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Reply #15: Once upon a time [View All]

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Squeech Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Apr-13-06 08:05 AM
Response to Reply #13
15. Once upon a time
I got to talk to Bill Bruford about Topographic. Of course he wasn't on it, having already decamped for King Crimson, but he told me that when he got to hear it, he recognized a lot of bits off of Jon Anderson's Revox that had been rejected when they were writing Close to the Edge.

Several years later we did a real interview, for publication, about the mechanics of that sort of collective composition-- as he described it, four or five guys staring at each other in a rehearsal room, with a lot of blood spilled on the floor. In retrospect, although he said that those guys were incredibly lucky to accomplish what they did, he was obviously unimpressed with the principle of it: he's come around to the designated composer model, where one guy hands around sheets of manuscript paper, and everybody just plays what's written.

I was such a huge partisan of prog rock back in the day, and I still have warm and fuzzy flashes when somebody translates the word "sun" into every other Indo-European language to Mellotron accompaniment :-) Nevertheless, I now recognize that there did come a point where the desire to just throw everything but the kitchen sink into a song, and then over-ornament it to boot, overwhelmed the original idea of expanding the harmonic, rhythmic, and structural vocabularies of rock in order to make more sophisticated statements-- and Topographic might well have been that point.

At least in the annals of Yes. Then I got into Henry Cow.
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