After a long battle with colon cancer, singer and bassist John Wetton has died at the age of 67. As an integral member of such bands as King Crimson, UK, and Asia, his was one of the distinctive voices in progressive rock, lending a human touch to often difficult music.
by Jon Davis, Published 2017-01-31
Wetton's tenure in King Crimson spanned the albums Larks' Tongues in Aspic, Starless and Bible Black, and Red, widely considered to be one of the band's creative peaks — if not the peak. After Robert Fripp disbanded Crimson in 1974, his brief stint with Uriah Heep produced two albums (Return to Fantasy and High and Mighty) before he formed the "super group" UK with Bill Bruford, Allan Holdsworth, and Eddie Jobson. UK's self-titled debut is widely regarded as one of the best progressive rock albums produced in the latter part of the 70s.
And then there's Asia, another "super group," one which achieved great commercial success and became a bone of contention among fans of progressive rock, having set aside any ambitions of innovation or complexity in favor of easily accessible mass-market appeal.
Wetton also recorded a number of solo albums, starting with Caught in the Crossfire in 1980, as well as contributing bass and vocals to recordings and live performances by many other artists.
Filed under: Obituaries
Eurock Documentary Seeks Funding – We've been fans and fellow travelers with Archie Patterson and his Eurock project on the journey to discover great music. After many years of promoting and trying to spread the word,a new phase is beginning: a documentary film. Things like this don't just happen, and money does not magically appear to make it happen, so it's up to the fans to get it done. » Read more
Marty Balin RIP – One of the architects of the 60s psychedelic sound of San Francisco has died at the age of 76. Marty Balin was a singer, songwriter, and guitarist who was one of the founders of Jefferson Airplane. After the split of the original Airplane, Balin went on to form the highly successful Jefferson Starship. » Read more
Krautrock Documentary Seeks Funding – The next installment of the Progressive Warriors documentary series will focus on the vast body of music that falls under the banner of "krautrock." As most of our readers will know, previous films have tackled RIO and the Canterbury scene, as well as what we might call "mainstream" prog rock. » Read more
Tomasz Stańko RIP – Tomasz Stańko, one of the greats of Eastern European jazz, has died at the age of 76. Stańko's career started in Krzysztof Komeda's quintet, where he contributed trumpet from 1963-1967, when he formed his own group. He worked extensively with Edward Vesala, Don Cherry, Zbigniew Seifert, Chico Freeman, Howard Johnson, Cecil Taylor, and many others. Many of his recordings have been released by ECM, an association that began in the mid-70s. » Read more