Great Prog bands who weren't one of "the Big Five"

Discussion in 'Music Corner' started by Tristero, Aug 10, 2017.

  1. pbuzby

    pbuzby Forum Resident

    Chicago, IL, US
    I found their first album cheap a few years ago. It's a good Yes imitation.
  2. stax o' wax

    stax o' wax Forum Resident

    The West

    It F**ucking diabolical.

    Jon Anderson heard it and called Atlantic records and asked them why they released the new Yes album without his permission.
    And then admitted he didn't remember writing those songs.
  3. SquaRoots

    SquaRoots Forum Resident

    Laniakea Superba
    Hatfield And The North
    Quiet Sun
  4. chrisblower

    chrisblower Forum Resident

    Would have thought dutch band Supersister deserved a mention ...very worthy band and Focus of course
    thematinggame likes this.
  5. Harry Hood

    Harry Hood Forum Resident

    As we tend to gravitate straight to the 70's for prog, I'll go with the next 5 as -
    Gentle Giant
    Van Der Graaf Generator (even though I don't actually like them)
  6. peteham

    peteham Forum Resident

    Simcoe County
    They were fusion. Not prog.
  7. HotelYorba101

    HotelYorba101 Forum Resident

    I would definitely put Rush in the big 5, actually I would argue they have more of a mainstream "big" presence than ELP and King Crimson especially nowadays
    Laser Red likes this.
  8. kaztor

    kaztor Forum Resident

    My bubbling unders:

    Gentle Giant
    Soft Machine
    Van Der Graaf Generator

    On the poppier side of the equation:

    On the louder side of the equation:
    Between The Buried And Me
    Animals As Leaders
    Last edited: Aug 12, 2017
  9. kaztor

    kaztor Forum Resident

    Alan Parsons Project
    Manfred Mann's Earth Band
    Procol Harum
    Moody Blues

    From Holland:
  10. Say It Right

    Say It Right Forum Resident

    Niagara Falls
    Well, the thread topic didn't ask what genre Rush belong to, but do what you do to to.
  11. TLMusic

    TLMusic Musician & record collector

    From the original post, second paragraph:
    @Say It Right I don't understand your comment about the wheels falling off the thread. The OP specifically asked for "lesser known" progressive rock artists "worthy of consideration". Your opinion of whether groups from a non-British country are "wannabe" and do not qualify may not be shared by other posters, including myself.
    stax o' wax and Zeki like this.
  12. stax o' wax

    stax o' wax Forum Resident

    The West
    Yeah, it was a joke.
    Say It Right likes this.
  13. Spaghettiows

    Spaghettiows Forum Resident

    Silver Creek, NY
    I suppose, aside from the hard rock part, you could say the same thing about Genesis.
  14. George Co-Stanza

    George Co-Stanza Forum Resident

    Well, Genesis was part of the first wave of prog rock (in the later 60s), so they get the prog label for obvious reasons. And even when they went away from doing all prog rock, they still kept their toe in the shallow end and dabbled in prog on every album with a few songs. Heck, even Invisible Touch, their most pop rock album, has a couple of songs most describe as "proggy."
    The Bishop likes this.
  15. resistanceisfutile

    resistanceisfutile Resplendent in Divergence

    Druid. Two albums, "Toward the Sun" and "Fluid Druid". Heavy Yes influence.
    prognastycator likes this.
  16. Roberto899

    Roberto899 Forum Resident

    Iron Maiden has prog elements on some their albums also, although I wouldn't call them prog. Heavy Metal prog maybe? hhahaha
  17. Tristero

    Tristero Forum Resident Thread Starter

    I'm not really a big Rush fan but I think that there was certainly enough prog in their late 70s/early 80s output--and to some extent, even beyond that--to merit consideration. Coming up a little later, they had to adopt a more streamlined approach for the 80s, as they all did, but they still had occasional prog flourishes later on.

    I failed to mention Van Der Graaf Generator previously, though others have. They're extraordinary, though I have to be in a certain frame of mind to appreciate them. I'm not always up for the intense sturm and drang of their classic epics, but when I'm there, it packs a visceral punch. There are also moments of heartbreaking beauty. VDGG had an extended run of classics throughout the 70s, including the underrated World Record, as well as his solo albums which typically featured his bandmates. I also enjoy the later Van Der Graaf period (now playing The Quiet Zone). More successfully than most of his peers, Hammill was able to adapt and evolve while always remaining true to his vision.
    prognastycator likes this.
  18. bibliotudinous

    bibliotudinous Music Freak

    Sonoma County, CA
    Eloy, Renaissance and Kansas
    sonofjim likes this.
  19. thematinggame

    thematinggame Forum Resident

    Sorry I did not know this , I tried to find some old NME or MM record reviews/ articles but you need to log in to read them - I am not sure when I first heard the term but certainly not before the late 70*s / early 80's (Marillion comes to mind ) but I am not sure - I certainly don't remember it being used in German music magazines (Sounds, Musik Express etc) in the 70's but again I'm ready to learn otherwise.

    I remember there was an article in German sounds about Yes around 1973 called "Rückkehr in eine neue Innerlichkeit" (or similar, loosely translated it means Return to a new inwardness) and I might dig this out to see what terminology (if any) is used there
    Last edited: Aug 13, 2017
    The Bishop and Zeki like this.
  20. sonofjim

    sonofjim Forum Resident

    Seven pages in and I believe you're the first to mention Eloy. Nice addition.
    bibliotudinous likes this.
  21. rikki nadir

    rikki nadir Forum Resident

    London, UK
    This thread has awakened lots of memories of my progfan apprenticeship in the 1970s in the USA. As I entered my teens I moved my listening interests from The Beatles and the Monkees to the Who, Elton John, David Bowie, and Lou Reed/Underground.

    In 1975 I got into Yes via an older friend of a friend who had a real hi-fi system - he played us 'Roundabout' and Close To The Edge and I was hooked for life! I gradually acquired the albums over that year, and began reading and looking for a related band. ELP were played a lot on the radio and I enjoyed them, but the lack of virtuoso electric guitar irked me. I already enjoyed Pink Floyd as an influence on Bowie, and again DSOTM and Wish You Were Here were played constantly on FM radio. I bought a few Uriah Heep albums because of the Roger Dean covers, and that taught me about expectation and packaging (although they later became a guilty pleasure).

    The problem was that with a very tight budget based on my allowance and lawn-mowing/occasional babysitting, I could not explore possible prog options the way I craved. I convinced my Mom to add a cut-out copy of King Crimson's Starless and Bible Black when the local A & P supermarket displayed a load of albums in aisle number 7, and I liked the album a lot.

    Then in early 1976 a wonderful thing happened - one of the downtown record stores had bins of cutouts and they stocked a number of copies of the Buddah Genesis albums Nursery Cryme and Foxtrot. I gambled $1.99 on the latter, took it home having no idea what to expect, and played 'Watcher of the Skies'. I can still remember what I thought and felt - this was just the most amazing thing ever. As soon as possible I went back to get the other Genesis album, and raided my savings so I could afford Trick of the Tail, which as a new release was on sale for $3.99.

    In 1976-77 I investigated the rest of the Yes/Genesis/King Crimson catalogues, and also looked for other bands and artists to explore. Again, this was difficult. Snapping up cutouts and double-live albums was the most cost-effective way of doing this, but left me puzzled over Gentle Giant's Playing The Fool, Caravan's Blind Dog At St Dunstan, and albums by Soft Machine, Camel, and some of the other band mentioned on this thread. I got the Rush album All The World's A Stage after an article in Creem magazine revealed their desire to make music similar to that of my heroes, but struggled with it. I got the first Starcastle album when it came out in early 1976 because I was fourteen years old and didn't know any better - I thought maybe this is what you did, when your favourite band wasn't putting out albums fast enough, you found someone else who sounded pretty much the same - kind of like people did with ELO...

    I also listened to FM radio 'progressive rock' shows late at night with a ringbound notebook and pen and the determination I brought to homework assignments. This brought me insight into a few 'new' bands like Bebop Deluxe, but mainly convinced me that stuff like Secret Oyster, PFM, Steve Hillage, and Refugee were not for me. I was depressed that my notebook remained stubbornly empty of essential new prog albums to seek out.

    The problem was my adolescent standards were too high - I wanted a band that had a strong lead singer, virtuoso keyboards/guitar, original/quirky/unusual/yet catchy songs, successful side-long epics, and albums that were accessible to buy from the racks of a small-town US record store in the mid-70s. Incidentally, had I a time machine I would go back to my young self and suggest gently that I was going to have a lifetime of decades exploring this music with unimaginably better technical and financial resources, and perhaps there might be a fake ID and a Kiss concert or Ted Nugent show waiting for me in the near vicinity if I would only take the trouble of diverting my energies in that direction...

    By mid-1977 I was fed up trying to find great new prog bands, it was a fool's errand. My family visited the UK to spend time with our British relatives, and while there I encountered this strange new thing called Punk Rock, which my Aunt and Uncle said was the most catastrophic thing to happen to the nation's youth since the end of mandatory military service (National Service). So I went back to the US with a copy of the Genesis Spot the Pigeon EP, and singles by the Stranglers and Eddie and the Hot Rods, and a copy of the NME for every week of our visit May - July 1977.

    Little did I know my suitcase contained the seeds of a battle for my musical soul that would rage for the coming years...
    gja586, zphage, TLMusic and 6 others like this.
  22. Say It Right

    Say It Right Forum Resident

    Niagara Falls

    Well, you said it yourself that you don't agree. Then it's a matter of interpretation to what degree "lesser known" is meant. VGG would fit that description. Some of those other acts mentioned run the gamut from definitely obscure to largely unknown. Interesting that you, as with the 2 argumentative OP's, neglected to include the "helped shape the progressive sound" part of the equation. Otherwise, this just becomes a "name any group that you like who has prog aspirations."

    As with any musical movement, it obviously had its bandwagon hoppers (especially the vaunted Tull!) and then those more limited in scope and range.
  23. Dr. Funk

    Dr. Funk Forum Resident

    Fort worth tx
    My 5th would be Kansas or Rush.
  24. George Co-Stanza

    George Co-Stanza Forum Resident

    My 10 favorite prog bands of the 60 and 70s (listing bands who are usually called prog, to avoid that argument):

    1. Rush
    2. Pink Floyd
    3. Yes
    4. Genesis
    5. Kansas
    6. The Moody Blues
    7. Camel
    8. ELP
    9. King Crimson
    10. Jethro Tull
    gja586 likes this.

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