Progressive Rock and Cultural Revolutions
This chapter chronicles the development of the progressive rock genre in France after the Events of 1968, noting the connection between the ideas of ’68, especially the shift in the French counterculture toward transforming static cultural structures that reinforced class distinctions. In ’68, students and workers took over streets and factories in an effort to change French society. Afterward, members of the counterculture upheld remaking of culture as a necessary goal, and the transgressive character of progressive rock was embraced for that explicit purpose. Progressive rock combined elements of jazz, classical, and rock music in a manner that echoed the utopian impulses of ’68, and progressive rockers saw their music as a pathway to a new society. This chapter examines the music of progressive rock bands and countercultural publications to illustrate the shifting boundaries of culture during the 1970s.
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