Ten Most Underrated Prog Rock Albums

Categories: Lists

King Crimson - Islands
This 1971 album is King Crimson at its most sophisticated but also at its most volatile. The work was as much grooving jazz as it was rollicking rock 'n' roll, with elements of rather ethereal classical moments. Robert Fripp's nasty guitar lashings and Mel Collins' braying saxophone are counter-pointed by a sighing Mellotron and sometimes dreamy horns and strings. It's a brilliant dynamic that spans the album.

The vocal harmonies of "Ladies of the Road" would satisfy those still mourning the demise of the Beatles. The rock and jazz probably most strongly come together in the brilliantly entrancing build-up of "Sailor's Tale."

Jethro Tull - A Passion Play
Back to Ed Matus' thoughts on these matters: "In their album Thick as a Brick, Jethro Tull was spoofing the progressive rock genre. The album became a success, and so the band decided to try the serious approach with 1973's A Passion Play. Like its predecessor, the work contains one single, full album-length track. This is Jethro Tull's densest work, and the critics savaged it upon its release. Jethro Tull toured the album with a fantastic and bizarre multimedia presentation in order to depict the story about the main character's adventures in the afterlife. Heaven is boring, and hell is too authoritarian. What now?"

Follow Hans Morgenstern on Twitter @HansMorgenstern.

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