Best Progressive Rock Bands

The Top Ten

1 Pink Floyd Pink Floyd was an English progressive rock band formed in 1965 in London, England. They achieved international acclaim with their progressive and psychedelic music. The band consisted of 5 members - David Gilmour (Vocals and Guitar), Syd Barrett (Vocals and Guitar), Nick Mason (Drums), Roger Waters ...read more.

Dark side of the Moon is by far the best album ever made and will be for a long time if not forever. Wish you were here, Animals, The Wall and Echoes from the Meddle album are all amazing.

Rush is ok, ELP is amazing, Supertramp is underrated, but in the end, Pink Floyd will always be THE master of Progressive Rock. No, not only progressive rock. Let's say... Rock. And now that I think about it, They were the best in the entire history of music! Seriously, there's nothing like Pink Floyd. NO-THING. Their music were unique, and an even better thing is that EACH of their songs have a different style. There is not a SINGLE Pink Floyd songs that look like another. If you listened to all of their albums, you know what I mean. Just listen to A Saucerful of Secrets, Dark Side of the Moon, The Wall and Division Bell. All four albums were produced by the very same people, yet these albums are completely different. They were not afraid to do what they want to do. I also want to add - People that say you need LSD or any kind of drug to listen to Pink Floyd... This is far from being true. Why? Because Pink Floyd itself is a drug. A drug to the ears. And the greatest drug you will ...more

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. ...more

Dark Side of the Moon, Wish You Were Here, Comfortably Numb, Shine On You Crazy Diamond and many more. Pink Floyd is a legend! It got so many histories. It got songs so meaningful. Pink Floyd is the best progressive rock band in the world!

2 Rush Rush was a Canadian progressive rock band that was formed in 1968. Even though the only founding member still in the band is Alex Lifeson (Guitar), the band is most well-known for their current members Neil Peart (Drums) and Geddy Lee (Bass, Vocals). ...read more.

My favorite rush songs :)
The Spirit of Radio, Xanadu, a farewell to kings, the body electric, the weapon, tom sawyer, limelight, the trees, Cinderella man, subdivisions, working man, finding my way, fly by night, best I can, making memories, in the end, Bastille day, lakeside park, the necromancer, fountain of lamneth, 2112, passage to Bangkok, something for nothing, closer to the heart, here again, what you're doing, Cygnus x 1 book 1, Cygnus x 1 book 2, circumstances, la villa strangiato, freewill, Jacob's ladder, entre nous, different strings, natural science, YYZ, red barchetta, the camera eye, vital signs, witch hunt, anthem, by-tor-and the snow dog, beneath, between behind, analog kid, digital man, new world man, chemistry, countdown, losing it, distant early warning kid gloves, red sector A, red lenses, between the wheels, Manhattan project, time stand still, force ten, roll the bones, dreamline, ghost of a chance, big wheel, you bet your life, animate, nobody's hero, stick ...more

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!

They broke up a couple months ago for good, but still, roughly 50 years of music is damn impressive for a single band.

La Villa Strangiato is just one example of the complex compositions that Rush can play their instruments to; the sheer instrumental talent alone propels this band. Neil Peart is an absolute drum god, and Geddy Lee multitasking while putting down amazing bass lines that match Alex Lifeson's wailing guitar are feats in themselves. Put together, you get one hell of a talented and progressive band. Not to mention the crazy time-signatures that some of their earlier work is set in is one of the reasons why they are so perfect as a progressive band. Though, Neil Peart's lyrics may not be top notch all the time ("I Think I'm Going Bald" off of Caress of Steel), once you listen past the lyrics you will always find instrumentals that are consistently full of talent and creativity, while still sounding good. Take note of their exuberant fan base (arguably the most die-hard and most devoted in rock). Definitely one of the finest bands in prog, and one of the best in rock. Period.

Rush will always be my favorite band of all time. Their style of rock that blended hard rock anthems with progressive lyrical themes and compositions helped make them (in my opinion) the greatest of all rock bands. You've got Geddy Lee, the greatest of all rock bassists who did triple duty with singing, bass, and keyboards. Neil Peart, who is the greatest drummer in all of rock over John Bonham and Keith Moon (And I will fight you if you disagree). And then there's Alex Lifeson, a masterful guitarist who has contributed to some of the greatest riffs in all of rock. Though they are now done, Rush will live on forever as masters of rock. They don't deserve number one over Pink Floyd because Floyd IS progressive rock, but in my eyes, Rush is better. Long live Rush!

3 Genesis Genesis are an English rock band formed at Charterhouse School, Godalming, Surrey in 1967. The most commercially successful and long-lasting line-up includes keyboardist Tony Banks, bassist/guitarist Mike Rutherford and drummer/singer Phil Collins.

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 ...more

No has ever come close to taking me on so many musical journey's with such such incredible instrumental sync-ing and expanding then coming back together, it simply takes my breath away. I love many Bands, but Genesis has remained #1 my whole life of listening to music largely since 1972, and Foxtrot came out. Live in 73 and Watcher's of the Skies is mind blowing.

This band is absolutely incredible. They've made so many masterpieces, including The Knife, The Musical Box, Supper's Ready, Firth of Fifth, The Lamb Lies Down on Broadway, In the Cage, and SOOO much more. If I didn't list one of your favorites, don't be upset, as I listen to everything Genesis makes and chances are I love it to death also and didn't forget about it. However, it doesn't stop there. Once Peter Gabriel left, the band turned more to the pop style, and many fans of the band's early works hate this and believe they sold out. This can't be though, since they made so many good songs in that style too (I guess they're just amazing at everything) and also made many songs that pay homage to their earlier ways. Don't believe me? More "pop-like" songs like Abacab, Home by the Sea, and Land of Confusion are amazing as well as so many others, and many songs like The Lady Lies, One for the Vine, A Trick of the Tail, and Dodo/Lurker are more unique, slightly longer pieces ...more

Very underrated band in my opinion, they continued making great albums even after Peter Gabriel's departure and later Steve Hackett. Especially their live albums are very good. Phil Collins is a very good singer and a great drummer. Tony Banks keyboards playing looks simple, but is spot on.

4 King Crimson King Crimson is a British progressive rock band that was formed in 1969. While the band has had numerous lineup changes, the head of the band has always been Robert Fripp (guitar). However, the most notable lineup is between 1972-75, consisting of Fripp, John Wetton (bass/vocals), Bill Bruford (drums), ...read more.

They are awesome. In The Court of The Crimson King one of the first prog rock albums, IF not the first. They've also Made Red, with a heavier sound, Island, with a more classical, relaxed sound, Lark's Tongues in Aspic, Discipline, a new-wave progressive sound. They've done so many great thing for progressive rock, and for me, this is the ultimate prog rock band.

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.

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.

Come on they've got to be higher than this. Pink Floyd is obviously number one but this should be at number 2! I love them because of all the variety in their music. I mean listen to different parts of their career! You can hardly tell they're the same band! Their first period of music in my opinion was from 1969-70 with their first three albums. ITCOTCK is very complex and innovative. Remember this was 1969, progressive rock was hardly in its infancy yet. Lizard is a very weird album with strange lyrics. In 1971 they released Islands. I love the jazz-rock style they went for here! The title track is beautiful. From 1973-74 they started to make heavier and more experimental music. In 1981-84 they made more new wave and a little bit of pop music. From 1995-2003 they got WAY heavier than ever and made tons of industial rock and some songs could even be considered progressive metal. Now that they've reformed again who knows what direction they will take!

5 Yes Yes is an English progressive rock band formed in 1968 by bassist Chris Squire and singer Jon Anderson. They first achieved success in the 1970s with a progressive, art and symphonic style of rock music. Their best known song is their 1971 hit "Roundabout" off of their album Fragile.

Not only the most prolific and musically diverse progressive rock band (at least of the most famous) ever, but also the band with simply the best progressive rock songs. Compared to the other "big five" prog rock bands, Yes saw the most mainstream limelight besides perhaps Pink Floyd, and though its concept albums were less cutting-edge and progressive than Floyd or Crimson, Yes never sought progressive technique for its own sake. Albums like Fragile, Close to the Edge, and Relayer simply showcase some of the finest musical craftsmanship in rock history, and perhaps the greatest musicality too.

And besides mastering the progressive, long-form symphonic piece, Yes were quite proficient at whatever was popular. Their first two albums contain some of highest quality rock songs of the era, having a derivative advantage due to bands like the Beatles. Not to mention their 80s albums, while often lacking in coherence or self-awareness, are full of character and personality that their ...more

Although maybe not as popular, for the most part, as the three bands above them, they were more consistently "prog rock." YES in some ways deserves more attention. One of the pioneers of the genre they had a rare ability to make music that was very captivating and melodic and yet often challenging and adventurous at the same time. Their most essential albums are "Close to the Edge, ""Relayer" and "Fragile" but pretty much any of their albums from the seventies are worth a listen for fans of progressive rock. An essential band in the genre and one that more younger prog fans need to explore.

Yes' most essential album is Tales from Topographic Oceans. It should never be left out.

I love Rush, but Yes is the definitive prog rock band. This is how I see it. You can listen to bands like Rush, Styx, Led Zeppelin, Genesis, Pink Floyd, all those bands, and say "man, that's some damn good music." Yes, you listen and it's more than just music. It captures your imagination, it takes you to a palce where no other music can, it emotionally grabs you in a way that makes you truly invested and immersed in the music. From the epic 15+ minute songs like Awaken, Close to the Edge, The Gates of Delirium, to the (comparatively) smaller masterpieces such as Siberian Khatru, Heart of the Sunrise, Perpetual Change, Yours is no Disgrace, Starship Trooper, Roundabout, South Side of the Sky, Sound Chaser, And You And I, America, and even to the bite sized songs that are still great, like Going for the One, Owner of a Lonely Heart, Long Distance Runaround/The Fish, The Clap, Mood for a Day, Parallels, Don't Kill the Whale (ha just kidding), Wonderous Stories, Leave It, Hold On, ...more

How can you be a great Yes fan yet totally omit Tales from Topographic Oceans? It's the pinnacle. I love Don't Kill the Whale, and Leave It and Going for the One are 2 of Yes' low points.

Best musicians and best songs. The 70's albums of Yes are the best prog albums ever. I like early Genesis and Floyd and I love Camel but Yes are a cut above.

6 Dream Theater Dream Theater is an American progressive metal band from Boston, Massachusetts. The band was formed in 1985 under the name of "Majesty", only to change its name to Dream Theater later. ...read more.

Not as good as Rush or Pink Floyd but by God are they good. John Petrucci is one of the greatest guitarists period, likewise with John Myung on bass. James LaBrie has a great voice to. Different than your average metal band, no deep metal “screams”, not the average lyrics and subject matter either. They really do have some pretty interesting lyrics to if you listen. Some of the best solos and riffs ever. Great to see live as well. Their newer stuff isn’t as good but Images and Words, Scenes From A Memory, A Dramatic Turn Of Events, and Octavarium are all masterpieces. Definitely not for everyone, I think guitarists and bassists appreciate them more than the average person, and being a guitarist myself I attest to this. Great band that I think is like Sabbath, Maiden, Judas Priest, and Metallica in the fact that all metal heads and guitarists like them.

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!

A brilliant band. Simple as that. Except its definitely not that simple. In fact, Dream Theater are one of the most talented and complex bands I have ever know. They take prog rock/metal to a whole new level. Just listen to Octavarium or the Illumination Theory and you'll understand what I mean by 'complex'. Over 20 minutes of thousands of carefully tuned notes in perfect sync. Also the drummer, Mike Mangini, is absolutely amazing. He makes Dream Theater what it is now, and we should all be grateful for that.

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

7 Porcupine Tree Porcupine Tree were an English rock band formed by musician Steven Wilson in 1987. The band began essentially as a solo project for Wilson, who created all of the band's music.

When you consider a true prog rock genre, I can't see how any other band comes close. Some prog rock polls have both PT and Steven Wilson in their top -10.

Porcupine Tree should be second to Pink Floyd. Given that Pink Floyd was the definitive best Prog Rock band ever, Porcupine Tree deserves to be at #2 for being the band that defined the future of the genre post Pink Floyd and consistently put forth music that has the ability to touch the soul and feel anew no matter how many times you listen to and gives us something which will be remembered generations later.

I'll say this now. I'm 17, meaning I'm young enough to have missed both major prog rock eras, but I've known about prog for a good 5 years. Only recently have I started listening to the older bands, with Moving Pictures and In the Court of the Crimson King (though Discipline came close) being my favourite albums thus far. So with this in mind, you may wonder what kept m prog fandom going for half a decade? It was Porcupine Tree, plain and simple. It was at least 4 and a half years before I heard other 90's bands such as Tool and Dream Theater. All I'm' saying is, they must have done something right...

Certainly the most consistently brilliant band on this list in my opinion. Like all great bands, they were able to develop while maintaining their own unique sound and style. This is progressive rock with all the fat trimmed away; melody and atmosphere is chosen over technical mastery and showmanship. This band breathed new life into a genre that have become synonymous with needlessly lengthy solos, bloated track lengths and pompous showmanship. Porcupine Tree showed the world that 'prog' needn't be a dirty word anymore. Modern bands like this are suffering for the bad image that some 70's artists gave this style of music. It baffles me that Porcupine Tree never truly broke into the mainstream.

8 Emerson Lake And Palmer

-Emerson Lake & Palmer, hands down, the Holy Trinity of Progressive Rock.
-Keith Emerson was a great keyboardist. Gerald Lake was a great singer, bassist, guitarist and producer. Carl Palmer was a great drummer. But what they came up with was from another world.
-They were creating new rock music sounds, including adaptations of classical music with jazz and symphonic rock elements, dominated by Emerson's flamboyant use of the Hammond Organ, Moog synthesizer, and piano. It was like nothing else out there.
-They had nine RIAA-certified gold record albums in the US, and an estimated 48 million records sold worldwide. How is that not incredible.
-Sadly, in 2016 we lost Keith Emerson from suicide on March and Gerald Lake from cancer 9 months later, leaving Carl Palmer as the only surviving member.
-The band may have had a tragic end, but their influence will forever be felt in Progressive Rock bands of today like Dream Theater and Opeth.

A three member band with extraordinary musicianship that would take anyone on these musicals adventures in almost any of their songs.

Talk about three guys who studied and mastered the art of Progressive Rock, you know, who lived it, breathed it, and where like professors at it.

Their songs are very unique. I personally love their song "Fanfare for the common man". It is so good. They are like classic music (Listen to Piano Concerto No.18) but they manage to fit it so well with rock. They are the living proof why Rock and Classical music, while they are extremely different, they fit so well togheter. ELP is an amazing band. Greg Lake is a very good singer, Carl Palmer might be the best drummer of all time, and so is Keith Emerson with the keyboards. This band is amazing.

9 Jethro Tull Jethro Tull were a British rock group, formed in Luton, Bedfordshire, in December 1967. Initially playing blues rock, the band soon developed its sound to incorporate elements of British folk music and hard rock to forge a progressive rock signature.

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 ...more

Progressive Rock's Big Six is Pink Floyd, Yes, Genesis, King Crimson, ELP, and Jethro Tull. Jethro Tull may not be the best but they are the most underrated and should be higher than Dream Theater and Porcupine Tree.

I think Yes is the best prog band, but Tull is a top 5 for sure. These guys capture the very essence of music.

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!

10 Tool Tool is an American progressive/alternative/post-metal band, that was formed in 1990. ...read more.

1. Tool is a Progressive Metal Band.
2. Tool's Music is more of an Experience rather than just music.
3. They don't claim to be the best, neither do we. Tool's music is exactly what Tool stands for "use us as a catalyst in your process of finding out whatever it is you need to find out, or whatever it is you're trying to achieve."
4. Thank god for TOOL.

Tool like Yes, PF, Rush are uniquely brilliant and No one else sounds like them. I can listen to any of their albums repeatedly (and have done so since their release. They are flawless live as well. Genesis went to the crapper long ago when Gabriel left and became commercial if not "poppy". Yes did it too but was at least tolerable. Whoever created this list doesn't fully understand what prog rock is. The Dead? Lol. Where's Utopia? Have you not heard the self-titled album? It is only 2nd to 'Dark Side...' re best prog albums of all time. As great as Todd Rundgren was in his other genre efforts, Utopia was his brilliant peak. Triumvirat's 'Illusions on a Double Dimple' is excellent as well.

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.

Tool should be AT LEAST behind rush fort progressive rock. I would put them at number one followed by rush and then Floyd but I know that's not for everyone but def should be in the top 3 for this category if not for all rock categories. New Album in like 20 DAYS! new single is awesome!

The Contenders

11 Moody Blues The Moody Blues are an English rock band. They first came to prominence playing rhythm and blues music, but their second album, Days of Future Passed, which was released in 1967, was a fusion of rock with classical music and established them as pioneers in the development of art rock and progressive ...read more.

First, psychedelic and progressive are not exactly the same; the Moody had multi-level meaningful themes--from individual to national to global to cosmic levels of analysis and a variety of sounds--which should place them next to Pink Floyd. To put such boring or little or irrelevant bands as Yes or Emerson ahead of the Moody Blues is a great injustice, just like their extremely late entrance into the RR Hall of Fame--silly or ignorant black-balling similar to Hollywood.

The Moody Blues expanded their minds then went on to expand ours. For those of us who viewed psychedelics as a way to attain expanded consciousness, there was only one way to travel and that was with the Moody Blues as your soundtrack/guides.

I agree that The Moody Blues should definitely be in the top 5 and that "their core 7 albums are pure genius". They took the mellotron to new levels and their harmony singing was hard to match. Although Justin Hayward sang lead on most of their hits, many of my favorite songs of theirs were sung by the other 3 lead singers: keyboardist Mike Pinder, flutist Ray Thomas and bassist John Lodge.

Enduring while others disbanded or stopped producing, the Moody Blues established, then reinvented themselves time and time again. Their melodies, harmonies and lyrics are mesmerizing.

12 Gentle Giant Gentle Giant was a British progressive rock band active between 1970 and 1980. The band was known for the complexity and sophistication of its music and for the varied musical skills of its members.

My favorite band of all time! They've done incredible things. Not the most influential bands in prog rock, but definitely one of the absolute best.

There's no beating Gentle Giant. They've gotten inspiration from numerous different genres of music, and you really hear it in their songs. Incredible compositions and lyricism that really captures the spirit and diversity that progressive rock truly is. Pink Floyd's great, but they're a lot more psychedelic. Dream Theater's very technical, but they haven't been able to keep it together recently. Rush is great, but isn't as diverse in instrumentals. Gentle Giant is the best of prog.

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.

I haven't listened to too much by this band, but what I have heard proves one thing. They have an amazing sense of effect, as in they truly see how their music will make someone think and feel. Listening to one of their songs at my friends earlier made me realise just how sombre and beautiful prog can be

13 Kansas Kansas is an American rock band that became popular in the 1970s initially on album-oriented rock charts and later with hit singles such as "Carry On Wayward Son" and "Dust in the Wind".

Kansas are the best of all progressive/art rock bands, their songs except cows and ditw are so underrated, just listen to their musical masterpieces such as song for America, the pinnacle, Icarus I and II, Journey from mariabronn, the wall etc. And they didn't let a backing track for these, they were and are a fantastic live band too

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 ...more

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.

While they weren't pioneers of the genre, they proved that they were just as good as their European cousins in that thanks to their complex compositions and catchy hooks. They also helped define the arena rock sound with later albums before returning to their roots in the early 2000s.

14 Van der Graaf Generator Van der Graaf Generator are an English progressive rock band, formed in 1967 in Manchester by singer-songwriters Peter Hammill and Chris Judge Smith and the first act signed by Charisma Records.

Wow they seem to think it's cool to vote for the new guys Tool and Porcupine Tree over this band. Van Der Graaf Generator is the greatest band nobody outside the prog community has ever heard of.

I didn't think they'd be this high. I would have expected them somewhere in the high 20's or 30's, 'cause of how weird they are. But they're definitely my favorite Prog band of them all. Peter Hammill might be the greatest lyricist of all time, his voice is so unique and David Jackson on sax is absolutely perfect! And it's only our own dumb resistance that's making us stay...

I'm not even sure VDGG should be called prog, given that they bear no resemblance to any other famous prog band of the classic prog era, neither in line-up nor in outlook. But I suppose we have to put them somewhere and since prog means pushing the boundaries, it'll do. The thing the Van Der Graaf Generator have over all the other groups is that once they suck you into one of their best songs (no, they aren't all masterpieces but boy are there still a lot), they take you on a roller coaster ride of emotions and spit you out pretty much exhausted at the end. They-just-do-not-let-up. No long solos, just an avalanche of relentless, often maniacal riffs and barely a guitar in sight, and of course the voice and lyrics of Peter Hammil who needs those riffs to have something to outdo, which he unerringly does.

You and the Undercover man should both agree with me that Van Der Graaf Generator should be in the top ten. don't be a lemming and vote for Rush or Genesis because you think they were better because they were more commercial. I have a childlike faith that this bands music will last centuries after the earth has been scorched by the flames of war and ravaged by plagues.

15 Opeth Opeth is a Swedish progressive death metal band from Stockholm, formed in 1990 by David Isberg, who invited Mikael Akerfeldt into the band as a bassist. Isberg ended up leaving the band, which lead to Mikael becoming the band's vocalist, guitarist, principal songwriter, and driving force. Along with ...read more.

Not sure who places Tool above Opeth, Tool are so over-rated. There's a rare brilliance to Opeth, not only in their time and key changes, but also in the way they know a catchy riff and draw it out where most bands play their best riffs only for a few bars. Best works are Blackwater Park and Deliverance albums

Highly underrated. I find them to be the most interesting, complex and original band of the last few decades. I especially appreciate them for not being preoccupied just with sounding "so metull hurr durr" (not that the other bands necessarily are, but some fans would want them to :D ); fascinating harmonies, always surprising, delicious, original and fresh on every level. Not swamped in cliches; a Music that is both intelligent and atmospheric

18?!?! This band should be much higher. There is tons of variety in their music, with some of it being very heavy and containing death growls, and some of it is very soft with clean vocals. They have been very prolific over the years with 11 studio albums since 1995. One of the best prog bands out there.

Akerfeldt by himself is a genius, and the obvious backbone behind the ever-changing lineup. Though not as much progressive as they are creative, the perfection of each masterpiece is shocking; you'll never hear a filler song from them as long you live.

16 Camel Camel are an English progressive rock band formed in 1971. Led by founding member Andrew Latimer, they have produced fourteen original studio albums, fourteen singles plus numerous live albums and DVDs. Without achieving mass popularity, the band gained a cult following over the years with albums such ...read more.

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.

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 it's the peerless Andrew Latimer, a wonderfully emotional guitar player and flautist and talented composer, who is the heart and soul of this fantastic band.

Listen to Camel and you'll understand much of the evolution of prog. Their essence was to make music with the heart and soul, not with a recipe of complex rythms and rare chrods, which of course they used when necessary as an expressive resource. From that point, the line of showing how amazing musician you are and how complicated you can make a song has become just too frequent, unfortunately, most of the times sacrificing the beauty of the song and the feelings it can transmit to the audience.

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!

17 Supertramp Supertramp is an english progressive rock band that was founded in 1969 in London, United Kingdom with members Roger Hodgson, Frank Farrell, Rick Davies, Kevin Currie, and Dave Winthrop. The band reached their commercial peak with 1979's "Breakfast in America" which sold over 20,000,000 copies worldwide. ...read more.

Crime of the century, Crisis? What crisis? , Even in the quietest moments... Come on Supertramp deserves to be at least top 10!

Tmw when The Police is apparenly a better prog rock band than Supertramp... what?! And I'd rather call Dream Theater and Tool prog metal bands but I'll let that pass.

The entire Crime Of The Century album is superb. Just listen to School and tell me that's not an amazing prog rock song.

Who compiled this lists?
Doesn't make sense!
Yes, Genesis, Supertramp
Close to the Edge, Selling England by the Pound.. and Crime of the
Century
That's the definitive prog rock collection to bring to a desert island
There are many more albums by same bands. But there the perfect ones... Think about it!

Best that ever did it

18 Frank Zappa and The Mothers Of Invention The Mothers of Invention were an American rock band from California that served as the backing musicians for Frank Zappa. Their work is marked by the use of sonic experimentation, innovative album art, and elaborate live shows.
19 The Police The Police were an English rock band formed in London in 1977. For the majority of their history, the band consisted of Sting, Andy Summers and Stewart Copeland. They are most known for their songs "Message In A Bottle", "Don't Stand So Close To Me", "Every Little Thing She Does Is Magic", "Roxanne", ...read more.

So many comments of "they're not prog, they're *extremely obscure subgenre*"

They're not prog, they're post punk

They're reggae and post punk

Best Band ever...

20 Queen Queen are an English rock band formed in 1970. Members were Freddie Mercury (Vocals and Piano), Brian May (Guitar, Vocals), Roger Taylor (Drums, Vocals), and John Deacon (Bass Guitar, Vocals). Before forming into Queen, Brian May and Roger Taylor had played together in a band named Smile. Freddie Mercury ...read more.

Despite what most seem to be saying, Queen were very much a Progressive Rock band. Their earliest works are their most complexly constructed pieces and forward looking studio engineering. Their mid-career was a more Pop driven era for them, but they ended off with a more developed Prog Rock. Even Bohemian Rhapsody is a glorified Progressive Rock track. It's just so popular that people fair to realise how ahead of it's time it was. Prog is all about pushing forward with unique forms of song construction, often incorporating classical themes with experimental recording. This has Queen written all over it. Queen II and A Night At The Opera are fantastic Prog albums. The Miracle and Innuendo help bookend their career with the genre. To label them as just Pop and Rock is a dramatic understatement.

Queen may not have been a prog band, but they loved growing some prog flair into their music. Queen II, A Night at the Opera, and Innuendo can all be considered prog albums. They don't deserve top 10, but they're certainly more progressive than The Smashing Pumpkins.

Queen is Hard Rock and Pop Rock, not Progressive Rock. It doesn't mean they're not awesome, they're just not prog rock.

Hear The March of the Black Queen.

21 Radiohead Radiohead are an English rock band from Abingdon, Oxfordshire, formed in 1985. The band consists of Thom Yorke (lead vocals, guitar, piano, keyboards), Jonny Greenwood (lead guitar, keyboards, other instruments), Colin Greenwoood (bass guitar), Phil Selway (drums), and Ed O'Brien (guitar).

This isn't even prog rock. It's alternative/experimental/electronic rock.

Radiohead IS progressive, since they always try creating new sounds and doing new things, which is what progressive is all about, so shut up if you say they aren't progressive. Have you hear The National Anthem? Everything In Its Right Place? Paranoid Android? Airbag? Climbing Up The Walls? Optimistic? 15 Step? Reckoner? Weird Fishes/Arpeggi? Burn The Witch? Obviously prog.

Clearly you don't know what "progressive" means, in musical terms.

Radiohead are so underrated as a prog band, yeah they may lean more towards the alternative/experimental side of things but prog isn't defined by it's sound but by its progression and complexity. And Radiohead have that. Ok Computer is the best example of this. And they still have prog elements in their later stuff but not as much. They are such an inventive band but I certainly don't think their the best. Pink Floyd will always be the most loved and dominant Prog Group.

It is actually defined by the sound too but whatever. Radiohead have some prog rock songs.

Paranoid Android was prog. But that was about it. They should do more progressive sounding stuff. Paranoid Android is probably my favorite Radiohead song.

22 Deep Purple Deep Purple are an English rock band formed in Hertford in 1968. They are considered to be among the pioneers of heavy metal and modern hard rock, although their musical approach changed over the years. Originally formed as a progressive rock band, the band shifted to a heavier sound in 1970. Deep Purple, ...read more.

They are prog rock. they hopped genres a bit...sure, but John Lord is prog. Child in time, Lazy, Hush...not to mention deeper cuts. AND, they are great, deserve top 10.

I agree. Child in time is prog, and try listening to April from 1969 and tell me that is anything but prog. Absolutely awesome but mostly lost as Deep purple fans are oblivious to the early stuff on the whole.

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.

Deep Purple was formed as a progressive rock band and carried that style throughout their early years. One of the absolute best. 17th on this list is a joke.

23 Smashing Pumpkins The Smashing Pumpkins is an American alternative rock band from Chicago, Illinois, formed in 1988. Formed by frontman Billy Corgan and James Iha, the band included D'arcy Wretzky and Jimmy Chamberlin in its original incarnation.

Love the Pumpkins, but they aren’t progressive rock.

24 Primus Primus is an American rock band based in San Francisco, California, currently composed of bassist Les Claypool, guitarist Larry LaLonde and drummer Tim Alexander. Les Claypool is regarded as one of the best bassists of all time for his slap-bass ability in notable songs like "My Name Is Mud", "The Toys ...read more.

You just can't deny their progressive elements, aka fusing so many genres and such unorthodox writing.. It's just how it is..

Weird but awesome

THEY SUCK(no they rock

Les claypool is a genius.

-agus gojeg

25 The Who The Who is an English rock band formed in London, England in 1964. The most recognizable lineup was Roger Daltrey (lead vocals), Pete Townshend (guitar), John Entwistle (bass guitar), and Keith Moon (drums). They are best known for their live performances and hit songs Baba O'Riley, My Generation, and ...read more.

The made the album tommy, which was a rock opera, an idea that would be influential for progressive rock groups, and in turn their album quadrophenia was influenced by progressive rock, but they are not a prog rock band themselves

I think that should be enough to call them progressive. Also some songs on Who's Next are close to being progressive.

The Who brought the synthesizer to the rock world in the one of the greatest rock albums of all time - Who's Next? Pete Townshend is a music writing genius.

One of the best band of all times but they can't be in this list. Pure rockers like them have nothing to do with prog's epicness. They are epic in their own way

Who?

8Load More
PSearch List