Best Progressive Rock Bands

The Top Ten
1 Pink Floyd Pink Floyd was 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 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

They’re not from this planet. I think they came down here on earth from a spaceship to make some of the craziest music in existence.

What stands out is the pioneering of new sounds at their times, which became staple for many musicians later. Their song writing patterns & structures are so unique that it's beyond comparison with any musician on earth who lived for money & fame, and did whatever was told by the label, than expressing true freedom of expression, connectivity of their choice & get love from people like us.

2 Rush Rush is 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 more.

Dude! 20 studio albums, started in 1968 and never broke up! They have the greatest rock bassist, greatest rock drummer, and one hell of a guitarist! I know some people are not big fans of their lyrics, and they weren't as commercially successful, but give them a chance. They have some powerful albums, especially albums such as Counterparts, Test For Echo, Grace Under Pressure, Fly By Night, and so on. For 40 years they have been a band, and took a 6 year hiatus but have never called it quits. They always find ways to try new musical styles and make their next album better than the last. Listen to Geddy Lee's bass solos and Neil Peart drum! They are wicked awesome! And don't forget Alex Lifeson's solos. Powerful stuff in all of their albums. They deserve the #1 slot! They are not only the best prog rock band, but in my opinion the best band ever!

La Villa Strangiato is just one example of the complex compositions that Rush can play their instruments to; the sheer instrumental talent alone propels this band. Neil Peart is an absolute drum god, and Geddy Lee multitasking while putting down amazing bass lines that match Alex Lifeson's wailing guitar are feats in themselves. Put together, you get one hell of a talented and progressive band. Not to mention the crazy time-signatures that some of their earlier work is set in is one of the reasons why they are so perfect as a progressive band. Though, Neil Peart's lyrics may not be top notch all the time ("I Think I'm Going Bald" off of Caress of Steel), once you listen past the lyrics you will always find instrumentals that are consistently full of talent and creativity, while still sounding good. Take note of their exuberant fan base (arguably the most die-hard and most devoted in rock). Definitely one of the finest bands in prog, and one of the best in rock. Period.

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!

Come on! Rush needs to be #1! I don't care how the British invasion helped Pink Floyd rise to the success that they have had. Rush has lasted much longer as a group that would stay together and make music that reaches people across the globe. The members of Pink Floyd only stayed with each other for 29 years (with some frequent reunions). Rush has been around for a total of 47 years. Never did they break up for whatever reason. (Although Rutsey was replaced by Peart in 1974) Listen to 2112, Caress of Steel and Moving Pictures. For 3 dudes, they're able to make more of a sound compared to a 4 or 5 man band. La Villa Strangiato is a perfect example of that. THEY ARE THE THIRD BEST SELLING ROCK BAND OF ALL TIME. RIGHT BELOW THE Beatles AND ROLLING STONES. That is a proven fact. LOOK AT THE OFFICIAL RIAA STATISTICS! Pink Floyd isn't at the 24 Gold, 14 Platinum and 3 multi-platinum sales record that Rush is at.

I believe that research according to record sales, longevity and fan ...more

3 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.

Compare the musicians of each instrument to other bands. No contest.
Rick Wakeman either first or second best keyboardist of all time (other being Keith Emerson); Chris Squire as good as it gets on bass; Jon Anderson’s voice magical; Akan white and bill bruford both excellent drummers ; AND last but certainly not least - Steve Howe - unbelievably talented and oh by the way guitar player magazine’s guitar player of the year 5 straight years in the early 1970’s. No other band had as superb of musicians as YES (I’ve seen them 7 times over the years since they first toured the US opening for Jethro Tull- another great prog band.

By far the most intricate and complex musicians and artists that have ever performed. Just listen to Awaken, Heart of the Sunrise, soon, Wonderous Stories, Going for the One, Round About and so many others. Truly an Inspiration, The Master really made them His Opus.

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.

4 King Crimson King Crimson is 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), more.

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.

If you're a big of prog fan then you must agree with me that they are indeed number 1. I always thought that back in 1969, in the court of the of the crimson king started prog. There are different reasons why they are number 1 such as: the greatest prog album of all time; In The Court Of the Crimson King. Some of the best prog songs their ever was such as: 21st csm, larks tongues in aspic I-IV, Discipline, fractured etc. They have a very different sound that introduced: melotron ( basically a orchestral kind of thing in a box) Violins, Organs, horns, bells, saxophones. I all ways thought if it wasn't for the beatles we wouldn't have sgt pepper and if we didn't have sgt pepper we wouldn't have king crimson and the genius that is Sir Robert Fripp ( who was the only member not leave the band), sitting there in the corner like a mad scientist guitarist. And that's what introduced prog and is the best prog had on offer in my own opinion.

Come on they've got to be higher than this. Pink Floyd is obviously number one but this should be at number 2! I love them because of all the variety in their music. I mean listen to different parts of their career! You can hardly tell they're the same band! Their first period of music in my opinion was from 1969-70 with their first three albums. ITCOTCK is very complex and innovative. Remember this was 1969, progressive rock was hardly in its infancy yet. Lizard is a very weird album with strange lyrics. In 1971 they released Islands. I love the jazz-rock style they went for here! The title track is beautiful. From 1973-74 they started to make heavier and more experimental music. In 1981-84 they made more new wave and a little bit of pop music. From 1995-2003 they got WAY heavier than ever and made tons of industial rock and some songs could even be considered progressive metal. Now that they've reformed again who knows what direction they will take!

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 ".

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.

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!

No has ever come close to taking me on so many musical journey's with such such incredible instrumental sync-ing and expanding then coming back together, it simply takes my breath away. I love many Bands, but Genesis has remained #1 my whole life of listening to music largely since 1972, and Foxtrot came out. Live in 73 and Watcher's of the Skies is mind blowing.

The Band released their first album back 1969. It was called as From Genesis to Revelation. And I thought it was repetitive and dull. Around this time the band focused more on music related to religion. They started prog a year after 1969 joining Fripps unique sound. The Band members are Peter Gabriel, Phil Collins, Mike Rutherford, Steve Hackett and Tony Banks. Peter Gabriel helped provide strange lyrics and outfits with masterpieces such as Selling England by the pound, foxtrot and Nursery Cryme. He left the band in 1975 after being offered a role in a film and his wife was pregnant. Though Gabriel left, Collins agreed to sing vocals. They released albums such as Trick of the tail and Wind And Wuthering with songs like Earl Of Grey and Dance on a volcano, which both had reprises. He invented guitar tapping but some people say Van Halen did. Hackett left the band after the Wind and Wuthering sessions. The band continued to perform without him. I felt like Collins got too involved ...more

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.

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. more.

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

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

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.

7 Emerson Lake And Palmer

-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.

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

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.

8 Porcupine Tree Porcupine Tree were an English rock band formed by musician Steven Wilson in 1987. The band began essentially as a solo project for Wilson, who created all of the band's music.

When you consider a true prog rock genre, I can't see how any other band comes close. Some prog rock polls have both PT and Steven Wilson in their top -10.

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.

Porcupine Tree should be second to Pink Floyd. Given that Pink Floyd was the definitive best Prog Rock band ever, Porcupine Tree deserves to be at #2 for being the band that defined the future of the genre post Pink Floyd and consistently put forth music that has the ability to touch the soul and feel anew no matter how many times you listen to and gives us something which will be remembered generations later.

9 Jethro Tull Jethro Tull were a British rock group, formed in Luton, Bedfordshire, in December 1967. Initially playing blues rock, the band soon developed its sound to incorporate elements of British folk music and hard rock to forge a progressive rock signature.

Happy to see them in the top 10, but they should be challenging the top 5 in my opinion. At least put them above Porcupine Tree, that's just disrespectful that Jethro Tull is below them. Jethro Tull has a shockingly consistent discography considering they made 21 albums.

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!

Progressive Rock's Big Six is Pink Floyd, Yes, Genesis, King Crimson, ELP, and Jethro Tull. Jethro Tull may not be the best but they are the most underrated and should be higher than Dream Theater and Porcupine Tree.

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/progressive metal band, that was formed in 1990. more.

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.

Tool is one of the most original bands I've ever heard, I must confess I only started listening to them about a year 1/2 ago, but ever since that happened, I've become fairly addicted to them, and the song "schism" is definitely the main reason they got my attention, never in my life have I listened to a song and couldn't think about anything else for a month, and back then I didn't know about all the other great ones like "vicarious", "sober", "Lateralus", etc... yeah tool deserves to be on the top 10 greatest progressive rock bands ever, no doubt about that.

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 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.

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

Gentle Giant is the most exquisite, sophisticated, 100% original, elaborated, absolutely progressive Band of all Times. Formed by 5 virtuoso multi-instrumental musicians, that changed fame for sui generis not commercial composition

Of course, I love and admire the great Yes (with Jon Anderson), Genesis (Peter Gabriel's); ha lovely Jethro Tull; Pink Floyd (until The Wall); King Crimson; Premiata Forneria Marconi; EL&P; Dream Theater; Camel; Rush; Marillion; wich we all know that are between the best and greatest contemporary music, but for those who may stablish clearly the difference between great composition and sophisticated one, they shall have no doubt, that Gentle Giant, marked a line difficult, if not impossible, to trespass.

It is my humble opinion

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.

12 Moody Blues The Moody Blues are an English rock band. They first came to prominence playing rhythm and blues music, but their second album, Days of Future Passed, which was released in 1967, was a fusion of rock with classical music and established them as pioneers in the development of art rock and progressive more.

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”

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

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 are the best of all progressive/art rock bands, their songs except cows and ditw are so underrated, just listen to their musical masterpieces such as song for America, the pinnacle, Icarus I and II, Journey from mariabronn, the wall etc. And they didn't let a backing track for these, they were and are a fantastic live band too

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.

14 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.

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.

I didn't think they'd be this high. I would have expected them somewhere in the high 20's or 30's, 'cause of how weird they are. But they're definitely my favorite Prog band of them all. Peter Hammill might be the greatest lyricist of all time, his voice is so unique and David Jackson on sax is absolutely perfect! And it's only our own dumb resistance that's making us stay...

15 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!

16 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 more.

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

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

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

Akerfeldt by himself is a genius, and the obvious backbone behind the ever-changing lineup. Though not as much progressive as they are creative, the perfection of each masterpiece is shocking; you'll never hear a filler song from them as long you live.

17 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.
18 Supertramp Supertramp is 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. more.

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.

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.

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.

19 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", more.

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

So many comments of "they're not prog, they're *extremely obscure subgenre*"

They're not prog, they're post punk

They're reggae and post punk

20 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

39 at time of voting - makes baby Jesus sad.

21 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.

I don't care if it doesn't count that first album is otherworldly and you can't convince me otherwise

22 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.

Drifted between Rock and Jazz but I would have thought they counted as progressive rock and should be included among the top prog rock groups (certainly high up my list)

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

Tender Machine

23 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.

Hear The March of the Black Queen.

24 Radiohead Radiohead are an English rock band from Abingdon, Oxfordshire, formed in 1985. The band consists of Thom Yorke (lead vocals, guitar, piano, keyboards), Jonny Greenwood (lead guitar, keyboards, other instruments), Colin Greenwoood (bass guitar), Phil Selway (drums), and Ed O'Brien (guitar).

Radiohead IS progressive, since they always try creating new sounds and doing new things, which is what progressive is all about, so shut up if you say they aren't progressive. Have you hear The National Anthem? Everything In Its Right Place? Paranoid Android? Airbag? Climbing Up The Walls? Optimistic? 15 Step? Reckoner? Weird Fishes/Arpeggi? Burn The Witch? Obviously prog.

Radiohead are so underrated as a prog band, yeah they may lean more towards the alternative/experimental side of things but prog isn't defined by it's sound but by its progression and complexity. And Radiohead have that. Ok Computer is the best example of this. And they still have prog elements in their later stuff but not as much. They are such an inventive band but I certainly don't think their the best. Pink Floyd will always be the most loved and dominant Prog Group.

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

Paranoid Android was prog. But that was about it. They should do more progressive sounding stuff. Paranoid Android is probably my favorite Radiohead song.

25 Smashing Pumpkins The Smashing Pumpkins is an American alternative rock band from Chicago, Illinois, formed in 1988. Formed by frontman Billy Corgan and James Iha, the band included D'arcy Wretzky and Jimmy Chamberlin in its original incarnation.

I do like the Pumpkins, but they aren’t progressive rock.

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