Best Progressive Rock Bands

The Top Ten
1 Pink Floyd Pink Floyd are an English progressive rock band formed in 1965 in London, England. They achieved international acclaim with their progressive and psychedelic music. The band consisted of 5 members - David Gilmour (Vocals and Guitar), Syd Barrett (Vocals and Guitar), Nick Mason (Drums), Roger Waters (Vocals and Bass), and Richard Wright (Vocals and Keyboard). Barrett was replaced by Gilmour in 1968. more.

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

Along side Jethro Tull they started back in 1967. Before David Gilmour joined in 1968 the band consisted of members Nick Mason, Richard Wright, Roger Waters and Syd Barret. They where involved in the psychedelic, underground druggy scene and had singles such as Arnold Lane and See Emily play. Other bands either played on the same stage as them or where around the same time such as; Jimi Hendrix, The Move, Roy Harper ( who sang on have a cigar). Syd had a LSD drug problem and was replaced with gilmour in 1968. I thought gilmour introduced prog to the band with such master pieces as Dark side of the moon, echoes, Shine on you crazy diamond, Animals, the Wall and the unreleased film soundtrack called Zabriskie Point. Putting two great writers together like Gilmour and Waters together in 1968 is like putting McCartney and Lennon together you know your going to get great music. In 1983 the band returned to the studio to record the final cut, an album that was sung about the Falklands War. ...more

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.

The thunger about pink floyd is that everyone only recognizes them for there songs like another brick pt 2, comfortably numb, money etc. But there early work and most unknown songs are the best. For example, echoes is the greatest prog rock song of all time but people are to wussy to handle it because it's "too long" and they rather listen to something repetitive like bruno mars. Another example, have a cigar which is just amazing.

2 Rush Rush was a Canadian progressive rock band that was formed in 1968. The band has had an iconic lineup since 1975, which included Neil Peart (Drums, Percussion), Geddy Lee (Vocals, Bass, Keyboards), and the guitarist, Alex Lifeson. Peart passed away after a 3 year battle with brain cancer in January of 2020. Because of this, Lee says there are no plans to keep the band going, so Rush is most likely defunct. The band has become one of the most well-known progressive rock bands in the world, with such albums as "2112", "Hemispheres" and "Moving Pictures". More than half of their albums have gone gold or platinum, as certified by the RIAA (Recording Industry Association Of America).

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!

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

Here we are over 40 years later and Clockwork Angels, the album and the book just blows the mind. They are probably more influential now than ever and seem to just get better. Some people have had a hard time with Geddy's voice from the earlier days but it was always pure and certainly always progressive as their entire approach to the music they have produced. Glad that they finally were given the credit due to them in 2013 with the rock hall induction, a successful tour and an album of great new material. Keep bringing it Rush, we can't wait to see what is coming next!

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.

3 King Crimson King Crimson were a British progressive rock band that was formed in 1969. While the band has had numerous lineup changes, the head of the band has always been Robert Fripp (guitar). However, the most notable lineup is between 1972-75, consisting of Fripp, John Wetton (bass/vocals), Bill Bruford (drums), and David Cross (strings/keyboard). The band is most well-known for their debut album "In the Court of The Crimson King", with which they made a large impact on the progressive rock genre.

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!

I'm actually quite surprised that king crimson is 5th on the list (I thought it would be 3rd on the list) But there are major reasons why king crimson deserve the 1# spot in the list. Firstly it's "In the Court of the Crimson King" Even though I agree King crimson didn't start progressive rock. It does play an important role in the progressive rock universe and it influenced the use of the melotron. And secondly they've been making solid progressive rock albums in the past 45 years whereas bands like genesis, yes, Pink Floyd had some ups and downs where king crimson were steady flow during the 45 years. And King crimson's albums (In the Court of the Crimson King, Red and Larks' tongue in Aspic, Starless and Bible black. ) are masterpieces.

In Prog world there is King Crimson and then there is everyone else. Mr Robert Fripp is like Yoda for Prog Rock. All of their 13 albums are records that you discover and like more and more with each listen. Trust me, I've been listening to them for 10 years now and I still discover new things in their music. Robert Fripp never repeated things, Every line up of King Crimson, While being very King Crimsonish, Was so different than the others He never did the same thing, he always pushed things forward and for me that's the true meaning of being " Progressive ".

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.

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

Yes deserve a higher place than Rush as a prog rock band, prog isn't just about how complex the music is or how intelligent the lyrics are or how talented the musicians are. Rush are great, but they aren't as harmonic as Yes and Geddy's vocal is nothing compared to Ian's. Pink Floyd is the masters of prog and Yes isn't too far from them though Genesis are closer following with King Crimson and Emerson, Lake & Palmer as well. Anyway, what is Dream Theater doing in this list? They are nothing compared to these Gods, they just ripped off King Crimson with heavier and faster sounds. Here's the list that should been made for best prog rock bands :

1. Pink Floyd
2. Genesis
3. Emerson, Lake & Palmer
4. Yes
5. King Crimson

That's the top 5, get off Muse & Radiohead, they're nothing to prog scene.

By far, the best progressive rock band ever and a top ten all time rock band. On the radio in the 70's when they were voting who the best top ten rock bands were at the time, YES was among the top five with no mention of RUSH.

Don't get me wrong, RUSH was a decent band, but they and many other bands such as QUEEN, JOURNEY or ZZ TOP are limited in their repertoire. Look it up! Look at a list of songs from each band and see how many you recognize or that you may give a plausible rating too. You will probably find the answer around ten or fifteen songs depending on what a die-hard fan you are of a particular group.
Whereas with YES, you can go forty songs down the list without hearing a bad song.

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

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

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

5 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.

Trespass to Seconds Out is an amazing run of albums. Peter Gabriel is in my opinion one of the greatest singers in the history of rock. And Phil Collins' drum playing on those albums... Certainly the best prog rock drummer after Mr. Bill Bruford. He is just a beast and isn't just hitting the drums. He plays clean runs in some of the hardest time signatures. Genesis like other prog rock bands has extremely talented musicians. Pink Floyd is overrated as hell. The most talented members in that band were David Gilmour and Richard Wright (RIP). They made good music but it wasn't exactly what I would call prog. They were art rock, and had some prog songs (Animals), but were more psychedelic and experimental. Rush became hard rock when they made Moving Pictures. I'd say the top 3 would be Genesis, Yes, and King Crimson. But this is all my opinion.

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!

Genesis is one of the most underrated groups in Rock. Every member has gone on to produce solo albums. Phillips was the first to leave to pursue a solo career in 1970 and made 4 solid albums. Gabriel was the next to leave and achieved epic success. Hackett was talented guitarist and the 3rd to leave to try his hand at a solo act. The remaining 3 members Banks, Collins and Rutherford relaunched the band to become bigger than they ever were. Regardless of this new success, they each made their own solo albums. Mike and the Mechanics made the charts. Collins is a rock phenom. The solo albums made by Banks like Phillips are crafted works that never got much traction in the industry. There was so much musical depth in the group. Few other bands have as much talent among the members.

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 that ...more

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

The members of the band’s original lineup consisted of John Petrucci (Guitar), John Myung (Bass) and Mike Portnoy (Drums). The band had multiple keyboardists and singers, but as of and since 1991, the band's lead vocalist has been James LaBrie.

The band released their debut album "When Day and Dream Unite" in 1989, but only gained success and notoriety after the release of their second album, "Images and Words" in 1992. more.

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

Dream Theater introduced me into the world of progressive metal/rock and I will be thankful forever for that. I would like to say that Dream Theater is one of the best bands in the progressive music scene, incluiding complex song structures and beauty flowing between every arrangement. For instance, the song A change of seasons introduces you completely into DT's world and it really seems as if it was shifting seasons. And the wonderful Octavarium... If I had to choose one song to listen to for the rest of my life, I would choose this masterpiece. So please, don't be scared because of its 24 minute long duration, and don't give up if the first time you don't like it! And if you don't like it after several listens, just check up the lyrics... They are so moving!

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

The first time I listened to Octavarium, I was completely blown away. How could five guys produce music instrumentally of such a high standard... All virtuosos on their instruments. I then went on and listened to the rest of their catalogue of albums and soon realised this band were very special in prog circles. I just love their ability to play long complex numbers with huge instrumental sections... Which I think epitomises PROG ROCK

7 Porcupine Tree Porcupine Tree are an English progressive 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.

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

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

I couldn't agree more. Been listening to these guys since about 2005 and just can't stop. Once I started they very quickly moved up my personal chart until I could no longer say there was another band I liked more than them. There are bands I like just as much (Pink Floyd) or almost as much (Marillion) but if you start with the "In Absentia" album and go forward from there you'll be hooked. Then, go backward from In Absentia and really enjoy yourself with Stupid Dream, Lightbulb Sun, Signify, etc.

I dare you to find a tune you don't like.

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.

8 Emerson Lake And Palmer

What I like about ELP more than some other Prog Rock bands is the huge focus on the Keys, the Bass, and the Drums. Most would like to focus an electric guitar, but this band has Keith Emerson controlling the melody of the song, and in that case, an electric guitar is insufficient. With the variety brought to the table by Greg Lake, no song sounded like it was missing something. He Sang, he played the Bass, he even picked up the guitar for some songs, and that showed dedication through the diversity that was overcame by Greg Lake. And finally Carl Palmer is a truly great drummer. He added rhythms that didn't always sound jazzy or huge and grand (even though he did for some songs) he added what was best for the song and the atmosphere created by Emerson, and Lake. One of my favorite moments from Palmer was from the song "Rondo" (Live at Lycerum 1970). He had an excellent and long drum solo which he was really pushing the song forward through his extreme rudiments and skill.

I ...more

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

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

There classical sound really makes ELP stand out. In fact I discovered some of the songs on their debut album were arrangements of classical symphonies, as well as they played pictures at an exhibition at the isle of wight festival in 1970. Plus they blew so many other bands out of the water. if you haven't heard ELP go listen to their albums. My recommendations are their debut Emerson, Lake & Palmer and their second album Tarkus.

9 Jethro Tull Jethro Tull are 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.

There is no one like Ian Anderson and no band like Tull then or now. There is no middle ground here - you either love or hate this music. Like Yes and to a lesser extent Genesis, the greatness diminished with the onslaught of the 80's but up to A they were my favorite band of the genre. Ian is the auteur of Prog in my useless opinion up until his voice abandoned him, but even after that unfortunate occurrence there were gems to be mined. Watch their live performances from the 70's and bow down to breathtaking oddity and greatness. Och Aye!

The compositional approach and the energy and skill with which it is filled are unique. No other band has influenced me musically like Jethro Tull - and here especially my favorite prog album A Passion Play.

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

Easily the most creative in their genre, or any genre. They were the first Prog group, barring Pink Floyd, since they didn't make prog until the 1970 album Atom Heart Mother. They also blended medevil melodies and flute solos with epic hard rock. They also beat out their competitors in the song length category. Thick As A Brick, and A Passion Play are revolutionary, as they make a whole album into a song, with Thick As A Brick being a magical 40 minute trip into the mind

10 Tool Tool is an American alternative metal/progressive metal band, that was formed in 1990. The band is set together between Maynard James Keenan (Vocals), Danny Carey (Drums), Adam Jones (Guitar) and since 1995 Justin Chancellor (Bass). The band is known for their influences from electronic sounds and their overly complex and strangely structured songs. They released their debut album "Undertow" in 1993 and later put out other famous albums, like "Lateralus" and "10,000 Days". The band has established a legacy as one of the most well-known and beloved progressive metal and alternative metal bands of all time.

Tool isn't just music, it's an experience. You might see fans say some weird stuff about this bad but give it a listen and maybe you'll see. Tool is one of my absolute favorites, and there's truly no other artist close to their sound. I could go on for several paragraphs but I'd just be beating a dead horse.

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

Aside from the fact that they've held off on releasing their 5th album for over 10 years, Tool is an amazing band. Despite only releasing 4 albums in a career spanning almost 30 years, their music is timeless and incredible. Songs such as Sober, Aenima (Apologies for any spelling errors), Lateralus, Vicarious, or Schism are only small examples of their musical prowess.

Tool is an amazing band, they put a load of work and thought into their songs and albums. Whether you're listening to lateralus or undertow, it's amazing how much effort and detail they put into their music. Their newest album (2006, I know) is a modern classic, critically acclaimed, and all around original. Here's hoping to a spot at number one and a new album!

The Contenders
11 Moody Blues The Moody Blues were 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 rock.

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

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.

Their first 7 albums are so very good because each person contributed to each song irrespective of who had the main credit. When they returned after their hiatus persuing solo projects the group mind had been lost for ever...just play the first 7 in chronological order...take a short break and then play the rest; you'll soon see what I mean. PJG

There is / was not any other band that made you think about life and the universe like the Moody Blues. Tremendous concert albums with incredible lyrics and musicians... one of the first to have orchestral / philharmonic accompaniment...Justin Hayward is the "Songwriter"

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

Music for arrogant people like me! Gentle Giant is light years ahead of the vast majority of bands on this list musically, compositionally, and creatively. This is true prog - across 8 brilliant albums.

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

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

Caught them live in 1970 playing to a sparse crowd, not ready for what we were about to hear! Unlike any band heard before. Totally enthralled with their multi-instrument skill and complexity of the music. Some of the songs take a second, third or forth listening but once you " acquire the taste" you're hooked. "Playing The Fool" may be the best live prog album.

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

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.

I heard a local band play Belexes at a high school dance and knew Kansas was great. I went out and bought their first 3 albums and couldn't get enough! Then Leftoverture came out and they became my favorite band and still remain there today! I think Livgren's heartfelt lyrics with their masterful musicianship is just such an awesome combination for me.

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

What can I say. Like The Beatles use to do, Camel capitalized on. In most of their songs, you get Rock, Classical, Orchestra, and other aspects of music all in one song. Loved how they could do a 9 min song and make it seem like only a few minutes. You hear the effort, and great care of the band in all their music. They used a lot of instruments and the small details really stand out. Not overdone either. The Vocals few though they are, do give a haunting feeling that goes with the music.

Camel's music is melodic and beautiful. Although they use 5/4, 7/4 and other time signatures the music is never complex just for its own sake. Quite a few talented musicians have been part of the band over the years, including Peter Bardens who did much to establish the distinctive Camel sound and Andy Ward, the wonderful drummer on all their 1970s material. But it's the peerless Andrew Latimer, a wonderfully emotional guitar player and flautist and talented composer, who is the heart and soul of this fantastic band.

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

Well there are other very good prog artists: Pink Floyd, Genesis, King Crimson, Yes, VDGG... But Camel is the most emotive prog band. Apart having good musicians (Peter Bardens, Andy Ward and Doug Ferguson at the beginning; then Richard Sinclair, Mel Collins, Kit Watkins, Colin Bass, Ton Scheerpenzel... ), the leader, guitarist and composer Andy Latimer is one the best musician ever: everything is in his guitar playing emotion (Lady Fantasy, Ice, Never Let Go), power (Rhyader goes to Town, Lunar Sea) and virtuosity (Candle Hour, Rajaz, Air Born). This could definite the whole band!

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

My fourth favorite prog band (after Jethro Tull, Gentle Giant and Genesis): sufficiently intricate, full of creative energy, darkly romantic.

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!

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.

An acquired taste, but one that is absolutely worth getting into. In my opinion, VdGG has produced some of the finest prog rock songs and albums of all time. They were consistently good from "The Least We Can Wave To Each Other" to "World Record."

This band has created some of the most emotional and raw prog rock songs ever. Listen to "Lost" (or really any song from "H to He").

The lyrics, written by vocalist Peter Hammill, are impeccable, especially when compared to the admittedly poor lyrics of many other prog bands.

The vocals, while difficult to enjoy at first for some, add so much to the music. Hammill has such incredible emotion and power in his voice.

Really, it's one of my favorite prog bands for sure. If you want to get into it, start with either "Pawn Hearts" or "Godbluff." Give it a chance, trust me.

16 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.

They are progressive rock, in the sense that Jeff Lynne overtly embraced classical music and melded it with classic rock and made it their own. They moved rock forward in an interesting direction and still managed to be very accessible.

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.

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

Who compiled this lists?
Doesn't make sense!
Yes, Genesis, Supertramp
Close to the Edge, Selling England by the Pound.. and Crime of the
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!

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

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

I don't have too many complaints about them being at 18th, but I would personally have them in the top 15 at least. Just for the albums Crime Of The Century and Even In The Quietest Moments, they should be a bit higher.

Don't really know if I would call them "Progressive" rock, but still one of the best and most addictive bands ever. Incredible writingn that would just sweep you up and carry you on to other realities.

18 Frank Zappa and The Mothers Of Invention The Mothers of Invention were an American rock band from California that served as the backing musicians for Frank Zappa. Their work is marked by the use of sonic experimentation, innovative album art, and elaborate live shows.
19 Soft Machine Soft Machine are an English rock and jazz band from Canterbury formed in mid-1966, named after the novel The Soft Machine by William S. Burroughs.

Soft Machine was one of the very first prog bands. They are incredibly talented musicians. They need to be in the top 20.

20 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", And "Every Breath You Take" .

While not officially a prog rock band, I do see hints of prog in some of their songs, especially if you dig deeper into their discography and away from their pop rock hits. Either way, I love the band.

The Police are my favorite band of all time and I am saying with the utmost confidence that they are not a prog band.

I like them, but they're a mix of reggae and punk rock.

21 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

Must be higher

22 Deep Purple Deep Purple are an English rock band formed in Hertford in 1968. They are considered to be among the pioneers of heavy metal and modern hard rock, although their musical approach changed over the years. Originally formed as a progressive rock band, the band shifted to a heavier sound in 1970. Deep Purple, together with Led Zeppelin and Black Sabbath, have been referred to as the "unholy trinity of British hard rock and heavy metal in the early to mid-seventies". They were listed in the 1975 Guinness Book of World Records as "the globe's loudest band" for a 1972 concert at London's Rainbow Theatre, and have sold over 100 million albums worldwide. more.

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

Love this band. But they are not a progessive rock band. Maybe close to a heavy metal blues band or just a metal band. However that being said it is one of the greatest bands of all times.

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

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

23 Roxy Music Roxy Music were an English rock band formed in 1970 by Bryan Ferry, who became the band's lead vocalist and chief songwriter, and bassist Graham Simpson.

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

They started the "Art Rock" progressive movement.

24 Queen Queen are an English rock band formed in London in 1970. The original lineup was Freddie Mercury (lead vocals, 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 more.

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

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

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

25 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 Edge of Sanity, Opeth is credited with being the first progressive death metal band, although they now play progressive rock. Akerfeldt is good friends with Jonas Renkse of Katatonia, and Steven Wilson of Porcupine Tree.

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

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

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

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.

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