Progressive rock is a genre that doesn’t get a ton of recognition in general. Many know of the big names like King Crimson, Yes, and Pink Floyd. But what about the more obscure bands that contributed to the genre and helped make it what it is today? Let’s dive into four of the most underrated progressive rock bands of all time. This list isn’t exhaustive by any means; there are a lot of underappreciated prog-rock bands out there!

1. Happy The Man

This Virginia-based prog-rock outfit formed in the early 1970s and was clearly inspired by Genesis, hence their name. The band released two classic prog-rock albums that featured excellent jazz elements. The band’s focus was on expert instrumentation over vocals and lyricism, and it paid off in their self-titled debut.

2. Starcastle

This Illinois-based prog-rock band didn’t get a lot of love when they were at their most active in the 1970s. In fact, a lot of the more pretentious fans of the genre considered them to be a not-as-good Yes. But when you really listen, their songwriting is on another level, as are the harmonies in their self-titled 1976 album.

3. Gryphon

This still-active UK outfit is one of the most unique prog-rock bands out there. Most of their albums featured songs that utilized various traditional instruments and had an overall medieval sound that lacked a focus on vocals. Red Queen To Gryphon Three didn’t feature much in the way of lyricism, but it’s by far one of their very best albums… if not one of the best prog-rock albums to come out of London.

4. Hatfield And The North

The Canterbury Scene was no joke during the 1970s, and the era produced a ton of top-notch underrated progressive rock bands in England. One such underrated gem was Hatfield And The North. The band was full of former members of other bands like Wilde Flowers, Gong, Caravan, and Soft Machine. They got their flowers in England for their jazzy, otherworldly sound, but didn’t get the attention they deserved outside of the UK.

Photo courtesy of Hatfield And The North’s Facebook fan page

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