Top 10 Most Progressive Songs by Bands That Aren't Progressive Rock

Progressive Rock and Metal are music genres, defined by them progressing throughout their songs and not repeating themselves!
Still there are some bands, that made songs like that, without being a Prog-Rock or Prog-Metal Band! This list counts down those songs!

The Top Ten

1 Hallowed Be Thy Name - Iron Maiden Hallowed Be Thy Name - Iron Maiden

Most progressive Iron Maiden songs in my opinion: The Talisman, Sign of the Cross, Dream of Mirrors, The Nomad, Infinite Dreams, Seventh Son of a Seventh Son, The Book of Souls. - Alkadikce

Maiden is rooted in prog, Steve Harris is a huge Gabriel era Genesis fan, also Wishbone Ash, Jethro Tull, etc

Don't people listen to Iron Maiden. They have always been a little prog. - TheStargazer

What does progressive rock mean? - Feirceraven

Progressive Rock is a genre of music that fuses themes of Psychedelic Rock, Jazz, and Classical music, as well as Electronica in some more modern variations of the genre. Progressive Rock is also mainly known for utilizing longer track lengths, odd time signatures, complex or unconventional song structures, and improvised or lengthy instrumental sections. Lyrically, Progressive Rock songs are meant to either be thought provoking, psychedelic, or also tell some kind of story. - The_Crimson_King

2 Baba O'Riley - The Who Baba O'Riley - The Who

One of my favorite tunes of all time. I can't help but sing along to it! - MontyPython

Before the drum solo (semi) there is a long instrumental part. which kinda makes this song a prog rock song. but the band was never a prog rock band. - zxm

I never thought this was Progressive Rock. Personally eminence front is more prog than this but whatever sinks your ship. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ - Brobusky

3 Child In Time - Deep Purple Child In Time - Deep Purple

Amazing song in every way. - Adrian_4

This was one of the first great examples of heavy prog songs. Just amazing! The outro, the vocals and screams... And the solo is awesome, too. This song gives me goosebumps every time I hear it. In case you don't know this is an anti-war song. - Metal_Treasure

Come on people... Deep Purple's first three albums are pure prog. - TheStargazer

Best music of this amazing band.

4 A Little Piece of Heaven - Avenged Sevenfold
5 The March of the Black Queen - Queen

Queen incorporated so many styles that they had a prog sound that made them stand out so well! My favorite song of all time!

"The Prophet's Song" also comes to mind. - PetSounds

6 Dante's Inferno - Iced Earth

All time favorite - great vox, riffing, build up, melody. Even though it's very long I never get tired of it. - Metal_Treasure

7 Homecoming - Green Day
8 Bohemian Rhapsody - Queen
9 Paranoid Android - Radiohead


10 April - Deep Purple

If you like prog stuff, this is a gem. This beautiful piece was released in 1969 and has progressive elements with symphonic arrangements.
It's mostly instrumental and it's over 12 min long. I guess it came out too early... and nobody noticed it back then. Deep Purple is the most underrated band in the world - they have great songs nobody knows. - Metal_Treasure

Deep Purple was prog rock though. But not like other prog bands. - zxm

The Contenders

11 Telegraph Road - Dire Straits

I've never heard this song until I saw this list. I figured for the top few, "Okay, that's pretty progressive," then I saw a Dire Straits song on the list and I knew I had to listen to it just to be sure. HOLY CRAP GUYS! This song is crazy good. Crazy progressive! I love prog rock, and classic rock, and for these guys to combine them like that is just absolutely astounding. I almost cried tears of joy when listening to this song. Give it a listen please!

Very good song, but progressive is whole Love Over Gold album - PinkF

12 Master of Puppets - Metallica

This song is more complex than many people give it credit for. Metallica is very good at hiding their complexity and making a strange thing easy to listen to. Prog is alive and well in many of their songs, even if it doesn't dominate the sound. Takes some digging around in any given song, though.

This is thrash metal not progressive metal - PanagosBoi

13 Art of Life - x-Japan
14 Jesus of Suburbia - Green Day

It starts of kind of like Moonage Daydream by David bowie and evolves into an epic piece that mesmerizes you. Then the song ends and you realize 9 minutes has passed

15 Stairway to Heaven - Led Zeppelin

Someone explain why this isn't #1!

Not really that big. but measuring the whole song its kinda little bit of progressive. - zxm

16 One - Metallica

Very progressive for its time. I mean it has like three minutes of instrumental at the end, because at that time a long guitar solo at the end of a song has basically never happened before. Metallica was actually very progressive, this is not the only example. in their first four albums, they had instrumental songs, which was not that progressive, besides the fact that they were 8 to 9 minutes long, with absolutely no words at all. the longest one was to live is to die from and justice for all which was almost ten minutes long.

17 Kashmir - Led Zeppelin

Quite prog, not very hard rock for Led Zeppelin. Horns, 3/4 time signature, soft singing, quite a long track... - JoLeKosovo

At the end of the song its mostly instrumental. there are only few "whoa" "whoa" parts of vocals by Robert Plant. so its kinda prog rock. - zxm

18 Welcome to the Black Parade - My Chemical Romance

Whole album is quite proggy, for emo that is.

19 Fly to the Rainbow - Scorpions

The Scorpions aren't a progressive band, but they had a few prog songs on their first album. "Fly to the Rainbow" is one of them. The guitar work by Rudolf Schenker and expecially Uli Roth is amazing. One of their best songs!

20 УТРО ПОЛИНЫ - Nautilus Pompilius
21 Orion - Metallica
22 Seventh Son of a Seventh Son - Iron Maiden

This is great.

23 Jungleland - Bruce Springsteen

An amazing song about 10 minutes long, with several different parts like a prog rock song.

24 Knights of Cydonia - Muse

Muse isn't prog, but this is a beautiful track that uses many elements of progressive rock. Though it is only six minutes long, it is very instrumental, with vocals only really appearing after two minutes. The song is divided into various parts, with a layered sound that makes it a stand-out track. - JoLeKosovo

25 Fade to Black - Metallica
26 The Prophet's Song - Queen
27 At War with Satan - Venom

An almost 20 min epic about the Rapture with Satan winning and becoming King of Heaven - TheStargazer

28 The Rain Song - Led Zeppelin

This song is quite nice. And it's also kinda prog rock. There is some keyboards parts. Which are kinda prog rock. But Led Zeppelin is not really a prog rock band. - zxm

29 Blackened - Metallica

Probably the proggiest Metallica song.

30 Won't Get Fooled Again - The Who
31 When the Levee Breaks - Led Zeppelin
32 Saturn Nights - America
33 Glad to See You - America
34 The Soft Parade - The Doors

The Doors weren't really a prog band (although they were an influence on the genre), but this feels like a prog song. It's got multiple sections in different keys, different tempos, and different moods. It's not the proggiest thing out there, but it's pretty advanced for its time. - Gg2000

35 Carouselambra - Led Zeppelin
36 To Live is to Die - Metallica
37 Fools - Deep Purple
38 Under the Bridge - Red Hot Chili Peppers
39 The Bells - Lou Reed
40 Battery - Metallica
41 Halo of Flies - Alice Cooper

Underrated song. - Adrian_4

42 Cornwall Blank - America
43 Hat Trick - America
44 Here - America
45 Clarice - America
46 I Need You - America
47 Children - America
48 Can't You See - America

Lel there are like 7 songs by america - MilkmanBoi

49 Green Grass and High Tides - The Outlaws

Not really pure progressive, cause it has only long guitar solos. But its pretty close to a progressive song. Except that, this song doesn't have much music arrangements like prog rock songs. - zxm

50 Thunderstruck - AC/DC

Parts of it sound kinda progressive so why not - MilkmanBoi

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List Stats

200 votes
54 listings
3 years, 293 days old

Top Remixes

1. Hallowed Be Thy Name - Iron Maiden
2. Dante's Inferno - Iced Earth
3. Baba O'Riley - The Who
1. Baba O'Riley - The Who
2. Hallowed Be Thy Name - Iron Maiden
3. Child In Time - Deep Purple


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