraints, since the very movement had shot itself in the head. Like other musicians of the time -- PIL, Sandinista-era Clash, or the US post-punk scenes, for example -- their work from that point scoped out in many different directions, doubtlessly dovetailing into Prog Rock as well (<*cough*> Meninblack <*cough*><*cough*>). So, I guess a better answer the the question would be, "depends on which album you're talking about." --m. -- _____ "beyond this window, night is shuddering and the earth grinds to a halt beyond this window, something unknown is watching you and me...."