Top 10 Greatest Progressive Rock Albums

The Top TenXW

1Dark Side Of The Moon - Pink Floyd

I love progressive rock with all my heart! I think it's the best genre of music. It's just perfect. My favorite albums of all time are progressive rock albums. I'm gonna vote for The Dark Side Of The Moon because it deserves to be number one on whatever list it's on. Now, many people will say, "it's only number one because it was the most successful." And while I agree that a lot of successful bands weren't that good, Dark Side Of The Moon is still a masterpiece. It's the album that got me into progressive rock in the first place. And while Pink Floyd were one of the most successful bands of all time, they were still excellent musicians and deserve all the credit that get. Other progressive rock bands being very underrated is another story. Yes is underrated, Rush is underrated, Genesis with Peter Gabriel is very underrated, King Crimson is very underrated as well. But that doesn't mean Pink Floyd is overrated. Pink Floyd is right were it deserves to be as one of the greatest bands of ...more

By ways the best prog albums, and even the best album ever! Tokyo Hotel is a big joke, in comparison of bands as Yes, King Crimson, Dream Theater, Porcupine Tree, Genesis and especially... Pink Floyd! In my humble opinion they're the best band ever, and if you don't think so, listen to Gilmour's wizardery on guitar and Waters's poetry on "Time", "Brain Damage/ Eclipse" or "Breathe", and Wright's sensibility on keyboards in "The Great Gig in the Sky" and "Us and Them"; as well as their sense of melody on the hit "Money" and experimentation in "On the Run"and "Any colour you like"!

Not even close, the greatest album of all time. Easily, the greatest in any genre. Tokio Hotel is awful compared to Pink Floyd.

There is no album that can compare to dark side, and there is no band that can compare to Pink Floyd. - ryanrimmel

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2In The Court Of The Crimson King - King Crimson

Okay, the Tokio Hotel thing at the top is hilarious. I'll admit. But this album is the king (ha! You see what I did there?! ), the one that every symphonic prog album that came after it is indebted to. It defined symphonic prog and prog in general.

King Crimson is more than a band. It's a way of doing things. In The Court Of The Crimson King is an album that continues to impress 40 years after it has been presented. For me, no album will ever be better, and I certainly hope the new King Crimson incarnation of 2014 will live up to it's expectations

Simply put: Without this album most bands that would come to call themselves "Progressive Rock" wouldn't have had a proper template to understand what that would mean. It practically started the genre.

Definition of Prog.

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3Close To The Edge - Yes

Nothing against Rush, but Close to the Edge is one of the most brilliant albums ever made. The same goes for ITCOTCK (which I think should be first since it basically invented prog rock). I love Dark Side but Pink Floyd weren't necessarily a progressive rock band and were more experimental. But the albums are still very great nonetheless. I'm also surprised that Lamb Lies Down isn't in the top 10. But this is all just my personal opinion so don't knock me.

Pink Floyd were progressive. The fact that they were experimental is just another reason of why we love them. Many of their songs had deep lyrics with long instrumental passages, mood shifts, genre shifts, time signature shifts... - RalphSaad

In my opinion, Yes out did their selves with this pre Dark Side album. It inspired not only all Progressive Rock, but all music in some way, shape, or form. They all collaborated in the band and wrote in my opinion the greatest album ever made. Close to the Edge is an amazing album where every lyric connects to you. Truly amazing.

Why is tokio hotel at number 1? This album is amazing! Three of the best songs of all time on one of the best albums of all time. Come on people!

Close to the Edge. Ah, it is a perfect album, truly.

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42112 - Rush

This list is a hard one. Not because it's close... Because it's different. Rush and Floyd are two completely different kinds of rock, although they are both still prog rock. Rush is more focused on melody, harmony, etc, while Floyd is more experimental. For me, Rush wins this battle. However, they both have members with a high level of musical talent, although the Rush lineup is possibly the most talented lineup out there. Dream Theater is relatively similar to Rush, but also more heavy metal. They are #2 on this list for me. They are the only band with what I find close to the incredible talent of Rush. Yes and King Crimson are two other prog rock bands that are very musically talented.

On the other hand, Tokio Hotel is:
A. Not rock
B. Not talented
C. Not respectable

HOW CAN ONE COMPARE SUCH AN AMAZING, INTUITIVE, MUSICAL BAND AS RUSH TO A POPPY BAND AS TOKIO HOTEL? I came to this list expecting to see many bands, but certainly NOT Tokio Hotel. Yikes.

This is by far the greatest progressive rock album ever created. This album was so far ahead of its time, and it explored new ways to make music. Most bands even today don't come close to making something as epic as this album. The opening 20 minute piece tells an incredible story of a man standing up against the rest for what he believed in. What other band do you know of that made a bad ass song about The Twilight Zone? The amount of musicianship put into 2112 is absolutely impeccable. These 3 guys are the best at what they do.

Everyone raves about the 20 minute title track that takes up the entire first side of the album, and while 2112 the song is simply amazing and unreal, the lesser known songs on the second side of the album are great too. Bangkok is one of Alex Lifeson's best performances. The Twilight Zone brings the perfect mood to an incredibly dark album. Lessons is a personal favorite of mine, and incredibly underrated. Tears is ok, and something for nothing is deep, loud, and a 3 minute helping of rush at their hardest. Pink Floyd cannot compare to the amazing musicianship of Rush. They will always be the best

Greatest album I ever heard, and the most talented band of musicians ever

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5Wish You Were Here - Pink Floyd

No album to date could match the mastering of music as wish you were here has achieved. Every second is part of the "must live", pink floyd experience.

Every note on this album is perfect. A masterpiece

The best Pink Floyd album. Therefore the best Prog album. - Lemonjelo

The second best album by Pink Floyd, while "Dark Side..." is overrated, in my opinion.

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6Selling England by the Pound- Genesis

This album so does not get the merit it deserves. Every song on this album is flawless and the fact that it is only # 9 and it is the only genesis album on the list disappoints me. in my opinion, I know Pink Floyd is the best prog band by popular vote, you cannot argue that Genesis has a much more diverse selection.

Genesis is my second favorite band but I wouldn't call them more diverse. Their style, though original, was always the same during their prog years. Pink Floyd on the other hand gave each album a certain style and atmosphere, they were much more diverse. I would also put Pink Floyd before Genesis because they didn't move to pop. A lot of people actually don't know that Genesis were once a great prog rock band. Pink Floyd on the other hand are by definition a progressive rock band. Finally, a great thing about Pink Floyd is that each live show offered a different version of their songs, especially in the 60's and 70's. They could actually be better live than studio while improvising, which is no easy task. A 5 minute song could turn into a 10 minute one. I've watched many videos about Genesis live and they're great, but they don't offer anything different than what you hear on the album. Now, in my opinion, Selling England by the Pound is slightly better than Dark Side of The Moon, but ...more - RalphSaad

What? The greatest art rock album isn't in top 10! Remember the songs "Dancing with the Moonlight Knight" and "The Cinema Show". Absolutely great key intro in "Firth of Fifth". Beutiful Gabriel's guitar and Peter's vocals. And what about Phil's divine drumming.

It's the best album in my opinion. I don't think it deserves to be higher, #6 is right, but it's perfect album - from first to last song it's got some idea, hundred of great melodies and true, deep text singed by one of the best musicians!

An excellent album, but "The Lamb Lies Down On Broadway" is a 100-percent masterpiece.

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7Metropolis Part 2: Scenes From a Memory - Dream Theater

Amazing album, I never get bored of it, even after a hundred times. The music is incredibly rich and the musicians are insanely perfect. There are always things to discover and to understand when you listen carefully, and "Home" is still one of the greatest song I have ever heard.

Oh my god, please god destroy the ones who have voted Tokio Hotel! I hope it's a joke because I don't understand how someone can be so stupid... For me the best album is between Metrpolis part 2 and the wall, Dark side of the moon is one of the best albums but it is not like these two. I could hear MP2 and TW hundreds of times like the first one

Dark side of the moon is not the best cd of Pink Floyd, and SFAM is one of the best composed albums ever, all of its songs are just perfect, no one who likes good music can dislike this album

One word: Outstanding

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8The Wall - Pink Floyd

Not just another brick in the wall...

Best progressive album forever! By the way why the hell here's a Tokio Hotel? Tokio Hotel suck!

Pink Floyd is my favorite band but the wall was not ock. Their last prog album was Animals then the division bell 17 years later.

This album is amazing. It's so much better than Dark Side of the Moon. It has a rich and emotional story and top notch musicianship

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9Animals - Pink Floyd

Even if your not a fan of the floyd how can you not love this. Its nasty, deep prog, with massive amounts of suspenseful energy and blasting grungy distorted guitar with so many massive and dirty solos all wrapped up in that melodic plodding style of floyd that sucks you in to thinking that this is a nice (sic) sugary album only to find yourself ripping into the air guitar all the while singing to yourself in the vain of johnny rotten, ozzy and robert plant.
Its fair to say I love this album.

Floyd's heaviest and best album. Unrivalled guitar work by Gilmour and awesome keyboards from Rick.

There is something about this album that serves my many different moods. Its brilliant. Especially "Pigs on the Wing".

"Dogs" which occupies side A, justifies owning this album. Great contribution by Gilmore.

V7 Comments
10Fragile - Yes

Why us tokio hotel even in this list? Yes, Pink Floyd, Genesis and King Crimson are progressive rock at its best, and this album is beautiful, how is it 20th? - fidelcanojr

Everything Steve Howe touched turned to gold.

This is what they call perfection. - arbeZameniC

The Contenders

11Hemispheres - Rush

In my opinion, Hemispheres is much better than 2112 and somewhat better than Moving Pictures. I wouldn't exactly call 2112 a progressive album though... The only thing close to progressive on the record is the title track, which isn't exactly prog either - more like a long hard rock song.

Hemispheres is definitely Rush at the top of their game, lyrically and instrumentally.

The whole first side of 2112 is an amazing prog rock song (possibly the greatest), but as far as the album as a whole, the rest was more of 70's hard rock with some prog mixed in. This, however, was pure progressive rock, in music and lyrics. It was the last fully "progressive" album they did, and is definitely the best.

All Rush needed was four songs to prove they were the best at progressive rock... 2112 is amazing, but when you look at the sum of all the songs on each album Hemispheres definitely takes the cake.

Every song on this album is a masterpiece. This album comes on top of the 19 Rush album and also on top of the thousands albums ever made by any band.

V2 Comments
12Moving Pictures - Rush

Moving pictures is number two on my personal list. You gotta have Pink Floyd at number one because it's Pink Floyd, but this album is easily Rush's best album and easily the best album of all prog other than the Dark Side of the Moon. The whole thing is just amazing song after amazing song after amazing song. The first four songs in it are all four of Rush's best songs, three of them easily being top-10 Rush songs.

Every single song on this album is pure magic. Between drumming, keyboards, and the guitar types, this is a must have progressive rock album. Plus, there's some bass solos on it! One of the best albums of all time!

simply amazing, full of complexity, virtuoso musicianship.. and the greatness of RUSH -

Moving pictures not #1... Ok, that stinks. Rush not #1... Ok, that stinks. People thinking Tokio Hotel is better? What has happened?

V2 Comments
13Red - King Crimson

Red is heavy, ambitious and very Complex. Every piece of this 40 minute is Epic. Every song is memorable and amazing in a different way. Its heavy guitar riffs, it's poetic lyrics and writing, great vocals and use of saxophone with jazz fusion influences, amazing drums parts especially on " one more red nightmare " by Bill bruford, amazing combination of Mellotron and Guitar... It all creates a Masterpiece record that is perfectly engineered and sounds amazing.

Prog rock, sure, but Red is basically its own genre. Nothing else sounds like it, a 40 minute nervous breakdown of an album.

Red is one of the heaviest Prog records of the 70s. Not to mention one of the most interesting. Seriously. Red and King Crimson deserve more recognition than what they get!

V1 Comment
14Thick as a Brick - Jethro Tull

It was supposed to be a parody of the genre, but it ended up being a masterpiece. If you give it a listen, you'll see why... Damn, this album is fantastic.

You must be thick as a brick if you don't recognize this album as the greatest in whole prog rock

No prog album is written so specially and professionally like that one

This album is so Mind blowing

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15Mirage - Camel

One of the best Camel's albums! Everything is here: melodic bass lines by Ferguson, Andy Ward powerful and very precise drumming, Bardens symphonic and dynamic keyboards solos (after his departure no other keyboards players would be as good as him) and especially Andrew Latimer emotive, sensitive and powerful guitar work and... His beautiful flute on "Supertwister". From the cool opening "Freefall" to the mystic "Nimrodel/The Procession/White Rider" Camel is excellent and signs his all time masterpiece: the superb "Lady Fantasy"!

Without a doubt! Mirage is the most undervalued album of progressive rock but one of the essential parts of this style. An album of worship that very few people can be seen in its full dimension. Simply unbeatable!

One of the most underrated bands ever, still producing amazing music. I had the privalidge to see them many times in the 70's and 80's and they where always superb! '!

V1 Comment
16The Yes Album - Yes

I cannot handle the fact that this always falls behind Close to the edge. Every track is a class act except the Clap.!

I do agree with putting Close to the Edge higher than this, since Close to the Edge is much more progressive, and in my opinion, better. But even with that said, this whole album is amazing as well. - Songsta41

Taking King Crimson one step further. Melody and progressive music can exist!

Theirs is no disgrace!

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17Foxtrot - Genesis

Peter Gabriel greats, "Supper's Ready" and "Watcher of the Skies", on the same album!

"Watcher" was actually written mostly by Tony Banks and Mike Rutherford. "Supper's Ready" and "Get 'Em Out By Friday" are unmistakably Gabriel tunes, though. His quirky personality and signature wit are all over them - musicman4

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18Misplaced Childhood - Marillion

Fish at his best vocals and lyrics work, Rothery as a guitar master, Kelly finding great keyboards sounds, a good rhythm section Trewavas-Mosley, lots of melodies... This is Misplaced Childhood!

Every note at its best, hard to listen only 5 times in a row.
A real masterpiece.

Inspired cycle of songs that seem to discuss one's journey through life. Misplaced Childhood music is firmly grounded in 70's Symphonic rock but adds enough new spices (punch, adrenaline, scottish folk, etc). Lyrically speaking it ranks on top of the prog rock genre: romantic disillusions, freudian analyzed family issues, pheromonial adolescence, life on the road, drugs, political doubts, despair with human kind and hope in the end! There's no childhood's end, we have friends, life is not so bad after all. The author raises an independance flag. Imagine there's no countries, just the pride of being ourselves, of respecting and following our own hearts.
The album accomplishes so much with prog rock it should make Johnny Rotten feel like a fragile infant holding a lollypop.

V1 Comment
19Tarkus - Emerson, Lake & Palmer

I think this album is just a masterpiece. Even though side 2 is just mediocre, side 1 is just the opposite. If you have never listen to the prog rock magnum opus Tarkus, you shouldn't be considered a human.

Atrocious album, why is it even on the list?

20A Farewell to Kings - Rush
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List StatsUpdated 10 Dec 2016

2,000 votes
173 listings
8 years, 226 days old

Top Remixes (23)

1. Lamb Lies Down on Broadway - Genesis
2. The Wall - Pink Floyd
3. Hemispheres - Rush
Irina2932
1. American Idiot - Green Day
2. Dark Side Of The Moon - Pink Floyd
3. 2112 - Rush
musicinmysoul
1. Tales from Topographic Oceans - Yes
2. To Our Children's Children's Children - The Moody Blues
3. Brain Salad Surgery - Emerson, Lake & Palmer
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