The first Prog band I got into (albeit in the late 1980s). The first truly Prog album I properly listened to was Fragile (1972). Initially, I found the sounds amusing and dated (in the same way 1980s music sounds to us now!), but I soon warmed to the musicianship.
Genesis (up until the departure of Steve Hackett in 1977) created a wonderful version of Progressive Rock, incorporating a very classical feel and elements of Victorian England, at the same time being able to let rip and rock out.
Canada's response to the British Prog bands of the early 1970s. Rush fused the power and hard rock of Led Zeppelin with the complex arrangements of Yes and Genesis and forged the beginnings of what would become Progressive Metal. They went through a number of style changes throughout the years, but remained basically a great rock three-piece. A fantastic band live.
At their finest for me in the mid to late 1970s (from their Prog to folk Prog period), Tull created wonderfully complex arrangements with a very earthly feel - all very tongue-in-cheek.
My favourite solo musician, Mike has produced a number of great albums (although he's lost his way in recent years in my opinion). At his best in the early 1970s and early 1980s for me.
Guitarist for Genesis during their classic Prog period. Steve remained loyal to the more contemplative music of Genesis and when they moved towards pop he 'abandoned ship'. Equally at home with a full rock band or Spanish guitar, he manages to incorporate a wide range of influences into his music. Hackett continues to tour with a great bunch of musicians.
Great U.S. band with a terrible name. Spock's Beard comprises a group of very talented musicians who got together in the 1990s with a view to writing modern and original music in a classic Prog Rock style.
Difficult to label. Their name suggests gothic obsessions with death, but is meant to describe the fact that living music can be made from dead, inanimate materials. DCD combine elements of medieval and early European music with international influences.
Need no introduction. Britain's finest pop/rock band of all time in my opinion. Their songwriting skills as a team and individually were phenomenal. I think there are a lot of lesser known album tracks which are just as good if not better than their singles.
Pure rock, without all the image trappings of heavy metal. Music to ride motorbikes to! All of their albums are good in their own way.
Again, great songwriting from Sting in particular. The Police managed to take the energy of pop and fuse it with some fantasic musicianship. Stewart Copeland was a drum hero of mine.
An often overlooked band, but again some great songs were written by the band and their albums were always strong. I particularly loved their 2000 album, Minor Earth Major Sky.
The only band in recent years to have made my ears prick up. Muse have made great musicianship fashionable again. Now dubbed New Prog, they've always managed to fuse classical influences and great musicianship, just like the original Prog bands. With their The Resistance album, they finally came out of the Prog closet with their Exogenesis Symphony.
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