Progressive rock (sometimes shortened to "prog rock" or "prog", also called "art rock") is a form of rock music that evolved in the late 1960s and early 1970s, as part of a "mostly British attempt to elevate rock music to new levels of artistic credibility".
Progressive rock bands pushed "rock's technical and compositional boundaries" by going beyond the standard rock or popular verse-chorus based song structures. As well, the arrangements often incorporate elements drawn from classical, jazz and avant-garde music. Songs with lyrics are sometimes conceptual, abstract, or based in fantasy. Progressive rock bands used "concept albums that made unified statements, usually telling an epic story or tackling a grand overarching theme".
Queen were an English rock band formed in 1970 in London by guitarist Brian May, lead vocalist Freddie Mercury and drummer Roger Taylor, with bassist John Deacon completing the lineup the following year.
The band is noted for their musical diversity, multi-layered arrangements, vocal harmonies, and incorporation of audience participation into their live performances. Their 1985 Live Aid performance was voted the best live rock performance of all time in an industry poll.
Queen enjoyed success in the UK in the early 1970s with the albums Queen and Queen II, but it was with the release of Sheer Heart Attack in 1974 and A Night at the Opera the following year that the band gained international success. They have released fifteen studio albums, five live albums, and numerous compilation albums. Eighteen of these have reached number one on charts around the world. The actual figure of Queen's album sales varies by source, generally ranging from 100 - 300 million albums sold worldwide. According to an interview transcript on Brian May's official website, the band had sold in excess of 190 million albums by 2006.
Following Mercury's death in 1991 and Deacon's retirement in 1997, May and Taylor have performed infrequently under the Queen name. Since 2005 they have been collaborating with Paul Rodgers, under the moniker Queen + Paul Rodgers.
Freak Out! is the debut album by American experimental rock band The Mothers of Invention, released June 27, 1966 on Verve Records. Though often cited as one of rock music's first concept albums, the real unifying theme of the album is not musical, but a satirical attitude based on frontman Frank Zappa's unique perception of American pop culture. It was also one of the earliest double albums in the history of rock music.
The album was produced by Tom Wilson, who signed The Mothers, formerly a bar band called the Soul Giants, to a record deal in the belief that they were a white blues band. The album features vocalist Ray Collins, along with bass player Roy Estrada, drummer Jimmy Carl Black and guitar player Elliot Ingber, who would later join Captain Beefheart's Magic Band under the name Winged Eel Fingerling.
- Banco del Mutuo Soccorso - Banco del Mutuo Soccorso (1972), Darwin! (1972), Io Sono Nato Libero (1973)
- Camel - Mirage (1974), The Snow Goose (1975), Moonmadness (1976), A Live Record (1978)
- Caravan - If I Could Do It All Over Again, I'd Do It All Over You (1970), In the Land of Grey and Pink (1971), Caravan and the New Symphonia (1974)
- Dream Theater - Images and Words (1992), Awake (1994), Metropolis Pt. 2: Scenes from a Memory (1999), Six Degrees of Inner Turbulence (2002), Octavarium (2005)
- Emerson, Lake & Palmer - Emerson, Lake & Palmer (1970), Tarkus (1971), Pictures at an Exhibition (1971), Trilogy (1972), Brain Salad Surgery (1973)
- Focus - Moving Waves (1971), Focus 3 (1972), Hamburger Concerto (1974)
- Genesis - Nursery Cryme (1971), Foxtrot (1972), Selling England by the Pound (1973), The Lamb Lies Down on Broadway (1974), A Trick of the Tail (1976)
- Gentle Giant - Three Friends (1972), Octopus (1972), In a Glass House (1973), The Power and the Glory (1974), Free Hand (1975)
- Gong - Flying Teapot (1973), Angel's Egg (1973), You (1974)
- Jethro Tull - Aqualung (1971), Thick as a Brick (1972), A Passion Play (1973), Minstrel in the Gallery (1975)
- King Crimson - In the Court of the Crimson King (1969), Larks' Tongues in Aspic (1973), Starless and Bible Black (1974), Red (1974), Discipline (1981)
- Marillion - Script for a Jester's Tear (1983), Fugazi (1984), Misplaced Childhood (1985)
- Mike Oldfield - Tubular Bells (1973), Ommadawn (1975)
- Pink Floyd - Atom Heart Mother (1970), Meddle (1971), The Dark Side of the Moon (1973), Wish You Were Here (1975), Animals (1977), The Wall (1979)
- Porcupine Tree - In Absentia (2002), Deadwing (2005), Fear of a Blank Planet (2007)
- Procol Harum - Procol Harum (1967), Shine On Brightly (1968), A Salty Dog (1969)
- Premiata Forneria Marconi - Storia di un minuto (1972), Per un amico (1972)
- Rush - 2112 (1976), A Farewell to Kings (1977), Hemispheres (1978), Permanent Waves (1980), Moving Pictures (1981)
- Soft Machine - Volume Two (1969), Third (1970)
- The Moody Blues - Days of Future Passed (1967), In Search of the Lost Chord (1968), On the Threshold of a Dream (1969), To Our Children's Children's Children (1969), A Question of Balance (1970), Every Good Boy Deserves Favour (1971), Seventh Sojourn (1972)
- Van Der Graaf Generator - The Least We Can Do Is Wave to Each Other (1970), H to He, Who Am the Only One (1970), Pawn Hearts (1971), Godbluff (1975), Still Life (1976), The Quiet Zone/The Pleasure Dome (1977)
- Yes - The Yes Album (1971), Fragile (1971), Close to the Edge (1972), Yessongs (1973), Tales from Topographic Oceans (1973), Relayer (1974)
- Frank Zappa - Freak Out! (1966), Absolutely Free (1967), We're Only in It for the Money (1968), Hot Rats (1969), Over-Nite Sensation (1973)
- Bennett, Graham. Soft Machine. Out-Blooody-Rageous. London: SAF Publishing (2005), ISBN 0946719845.
- Fitch, Vernon. A Collectors Guide to Soft Machine, Gong, Henry Cow & Related Group Recordings. Pink Floyd Archives (1998), No ISBN.
- Lucky, Jerry. The Progressive Rock Files. Burlington, Ontario: Collector's Guide Publishing, Inc. (1998), ISBN 1896522106.
- Holm-Hudson, Kevin. Progressive Rock Reconsidered. New York-London: Routledge (2002), ISBN 0815337159.
- Lucky, Jerry. The Progressive Rock Handbook. Burlington, Ontario: Collector's Guide Publishing, Inc. (2008), ISBN 9781894959766.
- Macan, Edward. Rocking the Classics: English Progressive Rock and the Counterculture. Oxford: Oxford University Press (1997), ISBN 0195098889.
- Martin, Bill. Listening to the Future: The Time of Progressive Rock. Peru, Ill.: Carus Publishing Company (1998), ISBN 081269368X.
- Snider, Charles. The Strawberry Bricks Guide To Progressive Rock. Chicago, Ill.: Lulu Publishing (2007), ISBN 9780615175669.
- Stump, Paul. The Music's All That Matters: A History of Progressive Rock. London: Quartet Books Limited (1997), ISBN 0704380366.
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