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Best Prog albums?

Discussion in 'Recordings [BG]' started by Toronto Bassist, Mar 25, 2014.

  1. Toronto Bassist

    Toronto Bassist

    Jan 9, 2008
    As with the Fusion thread, not necessarily the best prog bass albums, but if that's your criteria, then so be it. So what's on your list?

    Here's mine:

    Pink Floyd: Animals, Dark Side Of The Moon, Meddle
    Jethro Tull: Aqualung, Thick As A Brick
    Wishbone Ash: Argus
    Renaissance: Scheherazade And Other Stories, Ashes Are Burning
    Yes: Close To The Edge, The Yes Album, Relayer, Yes
    The Mars Volta: Bedlam In Goliath, Deloused In The Comatorium
    Emerson, Lake, and Palmer: Brain Salad Surgery, Tarkus
    Cathedral: Stained Glass Stories, The Bridge
    Pure Reason Revolution: Cautionary Tales For The Brave
    Rush: A Farewell To Kings, Moving Pictures, 2112, Signals
    Glass Hammer: Culture Of Ascent
    Spock's Beard: Day For Night
    King Crimson: Starless And Bible Black, Discipline, Red, In The Wake Of Poseidon,
    Dream Theatre: Images And Words, Train Of Thought
    Big Big Train: English Electric 1, Gathering Speed
    Le Orme: Felona E Sorona
    Genesis: The Lamb Lies Down On Broadway, Foxtrot, Nursery Cryme, Trick Of The Tail, Selling England By The Pound, Tresspass
    Gentle Giant: Free Hand, The Power And The Glory
    Styx: The Grand Illusion
    Vand Der Graaf Generator: Pawn Hearts, H To He Who Am The Only One
    Porcupine Tree: In Absentia
    Magma: Mekanik Destruktiw Kommandoh
    Focus: Moving Waves
    Oblivion Sun: Oblivion Sun
    Utopia: Ra, Oops! Wrong Planet
    Kansas: Point Of Know Return
    Steven Wilson: The Raven That Refused To Sing
    Camel: The Snow Goose
    Neal Morse: Sola Scriptura
    Discipline: To Shatter All Accord
    Soft Machine: Third
    UK: UK
    Steve Hackett: Voyage Of The Acolyte
    10cc likes this.
  2. tangentmusic

    tangentmusic A figment of our exaggeration

    Aug 17, 2007
    Your list is very similar to what mine would look like.
    I'm a huge Yes fan, so you've got them covered pretty good, but I would add Tales From Topographic Oceans.
    I'd add Hemispheres by Rush to the list too.
    Nice selection of classic & newer Prog.
  3. No Tool? Or are you trying to stay away from prog metal?

    Also, Opeth's newest album "Heritage" strayed off their typical metal leanings into an, IMO, very King Crimsony album.
  4. Toronto Bassist

    Toronto Bassist

    Jan 9, 2008
    It's on the wishlist - I'll get around to it eventually.

    Prog Metal is hit and miss for me, I like the newer Dream Theater album but I picked up Arjen A. Lucassen's "Space Metal" and Cynic's "Traced In The Air," and I wasn't crazy about them. Maybe they just need more listens.

    Anyways, this thread isn't just about me! Feel free to post your own stuff, it doesn't have to be a gigantic list :)
  5. Lee Moses

    Lee Moses

    Apr 2, 2013
    I'm not as well-versed in progressive rock as in some other genres, but there are several albums I absolutely love:

    1. The Yes Album
    2. Pretty much any pre-Signals Rush, but to narrow it down . . . Moving Pictures
    3. Rush, Farewell to Kings
    4. Rush, Permanent Waves
    5. King Crimson, Court of the Crimson King ("Love" might be a strong word, but it's really grown on me, and it absolutely deserves a very high place in the history of progressive rock).
    6. Yes, Fragile
    7. Rush, 2112
    8. Rush, Hemispheres
    9. Kansas, Leftoverture
    10. Yes, Relayer
    11. Yes, Close to the Edge
    12. Genesis, The Lamb Lies Down on Broadway
    13. Genesis, Selling England by the Pound

    I just saw you had The Grand Illusion on your list . . . that would have to be on mine also.

    I'm guessing we'd have to classify Genesis as "pop" by the time Abacab came out . . . but if not, that's probably my favorite Genesis album.
  6. Bass_Thumper


    Oct 20, 2009
    Madison, MS
    For newer prog, I've been digging bands like Transatlantic, The Flower Kings and Riverside.

    I just picked up Transatlantic's Kaleidoscope and have been really been enjoying it. If you like Neal Morse's other work, I can't imagine that wouldn't like this as well.

  7. Toronto Bassist

    Toronto Bassist

    Jan 9, 2008
    Speaking of Neal Morse, I forgot about his album "Flying Colors," which is phenomenal. It also features Steve Morse (no relation) and Dave LaRue.

    Another good newer prog album that I forgot about was "Part The Second," by Maudlin Of The Well.

    edit: check out the cool bassline:

  8. M0ses


    Sep 11, 2009
    Los Angeles
    Your shunning of Fragile and In The Court Of The Crimson King confuses me.

    Too mainstream to make your Prog Favorites? lol
  9. Toronto Bassist

    Toronto Bassist

    Jan 9, 2008
    What's confusing? I don't care for "Fragile" (other than Roundabout and Long Distance Runaround) and "In The Court Of The Crimson King" has lots of good material, but I don't like the "free jazz" (for lack of a better term) sections. I realize that's kind of a King Crimson thing, but it has yet to grow on me.
  10. Roscoe East

    Roscoe East

    Aug 22, 2011
    With the exception of Thank You Scientist I am completely out of the loop on contemporary prog.

    I'm a big fan of Yes, King Crimson, and Gentle Giant. But not a whole lot of the other "classic" prog bands.

    I really like Henry Cow and Soft Machine, but I sometimes feel like they're not so much "prog-rock" bands as they are European Parallel-Invention Jazz/Rock Fusion Played By Non-Jazz Musicians bands.

    The whole Canterbury Scene intrigues me, though it also strikes me as hard to classify; it's almost prog-rock, but with the pretension swapped out in exchange for humor and/or insoucience.

    And I detested Happy The Man when they first hit the scene, but I've come to recognize and appreciate how important they were in the whole history of the genre, and I'd encourage anyone not familiar with their recordings to check them out.

    I'm sorry, what was the question?
  11. Roscoe East

    Roscoe East

    Aug 22, 2011
    Oh, okay, "best prog albums" (aka, my favorites)

    Tales From Topographic Oceans - Yes
    Relayer - Yes
    Free Hand - Gentle Giant
    Octopus - Gentle Giant
    Red - King Crimson
    Starless And Bible Black - King Crimson
    USA (and/or The Night Watch) - King Crimson
    Discipline - King Crimson
    Beat - King Crimson
    UK - UK
    Refugee - Refugee
    Of Queues And Cures - National Health
    In Praise Of Learning - Henry Cow
    Legend - Henry Cow
    Unrest - Henry Cow
    Egg - Egg
    Black Noise - FM
    i - Patrick Moraz
    Fish Out Of Water - Chris Squire
    Beginnings - Steve Howe
    Olias Of Sunhillow - Jon Anderson
    10cc and smeet like this.
  12. Oldest to newest:

    Pink Floyd - Ummagumma, and any of the older stuff.
    ELP - Trilogy.
    Yes - Yessongs, and any of the older stuff.
    Rush - 2112 thru Moving Pictures.
    Asia - Self titled.
    Dream Theater - Images & Words.
  13. I like the OP's suggestion of Spock's Beard, but I think the bass parts are more interesting (and cuts through the mix better) on Beware of Darkness and on V, and even Octane.

    Dave Meros and Nick D'Virgilio were a great rhythm section. Not everybody's cup of tea, but the style of music really allows the bass the space to shine.
  14. mellowinman

    mellowinman Free Man

    Oct 19, 2011
    In the Court of the Crimson King
    Brain Salad Surgery, Tarkus, Pictures at an Exhibition
    Meddle, Atom Heart Mother, Dark Side of the Moon, Wish You Were Here, Animals, Ummagumma
    Thick as a Brick, Aqualung
    The Beatles White Album (YES, it's prog)
    Close to the Edge, Fragile, The Yes Album, Drama
    Selling England by the Pound, The Lamb Lies Down on Broadway
    Caress of Steel, 2112, A Farewell to Kings, Hemispheres
    Days of Future Passed, In Search of the Lost Chord, On the Threshold of a Dream
    John Barleycorn Must Die, Low Spark of High Heeled Boys
    We're Only in it for the Money

    Just off the top of my head.
  15. NOVAX


    Feb 7, 2009
    I think both the pedigree, performance & material on the album UK sums up what
    progressive rock is to me- more synth, less sax. IMHO of course
    smeet likes this.
  16. patrickj


    Aug 13, 2001
    Baltimore, MD
    For me, prog is anything more intricate than radio. Requiring a bit more musicianship than radio doesn't hurt either, but I'm not an ability snob. Mainly, the idea is what's important. I'm always looking for something new to keep my ears fresh. My current favorite prog albums:

    Tesseract - Altered State
    Scale the Summit - Traveler && Migration
    Indukti - Idmen && Susar

    DT - Train of Thought && Six Degress are their best/my favorite, followed by Scenes/Metro2 and Systematic Chaos. I've been dry humping their songs for years, love all of their music, albums, dvds, etc. But their early catalog right up to Metro 2 feels very progressive-dated. The new stuff (BC&SL onwards, but I'll throw Octa in there even tho it's out of order) doesn't feel very passionate. They can always throw a curve ball out there, but I think their best writing years were 1998-2008ish and those will be their lasting songs.
  17. Dave W

    Dave W Supporting Member

    Mar 1, 2007
    White Plains
    It's funny what other people think about DT. For me, I think their last really good album was Scenes From a Memory. All of their newer stuff is very hit and miss. It's like they tried to start being "more metal" and didn't really think about putting any feeling into the songs.

    I know they've always been criticized of not having feeling, but I disagree on a good amount of their material.
  18. Some more recent stuff that I like.

    Anglangard - Viljans Öga (Some of the proggiest prog I have ever heard.)
    Beardfish - Mammoth, The Void
    Echolyn - Islands

    I don't get into the "metal" side of prog much (King Crimson is about the nastiest I like), definitely not the Dream Theatre kind, I like prog to have lots of space in the recordings and lots of room for all instruments to get weird
    10cc likes this.
  19. fishtx

    fishtx Supporting Member

    Mar 30, 2007
    Dallas, TX
    Endorsing Artist: Spector Basses/Genz Benz - RIP/Mojo Hand FX
    Kansas has been mentioned a couple of times, but not this record - Masque (my favorite Kansas album)
    G-MonRV5 and anton m like this.
  20. There's a few bands that could honestly have multiple releases includes in my list, but I'll streamline and pick only one album from each band. In no particular order here are my favorites...

    Older stuff:

    King Crimson - Red (although some days it's Lark's Tongue)

    Yes - Close To The Edge

    ELP - Trilogy

    Jethro Tull - Thick as a Brick

    Genesis - Selling England

    Rush - Hemispheres

    More Recent Stuff:

    Tool - Aenima

    Mastodon - Crack The Skye

    Intronaut - Valley of Smoke

    Converge - Jane Doe

    Isis - Wavering Radiant

    Mars Volta - Deloused

    Opeth - Blackwater Park

    Death - The Sound of Perseverance

    That's off the top of my head, and as said before I really could list multiple albums by all of the above artists.