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The First Proto-Prog Songs

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Saperlipopette! View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Saperlipopette! Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Topic: The First Proto-Prog Songs
    Posted: June 25 2012 at 05:53
Chico Hamilton's magnificent albums during the early to mid 60's are somewhat overlooked. Probably because they weren't experimenting with free form avantgarde jazz. But while Coleman and Ayler blew their horns and jazz out of the mainstream and into the finearts, Chico's quintet, with Charles Lloyd's free spirited, wandering, groovin' compositions and especially the eastern/indian/rockin' sounds of hungarian (electric) guitarist Gabor Szabo... practically invented psychedelia and Jazzrock-fusion. Rick Manczarek must have heard Szabo playing at some point before The End. Here's the title track from 1962's Man From Two Worlds:


Check out Szabo's own composition, the 13 minute+ Lady Gabor (from Passin' Thru same year, same lineup. Bonus on CD version of The Man..) for more in a similar vein. 
The ice caps are melting
All the world is drowning
The ice caps are melting
The tide is rushing in
All the world is drowning
To wash away the sin

Tiny Tim: The Other Side - God Bless Tiny Tim 1968
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NYSPORTSFAN View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote NYSPORTSFAN Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: June 25 2012 at 08:53
Originally posted by Jonathan

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?
 
All the songs you mention are really great songs but nowhere being near proto-prog IMO. I would agree with Ian Macdonald of King Crimson when he says the Beatles, 'Yesterday', was 'the beginning of progressive-rock' with its inclusion of strings as an integral part of the texture, and 'suggested to me how classical elements could be brought into rock music'
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Smurph Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: June 25 2012 at 09:54
Originally posted by ClemofNazareth

Can I get a nod for Moondog?

"Organ Rounds" (1949):

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


 
Moondog is fking awesome- I have heard a lot of great stuff come from weird recordings i have found on youtube.
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Jonathan Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: January 31 2013 at 16:41
Originally posted by NYSPORTSFAN

Originally posted by Jonathan

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?
 
All the songs you mention are really great songs but nowhere being near proto-prog IMO. I would agree with Ian Macdonald of King Crimson when he says the Beatles, 'Yesterday', was 'the beginning of progressive-rock' with its inclusion of strings as an integral part of the texture, and 'suggested to me how classical elements could be brought into rock music'
IMO "Yesterday" is a good song but it's not Proto-Prog because it's not Rock.
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Einsetumadur Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: February 01 2013 at 10:40
Telstar and the other Joe Meek stuff is definitely on my proto list. Really psychedelic stuff.

What else?



And, definitely, anything from the Byrds. The first one might be "It's No Use" with a breathtaking, and really brief, guitar solo at 1:20. The strange chromatic 'what I love to live' part with the cryptic lyrics also qualifies. These jazzy licks surely were the blueprint for many proto-prog material from America. Jefferson Airplane sounded a lot like the Byrds on their debut album...





Edited by Einsetumadur - February 01 2013 at 10:42
All in all each man in all men
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Svetonio Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: February 03 2013 at 23:31
Originally posted by Einsetumadur

Telstar and the other Joe Meek stuff is definitely on my proto list. Really psychedelic stuff.

What else?



And, definitely, anything from the Byrds. The first one might be "It's No Use" with a breathtaking, and really brief, guitar solo at 1:20. The strange chromatic 'what I love to live' part with the cryptic lyrics also qualifies. These jazzy licks surely were the blueprint for many proto-prog material from America. Jefferson Airplane sounded a lot like the Byrds on their debut album...



Mike Bloomfield's East West is one of the two track which always figured to me as the first really progessive instrumentals as well. Bloomfield's epic is beyond these days psychedelia / blues rock movement; Bloomfield guitar's work is amazing.
 
 
Also, The Ox, composed by John Entwistle (RIP), from  My Generation album, 1965; imo, nobody did do a proggy song like this before :
 
 
 


Edited by Svetonio - February 03 2013 at 23:58
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Stool Man Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: February 17 2013 at 15:47
Shadow Morton (1940 - 2013) RIP  produced the first proto prog song
 


Edited by Stool Man - February 17 2013 at 15:48
rotten hound of the burnie crew
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Prog_Traveller Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: February 18 2013 at 14:06
Runaway-Del Shanon
Tel Star-The Tornadoes
Good Vibrations-the Beach boys
Norwegian Wood-The Beatles
Tomorrow never knows-The Beatles
return of the son of monster magnet-Frank Zappa and the mothers of invention
Astronomy domine(and others from Piper)Pink Floyd excuse me THE Pink Floyd. Tongue

The Zombies actually became more proggish but still proto prog with their Odessey and Oracle album. That's the one that had "time of the season" on it(which imo isn't even the best song on the album).
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Post Options Post Options   Quote BarryGlibb Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: March 02 2013 at 04:16
We have to be careful here. I am being pedantic but the question is what might be the first Proto-prog song. Song means it has to have "singing". So a number of the tracks put forward don't qualify. But I know, I know who cares?!

I am glad someone (Prog-Traveller) has put Del Shannon's 1961 hit "Runaway' in there. The song itself isn't all that proto-prog but the unusual-for-its-day 26 sec musical interlude (from 1.10 to 1.36) with Shannon's keyboardist, Max Crook playing his self-invented clavione-based electric keyboard, the Musitron, makes this track very different from anything that was released before it. Listen here:


If we are allowed to include just music, then The Dr Who theme from 1963 is right up there. Fascinating reading here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Doctor_Who_theme_music              Funny I always thought that this recording was the first moog synthesizer track ever but it is not a moog synthesizer at all. Here's the theme:


Then there is what I believe is really the first proto-prog song. The Byrds "Eight Miles High" first recorded in December 1965 for RCA, which was some 4 months before the better known version was released in early 1966. I understand someone putting forward "It's No Use" by the Byrds but "Eight Miles High is pure proto-prog from go to whoa. What a fantastic song!
Here's the 1965 version:


And here is the more familiar one from early 1966. They are quite different.
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Post Options Post Options   Quote ole-the-first Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: March 02 2013 at 04:32


Edited by ole-the-first - March 02 2013 at 04:35
This night wounds time.
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Post Options Post Options   Quote BarryGlibb Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: March 02 2013 at 04:55
Originally posted by ole-the-first



Sorry ole..I can't hear anything that is proto-prog in this song. Please explain.
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Post Options Post Options   Quote dr wu23 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: March 17 2013 at 10:56
Lot of interesting choices from bands and people in the very early days there , but to me the so-called proto prog sound came out of the early psychedelic rock bands (65-68) who eventually morphed into prog; particularly the Brit bands.
If we keep pushing the envelope back to some of the early electronic oddities,  and other jazz musicians mentioned then we start straying from rock as someone mentioned above and it becomes progressive music in general and not prog rock imho.
For me when The Beatles did songs like Tommorrow never Knows, Strawberry Fields, and I Am The Walrus that's as proto prog as it gets....along with all the other  psych rock and psych pop bands back then who had many early prog elements in their songs.
Et In Arcadia Ego
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Post Options Post Options   Quote ole-the-first Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: March 17 2013 at 11:23
Originally posted by BarryGlibb

Originally posted by ole-the-first



Sorry ole..I can't hear anything that is proto-prog in this song. Please explain.

1. Unconventional song structure. It starts like a lullaby and then building up into the journey of dream. Six different melodies were used in less than three minutes instead of verse-chorus structure.
2. Use of symphonic arrangements.

Isn't that enough to consider this song non-conventional and experimental, and so also proto-progressive?
This night wounds time.
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Post Options Post Options   Quote dr wu23 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: March 17 2013 at 11:31
Not to throw a monkey wrench into the works but are we talking about proto prog rock or just early proto progressive music in any genre..?
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Mirkwood Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: March 17 2013 at 13:27
Here are two from the early 1960s:




and one from 1965:





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