Top 10 Crossover Prog ArtistsFor more on crossover prog, and other sub-genres of prog, start here: http://www.progarchives.com/subgenre.asp?style=3
Crossover prog is a sub genre of progressive rock, that utilizes elements found in more popular and mainstream music, along with jazz and folk. Despite these utilities, crossover prog still follows the general format of prog. Sophistication, complexity, virtuosity, you name it.
For this list, I decided to go outside the boundaries of merely bands and add on solo artists associated with the genre as well. You may be able to recognize a number of names here. With that said, here are the best of crossover prog.
The Top Ten
Their act series is easily one of my favourite music projects, not only because of how each song sounds like part of a musical, but with some extreme creativity and songwriting skill thrown in, but because the plot itself is just filled with character and personality, being better written than a lot musicals in my opinion. Each character has their own motifs that run through their music, such as the villain, the Pimp and the Priest, always having a jazzier, big band edge to his tracks. The vocals are also simply incredible in my opinion - kempokid
The Dear Hunter is essentially a modern spin on crossover prog, and may appeal to fans of The Mars Volta and/or Coheed and Cambria. They are a very ambitious band, having released 5 concept albums all connected to one another. This illustrates their capabilities when it comes to writing, as making so many albums that string together shows how dedicated you are to your work.
Let it be known that I LOVE Big Big Train. They're under a personal record label and have released a great array of different songs that'll appeal to a number of different people, particularly fans of folk music. My personal favorite albums I'd recommend are Folklore and Grimspound, especially for those who want to get into their more recent material.
Phideaux Xavier is a multi-instrumentalist, and that can definitely tell you a lot about the talent they possess. The combination of the folk sound that most crossover groups would likely go for, along with the psychedelic sound similar to Pink Floyd's make for a great experience. Phideaux is very lively and compelling, also being quite deep at times. I'd recommend most "Chupacabras", "Doomsday Afternoon", and their most recent album "Inferno".
Sure, they don't seem like prog to some, but what prog songs they have released are certainly distinct in their craft. Radiohead definitely doesn't appeal to a mainstream ear, despite their popularity. Maybe to some they can be seen as a current pioneer in modern prog, and although I personally don't see it that way at all, I still respect their contributions to the world of prog.
Amazing band but their Experimental Rock,Alternative Rock and Electronica.Not Progressive Rock. - DarkBoi-X
The Prog Archives enlisted them under crossover prog, which is why they're here.
Oldfield is definitely a big name in the prog industry. He's had a number of critically acclaimed albums, such as "Ommadawn" and "Tubular Bells". He has also worked with such artists as Jon Anderson (Yes) and Hall and Oates. His contributions, alongside his immense musical ability and masterful compositions, have made Mike Oldfield a staple of the prog world.
Former frontman for heavy prog group Porcupine Tree. His solo projects really show dynamics and master mixing, and really appeals to the listeners of precisely produced songs. What really stands out is that his solo projects are hard to compare to other artists.
Although they've been mostly associated with pop, this group definitely had their contributions to the prog world with a few of their more obscure works. Their music can be seen rather as lounge music, yet still "proggy" in a way.
The Moody Blues were one of the first prog groups to emerge, and they really had an innovation to the genre. Their albums they released in the 60's are some of the most sensational of what was yet to be crossover prog, but still have helped them retain a name in the grand sub-genre. Rest In Peace, Ray Thomas. You helped develop the world of prog.
Musical project with Alan Parsons and Eric Woolfson. The group had released a number of albums that mostly revolved around a central theme, and drew inspiration from such names as Monte Carlo and Edgar Allan Poe.
Maybe to a prog expert ear they can be considered art rock, but their unique sound also gives them a name in crossover. Right off the bat this group really transcended the sounds of prog and utilized different concepts than most would likely imagine. Quite a powerful band, if you may.
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