To pass a boring nite at work, I tried 2 come up w/ a "core" list of essential progressive rock songs -- trax that could stand as top-quality Xamples of the genre, a list that could serve as a starting point 4 Bginners who R intrested in the field, if there still R such people.
At 1st I tried 2 limit the list 2 101 songs (thus "Prog Rock 101"). But of course I couldn't do it. What follows is what I came up w/ after a coupla hrs of thinking & a quick run-thru of the collection. This list is hampered by all the stuff I haven't heard (early ELP, early Genesis, etc.) & my back-assward biases on some artists (Yes, Genesis, Renaissance). Items marked w/ a * indicate songs I'd drop from the list if I discovered a better Xample.
These weren't all hits or overplayed -- tho there R some overplayed classics included here. This list is based more on quality & impact (radio play, sales). & I snuck summa my obscure faves in. But popularity sure ain't everything, & just cos it's prog don't make it great: I personally think Jethro Tull's "Aqualung" is an ugly & stupid song, but millions seemta love it. See what you think, & who I've 4gotten....
Yes -- Your Move, Roundabout, The South Side of the Sky, Close to the Edge (live), Starship Trooper (live), America (long version), Going for the One, Wonderous Stories, Turn of the Century, Leave It.
Emerson, Lake & Palmer -- Lucky Man, From the Beginning, Karn Evil 9 (1st Impression, Parts 1 & 2), Fanfare for the Common Man.
Moody Blues -- Tuesday Afternoon, Nights in White Satin, Ride My See-Saw, Question, The Story in Your Eyes, You Can Never Go Home, You and Me, The Voice, Your Wildest Dreams, I Know You're Out There Somewhere.
Pink Floyd -- Flaming, Astronome Domine (live), *Money, Us and Them, Wish You Were Here, Comfortably Numb, Run Like Hell, High Hopes.
Jethro Tull -- *Aqualung, Fat Man, Teacher, Living in the Past, Thick as a Brick (opening), Skating Away on the Thin Ice of the New Day, One White Duck/Nothing at All, Baker Street Muse, Songs from the Wood, The Whistler.
Genesis -- Supper's Ready (live), Firth of Fifth (live), Madman Moon, Ripples, Your Own Special Way, Afterglow, Inside and Out, Vancouver, Abacab, Like it or Not, You Might Recall....
King Crimson -- 21st Century Schizoid Man, Epitaph, Fracture, Red, Starless, Frame by Frame, Sleepless.
Gentle Giant -- Knots, His Last Voyage, Pentegruel's Nativity, Funny Ways (live), Think of Me with Kindness.
Kansas -- Song for America, Carry On Wayward Son, Miracles Out of Nowhere, Journey from MariaBronn, Reason to Be.
Procol Harum -- A Whiter Shade of Pale, Shine on Brightly, A Salty Dog, Wreck of the Hesperus, In the Autumn of My Madness/Look to Your Soul/Grand Finale (live).
Rush -- Closer to the Heart, Time Stand Still, The Camera Eye, Force Ten, Freewill, Distant Early Warning, Manhattan Project, Mystic Rhythms (live), Red Barchetta, Tom Sawyer.
Styx -- Prelude 12/Suite Madame Blue.
Electric Light Orchestra -- Can't Get it Out of My Head, Twilight, Mr. Blue Sky, 10538 Overture (live).
Alan Parsons Project -- The Gold Bug, Some Other Time.
Supertramp -- Dreamer, *Bloody Well Right, Crime of the Century, Give a Little Bit, Babajii, From Now On.
Caravan -- Memory Lain/Hugh/Headloss, The Dog the Dog He's at it Again, For Richard (live), All the Way With John Wayne's Single-Handed Liberation of Paris.
Camel -- Never Let Go, Rhayader, Rhayader Goes to Town, Flight of the Snow Goose, Unevensong, Breathless, Echoes, City Life, Drafted, Sasquatch, Manic, Eye of the Storm, Who We Are.
Mike Oldfield -- Tubular Bells (single version), Ommadawn (Part 1), Incantations (Part 1).
Renaissance -- Ashes are Burning (opening, live), Northern Lights, Rajah Khan.
Kraftwerk -- Autobahn.
Gong -- Wingful of Eyes.
Soft Machine -- *Moon in June, *Slightly All the Time, *Out-Bloody-Rageous.
Strawbs -- Where is This Dream of Your Youth?, Hero and Heroine, Down by the Sea.
Barclay James Harvest -- *Mocking Bird, Hymn, Ring of Changes.
Led Zeppelin -- Carouselambra, The Battle of Evermore, Over the Hills and Far Away, Stairway to Heaven.
Queen -- The Prophet's Song, '39.
The Nice -- America.
Manfred Mann's Earth Band -- *Blinded by the Light, Stranded.
Peter Gabriel -- Family Snapshot, In Your Eyes, Shock the Monkey.
Al Stewart -- Roads to Moscow, Nostradamus, Modern Times, Year of the Cat, Flying Sorcery.
Coheed and Cambria -- The Road and the Damned.
Roxy Music -- The Thrill of it All, Love is the Drug, Over You.
Spirit -- Nature's Way.
Journey -- Daydream, People and Places.
Jefferson Starship -- Freedom at Point Zero, Fading Lady Light, Save Your Love.
Clannad -- The Wild Cry, Journey's End, In Fortune's Hand.
U.K. -- Time to Kill, Mental Medication, In the Dead of Night suite.
Kate Bush -- The Man With the Child in His Eyes, Cloudbusting, Running Up That Hill, This Woman's Work, Empty Bullring, December Will be Magic Again.
The Move -- Message From the Country.
Justin Hayward and John Lodge -- When You Wake Up.
Grace Slick -- Full Moon Man.
Vangelis -- Alpha.
Gryphon -- Lament, Spring Song.
Happy the Man -- Wind-Up Doll Day Wind, On Time as a Helix of Precious Laughs.
National Health -- Tenemos Roads, Binoculars.
Synergy -- Warriors, S-Scape.
Nektar -- Do You Believe in Magic?, King of Twilight, It's All Over, Fidgety Queen.
Focus -- Hocus Pocus, Hocus Pocus II.
Hawkwind -- You'd Better Believe It.
Be-Bop Deluxe -- Sleep That Burns.
Illusion -- Everywhere You Go, Candles are Burning.
Sky -- Vivaldi, Toccata, Watching the Aeroplanes, Where Opposites Meet.
Tangerine Dream -- Monolight.
Group 87 -- One Night Away From Day.
Love -- You Set the Scene.
Scarlet Rivera -- Day of the Unicorn.
Jade Warrior -- A Winter's Tale.
Steve Tibbetts -- Ur.
Rare Bird -- Birdman, Epic Forest.
Wigwam -- Bless Your Lucky Stars.
David Sancious and Tone -- Transformation (The Speed of Love).
Glass Moon -- Solsbury Hill, Sundays and Mondays.
Providence -- Fantasy Fugue, If We Were Wise, Neptune's Door.
...OK, that's 60+ artists & over 200 songs. Who or what did I forget? & where to start cutting....?