A Rock Roundabout – They Don’t Make It Like They Used To

This is way overboard. You’ve been warned.

There’s a sly reference in the title. It’s a reference that’s absent in the musical selections. First one to name it in comments gets my applause — clap clap. I do spend a lot of time on these. I have to view numerous YouTubes to find just the right ones, which would be those you haven’t heard on the radio, are long versions & live — has to be live. But you’ve been such great visitor / reader / commenters that I had to. I can only give what I know, and this is what I know and so I hope you like it, even if not what you’re used to. I really would like you to give a shot at getting into it. If not, that’s OK.

First up, Genesis, The Musical Box. Get a load of Phil Collins on drums and a Peter Gabriel you won’t even recognize (but as weird as ever).

And even more Genesis, Dance on on a volcano, live, 1980. I love this, especially the sorrta off beat drums with Phil’s lyrics. Takes getting used to, perhaps, like spinach.

What next? I’m putting four good weeks of weekend rock posts into one. I’ll have to work harder next time, but I’ve got lots in reserve. All this stuff is in my iTunes library and many, many more.

I love ELP — Emerson, Lake and Palmer — if for nothing else their Prog Rock audacity. Most haven’t ever heard "the worst," and frankly, there’s some curious and hard to love tunes on Brain Salad Surgery. But who doesn’t love Lucky Man? Thing is, you’ve all heard it a million times on the radio and my rock posts are never, ever about what you always hear. They’re about what’s better, that you never hear. How about Greg Lake, Lucky Man, accoustic, California Jam, 1974? I listened to a dozen band-studio, even live versions but kept coming back. Chances are you’ve never, ever seen this, and that’s gold.

For the last performance, I’ll summon Yes. Yes I will. Starship Troopers, live, 1973. If you don’t stick around until 5:50 for the FreeBird-esque instrumental jam, then I just have no idea of what to do with you.


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  1. gallier2 on January 16, 2010 at 13:02

    Here my contribution to your progrock fest.
    As half German I have, of course, to bring you some legendary Krautrock


    (this is only an excerpt as this piece “Solar music” is between 30 and 60 minutes long, depending on the concert).

    • Richard Nikoley on January 16, 2010 at 13:43

      I must say that was effin awesome. Totally. Alright, gotta see if iTunes has anything.

      BTW, I’m half German too. Dad immigrated as a teenager. He was born in Stettin, now part of Poland since WWII.

    • shel on January 16, 2010 at 20:20

      good lord!! someone’s heard of Grobschnitt?! they are in my five top fav krautrock bands along with Amon Duul II. Solar Music and Rockpommel’s Land are criminally underrated.

      • gallier2 on January 17, 2010 at 13:58

        hey, I’ve seen them 5 times live and even paid Lupo (the guitarist) a beer. Unfortunately I’ve seen them only in their post -Eroc time (the drummer in the clip above) when they slowly drifted in commercial crap. Their two last albums “Kinder+Narren” and “Fantasten” are especially bad, so avoid.

  2. Chris G on January 15, 2010 at 22:11

    Great stuff – ELP, Yes & Genesis were the prog rock gods of the 70’s. Notice Lake was chewing gum between singing lines? As a singer, I’m having a hard time imagining ever doing that in front of a microphone….lol

  3. Adam on January 15, 2010 at 22:59

    Roundabout – Great Yes tune!


    • Richard Nikoley on January 16, 2010 at 07:56

      clap clap clap. Yep, that was the reference in the title.

      • shel on January 16, 2010 at 20:27

        The Clap is a great yes tune, too. ;)

  4. Future Primitive on January 15, 2010 at 23:01

    is the reference ommision “Roundabout” by Yes?

    I love Chris Squires bass line on that one. Wish I knew how he gets that tone.

    Good stuff!
    You into any King Crimson?

    • Richard Nikoley on January 16, 2010 at 08:16

      Yep that was the reference, but Adam right above in the comment line got that posted first.

      Y’know, King Crimson is one that I just can’t put my thumb on enough to get into. But it’s been a while so maybe I’ll give another shot. Don’t get me wrong, I like some songs a lot. It’s just there’s too many I dislike to much. ELP borders on that for me, too.

      • Future Primitive on January 16, 2010 at 11:35

        I can understand that. I’m a bit ambivalent with King Crimson at times – they have a few tunes that I find pretty mind blowing and a bunch of stuff that I can’t get into (the album “Thrak” just didn’t work for me). The common thread here is Bill Bruford who was in Yes as well. I think “Discipline” is the album to check out if you’re going to give ’em a shot. Awesome musicians: Fripp on guitar (I dig his interest in Indonesian gamelan and polyrhythms), Belew (brilliant at times, I think), Bruford on drums, and Levin on bass/Chapman stick.

      • gallier2 on January 16, 2010 at 13:23

        In the court of the Crimson King is my sons favorite music. At 3 he was so fascinated by the cover pic that I thought I try how he will react to the music and I was quite surprized that he loved it. Now I also have strong feelings for this album of King Crimson as we played Epitaph at the burial ceremony of my brother last year.
        You should give a try to this album (it’s Greg Lake who sings on this one). My other favorite album of King Crimson is Red. I like its bombastics and John Wheton’s singing is awesome.

      • Nicole on January 19, 2010 at 11:15

        Red is my favorite King Crimson album, but I do also like Discipline. They are totally different in that Discipline is with Adrian Belew.

  5. Dan Linehan on January 16, 2010 at 05:14

    Richard, you should check out ‘Arcade Fire’ and ‘Edward Sharpe’ – they are newer bands but I think you might like ’em.

    • Richard Nikoley on January 16, 2010 at 08:28

      Listened to a couple of Arcade Fire tracks on UT: Wake Up & Rebellion. Not bad, a kind of 80s new wave sound to me.

      I’ll have to dig into Edward Sharpe a bit. What I heard was pretty good.

      Hey, here’s some weirdness to check out. Nouvelle Vague. Heard an interview on NPR and immediately came home and got virtually their whole library.

  6. Jim Purdy on January 16, 2010 at 06:29

    What is this stuff?

    Primal rock? Primal screams?

    Paleolithic rock? Hmm … that’s redundant.

    Or just old rockers?

  7. scott miller on January 16, 2010 at 07:59

    Total fail on Dance on a Volcano because they never show the drummer, except at the very end. As a drummer myself, I hate videos that do not show the backbone of the band. Good, deep selections, though!

    • Richard Nikoley on January 16, 2010 at 09:07

      There was a great video of Dance on a Volcano a friend of mine linked to a couple of years back and I’m sure the drummer was featured. Unfortunately, the video had been taken down.

  8. Aaron Blaisdell on January 16, 2010 at 08:18

    Absolutely LOVE old Genesis (before Gabriel split). I spent most of my high school days listening to them and ZZ Top (yep, strange balance, but it worked).

  9. shel on January 16, 2010 at 11:06

    Richard, you’ve struck gold.

  10. Chris G on January 16, 2010 at 17:17

    A story about ELP. King Crimson (with Greg Lake) went on tour with The Nice (starring Keith Emerson). When the tour was over, they found a drummer & voila

  11. Gwen J on January 16, 2010 at 21:34

    Thank you, Richard, for the trip way back. Love it.

  12. Kim on January 17, 2010 at 21:10

    I could watch those clips over and over and never get tired of them. Phil Collins is such an inspiration to me. Thanks for sharing them again. :)

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