Wonderous Stories: A Journey Through The Landscape Of Prog by Jerry Ewing review

Prog magazine editor literally writes the book

Cover art for Wonderous Stories: A Journey Through The Landscape Of Prog by Jerry Ewing

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Nobody is better qualified to Tarkus through the genre that wouldn’t die and its sub-categories (from jazz fusion to the art-rock of Roxy, 10cc, Japan) than Jerry Ewing. This colourful, chatty book, classily designed by Carl Glover (known for his artwork with Marillion and Steven Wilson), offers a history and health check of what Ian Anderson called “music for people who get bored easily”, and also argues that the genre is still valid and vibrant.

Paying tribute to the Big Six – Floyd, Genesis, Yes, Tull, ELP and Crimson – it emphasises that none of these icons sound alike. The same applies to its defining albums, from Caravan’s In The Land Of Grey And Pink to Rush’s A Farewell To Kings.

Where prog came from is discussed (Ewing agrees with foreword writer Steve Hackett that“it hails from everywhere”), and so is where it’s going. And it’s going strong.

Entertaining, knowledgeable and essential.

Chris Roberts

Chris Roberts has written about music, films, and art for innumerable outlets. His new book The Velvet Underground is out April 4. He has also published books on Lou Reed, Elton John, the Gothic arts, Talk Talk, Kate Moss, Scarlett Johansson, Abba, Tom Jones and others. Among his interviewees over the years have been David Bowie, Iggy Pop, Patti Smith, Debbie Harry, Bryan Ferry, Al Green, Tom Waits & Lou Reed. Born in North Wales, he lives in London.