Progfest in Japan!
That’s right, kids! Progfest in Tokyo next week! I’d pay to see Steve Hackett play live! I wonder who is in Renaissance these days? I had no idea that Yoninbayashi had re-formed and were playing again. And what a cool Roger Dean poster!
Regular readers of this blog know that I am a card-carrying subscriber to Strange Days magazine. They often have wonderful pictorials on progressive rock – no, the magazine is written in Japanese, so I can’t ”read” it – but the lists are usually written in romaggi (an alphabet I can read and write in). Nobody but nobody beats the Japanese magazines when it comes to making lists of stuff!
Here’s how quickly things move in Japan: How long ago were SHM-CD’s introduced in Japan? 2 years ago? Among the first titles offered were the catalogue of Emerson, Lake & Palmer – I quickly went for their debut album. Anything for a good-sounding CD of that album! I saw in a recent issue of Strange Days that they’re being re-released (again as SHM-CD’s) but now they have bonus tracks! ELP albums have never had bonus tracks!
I have also recently waltzed in the prog rock parade in Japan – almost all of the Yes titles were recently newly re-mastered, including “Big Generator”, which was not re-mastered by Rhino Records in this country. I confess that bit was very aesthetically pleasing to see all the Yes albums re-mastered as little LP cover CD’s – I actually picked up a few of them (as I found them used in L.A.)
And yep – geek boy here bought a UK Genesis box of the first five albums ostensibly to have them as SACD’s. And the first seven Moody Blues albums as SACD’s, too. So, let’s just say that I have recent editions of all the mainstream progressive rock titles that I am willing to admit that I own. Who knows? Maybe even some of this stuff will find it’s way to “My Ultimate Collection” eventually?
Of course, the very thought of progressive rock summons up ‘obscurity’ – and the stuff I have mentioned here today would all pretty much fly on mainstream FM stations. Don’t worry, I also have little album cover CD’s of tons of great obscure Italian progressive rock and “20th Century Classical” artist Walter Marchetti – who definitely won’t be on any radio station anytime soon.
But my carnival mask of ‘prog rock fan’ is just one of many that I can wear. I have jazz records. I went to see Level 42 at the end of July. I collect 1960’s US C&W music (well, certain artists). The Monochrome Set! I have 700+ comedy LP’s. I like pop music from New Zealand. So, I am not just pidgeon-holed into being only a ‘prog rock fan’. I am listening to all sorts of stuff around here, buddy!