If you like Yes, Jethro Tull, Rush and Pink Floyd, and are looking to explore other progressive rock bands, we have a few suggestions for you. This is is for new fans who have just discovered the genre, who might not have heard of these great prog-rock bands.
We exclude the obvious famous bands like the ones mentioned above and King Crimson, ELP, Kansas, etc. We'd like you to consider the lesser known bands.
The best progressive rock bands "under the radar" (in no special order):
Camel put together 8 indelible albums from 1973 til 2002, start your journey with "Breathless" and then the the very different "Moonmadness"... cosmic music! Give Camel a good listen, they're well worth exploring.
Gravy Train - start exploring this band with "Staircase to the Day" and you'll find GT was a talented Tull-like progressive rock band. They're long since gone, but their two albums live on thanks to the internet.
Magnum are still around today after twenty albums. Start with the "Kingdom of Madness" CD and then "On a Storyteller's Night."
Budgie has a library of ten albums, so start with the album "Never Turn Your Back on a Friend" Very cool.
Eloy is a 70s' and 80's German band who started off as space-metal prog-rock, and morphed into more and more symphonic progressive rock elements. They reunited in 2000 for Ocean 2. Heavy sci-fi laden stories told in concept albums. Check them out! Start with the album "Silent Cries and Mighty Echoes," as a good jumping point, then work your way through the library of more than 18 Eloy albums.
P.F.M. (Premiata Forneria Marconi) is an Italian prog-rock band that's been around since 1972 and popped in and out up til 2007. Very Yes-like in their arrangements, you'll enjoy exploring their play-list. Start with "L'isole di Niente" and then give their 2005 Dracula rock opera a try. Mind-blowing.
The Flock was around for a few years around 1970 and worth another listen.
Wishbone Ash was around from 1970 to 1977, and made some great progressive rock sounds.
Uriah Heep and their famous album "Demons and Wizards" is a must for any prog-rock list. You've probably heard of Uriah Heep, but we include it for new fans who haven't yet discovered them. They're still rocking today, but with an altered line-up.
Gentle Giant , start with the Octopus album. The style is early Genesis in nature.
Spock's Beard formed in 1992 in LA, they spin a good prog tale. Give the CD "Day for Night" a try.
IQ was formed in 1981 and continues to give us some intriguing music. Start with IQ's Dark Matter album from 2004.
Dream Theatre - a bit more famous than the rest of our list, but they might have slipped under your radar. Give them a try, if you're new to prog rock.
Japan X is a talented Japanese progressive metal band, start your listen with "Endless Rain."
Honeymoon Suite - a Canadian prog rock band who worked with Ian Anderson of Jethro Tull briefly. Start with the song "All Along You Knew" which even features Ian on flute.
The Flower Kings are the newest band on our list, formed in Sweden in 1994. Try the "Space Revolver" CD as a first listen.
Avantasia is more of a progressive rock & symphonic metal mix, but the music is unbelievable! Listen to "The Scarecrow" full album. Jaw dropping progressive rock concept albums, and a great title song.
Ayreon is extraordinary sci-fi prog-rock from Holland, the CD "The Dream Sequencer" is brilliant! Don't miss it. "My House on Mars" is one of my favorite all-time songs. However, The Human Equation album is Ayreon's most critically acclaimed album, and is another good starting point. The band is powered by Arjen Lucassen.
Have fun discovering the great world of prog rock. This is the tip of the iceberg in progressive rock circles.