Best Progressive Rock Bands


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The Top Ten

Pink Floyd
Pink Floyd... Pink Floyd.. Pink Floyd. Pink Floyd. Pink Floyd. Pink Floyd. Pink Floyd. Pink Floyd! Pink Floyd! Pink Floyd! One of these bands in wich you see all the members of the group, that make they job really good. Very underrated band, for me they should stay at the same place were everyone put Led Zeppelin, cause this band really deserves it. All knew the "Another Brick in the Wall", "Comfortably Numb" or "Wish You Were Here" but not only on this songs Pink Floyd ends. They made so many excellent albums like: Meddle, Dark Side of The Moon, Wish You Were Here, Animals, The Wall, A Momentary Lapse of Reason, Division Bell- all of them have something unusual something special. Without this special thing, I feel my world would be more empty then it's now. Long live the Pink Floyd!
Along side Jethro Tull they started back in 1967. Before David Gilmour joined in 1968 the band consisted of members Nick Mason, Richard Wright, Roger Waters and Syd Barret. They where involved in the psychedelic, underground druggy scene and had singles such as Arnold Lane and See Emily play. Other bands either played on the same stage as them or where around the same time such as; jimi hendrix, The Move, Roy Harper ( who sang on have a cigar). Syd had a LSD drug problem and was replaced with gilmour in 1968. I thought gilmour introduced prog to the band with such master pieces as Dark side of the moon, echoes, Shine on you crazy diamond, Animals, the Wall and the unreleased film soundtrack called Zabriskie Point. Putting two great writers together like Gilmour and Waters together in 1968 is like putting McCartney and Lennon together you know your going to get great music. In 1983 the band returned to the studio to record the final cut, an album that was sung about the Falklands War. It received negative reviews and wasn't anywhere near as successful as The Wall.
So glad that Pink Floyd is number one on this list. They are the pioneers of progressive rock and have made the best prog albums ever. Dark side of the moon, the wall, animals, and wish you were here are master pieces. On a side note glad to see Rush at number 2. It was a hard decision to pick between these two prog gods


[Newest]Revelation in the music

Dude! 20 studio albums, started in 1968 and never broke up! They have the greatest rock bassist, greatest rock drummer, and one hell of a guitarist! I know some people are not big fans of their lyrics, and they weren't as commercially successful, but give them a chance. They have some powerful albums, especially albums such as Counterparts, Test For Echo, Grace Under Pressure, Fly By Night, and so on. For 40 years they have been a band, and took a 6 year hiatus but have never called it quits. They always find ways to try new musical styles and make their next album better than the last. Listen to Geddy Lee's bass solos and Neil Peart drum! They are wicked awesome! And don't forget Alex Lifeson's solos. Powerful stuff in all of their albums. They deserve the #1 slot! They are not only the best prog rock band, but in my opinion the best band ever!
A modern day warrior mean mean stride todays tom sawyer mean mean pride. Come on! That's poetry! And the music is beautiful! Rush has the greatest drummer, bassist, and a heck of a guitarist. They're great to their fans and have no off stage drama at all. And the lyrics speak to you. They get you thinking. And the music, gee whiz, where do I start? Anyway, I believe that Rush isn't only the greatest prog rock band of all time, but they're one of the greatest bands in general.
Here we are over 40 years later and Clockwork Angels, the album and the book just blows the mind. They are probably more influential now than ever and seem to just get better. Some people have had a hard time with Geddy's voice from the earlier days but it was always pure and certainly always progressive as their entire approach to the music they have produced. Glad that they finally were given the credit due to them in 2013 with the rock hall induction, a successful tour and an album of great new material. Keep bringing it Rush, we can't wait to see what is coming next!
[Newest]Has one of the best drummers, Neil Peart, one of the best guitarists, Alex Lifeson, and Geddy Lee, vocalist, bassist (probably one of the best) and eventually keyboardist of the band, a fantastic trio!
More comments about Rush

The Band released their first album back 1969. It was called as From Genesis to Revelation. And I thought it was repetitive and dull. Around this time the band focused more on music related to religion. They started prog a year after 1969 joining Fripps unique sound. The Band members are Peter Gabriel, Phil Collins, Mike Rutherford, Steve Hackett and Tony Banks. Peter Gabriel helped provide strange lyrics and outfits with masterpieces such as Selling England by the pound, foxtrot and Nursery Cryme. He left the band in 1975 after being offered a role in a film and his wife was pregnant. Though Gabriel left, Collins agreed to sing vocals. They released albums such as Trick of the tail and Wind And Wuthering with songs like Earl Of Grey and Dance on a volcano, which both had reprises. He invented guitar tapping but some people say Van Halen did. Hackett left the band after the Wind and Wuthering sessions. The band continued to perform without him. I felt like Collins got too involved with the new wave sound of the eighties. Phil Collins released his first album in 1981 called face value and had a hit called in the air tonight. The band eventually turned their backs on prog completely with albums like Invisble Touch and We Can't dance and took a more simple route to there music. But Still, they released some good prog music.
Rush and Dream Theater?! Goddammit guys, look to your roots. The bands that defined prog and brought NEW ideas to the table, instead of mining what the '70's bands have done. Rush is just combining the whimsy of Genesis with harder stylings of Yes, while Dream Theater is just a "harder" version of mid-70's King Crimson, without the improvising ability but with "shredding". All hope for Prog Rock is lost if this is really popular opinion. Genesis is my favorite because of the consistency of albums from Nursery Cryme to Winds and Wuthering, the best stretch of albums in Prog history. But it could have as easily been King Crimson.
Trespass to Seconds Out is an amazing run of albums. Peter Gabriel is in my opinion one of the greatest singers in the history of rock. And Phil Collins' drum playing on those albums... Certainly the best prog rock drummer after Mr. Bill Bruford. He is just a beast and isn't just hitting the drums. He plays clean runs in some of the hardest time signatures. Genesis like other prog rock bands has extremely talented musicians. Pink Floyd is overrated as hell. The most talented members in that band were David Gilmour and Richard Wright (RIP). They made good music but it wasn't exactly what I would call prog. They were art rock, and had some prog songs (Animals), but were more psychedelic and experimental. Rush became hard rock when they made Moving Pictures. I'd say the top 3 would be Genesis, Yes, and King Crimson. But this is all my opinion.
[Newest]Genesis from 1971-77 is absolute musical bliss, and that's coming from a musician and avid prog rock fan.

3 compositions (Close to the Edge, The Gates of Delirium and Awaken) are the best prog rock suits ever composed. They are perfect and cannot be even compared to each other (each of the 3 is a different one). The other songs are also remarkable. The 80s did not affect the band so much as the other prog bands since 90125 is a very good album. The later works showed the return of the old quality (especially in the Key to Ascension) - Mind Drive, That That is, Homeworld, Dreamtime and Fly from Here (and even Endless Dream) are still very good pieces of music.
Even though I entered the world of Prog through means of other bands such as Dream Theater (which is still to date my favorite band of all time), as far as strict prog rock goes, it was not until I finally encountered Yes, that I came to find love with prog rock's purest soul. The classic one. The one that really inspires great things just by listening to it.
Yes with Ian Anderson, Rick Wakeman and Steve Howe is the best progressive rock band. Pink Floyd is experimental rock band. Genesis was ehe best band but when Peter Gabriel left the band lost a lot of creativity, musicality and harmony. Emerson Lake & Palmer, for me, is at the same level of Yes. I really like Dream Theater, Porcupine Tree, Riverside and others but these bands represent Progressive Rock bands of the new generation and therefore incomparable bands of the 70s.
[Newest]The best classic rock awesome

5King Crimson
If you're a big of prog fan then you must agree with me that they are indeed number 1. I always thought that back in 1969, in the court of the of the crimson king started prog. There are different reasons why they are number 1 such as: the greatest prog album of all time; In The Court Of the Crimson King. Some of the best prog songs their ever was such as: 21st csm, larks tongues in aspic I-IV, Discipline, fractured etc. They have a very different sound that introduced: melotron ( basically a orchestral kind of thing in a box) Violins, Organs, horns, bells, saxophones. I all ways thought if it wasn't for the beatles we wouldn't have sgt pepper and if we didn't have sgt pepper we wouldn't have king crimson and the genius that is Sir Robert Fripp ( who was the only member not leave the band), sitting there in the corner like a mad scientist guitarist. And that's what introduced prog and is the best prog had on offer in my own opinion.
Pink Floyd is my favorite band and has been for years, but no band has done as much for progressive rock as King Crimson. Fripp is a genius and this band should have the recognition they deserve.

And Dream Theater, really guys? Also Porcupine Tree over Yes, ELP, and King Crimson? Hahaha and Grateful Dead even on the list? Oh wow, my sides.

Oh no Jethro Tull or Gentle Giant? I am so disappointed.
I'm actually quite surprised that king crimson is 5th on the list (I thought it would be 3rd on the list) But there are major reasons why king crimson deserve the 1# spot in the list. Firstly it's "In the Court of the Crimson King" Even though I agree King crimson didn't start progressive rock. It does play an important role in the progressive rock universe and it influenced the use of the melotron. And secondly they've been making solid progressive rock albums in the past 45 years whereas bands like genesis, yes, Pink Floyd had some ups and downs where king crimson were steady flow during the 45 years. And King crimson's albums (In the Court of the Crimson King, Red and Larks' tongue in Aspic, Starless and Bible black. ) are masterpieces.
[Newest]Crimson are great. I own five of their albums: In The Court Of The Crimson King, Starless & Bible Black, Red, Discipline, The Power To Believe.

6Dream Theater
Dream Theater introduced me into the world of progressive metal/rock and I will be thankful forever for that. I would like to say that Dream Theater is one of the best bands in the progressive music scene, incluiding complex song structures and beauty flowing between every arrangement. For instance, the song A change of seasons introduces you completely into DT's world and it really seems as if it was shifting seasons. And the wonderful Octavarium... If I had to choose one song to listen to for the rest of my life, I would choose this masterpiece. So please, don't be scared because of its 24 minute long duration, and don't give up if the first time you don't like it! And if you don't like it after several listens, just check up the lyrics... They are so moving!
The first time I listened to Octavarium, I was completely blown away. How could five guys produce music instrumentally of such a high standard... All virtuosos on their instruments. I then went on and listened to the rest of their catalogue of albums and soon realised this band were very special in prog circles. I just love their ability to play long complex numbers with huge instrumental sections... Which I think epitomises PROG ROCK
I started listening to dream theater when I was in high school... My music life change! I like dream theater, no! I really really really like their music... I always listen to all their song... I collected all albums... So I want to be number 1!
[Newest]Best of all time

7Porcupine Tree
Most of these bands are OLD. Worn out groups from the 70's that people have been sucking on for a long time with nothing new. Porcupine Tree, on the other hand, has been around for quite some time and just keeps getting better and better. Don't trash 'em until you listen to them. They get in your head and then you just can't stop listening to them.

Steven Wilson is a genius. If you want something new in the vein of Floyd that'll rock your socks, give these guys a try. You won't be disappointed.
I couldn't agree more. Been listening to these guys since about 2005 and just can't stop. Once I started they very quickly moved up my personal chart until I could no longer say there was another band I liked more than them. There are bands I like just as much (Pink Floyd) or almost as much (Marillion) but if you start with the "In Absentia" album and go forward from there you'll be hooked. Then, go backward from In Absentia and really enjoy yourself with Stupid Dream, Lightbulb Sun, Signify, etc.

I dare you to find a tune you don't like.
Porcupine Tree should be at AT LEAST THE TOP FIVE. Their songs have been great, and they are STILL running great. Yes, they might have been a little psychedelic rock before, but now they've shifted and I think there are a hell lot of people who would agree Porcupine Tree should be at the top. LIVE UP TO THEIR NAMES. THEY SHOULD BE AT THE TOP BRANCHES OF THE TREE, DAMMIT!
[Newest]Listen to this! Its incredible..

8Emerson Lake And Palmer
I've always thought that ELP was in a class by themselves. Their album Brain Salad Surgery is almost a concept album.
Emerson lake and palmer are just the most beautiful sounding band EVER! I find that they have the warmest sound and it is so surprising how much sound they can make with only three people! The best would be to listen to ELP on a record player with surround sound. They are just exceptional especially in their live acts! Go Check Them out!
ELP may not be the best progressive rock band, but they're definitely better than Porcupine Tree, and Dream Theater. Simply listen to Tarkus, or Pictures at an Exhibition, or most of all Karn Evil 9. This is THE progressive rock band, their music screams prog rock, and they embrace it.
[Newest]Emerson, Lake and Palmer. To me, this is the definition of perfection in any prog rock band. These three men set the standards for what is good prog rock today.

9Jethro Tull
They Started off as a folk band 1967 and the singer/ piper Ian Anderson has been with them ever since. The band started progish on the second album and have carried on this style ever since. It was 1967 Anderson started playing the flute and quickly taught himself how to play. In 1970 the band had reached success with aqualung, a concept album about a tramp. Ian Anderson said that the album was never intended to be a concept album and still says it isn't till this day. Glenn Cornick left the band after the aqualung sessions to go on and do other things, he would eventually become a member of Bob Welsh's Paris band. After hearing people say that aqualung was a concept album Anderson decided to make one. Thick as a Brick was released in 1971 and is one of the best concept albums to listen. Both sides of the albums where one song each, split into several sections. Most Progressive rock bands do this anyway such as Emerson, lake and palmer's Tarkus, pink floyd's Atom Heart Mother and Yes's Relayer. Thick as a Brick told a story about a fictional boy called Gerald Bostock. The album cover opens as a newspaper. That's the thing about progressive rock the albums cover artwork is a delight to look at besides listening to the songs. Tull's other albums are: A Passion Play; a strange album with stories that include a hare who lost his spectacles warc child: would you like another cup of tea dear? Minsrel in the gallery album describes has something to do with anderson's divorce fro his ex wife jenie. Jenie wrote the song aqualung. A very creative Band.
Simply the best progressive rock band from my perspective. The Masters of diversity! They visit so many different genres and are able to pull it off, in a spectacular way. The musicianship of all the band-members are simply mind-blowing at times, since they all are quite familiar with two or three instruments beside their main instrument. That's way I've "named" them the Masters of Diversity!
I also could have picked Yes or Pink Floyd, but JT is too low on this list, so I'll help them a little.

Flower Kings, Dream Theater, Pain of Salvation and King Crimson are also some of the best bands ever, but I can only give one vote
[Newest]Excellent excellent excellent band that brought prog some mainstream success

Like many of the bands on this list, Tool is known for having a sound that is extremely build-upon. Tool has quite a lot of layers in each one of their 55 or so songs, and the listener really begins to hear each one the more they discover the longer, harder to digest songs in Tool's four-album discography. This discography also includes one extended play and one compilation album, and with only four band members, Adam Jones, Danny Carey, Justin Chancellor, and Maynard James Keenan, this alternative metal band has been able to replicate and change a certain sound that they have been able to retain for nearly twenty-five years.

Their first full-length album titled Undertow explores themes that are not later shown in other albums. Ideas of disaster, abuse, hatred in one's mind, and even deeper elements of disaster in certain tracks, such as the fifteen-minute "Disgustipated." One song that explores these themes very well is the 10th song on the album titled "Flood." A nearly five-minute intro prepares the listener with an atmosphere of impending doom. When Keenan's vocals kick in, one can already see the devastation that overtook the situation that the singer places himself in. Keenan's lyrics suggest looking for higher ground to avoid the lurking flash flood behind him. When he finds that he did not find the higher ground that he believed to be, he mutters, "I was wrong/This changes everything." Despite very little instrumental accompaniment, this part manages to be one of the best transitions on the entire album.

The band's second album, titled ├ćnima, is praised for showing Tool's turn away from the raw sound that Undertow supplied. This album is also notable for it's heavy use of transitional tracks, giving the listener a one to two minute foreword to the upcoming song. Some of these songs are later revealed to be pranks on the listener, such as, "Useful Idiot," and "Die Eier von Satan," while others are simply meant to supply an atmosphere for the listener, such as "(-) Ions." ├ćnima gives the listener themes of abandonment, out-of-body experiences, and early themes of transcendence. The song "Pushit" puts the listener in an uncomfortable state of being pushed to the breaking point. Keenan retells his experiences of being pushed around by the people he loves in his younger years. Even the people in his own house push him to the point of running away and never coming back.

Tool's seminal LP, the one that broke past the barriers of being an underground band is their third studio album Lateralus. This album continues on the previous theme of elevation to an higher form as a person, both spiritually and literally. The midsection of the album explores the everyday troubling events in life that, when built up to a maximum point, create a emotional breakdown of the receiver of these events. The real outlier of this album is definitely the eleven-minute song "Reflection." Unlike songs such as "Lateralus" and "Parabola," this song is the exact opposite of what the album exemplifies. The lyrics, such as, "I may find comfort here/I may find peace within the emptiness/How pitiful," show that the narrator is actually against transcendence, and that being a normal person is the path he considers taking. What does this do for the album in a whole? That's the listener's interpretation, as to whether this song builds off the same ideas or simply disposes them.

Finally, we have the band's fourth album, 10,000 Days. This album was much more difficult to process than the first 3. The themes in the music is not universal, and many new ideas are brought to the table in certain pieces. Misanthrope, drug binges, and sadness over death can be some expected themes for a new listener. With most pieces over seven minutes, the band strains these oddball themes very heavily in this LP. "Rosetta Stoned" is probably one of the most difficult songs to digest on the album, and Tool's short discography in general with some themes including alien invasion... Taking drugs... And trying to recount these events to what we can assume is a psychologist or medical doctor. In 14-minutes, including the prelude titled "Lost Keys (Blame Hoffman)," This song tells the tale of a junkie who is kidnapped by extraterrestrials, and later being appointed to the hospital. The narrator soon forgets what happened when he was with them, to the point of pleading help from the doctor for remembrance. It's a weird one, but it certainly fits very well in the album with it's themes of angst and servitude.

Despite many fans having been criticized as being self-important and over-zealous to other musicians of the same genre, Tool has made a very large and overall positive impact on the new-progressive rock and progressive metal genres, and have been seen as one of the biggest acts of the late 90's and early 2000's. This band has sold almost 20,000,000 copies around the world and has won three Grammy Awards, with more likely to come in the near-future


They truly do have one of the strongest lineups of all time. Rush is as strong as well. And Dream Theater. That's just speaking in terms of raw talent. Then you have people like Pink Floyd who are insanely artistic. Tool is amazing with this as well. Best altogether band for a long, long time.
Tool is one of the most original bands I've ever heard, I must confess I only started listening to them about a year 1/2 ago, but ever since that happened, I've become fairly addicted to them, and the song "schism" is definitely the main reason they got my attention, never in my life have I listened to a song and couldn't think about anything else for a month, and back then I didn't know about all the other great ones like "vicarious", "sober", "Lateralus", etc... yeah tool deserves to be on the top 10 greatest progressive rock bands ever, no doubt about that.
[Newest]Please be number 1 when I check back in a little while.

The Contenders

11Gentle Giant
Caught them live in 1970 playing to a sparse crowd, not ready for what we were about to hear! Unlike any band heard before. Totally enthralled with their multi-instrument skill and complexity of the music. Some of the songs take a second, third or forth listening but once you " acquire the taste" you're hooked. "Playing The Fool" may be the best live prog album.
When you really think about it, any real prog rock rock fan cannot deny the incredible musical dexterity of the Giant. Overlaying rhythms and vocals with the most complex compositions of any of the prog groups ever in existence. I am a big fan of the obvious proggers such as Yes, Tull, Crimso, UK and ELP, however GG is unmatched in many ways and each album offers a new height that the band reached at the time of release. While each album from 1970 through 76 were at one time my favorite, nearly 4 decades later my vote goes to Octopus for being the quintessential Giant offering. Check them out if you haven't yet indulged and acquire the taste! Eric Haubner

What the hell did I just saw near the end : System Of A Down?! Seriously?! It's said progressive rock! Anyway, I'm a huge fan of Dream Theater, but it's more metal than rock, and I don't have to vote for Pink Floyd, they're already first. Marillion is too underrated and a really awesome band, the Misplaced Childhood album is just a rock prog monument. Nothing else to say, just listen to it, you'll see.
Glad to see after so many years of complete obscurity especially in the US that Marillion are finally starting to get some consideration and respect. It's deserved, and although they've only had one truly classic album in the last 15 years (Marbles), they still have occasionally great songs on their albums, and the original 8 to 10 albums will always rank them in my top 5.
Such a varied band - they don't really belong in a single category. Every album has its own style, and these guys are so creative and astoundingly brilliant I can't put it into words. Musical masters.
[Newest]Should be in top 5 without any doubt.

I Love Kansas. Not quite like any other Prog band. They have a violin and a more orchestral sound than most prog bands. They aren't early enough to be a Prog pioneer, so they just sort of took the concept in a different direction. Sort of like Pink Floyd but in a different direction. They are certainly the first good American Prog group and somehow that is perceived as bad by some. I won't lie and say the Kansas kept making the best music ever into the 80s and 90s, although some of their later stuff is fine. I just like Kansas in the 70s more than any other band at any other point. Choosing a longer standing band with a less impressive peak is like picking a sour candy over a chocolate. Who does that?

And I don't think they get enough credit for their hot period because A. they started in nowhere America.B. They started in the mid 70s as opposed to late 60s. And they had cooled off a few years after people had finally caught on to how great they were. Listen to their first 3 Albums. They are just as good as the next 2, which are the only ones people know from them. Because they hadn't caught on yet.
Kansas is one of the few bands that I have purchased every things the original six members have put out, together and individually. There is just something about them that I can't get enough of them. While I agree that all the bands in this list have a place in the top ten, I think Kansas is in the top 5.
This band is absolutely brilliant, lyrically, and instrumentally. Miracles out of nowhere has lyrics that capture your soul, and the captivating solo is so good.
[Newest]Kansas should be up there with Rush

Well there are other very good prog artists: Pink Floyd, Genesis, King Crimson, Yes, VDGG... But Camel is the most emotive prog band. Apart having good musicians (Peter Bardens, Andy Ward and Doug Ferguson at the beginning; then Richard Sinclair, Mel Collins, Kit Watkins, Colin Bass, Ton Scheerpenzel... ), the leader, guitarist and composer Andy Latimer is one the best musician ever: everything is in his guitar playing emotion (Lady Fantasy, Ice, Never Let Go), power (Rhyader goes to Town, Lunar Sea) and virtuosity (Candle Hour, Rajaz, Air Born). This could definite the whole band!
Camel's music is melodic and beautiful. Although they use 5/4, 7/4 and other time signatures the music is never complex just for its own sake. Quite a few talented musicians have been part of the band over the years, including Peter Bardens who did much to establish the distinctive Camel sound and Andy Ward, the wonderful drummer on all their 1970s material. But its the peerless Andrew Latimer, a wonderfully emotional guitar player and flautist and talented composer, who is the heart and soul of this fantastic band.
What can I say. Like The Beatles use to do, Camel capitalized on. In most of their songs, you get Rock, Classical, Orchestra, and other aspects of music all in one song. Loved how they could do a 9 min song and make it seem like only a few minutes. You hear the effort, and great care of the band in all their music. They used a lot of instruments and the small details really stand out. Not overdone either. The Vocals few though they are, do give a haunting feeling that goes with the music.

15The Mothers of Invention

16Barclay James Harvest
This highly under-rated band deserve to be up there. Still making new music and touring, their hey-day was the 1970s - great mellatron influenced prog rock albums such as "Once Again", "Time-Honoured Ghosts", "Octoberon", "Gone to Earth" (3rd most successful album of all time in Germany, 1st being Pink Floyd's "Wish You Were Here") and "Everyone is Everybody Else". A Lancashire band but immensely successful all over Europe - played a free concert to a live audience of 250,000 people in West Berlin and were the first UK rock band to be invited to perform (to 175,000 people) in East Berlin. Currently touring in Japan.
I find it incomprehensible that it has been necessary for me to add BJH to the bottom of a long list of lesser-known bands. Still going (in 2 different guises) after 45 years, they were in the forefront of the prog rock trail blazers of the late 60s and 70s. They achieved prenomenal success all over Europe (if not the UK) and played a free concert to 250,000 people in West Berlin. They were also the first western rock band to be invited to perform in pre-Glasnost East Berlin - to an audience of 175,000 people. Their album, "Gone to Earth" is officially the third most popular album since records began in Europe's biggest music market - Germany (Pink Floyd's "Wish You Were Here" being number one). Their classic albums, particularly those made in the 60s and 70s are sublime.
Fully deserve a high placing in this list. Saw them live in their 'John Lees Barclay James Harvest' guise (the other 'splinter band' being 'Barclay James Harvest featuring Les Holroyd') as recently as December 2013, following the release of their excellent new album, "North", and they were even more impressive than I expected. Also, imagine my surprise when I switched on my television on Christmas Day, whilst on holiday in Germany, to find that they were putting on a special Christmas Day concert for the channel in question - all this 47 years after they were formed! A much bigger British band than people realise!
[Newest]Discovered them when Time Honoured Ghosts came out in the mid - seventies and still love them today. Looking forward to October in wolverhampton for John Lees' Barclay James Harvest and the new album!

17Van der Graaf Generator
The most creative and inventive band ever, thanks to Hammill's talent and his brilliant mates. Maybe underrated due to its complex compositions.
You need to listen to any 2 VDGG albums. They are all different. No other band sounds like any of their work - they truly progress through the years. Peter Hammill has an incredible voice. The most consistantly progressive of all the prog bands.
Doesn't matter by which of one of these crazy terms you may define a band VdGG is the most 'SERIOUS' coalition of musicians and surely the best among Prog bands.

OPETH ARE GENIUSES NOT ONLY IN PROGRESSIVE METAL but also have the sweetest progressive rock ballads like Harvest, Burden, In My Time Of Need, Benighted and more and more...
Opeth, deserves to be in top 5. Masters of modern progressive rock/metal. Probably one of the most versatile bands of all time. A very unique sound, Jazzy metal drumming, Creative heavy riffs along with acoustics and kickass bass player, Mikael Akerfeldt. GENIUS PURE GENIUS!
Metal, not rock, but still a very impressive band the albums blackwater park and watershed are amazing progressive masterpieces
[Newest]They're so awesome and underrated! They have amazing albums like: Still Life, Heritage, Blackwater Park, Ghost Reveries, etc.


19Moody Blues
My second favorite prog band they made some great music lick Land Of Make Believe, Nights in White Satin and Go Now!
When they released "Every good boy deserves a favour" they where a music genre themselves
Mm, seen them twice! Lovely to see you again, my friends...

20Mike Oldfield
A real inspiration and perfect style...

Every song is different and is about completely different topics. They're not all about drugs, alcohol, sex, or girls. Just meaningful stuff.

22Roxy Music
They started the "Art Rock" progressive movement.


The reason they are down low is because they aren't PROGRESSIVE. Love them anyway, but are just no where near progressive music. Some people...
A different style to progressive rock, extremely different from anything else. Alsk an alternative rock band, that is what they are commonly recognized as. You may not think they are progressive, but listen to their songs (I recommend "Knights of Cydonia" be one of them). These guys aren't the best progressive rock band, not even close, but I'm voting for them because I think they should be recognized in the prog world. Also sagnificant space rock band.

To make this simple, they're alternative, but fuse many genres, giving them a progressive sound,
32?! This band is too underrated! They are the perfect trio who showed us the new style of progesive rock. Muse's signature style of music always start from mellow to headbanging apocalyptic rhythm. In other words, rock on raw progression! Matt, Chris and Dom always have that power to alter your emotions (depending on which album you listen to)... And what lastly impresses me is that these trio can prove that you don't need a 10-man band to make the break, it's just pure determination and hardwork!

IQ possibly the greatest band of all time, defining progressive rock to the letter, the only band with enough balls as to make their first song an epic, and a vocalist who's vocal cords age like a fine wine, topping themselves creatively with every album they make, and still keep a loyal fan base that only gains fans, and never loses them
Have you all forgotten this one? A band going strong for over 30 years, that delivered with "Frequency" one of the best albums of the past decade.

This band is the epitome of progressive rock! An all star band. These guys diserve to be at number one with their amazing combination of melodies, heavy riffs, harmonies and outstanding musicianship.
Top 5 right here

2. Porcupine Tree
3. Riverside.

I would rank them this way.
Porcupine tree

Better this Way
This band really does deserves the top ten.
Marius duda is a genius.
Especially the mini-album menories is really amazing

Very imaginative music over a long period of time - check out his Guilt Machine too.
This list is stupid

To be honest they should be in the top 5.

This band is lucky anyone liked them enough to even make the end of the list. Seriously man
Best that ever did it
Disappointing. This band should be way more up there

30Captain Beefheart & His Magic Band

31The Mars Volta
I like Tool, King Crimson, Primus, and Pink Floyd more, but these guys were revolutionary. I've never heard a sound like theirs before.
The Mars Volta is one of the best modern progressive bands out there.

"Frances the Mute" is easily a classic.
Easily the best progressive band of this decade/generation.
[Newest]Tetragrammaton just redefines the genre, amazing.

32Coheed and Cambria
No other band has ever "hit the mark" so to speak with my musical style so well as Coheed. Honestly after hearing these guys few bands even come close. Not only is Claudio Sanchez the biggest musical and lyrical genius I've ever had the pleasure of hearing, but the entire band works so well that you can't help but feel it down in your soul. On top of their absolutely amazing riffs and solos all their alblums tie together and tell the story of Claudio's futuristic comic the Amory Wars (Coheed and Cambria are two AI characters that have been given false memories of being husband and wife). They literally cover every end of the spectrum of rock from soft, to punk, to progressive, to hard and verging on the brink of metal. Infact, they have even been said to have created a new genre that many call "new progressive" This band is SERIOUSLY amazing and SERIOUSLY under appreciated. The only band that even comes close to their level of epicness is Iron Maiden.
Should be number two on the list after rush. Unbelievably talented and very consistent band in the amount of amazing songs they have. Have not found a bad song yet, and I have almost all their albums. Very tight group and also include fantastic novels to go with each album. Bit shocked why it's so far down, even below bands which aren't even progressive at all (muse, radiohead). Should be in top 5 for sure
Well apparently only worn out old 70s band can get into the top ten. No offense to bands like Pink Floyd or rush, which I think are great band as well, but cohere and Cambrian tells a great, epic story that is epic in scope, and has phenomenal lyrics, music. One of my favorite bands if not my favorite.

33Twelfth Night

Recently started listening to this band, window of life is a fantastic album
Fantastic band along with arena and marillion

Whilst not the greatest progressive rock band (That belongs to either Genesis or Yes), these 5 fantastic musicians created some of the Genre's finest material, including the 8 minute masterpiece, "Ocean Gypsy" and the 24 minute "Song of Scheherezade" which is one of the most underrated epics of the genre. These classically trained musicians are unique among the genre and Annie Haslam's voice is possibly one of the finest voices of the 20th century. The rest of the band weren't that bad either...


Although this probably isn't the BEST band of all the time and wasn't much influential, I feel that Renaissance is so underrated. Almost nobody knows them, and it's easy to see their greatness, just listen to the whole Ashes are Burning, Mother Russia, Song of Scheherezade or anything. It is quite epic.
Fourth best in the world
[Newest]Ocean Gypsy of the moon.

Best thing to come out of Australia in a long time. So underrated, they are super talented. Check out Asymmetry, it's awesome, but nothing goes past Sound Awake!
How is Karnivool not on this list?
They deserve to be in the top 10 definitely. They have a completely new sound. I love Pink Floyd, Rush, DT and PT too, and this is right behind them.

Their music is very uneasy, but that makes them an extremely interesting to listen to. They should be in the top 5

38Hawk Wind

39Procol Harum

One of those greatest Progressive Rock band in Bangladesh, no, in the whole world!

Try their song, it will blow your mind!
Artcell is the best progressive rock band in bengali language.
Artcell: Unparallel, incomparable, undefined band with remarkable music and talent. They are one of the best progressive rock bands with there unprecedented songs, sound, solos, riffs, bass and music.
[Newest]Artcell is best Band in Bangladesh.

Catchy, mystical, magical. Eloy is the soundtrack to the nights of big cities.
Eloy eloy best progressive bands
Eloy eloy best prog band

42It Bites
Truly awesome band... A mix of prog pop and rock. Fantastic song writers that always have a tendency to put a prog edge on their stuff. Extremely talented musicians... A must listen.. Title track.. ONCE AROUND THE WORLD (15 mins long)... It'll blow ya socks off.

43The Pineapple Thief
Just discovered this band. Good stuff!
Awesome band. Mix of pink floyd tool and u2. Start with the album 137

44Deep Purple
Love this band. But they are not a progessive rock band. Maybe close to a heavy metal blues band or just a metal band. However that being said it is one of the greatest bands of all times.
They're not progressive rock. But still awesome.


45Symphony X
43 you must be kidding me, this band are Number one best ever! What happen to your taste in music!
Outstanding band! At the top with Dream Theater! They just needed more marketing to get out there!
These guys should be #1 on the list.

The ability to take an acoustic guitar in conjunction with metal and use it to bring ones ears to musical euphoria deserves to be near the top.

The best prog rock metal has had to offer. Ex-aequo with Opeth. Musicians made of what the Rush' guys are made.

48Glass Hammer
Just a bunch of Yes-copycats, not that special

49Spock's Beard
"What makes a dream so many different from the other dreams? " Maybe Spock's Beard! Starting a career with a 16 minutes long song ("The Light" in an album where all the tracks are as long easy, but Neal and Alan Morse (the beautiful voice and the killing guitar), Dave Meros (the virtuosic bass) and Nick D'Virgillo (the drummer everyone dream of) succeed. And later joined by the fantastic keyboardist Ryo Okumoto they followed a bright career!

50New Monsoon

It's a shame this band is so down in the rankings. Just listen to their album, Daughter of Time. It's a prog rock masterpiece.

52PFM - Premiata Forneria Marconi
Perfect Formula Magical a sound for ever I could not understand Heavy Rock 2 Rush and 3 M. theater could not compete with such music
Listen to their first album.
The best Italian prog rock

53The Alan Parsons Project
Best band ever, years ahead of their time, loved by the few who know them, unknown to the masses.
Deserves a higher position because is much better than many of those above.

Even though they shouldn't be in the top ten, this band has produced several strong albums throughout the years. And with Alan Reed (who now has left) they had a wonderful voice.
Simply the best of the 80s prog bands - better and more original than Marillion, more approachable than Twelfth Night and more successful than Pendragon et al.

55Le Orme

Thought this is a prog rocxk chart?! How is this not adult contemporary material, I dunno.

57A Perfect Circle

58Between the Buried and Me

The best progressive band coming out from Italy in recent times, Kingcrow is in between prog Metal and Rock with tons of other influences.

Unique sound, huge amount of talent and new ideas all wrapped up in complex refreshing songs covered by a sweet layer of a humoristic attitude.
Man, you should hear this band! They are the heirs of Progressive throne nowadayas!

This band is so underrated as I see it in #93. People please give this band a try. They have everything. Lineup, music, lyrics. Songs like untouchable, The storm before the calm, Are you there? , etc are unbelievable.
Anathema is great... really great... I'm so sorry for seeing Anathema at #93
Should be among Top 5 no doubt if you disagree check for your self

62Dir En Grey

63Liquid Tension Experiment
Basicly Dream Theater with another name (portnoy, petrucci and rudess are in this band). They don't deserve a place in the top 10, but they're pretty cool. However, DT has way better albums than this guys.
The best compilation band of uniquely talented members. They completed their first album in 5 days... enough said.
The drummer sounds so much like Mike Portnoy :O

If their lyrics were in English, Fragil could be considered in the top 30
The best peruvian progressive rock band of all time!

65Pain of Salvation
Can't believe nobody put Pain of salvation on this list... they're like, amazing!

66American English


68The Flower Kings
3rd generation progenitors, in the spirit of Genesis and Yes.
One of my favourite bands, should be way higher in my opinion.
This list is stupid...


70Big Big Train
Agreed, English Electric part one and two are stunning. They carry you back to industrial revolution England- and there is a musical beauty that runs through this that owes a lot to Tull and XTC, but there's so much more. the sort of albums you copy and press on every friend you have because "you need to hear this".
English Retro-Prog band which gets better with each new album. They carry forward the 70's prog of Genesis and Yes. Their sound is melodic and very atmospheric.

This band deserves more points than any band here.

72Art Bears

Early 70's Canterbury sound (along with Hatfield & the North and, of course, the mighty Soft Machine, who deserve a top-ten place as well. ) Highly influential. "If I could do it all over again... "
In the Land Of Grey And Pink is in my opinion the beat Prog lp ever, and the band are still going strong

74Tides of Man




78Animals as Leaders
They don't need a singer because their music speaks for itself. Abasi is probably the most technical guitarist in history. come on the guy plays and 8 string. His tapping ability is unmatched. How the drummer keeps up is better comprehension. Great band.

Very experimental and beautiful.
Very experimental and heartfelt.
I love Solar Music! 0

80Tangerine Dream
Why isn't this band so far behind many others. I don't know, cause they are great.
They are not pogressive rock but progressive electronic music based on Pink Floyd's, you should check it out


82The Velvet Underground
You know why you never see the velvets weighed against proggressive rockers? Because with one album they had already progressed into a level of creation that no other band or musician will touch.

83The Doors



The album Milliontown will stand up to any album by any band in this category. Frost suffers from 1 ailment when it comes to top 10 lists; they did not begin recording before the 90's.

87Clan of Xymox

I'm lost as to definition of prog for this chart. AOR at its best - save the early '60s to mid '70s music or by the Carnegie Hall Live era the best jazz rock fusion band around, not prog. Can't recall Robert Lamm ever playing the moog or synthesiser!

89New Trolls

Probably, Pink Floyd is most known and most influential progressive rock band, period. But they are already on the first place - and this is why I decided to vote for SBB (shortcut for Silesian Blues Band).
It's not very popular group, especially because they were formed in Poland, when this country was behind the iron courtain.
If you don't know them, I highly recommend you to give them a chance. You won't regret.
It's a real deal - ambicious and full of emotions. Personally, I listen to them along with King Crimson or Pink Floyd.

91Moon Safari
Moon Safari is without a doubt, one of the best progressive rock bands to come out in a very long time. They manage to keep the spirit of the prog from the 70s and then put their own flavor on it. You should listen to their album "Blomljud". Truly impressive stuff.

Fantastic, very surprising, fresh band. The only band that sound like the unique VDGG. Worth every note

93Ozric Tentacles
Ozric Tentacles, you have to on one live performance of them just to love them. Most of their albums are diamonds in prog music. Ozric Tentacles soud be at least in top 5 but most of the people don't know them.

94Mashburn Riffs

95Fates Warning
Though Dream Theater is the best, Fates Warning is my most played prog band. I just like to listen to their simple and creative music.

The greatest band that ever lived. They sing in French but its still universal!
My favorite band of all time!


98Dixie Dregs
Second best band of all time, next to RUSH. Who else could combine rock and country and jazz fusion?
Prog rock or American bluegrass rock? Let's be straight.

99Manfred Mann

100The Chronicles of Israfel
I can assure you all, this band is the best progressive rock band now.. Just listen to their songs on bandcamp (many songs have not formally been released.

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This list was created 7 years, 103 days ago and has been voted on over 2,000 times. This top ten list contains 133 items, has been remixed 18 times and has been blogged about 1 times.

Updated Monday, March 30, 2015

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