Keyboards and synthesizers in Progressive Rock

Discussions about anything analog, digital, MIDI, synth technology, techniques, theories and more.
User avatar
Phollop Willing PA
Senior Member
Senior Member
Posts: 840
Joined: Sun May 04, 2008 3:47 pm
Gear: Korg, Moog, Roland, Alesis, ARP, Yamaha, Future Retro
Location: Nova Scotia

Re: Keyboards and synthesizers in Progressive Rock

Post by Phollop Willing PA » Fri Nov 28, 2008 7:52 pm

If it wasn't for prog rock, I probably wouldn't have got into 'the switched on' sound of electronic synthesizers. However, you can't be a die hard prog fan if you don't have Refugee, Patrick Moraz's band with the remining members of the Nice after Emerson left to form ELP. Amazing record.

Image

Formed in 1974:

Brian Davison - Drums
Lee Jackson - Bass
Patrick Moraz - Keyboards
MOOGSig: Voyager/Theremin, ROLAND: JP8000/MC505/MC50/SH1000/Octapad1/RE 20, CASIO VLtone, KORG: Prophecy/MS2000R/Kaos Pad2/D3200/D888/SDD4000/M3, BOSS SP202/DR110, YAMAHA:CS40M/QX7/WX7/QY10/Reface DX, ARP Exp, MACBETH M5, FR ORB, SONNET, ALESIS SR18

User avatar
Johnny Lenin
Expert Member
Expert Member
Posts: 1054
Joined: Sun Apr 22, 2007 9:56 pm
Gear: JX8P | AX60 | Little Phatty Stage II | DW8000 | Vox Jag | Fantom X6 | Juno-G | P-Bass | AS-120 | Double Jet

Re: Keyboards and synthesizers in Progressive Rock

Post by Johnny Lenin » Fri Nov 28, 2008 8:02 pm

Phollop Willing PA wrote:... Patrick Moraz's band with the remining members of the Nice after Emerson left to form ELP...
I really like Moraz's playing. He's very inventive, and more inclined to pushing the bounds of tonality than Wakeman and Emerson. I rate Relayer as one of the three best Yes albums.

It's too bad that, more often than not, he's remembered as prog rock's greatest pinch hitter, replacing Wakeman in Yes [who replaced Tony Kaye, of course], Mike Pinder in the Moody Blues and sort of replacing Emerson in the Nice.

User avatar
Phollop Willing PA
Senior Member
Senior Member
Posts: 840
Joined: Sun May 04, 2008 3:47 pm
Gear: Korg, Moog, Roland, Alesis, ARP, Yamaha, Future Retro
Location: Nova Scotia

Re: Keyboards and synthesizers in Progressive Rock

Post by Phollop Willing PA » Fri Nov 28, 2008 8:08 pm

I blame the stupid album cover as to why Refugee never made it big. I remember going to a Discus store in Quebec City and seeing about 10 copies of this classic on sale in 1978 for about 09 cents each. Needless to say, I bought them all and gave them away (except for a couple).
MOOGSig: Voyager/Theremin, ROLAND: JP8000/MC505/MC50/SH1000/Octapad1/RE 20, CASIO VLtone, KORG: Prophecy/MS2000R/Kaos Pad2/D3200/D888/SDD4000/M3, BOSS SP202/DR110, YAMAHA:CS40M/QX7/WX7/QY10/Reface DX, ARP Exp, MACBETH M5, FR ORB, SONNET, ALESIS SR18

User avatar
tim gueguen
Senior Member
Senior Member
Posts: 795
Joined: Thu Jun 08, 2006 2:31 am
Location: the Canadian Prairies
Contact:

Re: Keyboards and synthesizers in Progressive Rock

Post by tim gueguen » Sat Nov 29, 2008 12:06 am

FYI there was a mid '80s Canadian band called Refugee which could cause confusion if you're trying to find stuff by the Moraz Refugee.
Keys: Realistic Concertmate 500, Korg K25, Korg Micro X

Guits: '86 Fender Japan '50s Reissue Strat, '80 Aria Pro II TS-300 Thor Sound

User avatar
Phollop Willing PA
Senior Member
Senior Member
Posts: 840
Joined: Sun May 04, 2008 3:47 pm
Gear: Korg, Moog, Roland, Alesis, ARP, Yamaha, Future Retro
Location: Nova Scotia

Re: Keyboards and synthesizers in Progressive Rock

Post by Phollop Willing PA » Sat Nov 29, 2008 12:13 am

tim gueguen wrote:FYI there was a mid '80s Canadian band called Refugee which could cause confusion if you're trying to find stuff by the Moraz Refugee.
Never heard them, never heard of them and I probably never want to. :lol:

I do know there's a live CD of Moraz's Refugee around, but I've never heard it either, but that one I do want to hear.

PS I live in Canada!
MOOGSig: Voyager/Theremin, ROLAND: JP8000/MC505/MC50/SH1000/Octapad1/RE 20, CASIO VLtone, KORG: Prophecy/MS2000R/Kaos Pad2/D3200/D888/SDD4000/M3, BOSS SP202/DR110, YAMAHA:CS40M/QX7/WX7/QY10/Reface DX, ARP Exp, MACBETH M5, FR ORB, SONNET, ALESIS SR18

User avatar
cornutt
Moderator
Moderator
Posts: 2117
Joined: Sun Dec 02, 2007 6:03 am
Gear: 6th
Location: Rocket City USA
Contact:

Re: Keyboards and synthesizers in Progressive Rock

Post by cornutt » Sat Nov 29, 2008 12:42 am

Can't believe Larry Fast hasn't been mentioned yet. He was one of the guys who had both the great keyboard chops and the intricate knowledge of the underlying eletronics, to the point where he built his own drum modules for "Games".

Edgar Winter was briefly a leading-edge synth player, during the EWG period. Of course, he's best known for "Frankenstein", but there's stuff on the other album, "Shock Treatment", that's even more out-there than the Frankenstein break.

And, in that same general orbit, Jim Alcivar was a very tasty synth player with Gamma, counterpointing Ronnie Montrose's guitar lines.

BTW, as far as Kansas goes, I believe it was Kerry Livgren who did most of the synth playing. Walsh was more of a piano & organ (and vibes!) guy.
Switches, knobs, buttons, LEDs, LCD screens, monitors, keys, mice, jacks, sockets. Now two joysticks!

User avatar
V301H
Active Member
Active Member
Posts: 747
Joined: Tue Oct 23, 2007 3:58 am
Gear: Fender The Strat, Stratocaster, Jazz Bass Rickenbacker 360-12, 320 Messenger(Mark Farner)
Band: The Characters
Location: New Jersey
Contact:

Re: Keyboards and synthesizers in Progressive Rock

Post by V301H » Sat Nov 29, 2008 8:17 am

The first two albums by Rare Bird from 1969 and 1970 are exceptional keyboard oriented Prog. Graham Field, later of Fields, plays great Hammond and David Kaffinetti, later David Kaff of Spinal Tap, plays fuzzed-out Hohner Pianet. After the second album Field left and they added a guitarist and continued for a few more albums. John Wetton was also involved pre-Crimson.
Prophet 5 rev.2, Pro-One, Juno 60, Jupiter 6, Matrix 12, OB8, MS20, Poly 800, CS70M, DX-7, CP35, Casio PX-5S, Hammond C3/M102, Vox Continental/Super Continental, Gibson G101, Farfisa Compact, RMI 300A, Pianet N, Combo Pianet, S770, S760, S50, NS3C

Ian S
Newbie
Newbie
Posts: 82
Joined: Mon Jun 27, 2005 4:36 pm
Location: York, England
Contact:

Re: Keyboards and synthesizers in Progressive Rock

Post by Ian S » Sat Nov 29, 2008 8:46 pm

I sometimes think it's easier to list the bands John Wetton hasn't been in than the ones he has ;)
Casio PX-320, Odyssey Mk.1, Multiman-S, Andromeda A6, DW-8000, JD-800, Yamaha DX11, AN1x, & SK30, E&MM/Maplin Spectrum, Akai S3000XL, E-Mu Proformance 1, Esi-32, & Classic Keys, Alesis D4, Rickenbacker 4001.

User avatar
aXL
Junior Member
Junior Member
Posts: 247
Joined: Fri Dec 30, 2005 8:28 pm
Gear: Moog LP Stage II, Ensoniq ESQ-1, Nord Electro 3, Roland JP-8080, Akai SynthStation 49, numerous softies...
Band: Nemesis Kane
Location: Somewhere

Re: Keyboards and synthesizers in Progressive Rock

Post by aXL » Sun Nov 30, 2008 1:41 pm

Ian S wrote:I sometimes think it's easier to list the bands John Wetton hasn't been in than the ones he has ;)
He is the Kevin Bacon of prog.
Sir Nose wrote:It's like sex with or without a condom. You know which choice is gonna feel better, but it's not always a wise choice.
Disciples of the new wave, portaits in the sand...

User avatar
V301H
Active Member
Active Member
Posts: 747
Joined: Tue Oct 23, 2007 3:58 am
Gear: Fender The Strat, Stratocaster, Jazz Bass Rickenbacker 360-12, 320 Messenger(Mark Farner)
Band: The Characters
Location: New Jersey
Contact:

Re: Keyboards and synthesizers in Progressive Rock

Post by V301H » Mon Dec 01, 2008 2:42 am

Another American Prog band from the mid-70's was Starcastle who had the uncanny ability to sound just like Yes. Listen to "Lady of the Lake" and you'll think it's a great Yes song you never heard before. Their records were produced by Roy Thomas Baker and released on the Epic label. Starcastle performed concerts with Yes, Jethro Tull, and a show with Gentle Giant in Central Park. Keyboardist Herb Schildt is now a notable computer science author.
Prophet 5 rev.2, Pro-One, Juno 60, Jupiter 6, Matrix 12, OB8, MS20, Poly 800, CS70M, DX-7, CP35, Casio PX-5S, Hammond C3/M102, Vox Continental/Super Continental, Gibson G101, Farfisa Compact, RMI 300A, Pianet N, Combo Pianet, S770, S760, S50, NS3C

Ian S
Newbie
Newbie
Posts: 82
Joined: Mon Jun 27, 2005 4:36 pm
Location: York, England
Contact:

Re: Keyboards and synthesizers in Progressive Rock

Post by Ian S » Mon Dec 01, 2008 3:04 am

As far as I know Starcastle are still around in one form or another (certainly they had an album out last year), and currently feature both Herb Schlidt & Oliver Wakeman on keyboards.
Casio PX-320, Odyssey Mk.1, Multiman-S, Andromeda A6, DW-8000, JD-800, Yamaha DX11, AN1x, & SK30, E&MM/Maplin Spectrum, Akai S3000XL, E-Mu Proformance 1, Esi-32, & Classic Keys, Alesis D4, Rickenbacker 4001.

User avatar
V301H
Active Member
Active Member
Posts: 747
Joined: Tue Oct 23, 2007 3:58 am
Gear: Fender The Strat, Stratocaster, Jazz Bass Rickenbacker 360-12, 320 Messenger(Mark Farner)
Band: The Characters
Location: New Jersey
Contact:

Re: Keyboards and synthesizers in Progressive Rock

Post by V301H » Mon Dec 01, 2008 3:19 am

Also, Annie Haslam of Renaissance has recently been a featured guest vocalist with Starcastle.
Prophet 5 rev.2, Pro-One, Juno 60, Jupiter 6, Matrix 12, OB8, MS20, Poly 800, CS70M, DX-7, CP35, Casio PX-5S, Hammond C3/M102, Vox Continental/Super Continental, Gibson G101, Farfisa Compact, RMI 300A, Pianet N, Combo Pianet, S770, S760, S50, NS3C

User avatar
cornutt
Moderator
Moderator
Posts: 2117
Joined: Sun Dec 02, 2007 6:03 am
Gear: 6th
Location: Rocket City USA
Contact:

Re: Keyboards and synthesizers in Progressive Rock

Post by cornutt » Mon Dec 01, 2008 3:34 am

V301H wrote:Another American Prog band from the mid-70's was Starcastle who had the uncanny ability to sound just like Yes.
I remember them from back when; it was somewhat controversial at the time. I thought they were pretty good though. I vaguely recall something about the band's van crashing and the guitarist being badly injured.
Switches, knobs, buttons, LEDs, LCD screens, monitors, keys, mice, jacks, sockets. Now two joysticks!

User avatar
THM
Moderator
Moderator
Posts: 200
Joined: Mon Sep 20, 2004 10:27 am
Gear: ARP 2600
Elka Synthex
EML Polybox
EMS SynthiAKS
mTron
MOOG Mini- & Memorymoog
Oberheim SEM
Roland Jupiter-8/...
Yamaha CS80
DotCom
>see MySpace
Band: THM
Location: Belgium - in de Westvloanders
Contact:

Re: Keyboards and synthesizers in Progressive Rock

Post by THM » Mon Dec 01, 2008 8:28 pm

I love Emerson and Wakeman solo on the MOOG Minimoog.

Also love Emerson with ELP on his modular MOOG and not to forget his Hammond B3 ("Tarkus" with a.o. its second part "Stones Of Years" is my favourite).

I love the 70ies Yes albums very much too. My favourite is "Fragile" with "Heart Of The Sunrise" (one of the best songs ever made to me) and "Roundabout". Wakeman used (obviously) a lot of Minimoog's and Mellotron strings.

Another less mentioned band is King Crimson. Their pioneer prog rock of the very late 60'ies and early 70ies, with lots of Mellotron, is very great. Favourite albums are by far "The Court Of The Crimson King" ("Talk To The Wind" ! "Epitaph" !! "In The Court Of The Crimson King" !!!) and also "Lizard".

I also love the '70 Genesis albums with Tony Banks on his best (my favourite is "Selling England By The Pound"). His setlists are wellknown, so I shouldn't add anything more here.

And finally - last but absolutely not least - my favourite band of all times was, is and will be Pink Floyd - Richard Wright was imo far underrated as keyboardist & synth player. R.I.P. Rick, you're one of my heroes...
Mostly Farfisa and Hammond organs, Rhodes and Wurlitzer EP, VCS3/Synthi, Minimoog, ARP Solina, and on "The Wall" more Prophet-5.
His entire keyboards/synths list can be found here: http://sparebricks.fika.org/sbzine28/Wr ... rev156.pdf . Recommended link !!
DotCom Modular * ARP 2600 * Elka Synthex * EML PolyBox * EMS Synthi AKS * MOOG Minimoog Model D, Memorymoog * Kurzweil PC88 * Oberheim SEM * Roland Jupiter-8, JP-8080, Juno-60, TR808, TB303, MKS50, RE301, SDE330, SRV330 * Yamaha CS0 * see THM on MySpace

User avatar
Johnny Lenin
Expert Member
Expert Member
Posts: 1054
Joined: Sun Apr 22, 2007 9:56 pm
Gear: JX8P | AX60 | Little Phatty Stage II | DW8000 | Vox Jag | Fantom X6 | Juno-G | P-Bass | AS-120 | Double Jet

Re: Keyboards and synthesizers in Progressive Rock

Post by Johnny Lenin » Tue Dec 02, 2008 1:03 am

I don't know if The Moody Blues count as progressive rock -- certainly art rock -- but I have always loved the Mellotron on Days of Future Passed and On the Threshold of a Dream. Mike Pinder was the sound of that band, even though he's usually eclipsed by Justin Hayward [the Moodies' Greg Lake]. In many ways he defined the instrument and helped make it the prog-rock staple.

Post Reply