From the 1970s and well into the ’90s, Genesis shone as one the greatest progressive rock band in music history. Their sound, often blending soft rock and pop, influenced several generations of listeners and musicians.
If you are a fan reading this post, chances are you’re searching for more bands to satisfy your prog-rock heart. Look no further, then, as we’ve got what you’re looking for.
In this article, we’ve compiled a list of 14 amazing bands like Genesis. From Yes to The Moody Blues, there’s something here for everyone who appreciates excellent tunes. Let’s get started!
We begin our list with one of the longest-lasting prog rock band in history, Yes. This British group formed in 1968 and rose to popularity alongside Genesis, sharing similarities in genres.
The original lineup included vocalist Jon Anderson, bassist Chris Squire, guitarist Peter Banks, keyboardist Tony Kaye, and drummer Bill Bruford. However, over the years, the band went through several lineup changes.
Yes gained popularity and critical acclaim with their third album, The Yes Album, in 1971, which featured guitarist Steve Howe and keyboardist Rick Wakeman. This lineup became highly influential and helped define the band’s sound.
Some of their most well-known songs include “Wonderous Stories,” “Roundabout,” “Love Will Find a Way,” and their greatest hit, “Owner of a Lonely Heart,” which reached #1 on the US Mainstream Rock chart in 1983.
Yes has a dedicated fan base and, to this day, continues to tour and create music, even after more than five decades since their formation. Their contributions to prog rock and their commitment to pushing musical boundaries make them a significant presence in the music world.
2. King Crimson
Renowned prog rock band King Crimson emerged from the London music scene in 1968. As pioneers of symphonic mellotron rock, they significantly impacted first-wave progressive rock bands such as Genesis and Yes.
They rose to prominence with their debut album, In the Court of the Crimson King, in 1969. Though it is not their highest-charting album (it peaked at #5 in the UK), it is their most commercially successful.
Throughout their career, King Crimson consistently pushed the envelope with experimental music that seamlessly blended elements of art rock, alternative rock, and even classical influences.
The band’s live performances were also highly regarded for their improvisational nature and their, technical prowess, and intense musical interplay.
After their tour in 2021, however, King Crimson opted to go on hiatus. To date, there are no new updates for future plants. Nevertheless, their extensive work has been an inspiration to generations of musicians.
3. Mike + The Mechanics
Genesis co-founder and guitarist Mike Rutherford formed Mike and the Mechanics as a side project in 1985. The band was initially conceived as a way for Rutherford to explore a different musical direction while Genesis was on hiatus.
The band achieved commercial success in the late 1980s and early 1990s with a string of hit singles. Their self-titled debut album features the hit single “Silent Running,” which became a chart success, landing at #6 on Billboard‘s Hot 100.
The band’s second album in 1988, The Living Years, became their most successful release. The title track reached #1 on the charts of several countries, including the US, Canada, and Australia, and remains their signature song.
Mike and the Mechanics’ lineup has seen changes over time, with vocalists Paul Young and Paul Carrack being significant contributors to their sound. Sadly, Young passed away in 2000, but the band has continued to perform and release music to this day.
4. Emerson, Lake & Palmer
Our next band, Emerson, Lake & Palmer (ELP), was a groundbreaking English progressive rock supergroup founded in 1970 in London. The trio consisted of Keith Emerson on keyboards, Greg Lake on bass and vocals, and Carl Palmer on drums.
Like Genesis and King Crimson, ELP was part of an influential movement that shaped much of modern progressive rock.
ELP became known for their complex musical style, blending rock, classical, and jazz influences. Their self-titled debut album in 1970 showcased their innovative approach to music.
The band’s second album, Tarkus, the following year further solidified their reputation. It featured the signature track, “Tarkus,” with its aggressive rock riffs, intricate keyboards, and dynamic shifts.
Unfortunately, the band was not very long-lived. Their breakup came in 1979 due to internal tensions and creative differences. Despite their relatively short time together, Emerson, Lake & Palmer left a lasting impact on progressive rock.
5. Jethro Tull
We have the English rock band Jethro Tull next, from Luton, England. Formed in 1967, they started out playing blues rock and jazz fusion but later incorporated elements of progressive rock into their music that is more reminiscent of Genesis’ style.
One of the distinguishing features of Jethro Tull’s sound is Ian Anderson’s flute playing, which became a defining element of their music. The flute’s presence in rock music was quite unconventional at the time and contributed to the band’s distinctive sound.
In 1971, Jethro Tull released their critically acclaimed and most commercially successful album, Aqualung. The title track and the song “Locomotive Breath” became some of the band’s most recognized and enduring songs.
The band separated in 2012, but to the delight of fans, they reformed in 2017 for the 50th anniversary of their first album, This Was. Since then, Jethro Tull has released two more albums, The Zealot Gene and RökFlöte, in 2022 and 2023, respectively.
6. Gentle Giant
Between 1970 and 1980, British prog-rock band Gentle Giant was making amazing music that drew influence from other prog-rock bands of the time, like King Crimson, Genesis, and ELP.
In their decade-long career, they were able to release quite a lot of notable albums and songs, which gained them a cult following. Octopus (1972) and The Power and the Glory (1974) are notable releases that exemplified Gentle Giant’s musical virtuosity.
After several lineup changes, the band decided to disband in 1980. Despite their relatively short career, Gentle Giant left a lasting impact on the progressive rock scene.
7. Van Der Graaf Generator
From Manchester, England, we have the progressive rock band Van der Graaf Generator. They formed in 1967, coincidentally the same year as Genesis.
While the two bands shared the connection of being signed to the label Charisma, Van der Graaf Generator possessed a distinct and unique sound that set them apart from Genesis.
Van der Graaf Generator had a darker sound compared to the more melodic approach of Genesis. The use of saxophone, organ, and violin in their music also lent an atmospheric intensity unlike any other.
Despite these differences, Van der Graaf Generator became one of the best progressive rock bands ever. Their early albums, such as The Least We Can Do Is Wave to Each Other (1970) and H to He, Who Am the Only One (1970) showcased their progressive and experimental approach that fans loved.
Emerging during the post-punk era in Britain, Marillion is a rock band that has drawn comparisons to Genesis. While they have been influenced by notable prog-rock bands like King Crimson and Yes, Marillion has managed to carve out a sound that is distinctly their own.
Formed in 1979, they gained recognition in the early 1980s with albums like Script for a Jester’s Tear and Fugazi. Then in 1985, they reached international success with the chart-topping Misplaced Childhood.
After the departure of their original vocalist, Fish, in 1988, they recruited Steve Hogarth, leading to an evolution in their sound. Despite this change, they continue to be successful, influential, and respected within the progressive rock genre to this day.
British progressive rock band Camel was formed in 1971. The group was founded by guitarist Andrew Latimer, and over the years, it went through various lineup changes.
Camel debuted in 1973 with an eponymous album, but it wasn’t until 1975 that they achieved commercial success with the album The Snow Goose. It landed at #22 on the UK Albums chart and was eventually certified Silver.
They followed this up with Moonmadness in 1976, which was an even greater success, peaking at #15 on the chart.
While Camel may not have achieved the same level of mainstream success as some of their peers, they have maintained a dedicated fan base over the years. Their music continues to be celebrated for its intricate instrumental passages and fusion of rock, folk, jazz, and classical sounds.
10. Pink Floyd
Britain’s first psychedelic rock band, Pink Floyd, formed in London in 1965. Their music has gained a massive following and influenced other bands in the genre of progressive rock, similar to Genesis.
The band was known for their experimental soundscapes and complex song structures, and their albums were often conceptual, exploring themes such as mental health, society, and existentialism.
Some of their most acclaimed albums include Wish You Were Here, The Wall, and The Dark Side of the Moon, the last of which had its 50th anniversary in 2023. These albums showcased the band’s ability to create immersive sonic experiences that fans loved.
11. The Alan Parsons Project
British rock band The Alan Parsons Project stands out in rock music history. Founded by producer and songwriters Alan Parsons and Eric Woolfson, this art-rock ensemble combined pop and prog rock with a focus on songwriting and sound quality.
Before finding success as a musician, Parsons was an accomplished sound engineer who worked for The Beatles and was the production engineer for Pink Floyd’s Dark Side of the Moon. Rather than having a fixed lineup, The Alan Parsons Project consisted of a rotating cast of musicians and vocalists.
The band gained popularity with their concept albums, which featured cohesive themes and narratives. Albums like Tales of Mystery and Imagination (based on the works of Edgar Allan Poe) and Eye in the Sky achieved critical acclaim and commercial success.
While The Alan Parsons Project did not reach mainstream superstardom, their music has stood the test of time and continues to be appreciated by fans of their unique style.
Formed in 1970 in London, Supertramp was a progressive rock band that has often been compared to Genesis in terms of musical style. The group was formed by songwriters and musicians Roger Hodgson and Rick Davies.
One of Supertramp’s defining albums is Breakfast in America, in 1979, which became a worldwide success. It topped charts in several countries, including the US, Australia, and Canada. It features hit singles like the title track and “The Logical Song.”
The band’s lineup underwent changes over the years, but the core songwriting partnership between Hodgson and Davies remained central to their sound. Hodgson’s distinctive high-pitched vocals and Davies’ soulful delivery complemented each other, contributing to the band’s unique vocal blend.
While Supertramp experienced commercial success in the 1970s and early 1980s, their popularity waned in subsequent years. The band released several albums beyond their heyday, but their impact on rock music remained significant.
We cross the Atlantic from London for the Canadian rock group Rush. Formed in 1968, they remained a significant force in the music industry for several decades.
The band’s three members, Geddy Lee on bass and vocals, Alex Lifeson on guitar, and Neil Peart on drums, were known for their technical musicianship and songwriting abilities. Their live shows were also renowned for being energetic, with complex musical arrangements and spectacular visuals.
Despite Rush retiring from performing live shows and releasing new albums in 2018 due to health concerns regarding Peart’s drumming ability after battling a brain cancer diagnosis, they have left an extensive legacy within the music industry, which will remain memorable forever.
Genesis fans looking for more great prog-rock tunes should check out Rush’s discography. Moving Pictures and 2112 are great albums to start off.
14. Moody Blues
Ending this list is the classic rock band The Moody Blues. Hailing from Birmingham, the band formed in 1964 and initially consisted of drummer Graeme Edge and guitarist/vocalist Denny Laine.
What sets The Moody Blues apart is their unique sound that no other band can replicate successfully. The release of their concept album Days of Future Passed in 1967 established them as frontrunners in the development of art rock and progressive rock genres.
They continued to release successful albums, including A Question of Balance in 1970 and Seventh Sojourn in 1972 and went on to achieve commercial success with several chart-topping hits, such as “Your Wildest Dreams” and “I Know You’re Out There Somewhere” in the 1980s.
Sadly, the band officially retired in 2018, the same year they were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, but their music continues to be cherished and enjoyed by fans, old and new.
Summing Up Our List Of Bands Like Genesis
Genesis was undoubtedly a powerhouse prog-rock band whose music was enjoyed by fans the world over. But as you can see from this list, they weren’t the only ones to succeed in the genre.
Go ahead and give the music of each of these bands a try. They’re all unique in their own way and deserve some attention.
And if there are any bands we missed that should be on this list, let us know, and we’ll add them for you! Happy listening!