Ten Most Underrated Prog Rock Albums
Rush - Hemispheres
Ed Matus explains: "If there is an album that contains the totality of Rush's musical prowess, 1978's Hemispheres is it. In the side-long epic 'Cygnus X-1 Book 2: Hemispheres,' Rush exhibits their virtuosity and true talent for making odd time signatures and complicated arrangements digestible to the listener, all while showing off their musicianship. The second half of the album features shorter compositions 'Circumstances,' the live favorite 'The Trees,' and the instrumental 'La Villa Strangiato.'"
Genesis - Selling England by the Pound
Hard-core Genesis fans know that the only years in Genesis that matter -- as far as resonance in the history of art rock -- are those featuring Peter Gabriel as its frontman. The pinnacle of the period has to be Gabriel's final album with the band, 1974's The Lamb Lies Down on Broadway, the group's only double album.
However, the previous album, 1973's Selling England by the Pound, is often cited among personal favorites. Matus noted that Genesis kicked up production values a notch by adding synthesizers to the mix, which especially stand out in Tony Banks' airy solos on "Firth of Fifth," "The Battle of Epping Forest," and the album's pièce de résistance, "The Cinema Show."
Steve Hackett's guitar work takes a bit of a back seat, but his varied playing, from the twinkle of the classic guitar opening "Cinema" to the soaring electric finale of "After the Ordeal," is worth noting. "It sounds like Steve Hackett was trying to keep up with the synths," says Matus.