View Full Version : Top 5 "Classic" Prog albums

12-16-2002, 06:13 PM
Thanks for the responses on the newer Prog albums. I'm sure this has been done before, but I don't see an archives listing.

Out of the "Classic" era of Prog (approx. 1968- 77), what are your Top 5 albums? I want to make this tough, so PLEASE KEEP IT TO 5!!!

Here are mine:

1) King Crimson-In The Court of the Crimson King
2) Pink Floyd-Dark Side of the Moon
3) Yes-Close To The Edge
4) Emerson, Lake & Palmer-Brain Salad Surgery
5) Renaissance-Ashes Are Burning

12-16-2002, 10:11 PM
1. Pink Floyd - Dark Side of the Moon
2. Yes - Close to the Edge
3. ELP - Brain Salad Surgery
3. Genesis - Lamb Lies Down on Broadway
4. Mike Oldfield - Ommadawn
5. King Crimson - Red

I think...

12-17-2002, 02:17 AM
1) Tales from Topographic Oceans - Yes
2) Selling England by the Pound - Genesis
3) Focus 3 - Focus
4) Dark Side of the Moon - Pink Floyd
5) To our Children's Children's Children - Moody Blues.

This will probably change in about 5 minutes but as a snapshot in time this is it for now.

Merry Christmas to all.

12-17-2002, 11:06 AM
Hmmm.... Here goes nothing...

1. Genesis - Foxtrot
2. Yes - The Yes Album
3. King Crimson - Red
4. ELP - Trilogy
5. Genesis - Selling England By The Pound

I have to go re-boot my brain now.

Kurt Preston
12-18-2002, 03:30 PM
1. RUSH - Caress of Steel
2. Pink Floyd - Dark Side of the Moon
3. Alan Parsons Project - Tales of Mystery and Imagination
4. Yes - Drama
5. UFO - Flying

12-20-2002, 12:58 PM
1. Yes - Relayer
2. Yes - Going for the One
3. Pink Floyd - Wish You Were Here
4. Pink Floyd - Meddle
5. Oldfield - Tubular Bells

That's not exactly definitive.

12-20-2002, 02:22 PM
Gotta include some 3-LP sets:

Yes - Yessongs
ELP - Welcome Back My Friends
Genesis - Foxtrot
Pink Floyd - Dark Side Of The Moon
Magma - MDK

top that!

01-02-2003, 09:20 PM
In no particular order:

1) Genesis- Foxtrot
2) Gentle Giant- In A Glass House
3) Jethro Tull- Thick As A Brick
4) Yes- Close To The Edge
5) King Crimson- In The Court Of The Crimson King

Hard to narrow it down to just 5.

Azure Feast
01-03-2003, 04:40 AM
... but I will stick to 5 albums...

Genesis: Selling England by the Pound
Pink Floyd: The Dark Side of the Moon
Yes: Going for the One (Weird choice indeed, but I like it)
Supertramp: Crisis, what crisis? (Is THIS prog ?)
Machiavel: Mechanical Moonbeam (This IS prog and belgian and 1977)

01-03-2003, 09:03 PM
Yikes! This'll be hard... here goes


My God! There are no Yes albums here!!!

01-07-2003, 12:49 PM
Yes - Relayer
Genesis - Trespass
Alan Parsons - Tales of Mystery and Imagination
Mike Oldfield - Tubular Bells

... oh, yeah
Tull - Thick as a Brick

... oh, yeah...:cool:

02-04-2003, 11:05 AM
Jethro Tull - Thick as a Brick
Yes - Relayer
King Crimson - Lark's Tongues in Aspic
Genesis - The Lamb Lies Down on Broadway
Pink Floyd - Animals

Extended Play
02-07-2003, 01:45 PM
King Crimson - Islands
Pink Floyd - Wish You Were Here
Genesis - Selling England By The Pound
Frank Zappa / Mothers - Roxy & Elsewhere
Moody Blues - Days Of Future Passed

Homourable Mention:
Pink Floyd - Dark Side of the Moon
Yes - The Yes Album
Gentle Giant - Octopus

02-09-2003, 02:01 PM
1. The Lamb - Genesis
2. The Yes Album - Yes
3. Moving Waves - Focus
4. Thick as a Brick - Jethro Tull
5. Kansas - Leftoverture *

* I might have put Pink Floyd's D.S.O.T.M. here but I'm not so sure that one fully qualifies as progressive?.... although I'd sure like to hear opinions on that... !

02-09-2003, 09:36 PM
The opening theme of Breathe comes back in at the end of Time, and everything just flows from one song into the next...

It's so prog.

02-10-2003, 02:31 PM
it's prog. It's been so long since I actual played this one. Been spending too much time exporing the unknown lately. I had only "Money", "Time" and "Great Gig" (still songs that borderline on prog when taken seperately) stuck in my mind. I just blew the dust off my cd copy and gave it a play, and clearly it fits as a package. Thanks for puttin me straight Spaz :}

02-10-2003, 07:12 PM
... and 'Money' is in 7/4.

The case is closed...

02-10-2003, 07:42 PM
The early 70's put out so many great sounds
that it is hard to narrow it down..

1. Yes "Close to the Edge"-
the real epitomy of what progressive ment in the 70s rock scene, it tied with "Fragile" at this spot, a tough decision
2. King Crimson "In the Court of ..."-
progressive with bite for added measure
3. Genesis "Lamb Lies Down..."-
they hit their stride on this one, it tied with "Nursery Crime" at this spot, another tough call
4. ELP "Brain Salad Surgery"-
the title says it all, what a skullf**k
5. Renaissance "Ashes are Burning"-
Annie Haslam, what a voice what a band

If you want to talk about bands like Pink Floyd, Hawkwind, and Caravan; I believe you need to look into the psychadelic music genre that was coming out of the 60's, these fringe bands tend to get grouped in with progressive rock due to the experimental nature of the music/lyrics

02-10-2003, 08:56 PM
I think it's important not to confuse the notion of 'progressive rock' with the different charactistics of prog which appeal to us as individuals : Why do I like prog? Is it the long, complex songs? The employment of odd time signatures? The experimentalism?

What most prog bands have in common though, is that they challenge the idea most people have about rock in terms of form.

02-11-2003, 05:03 AM
The way that DSOTM is structured it is almost like a mini-symphony. The opening, 'Speak to Me', is the album's overture, with some of the main sound effects (talking, which runs through the whole album; the screaming Clare Torrey, who does it again in 'The Great Gig in the Sky')and the heartbeat, plus the aural explanation of the theme of the album. Actually if you listen, the heartbeat goes from the start of 'Speak to Me', then into 'On the Run', and then when the chiming guitar chords play at the start of 'Time'. The REPEATING of ideas is one of the main points of composition.

The cash register effects are in 'Money' (which was introduced in 'Speak to Me'). The heartbeat reappears in 'Eclipse'. It's a very cleverly constructed group of compositions that relate to a theme. Therefore it is a concept album. Ergo, it is also progressive.

02-11-2003, 03:09 PM
Yeah, I like Prog too.

Extended Play
02-13-2003, 01:27 PM
I'm glad this discussion came up about Dark Side. The 30th anniversary comes up next month, just reminding me of how much sway this album still holds. Regardless of whether or not you consider it "prog", this is one that forced people to think differently about what constitutes pop. Especially mind-bending to think of where rock could go while not insulting the audience's intelligence.

Keep up with the set lists I'm posting for Extended Play. If you're keen on DSoTM, the March 2nd show should be a very enjoyable one.


P.S. The description just a few back about how Prog challenges form is probably the most spot-on definition that I've heard so far. Good discussion, it's all in your mind.

02-14-2003, 11:50 AM
Hey EP, I heard a bootleg that a friend of mine bought of Phish performing DSotM in its entirety. It was pretty good, especially replacing all the synth and Mellotron stuff with plain old organ and piano, and their live-instrument reproduction of On the Run was great, as was Anastasio's attempt to be Clare Torrey in GGinS. They let the audience do Waters' laugh. That would be great to hear if you've got it.

Extended Play
02-14-2003, 12:38 PM
Don't have a good copy of that show on hand, but I'll definitely keep it in mind for the future.

Neil T
02-16-2003, 12:18 AM
I've just read this thread and I feel like I'm in good company.

I agree with everything everyone else has put in except for some of the King Crimson stuff which I frankly don't like.

I'll give five, but given everyone else has contributed similar material I'll try to stretch a little away from the obvious.

1. Yes - Relayer. Close to the Edge is the best TRACK but Relayer is conistently the best album.
2. Genesis - Lamb.
3. The Enid - In the Region of the Summer Stars (original recording, not the watered down remix they put on the CD version).
4. Gong - The whole Teapot Trilogy, but If I had to choose one it would be Angel's Egg.
5 Oldfield - Tubular Bells.

Rick and Roll
02-21-2003, 10:08 PM
I haven't been logged on in months - I wanted to give you my 5 "newer" prog first (in no order):

1) Discipline - "Unfolded Like Staircase"
2) Flower Kings - "Stardust We Are"
3) Queensryche - "Operation Mindcrime"
4) Djam Karet - "The Devouring"
5) Echolyn - "As The World"

"Older" classic prog:

1) Manfred Mann - "Nightingales and Bombers" (how's that for a rarity?)
2) Ronnie Montrose - "Open Fire"
3) Focus - "Hamburger Concerto"
4) Finch - "Glory of the Inner Force"
5) Black Sabbath - "Heaven and Hell"

03-09-2003, 01:34 AM
Ah! the old "If I was stuck on a desert Island with only 5 albums" question.

Interesting to see almost everyone has picked from the same 15 or 20 LP's to come up with a top 5. Its hard to argue with most picks. Here is my choice du Jour.

Genesis - Selling England...
Camel - Snowgoose
Zappa - Hot Rats (prog??)
Yes - Relayer
Happy the Man - Crafty Hands

Its hard not to put Pink Floyd's Darkside on the list but it just got played to death on the radio.

I don't remember the dates on some of these so they may not qualify as "classic Prog. Rock" but hey.


Neil T
03-09-2003, 08:55 AM
A little while back I discussed a very old definition of prog rock but in retrospect I don't like my use of the word "repetetive" in describing the alternative. I think the word suggests "boring" which wasn't my intent. A better word would have been "cyclical".

I still like my original definition that "progressive" is (or was originally) a technical term describing music that progresses from theme to theme as opposed to the cyclical nature of other popular forms.

To me, a lot of the music being discussed here falls under the broader, more inclusive umbrella of "art rock" which includes various other musical forms including jazz rock, some of the more complex hard rock and ambient (all of which are popular here).

Under that definition...
Child in Time is progressive, Speed King isn't.
Stairway to Heaven is progressive, Black Dog isn't.
Most of the Gabriel era Genesis songs are, most of the Post Gabriel songs aren't.
Awaken is progressive, Don't Kill the Whale isn't (Find My Way Home though, is - it doesn't HAVE to be long).
Dark Side of the Moon is, though the individual track on it mostly aren't.
Most Beatles songs aren't but Seargent Pepper the album is.

Frankly, I think what we play here would be far better described as "Art Rock" rather than "progressive" because otherwise we keep having to expand the term progressive to include anything we find complex enough to be interesting which loses the original meaning which defined a whole revolution in the art form and besides we already have that inclusive term which describes exactly that.

What we're listening to here is "Art Rock" which includes Prog Rock as one of it's leading lights but includes other musical forms with high artistic merit, too.

03-09-2003, 12:12 PM
I offered what I thought was a reasonable definition of Prog Rock in another link but thinking about it.......who cares HOW you define it as long as you love it and it enhances your life?

Neil T
03-09-2003, 04:21 PM
who cares HOW you define it as long as you love it and it enhances your life?

Nobody, if you're only talking to yourself.

But if you're trying to compare notes with someone with a completely different definition then you can get into all sorts of misunderstandings if you're not careful.

03-09-2003, 04:37 PM
Originally posted by Neil T

But if you're trying to compare notes with someone with a completely different definition then you can get into all sorts of misunderstandings if you're not careful.

Hi Neil,

I DO agree with what you say. It can lead to serious misunderstanding.

My original thought was that since we AM listeners probably have a common starting point ie. The Music that we love to hear, the NEED for defining what it is we're listening to is diminished, surely?

That's not to say that you'll like EVERYTHING that I like and vice versa..........God Help us if we all agreed. However, that's a different argument and is nothing to do with the definition of Prog Rock.

03-11-2003, 11:46 AM
We're riding a dead horse. Please, Kill this Horse, but Don't Kill the Whale (is prog)!

03-11-2003, 06:12 PM
The Horse is dead. Long live the Whale!!!!

03-11-2003, 08:18 PM
Ahhh, but before we can say that, we first have to define what horses and whales are.

Rick and Roll
03-11-2003, 09:09 PM
there must be some kind of mistake. I was waiting for a prog song by Phil Collins - he was late (by about 25 years).

Horses are prog, Unicorns are art rock.

I apologize for helping to create this mess. I will be more than happy to help kill the horse or whatever animal it will take to do the job.

03-12-2003, 02:34 AM
A large hoofed mammal (Equus caballus) having a short-haired coat, a long mane, and a long tail, domesticated since ancient times and used for riding and for drawing or carrying loads.

Any of various marine mammals of the order Cetacea, having the general shape of a fish with forelimbs modified to form flippers, a tail with horizontal flukes, and one or two blowholes for breathing, especially one of the very large species as distinguished from the smaller dolphins and porpoises.

Not a bad definition of Horse and Whale methinks!!!

Unicorns are just Horny Horses!

Phil Collins prog? I guess that "In the air tonight" might qualify but most of his solo stuff is just pop pap!!!

Time for another argument?

rock chick
03-12-2003, 11:23 AM
Hi..Tough descion,

1)King Crimson : In The Court Of The Crimson King
2)Yes : Close To The Edge
3)Genesis : Selling England By The Pound
4)Pink Floyd : Dark Side Of The Moon
5)Van Der Graaf Generator :Still Life

I also considered Peter Hammills : The Silent Corner And Empty Stage and maybe a Todd Rundgren album but choosing one of his best was tooooo hard..:mad:

Rick and Roll
03-12-2003, 06:09 PM
I agree with you wholeheartedly about Phil Collins, my friend! Please re-read the post if you are unsure. I think that's something we all can agree on.

03-25-2003, 10:05 PM
New here, this are my fav's

1.- Foxtrot........................................... Genesis
2.- Trilogy........................................... ELP
3.- Nursery Cryme...............................Genesis (What can I do? I'm an early Genesis fan)
4.- In the Court of the Crimson King......King Crimson
5.- Sheherezade and other Stories.....Renaissance



Phil Collins prog? I guess that "In the air tonight" might qualify but most of his solo stuff is just pop pap!!!

Agree 99%, because I can't bear any Collins song, and Genesis only up to W&W.

04-02-2003, 07:44 PM
Well Here's My List....

Camel: Snow Goose

Genisis: Lamb Lies Down On Broadway

ELP: Pictures at an Exibition

Rick Wakeman: 6 Wives of Henry the 8th

Dixie Dreggs: Freefall (It's hard to put a label on the Dreggs but I love em!):D

04-11-2003, 10:19 AM
1) Yes Close To The Edge
2) Pink Floyd Wish You Were Here
3) Genesis Wind And Wuthering
4) Pink Floyd Dark Side Of The Moon
5) Yes Relayer

04-22-2003, 02:33 PM
1. King Crimson..............Thrak
2. Gentle Giant...............Aquiring The Taste
3. Yes.............................Close To The Edge
4. Genessis....................Lamb Lies Down
5. Pink Floyd..................Animals

black max
04-29-2003, 11:13 AM
I admire you people's guts for trying to weed it out to just 5. No can do on this end. Random commentary:

Nice to see mention of later KC, Djam Karet, and some of the others. Djam's "The Devouring" is a tremendous choice; far and away their most "traditionally" proggy, it has a great Pink Floyd feel to it that most of their other material lacks.

I hate the term "prog." I use it for lack of a better term. The discussion of "art rock" vs. "prog" was interesting, but the term "art rock" is no better. Wish there was a really workable term for the music..."Weisenheimer," maybe, or "Shmoo."

Rick and Roll
04-29-2003, 08:59 PM
is also another word (although Shmoo is a great word). Please don't start the old prog discussion. My ass still hurts from getting reamed by the comments.

Good to see some feedback on the Djam Karet. They're just an amazing group. The Devouring is a transcendental recording. It's like KC's Discipline, in my book.

The Live at Orion disc is also fantastic (I only live about 15 miles away from Orion Sound Studios). Snag it if you can find it. Discipline also has a incredible recording from there.

And for the Echolyn fans, they just played there Saturday (I had a previous commitment, for which I will be eternally pissed). Word has it that they recorded that show. Maybe there will be another Live At Orion disc soon!

black max
05-05-2003, 11:07 AM
No, we don't want to start that chestnut rolling again. But it's too bad we can't come up with a term better than "prog." Dave Grisman calls his stuff "dawg music." That works for me.

Djam Karet is a major find for anyone who appreciates guitar-driven, uh, prog music. "Burning the Hard City" is one of my favorites along with "The Devouring," "Reflections from the Firepool," and others. The Live at Orion disc is very good, a terrifically clean mix, and a great place to start for people who are curious to find out what DK is all about. I'm slightly less taken with their last two albums, from what I've heard, but I know DK well enough to know that if I give the new stuff a chance, it'll grow on me.

Rick and Roll
05-05-2003, 09:39 PM
Burning The Hard City is the one that really got me into them (along with Firepool). I agree - the last two are a bit inferior, even after comparison with Devouring. If they would have combined them (I think the last one is a short release), that would have been good.

05-06-2003, 04:23 PM
I'd have to agree - New Dark Age and Ascencion are a bit weaker than some of DK's better efforts (I especially like Firepool and BTHC), but there are some fine moments on there.

I've just ordered Devouring and will be adding that to the station shortly - not sure how I've gone without it for so long, since I think a lot of it. I also have the newest "A Night For Baku", and so far I'd rate it above New Dark Age/Ascencion - a bit more keys than is typical for them, and good songs. Look for it here soon as well...

Rick and Roll
05-06-2003, 10:53 PM
I wasn't aware of a new one - I don't get out much anymore. I'll have to take a listen. Is Mike Henderson only on some of it, or it is it just keyboard-oriented?

05-07-2003, 06:49 PM
very interesting...

Fish out of water
Wish you were here
Tales of t.o.
The six wives of henry VIII
Turbulent Zone (Versus X)

And so many others... It's a torture.

05-09-2003, 11:17 AM
The new one is called "A Night For Baku", and features all 5 members - both Aaron Kenyon and Henry Osborne are playing bass now. It's similar to "typical" DK, but with more keys than in the past. Still has the inspired guitar leads, ambient soundscapes, and jamming skills that we love so well...

Rick and Roll
05-09-2003, 06:34 PM
that sounds like a winner to me!

black max
05-10-2003, 02:02 PM
"The Ritual Continues" is also prime DK.

Howard Roark
06-04-2003, 11:26 PM
Hello All,

I will start my virgin post off with my fav discs.

1 Rush- A Farewell to Kings
2 Starcastle- Starcastle
3 King Crimson- In the court of the crimson King
4 ELP- Trilogy
5 Max Webster- Mutiney up my Sleeve

Thanks for looking.:)

06-05-2003, 02:08 AM
Originally posted by Howard Roark
Hello All,

I will start my virgin post off with my fav discs.

1 Rush- A Farewell to Kings
2 Starcastle- Starcastle
3 King Crimson- In the court of the crimson King
4 ELP- Trilogy
5 Max Webster- Mutiney up my Sleeve

Thanks for looking.:)

Nice to see someone with a Starcastle album in their list.......a first I think.

I bought their first album after reading a review in Sounds (a British music paper from "a While" back and never regretted it for a moment. As a Yes fan I could see the similarity but so what? The songs were good esp. Forces and they made me want to get some more. When I bought Fountains......... I was even more delighted. Citadel was a bit disappointing and Real to Reel was even more so. I thought they'd lost their Prog aspect completely and had become more Boston or Foreigner.

Enough raving. I'm off to request Fountains of Light from the play list.

Welcome to the forums Howard.

Howard Roark
06-05-2003, 09:10 AM
Hi Keith,

Thanks for the welcome!

It's a shame that Starcastle had to suffer the pressure of their record label, so much that it caused the disband of the group!

Looking back on things I get kind of a charge out of the fact that many people were quick to make the Yes comparison, while today, most of the "New" bands that I hear ALL sound the same..just an old musicians perspective I guess. ;)

Max Webster suffered the same fate, only they were in the shadow of RUSH, not a bad shadow to be in, but another talented group of musicians had to call it a day.

The good news is that Starcastle is getting ready to release a new CD,according to their website and with luck, these younger bands will get a chance to see some very talented musicians perform when they decide to tour. Starcastle was one of the best live bands that I can remember from that time period.



06-13-2003, 06:55 PM
though I'm a new member, I've held my Starcastle roots under my hat; they seem to not get quite the respect they deserve. I would agree completely with your album reviews, Keith, Citadel and Reel were just plain disappointing, regardless of why they were written. Starcastle got me into other groups, like Yes, and later on, Genesis(around the Three Sides Live period, which suited me just fine; Wind and Wuthering is another favorite.) I wish my budget allowed me to experience the depth of AM!

one other group I used to listen to(yikes, 20 some years ago!) was Barclay James Harvest. not really sure if they qualify for prog status, it's been so long since I've listened! where's that vinyl... :cool:

06-13-2003, 08:51 PM
There's one other plus to Starcastle. I met Gary Strater at Nearfest 2001 - he was selling the Starcastle CD that's on AM and contains alternate versions of several classic Starcastle tracks and a few new pieces as well - and he's a heck of a nice guy. I was taking a break during one of the bands (I can only sit in a seat for so long before getting real antsy, so I was having a beer, listening to After Crying, peeking in occasionally, and talking with Gary.) He confirmed that they were working on some new material. There was also a guy attending Nearfest that was nearly Herb Schildt's (keyboardist) double, and we had a laugh over that - I even said "Isn't that one of your bandmates?"

Yeah, they were kind of derivative of Yes. So what? They didn't steal riffs - all their compositions were original - did anyone ever actually mistake them for Yes? If you're going to be inspired and heavily influenced by a band, there's choices that are much worse...

06-14-2003, 03:17 AM
Originally posted by roger
one other group I used to listen to(yikes, 20 some years ago!) was Barclay James Harvest. not really sure if they qualify for prog status, it's been so long since I've listened! where's that vinyl... :cool:


BJH? Now there's a pretty good band. They have been around for years as you say and, in the British press at least, were always reffered to as "The Poor Man's Moody Blues" - The band even released a song called that on their album "Gone to Earth". It was a very tongue in cheek rewrite of Nights in White Satin.

The only reason I could see for the comparison was their use of mellotron. I always liked the band and their songs were good and the playing excellent.

I'd say that they qualify for the AM playlist. Their songs have a definite prog sound/feel to them especially on ones like 'Mockingbird', 'Galadriel' and 'Summer Soldier'.

If we were to get some on the playlist a good starter would be the live albums "BJH live" and "Live tapes" as they have a good cross section of their work.