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Posted on May 18, 2012

‘s very own keyboard wizard, Jordan Rudess, sat down with MusicRadar recently to discuss all things prog. He selected his Top 10 Pro-Rock albums of all time and we’ve used the first sentence from each description to give you a taster of what he selected:

Emmerson, Lake & Palmer – Tarkus

“Here you have a band that introduced me to the whole harmonic world, which I’d heard a little bit in classical music but never in rock. It had all these kind of cool, suspended chords, based on fourths, that Keith Emerson was so fond of. It probably stemmed from Aaron Copeland, the classical composer.

Genesis – Trick Of The Tail

“It’s interesting about a lot of the records I’ve picked: many of them represent the first time I heard a certain band. That’s the case with Genesis – Trick Of The Tail was my introduction to them. First impressions are strong.

Gentle Giant – Free Hand

“Gentle Giant were an extremely important band to me. I always felt like they had something unique in the way that they used counterpoint and rhythm. Nobody else was doing that. It was special, and it had a tremendous influence on me.

King Crimson – In The Court Of The Crimson King

“One of the all-time classics, and certainly an album I have lined up to just listen to some great music. To this day, I love it. I play a lot of the slower songs on the piano.

Pink Floyd – Dark Side Of The Moon

“Pink Floyd represented the whole spacey side of rock to me. Unlike other bands that were focused on melodies, with Pink Floyd it was all about the headspace. And being someone who was going through a rebellion late in life, I needed Pink Floyd.

Van der Graaf Generator – Pawn Hearts

“Peter Hammill, the lead singer, was coming from the same place as a Peter Gabriel. He’s a real actor, very dramatic, operatic, a big character.

Rick Wakeman – The Six Wives Of Henry VIII

“This is the first album I heard that put together the very classical world and made it rock. To me, it was as if you took a Bach fugue and put a cool beat to it – next thing you know, you have something like Six Wives.

Steven Wilson – Grace For Drowning

“I don’t know if this is fair, but I played on the album. To be honest, I would’ve picked it anyway because I love what Steven does. He’s so creative and artistic. I remember seeing him in the early days, when Porcupine Tree were opening for Dream Theater. We’ve since become good friends.

Yes – Close To The Edge

“This is a real top album for me in terms of influence. With Yes, it was about the positivity that came out of their music, not just the progressive nature of the songs and the unbelievable musicianship. It was the energy level. Jon Anderson and the rest of the band put out such a fantastic spirit – it screamed off of the vinyl.

Stefan Zauner – Prism And Views

“I was living in Maryland, and I walked into this one record shop that had a lot of vinyl. The guy at the store had a great collection. He knew me and had an idea of what I liked, so he said, ‘Jordan, if you like Peter Gabriel and Genesis, you’re going to love this album.’ That was all I needed to hear.

Be sure to check out the list on MusicRadar by clicking here and read the full reasoning behind why Jordan picked each album. It makes for a great read!

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