Regular price: £23.79

Free with 30-day trial
Membership details Membership details
  • A 30-day trial plus your first audiobook, free
  • 1 credit/month after trial – choose any book, any price
  • Easy exchanges – swap any book you don’t love
  • Keep your audiobooks, even if you cancel
  • Free, unlimited access to Audio Shows
  • After your trial, Audible is just £7.99/month
OR
In Basket

Summary

The Show That Never Ends is the behind-the-scenes story of the extraordinary rise and fall of progressive ("prog") rock, epitomized by such classic, chart-topping bands as Yes, Genesis, Pink Floyd, Jethro Tull, and Emerson Lake & Palmer, and their successors Rush, Styx, and Asia. With inside access to all the key figures, Washington Post national reporter David Weigel tells the story with the gusto and insight prog rock's fans (and its haters) will relish. Along the way he explains exactly what was "progressive" about prog rock, how it arose from psychedelia and heavy metal, why it dominated the pop charts but then became so despised that it was satirized in This Is Spinal Tap, and what fuels its resurgent popularity today.

©2017 David Weigel (P)2017 HighBridge, a division of Recorded Books

What members say

Average customer ratings

Overall

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    0
  • 4 Stars
    3
  • 3 Stars
    0
  • 2 Stars
    0
  • 1 Stars
    0

Performance

  • 3 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    0
  • 4 Stars
    0
  • 3 Stars
    3
  • 2 Stars
    0
  • 1 Stars
    0

Story

  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    1
  • 4 Stars
    2
  • 3 Stars
    0
  • 2 Stars
    0
  • 1 Stars
    0
Sort by:
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

pretty good story of prog - v interesting

very interesting tale of the classics bands. I learned so much about their conceptions, challenges, how they created some of the music and how their fame grew and dwindled for some.

Unfortunately the modern era of prog is sloppily squeezed into last chapter barely scraping the surface of what has actually happened since approx. the late 80s. But one might claim they're not prog rock bands in the old sense.

Sometimes though the telling of the history has been a little haphazardly put together and explains things briefly over a large period of time, followed by an event that then focuses on one or two specific times. The lack of chronological order makes it a little confusing if you're not really paying attention. In some regards it's downright misleading. the telling of dream theater's development for example was a mess (but that's part of the poorly put together last chapter so...)

Narration is OK. Sound quality is great. I just would have preferred an English narrator over an American for this particular book. I mean the majority is about English bands in English places. And I won't even mention the attempted accents.

I enjoyed it overall don't get me wrong. I did learn a lot about classic prog. I just think the writer should have quit while they were ahead and not gone into modern era at all. And the narration could have been done better to make it perfect.

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

For prog rock fans but

''Tis good however it features heavily on a few bands. ELP YES King Crimson and Robert Fripp etc. Could have more on some other bands such as Pink Floyd. Some missed.
Some accents (there are not a huge amount) are off putting Ian Anderson does not have a Scottish accent!! but....
Worth a listen

Sort by:
  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Chris Henson
  • Chris Henson
  • 21-06-17

"Reminiscence has gone astray." So disappointed.

I come at this from two points of view. 1] I'm a 54-year-old American who grew up devouring and playing prog rock. 2] I'm an enormous fan of audiobooks. Bonus: I'm a fan of Dave Weigel's political commentary and reportage.

It just doesn't come together here at all. I get that Weigel is a megafan of prog. But his writing about it is hampered by a pretty glaring lack of basic knowledge about music in general. His descriptions of famous songs are plodding and sophomoric — and often plain wrong. Meanwhile, he provides scant details about the creation of some of the most impressive and challenging music ever recorded.

He gives some interesting insights into the lives of a few key musicians — mostly about the sex and drugs, less about the rock 'n' roll. Perhaps it's because I just finished listening to Mark Lewisohn's "Tune In, Volume I" about the early years of the Beatles, but it just feels that Weigel is out of his depth here. This is a labor of love, to be sure. But if prog rock has taught us anything, it's that labors of love rarely connect with an audience.

The bigger problem by far, though, is the narration. Rudy Sanda really has no business reading professionally. This sounds harsh, I know. But, I paid good money to have a book read to me by a professional. And that didn't happen.

For starters, Sanda refuses to pronounce the letter "T" at all. And not in the cool British way. No, this is the post valleygirl way. "Great Britain" becomes "Gray Bri—in." And "Manha—in." This is inexcusable.

Worse, he mangles the many European names he has to pronounce — including some English ones — and at one point refers hilariously to a "Bach FOO-gay."

The word is "fugue."

When reading quotes by British musicians, he affects an accent only about a quarter of the time. And not particularly well. He reads sentences as if it's the first time he's ever encountered them. Pauses curiously long after every period. And I swear I can hear his voice changing.

Why the producers didn't select a British reader with a bit more gravitas — especially considering the primary focus of the book is the birth of a musical genre in Canterbury, England — is unfathomable to me. I mean, if prog rock has taught us anything, it's that the voice is everything.

7 of 7 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for David W
  • David W
  • 29-06-17

Well written but poor narration

Someone should have told the narrator to skip the accents. they're painful to hear.. Aardvark. (I had to type at least 15 words.)

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Ich Heisse Billyboy
  • Ich Heisse Billyboy
  • 12-09-17

Worst. Narrator. Ever.

How did the narrator detract from the book?

He mispronounced band names, song names, and character names. The lead character in "Lamb Lies Down on Broadway" is not "rah-EL"! If the narrator took a few moments to zip through YouTube and listen to some pronunciations for song titles in particular, the book would have been much better. This aging prog-rock geek, for one, would have given it a better review.

Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

It made me mad. For a book about meticulous musicians and the meticulousness, it was shoddily read. Ugh, I'm still furious over it.

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for T. VanPool
  • T. VanPool
  • 07-09-17

I learned a lot, but wish there was more

I enjoyed this book, and learned a lot. This is especially true of the central prog bands such as Yes and ELP. If there is a flaw to the book, it is simply that the author focuses so heavily on a few bands during the late 60s and 1970s that some of the history that would most interest me is given limited consideration. For example, Styx is mentioned a few times, but not really discussed. Albums like Yes's 90125 are given limited coverage relative to Yes's earlier work. As a child of the 80s, I would have liked more information on subjects such as these. However, and in fairness to the author, these are not central events/bands in the history of Prog rock, so I guess I can't really complain. Overall, this is an excellent, informative, well-written book.

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Amazon Customer
  • Amazon Customer
  • 14-08-17

A Must for Prog Lovers

Your enjoyment of this book will be contingent upon your enjoyment of prog rock, but if you like prog, you'll like the book.

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Robertok
  • Robertok
  • 30-07-17

Good but too narrow in focus

Great detail on a few artists, but I was disappointed that the scope was so narrow. He leaves out Jethro Tull/Ian Anderson and Frank Zappa/Mothers, for example. King Crimson, Yes, Genesis and ELP were only a part of Prog Rock!

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Tarjei Romtveit
  • Tarjei Romtveit
  • 15-07-17

Interesting story, but poorly narrated

Is there anything you would change about this book?

Replace the horrible parts where the narrator tries to sound like Ian Anderson!

What did you like best about this story?

Very comprehensive of the period 1968 - 1975, but also quite good follow up of 80s and 90s. Despite what some of the other reviewers seem to have listened to, there is plenty mentions of Rush and Dream Theatre.

How could the performance have been better?

I may have fell a sleep during the 90s chapters of the book, but I could not recollect Tool to be discussed in detail. Arguably one of the most influential 90s prog band that actually had listeners that was not prog nerds.

Do you think The Show That Never Ends needs a follow-up book? Why or why not?

No

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Daniel James
  • Daniel James
  • 12-07-17

Great book, but narrator should have been coached or edited

The book itself is really good, but the narrator was hard to listen to at times. His constant mispronunciation of Moog was maddening, among other odd quirks where it was clear he was taking some uninformed creative liberties.

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    2 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for DS Vet
  • DS Vet
  • 11-07-17

Not bad, but missed a lot

Would you try another book from David Weigel and/or Rudy Sanda?

No

Has The Show That Never Ends turned you off from other books in this genre?

No

Any additional comments?

Extensive discussion of King Crimson, but not a word on Rush or Dream Theater. Not to mention Dregs. Basically an early history of prog rock.

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Alex
  • Alex
  • 08-07-17

Interesting story but...

It's a good recollection of a music genre that I enjoy and I'm guessing for anyone that has enjoyed some prog rock. This might be one that I wish I'd read the written version of so that the really awkward accents the narrator used frequently could have been avoided. To me it seemed that Yes is given more attention to than other bands. Still an informative listen.