Top Ten Best Progressive Rock Songs


The Top Ten

1 Supper's Ready - Genesis

Man! I love Shine On You Crazy Diamond so much, but Supper' Ready is not only the best progressive rock song of all time, it's also the best song of all time. The only reason this song isn't as popular as Bohemian Rhapsody or Stairway To Heaven is because it's 22 minutes long, and people can hardly listen to a song for more than five minutes. Nevertheless, us progressive rock fans know the greatness of this song. And come to think of it, it's better this way, because it makes it more special, more unique when less people know the existence of this epic masterpiece.

It is a really good song but you can't call it the best song of all time just because it is your favourite. - PanagosBoi17

Aw man, can't be beat. Pink Floyd is great, although I would have chosen something other than SOYCD, perhaps Astronomy Domine or Careful With That Axe, Eugene? But Supper's Ready is the cream of the crop, a near perfect prog rock epic.

Careful With That Axe Eugene is acid rock I think but whatever. - PanagosBoi17

At the time I was a YES fanatic always going to the "record store" looking for more YES or similar style music I always called it "Classical" rock back then because it reminded me of classical music only the 20th century version. Anyway, back to the "record store" one day I walked in and suddenly heard something that gave me goosebumps music to my ears as it were. I went up to the counter and asked "who is that? " he replied GENESIS I was ecstatic he pointed over to the wall where new releases were on display I saw there were 4 GENESIS albums! on display "which one is this one playing" I said..."GENESIS LIVE" he said, I felt light headed (not because of what I may or may not have been smoking) but the fact that I found more Classical Rock and was amazed that this was GENESIS LIVE a live album sounding this good AMAZING! I was and am a die-hard GENESIS FREAK. I bought Nursery Crimes and Foxtrot. Supper's Ready is my all time favorite song. by the way I went back to the record the next ...more

Echoes, SYD, and Time are all amazing but they can't beat the amazing storytelling of this epic tune. The writing, both instrumentally and lyrically, comes together so well. My favorite line in this song has to be "I know a fireman who looks after the fire." Goes to show what prog can bring.

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2 Echoes - Pink Floyd

Live at Pompeii will get you appreciating this song a lot.

Not just best progressive song ever (just slightly ahead of Supper's Ready in my opinion), it is possibly the best song ever.

It's nowhere near as good as Supper's Ready. Echoes is way too long while Supper's Ready has far more content to go with its length. - PlanetDeadwing

Very deep and probably the best song ever made. I think I beats the rest of the songs in this list because it is more simple, does not have a long opera like story nor the exaggerations of the other good prog songs like big solos or massive notes per second even comparing to other Pink Floyd songs.

How can this NOT be #1?

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3 2112 - Rush

You know the real reason this song is not number 1 is because nobody knows who rush is. People do not pay much attention to canadian bands. It is kind of sad actually. But this song has the most amazing lyrics and I love Geddy's bass in the temples of syrinx. Amazing musical masterpeice. Rush is the most underrated band there is to date. Rolling stone gives rush 2/5 stars on almost every album. I hope whoever is reading this does not like rolling stone. Or the hall of fame voters. Ha ha ha.

Perhaps one of the best and most diverse songs ever written, lyrically, and musically this song is flawless, unrivaled in creativity, those who don't like this song have brains that can't handle the epicness

this song is one of a few that really touchs you. You fell the emotion in the lyrics build up in your body as the history progress... amazing

Pink Floyd isn’t even progressive rock! 2112 should be above Echoes.

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4 Shine on You Crazy Diamond (Part VI-IX) - Pink Floyd

I love Supper's Ready by Genesis. It's defiantly one of my favorite songs of all time. I'm gonna vote for Shine On You Crazy Diamond, though. Pink Floyd is my favorite band and they make my favorite music. Shine On You Crazy Diamond is a masterpiece as well as 2112 from Rush, The Knife, Supper's Ready and the Musical Box by Genesis, Roundabout by Yes, Close To The Edge also by Yes, Passage To Bangkok and Twilight Zone by Rush, a long list of songs by Pink Floyd progressive rock is defiantly my favorite genre. It takes true talent to make progressive rock and true taste to listen to it. 21st Century Schizoid Man is another great progressive rock song.

No doubt about this, this song takes you for a ride, changing your mood over and over makes you think strange and experience a different dimension.

There's only one other song that can come close to its caliber, "careful with that axe eugene"

I love this song, whenever I hear it, I became a part of it and I just flying away from this world. Excellent, truelly amazing. The best progressive band should make a great song, and they've done it pretty well. I love Shine On You Crazy Diamond. I love Pink Floyd.

Part 6 of Shine On might be the best instrumental piece in musical history

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5 Close to the Edge - Yes

Close to the Edge is a masterpiece. Shine on you crazy diamond is vastly overrated. It's cool but mostly consists of the band jamming. Supper's Ready is a lot better but Close to the Edge is on a whole other level. All the instruments are equal in a perfect mix and nothing really stands out except the music itself. The abstract lyrics are an instrument themselves and when you listen to the piece you feel like LIVING. The different sections of the song cover a spectrum of different moods ranging from mayhem, melancholy, chilling, yearning, rage, mysterious, happy and serene. This song, if any, is made of pure awesome. - EnglandSeller

To me, it doesn't matter what order all these songs come in: each one is a masterpiece. However, Close to the Edge is more than just a masterpiece. This song is how I, a man with no religion but himself, have come to experience God (and no, I'm not literally claiming to have talked to a bearded man in the sky). The perfect storm of musicality, spirituality, and emotion, these 18 minutes laid out by Yes are the closest to the edge of perfection any song will ever reach.

I personally think Close to the Edge should be on the top of the list with Supper's Ready close behind. This song is just a masterpiece. I think Close to the Edge is the best progressive rock album ever and is certainly Yes at their highest creative and talented peak. Shine on is good and I like Pink Floyd and they're one of my favorite bands but they are overrated. I'm not the biggest Rush fan and 2112 is good but when I want to listen to prog, Yes is always my first choice.

Great song. My favorite Yes song, in my opinion

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6 Octavarium - Dream Theater

This is the very best song to listen to 1 000 000 0000 000 times, because you will never get bored no matter what! This song got everything that a song needs to be perfect, plus everything else the dream theater can come up with, we are talking about getting chilled to the bone, amazed of amazing guitar solos and riffs, and the very best harmony of any song EVER! LISTEN TO IT OR BE A BRICK. - mariuzmu00e6lum

Different moods to take us to a journey of life, complexity and length what prog song needs. And last but not least it is presented to us by the most talented band of our time.

This song is purely amazing, however, if I was stating my absolute favorite songs, Echoes and Dogs would be higher. So why did I vote for Octavarium? This is about best prog songs, not including psychedelic, and Octavarium definitely has an edge on them.

Masterpiece. Echoes is good but come on

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7 Starless - King Crimson

I always feel this is a song about being depressed The song can take you to hell and back. Yet at the end it lifts you up, leaving you ahead again and seeing the beauty of it all.

To quote Pitchfork (because it is so well put): ""Starless" feels like a summation of all King Crimson had accomplished to that point. Through its strictly controlled verses, hackle-raising crescendo and wild freak-out coda, the band wrings moments of startling beauty and exuberant energy from the dread and dissonance at the song's core."

Artist: King Crimson
Album: Red (a must have)

The most epic, technically dazzling song you have never heard. The last 2 minutes still give me chills and always leaves me scratching my head, wondering how did anyone come up with this? Robert Fripp did, and he always will. Long Live The King - dasilvan2000

This song has the depth and psychedelia of any 20 minute long prog song but at the same time the "obvious" and simple melodies that will make you love it immediately. There's no struggle at the beginning when listening to this song yet you will never grow tired of it because of it's incredible depth.

It's kind of the perfect song considering that.

Shows that a song doesn't have to be 20 minutes long to be a mind blowing prog song - kempokid

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8 Roundabout - Yes

Best intro of any song ever created. Also, stunning bass riff...

They always play this last at every Yes concert - Sabbath

Actually they play Starship Trooper at the end of every Yes concert.

THE song that comes to my mind when you mention "prog rock."

<= To Be Continued | | |

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9 The Gates of Delirium - Yes

The most beautiful, dynamic masterpiece ever made on this planet. I've never listened to a song that could astound me as much as the Gates of Delirium. There is so much skill, technique, complexity, insane writing skills, and most of all emotion in this song. If you have not heard it you must give it a full listen. Note that this song may be too much to handle for inexperienced listeners/musicians. - cheese_face

I continue to find it hard to find an equal to this masterpiece. I love most pre Trevor Rabin Yes, but even Close To The Edge doesn't quite have the dimensions that Gates has. Didn't even need Wakeman to make this work. Wow!

The most complex song, pure excellence, Yes at their best. Not of this world! I would also recommend To Be Over. What a song!

This song is amazing. The second song on the album Sound Chacer is as well.Alan Whites drumming at the start is intense. My favourite YES album.

10 Thick As a Brick, Pt. 1 - Jethro Tull

The greatest song ever written! I am a huge prog rock fan and I know all of these songs, but none of them can ever touch THICK AS A BRICK, which is 45 minute long masterpiece and which incorporated 4 (! ) music genres! Again-- the greatest song ever written!

Not sure why it is listed as "Pt. 1", since the whole thing is one song... Anyways I would've picked Pink Floyd - Echoes but I gave Thick As a Brick my vote because I think it should definitely be higher in the list. This song has so much intricate and interwoven instrumental layering, and the lyrics are just fantastic as well.

What a great song the complexity of the magnificent lyrics are truly mind altering.. I have listened to the album over 100 times never gets old like a great movie. Thank you Ian.

Number one for me, 44 minutes of my life I’ll never ask for back.

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The Newcomers

? Trilogy - Emerson, Lake & Palmer
? Funeral for a Friend / Love Lies Bleeding - Elton John

The Contenders

11 Comfortably Numb - Pink Floyd

This is the best song of all time, but guys, come on, this isn't Prog!

While it's not as "progressive" as other songs in this list, it's absolutely fantastic. - PetSounds

The only reason this isn't higher is because it isn't progressive rock, but still a great song!

As great as it is, it isn't quite prog-type. - naFrovivuS

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12 21st Century Schizoid Man - King Crimson

This song is a great example of progressive rock at its best, by the band who helped to jumpstart the genre. The lyrics are relevant, Robert Fripp is great and the music is a genius arrangement.

Very antagonistic lyrics with absolutely amazing instrumental section in the middle. One of my favorites.

I love this song so much. The sax and the guitar are amazing. But I like Epitaph better.

I am a 21st Century Schizoid Man. - Pony

13 Dogs - Pink Floyd

This is an amazing. It's not only one of the best Pink Floyd songs but one of the best in the world. I seriously think this song is vastly underrated.

A lengthy masterpiece which puts you into a different world, and it has really had an impact on the way I look at society. Clever lyrics, a brilliant multitude of guitar solos and simply an interesting atmosphere. Possibly best Pink Floyd song.

I listened to this song a couple of days ago, actually. Long but great song. - Pony

Meh it is k but sheep is way more awesome in my opinion. - PanagosBoi17

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14 Karn Evil 9 - Emerson, Lake & Palmer

It's a great keyboard. Maybe better than Hoedown! I love them. It's unbelieveble in this incredible fusion of organ and guitar.

It is a complete master piece of progressive rock.

Unbelievably beautiful, this song is where the trio shows their true performance!

A masterpiece that puts the rest to shame.

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15 Anesthetize - Porcupine Tree

Very happy to see this song here. MASTERPIECE made up of three songs moored into one 18 minute journey. A truly amazing piece of music

This is with no doubt completely underrated song from the most successful underground rock band ever cemented, 17 min epic masterpiece, still dreaming of new album from pt

There's no prog song better than this


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16 Tarkus - Emerson, Lake & Palmer

You really understand how difficult and complex is Tarkus when you try to play it. It has many tempo changes and its structure is very atypical. 'enough said.

A complete masterpiece if you haven't heard it you don't know progressive rock or rock in general it is an amazing musical achievement!

Brilliant and complex, Tarkus spins a melodic tale that captivates the listener as no other.

Amazing "! Deserves #1.
My list -
2. supper's ready
3. Starless.
5. Close to the Edge
6. Six Degrees of Inner Turbulence
7. Thick as a Brick
8. Echoes
9. Atom Heart Mother
10. Arriving Somewhere but Not Here

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17 Shine on You Crazy Diamond (Parts I-V) - Pink Floyd

Those four notes... Nothing in the world can beat them.

Probably the best song of all time. It simply doesn't have flaws. But why not the entire song? :c

Sexiest guitar ever, beautiful song.

Better than parts VI-IX. - jimicenafromintempo

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18 Firth of Fifth - Genesis

Songs ain't got to be 20 min to be the best it just needs to amazing especially the piano organs guitar and vocals

Unbelievable piano intro! When I first heard this song, I listened to it 7 times in a row; I have never listened to a song twice in a row before then!

Still as powerful today as when it was first released. Banks & Hackett put on a clinic.

One of the best prog rock songs you will ever hear. Stunning piano intro. A hacket masterclass in guitar solo's... the bass pedals... the drums... hello..whats not to love in this.

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19 A Day in the Life - The Beatles

Come on. I love this song--probably my #3 Beatles song. But it's not prog. - PetSounds

... Is this song even PROG? - Pony

Why have the Beatles got to be on every list even if it's unrelated? You could find the Beatles on a list of most beautiful ponies...

The Beatles were not a prog rock band, but that doesn't mean they can't have a prog rock song. This is prog rock, and probably one of the first ones.

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20 A Change of Seasons - Dream Theater

This should be at least in the top 10. It's one of the best progressive songs ever made.

I never get tired of listening to this amazing epic!

This song is pure awesomeness poured in a single musical wonder.

While Octavarium is an epic masterpiece which was created as tribute for most of the bands in this list,
A change of seasons includes the unique DNA of Dream Theater within it. For me, it means a lot.

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21 The Musical Box - Genesis

A genuine prog-rock masterpiece. The genius of this song can not be expressed in words. It's as close to magic as you're ever gonna get without LSD or other psychedelics.

Pure joy to listen with its mood changes, great singing and amazing guitar and keyboard atmosphere. Orgasmic! Thank you Genesis for this Chef d'oeuvre :-)

Just magical, lucky the man who does not know it yet and has to listen to it for the first will take him out of time and space... you can listen to it as much as you live and it stays alive alive and forever fresh, never boring, just magical.

A magical experience every time I listen to this. Drama at ist best

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22 In the Court of the Crimson King - King Crimson

What is this awesome song doing down here?

The song that defines the genre

The ultimate. Yet to be surpassed

Awesome concept song. Greg lake voice driving!

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23 Lady Fantasy - Camel

Wow great work! Nevertheless the lyrics are quite mysterious and should be more precise. But this doesn't mean this is not a timeless masterpiece, and in fact it is!

That solo at 2:30... amazing.

One of the best of camel

Best of all time!

24 Time - Pink Floyd

Wow! Beautiful list with wonderful songs! And wonderful artists! But personally I love "Time" because of many things: after listening this song, I wanted to play guitar (Gilmour is just great! ), and the lyrics remind me my parents who don't want me to do what I really want... And Mason is brilliant in the introduction!

One of my favorites... No doubt! This song completes the whole album concept, in which you hear the perception of time from the point of view of any given person, who once is young, but realizes that time flies away one day... Excellent and very recommendable!
Long life to Pink Floyd!

I believe it's the best song of the album "The dark side of the moon", and of course it's one of the best songs of progressive rock.

One of my favorites... - Pony

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25 Nine Feet Underground - Caravan
26 The Sleepwalkers - Van Der Graaf Generator

Van der Graaf Generator and Peter Hammill are, probably, the best example of what prog rock means. Listen it loud and, please, pay attention to the words. Simply great. Top of class. They should be placed in NUMBER 1 in this list... You can not find in any other classic prog rock bands the musical scenery and lyrics brought by the songs in the following albums: "H to He, Who Am The Only One" (1970), "Pawn Hearts" (1971), "Godbluff" (1975), "Still Life" (1976) and "World Record" (also released in 1976). Please do not forget also the solo albums by Petter Hammill, in particular "The Silent Corner and The Empty Stage" (released in 1974), during a hiatus in the activities of Van der Graaf Generator.

YES YES YES YES YES! I LOVE this band, and this song! The lyrics are genius, David Jackson's sax and flute is brilliant, Peter Hammill's voice is amazing... Basically, everything that makes VDGG such a fantastic group is all demonstrated in this one song. - Mard

27 Blackwater Park - Opeth
28 Epitaph - King Crimson

so peaceful and beutiful. releaves you from stress. best king crimson song. although shine on is also 1 of my favs, its already #1. - russian

Best, most musically sophisticated piece of music to come out of the 20th century. That is a fact, not up for debate. Case closed.

Epic, haunting, beautiful, simply perfect. My favourite song of all time.

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29 Dancing With the Moonlit Knight - Genesis

Wonderful hackett guitar

They had a lot of great openings - "TLLDOTB", "The Musical Box", "Dancing on the Volcano", "Watcher of the Skies", but this is the best - so powerful!


30 Pull Me Under - Dream Theater

A great song, but honestly probably the worst song off Images and Words. Learning to Live deserves this spot.

This song is pulled me into Dream Theater and prog world.
One of the greatest songs! - tomislav95

I listen to this song everyday. This song is nice example for progressive music and also the best from Dream Theater. I could listen the intro for rest of my life..

Learning to Live is better than Pull Me Under.

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31 The Divine Wings of Tragedy - Symphony X
32 Six Degrees of Inner Turbulence - Dream Theater

This song has perfect lyrics, switches genres several times and manages to keep a central theme running for 42 minutes with no boring the listener.

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33 Bohemian Rhapsody - Queen

Um yeah, despite what a lot of people think, Queen may have been a pop/rock band, but they did do some pretty good Prog Rock songs. Bohemian Rhapsody is a pure example of one of them.

Bohemian Rhapsody Is Prog (checked and verified on the Internet and Wikipedia ) - Toucan

No trust in the wikipedia. They change their genres in every week. - zxm

Sure it may not be the same length as 2112, Supper's Ready, Karn Evil 9, Echoes or Closer to the Edge but Bohemian Rhapsody is still a masterpiece in it's own right!

Almost not fair to vote for this because it's so much more than just the greatest prog song ever. If I were to cut this out of the discussion though, then Supper's Ready would be the easy choice, followed closely by 2112, Xanadu, Cygnus X-1, maybe another Genesis tune or two, possibly a Yes song, and undoubtably 21st Century Schizoid Man.

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34 A Plague of Lighthouse Keepers - Van Der Graaf Generator

In my opinion this composition should be #1. It's real work of genius.
The most powerfull and deep composition of progressive rock music.

I can't quite understand how anyone who has heard this song would vote anything else.

If you want to listen to only one song it should be this one. This is the essence of 70's progressive rock. Timeless piece of art!

No prog song ever is as good as "Supper�'s Ready". That being said, this is as close as it gets.

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35 Schism - Tool

I think Tool it's awesome.. Because they had the courage to make a different kind of music... I don't think that everyone could listen to this kind of music... And I respect them for this :) ( Sorry for my bad english )...

I was hoping to see Tool here, thank you.

Maynard has the best vocals for a prog band

Amazing song, favourite from tool. Just try to figure out the timing and understand the meaning, you'll be scratching your head

36 Tom Sawyer - Rush

Why Is It On 116th Position?

37 10,000 Days (Wings Part 2) - Tool
38 Christmas Eve (Sarajevo 12/24) - Savatage
39 Trains - Porcupine Tree

Porcupine tree is my send favourite band behind Pink Floyd, and I like this song. But arriving somewhere but not here or anesthetize deserves this place for sure. Trains is more of a pop song than a progressive rock masterpiece. Still a great song though

Always the summer slipping away... This song is not just progressive music, lyrically it's so so beautiful, It's like a ghost of a memory, when I listen to it takes me on a ride of a emotional whirlwind. It deserves to be in top 3 at least

The clean intro guitar riff just blows you away and as it slowly starts to build the tempo of train moving on rails you will get goosebumps..

The best part is When I here the engine pass I kissing you wide...
And the ending drums and guitar just make you bang your head till you cry


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40 Ashes Are Burning - Renaissance


41 Still Life - Van Der Graaf Generator
42 Wish You Were Here - Pink Floyd

It's made by Pink Floyd, but it's probably their LEAST prog song, amazing song though

Nah several species of small furry animals gathered together in a cave and grooving with a pict is less prog - MilkmanBoi

This song is beauty incarnate. everything about it is perfect

A lot less of prog, but nonetheless amazing. - naFrovivuS

Not the best, but really should be higher.

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43 Arriving Somewhere But Not Here - Porcupine Tree

The defining piece of today's progmasters - this 12 minute epic has everything that porcupine tree is about - ethereal lyrics, atmospheres that make your hair stand and gorgeous guitars. Wilson & Co can take a bow. They outdid their own selves with this one. And that is something!

In some ways Porcupine Tree is better than Pink Floyd. This song proves that.

Anesthetize is greater than trains or this but still

Why did this drop to 41? It's easily one of the best and most moving prog songs ever!

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44 The March of the Black Queen - Queen

QUEEN - The greatest band in the universe! All their repertoire is phenomenal, and this song is absolutely MAGNIFICENT! Queen's hits are super, but their hidden gems are a treasure trove of sheer ecstasy! An excursion into auditory bliss!

I love Queen so I'm going with this one.

This is a great song, but not prog. - Pony

45 One of These Days - Pink Floyd

Progressive rock + hard rock = amazing badass rock - MilkmanBoi

Ign 10/10 - MilkmanBoi

46 Ice - Camel

Maybe in ten top of camel

Great instrumental song

47 The Revealing Science of God - Yes

I love a multitude of Yes songs, but rate this one highest of all. It's one of Yes' long songs and contains more sections than any other. It has a breathtaking atmospheric chant at the beginning, and another at the finish; Jon Anderson, Steve Howe, and Chris Squire singing in cascades; and glorious instrumentation. This song is lush, powerful, striking, wondrous, yearning, haunting, meandering, eloquent, dramatic, striding, fun, subtle, bluesy, lilting, intense, spacious, and majestic. It has depth and height. A treasure.

48 The Poet/After the Day - Barclay James Harvest

The Poet segues seamlessly into After The Day, and the band usually play them in sequence. Together they demonstrate extremely well what BJH were all about - initially a gentle, folky, melodic song but leading into a dramatic tour de force complete with soaring mellotron and crashing guitar crescendo. Never fails to produce that special tingle-factor - but then so do many of their other songs, and the standard being so uniformly high, everyone will no doubt have a different favourite.

The definitive prog rock classic from BJH's early years - the climax never fails to get the spine tingling!

49 Take Me On and On - Electric Light Orchestra
50 Paranoid Android - Radiohead
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List Stats

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328 listings
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Top Remixes (20)

1. The Gates of Delirium - Yes
2. Nine Feet Underground - Caravan
3. Lady Fantasy - Camel
1. Echoes - Pink Floyd
2. Supper's Ready - Genesis
3. 2112 - Rush
1. Supper's Ready - Genesis
2. Pull Me Under - Dream Theater
3. Shine on You Crazy Diamond (Part VI-IX) - Pink Floyd

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