Best Progressive Rock albums for the last 40 years

 

Progessive Rock started 40 years ago. Here is a timeline with the best Prog Rock album for every year.

 

 
  1. Overview
  2. Bands on this website
  3. Best Progressive Rock bands
  4. Progressive Rock websites

 

Progressive Rock

Progressive rock and art rock are two almost interchangeable terms describing a mostly British attempt to elevate rock music to new levels of artistic credibility. The differences between prog-rock and art rock are often slight in practice, but do exist. Prog-rock tends to be more traditionally melodic (even when multi-sectioned compositions replace normal song structures), more literary (poetry or sci-fi/fantasy novels), and more oriented toward classically trained instrumental technique (with the exception of Pink Floyd). Art rock is more likely to have experimental or avant-garde influences, placing novel sonic texture above prog-rock's symphonic ambitions. Both styles are intrinsically album-based, taking advantage of the format's capacity for longer, more complex compositions and extended instrumental explorations. In fact, many prog bands were fond of crafting concept albums that made unified statements, usually telling an epic story or tackling a grand overarching theme. In addition to pushing rock's technical and compositional boundaries, prog-rock was also arguably the first arena where synthesizers and electronic textures became indispensable parts of a rock ensemble. The earliest rumblings of progressive and art rock could be heard in the poetry of Bob Dylan and conceptually unified albums like the Mothers of Invention's Freak Out! and the Beatles' Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band, all of which suggested that rock was more than just teenagers' music and should be taken seriously as an art form. Prog-rock began to emerge out of the British psychedelic scene in 1967, specifically a strain of classical/symphonic rock led by the Nice, Procol Harum, and the Moody Blues (Days of Future Passed). King Crimson's 1969 debut In the Court of the Crimson King firmly established the concept of progressive rock, and a quirky, eclectic scene was taking shape in Canterbury, led by the jazzy psychedelia of the Soft Machine. Prog-rock became a commercial force in the early '70s, with Emerson, Lake & Palmer, Yes, Jethro Tull, Genesis, and Pink Floyd leading the way. Meanwhile, a more avant-garde scene (dubbed Kraut-rock) was developing in Germany, and eccentric, unclassifiable bands continued to emerge in the U.K. By the mid-'70s, a backlash was beginning to set in; prog-rock sometimes mistook bombast for majesty, and its far-reaching ambition and concern with artistic legitimacy could make for overblown, pretentious music. Its heyday soon came to an end with the advent of punk, which explicitly repudiated prog's excesses and aimed to return rock & roll to its immediate, visceral roots. Still, prog-rock didn't completely go away. A number of AOR bands used prog ideas in more concise songs; plus, Pink Floyd, Yes, and Genesis all had number one singles in the '80s by retooling their approaches. A small cult of neo-prog bands catered to faithful audiences who still liked grandiose concepts and flashy technique; the first was Marillion, and many more popped up in the late '80s and early '90s. (Allmusic)

 

 

Bands and their links
 

  You can scroll through this page by first going to drop down list and then press the first letter of the alphabet (A, B, C etc) anywhere on this page.

 

A

Alquin

B
Badger
Bass, Colin  
Brainbox

C
Camel
Caravan  
Cressida
Curved Air

D
Diabolus  
Dillinger  

E
East of Eden
Edgar Broughton Band
Eloy
Emerson, Lake and Palmer
Epidaurus
Epsilon

F
Fates Warning  
Fish
Focus
Fuzzy Duck

G
Gary Wright
Genesis
Gentle Giant  
George Ross Watt & The Business
Gong
Greatest Show on Earth  

H
Hawkwind
High Wheel 
Home  

I
Indian Summer  
Iron Butterfly  

J
Jade Warrior
Jane

K
Kansas
Kayak  
Kaseke  
King Crimson
King Harvest  

L
Lake, Greg
Lucifer's Friend

M
Made In Sweden  
Maggie Bell
Marillion  
McChurch Soundroom

M
Nektar
New Trolls  
Novalis  

O
Osibisa 
Omega
O Terco  

P
Pallas  
Pendragon
Pesky Gee
Pink Fairies
Pink Floyd

Q
Quicksilver Messenger Service 
Quidam  
The Quill


R
Ramses
Randy Pie  
Raw Material
Room  

S
Samurai
Sandrose
Sebastian Hardie  
Skin Alley
Spring  
Starglow Energy
Steamhammer
Styx
Supertramp

T
Tasavallan Presidentti 
Tonton Macoute 
Top Left Corner 
Trace
 

W
Wakeman, Rick 
Wigwam  
Windchase

Y
Yes  
 

Best Progressive Rock Bands

 

Can
Caravan
Cast
Deus Ex Machina
Dream Theatre
Echolyn
Eloy
Emmerson Lake & Palmer
The Enid
The Flower Kings
Focus
Gabriel, Peter
Genesis
Gentle Giant
Gong
Grobschnitt
Gryphon
Happy The Man
Hawkwind
Henry Cow
IQ
Jethro Tull
Kansas
King Crimson
Le Orme
Magma
Marillion
Moody Blues
The Nice
Oldfield, Mike
Omega
Pallas
PFM
Pink Floyd
Procol Harum
Renaissance
Rush
Soft Machine
Spock's Beard
Strawbs
Styx
Tangerine Dream
UK
Van der Graaf Generator
Wakeman, Rick
Yes

 

 

Progressive Rock Websites

If you have any websites to add - email us and we will add it.

  

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