Iron Maiden: Somewhere in Time - although I grew up with The Beatles,
The Stones, Deep Purple, Led Zep and other 60s and 70s rock icons as the sound
track of my childhood (thanks to my father), it was this album which really
sparked off my interest in music. When I heard it the first time at the age of
11 during a fishing trip (we didn't catch any fish), it clicked immediately with
me, and Iron Maiden has been my favorite band ever since, and Somewhere in Time
my favorite album. Other Maiden albums that are really special to me are Iron
Maiden, Killers, The Number of the Beast, Piece of Mind, Powerslave, Seventh Son
of a Seventh Son, Brave New World, Dance of Death, and A Matter of Life and
AC/DC: Dirty Deeds Done Dirt Cheap, Highway to Hell, Back In
Black, For Those About to Rock... We Salute You, The Razor's Edge - AC/DC is
another band that was prominent in my formative years, and: while I like
virtually all of their output: these albums have made a special impression on me
(actually, the first AC/DC album I heard was Flick of the Switch).
Megadeth: Rust in Peace, Countdown to Extinction - very different in sound
but equally impressive, both of these albums really display Dave Mustaine's
genius and capture the Mustaine/Ellefson/Friedman/Menza line-up, and there's
some pretty amazing guitar work from Mustaine and Friedman on both albums.
Metallica: Master of Puppets, ... And Justice for All - perhaps the
black album was Metallica's commercial breakthrough, but these two thrash metal
classics represent Metallica at their artistic peak, being melodic, complex,
aggressive and, in a way, progressive at the same time.
Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Heart Club Band - this album is legendary in so many
ways and took popular music to a completely new level. Plus this was one of the
albums I grew up listening to, so it is very significant to me.
Warning: Inside Out - Fates Warning have released many magnificent albums,
and the Arch-fronted The Specte Within and Awaken the Guardian incredible, as
are No Exit, Perfect Symmetry, and Parallels, but this album with its blend of
melody, melancholy and complexity and odd time signatures is really outstanding.
Dream Theater: Scenes from a Memory - with a far out lyrical concept
and incredible music composition and top notch performance by the entire band,
this album is very much the epitome of the branch of progressive metal
spearheaded by Dream Theater.
Yes: 90125 - yes, the dreadful
poppy album that all progheads hate. Well, Yes progressive rock classics like
The Yes Album, Fragile, Close to the Edge, Tales from the Topographic Oceans and
Relayer are albums that I emjoy immensely, but this is the Yes that I grew up
with and, despite many proghead's decrial, I do find that this album contain
many interesting, progressive elements which are unusual of the popular music of
the 80s. I also like its sleak and crips production.
Invisible Touch - basically this same story as with Yes' 90125 applies here.
I love classic Genesis albums like Nursery Crime, Foxtrot, Selling England by
the Pound, Trick of the Tail and Duke, but the Genesis that I grew up with is
the more pop music-oriented Genesis of the 80s. As with 90125, this is an album
that is decried by many progheads, but, the title track and 'In too Deep', this
album contains a lot of interesting things that were unusual for 80s pop, and,
for my money, this is a fine progressive pop album.
Operation - Mindcrime, Empire - progressive and thought-provoking, yet very
accessible and rocking, these two albums are always a joy to listen to.
Death: Symbolic - while the main attraction is Chuck Schuldiner's unique
genius, there is some pretty amazing drum work by Gene Hoglan. There is no weak
track on this album, and it is well nigh the perfect progressie death metal
Herbie Hancock: Head Hunters - this legendary jazz-funk
release is a milestone in jazz fusion, and I never get tired of listening to it.
Chick Corea Elektric Band: Beneath the Mask - another favorite jazz
fusion release of mine: I especially like the imclusion of rock elements and the
its overall mellow feel.
Carcass: Necroticism - Descanting the
Insalubrious - another nearly perfect progressive death metal album, Necroticism
is a cornucopia of extreme metal elements combined with elements from outside of
metal (rumor has it that the band actually lifted parts from Vivaldi's work and
used it on this album), and stitched it all together into complex songs. Also,
the morbidly humorous lyrical concept of creative ways of disposing of dead
bodies is cleverly takes the piss out of gore metal.
from Hell, Vulgar Display of Power - seminal releases in the subgenre of
groove metal and by far the best groove metal releases pairing pure aggression
with top notch musicianship.
Artillery: By Inheritance - fast and
furious technical thrash metal with sick vocals and memorable guitar melodies,
this has to be one of my favorite thrash metal releases.
Weaving the Apocalypse, Dying to Live - progressive, technical and complex
with several groovy parts and top notch musicianship across the board, these two
albums by Invocator are truly impressive and virtually unbeatable.
Beastie Boys: Hello Nasty - kitch, cheesy, alternative and totally un-gangsta,
this is hip hop at its best.
Helloween: Keeper of the Seven Keys pts I
& II - the best Euro power metal releases, I think, and I like how, despite
the band's obvious musical brilliance and talent, Helloween make use of both
light-heartedness and humor in many of the lyrics... and Michael Kiske's voice
John Arch: A Twist of Fate - one EP, two songs, 28
minutes it's epic, it's progressive. And John Arch's voice sounds better than
Rush: Retrospective I - yes, this is a compilations album,
but it contains most of my favorite tracks by Rush, as I tend to prefer their