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The best prog album of all time?

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I prophesy disaster View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote I prophesy disaster Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: May 19 2019 at 06:13
As for humour in music in general, it seems to me that humorous songs usually have stupid music, so I'm generally not a fan of humour in music. But if the artist produces great music along with humorous lyrics, then I have no problem with the humour. An example of humour in a track I like a lot is "In Every Dream Home A Heartache" by Roxy Music. Also, I purchased the Godley & Creme album "Consequences" specifically for its humour.
 
 
 
 
 
I was thinking about thinking but it really didn't get me very far.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Lewian Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: May 19 2019 at 06:30
I could make sense of this if the question would be something like "what do you think is the ultimate album to represent prog", because my real personal favourites are probably too niche to fit here. The album I rank highest out of the top 100 (that one could maybe call "standard choices") is Discipline. Discipline is not quite as niche as most of my other top choices, but cannot really represent prog, as it takes a distinctly new and different turn in some respects. Out of those that are always named I'd probably choose Thick As A Brick, which is probably the most homogeneous of them all (contested by Dark Side of the Moon). Close to the Edge is not a bad choice for this kind of question, it just showcases so many essential elements in a good and at times spectacular way... except that this comes with a certain "showing off" factor that stops me from ranking it in the top spots of my personal list.

Thick as a Brick and Discipline would probably make a wonderful pair of best albums to represent prog, or let's say the prog I like, the "mainstream prog" that is. (I'm not bringing up Czukay, Talk Talk or Cardiacs here.)

By the way, I don't think "no weak track" is a good criterion, because an album that I really love takes risks and surprises, and I will forgive the odd step that seems wrong to me. As it happens, though, TAAB and Discipline have no such steps.



Edited by Lewian - May 19 2019 at 06:32
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote handwrist Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: May 19 2019 at 12:38

It's weird because some of my favourite bands don't have perfect albums, there's always a song or two that are just short of the brilliancy of the rest - Caravan's In the Land of Grey and Pink could be perfect, but has that short little nuisance in the middle. Soft Machine's Third could be perfect, but Facelift is more noise than song, and it seems like filler right at the start. Zappa's albums in general are a mixed bag, despite his genius - and even Joe's Garage, which is flawless in its three acts, is not really representative enough of prog rockery, too much on the fringes, to be considered best of all time. Same with Christian Vander and his vulcanic piece of genius called Lava, I mean, Magma. I feel the title of the best prog of all time, the one you would choose to show someone, can only come from Britain.

Having said that I don't think we should choose obvious choices like Pink Floyd's Dark Side or The Wall, or Genesis, or KC or even ELP. For me the best representative of prog rock has to be one that is both iconic, but yet not mega popular, as I think that a certain snobbery, that 'hidden gem', not for everyone, quality is part of what prog rock was, is and always will be.

So for me it's a tough choice between Camel's The Snow Goose and Acquiring the Taste by Gentle Giant. They are both perfect albums. But I'd go with Camel because it's just so iconic of a perfect sound - whereas GG is more oddball.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Triceratopsoil Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: May 19 2019 at 13:20
obviously it's Merci
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Cristi Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: May 19 2019 at 13:33
Originally posted by Triceratopsoil Triceratopsoil wrote:

obviously it's Merci

LOL

maybe Giant for a Day?
In the Hot Seat? 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Saperlipopette! Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: May 19 2019 at 15:58
Originally posted by handwrist handwrist wrote:

Soft Machine's Third could be perfect, but Facelift is more noise than song, and it seems like filler right at the start.
Its probably not many that would pick Facelift as a personal favorite but for the album experience I certainly wouldn't want Third to be without it.

Originally posted by handwrist handwrist wrote:

So for me it's a tough choice between Camel's The Snow Goose and Acquiring the Taste by Gentle Giant. They are both perfect albums. But I'd go with Camel because it's just so iconic of a perfect sound - whereas GG is more oddball.
The one flaw for me with Snow Goose is that it doesn't really excite me the way my favorite music does (and not like Mirage). I like it quite a lot and enjoy playing it every once in a while but I wouldn't give it more than four stars. If I had to choose between those two I'd go for the oddball. Oddball is good.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote presdoug Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: May 19 2019 at 20:41
Triumvirat-Illusions On A Double Dimple
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote siLLy puPPy Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: May 19 2019 at 21:17
Originally posted by Cristi Cristi wrote:

Originally posted by Triceratopsoil Triceratopsoil wrote:

obviously it's Merci

LOL

maybe Giant for a Day?
In the Hot Seat? 

YES!!!! THat's it! Giant for a Day is the best album of all eternity!!!!!!
I actually do like the album a lot more than most proggers :)

https://rateyourmusic.com/~siLLy_puPPy
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote handwrist Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: May 20 2019 at 01:58
Originally posted by Saperlipopette! Saperlipopette! wrote:

Originally posted by handwrist handwrist wrote:

Soft Machine's Third could be perfect, but Facelift is more noise than song, and it seems like filler right at the start.
Its probably not many that would pick Facelift as a personal favorite but for the album experience I certainly wouldn't want Third to be without it.

Good point. It might be because we are in the digital age and the first time I've listened to the album I actually got to Facelift last, instead of being the starter. That may have skewed my perception of it. It does have a slow start, but I might have been too harsh.

I do find TSG exciting though, even though I can understand why you would say the opposite. It is a very specific album with a specific 'world' - but to me that just makes it so iconic of proggery. It's a one off thing. A bit like ELP's version of Jerusalem, only this type of music can take something and turn it into something beautiful, daring and magical.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Quinino Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: May 20 2019 at 07:34
Snow Goose, as someone pointed out, or maybe Soft's, or perhaps Fish Out Of Water, or ... let me think -  a double album with orchestra  (not that many, pick one) - NO, it has to be:

GODBLUFF !!!
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote BaldJean Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: May 20 2019 at 08:58
I have nothing against humorous songs. our own band Bald Angels has a humorous track on the first two albums too; they are even the title tracks. "The Goat and the Donkey" is a track that illustrates how it would sound if a donkey played piano and a goat sang to it (the track is actually based on a joke about a pilot crashing in the desert near an old man who owns a donkey and a goat with these qualities). the second album "It's a Dog's Life" (with a very daring album cover Wink) has us imitating several dog sounds

Edited by BaldJean - May 20 2019 at 09:04


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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote miamiscot Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: May 20 2019 at 10:12
It's the old "favorite" versus "best" argument. 

The "best" Prog LP is going to be one a majority can agree on: Close To The Edge works for me.
But my "favorite" Prog LP's rarely appear on any list...
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote richardh Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: May 21 2019 at 00:53
Originally posted by BaldFriede BaldFriede wrote:

"And You And I" is a bit too sugarcoated for my taste, which is why "Close to the Edge" is not the masterpiece that most people think it is. I prefer pepper to sugar.
 

Obviously you have your taste but for me it's just Anderson being Anderson. All about cosmic and spiritual love and not really about 'boring' common of garden human love.

I would also argue that it gives the album a bit of balance and in any case it just wouldn't be Yes without it.

I'm not convinced that anything is really a masterpiece if you let taste get in the way. I mean I hate improvised tracks but I still reckon that Red is one of the best albums ever ( only behind Brain Salad Surgery and CTTE in my list) even if Providence is a hard sell to me personally. Can taste really decide these things? Sometimes applying an intellectual criteria is a better approach.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote BaldFriede Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: May 21 2019 at 02:32
Originally posted by richardh richardh wrote:

Originally posted by BaldFriede BaldFriede wrote:

"And You And I" is a bit too sugarcoated for my taste, which is why "Close to the Edge" is not the masterpiece that most people think it is. I prefer pepper to sugar.
 

Obviously you have your taste but for me it's just Anderson being Anderson. All about cosmic and spiritual love and not really about 'boring' common of garden human love.

I would also argue that it gives the album a bit of balance and in any case it just wouldn't be Yes without it.

I'm not convinced that anything is really a masterpiece if you let taste get in the way. I mean I hate improvised tracks but I still reckon that Red is one of the best albums ever ( only behind Brain Salad Surgery and CTTE in my list) even if Providence is a hard sell to me personally. Can taste really decide these things? Sometimes applying an intellectual criteria is a better approach.

But even intellectually I can't consider "Close to the Edge" as the top prog-rock masterpiece. My choice would be "Pawn Hearts".


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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote essexboyinwales Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: May 21 2019 at 08:47
Impossible to pick/decide/agree on.  But it definitely would NOT be CTTE for me, it's way too messy for my ears.

3 I would nominate:

IQ - Road Of Bones - totally brilliant and not a duff track across the double CD version.

or

Ayreon - The Human Equation - my favourite album of all time, still thrills me whenever I listen to it

or

Dream Theater - Images And Words - a prog metal masterpiece from start to finish
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote richardh Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: May 22 2019 at 00:26
Originally posted by BaldFriede BaldFriede wrote:

Originally posted by richardh richardh wrote:

Originally posted by BaldFriede BaldFriede wrote:

"And You And I" is a bit too sugarcoated for my taste, which is why "Close to the Edge" is not the masterpiece that most people think it is. I prefer pepper to sugar.
 

Obviously you have your taste but for me it's just Anderson being Anderson. All about cosmic and spiritual love and not really about 'boring' common of garden human love.

I would also argue that it gives the album a bit of balance and in any case it just wouldn't be Yes without it.

I'm not convinced that anything is really a masterpiece if you let taste get in the way. I mean I hate improvised tracks but I still reckon that Red is one of the best albums ever ( only behind Brain Salad Surgery and CTTE in my list) even if Providence is a hard sell to me personally. Can taste really decide these things? Sometimes applying an intellectual criteria is a better approach.

But even intellectually I can't consider "Close to the Edge" as the top prog-rock masterpiece. My choice would be "Pawn Hearts".
 

Yep definitely a contender. Probably I'm a bit late to the VDGG party but this is certainly a massive album. The PA top ten is close to bang on when I step back from my personal taste.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote richardh Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: May 22 2019 at 00:29
Originally posted by essexboyinwales essexboyinwales wrote:

Impossible to pick/decide/agree on.  But it definitely would NOT be CTTE for me, it's way too messy for my ears.

3 I would nominate:

IQ - Road Of Bones - totally brilliant and not a duff track across the double CD version.

or

Ayreon - The Human Equation - my favourite album of all time, still thrills me whenever I listen to it

or

Dream Theater - Images And Words - a prog metal masterpiece from start to finish
 

with you to a certain extent on IQ although the second disc is more powerful to my ears.

Ayreon - don't really know enough to have an opinion. I think I have this somewhere in my CD library.

Dream Theater - the electronic drums hurt my ears which is why I prefer Awake from that era although A Change Of Seasons is my favourite DT album.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Atavachron Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: May 22 2019 at 00:36
Originally posted by I prophesy disaster I prophesy disaster wrote:

Although Tarkus is high on my list of favourite albums, it is not a perfect album because it has "Are You Ready Eddy?" at the end, which is short enough and positioned not to affect the greatness of the album, but it does prevent it from being perfect (as required by the opening post).

The OP asks for "best" album with no bad tracks.   Best is not the same as perfect.   In fact best is often imperfect, e.g. the White Album, Led Zeppelin ll, Trespass, Electric Ladyland, The Yes Album, Tarkus, etc.


"Too often we enjoy the comfort of opinion without the discomfort of thought."   -- John F. Kennedy
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote richardh Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: May 22 2019 at 23:49
yep it's all too easy to equate consistency with perfection.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote dr wu23 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: May 23 2019 at 12:55
Originally posted by Hrychu Hrychu wrote:

I can't pick my absolute alltime favorite but Wobbler - Rites at Dawn has no bad songs on it. Also, Once and Future Band's self titled album.

Rites At Dawn.....one of my favorite prog albums......Clap

but like some one else said farther down the thread..there is no such thing as one greatest album......
I will always go with ITCOTCK...for many reasons but I'm not sure it's the 'greatest'.
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