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Proto-Prog definition

The denomination Proto Prog comes from the combination of two words, Proto from the Greek The earliest,. and Prog which as we know is a short term for Progressive Rock, so as it's name clearly indicates, refers to the earliest form of Progressive Rock or Progressive Rock in embryonary state.

These bands normally were formed and released albums before Progressive Rock had completely developed (there are some rare Proto Prog bands from the early 70's, because the genre didn't expanded to all the Continents simultaneously

The common elements in all these bands is that they developed one or more elements of Prog, and even when not completely defined as part of the genre, they are without any doubt, an important stage in the evolution of Progressive Rock.

Generally, Proto Prog bands are the direct link between Psyche and Prog and for that reason the Psychedelic components are present in the vast majority of them, but being that Progressive Rock was born from the blending of different genres, we have broadened the definition to cover any band that combined some elements of Progressive Rock with other genres prior to 1970.

Some of these bands evolved and turned into 100% Prog, while others simply choose another path, but their importance and contribution in the formative period of Prog can't be denied, for that reason no Prog site can ignore them.

Iván Melgar - Morey

Proto-Prog Top Albums

Showing only studios | Based on members ratings & PA algorithm* | Show Top 100 Proto-Prog | More Top Prog lists and filters

4.48 | 842 ratings
Beatles, The
4.49 | 495 ratings
Who, The
4.38 | 770 ratings
Beatles, The
4.33 | 1019 ratings
Deep Purple
4.34 | 877 ratings
Beatles, The
4.29 | 1026 ratings
Deep Purple
4.35 | 483 ratings
Who, The
4.30 | 558 ratings
Doors, The
4.17 | 676 ratings
Beatles, The
4.24 | 421 ratings
Doors, The
4.25 | 368 ratings
Hendrix, Jimi
4.13 | 618 ratings
Beatles, The
4.01 | 393 ratings
Doors, The
3.91 | 598 ratings
Beatles, The
3.92 | 467 ratings
Who, The
3.96 | 324 ratings
Hendrix, Jimi
3.83 | 682 ratings
Deep Purple
3.98 | 248 ratings
Hendrix, Jimi
4.12 | 151 ratings
3.91 | 268 ratings
Deep Purple

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 Axis: Bold as Love by HENDRIX, JIMI album cover Studio Album, 1967
3.98 | 248 ratings

Axis: Bold as Love
Jimi Hendrix Proto-Prog

Review by siLLy puPPy
Collaborator PSIKE Team

5 stars At the beginning of 1966, JIMI HENDRIX was struggling to even make minimum wage playing R&B covers. By the end of 1966, he had finished recording his first album "Are You Experienced?" and released it to great success as THE JIMI HENDRIX EXPERIENCE band giving the rock world a must needed kick in the arse. By the beginning of 1967, the band was famous worldwide and penuriousness was replaced by every pressure known to the successful musician and piled upon the trio due to contractual obligations, thus a second album was demanded to be released within the same year of 1967. Sooooo THE EXPERIENCE rushed into the studio and recorded their second album AXIS: BOLD AS LOVE which came out in December, 1967 in the UK but was held back in the US because it was feared it would interfere with sales of the first album, so it was released in May of 1968. Typical record company malarky of the day!

AXIS: BOLD AS LOVE basically continues offering the same psychedelic, energetic and innovative blues rock concoctions that HENDRIX was so successful in constructing on album number one with his elegant display of melodic expansion in the most creative ways. The fact that this band so deftly and proficiently pumped out a majorly spectacular array of brilliant songs is a testament to the power of JIMI HENDRIX and explains how he was able to record decades worth of music in a very short time span when new material is still being released almost fifty years after his untimely passing. The tracks on this album were done with a healthy dose of studio recording techniques of the day and as a result most were never performed in a live setting with the exception of "Spanish Castle Magic" and "Little Wing" but THE EXPERIENCE successfully conjured up a brilliant followup to their spectacular ground breaking debut with grace.

Neck in neck with The Beatles in innovating rock'n'roll, AXIS: BOLD AS LOVE begins with the lysergic mind expansive trip of "EXP" which takes the art of microphone and harmonic feedback to new extreme levels for the day and simulates a strange close encounter of the third kind with extraterrestrial contact. After this strange album introduction, we get some more familiar HENDRIX action with a psychedelic funk rock narration of concerned extraterrestrial life returning to the Earth concerned of the abuses of the top dog species, namely, homo sapiens and how they are degrading the ecosystems upon which their lives are dependent. HENDRIX was totally in tune with the ecological issues plaguing humankind and was ahead of the rest of the world in adapting these issues to music. That would have made a great concept album actually but the album continues on a track by track basis with each song having its own theme and meaning.

Brilliantly THE EXPERIENCE eschews AXIS: from being a clone of "Are You??" Instead it creates a somewhat similar but more nonchalant way of incorporating the recent upgrades in the rock universe with the usual psychedelic rock guitar riffage of HENDRIX himself with the jazz inspired drum workouts of Mitch Mithcell while the bass guitars of Noel Redding provide the most stable and grounding attributes of the music with the occasional jazz inspired methods as well. The album also adds lots of new instruments to the mix adding a more diverse feel from the debut. HENDRIX contributes piano and recorder, Mitchell adds some glockenspiel and Redding offers his best foot stomping percussion. AXIS: also has the best album cover of all THE EXPERIENCE years releases!

THE JIMI HENDRIX EXPERIENCE is certainly an archival type of band beyond most our musical experiences unless you are well into you 60s at this point. I did not start out loving this album by any means. In fact i always thought HENDRIX was fairly boring! However, there is something about these albums including this second one that has the power to burrow into the future and into my DNA that has infected me with admiration. True this is not technically as adept as what has come to develop over the decades that follow, but this was truly innovative at the time and if the listener simply resonates with the music, it will surely reveal its time period prowess and charm with merely a few attentive and open-minded listens. I now regard this album as much as a brilliant masterpiece as the debut. The musical elements sewn together with the concepts are outstanding and considering this was a trio makes it all the more impressive.

 Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band by BEATLES, THE album cover Studio Album, 1967
4.34 | 877 ratings

Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band
The Beatles Proto-Prog

Review by The Jester

5 stars Released on the 1st of June 1967, Sgt. Peppers album fell like a bomb in the music scene of the 60's. From that point and on, Rock music would never be the same. I have the feeling that there is no actual reason to try and write a critic for this album. Hundreds ? not to say thousands ? have done it before me, so what is left to be said after all? So I will just write some info about it instead. Here we go: The recordings lasted almost 4 months with George Martin as producer. Upon its release it stayed for 27 weeks at No.1 in the U.K album chart, and 15 weeks again at No.1 in the U.S.A Billboard top 200. In 1968 it was rewarded with 4 Grammy awards, and since then it is usually at No.1 in almost every list concerning the greatest Rock albums. As for its sales, there is an estimation of almost 32.000.000 albums being sold up to 2011. When it was released, it received some very positive reviews from the press, such as the one written in The Times by Kenneth Tynan, describing the album as "a decisive moment in the history of Western civilization". If we had to name only one album that changed the route of music history, this should be it. Yes, maybe today it sounds kind of "outdated" but back then it was a really big deal! Of course, The Beatles "warned" the world with their previous album (Revolver), which was maybe the first album in the history of Rock music that could be characterized as 'Progressive'. 'Sgt. Pepper's' was including some of the most famous songs in the Beatles catalogue, and in Rock music in general, such as the self-titled song, or Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds (which was accused that the first letter of each main word spelled LSD), or A Day in the Life among others. It is a very important album, musically speaking, which should have a place in every discography. For its importance in Rock music (if nothing else), I'll rate it with 5.0 stars.

 The Doors OST by DOORS, THE album cover Boxset/Compilation, 1991
3.39 | 9 ratings

The Doors OST
The Doors Proto-Prog

Review by memowakeman
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

3 stars This has to be one of the first 5 CDs I ever owned, the reason is simple, it belonged to my dad's collection. And though he and I don't really have so much in common musically speaking, I will always be grateful because he introduced me to The Doors and The Alan Parsons Project, probably the only two bands I knew from him that marked my childhood.

I used to listen a lot to this CD, of course, I had watched the film but the CD was part of my soul, I remember I got excited every single time I listened to the songs included here, and since I was a kid I remember I liked listening to the whole record, not only some tracks. But well, I could go on and tell you a lot of memories, but that's not the main goal (I think) of reviewing. What I want to share now with this review is that if you like The Doors, you might find this sort of compilation album pretty interesting, because it features some of the most loved songs by fans, some compositions Morrison wrote and were featured in his "solo" album An American Prayer, such as the wonderful "Ghost Song" and "Stoned Immaculate", which of course reminds us of "The Wasp". But also this OST features the disarming "Heroin" composed and performed by The Velvet Underground and classical compositions such as Orff's Carmina Burana and Albinoni's adagio, so the combination is wonderful.

What could have been interesting was to include one of Val Kilmer's performances he did in the film, but well, the OST was released without it and I like it a lot and as you can see brings me a lot of memories. The order of the tracks is also great, so anytime I listen to it I definitely have a good time. This is not a introduction to The Door's music, however if you find it, I would recommend you to get it and enjoy it!

 Eleanor Rigby by BEATLES, THE album cover Singles/EPs/Fan Club/Promo, 1966
3.76 | 20 ratings

Eleanor Rigby
The Beatles Proto-Prog

Review by Guillermo
Prog Reviewer

4 stars Fifty years (to this day) have passed since the "Revolver" album was released in 5-August-1966. This single was also released in that day. And both things were remembered today in Facebook by the band's official page there and also by other Beatles-related pages. That gave me the idea to write a review for this single, as I wrote a review for the full album some years ago.

"Revolver" still is one of the best albums that the band recorded. And it marked a change in their music, with it sounding more "matured" and more influential for other bands of the same period. It also reflected that the band wanted to be taken more "seriously" as musicians by the critics and by the fans. It also was released when the band was doing their last tours before deciding in late August 1966 that it was enough because they were tired of touring then at a time when the fans didn't care very much to listen to their music in the concerts, because they were always screaming! The 1966 tours were problematic for them due to several things. And it seemed that they really didn't care very much about their concerts then much because they didn't play a song from "Revolver" in concert, despite they could have played at least some songs like "Here, There and Everywhere" and "Taxman", which were only originally recorded with guitars, bass, drums and vocals. They were tired and they only wanted to stop touring to concentrate in recording studio albums. A thing that they did since late 1966. Despite some changes in their music could be anticipated in their "Rubber Soul" album from 1965, I think that it was with "Revolver" that the band made the final "leap" that led them to their most interesting period (at least for me): the so-called "studio years". Their music became more interesting, with them (and producer George Martin) taking even more musical risks and doing more experiments in the recording studio.

Both songs of this single were taken from the "Revolver" album. This single was released with both songs as "Side A", so both songs were considered as important to be played in the radio.

"Eleanor Rigby" shows Paul McCartney (the composer of the song) accompanied by a string section arranged by George Martin and by backing vocals from John Lennon and George Harrison. With serious lyrics about lonely people, it marked a change from the love songs that the band very often released as singles in the previous years. Thanks to having a producer like George Martin the band could develop better the musical ideas that they couldn't develop alone due to not having the same formal musical knowledge that Martin had. They were very lucky to have met Martin and to have him as producer. He had an "open mind" for their ideas and also contributed his very good music ideas to their songs.

"Yellow Submarine", composed by McCartney and sung by Ringo Starr, is more a song for children, full of sound effects, and almost psychedelic in content. If I remember well, it was even included in some children TV programmes to be sung by children (like in "Sesame Street" in the early seventies, I think).

 Waiting For The Sun by DOORS, THE album cover Studio Album, 1968
3.54 | 270 ratings

Waiting For The Sun
The Doors Proto-Prog

Review by Progfan97402

4 stars It's so plain obvious the Doors totally avoided the sophomore jinx on Strange Days, so the slump begins with the third album Waiting for the Sun. Really, it's just the plain classic case that the band used much of their best material on their first two albums, and since those were tough to beat, it's no surprise this one is a notch down. It's actually not bad, it's actually rather good. Ray Manzarek was moving beyond the Vox Continental, so that means new organ sounds to be heard, like the Gibson G-101. He also used an RMI Electra, the electric piano/harpsichord that Rick Wakeman had used, as well as Don Preston in Zappa's Mothers of Invention.

"Hello, I Love You" is the most recognized hit. I kept thinking there was a synthesizer in this song, maybe with some help from Paul Beaver, but none at all, it probably was just the RMI keyboard I alluded to earlier. Anyways, the song bears more the a passing resemblance to the Kinks' "All Day and All of the Night" although the band allegedly had Cream's "Sunshine of Your Love" in mind, but there's no denying the Kinks resemblance. "Not to Touch the Earth" was supposed to be part of a 17 minute "The Celebration of the Lizard King", but only this part made it. I can see where the Doors is considered "Proto-Prog" by PA, this song is it! It has that unsettling dissonance. For a long time I sorta written this song off, but as I gave it a close listen, it's a totally brilliant song, dissonance being used at a time when King Crimson hadn't even existed (but Giles, Giles & Fripp were working on The Cheerful Insanity, which, as you know, is rather lightweight compared to Crimson). "Summer's Almost Gone" is a nice atmospheric piece that really helps with that spacy organ. "The Unknown Soldier" was released as a single prior to the album's release. "Spanish Caravan" has, unsurprisingly, a flamenco feel, but hearing flamenco on a Doors album was something a bit different, but its still unmistakably the Doors. The album does have a couple clunkers. "Wintertime Love" was never a favorite of mine, it sounds like Jim Morrison was going into lounge mode in his singing here, would have worked a lot better if he didn't do that here, would have made a nice atmospheric piece. "Yes, the River Knows" features some really cringe inducing lyrics, this is a prime example of why Morrison has his detractors: "I promise I would drown myself in mysticated wine" (update: apparently Jim said, "mystic heated wine", sure sounded like "mysticated" to me, which is not a word). What? I know that in the 1991 book The Fifty Worst Rock and Roll Albums of All Time, Jimmy Guterman and Owen O'Donnell were trashing the Doors in that book, and I'm certain if it's one song that shows them their disgust towards Morrison, it would have likely been this song (the only Doors member they had some respect towards was Robbie Krieger). Of course, Guterman and O'Donnell came from the Dave Marsh/Lester Bangs school of rock criticism (but then the Doors wasn't universally hated by rock critics, they had plenty of support, unlike the prog rock that came in the next decade). What happened to the title track? I would have been happy if "Yes, the River Knows" or "Wintertime Love" was replaced by this song, it has the dark ominous tone people come to love of the Doors. Well, we know what happened to the song: it had to wait two albums later, on Morrison Hotel.

The Doors was one of those bands I started getting into in my youth, but quickly moved on to other things, and decided to go back to them. I go with popular opinion: Waiting for the Sun is not quite on par of their first two albums, but still full of great material still make it worth having. If the first two are easy five stars, then this one is a four star album, get their first two before coming here.

 The Move by MOVE, THE album cover Studio Album, 1968
3.08 | 26 ratings

The Move
The Move Proto-Prog

Review by siLLy puPPy
Collaborator PSIKE Team

4 stars One of the things i always wonder is how do certain bands come up with such LAME band names? Well THE MOVE literally refers to the shifting positions of band members from one band to another. Yeah, lame, i know but luckily the music of THE MOVE on their debut album MOVE is far from lame. This is yet one of a gazillion bands to have emerged from Birmingham, England in the 60s. This is a band that had significant success in their native UK by scoring a total of 20 hit singles in a five year span but had absolutely no success in the US or other English speaking countries which meant their career was a fairly short seven year span but a sweet one nonetheless. While the band was known for its innovative and progressive leanings beginning on their second album "Shazam," on this debut album they are all about psychedelic pop and were one of the main shakers of the short lived genre called "freakbeat" which incorporated many aspects of the early British beat scene with psychedelic elements like studio effects and stereophonic embellishments as to give it a strange contemporary achronistic feel at the same time.

What can i say about THE MOVE's first album? Well, it is very catchy psychedelic pop music from 1968. The main influence seems to be The Beatles, who apparently left a vacuum in the 60s pop world when they jettisoned the predictability of the early and mid 60s and moved on to proto-progressive releases such as "Sgt Pepper's" and ushered in an entirely new "free expression" musical world. Well, not everyone was ready for the liberation of this sort and that's why bands like The Monkees were manufactured and other bands like THE MOVE hungrily moved into the formerly occupied musical territory. While the 60s were burgeoning with psychedelic pop bands from all corners of the globe, THE MOVE were actually quite talented in this niche and they nailed the psychedelic pop sound they were going for. Yes, this does sound like it should have been released 3 or 4 years prior before the advent of Hendrix, Pink Floyd and Zappa, however for 60s pop music that takes its antecedents and compiles them into a whole and fine tunes all of these elements, this is pretty good. There is not one bad track on here and it sounds like every track on this debut could have been a pop single of the era.

The Beatles seem to have the biggest influence on this one with extremely catchy hooks that mostly utilize guitars, bass and drums but have piano, harpsichord, brass and woodwind orchestral embellishments on many (especially ending) tracks. There is also an element of sunshine pop like the type of The Turtles but also the cover tracks by Eddie Cochran and The Coasters bring an element of good old fashioned 50s rock 'n' roll to the mix. This album also has a very strong sense of pacing. It begins quite innocently in the sunshine psychedelic pop arena but as ti progresses adds more complexity, most of the time bringing The Beatles to mind, but often meandering into the Baroque pop of The Beach Boys. While this is 60s pop through and through, the sophistication of it all is very much appreciated. Yes, the sound is a bit anachronistic but only by a few years. The fact is that every track on here is extremely catchy and well performed. I particularly love the energy delivered by bassist Ace Kefford who ups the energetic feel of the era a bit. While the ideas may be recycled for the most part, the delivery is very contemporary. This album was a grower. Nothing progressive at this point but if you like excellently performed 60s psychedelic music then you cannot forego such a wonderful experience as THE MOVE's very first album. I personally enjoy this one very much.

 Shades of Deep Purple by DEEP PURPLE album cover Studio Album, 1968
3.28 | 463 ratings

Shades of Deep Purple
Deep Purple Proto-Prog

Review by siLLy puPPy
Collaborator PSIKE Team

3 stars What strange beginnings for one of the three unholy trinity bands that together with Led Zeppelin and Black Sabbath would introduce the world to a new universe of music in the forms of hard rock and heavy metal. Despite their contributions they started out much like The Monkees in formation, meaning that members were recruited by Chris Curtis who had visions of creating a supergroup called Roundabout which was to have a rotating cast of musical members. He approached the business tycoon Tony Edwards for funding and the first members he managed to woo into the project were none other than keyboardist Jon Lord and guitarist Ritchie Blackmore. Also fulfilling what is now referred to as the Mark I era of DEEP PURPLE, were Nick Simper on bass, Ian Paice on drums and original vocalist Rod Evans who was definitely no Ian Gillan but did suit the 60s psychedelic leanings of the sound the band were engaging in at this stage.

This album starts off with the groovy instrumental "And This Address" which gives me flashes of partying with Austin Powers in somewhere 60s London which also has slight references to the following track and single "Hush." This single is one of those songs i never dug too much but i have to admit it's played very well and the instrumental exchanges are fairly complex for psychedelic music of this era. It's not really as bad as i've always made it out to be. I have to admit that i've had a change of heart on this debut album. I used to despise early DEEP PURPLE but as i've grown more fond of 60s heavy psych and the sound that surrounds it, i have gained an appreciation for album number one of one of hard rock's most famous offerings. While there are still many things i dislike about this one in comparison to later releases, there is still a lot to like here. This is 60s psychedelic rock through and through and on this one Jon Lord is the star with his classically infused keyboard runs and i can only admit that this music is played extraordinarily well and quite sophisticated for this era in rock history. The musicians gel together beautifully. Nick Simper's bass playing is surely a major factor as he displays a passionate energy that seemingly holds the whole thing together. Surprisingly Blackmore's guitar contributions are quite subdued.

The reasons this album fails to blow me away are manyfold. Firstly, i'm not a huge fan of Rod Evans vocals. Although he gets the job done in tune and all he still fails to be a charismatic lead vocalist and is no Jim Morrison or, you guessed it - Ian Gillan. Secondly, i'm not a huge fan of cover songs unless the band can take the bull by the horns and lead it to strawberry fields forever. While i admire their attempt on this one to conquer huge hits by The Beatles ("Help") and Jimi Hendrix ("Hey Joe") and i quite love the instrumental embellishments, i simply feel these tracks derail the momentum of the album as a whole. Thirdly, while the musical equation of the album is fairly well done, the lyrical contributions have some serious lameness at times. Perfect example is the instrumentally competent "Prelude: " which delivers "Happiness" in the beginning but once it gets to "I'm So Glad" and repeats that phrase ad infinitum, it makes me want to gag myself with a pitchfork and orally excrete my stomacal contents. In the end this is too much of a mixed bag and the bad makes me enjoy the good less than others seem to. For all the positive elements on this debut release, i'd rather just fast forward to the Mark II phase and be issue free.

 Live at the Fillmore East by HENDRIX, JIMI album cover Live, 1999
4.08 | 22 ratings

Live at the Fillmore East
Jimi Hendrix Proto-Prog

Review by Atavachron
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

4 stars Jimi Hendrix just wanted to play. And through all the accomplishment, extraordinary success among both peers and fans, and a singular artistry that is sometimes mistaken for novelty, it is clear that what he was really interested in was a choice riff and a good time. Hendrix was one of the only guitarists of his era that progressed internally as an instrumentalist, not just via the gifts of a talented ensemble. And yet as a sensitive kid he endured the pain of troubled parents, a society wherein you could be shot for playing music while black, and the unenviable choice between prison or military service. But he always had an ax. Even when his father refused to buy him one, Jimi rummaged a single-stringed uke until it fell apart, eventually bought a five-buck acoustic and when he couldn't be heard over bandmates, finally tucked-in to a Supro Ozark 1560 S.

But, as is often the case with brilliance, greatness was not evident right away. Jimi Hendrix had to uncover the now all too obvious: The electric guitar and amplifier were tools of sonic art that hadn't even been scratched at with any high amount of gravity, and he began to see and hear what others couldn't seem to. Brits will sometimes facetiously suggest Hendrix was theirs, that somehow because his popular rise was backed by Englishmen the Hendrix legacy belongs to London. Yeah, no; not when his finest moments were with the dazzling if misspelled A Band of Gypsys-- old cohorts Buddy Miles and Billy Cox. Further, the notion that Jimi had been pressured to have an all-black group is specious. It ain't true. The chemistry with Cox & Miles was just better, it always had been, and that counts.

A stickler for being in tune and yet as loose-handed as anyone, a fearless adventurer who, unlike Jim Morrison, could stop leaping into the fire when it burned too hot, Jimi, we hardly knew ye. So I was thrilled to have cornered the long deceased grand legend late one night in a bustling backstage at a Los Angeles nightclub, his first interview with the Living since his death in September, 1970. People of all sorts traipsed back & forth through the narrow backstage anteroom just outside the small greenroom we sat in; frantic roadies, groupies consoling other groupies, nervous managers, the lightshow people panicking over a broken liquid-slide projector, deadbeat vendors getting kicked out, a lone photographer struggling for a good shot, all generating a familiar din that said rock 'n roll. As we began speaking, James Marshall Hendrix took on a warm expression and his eyes widened, bringing me in.

A - Is this all for you?; I mean do they know you're here tonight?

Jimi - I dunno, man, it's just some good energy. It's just happening, y'know --

A - I recently caught some video of you at the Fillmore East shows in '69/'70, video I didn't know existed, taken from the balcony. It was illuminating to see footage of you perform without the florid camerawork that prevailed in concert films then. I noticed how being a left-hander may've influenced your sound, do you know what I mean?

Jimi - Yeah yeah, totally, they say it shouldn't make a difference, left or right, but it does, yeah.

A - Your left hand, the picking hand, was reverse-positioned, almost contorted, much like left-handed people write and draw, and it seemed to allow you a fluidity perhaps inaccessible by other players.

Jimi - Y'know I always kinda noticed that but never put it into words. Right-on, man, now spark that doob in the ashtray.

A - On it. When you add your upside down guitars that were standard strung for a lefty, your hand size with that thumb coming over top to mute an unwanted low E & A, your reach, plus having started on a ukulele, it all must've impacted your style.

Jimi - Yeah it all must have, but, you know, it could've been other things too. We're all so tugged and tapped and moved in life, it all makes a difference. Angles, man, it's in the angles (takes a huge drag on the fattest joint I've ever seen, holds it in, and exhales in a loud tumble of hacking and coughing).

A - The Band of Gypsys project was more than just a heavy blues/funk-rock trio out to fulfill a contract, was it not?

Jimi - It turned into something much more special than the three of us had expected. Our interpersonal connection, the depth of understanding and musical brotherhood we had was unique. You can hear that in our shows. That was a great band.

A - Far tighter and more serious than the act appeared. It was only later when I began to listen carefully to all the shows from New Years Eve 1969, or Berkeley, etc., that I began to hear what you guys were doing and how tight it actually was.

Jimi - I know, some people thought we were sloppy I guess. But no, not for what we were doing. We were all in, baby, a blues revelation, you know? You couldn't stop us, we could play anyone under the table that year.

A - Let's talk about the New Years Eve 1969 material not included on the Band of Gypsys LP, released later as Jimi Hendrix Live at the Fillmore East. I'm sure it's a thrill to see live but If you'll forgive me I'm gonna skip past twelve minutes of 'Stone Free' and jump to 'Power of Soul', a nice sample of the killer riffage that was spewing out of you guys at the time.

Jimi - This should'a opened the record, or I should say we should've opened with this one, 'Power of Soul'. It's a good warmup for us and them, the audience.

A - That modulation up a step, I love that.

Jimi - Yeah see that's the thing; it's just a two fret change-up but because the context is hard blues, it works. It's unexpected. And then this kinda lazy 'Train 'a Comin'. Tone, it's all about tone, brother. Can't do nothin' without tone. It's everything. It feeds, provides, it pulls out. It pulls me out, you know what I'm sayin'?

A - I think so. You were meticulous about being and staying in tune, a near impossibility considering the intense palpitations you put your guitars through. If you'll forgive me, how were you able to do that?

Jimi - 'Cause I had to. And a lot of time performing with electric guitars. You do what you have to; I was reaching here, there, I was tweakin' the bar any way I could, warping the neck, palpating. See-- 'Isabella' better, it sounds better, so we played it better, so it is better.

A - And a beautiful, more concisely powerful version of your classic 'Machine Gun' than appears on Band of Gypsys. Were you happy with this performance?

Jimi - This is the first time I've heard it, this set from those shows.

A - Really? I'm amazed. How does the tone strike you?

Jimi - I like it, it's quieter than the Gypsys album version, more room to work. It's a great tune to reshape, rework, like a living sculpture that's never completely finished.

A - Those divebombs are kick-ass - -

Jimi - (smiling widely) You're a real fanboy aren't you?

A - (blushing) Yeah, sorry. The anti-war message is clear, not so much anti-Vietnam War as almost an embracing of war--

Jimi - Well yeah, I didn't want to run away from it, the combat, the violence, I wanted to show it. To give an abstract impression of war, you know; the sounds, ugliness, it was a heavy time. You had to face it and that's how we did it.

A - And 'Voodoo Chile' -- you correct yourself there at the start, wrong key?

Jimi - (laughs uproariously) I forgot about that, hilarious. I don't know what I was thinking.

A - But you actually do remember that flub?

Jimi - Oh yeah, I wasn't so high that I couldn't hear a mistake. By now the acid was kicking in, though, so you know it was all in fun.

A - So you were tripping that night?

Jimi - F*ck yeah.

A - Syd Barrett told me playing while on LSD is almost impossible. Did you find that as well?

Jimi - That's why I put it under my headband, slow easy release, but yeah he's right. It's a bitch if it hits you all at once.

A - 'Who Knows' from the second set, December 31, 1969, different from the familiar version.

Jimi - Less energy, but it's alright I guess. Not my favorite version.

A - A stylish 'Them Changes', a Buddy Miles tune, a good bopper.

Jimi - Yeah it's a fun track. Why not, y'know?

A - And a massive, nearly 14-minute 'Machine Gun'. Awesome, man, I mean your studio records get all the praise but c'mon, this is magical, dark and wonderful, otherworldly stuff.

Jimi - That's what it was supposed to be, to evoke. Yeah, right on, I hear you. It's a heavy trip with this song. Not even a song.

[ * with this he took another several deep tokes on the now smoldering joint and slowly exhaled through his wide-set nostrils]

A - I swear I hear you say "Obama" several times in this; A premonition?

Jimi - (after several moments of uncontrollable laughter) Maybe, man, maybe, I wouldn't be surprised. A lot of magic that night, that band. Then 'Stop', that's a Jerry Ragovoy tune, good little track. Fun to play, and kind of a nice break after a long set.

A - Which it was: what, four sets over two nights? Pretty intense.

Jimi - Yeah, but we loved it. And we wanted to give the people their money's worth. "Earth Blues" good too. Some nice stuff here. Good to hear after all this time. "Burning Desire" kinda shows how improvisational we could be, but we'd gotten so tight, tight-but-lose, it was hard to tell sometimes what was spontaneous and what we'd planned. But that's cool.

It certainly is.

 Silver Apples  by SILVER APPLES album cover Studio Album, 1968
3.53 | 19 ratings

Silver Apples
Silver Apples Proto-Prog

Review by Warthur
Prog Reviewer

4 stars Two silver apples on the cover, two Silver Apples in the band - Dan Taylor and Simeon team up to pioneer the use of synthesisers in rock music to an extent that was truly radical. Whilst using synthesisers as a component of rock became a big deal over the course of the next days, and synthesiser-dominated ambient-type music and krautrock would likewise be a big deal, it'd be over a decade before very many people (with the possible exception of Sparks) managed to take this sort of stripped-down synth-focused instrumentation and rock experimentation and turn it into something genuinely accessible and catchy with it.
 Pärson Sound by PÄRSON SOUND album cover Studio Album, 1967
3.69 | 14 ratings

Pärson Sound
Pärson Sound Proto-Prog

Review by siLLy puPPy
Collaborator PSIKE Team

4 stars PÄRSON SOUND was born out of the fertile 60s cross-pollination of all types of traditional and contemporary musical forms invading every nook and cranny of the world. In this case it was Sweden. After The Beatles and other English bands were successfully delivering their own take on various sounds merging together to the new global audience, some musicians opted to create a deeper, darker and much freakier sound to focus on. PÄRSON SOUND which consisted of Bo Anders Persson (guitar), Thomas Tidholm (vocals, sax, flute), Arne Ericsson (cello), Urban Yuman (violin), Torbjörn Abelli (bass) and Thomas Mera Gartz (drums) who were hugely inspired by the minalmist vision of Terry Riley and took the whole mid-60s psychedelic scene to new levels giving them the oft touted title as the earliest pioneers of Krautrock which wouldn't take off for another couple of years. This band has put out a most confusing track record of their offerings. While beginning as PÄRSON SOUND, they only recorded several demos and live performances under this band name. The tracks on this release range from the 1967-68 years but were never released until this eponymously tilted 2001 compilation hit the market. This is the prequel band to the following International Harvester, Harvester and finally Träd, Gräs & Stenar (of which Bo Anders Perrson, Torbjörn Abelli and Thomas Merz Gartz were the only constant members).

Right from the beginning "Intro" it's easy to tell that this band was pretty much ahead of its time. While contemporaries with The Doors and Jefferson Airplane, these guys really shot off into the trip-o-sphere and took psychedelic escapism to a frightening new level. While artists like The Doors, Jimi Hendrix, Jefferson Airplane, Yardbirds and Love were basically creating a new form of psychedelic rock or pop that was based on catchy rhythms and / or melodic developments, PÄRSON SOUND really was the real heavy psych deal eschewing anything catchy, kitschy and sing-along and instead offered hypnotic chimeric and sound equivalents of a mirage in the desert as the music delivers a steady beat and riff groove that slowly deviates from its intended course as if a sudden bout of sickness has distorted the listener's perception and proffered a new distinct connection to reality. This is the real deal and delivered when all those aforementioned bands were trying to achieve such cosmic lengths, but in reality were only delivering mostly blues oriented catchy pop songs polished in a psychedelic coating.

Everything about this album drips in cosmic unity bathing in a tripped out, psychedelic timelessness as if a shaman from centuries of time travel had intervened and injected the proper rainforest frog licking experience to the whole shebang. The music is powerful as it establishes a cosmic grooviness to the whole delivery system and then adds a fuzzed out guitar extravaganza that contributes alternating patterns in percussive and bass performances. Most of the tracks are long extended instrumental behemoths but there are vocals interspersed throughout the lengthy double album length. This is a double album. Part one on either CD or vinyl consists of lengthy psychedelic jams mixed with drone, minimalism and indo-raga to create long drawn out jams that slowly unfold themselves into slightly different compositions that are simultaneous hypnotic in effect as well as energetic bombastic affirmations to the mushroom gods that alter the perceptions of all entities engaging in the conscious perception of what is unfolding.

Believe you me that no drugs are required to alter your consciousness with this one. It has the full effect sans any chemical altercations but i imagine that booster shots can only take this trip even further. Disc / vinyl side two starts off on a much lighter note. In fact the track "Sov Gott Rose-Marie" which is the album title of the International Harvester album that follows, begins sounding much like "Smells Like Teen Spirit" by Nirvana with a simple chord structure and surprisingly grunge oriented progression a full couple decades before such music would actually hit it big. The track is divided into three parts and after the energetic proto-grunge part it cedes into a very early Pink Floyd sounding part that creates a nice counterpart effect to "Pipers At Dawn's Gate" with its psychedelic guitar riff meets the mellotron and grrrrrroooooviliscious beat which is steady and relaxing. Almost martini music meets acid blotters but creates a jarring juxtaposition of contrasts as it continues. The next track "Skrubba" is the longest track on the entire double album at 28:56 and basically delivers the utmost psychedelic freak out of the time. Although it is basically a repetitive bass line ad infinitum, it nonetheless has enough contrast in sounds and off-beat timings of things to give credence to the proto-prog badge that it frequently acquires. While the mood of the listener has to be in sync with the unfolding and time delivery of the whole thang, it is one of the most satisfying tracks for the hardcore tripper who is craving this sort of thang. This one has a bass line that also reinterprets the early Pink Floyd take on psychedelia only taking a much more hypnotic and repetitive approach to the table.

The rest of the album follows suit with taking the Syd Barret Pink Floyd-isms beyond the albums that they released only to create wild and bizarre escapist passages into another world. Just to be very clear, this is basically minimally melodic in nature and very repetitive in that regard. The majestic magnitude of PÄRSON SOUND is how they embellish the simplicity of it all. The music unfolds in simple measures as would any music of the day but each measure creates a subtle difference enhances the magnitude of the experience ever so slightly after each passing increment of time. The production is quite conducive to the psychedelic experience and although this is not music that a sane person would experience on a daily basis, this is quite the heady wild psychedelic experience everyone wishes that all those 60s so-called psych bands would have produced. This is the real deal-ee-bop and it was created in the actual time, not as a wish-i'd-been-there-and-done-that pipe dream. Personally i really love this album although it does require the proper mindset to totally enjoy and comprehend. However, when the mood strikes, this is the real deal and what a deal it is. Sweden has emerged as one of the leaders of progressive music but many do not realize that this has been true ever since the beginning of the prog scene all the way back in the 60s, even before Germany caught wind and took the bull by the horn and usurped the whole psychedelic scene with their version of Krautrock. Excellent album that should be experienced by every psychedelic music lover who is serious about the PSYCHEDELIC part of the equation and also a big bonafide feel good moment for anyone interested in early noise rock that would eventually lead to bands such as Sonic Youth, Dinosaur Jr. and all the drone metal bands like Boris, Jesu, Earth, Nadja and beyond??..

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Proto-Prog bands/artists list

Bands/Artists Country
ANDROMEDA United Kingdom
APPALOOSA United States
BAKERLOO United Kingdom
THE BEATLES United Kingdom
BRAINBOX Netherlands
COVEN United States
DEEP PURPLE United Kingdom
THE DOORS United States
EARTH OPERA United States
FLAMING YOUTH United Kingdom
GATTCH Slovakia
GILES GILES & FRIPP United Kingdom
THE GODS United Kingdom
H.P. LOVECRAFT United States
JIMI HENDRIX United States
THE MOVE United Kingdom
NIRVANA United Kingdom
QUIET WORLD United Kingdom
SALAMANDER United Kingdom
THE SHIVER Switzerland
SPIRIT United States
SPOOKY TOOTH United Kingdom
SWEETWATER United States
TOMORROW United Kingdom
TOUCH United States
THE WHO United Kingdom

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