Saturday, June 23, 2012

1000 SONGS - DAY 219 SONG #250

Day 219: My favourite piece of Art-Rock 

Art-Rock is a genre that stems from the 70ies, it is somewhat connected to "Progressive Rock" and its proponents are mostly Brits. Some persons use the terms "Art Rock" and "Progressive Rock" interchangeably. Among famous "Art-Rock"-bands we find Procol Harum, Yes, Genesis, Emerson, Lake and Palmer, Jethro Tull and the likes. The English Wikipedia entry on Art Rock lists a lot of bands that are neither listed in the English nor in the German Wikipedia entry on "Art Rock Bands". There seems to be much confusion about what belongs to Art Rock or not (f.e. Roxy Music - are they really Art Rock in the same sense as Yes?). For me, the main criteria for belonging to the Art-Rock genre are, that the compositions are influenced by classical music (as it is the case with Procol Harum or Pink Floyd) to the degree that they use melodies and harmonies taken from compositions by composers like Bach, Wagner or Mussorgsky (Jethro Tull, Procol Harum a.o.) and that these compositions are rather suites (so that Colosseum's Valentyne Suite would be something like Proto-Art-Rock) than songs, arrangements using orchestral instruments and voices normally not the standard in a rock band (f.e. strings and woodwinds, real or emulated ones by the use of a synthesizer). The latter two criteria certainly hold for "Terrapin Station",  a "suite" to be found on the b-side of the album of the same name  by the Grateful Dead, an American band normally not regarded as belonging to Art Rock. Maybe it is my favourite piece of music written and performed by Garcia and friends. 

The parts of it are:

"Lady With a Fan" (Jerry Garcia, Robert Hunter)
"Terrapin Station" (Garcia, Hunter)
"Terrapin" (Garcia, Hunter)
"Terrapin Transit" (Mickey Hart, Bill Kreutzmann)
"At a Siding" (Hart, Hunter)
"Terrapin Flyer" (Hart, Kreutzmann)
"Refrain" (Garcia, Hunter)

Here is the full studio version, followed by a (sequence from a) later live version (from the time when Brent Mydland was in charge of  the keyboards) - I do appreciate it even more than the studio version and especially like the way that Bob Weir and Jerry Garcia communicate on that one:

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