Best progressive rock album side

My intent is to seek albums which I may not own from the recommendations of you all. I ranked best sides of progressive rock albums on vinyl that I own and came up with the following list. I don't want it to undermine anything else that an artist has created. I love it all but as far as start to finish on one side this is what I came up with.

#1: Supper's Ready

#2: Terrapin Station

#3: Atom Heart Mother

#4 The Court of the King Crimson

#5 Echoes

Of course there are many more. Some may not be complete sides like Atom Heart Mother but the intent of the artisan was to make it a complete side. I had a very hard time deciding between #1 and #2. Both are very worthy in my mind.










...di terra

The Lamb Lies Down On Broadway - Giraffe.

Illusions On A Double Dimple 




In Held Twas In I - Procol Harum (RIP Gary Brooker)

A Plague of Lighthouse Keepers - Van der Graaf Generator

Fugazi - Marillion

Plenty to choose,

Jethro Tull-Thick as a brick

King Crimson-Red

Yes-Tales from Topographic Oceans

Gryphon-Red Queen to Gryphon three

Pink Floyd-Dark side of the moon

Caravan-In the land of grey and pink

Gentle Giant-Gentle Giant

Van Der Graaf Generator- H to He

Genesis-Selling England by the pound

Porcupine Tree-Signify

Gong-Camembert Electrique


Camel-The snow goose

Renaissance-Ashes are burning


Quicksilver Messenger Service - QMS

Emerson Lake Palmer - Tarkus

Traffic - Last Exit

Many would not consider it progressive rock but Marilyn Manson's Antichrist Superstar is a brilliant story through song about the dangers of fame (told through much metaphor and allegory). It came out as a CD and thus was represented as a complete work, not just a side. Production and sound quality  are excellent as well. Not everyone's cup of tea, but if you aren't familiar with it and want to try something different, check it out.

It's too bad that it was his/their creative peak so early in the band's time. They went from kind of schlocky shock rock to this amazing work and back again, never reaching the songwriting quality and mature expression they achieved with Antichrist Superstar.

When all of your wishes are granted, many of your dreams will be destroyed.

Best of’s are just way too subjective. Here are a couple of mine…

Rush: Hemispheres

Porcupine Tree: In Absentia

Tool: Undertow

Yes: The Yes Album

Pink Floyd: Dark Side

so many more, these came up first.

Renaissance; Turns of the cards, Ashes are burning

Traffic: Low spark and John Barleycorn

Pink Floyd: Wish you were here

Moody Blues: Octave, Days of Future past

Yes: Close to the Edge

King crimson: Islands

ELP: Brain Salad Surgery, Works Vol 1

No Idea if Asia is prog rock, but Asia’s 1st album was and is great.




50 Greatest Prog Rock Albums of All Time

Mike Oldfield. “Ommadawn”

Camel.   “Mirage”. ,  “Snowgoose”. , “Rajaz”

Not sure I can give best of, but Egg, Man, Rare Bird all have some tasty sides.

Uriah Heep Look At Your Self

Pink Floyd Meddle

Led Zeppelin III

Yes Fragile

Black Sabbath paranoid


This is mostly pretentious crap by second rate musicians.  I didn't even like most of it when I was young.

This thread should be changed to 'which are the most over-rated prog rock discs'.

Let me start.  #1  All of Genesis   #2 Most of Yes     #3  Some of Pink Floyd

Side one of the eponymously titled UK album that begins with In the Dead of Night and ends with Thirty Years.


Yes - Fragile (side 1)

Strawbs - Hero and Heroine (side 2)

Renaissance - Turn of the Cards (side 1)

Jethro Tull - Benefit (side 1)

Genesis - Seconds Out (side 1)

I recently saw Steve Hackett performing the entirety of the Seconds Out album. and it was outstanding. If you are a Genesis fan, I'd highly recommend that you try to catch one of the remaining shows on this tour.

WAY too many great ones, among many subgenres to decide on just a few.

So, I will break it down by subgenre.

Also, let me state from the get go, that I am always saddened to see lists like these on various forums, with the complete lack of Italian bands listed. IMO, some of the best prog ever, came from Italy.

Classic prog:

Yes - toss up between Close to the Edge or Relayer, side 1

King Crimson - Lark’s Tongue in Aspic side 1, but this is close to a toss up with side 2

PFM - Per un Amico side 1

Banco del Mutuo Soccorso - Io Sono Nato Libero side 1

Genesis - Selling England side 1


National Health - Of Queues and Cures side 1

Hatfield and the North - The Rotters Club side 2

Picchio dal Pozzo - S/T side 2 by a hair


Magma - Köhntarkösz Anteria it was released on CD, so there are no sides

Eskaton - 4 Visions side 1

Setna - Guerison CD only, no sides

Koenji Hyakkei - Viva Koenji Cd only, no sides


Thinking Plague - In Extremis CD only, no sides

Univers Zero - Uzed side 2

Art Zoyd - Berlin side 1

Henry Cow - Western Culture, side 2

Samla Mammas Manna - Måltid, side 1


Pain of Salvation - Remedy Lane, CD only, no sides

The Contortionist - Language, CD only

Wolverine - The Window’s Purpose, CD only

I could name quite a few more per subgenre, and even though I did list mostly recordings from the 70’s, I could name quite a few bands from the last couple of decades that I believe are close to those of the 70’s.

Bands like: Anglagard (Sweden), Deus Ex Machina (Italy), Echolyn (USA), All Traps on Earth (Sweden), Aranis (Belgium), Il Tempio Delle Clessidre (Italy), and quite a few more have recordings that I place near the best.

This is mostly pretentious crap by second rate musicians.  I didn't even like most of it when I was young.

This thread should be changed to 'which are the most over-rated prog rock discs'.

Let me start.  #1  All of Genesis   #2 Most of Yes     #3  Some of Pink Floyd

Coming from someone who is obviously only familiar with the best known prog from the UK in the 70's. 

Obviously is ignorant to how many different directions prog has gone since 1974.

2nd rate compared to who? The vast majority of prog musicians are substantially better than almost all mainstream rock musicians. 

Probably the only musicians that are better than prog musicians, are jazz and classical. But, depending on the musicians in question, that could be debatable, since many jazz and classical musicians also play in prog bands . 

And then there is the entire subgenre of avant-prog, where almost every band within this subgenre has multiple members that are grads from classical conservatories, many of whom play in orchestras and chamber ensembles, along with their avant-prog gigs.

It's my privilege not to enjoy much of this which is pretentious twaddle.

By the way Dr Sardonicus is not prog rock and I do like it.

More psychedelic than prog.

Dark Star / Grateful Dead / Live Dead

It was all downhill from there.

Close to the Edge / Yes

A tour de force of prog.

One of the things I love about this hobby is there are so many different facets to it. It’s difficult to say which ones I enjoy more and it varies from time to time, but the appreciation of the artistic expression of music is, to me, what every other aspect leads up to. And the actual listening is what truly does it for me.

I appreciate being turned on to different artists, and different releases thru this community. Things I’ve learned about both equipment and music from surfing this site have opened up my ability to enjoy music that I would’ve never otherwise discovered. All that to say:

@clearthinker  you’re such a d**k for hijacking this thread.

Why don’t you go stir up s**t somewhere else?

Genesis - The Lamb Lies Down On Broadway



It’s my privilege not to enjoy much of this which is pretentious twaddle.

By the way Dr Sardonicus is not prog rock and I do like it.

Well, that’s great, since the vast majority of prog is not pretentious, nor is it twaddle.

Spirit - Dr. Sardonicus is categorized as progressive rock, and a crossover with prog and psych, by just about every music site out there. Wikipedia only has it listed as prog. But none of their other recordings are. Something must be different about this record... Wonder what it could be?

I get it, you don’t like the limited bands you think of as prog, but since you do like Dr. Sardonicus, it just couldn't be prog. Your confirmation bias would not allow that.

Sorry that your knowledge of prog is so limited, that it only allows a very small percentage of music designated as prog through your filter. And thus, by default, anything that does not quite fit your narrow view, cannot be prog.

Well, isn’t that convenient?

Once again, there are many subgenres of prog, most of which sound nothing like Yes, Genesis, ELP, or any of he other few bands you allow by your filter..




Thanks for filling me in on what seems to be a lifetime of progrock that none of use probably would have time to listen to.

I was there at the beginning in the late 60s and so figured as I didn't like it then I wouldn't like it now.

For those of us that haven't listened to (not enough lifetime) all the music available it does seem dangerous to me to categorise it so that people who find they don't like a category are likely to eschew it.  Also provokes argument about who's in a category and who isn''t.  Like we stumble on with Dr S - 'I like this Artist Y so he can't be X category'.

What about Marc Bolan?  He moved from progrock to glamrock - goodness, he knew his marketing as well as those three chords.  He released the same song six times and topped the chart with at least 4 of them.  I certainly have to say it was one helluva riff.  I'd like to have 12 inches of those but I'm not sure they pressed any.  Hot love to all.



Don't worry about the negative nancies. I listen to the few bands you listed as recent prog and really liked All traps on Earth A drop of light. More punch than the others in a zeul sort of way. Saw Magma live in Geneva Switzerland around 1972, a concert that left the 500 people in the auditorium completely spent, literally laying flat on their seats. 

Anyhow I found a CD of ATOE on discogs and bought it. Thank you. 


"Quicksilver Messenger Service - QMS". I'm with you on this one.  But which side?

Clearthinker - self-professed president of the "we don’t call it Corn, we call it Maize" School of Music Criticism......The "indie cred" is strong with this one. So "edgy". Next thing ya know, he’s going to announce he doesn’t like Phil Collins.....

clearthinker is right about different strokes for different folks. But if you don't like progressive rock, then what are you doing on this thread.

Each side of...

Yes - Relayer

...and honorable mention...

side 2 of Alan Parsons - Tales of Mystery.  

Sallyangie, 'Children of the Sun', very nice, folk oriented, Mike Oldfield of Tubular Bells fame, and sister Sally headed up band. Amazing Blondel, 'Fantasia Lindum, again in the folk, pastoral subgenre.

Just a correction to the first post …


‘In the Court of the Crimson King’