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The First Proto-Prog Songs

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Jonathan View Drop Down
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    Posted: June 24 2012 at 02:32
Were the First Proto-Prog Songs "She's No There" and "Tell Her No" by the Zombies or was it "Go Now" by The Moody Blues? If these songs aren't Proto-Prog then what was the First Proto-Prog song?
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Sheavy Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: June 24 2012 at 03:07
Literally impossible to say. Everyone wil have different opinions.
 
But I guess I'd go with the Tornados song Telstar, released in 1962.
 


Edited by Sheavy - June 24 2012 at 03:09
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote wjohnd Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: June 24 2012 at 03:23
Originally posted by Sheavy Sheavy wrote:




Literally impossible to say. Everyone wil have different opinions.
 
But I guess I'd go with the Tornados song Telstar, released in 1962.
 

Interesting, what's your rationale?
To me although the instruments sound very much in the mode of a 1950s version of space age, the song structure is very ordinary.
Its a decent tune, for all that.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Atavachron Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: June 24 2012 at 04:35
that Tornados cut is hilarious.. but Protoprog?  Really?  Okay.  I mean honestly it sounds like the theme to a gameshow from 1952, 'Guess the Fish!  With your host Murray Gallbladder!'








Edited by Atavachron - June 24 2012 at 04:36
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Sheavy Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: June 24 2012 at 04:38
It's based off the Telstar communication satellite that song is supposed to invoke a space age feeling.
 
 
Also some of the sound effects for that record include someone running a pen around the rim of an ashtray, then playing the tape backword.  Certaintly the most Progressive thing (thats rock) that I've heard that came pout before The Beatles started experimenting.


Edited by Sheavy - June 24 2012 at 04:41
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Atavachron Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: June 24 2012 at 04:54
maybe but oh god that track makes me laugh 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Dean Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: June 24 2012 at 05:05
Originally posted by Atavachron Atavachron wrote:

maybe but oh god that track makes me laugh 
as much as this one?:
 
(1963)


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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote progresssaurus Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: June 24 2012 at 05:08
One from many different  ways into prog (in their sum) is non classic interpretation of classic music,
for example this piece sounds (for me) like proto -ELP Tongue
 
 
 
 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Saperlipopette! Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: June 24 2012 at 05:45
Originally posted by Atavachron Atavachron wrote:

maybe but oh god that track makes me laugh 
A lot of the prog you love so much makes people laugh too. 

I like Telstar a lot and find the space age sound charming, and atleast it sounds less dated than ELP's keyboard sound. 

Here's an overlooked 13.42 minute epic suite of protoprog recorded in 1964 (but unfortunately the album wasn't released until 1966, but because of the success of the movie itself the music was certainly out there). Its got some awesome, heavy rockin' galloping rhythms, hard twanging guitar-riffs as the music builds and new (compex) themes appear, changes and reappear throughout. The composition also works as a whole. in '64 and even in '66 this was lightyears ahead of anything else with a related to rock.



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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Dean Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: June 24 2012 at 05:55
^ as I said in the Joe Meek suggestion thread - 50s and 60s movie and tv soundtrack are a good place to go looking for spacey electronic music, they're also a good place for blending popular music and rock instrumentation into what is essentially popular classical music - this is basically arriving at Baroque Pop from the opposite direction (adding pop to classical rather than adding classical to pop). Morricone was indeed the master of this.


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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Dean Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: June 24 2012 at 06:07
I also think Torch Songs can be seen as proto-proto-prog - the idea of telling a narative within the song backed by huge production and plenty of bombastic orchestration. From a rock perspective these tend to be more of an influence on cheesy rock ballads however, early Deep Purple tracks like One More Rainy Day and Anthem and Crimson's Epitaph owe a lot to Torch Songs (IMO)


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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Saperlipopette! Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: June 24 2012 at 06:09
^Indeed. (Edit: the indeed was for the post above the one about torch songs, although I agree with that as well)

Here's a '66 non soundtrack tune from Lalo Schifrin. If Ian Anderson had handled the vocals on this, it would sound like one of those early, jazzy Jethro Tull progfolk-ditties:




Edited by Saperlipopette! - June 24 2012 at 06:11
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote progresssaurus Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: June 24 2012 at 07:07
1958 - Music by Zdeněk Liška for Karel Zeman's film "Invention of destruction"
 


Edited by progresssaurus - June 24 2012 at 07:16
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Dean Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: June 24 2012 at 07:28
Originally posted by Saperlipopette! Saperlipopette! wrote:

^Indeed. (Edit: the indeed was for the post above the one about torch songs, although I agree with that as well)

Here's a '66 non soundtrack tune from Lalo Schifrin. If Ian Anderson had handled the vocals on this, it would sound like one of those early, jazzy Jethro Tull progfolk-ditties:

::snip::
...that's really rather nice.
 
I think we have to be careful about making connections in retrospect that didn't exist at the time, just because something sounds like it is proto-prog it does not mean that it was proto-prog. By that I mean the song or composition in question had to have been influential on the emergent genre for us to see it as Proto Prog now. B. Bumble and the Stingers is pretty much self-evident as ELP covered it on Pictures but it is just a vamped-up piece of classical music done in a pop style, it isn't Prog or Proto-Prog, just as Dave Edmund's Love Sculpture version of the Sabre Dance is neither Prog nor Proto Prog.
 
One statement i think we can make without qualification is Barqoue Pop was one of the precursors to Prog Rock - The Zombies, Moody Blues, Procol Harum, The Move, Love, The Beach Boys and The Beatles all produced 3 minute pop songs that incorporated orchestral elements as an integral thematic part of the composition (as opposed to just the bland orchestral backing that was endemic at the time ... re David Bowie's first album and From Genesis To Revelation). I think it is a leap for Baroque Pop to be seen as Proto Prog, it's proto-Proto Prog - the seed that would lead to longer compositions and even more diverse influences that became Psychedelic Rock/Pop and then Progressive Rock.
 
But then (in the mid 60s), it all happened very quickly - music developed far more quickly then than it does now - from 1964 to 1968 the explosion in Rock music was phenomenal - In '64 we had Go Now, She's Not There and I Feel Fine (arguably the first proto-psyche song) all sitting comfortably within Pop Music and by '68 we were immersed in full-blown psychedelic rock with long tracks and musical "excess", concept albums, side-long suites (Love, Pretty Things, The Small Faces, The Who, etc.). Yet there is little linearity among all that - it was happening in parallel and often simultaneously or as near as it is possible to get - Piper at the Gates, Saucerful of Secrets, Sgt Pepper, Magical Mystery Tour, Days Of Future Past, In Search Of The Lost Chord, Ogden's Nut Gone Flake, SF Sorrow, Odessey and Oracle, The Twain Shall Meet, In-a-gadda-da-vida, Goodbye and Hello, Tangerine Dream, Easter Everywhere, Are You Experienced, Forever Changes, Their Satanic Majesties Request, etc., etc., etc. - were all released within such close proximty to each other it is impossible to say who influenced who and when.
 
 


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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Saperlipopette! Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: June 24 2012 at 09:13
^I certainly wasn't about to try and rewrite the history of prog with that clip, but the whole album: The Dissection and Reconstruction of Music from the Past as Performed by the Inmates of Lalo Schifrin's Demented Ensemble as a Tribute to the Memory of the Marquis de Sade is a corny concept album pretty much in the same jazzfusion/quasi classical-style throughout. Certainly no masterpiece, but enjoyable.

... Morricone's early eclectic mixture of styles I find highly relevant though and ca. 68-74 he recorded so much (excellent) Jazzrock Fusion/AvantProg/Symphonic Rock I actually consider him a fully fledged Prog Rock artist.
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The ice caps are melting
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote richardh Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: June 24 2012 at 13:29
 
 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote The Dark Elf Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: June 24 2012 at 16:46
Might as well throw in Dick Dale and the Del Tones from 1963...
 
 
Instrumental rock with a nod to Middle-eastern/world music (Misirlou is based on a rebetika song, and the single string lead mimics the oud, an Arabic instrument) . It contains both progressive stylings (It's more authentic 'Kashmir' than Led Zeppelin Wink), and psychedelia (tell me if several of Dale's riffs weren't directly lifted by Sid Barrett! ).


Edited by The Dark Elf - June 24 2012 at 16:51
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Saperlipopette! Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: June 24 2012 at 17:37
Moontrekkers Night of the Vampire, 1961. 

Featuring guitars, clavioline and finally Meeks eerie screams etc... Wiki informs that:The record was banned by the BBC as being "unsuitable for people of a nervous disposition" when released on the Parlophone label... (maybe posted on that Joe Meek thread Dean mentiones)


The ice caps are melting
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The ice caps are melting
The tide is rushing in
All the world is drowning
To wash away the sin

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote ClemofNazareth Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: June 24 2012 at 18:31

Can I get a nod for Moondog?

"Organ Rounds" (1949):

"Surf Session" (1953 as a single, 1956 on his second full-length album):


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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote LinusW Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: June 24 2012 at 18:36
Originally posted by Dean Dean wrote:

Originally posted by Atavachron Atavachron wrote:

maybe but oh god that track makes me laugh 
as much as this one?:
 
(1963)


LOL
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