DPRPoll 2008

It took a while to compile all the results, but it's finally here! Below you will find an evaluation of the DPRPoll 2008. If you want to go straight to the results tables, click here.


This year 818 people entered our annual poll. The participants came from The Netherlands (19.8%), USA (16.0%), UK (14.2%), Canada (5.6%) and Germany (5.1%) which is more or less similar to previous years.
The participants came from 56 different countries, including countries the DPRP team wouldn't even be able to point at on a map, like St. Pierre and Miquelon and Vanuatu.

As always we had a number of great prizes which we raffled among the entrants. DPRP would like to thank Agnieszka Kulpińska, Shawn Gordon and Vicky Powell for their generous donations. All prize winners have been contacted and will be announced later, but if you are curious, have a look here what the prizes were.

Best Albums of 2008

In total 633 different albums were voted for. Below you will find the Top 25.
We have provided links to the DPRP reviews of these albums.

Pendragon - Pure

NrBandAlbumVotesPercentageWeighted Points
2MarillionHappiness Is The Road23528.2%1708
4KarmakanicWho's The Boss In The Factory 20424.9%1305
6The Pineapple Thief Tightly Unwound15118.5%1043
7The TangentNot As Good As The Book17020.8%1005
8Steven WilsonInsurgentes14117.2%991
9Neal MorseLifeline16520.2%939
10It BitesThe Tall Ships13716.7%831
11Martin OrfordThe Old Road15619.1%831
12Frost*Experiments In Mass Appeal13816.9%812
13No-manSchoolyard Ghosts13516.5%792
14Moon Safari[blomljud]10713.1%747
16BeardfishSleeping In Traffic: part 210412.7%625
17RPWLThe RPWL Experience10913.3%561
18UnitopiaThe Garden8810.8%541
19DemiansBuilding An Empire8510.4%511
21Lunatic SoulLunatic Soul8410.3%488
22Simon SaysTardigrade708.6%435
23Van Der Graaf Generator Trisector789.5%408

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.

A great result for Pendragon's Pure, topping this year's albums poll. The album was received almost unanimously positive throughout the prog world, with words like "come-back", "re-inventing prog" and "masterpiece" frequently uttered, making it a deserved win.
Marillion's second place can also be called a come-back after last year's Somewhere Else didn't even make it to the top 10. Their double album Happiness Is The Road proved a tough nut to crack for the DPRPoll correction team, as people had voted for the two volumes both as separate albums as well as one album. In the end we decided to count the album as one album, and where people had voted for both volume 1 and 2 the lowest of the two votes was discarded.

One of the first thing to notice when comparing the top 10 to previous years, is that the votes were much more widespread than normally. Although we had less participants in the poll, there were actually more different albums voted for, with less votes for the individual albums. The five albums in the top 5 of 2008 are all less than than 50 votes apart, compared to a 200 vote difference between the number 1 and 2 albums last year, and another 70 votes between 2 and 3. Furthermore less than 10% of this year's participants had more than 2 of the albums that made the top 5 in their choices, so people who voted for Pendragon were less likely to vote for Marillion or Opeth and vice versa. This just goes to show that prog as a genre is widening, and its audience becoming more diversified.

Click here for the entire list of results.

Best DVD of 2008

Genesis - When In Rome

NrBandDVDVotesPercentageWeighted Points
1GenesisWhen In Rome16233.94%370
2RushSnakes & Arrows Live13623.74%314
3Neal MorseSola Scriptura & Beyond11317.96%279
4David GilmourLive In Gdansk9814.92%227
5SylvanPosthumous Silence: The Show 9910.35%220
6Dream TheaterChaos In Motion 2007-200810111.57%212
7Spock's BeardLive859.78%171
8Within Temptation Black Symphony386.85%77
9OpethThe Roundhouse Tapes316.24%71
10MuseH.A.A.R.P. live at Wembly 274.11%66

Well, this should come as no surprise to many people. Genesis' Turn It On Again was voted the best thing that happened in 2007, so it is only natural the resulting DVD tops the DVD poll this year. The 'other' big tour of 2007, Rush' Snakes & Arrows tour comes in second and 2007 poll winner David Gilmour's *second* DVD release of his On An Island tour is good for a third place.

In total 74 different DVDs were voted for.

Best Tracks of 2008

Before we go to the list of best individual tracks, let's see which 5 bands got the most votes, regardless of which track.

1Marillion 14417.6%
2Pendragon 12615.4%
3Karmakanic 9011.0%

Now let's look at which of the 567 individual tracks proved most popular.

#BandTrackVotesPercentageWeighted Points
2KarmakanicSend A Message From The Heart 506.11%112
3Marillion Happiness Is The Road475.74%112
4UnitopiaThe Garden354.28%75
5The Pineapple Thief Too Much To Lose283.42%56
9Neal MorseSo Many Roads242.93%45
10Moon SafariOther Half Of The Sky202.44%44

And another win for Pendragon with another unique feat: the number 1 track is not the longest track on the album!
That said, the participants of this year's poll did stay true to that one prog cliché by voting for epics, and half of the tracks of this top 10 clock in at more than 20 minutes!

Best Artwork of 2008

Marillion - Happiness Is The Road

1Antonio SeijasMarillionHappiness Is The Road627.6%
2Jef BertelsAyreon01011001506.68%
3Ed UnitskyUnitopiaThe Garden466.14%
5Lasse HoileSteven WilsonInsurgentes314.37%

Last year Antonio Seijas ended up on a 5th position with his artwork for Gazpacho's Night, and this year sees him joining the illustre group of the Roger Deans, Mark Wilkinsons and Ed Unitskys of this world by winning the poll for best artwork.
Speaking of Ed Unitsky, his artwork for Unitopia's The Garden made it to a third position, marking his 5th top 5 entry in the past 6 years!
Other regulars are Jef Bertels, who had two Ayreon covers in competition this year, and Lasse Hoile who proved how inseperable he is from anything Steven Wilson does.
Newcomers Killustrations bag a nice 4th place with the artwork for Pendragon's Pure.

In total 110 different albums got voted for in the 'Best Artwork' category.

Best Concert 2008

The participants of the poll voted for 353 different concerts in 2008. To get a clear picture of which bands did best on the stage last year, we'll first have a look at the ones that got the most votes, regardless of which concert.

Porcupine Tree live in 2009

20082007BandVotes for Best ConcertPercentage
11Porcupine Tree  3612.04%
48Neal Morse186.72%
55Dream Theater136.58%

Now let's have a look at which of these 353 gigs got the most votes for Best Concert 2008.

1Porcupine Tree 16-Oct-2008013, Tilburg, The Netherlands18
2Porcupine Tree15-Oct-2008013, Tilburg, The Netherlands10
3Pendragon4-Oct-2008Boerderij, Zoetermeer, The Netherlands 8
4Marillion24-Nov-2008Vereeniging, Nijmegen, The Netherlands7
 Riverside10-Dec-2008Paradiso, Amsterdam, The Netherlands7

The results of the best concert poll are always widespread, due to the sheer number of gigs played all over the globe. The high number of participants from The Netherlands, coupled relatively with the low number of gigs a band plays in this country usually results in Dutch gigs dominating the highest regions of this particular poll.
However, no-one would have thought that a two-day DVD shoot would ever end up on the top 2 positions of the best concert poll!

Best Newcomer

Demians - click to enter official website

2Lunatic Soul293.55%
 Panic Room293.55%

Nicholas Chapel's one-man band Demians received the seal of approval from a certain Steven Wilson, which undoubtedly helped them build a name for themselves. The DPRP readers seemed to agree with Mr Wilson though, and voted Demians as best newcomer with a convincing lead!

Mariusz Duda's Lunatic Soul may have been received with mixed emotions by his Riverside following, it still bagged him a joint second position in the best newcomer poll, sharing the spot with Panic Room, a band that arose from the ashes of Karnataka with the splendid debut Visionary Position

Two Israeli bands Ephrat and Amaseffer round up the top 5, putting their country firmly on the map of the prog world.

In total 78 different bands were voted for as best newcomer.

Biggest Disappointment of 2008

Many different albums, gigs, incidents, etc received votes for 'biggest disappointment'. We grouped the votes until they referred to a unique album, gig or incident.
The other most often mentioned, and more specific, disappointments can be found below.

Marillion - Happiness Is The Road

1Marillion - Happiness Is The Road587.09%
2Death of Richard Wright 374.52%
3Neal - Lifeline334.03%
4Yes: health of Jon Anderson / Tour without him 313.79%
5Retirement of Martin Orford181.96%

We are unsure what surprised us more, seeing Marillion's latest topping the biggest disappointment poll, or seeing the album on second position of the best albums poll. It does prove that our biggest disappointment section should always be taken with a healthy pinch of salt as often the top 5 biggest disappointments can also be found in the top 10 best albums. However, it also clearly illustrates just how divided the opinions on Marillion have become over the past years.

Richard Wright's untimely passing sent a shockwave through the prog community, shattering all hopes of a full Pink Floyd reunion.

Another point for debate was Jon Anderson's prolongued illness and Yes' subsequent decision to tour without him, and invite a singer of a Yes tribute band instead. Heresy, 31 people said, even though reviews of the tour have been mostly positive.

Another sad departure of a prog icon -though not by death fortunately- is Martin Orford, who regrettably announced to retire from the music industry altogether. Phil Collins announced the same, yet somehow only 1 out of 818 poll participants seemed to care.

Biggest Happening of 2008

As a balance to 'Biggest Disappointment' we added a new question this year, asking the participants what they thought was the best thing to happen to prog in 2008. The results are remarkable.


1Genesis 1970-1975 box set496.0%
2Death of Richard Wright323.91%
3Yes In The Present Tour313.79%
4Night Of The Prog III Festival Loreley 243.11%
5It Bites reforming + new album172.95%

The death of Richard Wright and Yes' tour without Jon Anderson not only made it to the top 5 biggest disappointments, they were also considered some of the biggest happenings in prog world in general, only marginally beaten by Genesis finally releasing the much-delayed early years box set.

Looking further in the top 5 we see the annual Night Of The Prog Festival gaining much kudos, as does the reformation of It Bites with Jon Mitchell taking over from Francis Dunnery - something which one normally would have expected to see in the biggest disappointment poll!

Individual Performances of 2008

This section looks at the best musical performance on a 2008 studio album. There are too many results to evaluate into detail here, so therefore we have only printed the top result for each of the five section in this page, and you can view the rest of the results in the database tables here.

Best GuitaristNick BarrettPendragonPure759.16%
Best Keyboardist Martin Orford Martin OrfordThe Old Road425.13%
Best VocalistSteve HogarthMarillionHappiness Is The Road 536.47%
Best DrummerZoltan CzorszKarmakanicWho's The Boss In The Factory? 394.76%
Best Bassist Jonas ReingoldKarmakanic Who's The Boss In The Factory? 9711.85%

Steve Hogarth and Jonas Reingold find themselves topping their respective musician polls for the second year in a row, while the rest of the individual performances poll shows a nice mixed bag of different bands across the board.
Nick Barrett's comeback and Martin Orford's farewell are considered amongst their best performances of their respective careers, with especially Barrett winning with a convincing lead. And Zoltan Czorsz' win for best drummer might make you wonder if Roine Stolt would ever regret sacking him... twice!

Click here if you wish to see the full results of the poll.

Click here if you also want to see the list of prizes and winners.

You can also check out what the DPRP Team voted for themselves.

For comments about the poll, please e-mail The DPRP Team.

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