Tag Archives: Progzilla

Progzilla and their Problematic List

Heather Findlay of Mostly Autumn at The Met Theatre in Bury, June 2007

Progzilla Radio have done a countdown of the Top 100 Modern Prog Classics.

Unfortunately, the list is, as the saying goes “problematic”.

While all lists of this nature are subjective and shouldn’t be taken too seriously, this one is especially bad. The way the same half-dozen bands appear multiple times suggests that the voters’ listening isn’t terribly broad; have Transatlantic really done that many classic songs?

Far worse is the near absence of women on this list. The sole song with a female songwriter and lead singer is Mostly Autumn’s “Shrinking Violet”. There is no mention of Magenta. Or Panic Room. Or any incarnation of Karnataka. There isn’t even room for anything from Kate Bush’ magnificent “Aerial”. And don’t say “Kate Bush isn’t proper prog” when the list has Radiohead on it.

When the competent but unremarkable Lifesigns, who have just one album to their name, can manage no fewer than three songs in a list that has no room for Magenta, Karnataka, Panic Room or Kate Bush, it’s hard not to conclude the list has very a bad case of sexism.

It’s true that progressive rock is still predominately male. But it’s not exclusively a boy’s club, especially in recent years. Look at the pages of Prog magazine, or the festival bills of events like HRH Prog or the Cambridge Rock Festival and you’ll see a significant proportion of bands with at least one woman in the band.

Therefore I have to conclude that a list of “greatest modern progressive songs” that’s 98% all-male bands is in fact a load of sexist bollocks.

(edit – Changed “compilers” to “voters” to make it clear it’s a listener’s list)

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