A Toronto-based music junkie storehouse

Keys To Ascension: 10 Prog Keyboardists You Should Hear!

Welcome back friends and travellers. If you’re a regular reader, you’ll know that Charmaine recently shared with us her list of ten greatest guitar solos and has inadvertently inspired me to put together this little list. In order to distance myself a little from that topic, I’ve chosen to focus on the keyboard since it has been such an integral part of the prog landscape for so long. And since progressive music has for a long time been wrongfully accused of being nothing but endless solos, I’ve chosen to shift my focus simply to great keyboard players. Of course, since most of them are as unique as they are great, I refuse to rank them or call them “Top Ten Keyboardists.” These are simply ten keyboardists you should hear, and I have arranged them so that five of them are obvious choices and five of them are less obvious, and they alternate back and forth. The first is obvious, second less obvious, etc. Finally, I have decided to only include players whose focus is on the keys and therefore have left out tremendous talents like Mike Oldfield and Brian Eno who are multi-instrumentalists. Let’s begin.

Rick Wakeman (Yes; Anderson Bruford Wakeman Howe) [solo begins at 3:50]

Matt Guillory (James LaBrie) [solo begins at 3:20 … not a guitar!]

Rick Wright (Pink Floyd) [amazing at 2:53, but he’s all over this track!]

Rick Davies (Supertramp) [solo begins round 3:16, youtube does not have this tune, WTF?]

*Rick is a popular name for keyboardists*

Tony Kaye (Yes; Flash; Badger; Circa) [solo begins at 5:19]

Kevin Moore (Dream Theater; Chroma Key; OSI) [this entire track is gorgeous]

Tony Banks (Genesis) [solo begins at 3:57]

Matt Langley (Fair To Midland) [everywhere… ubiquitous… more on these gentlemen in the future]

Keith Emerson (The Nice; Emerson, Lake and Palmer) [if you can’t pick him out here, best you stick with your Foo Fighters]

Peter Bardens (Camel) [solo begins at 4:21]

And that about wraps it up. Once again, this is not a top ten but rather a list of ten of my favourites that I believe are pivotal to the genre and should be heard by fellow prog fiends. Also, the songs I have chosen are not necessarily their best solos, but are ones that stood out to me at the time I compiled the list. Take care ladies, gentlemen, and all you individuals spaced, we’ll meet back here soon.


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Categorised in: Playlists, Top 10

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