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Old 08-18-2020, 01:28 AM   #1
deckard82 deckard82 is offline
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Jun 2012
Default proggy, proggier, proggiest: all things prog rock

So I noticed there are a lot of prog lovers on here. I happen to be one myself! Apologies if there is already a prog thread, I searched and didn't find one.

So....what's everyone's favorites progressive rock bands and/or albums? And I don't want this to be just a thread for purists. Fusion/Jazz rock is just as welcome as proggy art rock, proggy space rock, etc. , it's all good and welcome here. 60's, 70's, 80's, 90's and so forth...doesn't matter. If you think you know some obscure stuff that people should check out, have at it and let us know!

OK, let's see....

So some of my current and all-time favorites are the following:

King Crimson (my #1 prog/jazz fusion band. Love In The Court Of The Crimson King the most but they have so many great albums. 'Beat' being their weakest in my opinion but that still has some good tracks on it regardless. But albums like 'Larks' Tongues in Aspic' or 'Red' are absolutely incredible pieces of music. True pioneers)

Camel (I love this band's early stuff and some of the later stuff too actually. But Mirage and especially Moonmadness are incredible albums. I can put on Moonmadness every day at every moment and I can listen through it without being bored for even a second. Excellent stuff.)

Yes (another favorite of mine, particularilly their earlier stuff. There aren't many albums that are even nearly as good as 'Close To The Edge'. What a fantastic record. But 'Fragile', 'The Yes Album' and 'Relayer' are all terrific too and I even love 'Tales From Topographic Oceans', which I guess is sort of a controversial album.)

Emerson, Lake and Palmer (most of their 70's stuff is excellent. Their selftitled album, Tarkus, Trilogy and Brain Salad Surgery are all exellent, with the ocassional goofy outlier. Tarkus and Brain Salad Surgery are probably my faves by ELP. The 2 Works albums are OK too. Then came Love Beach...let's not talk about that....)

Gentle Giant (incredibly weird prog but also incredibly good. Octopus, The Power And The Glory and In A Glass House are my favorites. The Power And The Glory probably being the weirdest one, in a good way. Some of the strangest vocal work you'll ever hear on an album but it works!)

Van Der Graaf Generator (They've made a lot of really great albums too and they never really sucked, which you can't say about all 70's prog bands out there. Pawn Hearts, The Least We Can Do..., H to He.., Still Life, all great albums. But my favorite would have to be Godbluff. It's dark, it's heavy, it's crazy and just friggin great. Everyone who hasn't done so should check it out, you won't regret it.)

Pink Floyd (yeah, I guess that's a no-brainer. Although I have to admit they are not a Top 5 favorite of mine I still love a lot of their stuff. Dark Side Of The Moon, Animals, and my personal favorite...Wish You Were Here. All great. But that doesn't mean I don't like their other albums. Meddle, Atom Heart Mother, The Wall...all great too.)

Renaissance (another great one from the 70's. Alas most of their post 70's stuff is pretty awful but they made some excellent, excellent prog albums back then. Prologue [Kiev is a terrific song], Ashes are Burning, Turn of the Cards, Scheherazade and other Stories, Novella, A Song for all Seasons....all great albums. Annie Haslam's voice is always beautiful.)

Genesis (I love the Peter Gabriel era stuff a lot. Foxtrot, Selling England by the Pound and The Lamb lies down on Broadway being my favorites. Once Gabriel left they made some more good stuff but just got less and less interesting and at some point unlistenable to me)

Eeeek, almost forgot about Rush. I either really like or LOVE everything up untill Signals. Not a huge fan of their mid to late 80's and 90's stuff but their later albums were pretty good again. Faves are 2112, Permanent Waves, Moving Pictures, Hemispheres and A Farewell To Kings.

I'm also really enjoying everything that the Canterbury Sound genre has to offer. Bands like Caravan, Soft Machine, Hatfield And The North, Gilgamesh, National Health, to name a few. Of course most of them are more jazz fusion than anything else but like I said, that's welcome in this thread too.

When it comes to jazz fusion I'd recommend Nucleus, the albums 'Elastic Rock', 'We'll Talk about it later', 'Solar Plexus' in particular. Then also Hatfield and The North's selftitled album as well as 'The Rotters' Club' which are both great too. And also Soft Machine's albums 'Third', 'Bundles' and 'Softs'. As well as Gilgamesh's selftitled album and 'Another Fine Tune You Got Me Into' (wonderfully bonkers stuff) and National Health's selftitled album and 'Of Queues and Cures'. And of course all of Miles Davis's jazz fusion stuff, such as 'B*tches Brew', 'In a Silent Way', 'On The Corner', 'A Tribute To Jack Johnson', 'Big Fun' or 'Get Up With It'.

A couple of notable mentions of possibly more obscure albums/bands:

Gnidrolog's album 'Lady Lake' is really, really good too. They didn't make too many albums. I think 2 early on and then another one in the 90's. Pretty traditional prog with a few jazz fusion moments. Little warning: The reissue of this CD by Esoteric Recordings was rereleased in 2016 on CD-R's. So used copies of the original reissue from 2012 are the way to go. Same goes for the Happy The Man album mentioned below.

Happy The Man's selftitled album is very good as well. American prog mixed with space rock, some jazzier bits here and there. Good stuff, really.

I like quite a few of Steve Hillage's albums. 'Fish Rising' and 'Green' are both really, really good actually. Really cool funky psychedelic space rock stuff. He was/is also involved in some other cool bands/projects like Arzachel, Khan and Gong. All of them worth checking out too.

Can's album Future Days is another one I like a lot. Being a Kraut, gotta have a Krautrock album in here too Very experimental stuff. Ambient, electronic stuff, proggy...a very strange but very good mix.

Another German band, with a british singer: Lucifer's Friend. Their early stuff is pretty damn good. But the only 2 albums they made that I'd consider really proggy are a) Where The Groupies Killed The Blues which is a fantastic album. Imagine Dio era Sabbath decided to make an experimental Hardrock album with prog and jazz fusion elements. It's really worth checking out. I doubt anyone into that type of thing would be disappointed. And b) Banquet which stripped away most hard rock elements from their previous albums while maintaining the prog and jazz fusion elements. And if you love Black Sabbath, do check out Lucifer's Friend's selftitled album, I think you'll like it. Lawton is excellent on each of these albums.

Also have to mention Wishbone Ash. Their early stuff was kinda sorta proggy, folky hard rock. Pilgrimage and Argus being my favorites, the former being a little proggier than the latter, I think. Both terrific though!

That's not to say that I don't love modern prog, because I do. Porcupine Tree, Steven Wilson's solo stuff, Devin Townsend, Tool, Opeth, Riverside, Pineapple Thief, OSI, etc, etc. There's a lot of good modern prog out there. But I think this is enough for now. Gee and there is so much more. Haven't even mentioned Zappa yet. Or Italian prog. Or Jethro Tull. Or Bill Bruford's stuff....or or or. So much good stuff out there. Heck, Tangerine Dream too (more Krauts).

So, hope there will be a few people participating

Edit: Yikes, didn't realize I wrote this much. Oops....

Last edited by deckard82; 08-23-2020 at 12:06 AM.
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Old 02-16-2021, 12:45 AM   #2
Drake2222 Drake2222 is offline
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Sep 2014
Northeast U.S.

Ayreon has some excellent prog albums in: Into the Electric Castle, Actual Fantasy, Dream Sequencer, The Theory of Everything, and The Source.
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