Prog is Alive & Kicking in 2018 – Pt 2
Jerry Lucky Commentary February 2018
Copyright Jerry Lucky © 2018 All Rights Reserved
I wanted to pick up on last month’s story-line regarding how, as the title above plainly states: Prog is Alive and Kicking in 2018. As part of this premise I’ve always maintained from my earliest research for The Progressive Rock Files that there are more active Progressive Rock bands around today than there ever were in the heydays of the seventies. This was an idea, based at the time on just how many bands I was coming in contact with while putting the various versions of the book together. The first rough home-made edition listed about 1400 artists, that expanded to almost 1900 the next go around and then well over 3000 by the time I created The Progressive Rock Handbook. But if you thought that number was high, and I did at the time, hold on to your hat because – “you ain’t seen nuthin’ yet.”
For me to suggest there are more prog bands around today than there were in the seventies may have seemed outrageous to some at the time but for me it a simple “matter of fact statement.” And yet I had little hard evidence on which to make the claim. The notion was anecdotal at best. Until now that is. As it turns out I wasn’t the ONLY one wondering about this question. With the assistance of my buddy Jean Roby we have some hard numbers to actually put that to the test. I have to say, I was really impressed when Jean started sending me the stats he’d put together. There was an amazing amount of work he put into this not to mention the amount of time it must have taken. For that I want to publically thank him…he did the heavy lifting here and I am very grateful for his efforts. The net result is that the numbers are quite astounding and in fact far greater than I even imagined. With Jean hot-on-the-case, digging into the numbers here’s how he, in his own words explains his tabulating process:
Last year, I did a sort of survey to determine, at least approximately, the number of various "active" prog bands/artists in each of its many sub-genres. For this purpose, I defined an "active" band/artist as having released at least a full-length CD since 2010 (I didn't include those who released an EP or a demo, but I included those whose CDs were available only through downloading)…I've gathered a lot of data, some of which might help you to establish some basic facts. Even though there's certainly more active prog bands/artists today than there were half a year ago, I still feel that the numbers provided below give a firm indication of the state of things in the prog realm, especially in the USA.
So what did he find out you ask…well this is what we know and again for the sake of clarity, rather than me paraphrasing or losing something in the translation, I am using Jean’s words only slightly edited for space:
OK...bear in mind that these numbers do not take into account Electronic Prog, RIO/Avant Prog and that I did not explore the Metal side of prog as deeply as I did other sub-genres. Therefore, I have rounded up some numbers - though very conservatively. Naturally, there are prog bands/artists in many other (than the list below) countries of the world, but the survey focused mainly on the top ranking ones, because I wanted to know who were leading the pack in the second decade of the 21st century.
· USA = at least 2000 active prog bands/artists
· UK = at least 920 active prog bands/artists
· Italy = at least 650 active prog bands/artists
· France = at least 400 active prog bands/artists
· Germany = at least 330 active prog bands/artists
· Sweden and Canada = at least 250 active prog bands/artists each
· Finland = at least 200 active prog bands/artists
· Norway and the Netherlands = at least 175 active prog bands/artists each
· Poland and Argentina = at least 150 active prog bands/artists each
· Japan and Spain = at least 125 active prog bands/artists each
· Australia =at least 100 active prog bands/artists
· Russia = at least 90 active prog bands/artists
· Brazil = at least 75 active prog bands/artists
These numbers add up to more than 6,000 active prog bands/artists...but, in fact, the numbers are much higher than that as you'll see further on.