One Hundred, or Thereabout…

A list of favorites?101 faves

Ignoring blues, bluegrass, and alt.country (though some of my picks will leak in that direction).  My favorite albums in a roughly prog or prog-friendly orbit.  Explanatory notes as needed.  And no Beatles.

Aereogramme — Sleep and Release.  Scottish prog metal with screaming blue Pict faces.

Alan Parsons Project — I Robot

Alice in Chains — Jar of Flies

The Allman Brothers Band.  Berry Oakley, arms outstretched in the niche.

Anthony Phillips — The Geese and the Ghost

Art Blakey’s Jazz Messengers with Thelonious Monk.  Where would rock be without these?

Atomic Opera — For Madmen Only

Be Bop Deluxe — Life in the Air Age.  The curious case of the three-sided album.

Black Eyed Sceva — Way Before the Flood.  Intelligent, proggy Christian emo/ math rock.

Black Eyed Sceva — 5 Years, 50,000 Miles Davis.  “Beware when you read ‘Letters from the Earth…'”

Boards of Canada — Tomorrow’s Harvest.  To have been in the desert Southwest for the live listening party.

Buffalo Springfield Again.  Long version of “Bluebird,” please.

The Byrds — Fifth Dimension

The Choir — Free Flying Soul.  Another smart, Christian masterpiece.

Crack the Sky — Safety in Numbers.  “Something’s wrong from the moon, my friends…”

Daryl Hall — Sacred Songs

Dead Confederate — Sugar.  DC is a Southern neo-grunge band.  But if Dmitri Shostakovich had ever tried his hand at writing a four minute rock bombast, the title tack to this album is close to what it would have sounded like.

The Decemberists — The Hazards of Love.  Hipsters closer to prog than they realize.

Deftones — Saturday Night Wrist

Dixie Dregs — What If

Dixie Dregs — Night of the Living Dregs

Dixie Dregs — Dregs of the Earth (the trifecta)

Dogs of Peace — Speak.  A brilliant one-off by Jimmie Lee Sloas and Gordon Kennedy.  May we have another, please?

Echolyn — As the World.

Electric Light Orchestra — Eldorado

Emerson, Lake & Palmer — Pictures at an Exhibition.  The Lyceum Theatre rendering (1970, DVD) is better, in my opinion.

Emerson, Lake & Palmer — Trilogy

Brian Eno — Apollo: Atmospheres and Soundtracks.  Gorgeous music for the documentary, For All Mankind.

Explosions in the Sky — The Earth is Not a Cold Dead Place

Faith No More — The Real Thing

Flaming Lips — Yoshimi Battles the Pink Robots

Fleet Foxes.  Okay, I’m starting to veer…

Genesis — Trespass.  My favorite in their storied collection, leaving us wondering what might have been had Ant remained in the band.

Genesis — Foxtrot.  The end of the age, in 9/8 time.

Gov’t Mule — Life Before Insanity

Hall & Oates — Abandoned Luncheonette.  Blue-eyed soul was never this artsy.

Hall & Oates — War Babies.  Todd Rundgren was never this blue-eyed soul.

Helmet — Meantime

Incubus — Morning View

Jane’s Addiction — Ritual de lo Habitual

Jeff Buckley — Mystery White Boy

Jennanykind — Mythic. The scary South, a la O’Connor.

Jethro Tull — This Was

Jethro Tull — Thick as a Brick

Jimi Hendrix Experience — Are You Experienced?

John Fahey — America.  Prog folk if there ever was.

Johnny Q. Public — Extra Ordinary

Juliana Hatfield — Only Everything

Kansas.  When they were lean and hungry for barbecue and potato salad.

Kansas — Masque.  “The Pinnacle” was their pinnacle.

King Crimson — Larks Tongue in Aspic

King Crimson — Red

King’s X — Gretchen Goes to Nebraska

King’s X — Dogman.  One of the most played records in my collection.

Kraftwerk — Autobahn.  Analog over digital any day of the week.

Led Zeppelin — II

Led Zeppelin — Houses of the Holy

Living Colour — Vivid

Model Engine — The Lean Years’ Tradition (BES re-incarnated)

The Moles — Instinct.  “Raymond, have you seen the Red Queen?”

The Monkees — HEAD.  Never apologize for loving the Pre-Fab Four.

The Moody Blues — On the Threshold of a Dream.  Sending out “In the Beginning” to the NSA.

My Bloody Valentine — Loveless

My Morning Jacket — At Dawn

My Morning Jacket — It Still Moves

Neil Young — Harvest

Neil Young — Tonight’s the Night

Ortodoksinen Kamarikuroro — Divine Liturgy.  From Finland, the most breath-taking Orthodox Church chant I’ve ever heard.

Pelican — City of Echoes

PFM — Jet Lag

The Pink Floyd — The Piper at The Gates of Dawn

Pink Floyd — Wish You Were Here

The Police — Zenyatta Mondatta

The Police — Synchronicity

Proto-Kaw — Early Recordings from Kansas (1971-73).  Therefore, proto-Kansas.

Radiohead — The Bends

Radiohead — Kid A.  Leading rats and children out of town.

Rick Wakeman — The Myths and Legends of King Arthur and the Knights of the Roundtable

Rush — A Farewell to Kings

Rush — Permanent Waves

Rush — Moving Pictures (the hat-trick)

Sebastian Hardie — Four Moments.  Prog from down under.

Slowdive — Blue Day (compilation)

Soundgarden — SuperUnknown

Steve Hackett — Voyage of the Acolyte

Sun Kil Moon — Ghosts of the Great Highway

Supertramp — Crime of the Century.  You’re bloody well right.

Syd Barrett — The Madcap Laughs

Synergy — Semi-Conductor.  Compilation of Larry Fast’s electronic realizations.

Talk Talk — Spirit of Eden

This Will Destroy You.  Post-rock paradise set by the mighty Rio Grande.

Todd Rundgren — A Wizard, A True Star.  Without Hall & Oates.

Tomita — The Planets.  Electronic realization of Holst’s orchestral suite.

Tool — Ænima

Velour 100 — Fall Sounds.  Shoe-gazing density from Ypsilanti.

Velour 100 — Songs From the Rainwater. 

Wilco — Yankee Hotel Foxtrot.  Mossad makes a cameo.

Yes — The Yes Album

Yes — Tales From Topographic Oceans.  Yes, it’s too long, but “The Revealing Science of God” is worth the whole album.

5 thoughts on “One Hundred, or Thereabout…

  1. Black-eyed Sceva and Model Engine. I thought I was the only person on the planet who even knew about them. What a loss that Jeremy Post is no longer in the music business. To top it off, you throw in The Choir and Dogs of Peace. You are the MAN.

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  2. carleolson

    “And no Beatles.” Thank you! We are friends for life. And then you throw in King’s X and Soundgarden (Amen and Amen), and we are friends for eternity. Marvelous!

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  3. Here is an interesting contrast-Greg Walker, he of Symphonic Music/major progressive music distributor, follows the European scene closely and here is is top 25 desert island disks:
    Anglagard – Epilog,
    Balletto Di Bronzo, Il – YS,
    Banco Del Mutuo Soccorso – Io Sono Nato Libero
    Camel – Moonmadness,
    Eloy – Floating,
    Genesis – The Lamb Lies Down On Broadway,
    Gentle Giant – Octopus,
    Grobschnitt – Rockpommel’s Land (or Solar Music Live),
    Jethro Tull – Thick As A Brick,
    King Crimson – In The Wake Of Poseidon,
    Latte E Miele – Passio Secundum Mattheum,
    Locanda Delle Fate – Forse Le Lucciole Non Si Amano Pui,
    Magma – Mekanik Destructiw Kommandoh,
    Orme, Le – Felona E Sorona,
    Pink Floyd – Animals,
    Premiata Forneria Marconi – Per Un Amico,
    Pulsar – Halloween, Triana – same (a.k.a. El Patio),
    Van Der Graaf Generator – H To He Who I Am The Only One (or Pawn Hearts),
    Yes – Close To The Edge

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