These are some of of my favourite musical albums (in no particular order). Most of them are progressive rock-themed.
1. Dream Theater – Score: 20th Anniversary World Tour Live with the Octavarium Orchestra
From When Dream and Day Unite to Octavarium in less than 3 hours. All of the band members did a great job. James Labrie, surprisingly, sounded good too.
2. Rush – Moving Pictures
I think this was the first Rush album I listened to. Probably contary to most Rush fans, Tom Sawyer is not my favorite song. Not to say it’s a bad song. My favorite is the mind-bending instrumental work: YYZ. Another ones are Limelight and The Camera Eye.
My second Rush album. I like A Passage to Bangkok and Something for Nothing best. BTW, I think A Passage to Bangkok is the naughtiest thing Rush ever done
4. Queen – A Night at the Opera
Try to listen to the famous Bohemian Rhapsody. Layers of voices which were painstakingly recorded. Or Good Company, in which Brian May amazingly were able to emulate an entire Dixie jazz band using his guitar. Queen’s finest work, probably. Nuff said.
5. Queen – Innuendo
Queen’s second best album, I belive. Despite his illness, Freddie showed lots of power in this album, which eventually become a nice eulogy for him.
6. Jon Lord – Sarabande
A nice mixture of classical, jazz, and folk music from the legendary keyboardist of Deep Purple.
7. Yes – Relayer
Well, if you’re both a fan of progressive rock and classical genre, there’s a big chance that you will dig Yes. The Gates of Delirium is an epic, both in the sense of it’s a long composition, and so musically densed.
8. Chris Squire – Swiss Choir
Chris Squire’s Swiss Choire. Chris Squire’s Swiss Choire. Chriss Squire’s Swiss Choire. Ah a bit sounds like a tounge twister, eh? But honestly, this is not your ordinary Christmas album. And if you’re a progressive rock fan, you’re on the right track. Most of them are old, probably lesser unknown, Christmas carols rearranged with a modern twist. To my surprise, Mr Squire is not just a great bassist, but also a great singer as well.
9. Rush – Hemispheres
I think this album serves as the marking point of the end of Rush’s classic progressive era, before they shifted to shorter, more “radio-friendly” songs. Nevertheless, it’s a very fine showcase of the band’s ability. It’s very much like listening to the orchestra, but in the rock/metal context. I don’t think that Rush will do new stuffs with the caliber of Cygnus X-1, or La Villa Strangiato, but who knows?
10. Yes – Close to The Edge
Plenty of gorgeous bass lines. It’s Squire, anyway.
11. Pink Floyd – The Wall
Honestly, this is a very fascinating album, not to listen to, but rather to… “explore”…
12. Pink Floyd – The Dark Side of the Moon
Pink Floyd’s ultimate masterpiece, and it’s still their best-selling album until this time.
13. Pink Floyd – The Division Bell
PF minus Waters. Still a good album. Well since I’m not a big fan of Waters, that’s not a big deal for me.
14. Dream Theater – Falling into Infinity
DT’s most mellow album, anyone?
15. Liquid Tension Experiment – Liquid Tension Experiment 2
LTE is DT minus Myung, plus Levin (the great bassist of King Crimson). If you can stand about 74 minutes of instrumental works, then this album is good for you
16. BB King – Deuces Wild
Surprise, surprise. Who say I exclusively listen to rock? Sometimes I’m tired of listening to those shreds typically found in rock/metal. And there’s where Mr King’s guitar come in handy. He plays a few note at a time, but his phrasing is very refreshing.
17. Rush – Feedback
In this album, Rush pays homage tribute to several bands that influenced them, like The Yardbirds, The Who, and Cream. Indeed, this is a cover album. Even though Rush doesn’t sound so “Rush”, nevertheless this is still a very refreshing album to listen to.
18. The Very Best of… Sting & the Police
Pretty solid compilation of both Police and Sting’ best works.