10 Best Progressive Rock Albums Of All Time
The strangest and the greatest.
Since its inception in the late '60s, progressive rock has provided creative housing for some of the most eccentric and imaginative artists out there. From sweeping, Tolkien-inspired fantasy epics to bizarre cocktails of classical symphonies with blues rock, the genre has proven to be limitless on the oddity front.
While King Crimson are often credited for starting the craze with their jazzy, acid rock-focused sound, groups in the years after have taken it to new heights. Spreading throughout the UK and United States rapidly in the '70s, the genre reached a mountainous peak in popularity.
While it's never quite seen the mainstream highs of that decade again, it remains a seminal and influential member of the rock and roll world. By the '80s, seemingly every artist in every genre was dabbling in the use of synthesisers, a staple of many prog acts.
Even up to today, everyone from hip hop artists like Kanye West (or just Ye now for... reasons) to metal giants Tool have taken pointers from the heady, hallucinogenic marvels of prog rock.
Now in its '60s, prog rock boasts a treasure chest of classic albums to enjoy. Here are 10 of the best.
10. Can - Future Days
Then-vocalist Damo Suzuki has claimed in the years since that 'Future Days' was so good he never wanted anything to do with Can again. Satisfied with the high quality of the 1973 classic, Suzuki checked out at the peak of his powers within the group.
The German outfit's fourth LP saw them throwing convention to the wind. In place of a more straightforward, more sensible rock sound, listeners were treated to an ambient blend of synthesisers, violins and bizarre psychedelic rhythms. The final track on the album, 'Bel Air', is essentially a mini-album in its own right, a near 20 minute adventure through experimental sounds and complexities.
The album is best known for 'Moonshake', a fast-moving, pop-friendly single that features Suzuki at his most minimalist and relaxed. It's a stark departure from the otherwise heady, long form work populating the rest of the LP.
Released to great acclaim at the time, 'Future Days' was hailed as a new creative high in German rock by many. Though only four songs long, this eccentric piece of prog rock history is sharply produced, well-paced and endlessly re-listenable.