Chapter

The Birth of Progressive Rock

Edward Macan

in Rocking the Classics

Published in print March 1997 | ISBN: 9780195098884
Published online October 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780199853236 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195098884.003.0002
The Birth of Progressive Rock

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The counterculture consisted largely of young, middle-class white people who had consciously rejected the lifestyle of their parents in favor of more experimental paths. Hippies were notorious for their dislike of organization. Nonetheless, despite the importance of dress, visual, and verbal expression, it was above all in the realm of musical style that the counterculture forged its self-identity. The psychedelic style represented a decisive challenge to the styles that dominated the pop airwaves between the early and mid-1960s. While psychedelic music's emphasis on soloing and lengthy instrumental sections was obviously indebted to rhythm & blues and jazz, though, its eclecticism, its mixing of different styles, was something quite new. These factors all had a great impact on the development of progressive rock as a style. There seem to have been at least three distinct wings of psychedelic music in England. One wing of English psychedelic music was dominated by Cream, the Yardbirds, and Jimi Hendrix.

Keywords: counterculture; hippies; psychedelic music; progressive rock; Cream; Yardbirds; Jimi Hendrix; England

Chapter.  7260 words. 

Subjects: Popular Music

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