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Prog is Turning 50 in 2017- Rejoice by Robert Anton Wilson (2018)

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Progressive Rock -Prog- Is turning 50 in 2017. (Or so I claim). To celebrate this anniversary, the current chart aims to take you on a chronological trip from the psychedelic beginning; the golden era; the second wave of new-Prog; the slumps of the late 80s and early 90s (when Prog became a four letter word and was kept vibrant mainly thanks to Metal Prog); to its revival and the emergence of new Prog gods and new sonic vistas -sometimes referred to as Nu Prog. Today, a lot of Prog is a recipe rehashed from the golden age. But when it does break through to the other side, it remains a vibrant genre deserving of the word "progressive" as an adjective associated with progress and change.

This chart attempts to keep it at 1 or 2 albums per year AND 1 or 2 albums per artist. Obviously -as in everything related to Prog- that rule will be broken at times. Time permitting (it does not for now), I might create a thread in the forums to expand upon everything I discuss in this chart and share with you Progheads out there. I hope the comments on individual album will allow you to enjoy this summarized time travel through 50 years of Prog in 100 albums.



***WARNING This list will not make unanimity. One the most difficult decision I had to make was to summarize whole genres –which reach me less- into single albums. So yes, I know, not a good representation of krautrock, the Canterbury and the Italian scene (as a matter of fact most non-UK scenes- I even skipped Kansas altogether -blasphemy!!). You are forewarned. I hope most will forgive me those hard decisions made in the name of the narrative. ***WARNING

Enjoy

Chart updated: 04/09/2018 21:45 (Created: 02/14/2013 01:27). Chart size: 100 albums.

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Sort byOverall Rank | Number of Charts | Average Rating | Number of Ratings | Release Date | Title | ArtistDate Added
RankAlbumArtist
1. (=)

Days Of Future PassedUnited Kingdom The Moody Blues
1967 The birth of prog. With this album, the Moodies introduced: (a) the mellotron as a main permanent instrument -sure the Beatles had used it before but only on some songs and it was Mike Pinder who introduced Lennon to the instrument; (b) the concept album; (c) no break between songs (the use of an orchestra to fill the breaks); (d) this was clearly not music for dancing (hardly even foot tapping music). The emphasis was on creating an album, not a collection of songs - a trend initiated mostly by Sgt Pepper.
Do you agree? Days of Future Passed (DoFP) is the first prog album? No? Really? Good start, first album, first controversy.
In the Court of the Crimson King (ITCOTCK) is oft cited as the first prog album, would mean that anything that came before it was not prog? DoFP, the Moodies' next album "In Search of the Lost Chord", Procol Harum (see rank 2), The Nice (see rank 3) not prog!?!?! Utter non-sense! As much as ITCOTCK is an important and critical album to prog, it was not THE first (just like the one you marry may be the most important but was not necessarily the first one, hum!).
But do I imply that nothing that came before DoFP was not prog? Well, I guess I do. Not to say that there was not something "proggy" going on before. Just as a person "exists" as an embryo prior to birth, we should not confound conception with birth. The seed of prog is oft said to originate in Sgt Pepper and the seed of Sgt Pepper in Pet Sounds. These albums and bands are progressive sure enough, but NOT prog. Because let's face it, and some may not find that an obvious statement, categorizing music in a genre is not only dependent upon the band and the music, but also on the fandom. No one denies the place of the Moodies in prog - even those who may not like them. But the Beatles and the Beach Boys are not prog, they "belong" somewhere else in the history of music. The great majority of their fans are not progheads and may not even know about prog. Just like "Kind of Blue" is almost always included in lists of best prog albums of all time, that does not make it a prog album. "Kind of Blues" and Miles Davis are jazz, it may be progressive jazz and it may be near universally appreciated by progheads, but it belongs to jazz, not to prog. Same could be said of Frank Zappa and Freak Out! I do not know what Frank Zappa truly is, but calling it prog is wrong (even though he does have an album on this list - Oh! look there a bird!).
In the early days, when the adjective "progressive" was added to the word "rock", it was as a qualifier, not a genre defining word. Progressive rock or prog did not exist yet as a genre, the zeitgesit was pregnant with it, but no baby yet, merely a piper at the gates of birth.
In my opinion, Days of Future Passed was the very first album for which the expression "progressive rock" (or prog) became adequate as a defining genre rather than as a mere adjective. Taxonomies of human activities are usually something done in hindsight. Particularly in the case of a genre like prog, which clearly was not an intentional decision to shape it as it has become by its creator, some of which themselves reject the label. All they wanted was to do something new, get out of the comfort zone, create rock music beyond the safe parameters of the 3 minutes hit single within a guitar/bass/drum/singer 3 chord band. And just like unsafe sex produces babies, unsafe music produced prog.
(First added to chart: 01/21/2017)
Year of Release:1967Appears in:462 charts
Rank in 1967:13Rank Score:7,439
Rank in 1960s47Overall Rank:372
Average Rating:  80/100 (512 votes)
Comments: 32 comments
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2. (=)

Procol HarumUnited Kingdom Procol Harum
1967 Then I go and apparently contradict myself with the 2nd album on my list. Yes Procol Harum's 1967 successes preceded the Moodies'(the magnificent Moodies of Go Now! -before Hayward/Lodge- were not prog!); hence why don't I consider them the birth of prog? Procol Harum not prog! What sort of utter non-sense is that?
Once again my argument stands on the leg of "genre defining" versus "including elements of the genre". The Moodies album is understood as a new "kind of music", a "new kind of album", a new "genre of music", it does not belong anywhere but in a new genre. While Procol Harum's sound is unique and unquestionably belongs to prog, I feel this statement can only be made once the prog genre exists, in hindsight. If the Moodies and the "Big 5" hadn't come along and forced a zeitgeist that became known as "prog", I feel no one would have an issue at leaving Procol Harum, in the more generic "rock" music genre. A unique sound of rock, granted. But a sound, uniqueness, deserving a named genre, not in my opinion.
Although I come to a different conclusion, a snippet written by Jon Pennington, 1 Sep 2014 read on the website Quora (I do not know if outside links are allowed?!?!) makes comparable arguments to mine - but comes to the conclusion that Procol Harum's debut album is the first one rather than the Moodies.
Then it has to be recognized that marketing data were not then what they are now and there are legitimate questions to be had about the fact that the dates of release for both the Procol Harum and The Nice albums although listed as released in 1967 may not have actually been circulated and made available to the public at large before 1968.
But anyway you cut it - Procol or Moodies - September or November (respective month of release of the albums), that makes 1967 the birth year of prog so 2017 when it turns 50 ... Happy half a century of Prog!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
(First added to chart: 01/21/2017)
Year of Release:1967Appears in:136 charts
Rank in 1967:34Rank Score:1,103
Rank in 1960s179Overall Rank:2,018
Average Rating:  78/100 (141 votes)
Comments: 11 comments
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3. (=)

Ars Longa Vita BrevisUnited Kingdom The Nice
1968
(First added to chart: 01/21/2017)
Year of Release:1968Appears in:19 charts
Rank in 1968:141Rank Score:125
Rank in 1960s695Overall Rank:10,890
Average Rating:  71/100 (29 votes)
Comments: 2 comments
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4. (=)

In The Court Of The Crimson KingUnited Kingdom King Crimson
1969
(First added to chart: 01/21/2017)
Year of Release:1969Appears in:1,547 charts
Rank in 1969:2Rank Score:51,910
Rank in 1960s12Overall Rank:33
Average Rating: Top rated 89/100 (1,798 votes)
Comments: 175 comments
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5. (=)

Emerson, Lake & PalmerUnited Kingdom Emerson, Lake & Palmer
1970
(First added to chart: 01/21/2017)
Year of Release:1970Appears in:137 charts
Rank in 1970:43Rank Score:1,518
Rank in 1970s332Overall Rank:1,537
Average Rating:  79/100 (204 votes)
Comments: 14 comments
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6. (=)

MagmaFrance Magma
1970
(First added to chart: 01/21/2017)
Year of Release:1970Appears in:15 charts
Rank in 1970:381Rank Score:17
Rank in 1970s3,870Overall Rank:35,386
Average Rating:  75/100 (19 votes)
Comments: 0 comments
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7. (=)

ThirdUnited Kingdom Soft Machine
1970
(First added to chart: 01/21/2017)
Year of Release:1970Appears in:245 charts
Rank in 1970:24Rank Score:3,276
Rank in 1970s183Overall Rank:782
Average Rating:  80/100 (283 votes)
Comments: 16 comments
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8. (=)

Pawn HeartsUnited Kingdom Van Der Graaf Generator
1971
(First added to chart: 01/21/2017)
Year of Release:1971Appears in:148 charts
Rank in 1971:32Rank Score:2,183
Rank in 1970s251Overall Rank:1,150
Average Rating:  81/100 (192 votes)
Comments: 7 comments
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9. (=)

FragileUnited Kingdom Yes
1971
(First added to chart: 01/21/2017)
Year of Release:1971Appears in:588 charts
Rank in 1971:10Rank Score:11,123
Rank in 1970s62Overall Rank:254
Average Rating:  84/100 (820 votes)
Comments: 48 comments
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10. (=)

Tago MagoGermany Can
1971
(First added to chart: 01/21/2017)
Year of Release:1971Appears in:713 charts
Rank in 1971:8Rank Score:16,805
Rank in 1970s41Overall Rank:162
Average Rating:  84/100 (823 votes)
Comments: 63 comments
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Prog is Turning 50 in 2017- Rejoice composition

Decade Albums %


1930s 0 0%
1940s 0 0%
1950s 0 0%
1960s 4 4%
1970s 41 41%
1980s 14 14%
1990s 12 12%
2000s 18 18%
2010s 11 11%
Artist Albums %


Genesis 4 4%
King Crimson 3 3%
Yes 3 3%
Kate Bush 3 3%
Marillion 2 2%
Steven Wilson 2 2%
Emerson, Lake & Palmer 2 2%
Show all
Country Albums %


United Kingdom 57 57%
United States 14 14%
Canada 6 6%
Germany 4 4%
Sweden 4 4%
Mixed Nationality 3 3%
Poland 2 2%
Show all

Prog is Turning 50 in 2017- Rejoice chart changes

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climbers Up 1 from 99th to 98th
Lighthouse
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Hand. Cannot. Erase.
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New entries
newentries Arc
by Analog Missionary
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