Progressive Rock Music

Progressive rock (aka, prog or prog rock) is a subsidiary genre of rock music that first came to the forefront in the late 1960s and the early 1970s as part of a mainly British attempt to elevate rock music to new levels of artistic credibility and respect.

Progressive rock bands really tried to push "rock's technical and compositional boundaries" by going beyond the standard rock or typical popular verse-chorus-based pop song structures. In addition, the arrangements often incorporated elements, taken from the world of classical, jazz, and world music. Instrumentals were very frequently performed, while songs with lyrics could often be conceptual, abstract, or indeed quite based in fantasy. Progressive rock bands sometimes used concept albums that made unified statements, usually telling an epic story or tackling a grandiose theme.

Progressive rock developed from the late 1960s psychedelic rock, as part of a growing tendency in the rock music of this era to take inspiration from ever more diverse influences. The term was applied to the music of bands such as King Crimson, Genesis, Yes, Pink Floyd, Jethro Tull, Soft Machine, and Emerson, Lake & Palmer reaching its peak of popularity in the mid 1970s.

Other Progressive Rock Artists

ELP Progressive Rock BandThere really are many many progressive rock artists to check out. From late 60's onwards right up to the start of the new millennium, there have been a lot of very good 'Progressive' / 'Symphonic' groups and individual artists arriving and leaving the scene.

This genre of music has also seen some sensational new bands coming from all corners of the world: Glass Hammer, Flower Kings, Porcupine Tree, RPWL and Spock's Beard to name but five, that are now out-selling the older major players from the many phases of the 'Progressive Rock' movement's revival. Of the 'big-names' the obvious main players are around in some form or another and a few are still thriving. Whilst top acts like Genesis, ELP (right), King Crimson, Pink Floyd, Strawbs and Yes still have a large and loyal fan-base, there has been a new 'phase 2' of the 'Progressive' movement with artists such as Asia, IQ, Marillion, Pallas & Pendragon all arriving on the scene in the 80's and also still operating today. There is also the kind of Prog Rock artist who crosses over into other genres - Gandalf is a good example of this. Deemed by some to be Prog Rock yet viewed by others as a creator of highly stylised electronic/synthesizer music.

More recently, symphonic rock artists such as Stephen Caudel with his iconoclastic rock Symphony: Wine Dark Sea, could be said to fit loosely into the genre of progressive rock music.