During the late 1960s and early 1970s, England and the European continent was flourishing with "art rock". Also known as progressive rock, art rock was characterized by the use of heavy keyboards, epic lyrics and a heavy dose of classical music influences. Art music only made a slight impact on the American scene, with Genesis, Yes, Emerson, Lake and Palmer and Pink Floyd being the biggest successes. Here are some choice progressive albums:
Caravan & The New Symphona
Caravan hailed from Canterbury, England and were extremely popular across the Atlantic but never really penetrated the American music markets. This was a sad loss for American music fans. On October 28th, 1973, Caravan played a live concert with the New Symphona, which was 41 piece orchestra. The end result was a perfect blend of classical music and rock and roll.
Pink Floyd/Live at Pompeii
You cant probably find the album, so rent the movie. Right before Pink Floyd went into the studio to record the history making Dark Side of the Moon, the band played a concert in the amphitheater at the ancient ruins of Pompeii. The amphitheater claims to have the best acoustics in the world and Floyd wanted to test the rumour for themselves. For some reason, they did not want anybody else to share the experience with them as nobody was invited to the concert. Nonetheless, the soundtrack is classic Floyd and features a full version of Echoes.
King Crimson/ In the Court of the Crimson King
During the late 1960s, it seemed that the rock and roll world was basking in love, beads and incense. This wasnt the case for Englands King Crimson. Led by the genius guitarwork of Robert Fripp, King Crimsons 1969 debut album was a deviation from the peaceful, love filled tunes of the time. This album is full of dark lyrics and heavy instrumentals which somehow combine together to make an interesting sound.