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Prog Readers' Poll 2021

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    #16
    I'm not one for lists, polls or rankings for the most part, certainly not where music and other artforms are concerned, because I'm just no fun and prefer not to join in the other boys' games, but anyway....

    Iron Maiden, Mastodon and Damon Albarn albums are great, as are Elephant9's Arrival of the New Elders and Motorpsycho's Kingdom of Oblivion. Lifesigns' Altitude of course, probably my favourite of the year if pressed to single one out, and Camera's Prosthuman is also a stand-out. David Crosby's For Free is a beautiful album, and Saint Etienne's I've Been Trying to Tell You has the kind of reflective poignancy I'm predisposed to respond to with affection. The latest Steve Hacket album is an enjoyable listen as well.

    I couldn't begin to name all the wonderful reissues, from Esoteric/Cherry Red, Rhino and a number of other labels, that I've swooned over in the previous year. Far too many, lots of great boxsets too.

    I really wish I could say something similar about The Quest, but I can't, but if I was inclined to collect disappointments, it would have a home there.
    Sometimes the lights all shining on me, other times I can barely see.
    Lately it occurs to me what a long strange trip it’s been.

    Comment


      #17
      My expectations for The Quest were quite low, so I’d rate it as somewhat better than my expectations, but it’s also an album I’ve, more or less, forgotten with no intentions of revisiting any time soon. Maybe stick “The Western Edge” on the last disc of a future boxed set.

      “Well ain’t life grand when you finally hit it?”-David Lee Roth

      Comment


        #18
        Who cares if Yes didn't make the list? The Quest is hardly a Prog album (thank small mercies for that).

        If Lifesigns is their top pick of 2021, they can keep it... 🙄

        Comment


          #19
          Originally posted by Yorkshire Square View Post

          You probably pushed it unconsciously out of your mind. Most of us did...


          More RW disdain. Jeez. Did he pi** in your cornflakes? 😂😂

          Comment


            #20
            Originally posted by Yorkshire Square View Post
            Who cares if Yes didn't make the list? The Quest is hardly a Prog album (thank small mercies for that).

            If Lifesigns is their top pick of 2021, they can keep it... 🙄
            Lifesigns did not make the top 20. Following is the Prog Magazine top 20 for 2021

            1. The Anchoress The Art Of Losing
            2. Steven Wilson The Future Bites
            3. Big Big Train Common Ground
            4. Jane Weaver Flock
            5. Field Music Flat White Moon
            6. Isildurs Bane & Peter Hammill In Disequilibrium
            7. Mastodon Hushed And Grim
            8. Gojira Fortitude
            9. Leprous Aphelion
            10. Mogwai As The Love Continues
            11. Dream Theater A View From The Top Of The World
            12. Hedvig Mollestad Trio Ding Dong You're Dead
            13. Iron Maiden Senjutsu
            14. Frost* Day And Age
            15. Caravan It's None Of Your Business
            16. Transatlantic The Absolute Universe
            17. Sel Balamir Swell
            18. Between The Buried And Me Colors II
            19. Public Service Broadcasting Bright Magic
            20. Steve Hackett Under A Mediterranean Sky


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              #21
              Originally posted by True View Post

              Lifesigns did not make the top 20. Following is the Prog Magazine top 20 for 2021

              1. The Anchoress The Art Of Losing
              2. Steven Wilson The Future Bites
              3. Big Big Train Common Ground
              4. Jane Weaver Flock
              5. Field Music Flat White Moon
              6. Isildurs Bane & Peter Hammill In Disequilibrium
              7. Mastodon Hushed And Grim
              8. Gojira Fortitude
              9. Leprous Aphelion
              10. Mogwai As The Love Continues
              11. Dream Theater A View From The Top Of The World
              12. Hedvig Mollestad Trio Ding Dong You're Dead
              13. Iron Maiden Senjutsu
              14. Frost* Day And Age
              15. Caravan It's None Of Your Business
              16. Transatlantic The Absolute Universe
              17. Sel Balamir Swell
              18. Between The Buried And Me Colors II
              19. Public Service Broadcasting Bright Magic
              20. Steve Hackett Under A Mediterranean Sky

              Pleased to see Hedvig Mollestad and Mogwai on the list, though I would never have placed them among 'Prog' artists. Progressive yes, most definitely but, blessedly, light-years away from the likes of Dream Theatre and Transatlantic by any criteria imaginable.
              Sometimes the lights all shining on me, other times I can barely see.
              Lately it occurs to me what a long strange trip it’s been.

              Comment


                #22
                Well, you know… I was certainly not disappointed. The list makes me realize that I absolutely do not keep up with current rock music at all. Not a deliberate thing on my part, but it’s surprising to me that I haven’t heard any of this stuff. Guess I am getting close to the top of the hill or something. Glad to see that some of you have some favorites in there though. I trust it’s good stuff if my fellow Yes-heads are into it.

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                  #23
                  Likewise. Have discovered BBT lately, nice bunch of rabblerousers. Frost and Wilson are also good. A few loud and hairies I've heard of but ignore. The rest? Never heard of them.

                  Used to like Mostly Autumn.

                  Love Downes Braide Association.

                  Comment


                    #24
                    Originally posted by Gtkgasman View Post

                    More RW disdain. Jeez. Did he pi** in your cornflakes? 😂😂
                    Quite possibly!

                    I take it you have this indispensable release then? 😉

                    Comment


                      #25
                      Originally posted by True View Post

                      Lifesigns did not make the top 20. Following is the Prog Magazine top 20 for 2021

                      1. The Anchoress The Art Of Losing
                      2. Steven Wilson The Future Bites
                      3. Big Big Train Common Ground
                      4. Jane Weaver Flock
                      5. Field Music Flat White Moon
                      6. Isildurs Bane & Peter Hammill In Disequilibrium
                      7. Mastodon Hushed And Grim
                      8. Gojira Fortitude
                      9. Leprous Aphelion
                      10. Mogwai As The Love Continues
                      11. Dream Theater A View From The Top Of The World
                      12. Hedvig Mollestad Trio Ding Dong You're Dead
                      13. Iron Maiden Senjutsu
                      14. Frost* Day And Age
                      15. Caravan It's None Of Your Business
                      16. Transatlantic The Absolute Universe
                      17. Sel Balamir Swell
                      18. Between The Buried And Me Colors II
                      19. Public Service Broadcasting Bright Magic
                      20. Steve Hackett Under A Mediterranean Sky

                      I must pay more attention!

                      I was surprised - I have four releases on there, none of which I'd say were massively Prog or progressive.

                      Steve Hackett's album is acoustic/classical guitar
                      Steve Wilson's is pop
                      I'm not sure what PSB is, but they've lost me with this one
                      Similarly, Isuldur's Bane & Hammill, which is probably the most prog like, was a bit of a disappointment

                      Comment


                        #26
                        Originally posted by Yorkshire Square View Post

                        Quite possibly!

                        I take it you have this indispensable release then? 😉
                        No doubt together with the even more indispensable ARW merchandise that came out three years after the band's demise....

                        Comment


                          #27
                          Originally posted by downbyariver View Post
                          That almost sounds like the magazine is just trying to get noticed or rile people up. I'll admit, The Quest is not in Yes' upper-half of albums quality wise, but I think defacto by being an okay album put out by Yes in 2021, it's got to be in Prog Magazine's Top 20 for the year if they are being honest and don't have an ulterior motives.

                          Yes is the last truly popular mainstream 70s era prog band still recording new music, and they dominates discussion everywhere prog rock is discussed. After a long seven year wait, they improved on their last album and created some memorable songs, even if their refusal to do a album with stronger rock and roll elements is a tad frustrating.

                          My guess is that most of us wouldn't recognize a lot of names on the list from the magazine, which is fine if it's a list of underrated albums from groups you may not be familiar with that they think you should give a try, but sort of seems like a signifier of pretentiousness and cliquishness in this context. They picked the right sub-genre to take that type of attitude with (At least some publications less favorably disposed to the sub-genre might say so), but still, not cool.

                          I actually kind of understand listing it as a disappointment (Which they did), but I don't think that's mutually exclusive with also listing it as one of the top 20 prog albums of the year, which they also should have done (i.e. It's a good album but maybe not as good as they were hoping would be a fine "take" on it IMO).

                          Did Glass Hammer's Skallagrim: Into the Breach, or Arc of Life's Arc of Life, make their list? Those strike me as albums that definitely belong in a Top 20 of 2021 prog albums from where I stand, but have reasons a magazine like Prog might use to unjustly strike them from the list.
                          There are 2 different lists and the magazine, per se, doesn't choose either list directly. I posted the results for the Readers' Poll, voted on by readers of the magazine, and which includes the Disappointment category. There is also a Critics' Choice list, which is voted on by just 29 people writing for the magazine. This list tends to be less populist, more highlighting lesser known acts, whereas the Readers' Poll is more of a numbers game. Here is the full Critics' Choice list...

                          1. The Anchoress: The Art of Losing
                          2. Steven Wilson: The Future Bites
                          3. Big Big Train: Common Ground
                          4. Jane Weaver: Flock
                          5. Field Music: Flat White Moon
                          6. Isildurs Bane & Peter Hammill: In Disequilibirum
                          7. Mastodon: Hushed and Grim
                          8. Gohira: Fortitude
                          9. Leprous: Aphelion
                          10. Mogwai: As the Love Continues
                          11. Dream Theater: A View from the Top of the World
                          12. Hedvig Mollestad Trio: Ding Dong You're Dead
                          13. Iron Maiden: Senjutsu
                          14. Frost*: Day and Age
                          15. Caravan: It's None of Your Business
                          16. Transatlantic: The Absolute Universe
                          17. Sel Balamir: Swell
                          18. Between the Buried and Me: Colors II
                          19. Public Service Broadcasting: Bright Magic
                          20. Steve Hackett: Under a Mediterranean Sky

                          They actually give all 29 critics' full rankings. Going through those, you can see The Quest was in 4 people's lists, so not too bad. Halcyon Hymns was in 6 lists. Other Yes-related items include LTE3 (5 lists) and End of Innocence (1 list). Glass Hammer was in 1 list, I think. No-one put Arc of Life in their top 20.

                          I wouldn't go as far as to say that Yes are "the last truly popular mainstream 70s era prog band still recording new music". You can see other '70s mainstays in the Critics' Choice list (Caravan, Steve Hackett, Peter Hammill) and others got mentioned in individual lists (Jean-Michel Jarre, Vangelis). Other '70s acts still around include Jethro Tull and Mike Oldfield.

                          So, no, I don't believe Prog have ulterior motives. I think the Critics' Choice list represents the views of those 29 critics and the Readers' Poll represents the views of those readers who bothered to vote. You happen to like different albums and see the genre differently. I'd say the same about myself.

                          I don't think such lists are definitive. Music is too subjective. But they can be interesting. Maybe you'll discover something new you'll like.

                          Comment


                            #28
                            Originally posted by Frumious B View Post
                            My personal top ten for 2021 is something like this:

                            Curtis Harding-If Words Were Flowers
                            Iron Maiden-Senjutsu
                            Transatlantic-The Absolute Universe
                            The Umbrellas-S/T
                            Mastodon-Hushed and Grim
                            Jennifer O’Connor-Born At The Disco
                            Lindsey Buckingham-S/T
                            Robert Plant & Alison Krauss-Raise The Roof
                            Elbow-Flying Dream 1
                            Damon Albarn-The Nearer The Fountain, More Pure The Stream Flows
                            Their Critics' Choice top 20 had three of those (Iron Maiden, Transatlantic, Mastodon). Their Readers' Poll top 10 had one of those (Transatlantic).

                            Comment


                              #29
                              Originally posted by Ash Armstrong View Post
                              Saint Etienne's I've Been Trying to Tell You has the kind of reflective poignancy I'm predisposed to respond to with affection.
                              Is Gerard Johnson on that one?

                              Comment


                                #30
                                Originally posted by True View Post
                                Lifesigns did not make the top 20. Following is the Prog Magazine top 20 for 2021
                                But it did make #2 in the Readers' Poll.

                                Comment

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