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Pariah

Nominations: Essential Progressive Rock Albums

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So, which progressive rock albums would you consider essential? I'd like to solicit nominations, one or two at a time, and then conduct a poll or three to narrow the list down to 10 or 15 total albums.

 

The first step is nominations. Nominate no more than two albums for post, please. Include a sentence or two for each album to explain why you're nominating it.

 

If you like an album that someone else has nominated, post a comment seconding the nomination. We'll let this thread for go for about a week, after which I'll take all nominated and seconded albums and create a poll.

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At some point I will create a Google Document to keep track of which albums have been nominated and seconded. When I do so, I will include the link here.

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I will get the ball rolling with a couple of pretty obvious ones.

 

Days of Future Passed by The Moody Blues.

One of the first concept albums, and one of the first rock albums to feature a full orchestra. 

 

Moving Pictures by Rush.

This album features different musical styles, thought-provoking lyrics, exceptional musicianship (to say the least), and a hit single that features multiple shifting time signatures.

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1 minute ago, Logan.1179 said:

Are you including greatest hits albums or just the original albums?

 

Great question. Let's limit it to original albums. If I get highly-motivated, maybe I'll do one for Greatest Hits albums later.

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In the Court of the Crimson King by King Crimson.

 

The Dark Side of the Moon by Pink Floyd

 

Reason for inclusion: Both are axiomatic masterpieces. If Pariah needs more, I can post later. 

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Fragile by Yes. Starts out strong with "Roundabout", it's an album where it's possible to hear new details on each listening.

 

Foxtrot by Genesis. While all of the tracks are good, the pinnacle has to be "Supper's Ready", a sprawling 23 minute opus that makes the best use of all of the band's talents.

 

 

 

I will second Days of Future Passed.

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Second Court of the Crimson King, Fragile, and Dark Side of the Moon.

 

I am not entirely certain where the boundaries are on the genre.  Some of the below may be defined out of the category, but I still consider them essential.

  • The short-lived supergroup GO's eponymous album
  • Breathless by Camel
  • Blow by Blow by Jeff Beck
  • Machine Head by Deep Purple
  • Open Fire by Ronnie Montrose 
  • Brain Salad Surgery by Emerson, Lake, & Palmer
  • Asia
  • Boston

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4 hours ago, Cancer said:

I am not entirely certain where the boundaries are on the genre.

 

I'm not entirely certain that anyone is. Of the ones you listed, I would definitely include Brain Salad Surgery as prog, with Asia being a borderline case.

 

Boston is a great album, and Tom Scholz is certainly bombastic enough to be mentioned in the same breath as guys like Rick Wakeman and Keith Emerson, but I don't personally consider Boston to be a progressive band.

 

I don't know that I have enough knowledge or a strong enough opinion to comment on any of the others you mentioned. 

 

Which I guess is the point. Nominate, then let the voters decide.

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Just for me personally, I think lead/rhythm guitar needs to be at the forefront of the music for it to be in the 'rock' category, otherwise it goes into the pop genre.  To me, Genesis is pop and so is Rush's 80s stuff where they started using synthesizer heavily.

 

The Best of the Moody Blues is an album that may fit.

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Having studied Pariah's link my first two nominations must be:-

 

Ok Computer - Radiohead

Listed as one of the albums of the year when it came out,. The most well known tracks are Paranoid Android, Karma Police and No Surprises. Just billiant

 

Script for a Jester's Tear - Marillion

This is their debut album and all tracks exceed 5 minutes with only 6 tracks on the album. He Knows You Know is about Drug Abuse while Garden Party has a go at elitism and snobbery.

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Next two nominations

 

Bat Out of Hell - Meatloaf

Every home should have a copy. This is more about the singer and the song rather than instrumentation. The title track is over 9 minutes in length. Truly epic. 

 

And all of Muse's output is listed as prog.Shame I can't have the live in Rome or Wembley albums but still. So let's have

Black Holes and Revelations - Muse

This has Knights of Cydonia and Supermassive Black Hole as tracks. The tracks are EPIC. 'Nuff said 

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Although The Yes Album, Fragile, and Close To the Edge are my favorite YES albums; I'm going to nominate Tales From Topographic Oceans. To me it's even more "progressive" than the other three. It's still an incredible album, although for me it requires more... "effort", I guess, to process it.

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I would suggest Tales of Mystery and Imagination and I Robot, both by The Alan Parsons Project.

 

I'd second Foxtrot.

 

Edit: Tales from Topographic Oceans is brilliant.

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7 hours ago, Cygnia said:

I'd argue "2112" or "Hemispheres" is more prog than "Moving Pictures", but that's just me.

 

I don't think that counts as an official nomination for either album, so I will go ahead and nominate "Hemispheres" (although it's REALLY hard not to also nominate "A Farewell to Kings").

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