Top 10 Greatest Progressive Rock Albums

The Top Ten
1 Dark Side Of The Moon - Pink Floyd Dark Side Of The Moon - Pink Floyd Product Image

This is one of those albums that you can press play and listen and it still sounds as if it was recorded yesterday. Now that is a timeless piece of art right there.

I love progressive rock with all my heart! I think it's the best genre of music. It's just perfect. My favorite albums of all time are progressive rock albums. I'm gonna vote for The Dark Side Of The Moon because it deserves to be number one on whatever list it's on. Now, many people will say, "it's only number one because it was the most successful." And while I agree that a lot of successful bands weren't that good, Dark Side Of The Moon is still a masterpiece. It's the album that got me into progressive rock in the first place. And while Pink Floyd were one of the most successful bands of all time, they were still excellent musicians and deserve all the credit that get. Other progressive rock bands being very underrated is another story. Yes is underrated, Rush is underrated, Genesis with Peter Gabriel is very underrated, King Crimson is very underrated as well. But that doesn't mean Pink Floyd is overrated. Pink Floyd is right were it deserves to be as one of the greatest bands of ...more

By ways the best prog albums, and even the best album ever! Tokyo Hotel is a big joke, in comparison of bands as Yes, King Crimson, Dream Theater, Porcupine Tree, Genesis and especially... Pink Floyd! In my humble opinion they're the best band ever, and if you don't think so, listen to Gilmour's wizardery on guitar and Waters's poetry on "Time", "Brain Damage/ Eclipse" or "Breathe", and Wright's sensibility on keyboards in "The Great Gig in the Sky" and "Us and Them"; as well as their sense of melody on the hit "Money" and experimentation in "On the Run"and "Any colour you like"!

This my favorite album of my favorite band, and also my favorite album of whole music, it's got excellent changes from one song to another, very psychedelic and prog, excellent guitar solos, great voices, sound effects, keyboard solos, and Money, Brain Damage and Time are of my favorite songs of Pink Floyd and music in general. This is the secon most-selling album of all times, and musically is obviously better than Thriller (the most sold album, I'm sure that Dark Side is the best album of all music, is my opinion, but is also a fact.

2 In The Court Of The Crimson King - King Crimson In The Court Of The Crimson King  - King Crimson Product Image

This is the record that started it all really. Lush orchestration paved the way for Yes, Genesis & Spock' Beard. Mellotron can be heard on modern Steven Wilson tracks. Flowing riffs and time signature changes form the bedrock of Dream Theater & Tool. One of the most influential albums of all time.

King Crimson is more than a band. It's a way of doing things. In The Court Of The Crimson King is an album that continues to impress 40 years after it has been presented. For me, no album will ever be better, and I certainly hope the new King Crimson incarnation of 2014 will live up to it's expectations

Okay, the Tokio Hotel thing at the top is hilarious. I'll admit. But this album is the king (ha! You see what I did there?! ), the one that every symphonic prog album that came after it is indebted to. It defined symphonic prog and prog in general.

Simply put: Without this album most bands that would come to call themselves "Progressive Rock" wouldn't have had a proper template to understand what that would mean. It practically started the genre.

3 Close To The Edge - Yes Close To The Edge - Yes  Product Image

Nothing against Rush, but Close to the Edge is one of the most brilliant albums ever made. The same goes for ITCOTCK (which I think should be first since it basically invented prog rock). I love Dark Side but Pink Floyd weren't necessarily a progressive rock band and were more experimental. But the albums are still very great nonetheless. I'm also surprised that Lamb Lies Down isn't in the top 10. But this is all just my personal opinion so don't knock me.

Dark Side of the Moon is amazing. One of the best albums ever. But not enough prog-rock for me. It's more of an experience that the real Prog-Rock thing. Close To The Edge is the perfect example of what Prog-ROCK is. Not the best as an album, but as a Prog-Rock album, YES (No pun intended).
I had a hard time choosing between Close To The Edge and Selling England By The Pound. And a lot of others, like Wish You Were Here.

In my opinion, Yes out did their selves with this pre Dark Side album. It inspired not only all Progressive Rock, but all music in some way, shape, or form. They all collaborated in the band and wrote in my opinion the greatest album ever made. Close to the Edge is an amazing album where every lyric connects to you. Truly amazing.

One of the most important and greatest albums prog or otherwise. Although my personal preference is for Relayer(possibly because I heard it first)I don't deny the influence and greatness of this album. While Dark side of the moon and wish you were here sold tons more albums this album is equally as good if not better. It definitely pushed Yes over the edge to become one of the best and biggest of the prog rock bands.

4 Selling England by the Pound- Genesis Selling England by the Pound- Genesis Product Image

Everything on this album is friken amazing except more fool me but one can't ruin a album come on guys. This album is the best genesis album out of the peter era. by the way the Collins era did not suck. Trick duke come on there's good stuff also Phil did not ruin genesis it was a group effort. Their lineup is also amazing from peter to tony. This is the best album made by the best band in existence!

This album so does not get the merit it deserves. Every song on this album is flawless and the fact that it is only # 9 and it is the only genesis album on the list disappoints me. in my opinion, I know Pink Floyd is the best prog band by popular vote, you cannot argue that Genesis has a much more diverse selection.

What? The greatest art rock album isn't in top 10! Remember the songs "Dancing with the Moonlight Knight" and "The Cinema Show". Absolutely great key intro in "Firth of Fifth". Beutiful Gabriel's guitar and Peter's vocals. And what about Phil's divine drumming.

It's the best album in my opinion. I don't think it deserves to be higher, #6 is right, but it's perfect album - from first to last song it's got some idea, hundred of great melodies and true, deep text singed by one of the best musicians!

5 2112 - Rush 2112 - Rush  Product Image

Everyone raves about the 20 minute title track that takes up the entire first side of the album, and while 2112 the song is simply amazing and unreal, the lesser known songs on the second side of the album are great too. Bangkok is one of Alex Lifeson's best performances. The Twilight Zone brings the perfect mood to an incredibly dark album. Lessons is a personal favorite of mine, and incredibly underrated. Tears is ok, and something for nothing is deep, loud, and a 3 minute helping of rush at their hardest. Pink Floyd cannot compare to the amazing musicianship of Rush. They will always be the best

This is by far the greatest progressive rock album ever created. This album was so far ahead of its time, and it explored new ways to make music. Most bands even today don't come close to making something as epic as this album. The opening 20 minute piece tells an incredible story of a man standing up against the rest for what he believed in. What other band do you know of that made a bad ass song about The Twilight Zone? The amount of musicianship put into 2112 is absolutely impeccable. These 3 guys are the best at what they do.

This list is a hard one. Not because it's close... Because it's different. Rush and Floyd are two completely different kinds of rock, although they are both still prog rock. Rush is more focused on melody, harmony, etc, while Floyd is more experimental. For me, Rush wins this battle. However, they both have members with a high level of musical talent, although the Rush lineup is possibly the most talented lineup out there. Dream Theater is relatively similar to Rush, but also more heavy metal. They are #2 on this list for me. They are the only band with what I find close to the incredible talent of Rush. Yes and King Crimson are two other prog rock bands that are very musically talented.

On the other hand, Tokio Hotel is:
A. Not rock
B. Not talented
C. Not respectable

HOW CAN ONE COMPARE SUCH AN AMAZING, INTUITIVE, MUSICAL BAND AS RUSH TO A POPPY BAND AS TOKIO HOTEL? I came to this list expecting to see many bands, but certainly NOT Tokio Hotel. Yikes.

For me, Gentle Giant is the most musically talented prog band, but Rush fares well in this category, too. Geddy Lee's singing and bass, Alex Lifeson's guitar, and Neal Peart's drumming all win their categories frequently in votes. Although I like Rush's first 2 albums best, no one else seems to agree. I do agree that this one is excellent.

6 Wish You Were Here - Pink Floyd Wish You Were Here - Pink Floyd  Product Image

One of the few albums that I like absolutely completely, from the first to the last note. Probably, the release of this album after the incredible The Dark Side of the Moon was the peak of the band's career, cemented by the amazing albums Animals and The Wall.

In my opinion, this album defined everything about Pink Floyd : Great themes, long hypnotic instrumentals, a variety of musical stylings. It is the most well crafted progressive rock album with not a single weak moment.

No album to date could match the mastering of music as wish you were here has achieved. Every second is part of the "must live", pink floyd experience.

Shine on you crazy diamond is the best song. I like this album than The Dark Side of The Moon cause this album is the climax of progressive rock by Pink Floyd

7 The Wall - Pink Floyd The Wall - Pink Floyd Product Image

This album should be near the top, I love dark side,wish you were here and the other albums, but I go for The Wall as number 1. Its overblown,pompous and and its long. But its also dark, powerful epic and progressive. The musicianship and execution of the songs is brilliant, the story is twisted, bitter,dark stuff and it broke the band,they would never be this good again. The greatest concept album of all time and one of rocks benchmarks. Brilliant.

Tokio Hotel, King Crimson, Dream Theater? What is that? Who let all this riffraff into the room?! If I had it my way I'd have all of them shot!

Pink Floyd is my favorite band but the wall was not ock. Their last prog album was Animals then the division bell 17 years later.

This album is amazing. It's so much better than Dark Side of the Moon. It has a rich and emotional story and top notch musicianship

8 Moving Pictures - Rush Moving Pictures - Rush Product Image

Moving pictures is number two on my personal list. You gotta have Pink Floyd at number one because it's Pink Floyd, but this album is easily Rush's best album and easily the best album of all prog other than the Dark Side of the Moon. The whole thing is just amazing song after amazing song after amazing song. The first four songs in it are all four of Rush's best songs, three of them easily being top-10 Rush songs.

Every single song on this album is pure magic. Between drumming, keyboards, and the guitar types, this is a must have progressive rock album. Plus, there's some bass solos on it! One of the best albums of all time!

Apotheosis of the whole Rush musical carreer. It could be higher, it's just because I like this, 2112 and Hemispheres equally and cannot decide which is better.

Not one of myfavorites of Rush but excellent music composition, and time signatures, dynamics and solos. Great musicians they are

9 Hemispheres - Rush Hemispheres - Rush Product Image

In my opinion, Hemispheres is much better than 2112 and somewhat better than Moving Pictures. I wouldn't exactly call 2112 a progressive album though... The only thing close to progressive on the record is the title track, which isn't exactly prog either - more like a long hard rock song.

Hemispheres is definitely Rush at the top of their game, lyrically and instrumentally.

The whole first side of 2112 is an amazing prog rock song (possibly the greatest), but as far as the album as a whole, the rest was more of 70's hard rock with some prog mixed in. This, however, was pure progressive rock, in music and lyrics. It was the last fully "progressive" album they did, and is definitely the best.

This is my favorite prog album of Rush, I love the time signatures, dynamics, solos, sound effects, The Trees, La Villa Strangiato, Cygnus X-1 Book 2: Hemispheres and Circumstances are excellent works of art. Excellent album, excellent songs, and excellent band

All Rush needed was four songs to prove they were the best at progressive rock... 2112 is amazing, but when you look at the sum of all the songs on each album Hemispheres definitely takes the cake.

10 Animals - Pink Floyd Animals - Pink Floyd Product Image

This is pink floyds metal album. Okay maybe not metal, but they sure gave it their most on Animals. Consisting of three songs (plus Pigs on the Wing), it speaks about our screwed up society using animals to symbolize us humans. These are my favorite lyrics on any album ever, Roger Waters is a genius. Though this is the least known of their 4 god tier albums, I believe it to be the best of the four. I guess you could say this album is a masterpiece.

"Harmlessly passing your time in the grassland away...
Only dimly aware of the certain unease in the air..."

The Dark Side of the Moon does have several progressive elements but the definition of Prog. Rock is that a song needs to be long, include the use of a synthesizer, and needs to have a middle section. The songs from Animals meet all those standards. I would say Animals should be ahead of Dark Side and WYWH.

Whilst I prefer wish you were here as an album, the list is for best prog rock albums and this is it. It points out, with cynicism, the holes in society and is filled with excellent lyrics, rythme and texturing that only the Floyd can deliver with such energy

On this album, the sound of the band has become tougher, but such a change in style has benefited the band, diversifying creativity and giving us another brilliant album.

The Contenders
11 Tales from Topographic Oceans - Yes Tales from Topographic Oceans - Yes Product Image

It is a little experimental. And it's maybe not for everyone : Some people hated it. And even Rick Wakeman, the keyboardist of Yes, hated it so much that he left the band after recording this album. And yes, some parts may be boring.

But this album is what you call real Progressive Rock. A 2LP album, 1 song per side. Throughout the album you can feel the whole theming of it. It is amazing. And that cover, it's so great and puts you in the mood... Adventure in oceans. Tales from Topographic Oceans. I love the cover so much it's my desktop wallpaper right now on my computer. Close to the Edge may be a better album, but since Tales is only 16 I had to vote for it. Second best Yes album and third is Fragile.

I really love this album. Might not be the best, but I love it.

After the lamb lies down on Broadway this is my next favourite. It's bonkers as all good prog rock is. Its John Anderson's interpretation of Hindu scriptures over two slabs of vinyl that rings with some of the most out there expiremental music ever recorded. Some people say it's a difficult album to listen to and I can understand that, but I have always loved it and get some rich rewards every time I listen to it. And the cover art by Rodger Dean is incredible my favorite cover art ever.

Expansive to be sure, but that is part of the key to its success. By stretching their canvas out to such a degree, the music has more room to breathe, making the melodic underpinnings more elusive at first listen, but so much more rewarding in the end.

A flawed masterpiece. CTTE is better, because it's perfect, but there are parts of Tales that are Yes--and progressive music--at it's very best. Every prog fan should listed to this at least once... with headphones on, and no interruptions. It's transcendent.

12 Red - King Crimson Red - King Crimson Product Image

Red is heavy, ambitious and very Complex. Every piece of this 40 minute is Epic. Every song is memorable and amazing in a different way. Its heavy guitar riffs, it's poetic lyrics and writing, great vocals and use of saxophone with jazz fusion influences, amazing drums parts especially on " one more red nightmare " by Bill bruford, amazing combination of Mellotron and Guitar... It all creates a Masterpiece record that is perfectly engineered and sounds amazing.

Red is one of the heaviest Prog records of the 70s. Not to mention one of the most interesting. Seriously. Red and King Crimson deserve more recognition than what they get!

My favoutite King Crimson album. The apotheosis of the entire previous development of the band. Only Larks' Tongues in Aspic and In the Court of the Crimson King could get close to it.

Prog rock, sure, but Red is basically its own genre. Nothing else sounds like it, a 40 minute nervous breakdown of an album.

13 Fragile - Yes Fragile - Yes Product Image

It's hard to decide between Fragile and Close to the Edge. I think CttE is more consistent as an album, but I feel like Fragile has more to it. CttE only has three long tracks compared to the nine tracks on Fragile. I just feel like there is more room to breathe because it isn't all about 20 minute tracks.

Why us tokio hotel even in this list? Yes, Pink Floyd, Genesis and King Crimson are progressive rock at its best, and this album is beautiful, how is it 20th?

Everything Steve Howe touched turned to gold.

This is what they call perfection.

14 Brain Salad Surgery - Emerson, Lake & Palmer Brain Salad Surgery - Emerson, Lake & Palmer  Product Image

As an entire album, I prefer Tarkus, but since this is higher than tarkus, and Karn Evil 9 is easily my favorite song of all time, this works! Love Toccata and Jerusalem as well! Not a big fan of Benny the Bouncer. Still you turn me on is alright.

A masterpiece and as part of the ELP early albums a cornerstone on which Prog Rock was built... It never gets old. ELP took risks, But they defined power the intricacy and precision on which the entire genre was built...

Classical/Jazz/Rock fusions. Hell, fuse in lots of other stuff too. The genius of Keith Emerson permeates this album. I thank ELP for introducing me to classical music! From here I discovered Beethoven as a child.

One of my favorite prog rock albums of all time. It should be placed much higher than "Misplaced Childhood", for instance.

15 Thick as a Brick - Jethro Tull Thick as a Brick - Jethro Tull Product Image

So amazing, soothing, catchy, pleasant, light-hearted, memorable, diverse, intelligent... A beautiful experience front to back. I was listening to it on a train passing through the countryside the other day, and everything was perfect and beautiful. After the seventeen minute mark, I just couldn't bear how good it was. At this point, if I cried to music, I'm sure tears would have rolled out of my eyes. Instead, I just lay back in gut-wrenching awe.
The second side is not quite as good, but it's a breezy listen nonetheless.

Ian Anderson stands out in prog-rock world as a very versatile artist: frontman, showman, composer, instrumentalist, and lyricist.
This album sees him in top form in every aspect of his artistry.
Not so pretencious group like the others, always with a sense of irony and (sometimes bitter) humour - it is my favourite band and favourite masterpiece of prog-rock.

It was supposed to be a parody of the genre, but it ended up being a masterpiece. If you give it a listen, you'll see why... Damn, this album is fantastic.

A brillaint combination of lyrics, musical ideas, and packaging. Anderson and the gang turn prog-rock on its ear with a devilish parody of the entire genre.

16 To Our Children's Children's Children - The Moody Blues To Our Children's Children's Children - The Moody Blues Product Image

CANNOT believe that this album is not rated way, way higher on various prog lists.
This is the Moodies' magnum opus, and is designed to take you on a transcendent trip through space and time.

With some of the best Mellotron-driven cosmic rock of all time, this album pairs up VERY nicely with Hawkwind's "Warrior On The Edge Of Time" for back-to-back listening.

I'm the Old Stone Ranger. You can TRUST me...

Incredible album, my favorite part starts with Beyond, and carries to the end! Maybe not as proggy as albums like Tarkus, Selling England by The Pound, and Thick as a Brick, but certainly as good as them in my opinion. Very underrated album, and band.

The most haunting, atmospheric album of all time.

Truly an epic masterpiece. I am a huge fan of the Moodies:) That, Genesis, Rush, Yes, Pink Floyd and King Crimson...

17 Metropolis Part 2: Scenes From a Memory - Dream Theater Metropolis Part 2: Scenes From a Memory - Dream Theater Product Image

Amazing album, I never get bored of it, even after a hundred times. The music is incredibly rich and the musicians are insanely perfect. There are always things to discover and to understand when you listen carefully, and "Home" is still one of the greatest song I have ever heard.

Oh my god, please god destroy the ones who have voted Tokio Hotel! I hope it's a joke because I don't understand how someone can be so stupid... For me the best album is between Metrpolis part 2 and the wall, Dark side of the moon is one of the best albums but it is not like these two. I could hear MP2 and TW hundreds of times like the first one

The whole story plus the perfect instrumentation makes this album one of the best prog albums I have heard. The whole concept is intriguing (in a good way).

Nothing got close to this album for me, except Karmakanic's Wheel of life and maybe Pale Communion from Opeth. Never quite got into Pink floyd. Don't know why.

18 Foxtrot - Genesis Foxtrot - Genesis Product Image

Underrated masterpiece. This album is better than Selling England by the Pound and Supper's Ready is one of the greatest musical creations.

Peter Gabriel greats, "Supper's Ready" and "Watcher of the Skies", on the same album!

It is about as good as Selling England by the Pound, but it has Supper's Ready, so it's here.

19 Mirage - Camel Mirage - Camel Product Image

I just discovered Camel. I love it so much I listened to a lot of their albums in such a short period of time...
To any rock / prog rock fans, you NEED to listen to this album. It's practically flawless. No wonder Camel is known at an eargasm band. Their music is so goood.
Yes, it's 70% instrumental but the instrumentals they do are better than almost any other prog band out there, with the exceptions of a few like Genesis. I mean, they are both symphonic but very different. Let's check out the songs of Mirage.

Freefall : That 3/4 time part is pure bliss. Probably my favorite part of the whole album. So simple, yet gives chills to a such awesome melody.
Supertwister: : Gives good vibes. Great flute but I mostly love the keyboards on this one.
Nimrodel : Great, a song about the Lord of the Rings! This is a prog classic. Absolutely flawless. Love the mellotron in some parts. The solo at the end is different from anything they made ; it's so unique and I love ...more

One of the best Camel's albums! Everything is here: melodic bass lines by Ferguson, Andy Ward powerful and very precise drumming, Bardens symphonic and dynamic keyboards solos (after his departure no other keyboards players would be as good as him) and especially Andrew Latimer emotive, sensitive and powerful guitar work and... His beautiful flute on "Supertwister". From the cool opening "Freefall" to the mystic "Nimrodel/The Procession/White Rider" Camel is excellent and signs his all time masterpiece: the superb "Lady Fantasy"!

Without a doubt! Mirage is the most undervalued album of progressive rock but one of the essential parts of this style. An album of worship that very few people can be seen in its full dimension. Simply unbeatable!

One of the most underrated bands ever, still producing amazing music. I had the privalidge to see them many times in the 70's and 80's and they where always superb! '!

20 A Farewell to Kings - Rush A Farewell to Kings - Rush Product Image

Amazing album. It is like a journey through space and time.

21 Fear of a Blank Planet - Porcupine Tree Fear of a Blank Planet - Porcupine Tree Product Image

Fear of a Blank Planet, the name itself has a arcane and mystical feeling to it while the compositions add to the feel. Guests like Alex Lifeson(Rush) and Robert Fripp(King Crimson) have graced the album with their spine chilling solo performance. Steven Wilson with his compositions accompanied by the ambience mastermind Richard Barbieri, jazz infused bass playing elements incorporated by Colon Edwin and of course, the man from a blank planet, Gavin Harrison showcasing his drumming prowess and seems a bit too much to take for us, the resident of Earth.

I'm in my 50,s and lifelong Rush fan with over 50 times live and a personnel plate even thanks to my wife. PT and Fear of a Blank Planet is my favorite album all time... From opening track to end simply the best...

An awesome album by a defunct band that has yet to achieve the popularity it deserved.

It should be up higher. One of the best albums ever!

22 The Yes Album - Yes The Yes Album - Yes Product Image

Update from the other comments I did on Yes albums here : I thought this album would be overrated but turns out it's underrated. Starship Trooper is for sure one of their best songs, but Yours is No Disgrace and Perpetual Change is just as good. Amazing album, all songs in there are just so good! For now, it's my third favorite by yes, after Relayer and Close to the Edge.

I do agree with putting Close to the Edge higher than this, since Close to the Edge is much more progressive, and in my opinion, better. But even with that said, this whole album is amazing as well.

I cannot handle the fact that this always falls behind Close to the edge. Every track is a class act except the Clap.!

Taking King Crimson one step further. Melody and progressive music can exist!

23 Meddle - Pink Floyd Meddle - Pink Floyd Product Image

This was when Pink Floyd went from Psychedelic rock and discovered it's signature progressive rock sound. On this album, it consists of a 23 minute song called Echoes, which the long instrumental includes experimental sounds that would define Pink Floyd in their later albums such as TDSOTM and The Wall.

Meddle is simply amazing, pure progressive. It includes Echoes so it should be top 20. Question is, wheres atom heart mother

36? This album has One of these days and of course Echoes! It should be in the top 10.

Echoes is perfection, which for me Pink Floyd never surpassed.

24 Relayer - Yes Relayer - Yes Product Image

Relayer is my favorite album along with my favorite song, "The Gates of Delerium". This album is a masterpiece, and contains a great depth of musicalness, strong technique, beautiful melodies and harmonies, and most important of all, a vast amount of emotion. The music is engaging and complex, but in an orderly manner. If you do not enjoy this album, you are probably still lacking high musical understanding, and do not worry, with learning, experimentation, time, and practice, you will reach a point where you can enjoy this album. And oh, boy, will you enjoy it...

I totally agree with you, Relayer is my favourite album by Yes not to mention Fragile, the yes album and Going for the one which should also deserve high ratings.

The Gates of Delirium is amazing! Not an easy listen, but once you've heard it a couple of times you'll start to really love it.

As for side 2, I can't tell yet.

My favorites are Dark Side of the Moon and Close to the Edge but seeing Relayer so low, I had to vote for it. The Gates of Delirium is amazing.

25 Frances The Mute - The Mars Volta Frances The Mute - The Mars Volta Product Image

An epic masterpiece, with a 32-minute ending. There's even a track bearing the album's title that couldn't fit, so they had to release it as a separate single. The whole journey is continuous and interconnected.

The best progressive rock band of today with the best progressive rock album of today, and I just want to ask why Tokio Hotel is here? They're not even close to progressive rock.

Real progressive rock band! No pauses here, no blanks, TMV is just the best thrilling rock band ever. And Frances their best album

The most mind blowing album of all time. Listen to all in one sit down, INSANE

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