Introduction


Welcome to my Blog which combines the unlikely topics of supply teaching with progressive rock. Here you will find my ongoing 'Diary of a Surviving Supply Teacher' and a variety of lists/ timelines/ articles on progressive rock.



Friday, 21 January 2011

Progressive Rock's Hit singles 2

T
here is of course a difference between hit singles by progressive rock bands and progressive hit singles. In my first list I tried to include the latter, or at least, folk-inspired or psychedelic hit singles by progressive rock bands. In this, the second list, it has proved even more difficult, considering the further distinction between single and hit single. As to what constitutes a hit single, I have referred to the Guinness Book of British Hit Singles & Albums.    

1.       Dreamer by Supertramp, from Crime of the Century, reached lucky 13 and remained for 10 weeks in the UK singles chart. It started the change from progressive rock to a more focussed ‘pop’ sound in the mid-seventies, which led to international success.

2.       Solsbury Hill by Peter Gabriel from Peter Gabriel. A single which bridged the gap between Gabriel’s progressive past with Genesis and his more experimental future in his solo career.

3.       Another Brick in the Wall (Pt. 2) by Pink Floyd, from The Wall, reached number 1 and straddled the 1979/80 UK chart for 12 weeks. A bitter diatribe against Roger Waters’ experience of the education system, performed as an ironic nursery rhyme. If the single is not progressive, with Richard Wright sidelined, it became incumbent on David Gilmour to ensure the album contained a semblance of the band’s past.    

4.       Owner of a Lonely Heart by Yes, a combination of rock and eighties dance music, written by Trevor Rabin and produced by Trevor Horn. The song represents a move away from the band’s seventies epics, but the presence of Chris Squire and Tony Kaye maintains the progressive element.

5.       Day in the Life by the Beatles. A hit single from the famous Sgt Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band album in 1967 and an early progressive rock prototype with its sequence of shared lead vocals, changes in tempo and dramatic production.

6.       Pull Me Under by Dream Theater.

7.       Bungle in the Jungle by Jethro Tull, from the Warchild album, was more of a radio success than a chart hit. A jaunty melody belies the sinister lyrics.

8.       Love Story by Jethro Tull, reached number 29 in the UK and remained on the chart for 8 weeks.

9.       Sweet Dream by Jethro Tull, reached number 7 in the UK and remained on the chart for 11 weeks.

10.   Teacher/ The Witch’s Promise by Jethro Tull, reached number 4 in the UK and remained on the chart for 9 weeks.

11.   Life is a Long Song/ Up the Pool by Jethro Tull, reached number 11 in the UK and remained on the chart for 8 weeks.

12.   Ring Out Solstice Bells EP by Jethro Tull, reached number 28 in the UK and remained on the chart for 6 weeks.

13.   Voices in the Sky by the Moody Blues reached number 27 and remained for 10 weeks in the UK singles chart of 1968.

14.   Ride My See-Saw by the Moody Blues reached number 42 and remained for 1 week in the UK singles chart of 1968.

15.   Question by the Moody Blues, on their own Threshold label, reached number 2 and remained for 12 weeks in the UK singles chart of 1970.

16.   Isn’t Life Strange by the Moody Blues reached number 13 and remained for 10 weeks in the UK singles chart of 1972.

17.   I’m Just a Singer (in a Rock and Roll Band) by the Moody Blues reached number 36 and remained for 4 weeks in the UK singles chart of 1973.

18.   Arnold Layne by Pink Floyd, a psychedelia single, reached number 20 and remained for 8 weeks in the UK singles chart of 1967.

19.   See Emily Play by Pink Floyd, their second and final psychedelia hit single, reached number 6 and remained for 12 weeks in the UK singles chart of 1967. The band had to wait until 1979 for their third hit single with Another Brick in the Wall (Part 2) in 1979.

20.   High Hopes/ Keep Talking by Pink Floyd, without Roger Waters and they do not miss him at all, reached number 26 and remained for 3 weeks in the UK singles chart of 1994.

21.   Hocus Pocus by Focus, on Polydor, reached number 20 and remained on the UK singles chart for 10 weeks in 1973.

22.   I Believe in Father Christmas by Greg Lake, on Manticore, reached number 2 and remained on the UK singles chart for 12 weeks in December 1975. It is later number seven in the Christmas Top Ten TV programme on Channel 4 on 10th December 2005. Pete Sinfield says the song is, “About the sadness of learning the reality of Christmas”. The instrumental melody between verses comes from the Troika portion of Sergei Prokofiev's Lieutenant Kij√© Suite written for a 1934 Soviet film, Poruchik Kizhe.

23.   Silver Machine by Hawkwind, with Lemmy on lead vocals.

24.   My White Bicycle by Nazareth. The Scottish blues-rock band suddenly changed their mind about Hair of the Dog and instead released a cover from Steve Howe and Keith West’s psychedelia band Tomorrow.

25.   Bohemian Rhapsody by Queen from the 1975 album A Night at the Opera on EMI. Remained at number 1 in the UK for a record number of weeks.


Originally posted on Friday, 21 January 2011


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