Nothing like the tactile pleasure of opening a new vinyl LP!
Mark Judge writes over at Acculturated:
One of the reasons that I love rock and roll is that, when it’s at its best, it exemplifies St. Augustine’s observation about God being ever ancient and ever new. When you hear a great pop song for the first time there is a sensation of both familiarity and innovation; you feel like you’ve discovered something wonderful and timeless that has always existed that at the same time is fresh and mysterious. Contemporary pop music is good at the evoking the first feeling, but not the second.
He pins down the mysterious side of the Beatles this way:
Today’s bands usually begin weird and adventurous and grow bland and mainstream over time (a great exception is Radiohead). The Beatles did the exact opposite.
Prog seems to especially strive after the mysterious and adventurous. But prog’s Achilles’ heel is when, at its worst, it lacks the truly rocking sensation of freshness.
Which is why prog always needs to rediscover that fountain of eternal youth, to be found, perhaps, at the rock show…