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10 Must-Own Prog Albums

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Prog Albums

In a world where everything is random shuffle, it’s great to get back to basics, to listen to albums from top to bottom in the way they were originally conceived. Just check out the opening tracks on these 10 prog albums you should own, every one designed to stop you hitting that shuffle button. Click on the album titles below to learn more or stream.

  1. GenesisNursery Cryme (1971)
  2. RushMoving Pictures (1981)
  3. Van Der Graf GeneratorPawn Hearts (1971)
  4. CamelMirage (1974)
  5. Peter HamillThe Silent Corner and The Empty Stage (1974)
  6. SupertrampCrime of the Century (1974)
  7. Steve HackettVoyage of the Acolyte (1975)
  8. CaravanIn the Land of Grey and Pink (1971)
  9. Rick WakemanThe Myths and Legends of King Arthur (1975)
  10. Barclay James HarvestBerlin, A Concert For The People (1982)

Which prog albums would make your top 10? Let us know below in the comments…

74 Comments

74 Comments

  1. José Ignacio planelles ordoñez

    July 29, 2014 at 10:55 pm

    Es imposible hablar de los 10 mejores discos de rock progresivo y olvidar Dark side. of the moon por no hablar de yes king krimson jethro tull……

    • Leyla

      July 31, 2014 at 12:40 am

      Comparto tu punto de vista, aunque es King Crimson* mi estimado.
      Ho y también sin olvidar a Frank Zappa.

    • Dave

      December 30, 2015 at 9:10 pm

      Pero la nota no habla de los 10 mejores discos, sino de los 10 discos que deben oírse. Es una pequeña diferencia…

    • Gianni Arbuatti

      December 16, 2018 at 7:14 am

      Van ser grata generetor

  2. Deadhardy

    July 31, 2014 at 10:04 am

    This is a pretty shitty list.

    • David

      October 27, 2014 at 12:46 am

      List sucks. Supertramp? King Crimson, Nektar, Renaissance, ELP etc. etc. and more

      • Siomni

        November 6, 2014 at 2:11 pm

        Well this is not a “top 10 prog albums ever”, it’s a simple list of 10 albums everyone should listen to. I know there are better albums, but right now I’m discovering new music

      • L. Buttery

        December 15, 2015 at 9:26 pm

        I think, David, it’s less to do with the list sucking as the list simply not being long enough, and as a consequence, incomplete. Any of us Prog fans out in the world would add hundreds more awesome bands….of course King Crimson, (I also would not throw Supertramp into the genre even, as awesome as they were to see live!) and I am also less-sure the Rush belong in a Prog Rock list too. The rest belong in the list, and I would also hope that it’s not a ‘Top 10’, as again, I’d be changing the order and the band list there too!! 🙂 So many more (and in some cases much better bands from the era and genre – always a contentious issue….plenty of people love Crimson, but I hung around with a great many who didn’t. There is NEVER going to be a list, however long that list is, that will suit all of us, let alone a list of just 10.

        • Dave

          April 8, 2018 at 1:03 pm

          Rush belongs in this list just not Moving Pictures. The 70s was their classic Prog era so 2112 or A Farwell to Kings are much better selections.

          • Paul

            December 15, 2018 at 4:29 pm

            agree

    • DarthV

      December 15, 2015 at 8:44 pm

      Pretty shorty comment dude…

    • Reelman

      December 28, 2015 at 7:47 pm

      Very poor list. Gentle Giant, King Crimson, Focus, Eloy, Flower Kings,Curved Air, ELP, Tangent, IQ, TransAtlantique, Triumvirate, Magic Pie, Banco Del Mutuo Soccorso, Unitopia and so many more

  3. Kim R

    August 27, 2014 at 8:52 pm

    The Barclay James Harvest album choice should have been ‘Once Again’.

  4. Warren Zoell

    December 15, 2015 at 9:43 pm

    Where’s Gentle Giant, PFM, Yes, King Crimson?

    • commando

      December 14, 2018 at 8:04 pm

      Weather Report, Refugee, Jethro Tull, Colosseum, Ekseption, Curved Air, Renaissance, Procol Harum, Pink Floyd, Passport, E.L.P., Marillion, Gentle Giant ……….

  5. James T

    December 16, 2015 at 4:37 am

    Struck by the dates of these – virtually all in the 70’s

  6. Jeremy Shotts

    December 16, 2015 at 9:12 am

    I think a few people are missing the point.
    This is not about the bands and albums you already know and love. It’s the ones that are important that you may have missed along the way. An opportunity to catch up on neglected masterpieces…

    • Shummer

      December 29, 2015 at 3:07 pm

      exactly the point

  7. funki porcini

    December 16, 2015 at 12:01 pm

    Agitation Free

  8. Prog Lord

    December 28, 2015 at 7:39 pm

    I think this is a stand out list, ofc theres alot great albums and bands missing. But overall its a good introducing point for progrock to build on.

  9. Gompie

    December 28, 2015 at 8:34 pm

    I could easily do without nos 3-5-9. I would however include ‘Gentle Giant – Three Friends’ and ‘Barclay James Harvest’ first album’ and, but I think totally unknown to most of you ‘The Way We Are’ and ‘Groep 1850 – Paradise Now’.

  10. Miguel Coelho

    December 28, 2015 at 10:32 pm

    E Tales From Topographic Oceans, dos YES???
    Esta lista é medonha…

    • Reis Casal

      December 29, 2015 at 12:31 pm

      Para mim Yes são os reis do prog! Autênticas obras primas: Close to the edge, Fragile, Tales from topographic oceans, Yessongs, etç etç

  11. Lizrdking

    December 29, 2015 at 12:00 am

    In The Court Of
    Close To The Edge
    Snowgoose
    Air Conditioning
    Danger Money
    Thick As Brick
    Tarkus
    The World Became The World
    Foxtrot
    Moving Waves

    In no particular order

    • Phil White

      October 5, 2018 at 2:48 am

      Foxtrot –Peter Gabriel’s Genesis
      Demons and Wizards—Uriah Heep
      Houses of the Holy—Led Zeppelin
      Fragile—Yes
      In the Court of the Crimson King–King Crimson
      Trilogy –Emerson Lake and Palmer
      Six Degrees of Inner Turbulence–Dream Theater
      Sabbath Bloody Sabbath–Black Sabbath
      Ghost Reveries—Opeth
      Beguiled—King For A Day.

  12. paulo

    December 29, 2015 at 12:17 pm

    What about Gentle Giant, PFM,Gong, King Crimson?

  13. shawn

    December 29, 2015 at 12:23 pm

    this is no list without GENTLE GIANT FREEHAND

    • Paul

      December 15, 2018 at 4:28 pm

      totally agree Shawn ! I would also add Strawbs Hero & Heroine

  14. PikemanRoo

    December 29, 2015 at 12:41 pm

    Where’s Dark Side of the Moon? Is this Camerons choice?

  15. Allan Chemnitz

    December 29, 2015 at 4:59 pm

    My personal list would be:

    1. Pink Floyd:Dark Side of The Moon
    2. Pink Floyd: Wish You Were Here
    3. Steve Hillage:Green
    4. Yes:Close To The Edge
    5. Genesis:Selling England by the Pound
    6. Peter Gabriel:Melt
    7. Mike Rutherford:Smallcreeps Day
    8. Supertramp:Crime of the century
    9. King Crimson:In the Court of the Crimson King
    10:Mike Oldfield:Tubelar Bells

  16. Rafael Perrotta

    December 29, 2015 at 5:34 pm

    Weak list made by a person who does not know or does not like prog rock. Supertramp (shit). Where are the great albums of King Crimson, ELP, Triumvirat and Eloy? Red, Larks’ Tongues in Aspic, In The Wake of Poseidon, Tarkus, Mediterranean Tales, Power and The Passion, Inside and Dawn.

  17. John Blair

    December 29, 2015 at 5:39 pm

    I own 6 of the albums on this list, but still feel it’s wrong. My list would be;

    1. Camel – Nude (my fave album of all time)
    2. Yes – Close To The Edge
    3. Rush – Moving Pictures
    4. Barclay James Harvest – Everyone Is Everybody Else
    5. Kansas – Leftoverture
    6. Rick Wakeman – King Arthur
    7. Rick Wakeman – No Earthly Connection (so underrated)
    8. Pallas – The Sentinel
    9. Steve Hackett – Please Don’t Touch
    10. Kerry Livgren – Seeds of Change

    Some of you may thing a couple of these aren’t Prog, but it’s a personal choice.
    Hovering under would be albums by Yes (Going For The One), Genesis (Selling England By The Pound), Kansas (Somewhere To Elsewhere – their most underrated album), Saga (Silent Knight), Jethro Tull (Minstrel In The Gallery) and others by Procol Harum, Kings X and David Bowie (if he’s not Prog then none of the rest on any list are either).

  18. geo

    December 29, 2015 at 6:25 pm

    Yes – Relayer
    Yes – Close to the Edge
    Yes – The Yes Album
    Genesis – Trick of the Tail
    Pink Floyd – Wish you were here
    Camel – Moonmadness
    Muse – Black Holes and Revelations
    Muse – Absolution
    Kate Bush – Hounds of Love
    ELP – Brain Salad Surgery

  19. Lyell Loyd

    December 29, 2015 at 11:03 pm

    Yeah, I have them all. I am REALLY glad to see that Rick Wakeman up there. It never gets talked about but is one of my favorite albums of all time. I could debate the rest. I think you should knock out Rush and Caravan even though they are great albums to more prog like Nektar, yeah, Moonmadness, Octoberon, Tresspass. Kerry Livgren? Really? Stick a Gentle Giant LP in there.

  20. ArtR

    December 30, 2015 at 7:29 am

    The 10 albums everyone should listen to are:
    1. In The Court Of The Crimson King – King Crimson
    2. Close To The Edge – Yes
    3. Brain Salad Surgery – Emerson, Lake & Palmer
    4. Selling England By The Pound – Genesis
    5. The Power And The Glory – Gentle Giant
    6. Animals – Pink Floyd
    7. Scheherazade And Other Stories – Renaissance
    8. Per Un Amico – Premiata Forneria Marconi (PFM)
    9. 2112 – Rush
    10. Hot Rats – Frank Zappa

  21. WendyB

    December 31, 2015 at 5:41 am

    I click one of the links, and I’m taken to Spotify…. where I can only listen in shuffle. How ironic.

  22. renaud

    December 31, 2015 at 10:51 am

    This is en EXCELLENT list.
    List title is not “the 10 best prog albums” (impossible to do) but “10 PROG ALBUMS YOU MUST HEAR”. So, even if King Crimson should be in any “top” prog list, along with some other band, your list is OK !
    And NURSERY CRYME is my favourite Genesis album, ex aecquo with The Lamb !
    Sorry for my english.

    • Susie

      April 14, 2016 at 1:34 pm

      AFAIC thta’s the best answer so far!

  23. Leck

    April 19, 2016 at 10:14 pm

    My list would be;
    1 Still Life VDGG
    2 Godbluff VDGG
    3 Pawnhearts VDGG
    4 Wish you were here Pink Floyd
    5 Close to the edge Yes
    6 Court of the crimson king King Crimson.
    7 The least we could do is wave to each other VDGG
    8 Demons and Wizards Uriah Heep
    9 Argus Wishbone Ash.
    10 any Gentle Giant LP.

  24. Franklind John "GTV" Groth

    April 20, 2016 at 5:20 pm

    Ich bin verdammt sicher, ich würde auch Gentle Giant ‘Glashaus’, ‘Von Hand’, ‘Missing Piece’, ‘Interview’, einige YES,ja, Album von Flaming Gorge, die King Crimson, Primus, Ihnen Tool, Ach Yeh, Flaming Gorge ist Nationalpark, USA: riesiger Ecke Stein des Lebens / inglsch – huge corner stone of life

  25. Joe Roggi

    May 31, 2016 at 10:52 pm

    I dont Like The List sorry.
    mine would be
    1 Close to the Edge (1972) – Yes
    2 Tarkus (1971) Emerson,Lake & Palmer
    3 Selling England By The Pound (1973) – Genesis
    4 Animals – Pink Floyd
    5 In The Court Of The Crimson King – King Crimson
    6 2112 – Rush
    7 U.K. – U.K.
    8 Journey To The Center Of The Earth – Rick Wakeman
    9 Chunga’s Revenge – Frank Zappa
    10 Situation Dangerous – Bozzio, Levin & Stevens

    I didnt want to repeat artists if i did this wouldhave gone a different way

  26. Flamenco.dancing

    November 29, 2016 at 7:56 pm

    1) Genesis – Foxtrot
    2) Yes – Close to The Edge
    3) ELP – Trilogy
    4) King Crimson – Discipline
    5) Peter Gabriel – I (Car)
    6) The Nice – Ars Longa Vita Brevis
    7) Marillion – Clutching at Straws
    8) The Moody Blues – Every Good Boy Deserves Favour
    9) Camel – Breathless
    10) ELO – Eldorado

    • Ross

      June 16, 2018 at 3:37 pm

      LOVE THE CHOICES! Would definitely add in Zappa’s “Uncle Meat”, Family’s “Music In a Doll’s House”, Tull’s “Songs from the Wood”, Mike Oldfield’s “The Songs of Distant Earth” and, particularly as a newbie, Jon Anderson and Roini Stolt’s “The Invention of Knowledge”

  27. Håkan Brohoff

    November 29, 2016 at 8:29 pm

    1, Selling England by the pound – Genesis
    2. Ommadawn – Mike Oldfield
    3. You – Gong
    4. Fragile – Yes
    5. Overnite Sensation – Frank Zappa
    6. Dark Side of the Moon – Pink Floyd
    7 Moonmadness – Camel
    8.Sommerabend – Novalis
    9. Red Queen to Gryphon Three – Gryphon
    10 Wish you were here – Pink Floyd

    • Paul

      December 15, 2018 at 4:33 pm

      every prog fan has their own top ten !

  28. Manuel

    November 30, 2016 at 2:46 pm

    Son cientos las listas sobre cuáles deben ser los mejores discos de rock progresivo. Es agotador. ¿ Es que nadie va a fijarse en las nuevas tendencias del progresivo y los nuevos grupos? Pink Floyd, Génesis, etc están muy bien pero….leer buena literatura no es solamente Cervantes y Dickens!

  29. Alex

    December 15, 2016 at 10:10 am

    1-Fragile-Yes
    2-Trespass-Genesis
    3-Larks Tongs in Aspic -King Crimson
    4-Emerson Lake & Palmer -The first Album
    5-Tarkus-Emerson Lake & Palmer
    6-Led Zeppelin 2
    7-Atom heart mother-Pink Floyd
    8-Relayer-Yes
    9-Hot Rats-Frank Zappa
    10-Tubular Bells -Mike Oldfield

  30. Alex

    December 15, 2016 at 10:31 am

    1-Pink Floyd -Pink Floyd
    2-We’re only in it for the money -Frank Zappa
    3-Islands-King Crimson
    4-Camel -Camel
    5-The Voyage of the Acolyte -Steve Hackett
    6-In a Gadda Da Vida Baby-Iron Butterfly
    7-Pawn Heart’s -Van Der Graft Generetor
    8-Space Odity-David Bowie
    9-Close to the Edge-Yes
    10-Dark Side of the Moon-Pink Floyd

  31. Øystein Håvard Færder

    February 22, 2017 at 1:39 pm

    I like that they included both a Van der Graaf Generator album and Peter Hammill album there, as well as Caravan’s Land of Grey and Pink. However, would rather prefer King Crimson and Moody Blues than Rick Wakeman and Supertramp. As for Barclay James Harvest, I rather prefer Once Again or Barclay James Harvest And Other Short Stories.

  32. Adam

    March 23, 2017 at 7:26 am

    Did Keith Richards come up with this list? ‘Nursery Chryme’ is not even a first rate Genesis album let alone classic Prog…

  33. Gaston

    March 24, 2017 at 12:58 am

    A ‘best of’ prog list without Gentle Giant in it is not a ‘best of’ prog list, period.

  34. presdoug

    March 24, 2017 at 2:17 am

    Triumvirat-Illusions On A Double Dimple
    Wallenstein-No More Love
    Libra-Libra
    Dzyan-Time Machine
    Colosseum Live
    Passport-Cross-Collateral
    Quatermass-Quatermass
    Giger Lenz Marron-Beyond
    Dedalus-Dedalus
    Wishbone Ash-Argus

  35. Tony

    March 28, 2017 at 8:30 pm

    As has already been said, its not a definitve list but some albums well worth a listen. All the ones listed that I have heard are very good albums. There seems to be some debate as to whether Supertramp are prog are not. Guess that is subjective but to me they undoutably are and Crime is in my books as progressive as any other album in the list. It would definately make my top ten list any day

  36. Bilge

    March 29, 2017 at 11:51 am

    I listened to them back in the day. Didn’t think they were worth buying the albums to add to my collection. Did tape the Caravan one though.

  37. valery

    March 29, 2017 at 1:09 pm

    Very poor list. Why only 10? My list includes more than 200 Greatest Prog Albums. Yes, Genesis, King Crimson, Van der Graaf, Gentle Giant, ELP, Rick Wakeman, Pink Floyd, Kansas, Camel, UK, Jethro Tull, Colosseum, Traffic, Man and many many other. This list is very subjective..

  38. Miklos

    March 29, 2017 at 5:12 pm

    My list:
    1. Pink Floyd: Ummagumma
    2. Van Der Graaf Generator: Pawn Hearts
    3. Yes: Close To The Edge
    4. Emerson, Lake and Palmer: Tarkus
    5. Jethro Tull: Thick As A Brick
    6. Genesis: Nursery Cryme
    7. Peter Hammill: Silent Corner..
    8. King Crimson: Starless and Bible Black
    9. Mahavishnu Orchestra: Apocalypse
    10. Gentle Giant: Three Friends

  39. Sedgewick Ponsonby Smythe-Armstrong

    March 29, 2017 at 7:22 pm

    Er, Rush and Supertramp are not prog.

  40. kohann

    March 29, 2017 at 9:45 pm

    Magma: mekannik destruktiv kommando

  41. Matthew

    March 30, 2017 at 12:53 am

    Egg: The Polite Force
    Soft Machine: Volume 2
    Hatfield and the North: Hatfield and the North
    Henry Cow: Unrest
    The Mothers of Invention: Uncle Meat
    Magma: Kohntarkosz
    Robert Wyatt: Rock Bottom
    Slapp Happy/Henry Cow: Desperate Straights
    Univers Zero: Heresie
    Gong: Angel’s Egg

  42. ken

    March 30, 2017 at 5:42 am

    Sun Treader “Zin-Zin” …Colosseum “Those About to Die” Armageddon “Armageddon” …King Crimson “Red” …Quatermass “Quatermass” … Mahavishnu Orchestra “Birds of Fire” …Colosseum “The Grass Is Greener”

  43. RRB

    April 19, 2017 at 7:38 am

    Any of you ‘rock Schmidt’s ever hear of Coheed and Cambria!??

  44. RRB

    April 19, 2017 at 7:40 am

    Anything by Coheed And Cambria.

  45. Art R

    April 24, 2017 at 1:32 am

    1. In The Court Of The Crimson King – King Crimson
    2. Close To The Edge – Yes
    3. The Power And The Glory – Gentle Giant
    4. Selling England By The Pound – Genesis
    5. Wish You Were Here – Pink Floyd
    6. Thick As A Brick – Jethro Tull
    7. Godbluff -Van Der Graff Generator
    8. Rubycon – Tangerine Dream
    9. The Hatfield And The North
    10. Brain Salad Surgery – Emerson, Lake & Palmer

  46. Mark Amos

    June 5, 2017 at 10:45 am

    I would add Egg to this list.

  47. DC

    June 18, 2017 at 12:15 am

    What no Andare a Cazzo

  48. Marcus

    April 5, 2018 at 11:42 pm

    No Yes? Come on…

  49. Patrick Vyncke

    April 6, 2018 at 8:22 am

    Difficult to choose but 10 albums:
    1. Zappa: One-size fits all
    2. Rush: Hemispheres
    3. Jethro tull: Minstrel in the gallery
    4. Yes: Close to the edge
    5. Gentle giant: Three friends
    6. Genesis: Selling England by the pound
    7. Egg: The civil surface
    8. Magma: Mekanik destruktiw kommandoh
    9. Camel: Mirage
    10. U.K. : U.K.

  50. Graeme Wright

    April 6, 2018 at 9:13 am

    These are 10 albums ai would recommend to anyone who wants to dip their toe into the river of Prog rock. They may not necessarily be the best but they are representative:
    1) Mike Oldfield – Hergest Ridge
    2) King Crimson – Red
    3) Camel – Moonmadness
    4) Yes – Relayer
    5) Genesis – Selling England By The Pound
    6) Transatlantic- Kaleidoscope
    7) Dream Theater – Octivarium
    8) Porcupine Tree – Deadwing
    9) Big Big Train – The Underfall Yard
    10) Dave Kerzner – New World

  51. François RICHARD

    April 6, 2018 at 4:09 pm

    I would easily agree that in the real ‘classics’ Prog groups, you can hardly forget or avoid bands like Yes, Gentle Giant, King Krimson (real pioneer), IQ, Jethro Tull (for the Thick as a Brick/Passion Play period) Spock’s beard (or any Neal Morse Project), Pink Floyd (another pioneer band, especially with Sid Barrett), PFM, and so on. But there’s so many. Our age is a big factor, as our first great discovers will remain ‘major’ all our life. Mine was Foxtrot from Genesis. I don’t mean that it is the best ever, but the most signifiant for ME. All that is so subjective. Let’s just love and share our love for the best music in the world (up to me!): PROG MUSIC.

  52. Strobinski

    June 16, 2018 at 5:07 pm

    1. Genesis – The lamb lies down on Broadway
    2. King Crimson – In the court of the Crimson king
    3. Marillion – Script for a Jester’s tear
    4. P.F.M. – Photos of ghosts
    5. Pink Floyd – Dark side of the moon
    6. Yes – Close to the edge
    7. Rush – A farewell to kings
    8. Camel – The snow goose
    9. Gentle Giant – Three friends
    10. Jethro Tull – Aqualung

  53. Bruce Francis Simpson

    July 14, 2018 at 8:39 pm

    SOMEBODY likes listening to Pete Hamill scream at things…

  54. Rich Gentile

    August 25, 2018 at 5:39 pm

    Yes : Fragile
    Jethro Tull : Aqualung
    ELP : Brain Salad Surgery
    Pink Floyd : Wish You Were Here
    Atomic Rooster : Death Walks Behind You
    Caravan : Caravan
    Camel : Camel
    King Crimson :In the Court of the Crimson King
    Family : Family Entertainment
    Coloseum : Daughter of Time

  55. wedgepiece

    August 30, 2018 at 5:50 pm

    Yes – Tales From Topographic Oceans
    Genesis – The Lamb Lies Down On Broadway
    King Crimson – Larks’ Tongues In Aspic
    Emerson, Lake & Palmer – Brain Salad Surgery
    Jethro Tull – Thick As A Brick
    Pink Floyd – Wish You Were Here
    Rush – A Farewell To Kings
    Kansas – Leftoverture
    Gentle Giant – Octopus
    Museo Rosenbach – Zarathustra

  56. Carlos Terrazas

    September 6, 2018 at 5:26 pm

    my list is: 1 – King Crimson – Larks Tongues in Aspic 2 – Yes – Fragile 3 – Genesis – Selling England By the Pound 4 – Camel – Stationary Traveller 5 – U. K. – Same 6 – Hatfield and the North – The Rotters Club 7 – Pink Floyd – Dark Side of the Moon 8 – Gentle Giant – Octopus 9 – Focus – Mother Focus 10 – Triumvirat – Spartacus.

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