Readers' Poll: The 10 Best Prog Rock Albums of the SeventiesPicks include 'Close to the Edge,' 'Dark Side of the Moon' and 'Selling England By the Pound'
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1. Rush, '2112'
It's the year 2112, and the world is in rough shape. The evil Priests of the Temples of Syrinx control everything, and they make Big Brother seem almost friendly by comparison. Everything is censored, and rock & roll is strictly forbidden. Things begin to change when a man discovers an old guitar. He dies before he can fulfill his musical dreams, but a new planetary war breaks out that seems to result in the Priests of the Temples of Syrinx going down. (It's a little ambiguous.) It's a fine story, but the brilliance of 2112 isn't found in the story. It's the music. Rush were in a tough spot when they started the album. They weren't scoring hits songs, and their label was on the verge of dropping them. Instead of making a commercial album, they quadrupled down on prog. It didn't lead to a hit, but the album found a huge cult audience. It's nearly 40 years later, and that audience hasn't let go at all. Rush remain the biggest cult band in the world, and every show on their last tour wrapped up with the title track from 2112. Nobody left disappointed.