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Top 10 Progressive Rock Songs

Progressive rock songs gained notoriety in the late '60s, developing out of psychedelic rock. Bands like Jethro Tull and Pink Floyd began to experiment with different types of sounds and styles of composition, going beyond the realms of any genre in existence at that time. Here we bring you the top 10 progressive rock songs, rated the highest on AOL Radio's Progressive station.
'Heat of the Moment'
This song from the progressive rock supergroup reached No. 1 on the Mainstream Rock chart in the US in 1982. 'Heat of the Moment' has made its way into pop culture as well, appearing in the movie 'The 40-Year-Old Virgin' and Comedy Central's ' South Park.'
'The Fundamentals of Brainwashing'
Before going solo, Hackett played with prog rock legends Genesis. This song, which appears on Hackett's 2006 album 'Wild Orchids,' is a shining example of progressive rock, with a foreboding sounding piano accompanied by Hackett's whispery vocals.
'Aqualung' is probably the most popular track from these flute-wielding rockers, despite never being released as a single. Frontman Ian Anderson was inspired to write the song after looking at a picture of a homeless man. The composition was very progressive for its time, with a hard-hitting, chord-tangled intro mixed with a mellower, acoustic section later.
This was one of the most successful progressive rock songs from British rockers Marillion. Written by lead singer Fish, the song is an apology to the frontman's past lovers. The guitar hook's interesting sound came about when guitarist Steve Rothery demonstrated the effects of a delay pedal to his girlfriend at the time.
'From the Beginning'
Emerson, Lake and Palmer formed in 1970 as a supergroup, stemming from bands like King Crimson and The Nice. 'From the Beginning' experiments with sound, utilizing synthesizer, rhythm acoustic guitar, electric bass guitar, and cymbal-less drums.
Rumored to have been written in sync with the film '2001: A Space Odyssey,' this 23-minute song takes listeners on a musical voyage. The song begins with a sequence of 'ping' sounds created by amplifying a grand piano through a Leslie rotating speaker. The song progresses further as the band uses a variety of unconventional recording techniques, like guitarist David Gilmour reversing the cables on his wah-wah pedal.
'I Drive the Hearse'
Lead Singer Stephen Wilson encapsulates one of 14 "incidents" in this first person account of guilt and possibly lost love. 'I Drive the Hearse' is one of 14 tracks that make up one disc of the 2009 album 'Incident' -- which was inspired by the effects Wilson witnessed after a roadside accident. By trying to humanize what can sometimes be perceived as a detached concept, Wilson lets us into a progressive composition filled with lyrics that unfold layers of meaning.
'The Court of the Crimson King'
From the album of the same name, the song is best known for it's mellotron riff and it's reprise called 'The Dance of the Puppets,' which breaks up the verses. The seven-minute song is one of the strongest representations of the progressive rock genre, and is the only King Crimson song to chart in the US.
'Firth of Fifth'
Beginning with a classical grand piano introduction, this progressive rock song features a flute melody, guitars that sound like violins, as well as synthesizers. The song, whose title is a pun for the channel off of the River Forth in Scotland, was extremely avante-garde when it was written in 1973.
'And You and I'
With a symphonic arrangement that sounds like a kaleidoscopic version of Led Zeppelin combined with a cheerier Pink Floyd, it's no wonder why Yes is revered as one of the archetypal bands within the progressive rock genre. Listening to this 10-minute journey of chord progressions, organs and synthesizer melodies will surely blow any listener's mind.

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