Classic Rock Presents Prog magazine asked its readers to choose their five favourite prog rock albums. This is the message I sent them:
How can I possibly choose a favourite prog album? - It's too hard and if you ask me tomorrow you'd get a different answer. :-)
I'll give it a go anyway...
That the number one choice was going to be Rush was not in doubt but which one to choose? I almost went for A Farewell To Kings - the album that introduced me to Rush many (many) years ago. However, it was the word, the concept, Progressive that swung me to Snakes And Arrows. Here's a band that's been together 35 years but are still producing new and exciting albums. Some reviewers were a bit sniffy about the Snakes tour - complaining that they didn't do enough old stuff and too much from the new album. Numpties! Rush were not doing a reunion nostalgia tour. They were touring their new album. An album they were excited about and wanted to play for their fans. Now that's what I call Prog!
2) Genesis - Selling England By The Pound
Genesis with Gabriel. I could have gone for the obvious and chosen The Lamb but "I Know What I Like In Your Wardrobe" was one of the first singles I bought and this remains one of my all time favourite albums.
3) Pink Floyd - Wish You Were Here
Again, perhaps not the obvious choice. Why not Dark Side or The Wall? It was tricky but I still remember getting this album with the plastic cover, the stickers and the poster... and then I played it... It still makes the hairs on the back of my neck stand on end. Brilliant.
4) Dream Theater - Systematic Chaos
Wanted to include some new bands and Dream Theater were an obvious choice. A band that understands their prog roots but delivers with a Metal edge and a rock swagger.
5) Porcupine Tree - Fear Of A Blank Planet
Alex Lifeson plays on one of the tracks. That was reason enough for me to check out this album (see 1 above!). I then went backwards through much of their back catalogue to discover the progression of a truly Progressive band.
So there's five. No Marillion? No Yes? No... There are so many that should have been there but you only let me choose five!
I don't expect many (any?) of my choices will end up in the top ten but today, that's my top five. What would you go for?