by Brad Birzer, Progarchy editor
One of my greatest pleasures of 2012–and there have been many–has been listening to massive quantities of progressive rock, mostly for pleasure.
Being a literary and humanities guy, I’d contemplated rejecting the entire numerical ranking scheme. Rather, I thought about labeling each of my best albums with various qualities of myth. These albums achieved the level of Virgil; these of Dante; these of Tolkien, etc. But, I finally decided this was way too pretentious . . . even for me.
Below are my rankings for the year. Anyone who knows me will not be surprised by any of these choices. I’m not exactly subtle in what I like and dislike. Before listing them, though, I must state three things.
First, I loved all of these albums, or I wouldn’t be listing them here. That is, once you’ve made it to Valhalla or Olympus, why bother with too many distinctions. The differences between my appreciation of number 8 and number 2, for example, are marginal at best.
Second, I am intentionally leaving a couple of releases out of the rankings: releases from Echolyn, The Enid, Minstrel’s Ghost, Galahad, and Kompendium, in particular, as I simply did not have time to digest them. Though, from what I’ve heard, I like each very much.
Third, I think that 2012 has proven to be the single greatest year in prog history. DPRP’s Brian Watson has argued that we’re in the “third wave of prog.” He might very well be right. But, I don’t think we’ve ever surpassed the sheer quality of albums released this year. This is not to belittle anything that has come before. Quite the contrary. I am, after all, a historian by profession and training. The past is always prologue. Close to the Edge, Selling England by the Pound, and Spirit of Eden will always be the great markers of the past.
Ok, be quiet, Brad. On with the rankings.
Continue reading “The Best 15 Albums of 2012, The Greatest Year in Prog. Ever.”