For a brief window in the early 70s, prog exerted a powerful influence on the rock music scene while winning over a healthy, enthusiastic audience. Most fans now identify the top progressive bands as such: Yes, Genesis, ELP & King Crimson. In the fifth spot, I usually see either Pink Floyd (who some claim weren't really prog at all) or Jethro Tull (who were sometimes prog, sometimes not as much). Leaving aside these leading lights, who were your favorite lesser known progressive artists? Which bands delivered a significant body of work that helped to shape the progressive sound, even though they may not have been as broadly accessible? What is it about these bands that makes them worthy of more consideration in your eyes? For my money, Gentle Giant embodied the best of the progressive spirit but though they earned a healthy cult following, they were a little too esoteric for mass consumption. They delivered outstanding musicianship that always served the songs without getting overly showy just for the sake of it. They developed their own distinctive sound, melding rock with jazz, classical, folk and medieval influences in a fresh way. They didn't typically indulge extended (some might say padded out) epics like Yes, keeping their compositions tightly focused yet still elaborate and adventurous. And they delivered an impressive string of solid albums right up through Interview, in my estimation, one of the best track records I can think of. We can go with a pretty broad definition of prog here, but let's try not to go too far afield. I tend to emphasize the classic 70s era, but you can certainly feel free to recognize newer bands if you feel that they're delivering something special.