Top 10 Prog Rock Bands Of All Time

date: 09/16/2011 category: music news
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Rolling Stone asked their readers to name their favorite prog rock bands of all time. The results were collected in a top ten list, and we've rounded them up below. There's plenty of amazing groups in there, and every artist has pressed music forward in their own way - just as prog rock should. But we know UG readers are more knowledgable than other music fans, and think you could do better. Have Rolling Stone readers got their priorities wrong? Have they missed an obvious contented? Or maybe you love the ranking presented here. If you do, defend it! Let's see if UG readers think they've pulled it off. Ladies and gentlemen, the top 10 prog rock bands of all time. 10. Dream Theater 2011 for Dream Theater might be an endless drama of "Oh I wish I still drummed for them," and "Oh you did drum for us but you left but we wanted you back," and "Oh I'll join again then," and "Oh sorry we're found someone who isn't such a showoff." Yes, founding member Mike Portnoy might have left the band that made his name, but the legacy he shares with Dream Theater does not go underrated. Their new album is about to land, and once again guitarists will fawn over guitar hero John Petrucci - and rightly so. 9. Mars Volta Punk-rock had a jolt to the heart when At The Drive-In released their swansong 'Relationship Of Command'. But the post-hardcore group collapsed under their own success in 2001. It could have been a tragic end to a stunning discography, but guitarist Omar Rodriquez-Lopez and singer Cedric Bixler moved on to indulge in their second teenage music affair: prog rock. The result was 'De-Loused In The Comatorium', an impressivly timeless display of prog for a new generation. 8. Tool Perhaps more prog-metal than rock, and great believers in 'less-is-more' having released only four albums across their two-decade career together. Lead singer Maynard James Keenan keeps busy fronting A Perfect Circle and Puscifer while the band devote time and mathematics to their next album, as established in this fan video which deconstructs the lyrics to 'Lateralus' and its relationship to the Fibonacci sequence. When Maynard sings about how we can contemplate divinity, even as a mere human, you can't help but be warmed. 7. Emerson, Lake and Palmer This is where the list starts feeling its traditional roots. The title 'Emerson, Lake and Palmer' might sound more like a law firm than a rock band, but don't be fooled. They emerged as a 1970s supergroup, pulling members from Nice, King Crimson and Atomic Rooster, blending classical music with prog in a way that hadn't quite been previously conceived. 6. Yes Yes have been many bands, when you consider their ever-evolving lineup. The only consistent member has been bassist Chris Squire, but every musician entering the gates to their rehearsal room has been of a remarkable standard, as their discography shows. Then again, you might dispute that point. Some say the group have never been the same since 1983's 'Owner Of A Lonely Heart', and that itself was a comeback of sorts from the 70s heyday. Regardless, Yes were pivotal in not only prog rock, but metal too. 5. King Crimson Another example of an ever-changing line-up held together by one consistent member - in this case, Robert Fripp. Their 1969 debut 'In the Court Of The Crimson King' was a key moment in prog rock, in some ways planting a boot firmly in the next decade while summers of love wrapped up for the 60s. Sadly, Fripp seems to have lost interest in maintaining King Crimson in recent years. "Today, there are greater necessities for me than pulling new KC music from the air & touring the world to present it to ears that would rather hear an older repertoire," he wrote in a 2010 online diary. "A younger Fripp would have dealt with it, and suffered. An older Fripp chooses his suffering more carefully." See if you can spot the sample used in a recent pop hit from this track. 4. Jethro Tull Who beat Metallica and '..And Justice For All' to the Grammy Award for Best Hard Rock/Metal Performance Vocal or Instrumental in 1987? Why, Jethro Tull and their album 'Crest of a Knave'. The band constantly pump out albums and tours, bringing flute music and a bed of prog-rock to the fore. Again and again. 3. Genesis Let's get the timeline straight: Genesis were fronted by Peter Gabriel while they built a solid prog rock credibility, then the drummer Phil Collins took over singing duties in the 1980s and brought them a whole new era of classic music. Then Phil left after their 1992 tour, and the band lost their way with new singer Ray Wilson. Sorted then. 2. Pink Floyd They were going to rank highly, weren't they? There's no point reiterating the impact of this band, but the video below almost never existed. It is their classic line-up reunion for the 2008 Live 8 performance in London, arranged by Bob Geldof. The 'best of Pink Floyd' line up hadn't played together for 24 years, but after some hard work, Geldof brought them to the stage for a glorious four-song set. Keyboardist Richard Wright has since died, so it's a good thing they reformed before it was too late. 1. Rush Rolling Stone say Rush won their poll by a landslide. The Canadian group will have won thanks to their enthusiastic fan community, one of whom asked for a Rush song to be broadcast into space while he was working as an astronaut on the space shuttle Endeavour. Respect is due because, unlike most of the top 10, the same line-up have stuck together throughout their career. And who could forget the stunning drummer Neal Peart, who also ranked on our Top 10 Drummers Of All Time. It's a great list from Rolling Stone, but as ever, UG readers can do better. Share your comments below.
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