With our tenth anniversary of the DPRPoll at the beginning of the year we added an extra set of questions asking the favourites of the past 10 years.
As first in a series of specials in the running up to the 2007 edition of DPRPoll, we are presenting the results of our 2006 Decennial Poll, looking at the best albums, tracks and prog happening of the 10 years between 1997 and 2006.
As with our normal polls we also have a database version of the results, where you can see the results by vote or by artist, as well as all albums voted by year. You can access the results tables here.
Best Albums Of The Decade
Before we are going to look at which album received the most votes for best album of the past 10 years, let's see which artists received the most votes, regardless of which album:
|4||The Flower Kings||1742||252||10||29.30|
|10||Pain Of Salvation||688||130||6||21.67|
The above shows a clear victory for Porcupine Tree, which did not only receive votes for quite a large number of albums, each of these albums were also placed high in people's top 10s, resulting in a high number of weighted points. No less than 4 Porcupine Tree albums ended up in the overall top 25, with two in the top 10, making Porcupine Tree the most successful band of the past 10 years, as voted by DPRP readers.
In total 819 different albums were voted for. Below you will find the Top 25.
We have provided links to the DPRP reviews of these albums.
Some quick explanations about the calculations. 'Votes' are the number of people who voted for a specific album, regardless if it was their number 1 or number 10. 'Percentage' is the percentage of all participants that voted for an album. The 'Weighted Points' are calculated based on the ranking of the (max) 10 albums the participants voted for; their number 1 got 10 points, number 2 got 9 points, etc. 'Weighted Points' is the sum of these points.
The end result caught us by surprise. Not so much the album that ended up as number 1, as Dream Theater's Scenes From A Memory already topped the DPRPoll of 1999, however the margin by which it won is incredible: no less than 41 more votes than the number 2 on the list, which is what we call winning by a landslide!
Back in 2004 our poll caused a bit of controversy when some people could not believe Marbles by Marillion had ended up at second position, behind IQ's Dark Matter. These people will be happy to see 'justice' as in the Decennial poll Marillion beat IQ by nearly 50 votes!
If you compare the results of the decennial poll year by year with the original poll results of those years you see quite some interesting changes. In general the top 10 remained relatively similar, but some albums really gained more appreciation over the years, while some others apparently didn't age that well at all...
The biggest 'riser' is Radiohead's OK Computer, which ended up at 46th position in the poll of 1997, yet it ends up at third place in the list of 1997 albums voted for in the decennial poll.
Other risers are Anathema (with Judgement (1999) going from 51 to 6 and A Natural Disaster (2003) from 31 to 8), Muse (The Origin Of Symmetry (2001) from 40 to 7 and Absolution (2003) from 35 to 7), and The Gathering's How To Measure A Planet ? (1998) moving from 29th to 5th position.
When looking at albums that of which the appreciation decreased over the years, Marillion's Radiation (1998 - from 4 to 49) and Spock's Beard's Feel Euphoria (2003 - from 5 to 94) are the ones that stand out.
Overall, when looking solely at the number of albums, votes and weighted points, of the past 10 years 2004 seems to be the best year for Prog in general, though the albums released in 1999 and 2002 get a higher rating on average.
In the biggest disappointment section of the 2006 many people said that 2006 was a disappointing year for prog in general, and this is reflected in the last place the year takes in the best year for prog tally. However, this last place will undoubtedly also have something to do with the fact that this poll was done at the same time as the general 2006 poll, and many people did not want to vote for the same albums in their decennial votes.
An interesting aspect is however that although the Decennial poll and the 2006 poll were conducted at the same time, the results of the top 10 differ somewhat: DPRPoll 2006 best album winners The Flower Kings actually end up 2nd behind Sylvan in the 2006 tally of the Decennial poll!
Best Tracks Of The Decade
Before we go to the list of best individual tracks, let's see which 5 bands got the most votes, regardless of which track.
|3||The Flower Kings||262||1666||43|
Once again Porcupine Tree received the most votes. When looking solely at the bands that received the most votes for best album and best track one can conclude that Porcupine Tree is truly the most popular band of the decade!
Now let's look at the top 15 individual tracks:
|1||Transatlantic||Stranger In Your Soul||2001||1||
|2||Porcupine Tree||Arriving Somewhere But Not Here||2005||2||
|4||Transatlantic||All Of The Above||2000||1||
|5||IQ||Harvest Of Souls||2004||1||78||447|
|6||The Flower Kings||Stardust We Are||1997||-||
|7||The Flower Kings||The Truth Will Set You Free||2002||1||
|9||Spock's Beard||The Great Nothing||2000||2||
|10||Arena||The Hanging Tree||1998||1||
|11||IQ||The Narrow Margin||1997||-||
|12||Spock's Beard||At The End Of The Day||2000||4||
|13||Dream Theater||The Spirit Carries On||1999||14||
|14||Marillion||The Invisible Man||2004||4||
|15||Porcupine Tree||Even Less||1999||4||
We did not ask the question for best track in 1997, so we have no 'original positions' for these tracks available.
Well, us prog fans are happy to confirm any clichés that might exist about the genre, by voting almost solely for the longest tracks in existance. You'd need about a day to listen to just the top 10 alone!
Arena's The Hanging Tree is the only song in the top 10 that clocks in under 10 minutes, and in fact, more than half the tracks in this top 15 are over 20 minutes long!
Again, we see some shifts when compared to the original polls. In 2005 people voted Dream Theater's Octavarium best song, and Porcupine Tree's Arriving Somewhere... second best, yet a year later these two swapped positions!
However, there is no denying the appeal of Transatlantic with Stranger In Your Soul claiming the number one spot with a marginal difference in weighted points (the song received the same number of votes as Arriving Somewhere...) and All Of The Above firmly in fourth place.
It is proven that appreciation of songs will increase when it is played live often. Take a look at the the two songs from 1999 that ended up in the top 15. Both Porcupine Tree's Even Less and Dream Theater's The Spirit Carries On have become common live staple, and the effects are visible in the poll: The Spirit Carries On, the highest position for a 1999 track, was 14th in the original 1999 poll, way behind Home and Finally Free off the same album. Even Less was voted fourth best track back in 1999, and has now become second-most favourite Porcupine Tree track according to this poll. And what happened to Fish' Plague Of Ghosts, the number 1 of that year? Dropped all the way to 24, or 5th position if you are just looking at 1999 tracks.
And what about the songs voted best songs of 2003? or 2006? None of them made it to the 15 best tracks of the decade.
Best Thing To Happen To Prog
Rather than asking for biggest disappointment, like we do in our regular annual poll, we asked the respondents what they felt was the best thing that happened to prog in the past decade. We received many different entries and grouped them so that they all referred to a certain band or event.
|2||Pink Floyd Reunion at Live 8||37|
|5||Neal Morse going solo / Becoming Christian||
Amongst the team we felt the best thing that happened to prog was the increased accessability to Internet. After all, the genre was almost dead in the early nineties, but once the Internet became an easy source for sharing information and thus an easy way of promotion, the prog genre really took off again. And of course, without The Internet there would be no DPRP :-)
According to the respondents of the poll the Internet was only the third best thing that happened in the past ten years though. The biggest prog happening as voted in the Decennial Poll was the short-lived supergroup Transatlantic, which featured members of probably the four of the biggest bands in contemporary prog: Dream Theater, Marillion, Spock's Beard and The Flower Kings.
Second-best happening of the past 10 years was the one reunion people would not have dreamed to ever be possible: the Pink Floyd reunion at Live 8 in 2005. Apart from Pink Floyd many other reunions were voted for, with the reunions of Genesis and Van der Graaf Generator also making it into the top 10.
And whaddaya know, the departure of Neal Morse from Spock's Beard and Transatlantic resulted in hundreds of votes for biggest disappointment for two years in a row, yet five years later the general concensus seems to be that people think it wasn't such a bad idea after all!
Finally we want to thank the 21 people who voted DPRP as the best thing to happen to prog in the past 10 years (and no, DPRP team members were not allowed to vote for DPRP themselves).
In the 12 years that this site has been running many things have happened. Of course the team has changed, some people left, some new people came, but the spirit always remained the same. What started as a little hobby for 4 Dutch students, who were happy to receive 50 unique visitors in the first month the site was running on a university server, turned into a, uhm, rather big hobby for 23 international team members and many more regular contributors, drawing over 5000 unique visitors per month.
And after all these years we are still happy to continue: We recently published our 4000th review, we are about to launch our 11th annual poll in January, and we are already looking forward to the next decennial poll in 2016!!
The Road To DPRPoll 2007:
Part 1: The Decennial Poll (full results)
Part 2: The Usual Suspects
Part 3: Newcomers & Discoveries
Send feedback to the DPRP team.
Discuss the results in our forum.