In the latest Rolling Stone there is a piece listing what the magazine thinks are the best 50 Prog albums ever.
Now, I am always wary of anything from Rolling Stone and this list includes things that simply have nothing at all to do with Prog (ELO?), acts that are more like stadium rock (I really hate Rush with a passion) and a fair amount of prog-metal crossover, but it does have some bona fide Prog classics.
I’d argue that Frank Zappa was never Prog and I’m sure that he would have agreed with me, and Mike Oldfield? Only by default, I think. I am also certain that Pink Floyd would never describe their music as Prog either, but if they did, would Animals qualify as a top Prog album? I doubt it.
There is too much real Prog missing from this list. I mean, where are Hatfield And The North, Nektar or Aphrodite’s Child? And what about Steve Hillage or, stretching the definition of Prog slightly, Hawkwind? You could make a case for Queensrÿche’s Operation Mindcrime instead of yet another Rush album and why ignore Opeth’s genuinely prog Heritage?
Personally, I’ve like to have seen Steve Hackett on the list as a solo artist, ideally with Voyage of the Acolyte, which is utterly Prog from start to finish and I am confused as to why Van der Graaf Generator only have one album on the list. Seriously? What about Godbluff?