Best Progressive Rock Bands

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The Top Ten

1 Pink Floyd Pink Floyd Pink Floyd were an English progressive rock band formed in London. 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 Guitarist), Nick Mason (Drums), Roger Waters (Vocals and Bass), ...read more.

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!

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 - dchamblin42

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

When you listen to Pink Floyd, you Feel real emotions. You get sad, angry and Then the next second you philosophise about death, life, if there is a god and why you are here. Their albums and songs tackles with emotions, problems in society, etc. They are not like, let’s say Led Zeppelin, which is a band you can listen do any time. With Pink Floyd, sometimes you just (most of the time) you just can’t listen to their songs.

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2 Rush Rush Rush is 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.

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!

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.

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.

Geddy Lee. Enough Said.

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3 Genesis 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

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

Genesis creates an atmosphere like no other with Gabriel and Collin's unique singing voices, Tony Bank's revolutionary keys and synth, and Steve Hackett's masterful atmospheric guitar playing. Of course having the musical genius Mike Rutherford and one of the greatest drummers of all time in Phil Collins doesn't hurt either. Listening to Genesis is like a religious experience and takes you to another place. How the band was able to stay current starting in 1969 all the way through 1991 while losing key member like Gabriel and Hackett shows the unmatched musical skill of these guys. Yes of course Pink Floyd, King Crimson, and Yes are great, but none were able to do what genesis did through two decades at such high success. With that being said Genesis is one of the greatest yet most underrated band of all time!

or camel?

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4 Yes Yes Yes are an English 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.

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.

I consider The Revealing Science of God to be Yes' best prog rock suite. The other suites on Tales from Topographic Oceans are also contenders. - Crwth

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. - Crwth

Can't argue with the top 2, but Yes is far better than Genesis (and I love Genesis) and quite better than Dream Theater. Keep in mind that without them there would be no Rush or Dream Theater anyways. They're music is truly magical and they released 5 consecutive landmark prog records: The Yes Album, Fragile (their best), Close to The Edge, Tales From Topographic Oceans and Relayer. - fidelcanojr

This is bollocks! Pink Floyd are overrated and Rush ain't that special. I'd accept Crimson or Genesis above Yes but none other than them. You guys should really LISTEN to ALL these bands before voting. KANSAS is just as good as Rush if not better (same style, more solid ensemble, way better songwriting and vocalists)and you guys are leaving out bands lik Camel or Jethro Tull. You are definitely missing out!

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5 King Crimson King Crimson King Crimson is a British progressive rock band that was formed in 1969. While the band had numerous band member changes, the head of the band has always been Robert Fripp (Guitar). ...read more.

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.

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!

No other choice possible. I admire Pink Floyd, but they're not really prog.

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6 Dream Theater 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.

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

This band shouldn't even be on this list. Couldn't write an original ( or even good ) song to save their lives. If you want to hear a bunch of boring musicians solo constantly, this is the " band " for you! Come on people, broaden your horizons a bit.

Solo constantly? Listen to Animals as Leaders and tell me that Dream Theater is nothing but solos. - isaaonrtdmtr

I think they are the 2nd best prog band after pink floyd

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7 Porcupine Tree 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.

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.

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!

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.

I can't stop loving this band.

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8 Jethro Tull 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

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 do like King Crimson and Yes quite a bit, I do like Rush and Pink Floyd but I think they are overrated, but I love Jethro Tull because they do one thing well that that most other progressive rock bands only act like it's an afterthought, make their music fun. Thick as a Brick and Aqualung are both awesome albums.

Yas

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9 Emerson 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.

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.

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!

One of the front runners of Prog. You can't discuss the history of Prog with mentioning these three individually or collectively. ELP produced and enormous catalog of music. Their early works are a must for Prog enthusiasts. The live recording of Pictures is one of their finest moments.

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

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.

Tool should be number one of all music because they make real music! I was actually expecting them to be in the top 3 at the very least. They don't have one bad song or just alright song. All their songs are amazing. Please people listen to this band and put them in their rightful place... NO. 1!

Terrible band, oh my god...

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The Contenders

11 Gentle Giant Gentle Giant Gentle Giant were 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.

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

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

Undoubtedly one of the most talented, experimental, truly progressive prog rock bands ever

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12 Kansas 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".

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.

My favorite band

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13 Moody Blues 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.

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.

The band who invented the genre are at 27?! Ridiculous! The moody blues are fantastic. Their core 7 albums from 1967-72 are pure genius. My personal favourite being To our children's children's children.

When they released "Every good boy deserves a favour" they where a music genre themselves

In terms of prog rock, they are #1

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14 Marillion Marillion Marillion are a British rock band, formed in Aylesbury, Buckinghamshire, England, in 1979. They emerged from the post-punk music scene in Britain and existed as a bridge between the styles of punk rock and classic progressive rock, becoming the most commercially successful neo-progressive rock band ...read more.

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.

For me as a Pink Floyd, Genesis and Yes-Fan before I discovered Marillion (for me Marillion = Marillion only in the Fish-period - sorry! ) today in 2016 I discovered Marillion again and deeper than before. And I must say, they are one of the three best groups with Pink Floyd and Genesis! Always I listen to the "clutching at straw"-album I have fight back the tears that this wonderful group couldn't work together any longer - what a waist of wonderful music-talent!

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.

Marbles is the most complete prog album, no arguments

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15 Opeth 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.

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...

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.

They don't have any bad album. Not even mediocre. And the same for every single song. Mikael is a music genius. There is literally no band that made everything that Opeth did.

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16 Van der Graaf Generator

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. - Doom

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.

The greatest band since The Beatles! Music that never grows old, whether in your teens or in your 60's. This bands greatness along with the other fifty or so albums these astounding musicians made with each other under a variety of names (Peter Hammill, The Long Hello, Nic Potter, Judge Smith, Guy Evans, David Jackson) from 1967 until now (2016) currently awaiting a brand new VdGG album (out September 30 2016) - prove quite substantially that these guys comprise the ultimate prog band. No other even close. Sorry Genesis, Yes, and King Crimson fans. Pink Floyd you may ask - not enough material to compete with VdGG 's prolific output. Van der Graaf Generator is for everyone!

Please these guys are so innovative! All these prog metal bands are good but do not belong on this list. The Police really? THEY ARE GOOD BUT. NOT PROG. These guys made so many great compositions and all these prog metal bands are above same with the police. Give good bands respect. come on!

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17 Camel Camel

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.

Moonmadness, Snow Goose, Rain dances, Camel, Mirage
and many more killer albums.

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18 Radiohead 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 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. - PanagosBoi17

This is a really beautiful band. Songs like karma police, last flowers, videotape are so underrated and they're just packed with so many feels. If you give radiohead a fair chance it will become a part of your emotional journey.

Well they have some prog rock songs like paranoid android - PanagosBoi17

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19 Frank Zappa and The Mothers Of Invention 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.
20 Supertramp

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

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

Supertramp should be higher on the list

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21 Smashing Pumpkins 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.

This is a grunge band

They are NOT PROGRESSIVE

Not progressive. They are cool nonetheless.

Billy corgan got a nice head?

22 The Police 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.

They're not prog, they're post punk

They're reggae and post punk

I like you

23 Primus 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 - EvilMangoes

Primus has sucked for almost 30 years. I would call their sound Progressive Grunge. Shake hands with beef, fisticuffs, my name is mud, those damned blue collared tweekers, and laquer head. all groovy. check it out.

also, don't miss out on any of Les Claypool's side projects, such as flying frog brigade and colonel claypool's bucket of bernie brains. Mmmm

24 Soundgarden Soundgarden Soundgarden is an American rock band formed in Seattle, Washington, in 1984 by singer and rhythm guitarist Chris Cornell, lead guitarist Kim Thayil, and bassist Hiro Yamamoto.

Not progressive rock.

25 The Mothers of Invention The Mothers of Invention

Frank Zappa and the Mothers produced some of the most far-out and intricate records of the 60s and 70s. The wide scope of Frank Zappa's work cannot be denied as impressive. By 1975, Zappa had taken progressive rock to new heights (unmatched by most English prog bands, except for Gentle Giant and maybe King Crimson). Even though Zappa was never traditional prog, coming at his music from a different way than, say, Yes or Genesis, Zappa definitely contributed to the medium in a very significant and very American way.

26 The Pineapple Thief

Just discovered this band. Good stuff!

How exactly are The Police, Smashing Pumpkins, Soundgarden, and Radiohead above this band? - naFrovivuS

Beautiful songs and truly progressive, this band is just amazing, especially their latest album "Your Wilderness".

Amazing band, can listen to them for hours. True prog rock.

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27 Mastodon Mastodon Mastodon is an American heavy metal band from Atlanta, Georgia, formed in early 2000 and composed of bassist Troy Sanders, guitarists Brent Hinds and Bill Kelliher and drummer Brann Dailor.

I love Prog Metal bands, as with Dream Theater and Opeth, I think it is unfair to rank them against the bands that influenced them. They are a great band, but Prog Metal is a genre big enough to be considered on its own separately along with all their bands

Crack the skye, listen to this album and you'll wonder why mastodon aren't number 1

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

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28 Queensryche Queensryche Queensrÿche is an American progressive heavy metal band formed in 1982 in Bellevue, Washington, out of the local band the Mob. They released their self titled EP in 1984, but didn’t gain notoriety until the release of their critically acclaimed album Operation: Mindcrime in 1988. As of now, they ...read more.

I am uncertain why this was not on the list.

So overlooked

29 Pendragon

Listen to not of this world. Delightful from start to finish everything that progressive rock should be but avoid men who climb mountains. A right duffer.

Recently started listening to this band, window of life is a fantastic album

Fantastic band along with arena and marillion

30 Roxy Music Roxy Music

They started the "Art Rock" progressive movement. - JervisTetch

They're one of my favourite bands. However, there is no earthly way they can be considered progressive rock. - PetSounds

31 IQ

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.

One of the most interesting bands I have ever listened to. You may listen to one of their songs a hundred times in a row, and still discoover something new. Amazing albums, complex and sublime songs.
With a suble mix of talent and skills, these guys manage to express nearly anything in the best possible way.
And after over 30 years, they still manage to evolve, never remaining stuck in their old ways. It's very interesting to notice their evolution over the decades.
I just won't leave the house without their music on my player!

Wonderful band,followed them since 81,in my opinion up there in my top 3. Which is e.l.p.genesis and then I.q.

32 Focus Focus

To be honest they should be in the top 5.

I think they're so low due to lack of a long successful career but the music stands up and should be top 20.

Hocus pocus was a great song and they should be higher

Great mostly-instrumental band. Very unique sound. desserves top 20

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33 A Perfect Circle

Can't believe you would leave them out folks, they along with Tool should be in the top five with Pink Floyd Led Zeppelin and Yes! Really. EP Old Hippie

34 Transatlantic

Transatlantic definitely deserve more attention. Epic 26 minute+ tracks like stranger in your soul and all of the above are amazing.

Some of the greatest musicians in modern prog deserve better than this position.

Maybe not #1, but should be in the top 10 in my humble opinion.

Top 5 right here

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35 Electric Light Orchestra Electric Light Orchestra The Electric Light Orchestra are an English rock band from Birmingham. They were formed in 1970 by songwriters/multi-instrumentalists Roy Wood and Jeff Lynne with drummer Bev Bevan.

I find it hard to believe that ELO hasn't hit this list yet. Some of their prog rock songs are the best I've ever heard, and they continue to be one of my favorite bands today.

What?! ELO is gotta be my favorite band along with The Who and Pink Floyd but what are The Who, Queen and Smashing Pumpkins doing here?

I've always thought of ELO as outside of the mainstream, but not necessarily my definition of prog rock. Still, I love 'em.

How are they not in the top 10?!

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36 Renaissance

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... - theodorestone

I love this band not just for their music (though that is a big reason) but also because of how amazing Annie Haslam is as both a singer and a person in general. She brings a unique sound to the Prog world, but also a new light and energy.

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.

The best prog band EVER.

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37 Barclay 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.

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!

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.

Synonymous with all that is good about prog rock. A very loyal and devoted fan base, even in the UK where they were criminally under-rated. Google and you will find three separate fan club websites, since they now continue as two separate bands. Like so many bands that have splintered, including the Beatles and the Moodies, they failed to realise that together they were greater than the sum of their individual parts. However their music lives on and never grows stale.

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38 Can Can Can was a German experimental rock band formed in Cologne, West Germany in 1968 by the core quartet of Holger Czukay (bass), Irmin Schmidt (keyboards), Michael Karoli (guitar), and Jaki Liebezeit (drums). The group cycled through several vocalists, including Malcolm Mooney ('68–70) and Damo Suzuki ...read more.

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

Less prog more krautrock and psychedelic... - Mcflupy

Tago Mago is great! - SammySpore

39 The Who The Who The Who is an English rock band formed in London, England in 1964 . The members are Roger Daltrey (lead singer), Pete Townshend (guitarist), John Entwistle (bassist), and Keith Moon (drums). They are best known for their live performances and hit songs Baba O'Riley, My Generation, and Won't Get Fooled ...read more.

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

40 Captain Beefheart & His Magic Band
41 Gryphon

They explored new musical territory fusing medieval music and rock. Incorporating diverse instrumentation such as recorders, crumhorms, bassoon and mandolin they sounded like no-one else. Richard Harvey and Brian Gulland are brilliant multi-intrumentalists, Graeme Taylor, like Steve Howe, a versatile guitarist in many styles. David Oberle great on a drum-kit or various percussion and vocals. Later members of comparable ability. Pity they only lasted for 5 albums

42 Gong

This band definitely needs to be higher up on this list. What an incredible band! They brought such a unique and interesting sounds to progressive rock or music at all. Amazing use of synthesizers, really tasty bass lines, incredibly goofy but great lyrics in it's own way and much more. This band is at least in the top 10 prog-bands ever in my book and I am sure that many can agree.

They moved around various styles but surely they should be included in progressive rock - AndyBasic

43 Saga

Am I the only person on here who recognizes the greatness of this band? Rush gets all the plaudits for Canadian prog, but Saga is the true king. Check out fantastic later works like Trust and 20/20 and discover what you are missing. Unique and magical.

One of my favorites love them.

Saga now and forever.

44 Twelfth Night
45 UK

Although short lived, UK should be nearer the top of the list, in my opinion. Seems like few people are familiar with the band, although John Wetton and Bill Bruford are sure to ring a bell with prog rock fans. Good stuff, check 'em out.

The best progrock band ever.

Saw them tour their first lp!

Love em,love em,love em.

46 Queen 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.

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.

47 Caravan

In the Land Of Grey And Pink is in my opinion the beat Prog lp ever, and the band are still going strong

From what I've seen when out and about on the web Caravan and Camel share a similar level of popularity within the genre. Little did I know I'd come on here and see 60 odd spaces between them!

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... "

Caravan at 85?! - BrideiMacBella

48 Uriah Heep Uriah Heep Uriah Heep are an English rock band formed in London in 1969 that was one of the top rock bands in the early 1970s. Twelve of the band's albums have made it to the UK Albums Chart (Return to Fantasy reached No. 7 in 1975). Uriah Heep's distinctive features include a massive keyboard sound, strong vocal ...read more.

Why is this found only in the seven page? This band made such masterpieces such as "July Morning" and "The Magician's Birthday," that they deserve a spot in page 4 at least.

Mainly rock but lots of excellent Prog songs make Uriah Heep a band that needs to be much further up this list.

July morning is a progressive rock classic

easy livin - PanagosBoi17

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49 The Velvet Underground The Velvet Underground The Velvet Underground was an American rock band, active between 1964 and 1973, formed in New York City.

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.

50 Deep Purple 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.

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.

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.

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.

Deep Purple didn't have long songs like most prog rock bands do. But there musical style was pretty much like a prog rock - zxm

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