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PROTO-PROG

A Progressive Rock Sub-genre


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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

4.49 | 681 ratings
ABBEY ROAD
Beatles, The
4.52 | 401 ratings
QUADROPHENIA
Who, The
4.37 | 627 ratings
REVOLVER
Beatles, The
4.32 | 714 ratings
SGT. PEPPER'S LONELY HEARTS CLUB BAND
Beatles, The
4.29 | 828 ratings
IN ROCK
Deep Purple
4.28 | 833 ratings
MACHINE HEAD
Deep Purple
4.36 | 390 ratings
WHO'S NEXT
Who, The
4.30 | 462 ratings
THE DOORS
Doors, The
4.15 | 536 ratings
THE BEATLES
Beatles, The
4.20 | 351 ratings
STRANGE DAYS
Doors, The
4.12 | 491 ratings
MAGICAL MYSTERY TOUR (US VERSION)
Beatles, The
4.22 | 300 ratings
ARE YOU EXPERIENCED
Hendrix, Jimi
4.02 | 360 ratings
TOMMY
Who, The
3.95 | 321 ratings
L.A. WOMAN
Doors, The
3.87 | 470 ratings
RUBBER SOUL
Beatles, The
3.92 | 250 ratings
ELECTRIC LADYLAND
Hendrix, Jimi
3.98 | 192 ratings
NOW WHAT?!
Deep Purple
4.11 | 123 ratings
TWELVE DREAMS OF DR. SARDONICUS
Spirit
4.07 | 134 ratings
THE CRAZY WORLD OF ARTHUR BROWN
Brown Band, The Arthur
3.76 | 545 ratings
BURN
Deep Purple

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Latest Proto-Prog Music Reviews


 Deep Purple In Rock by DEEP PURPLE album cover Singles/EPs/Fan Club/Promo, 1970
2.54 | 7 ratings

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Deep Purple In Rock
Deep Purple Proto-Prog

Review by Guillermo
Prog Reviewer

2 stars I was somewhat surprised to find this EP included in the Prog Archives discography database...

Vinyl "Extended Plays" (EPs), played at 45 R.P.M., were very popular in some countries like in the U.K. and other countries, like in Mexico, but not in the U.S. (as Mark Lewisohn wrote in his book "The Beatles: Recording Sessions", 1988), in the sixties and in the seventies. So, I saw a lot of vinyl discs in the EP format from a lot of artists in the record shops of my country in the late sixties and in the seventies, and maybe even in the eighties too. With the arrival of the CDs, the vinyl discs in every format (LPs, EPs, and singles) gradually were discountinued in the eighties-early nineties. In fact, I remember that the last album that I bought in the LP format was YES`s "Union" album in August 1991.

This E.P. by DEEP PURPLE was released by "Discos Capitol de México" in 1970. I have it. It has three songs from the "Deep Purple In Rock" album, plus "Black Night", released in other parts of the world only as a single, but it was also included in the Mexican version of the "In Rock" album in 1970.

Side One: 1. "Black Night" : the full single version (with 3:26 minutes in lenght). 2. "Speed King": it is a different version from the one which was included in the original L.P. release. It lacks the heavy intro and the organ part at the start of the song. It starts directly with the lyrics, and it has a piano arrangement. In fact, this is the same version which was included as a bonus track in the "25th Anniversary Edition" of the "In Rock" album in 1995, and was indicated as the "Piano Version" in the cover of that remastered 2 CD version. There are other differences to the original LP version in other musical arrangements...but in this EP the song ends 42 seconds earlier due to an early fade-out, maybe only done by the Mexican record company for this EP. It still is a good version. (The original "Piano Version`s " total time is 4:15 minutes; this faded out version`s time is 3:07).

Side Two: 1. Into the Fire and 2. Living Wreck: both are the same versions of the original LP...but also faded out earlier for their inclusion in this EP. (The original version`s time of "Into the Fire" is 3:29 minutes; this EP version is 3:04 minutes in duration; while "Living Wreck" original time is 4:30 minutes, and this EP version`s time is 3:18 minutes).

It seems (as I could listen to them) that all four songs are Mono versions in this EP.I know that In the sixties and early seventies very few singles and EPs were released in Stereo. The majority of them were released in Mono. I don`t know the real reason of the existence of the vinyl EPs. But in particular this EP is mostly of historical interest for the most die-hard fans of the band and record collectors, due to the inclusion of the "Piano Version" of "Speed King" (but in a shorter version due to the use of an earlier fade-out) which was not included in the original LP. Maybe this gives to this EP an additional "Collectable Value". Who knows?

Maybe the real function of the vinyl EPs in some countries was to give some "samples" from some songs from some albums to promote them and make the fans buy the LPs, or to give to the fans in an EP the most popular songs from some albums without having to but the LP.

For collectors / fans only.

 Shades of Deep Purple by DEEP PURPLE album cover Studio Album, 1968
3.29 | 376 ratings

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Shades of Deep Purple
Deep Purple Proto-Prog

Review by Guillermo
Prog Reviewer

3 stars The first song that I listened from this album was "Prelude: Happiness / I`m So Glad" in 1969-70. It was released in my country as a single (divided in two parts, with the Side One of that single having at the end a fade-out at the start of the guitar solo, and at the start of the Side Two a fade-in at the other parts of the same guitar solo). My father bought it. Maybe he listened to this song in the radio some day and he liked it.

This album was recorded with a low budget, and this can be listened in it, really. It was recorded in a three day period in May 1968. The recording is not very good, and it sounds like it was mostly recorded live in the studio, with very few overdubs. There are some sound effects used between each song which were used as "links". They gave to this album a psychedelic sound. But this album really has some different musical styles: Hard Rock, Psychedelia, Pop Rock, Progressive Rock. The band sounds really very at the start of their recording career, but it sounds very well, Still, there are some mellow arrangments and songs, like "One More Rainy Day" and "Help" (this last one is a song from THE BEATLES). There are also some Prog Rock influences with the use of some Classical Music parts in "Prelude: Happiness / I`m So Glad" (using a part from "Scheherazade" by Rimsky- Korsakov) and in "Hey Joe" (with some parts with music by Manuel de Falla). Hard Rock can be listened in "And the Address" , "Mandrake Root" and "Love Help Me". Pop Rock can be listened in "Hush", "One more rainy day" and "Help". Drummer Ian Paice and keyboard player Jon Lord both shine in playing their instruments. Ritchie Blackmore plays well too but his guitar playing style was still not very clear for DEEP PURPLE and his guitar parts were not very well recorded and mixed. Lead singer Rod Evans had a voice maybe more oriented to Pop Rock and Ballads than to Hard Rock, and bassist Nick Simper plays well. There are some backing vocals by Lord and Simper which sound more oriented to Pop Rock too. Anyway, as a whole, this is a good album, with four original songs ("And the address", "One more rainy day", "Mandrake root" and "Love help me") and four covers ("Hush ", "Prelude: happiness / I'm so glad", "Help" and "Hey Joe").

I think that this album and YES`self-titled album have some things in common: both had a combination of original songs and some covers; both albums still sound very "sixties" in musical style and influences; both were not recorded with big budgets; and both show very good bands with very good debut albums. Maybe YES` first album sounds better, but both albums are very energetic. Maybe both sound a bit dated now, but still are enjoyable.

 Last Concert In Japan by DEEP PURPLE album cover Live, 1977
1.99 | 46 ratings

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Last Concert In Japan
Deep Purple Proto-Prog

Review by Guillermo
Prog Reviewer

1 stars This live album was recorded in Japan in December 1975 during their tour for their "Come Taste the Band" album. It was released in 1977 and it was dedicated to Tommy Bolin, who died in late 1976. But for this concert Bolin was not in a good shape due to his substance abuse, so he really did not play very well. It could have been better to release other concert recordings by this line-up with Bolin playing the songs better. I don`t know why the record label decided to release on an album this particular Japanese concert as a tribute to Bolin. His playing is very "raw" and sometimes noisy, but the rest of the members of the band also don`t sound very well, even if Jon Lord did his best efforts to play some of Bolin`s guitar riffs in his keyboards. Drummer Ian Paice also sounds well, but that is not enough to save the general unpolished playing from the band. Even David Coverdale and Glenn Hughes sound a bit forced and out of tune in their vocals in some parts . So...I think that maybe it could have been better to release other live recordings done by this line-up than to release this concert performance which in general was not very good.

Only for the most dedicated collectors, very die-hard fans of the band and completionists.

 Come Taste The Band by DEEP PURPLE album cover Studio Album, 1975
3.15 | 353 ratings

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Come Taste The Band
Deep Purple Proto-Prog

Review by Guillermo
Prog Reviewer

2 stars For this album, Tommy Bolin replaced Ritchie Blackmore. Bolin was a very good guitar player and he also composed most of this songs in this album with other members of the band, particularly with David Coverdale and Glenn Hughes. There is a mixture of musical styles in this album. By one part, the band played songs with some Heavy Metal / Hard Rock inlfuences but with a Funky taste, and by the other part there are some songs which are more influenced by Funky and Soul ("Getting Tighter", "I Need Love", "This Time Around / Owed to G"). The bands sounds very well, but it is not easy to say that this is an album from a band called DEEP PURPLE. The remaining original members of the band (Jon Lord and Ian Paice) really sound like they acted more like background musicians, leaving to Bolin, Coverdale and Hughes to do most of the songwriting and arrangements . Even if there are some Hard Rock / Heavy Metal influences, this album sounds even more far than their "Stormbringer" album from their original musical stye. Even Coverdale sounds a bit like Sammy Haggar in some parts, which is not bad but it is not very related to DEEP PURPLE as a band. Unfortunately, Bolin had substance abuse problems which increasingly affected his guitar playing on tour, and the band finally split in March 1976 after the tour for this album. This album looks and sounds more like a last attempt to keep the band alive. But even if Lord and Paice gave the band that opportunity to survive for more some months after Ritchie Blackmore left the band, the band was a tired band, maybe working more to satisfy contractual obligations and management demands than to be really happy to work together. Bolin died in late 1976. The "Classic line-up" of the band (Blackmore, Gillan, Glover, Lord and Paice) reformed in April 1984 and lasted for several years playing together, with some problems which finally made it split again, first in 1989, and later in late 1993.
 Stormbringer by DEEP PURPLE album cover Studio Album, 1974
3.01 | 429 ratings

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Stormbringer
Deep Purple Proto-Prog

Review by Guillermo
Prog Reviewer

2 stars Unfortunately, it seems that by mid 1974 the members of DEEP PURPLE as a band were not very sure of the musical direction they were going to follow for their next album. Maybe the remaining original members of the band (Ritchie Blackmore, Jon Lord and Ian Paice) were tired of being working in the band without a break, and they let the most recent "new" members (Glenn Hughes and David Coverdale) to take the leadership for this "Stormbringer" album. The music is not bad, but in most parts it does not sound very related to the original musical style of the band (Hard Rock / Heavy Metal). It sounds very influenced by Funky, Soul and Blues music, styles of music which were more liked by Hughes (who it has been said to be the most adept to these musical styles) and Coverdale. As I have written in other reviews about this line-up, both Coverdale and Hughes have powerful vocals, but the problem is that their musical tastes were somewhat far from the original musical style of the band. Maybe the original members were somewhat bored and also wanted to try some new musical things, but in this album it seems that they gave most of the control of the musical direction of the band to Hughes and Coverdale. So,most songs ( "Love Don`t Mean a Thing", "Holy Man", "Hold On", "You Can`t Do I t Right" and "High Ball Shooter") really sound like influenced a lot by artists like STEVIE WONDER and other similar artists from the mid seventies. Even some of the keyboards arrangements sound very influenced by these artists. They don`t sound bad...but they sound very far from DEEP PURPLE`s original musical style. Only "Stormbringer", "Lady Double Dealer", "The Gypsy" and "Soldier of Fortune" sound closer to that old musical style. Maybe the best song in this album is "Soldier of Fortune", which sounds a bit more related to "Catch the Rainbow", a song which Blackmore was going to record with his new band in their first album titled "Ritchie Blackmore`s Rainbow", in 1975.

After the tour for this album Blackmore left the band, being replaced by Tommy Bolin, and the band carried on for one more album ("Come Taste the Band"). and they finally split in March 1976 after the tour for that album.

 Burn by DEEP PURPLE album cover Studio Album, 1974
3.76 | 545 ratings

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Burn
Deep Purple Proto-Prog

Review by Guillermo
Prog Reviewer

3 stars In mid 1973, Ian Gillan and Roger Glover left DEEP PURPLE apparently due to some personal problems with some members of the band and with the management. Gillan has said in interviews that it was mainly due to a lot of work: "We were burned up. We needed a break, but the management wanted more work from us" (more or less as I remember). So, they finally left the band after one more tour.

They were replaced by David Coverdale and Glenn Hughes, respectively, with both musicians having powerful vocals. So the band for the first and only time had two members who could sing lead vocals, but the role of the main lead singer was assigned to David Coverdale. Anyway, Hughes sang powerful backing vocals and also sometimes he had the chance to sing lead vocals in some songs. Their vocals sung together worked very well in the band. But, at the same time with this approach on vocals the band sounded different. Still good but different. But also due to their musical influences (with Hughes having a more Blues, Funky and Soul influenced musical style) the band gradually became more inlfuenced by them and gradually started sounding very different and far from the original musical style that the band had since they started in 1968. This led to Ritchie Blackmore`s departure in 1975.

This "Burn" album from 1974 shows the first signs of that musical transition of the band from Hard Rock / Heavy Metal to a more Blues, Funky and Soul musical style which was more clear in their "Stormbringer" album, and later with their "Come Taste the Band" (an album which was recorded with Tommy Bolin replacing Blackmore). But most of the songs in this "Burn" album still show the original style of the band being very present. The title track is maybe the best from this album, with some good guitar riffs and some Classical Music influences in the arrangements from Blackmore and Jon Lord in their respective instruments., sounding very influenced by Progressive Rock music. Other strong songs in this album are "Might Just Take Your Life ", "Mistreated" and the instrumental "A 200" (with this last song being somewhat similar to "Coronaria`s Redig", another instrumental song from the same recording sessions of this album but which was released as the "B" side of a single from the same period).

As a whole, this album still sounds more in the original musical style of the band, and it still is a good album from them.

 Live in California 74 by DEEP PURPLE album cover DVD/Video, 2006
4.11 | 32 ratings

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Live in California 74
Deep Purple Proto-Prog

Review by Guillermo
Prog Reviewer

3 stars This concert video shows at the same time some "good" and "bad" things about the early to mid seventies Rock music played by some bands: by one part, some very good musicians playing and singing very well, some very good music, and by the other part, also some musical excess and "make show" excess.

This line-up of DEEP PURPLE also had very good musicians, and this time with the addition of David Coverdale on vocals and Glenn Hughes on bass and vocals. Both have very powerful vocals and the combination of their talents was then a different thing to the band which obviously made it sound a bit different. Hughes tended to sing in a higher register and with some Soul and Blues music influences, while Coverdale had a lower Hard Rock register. Both are very good singers and the band with them in the line-up sounded different but good.

This concert video has some very high points, which are the songs "Burn", "Might Just Take Your Life", "Mistreated" and "Smoke On The Water", all very well played with the combination of Coverdale`s and Hughes`s vocals. But after all these songs were played, musical excess and bad playing started to appear, first with the fragmented versions of "You Fool No One/The Mule" (which also includes a very good drums solo by Ian Paice), plus the very long, very fragmented, very boring and very noisy version of "Space Truckin¨" on which there are several solos by Glen Hughes on bass and vocals (good solos using a wah-wah pedal, I think), Jon Lord playing two synths and the organ (still good in parts but also noisy), and with the "main star" in this song being Ritchie Blackmore`s fragmented guitar solos, making a lot of noise, and finally destroying at least three (or four?) Fender Stratocaster guitars, and also exploding some Marshall amplifiers and speakers. Maybe it was fun for a lot members of the audience and for a lot of fans of the band, and maybe for the band members too, but for me it was not fun to see how these very good and expensive instruments were destroyed in front of the TV cameras, with one of these cameras being also destroyed by Blackmore. A show of excess, in my opinion. But...it was the typical excess in those times... done by some bands.

Well. It was not a bad concert, but it was marred by excess. And apart from all the excess, this line-up of the band sounded very well in general.

 Strangelands by BROWN BAND, THE ARTHUR album cover Studio Album, 1988
2.82 | 15 ratings

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Strangelands
The Arthur Brown Band Proto-Prog

Review by GruvanDahlman
Prog Reviewer

2 stars ...and along came Arthur, one of the most extravagant and brilliant musicians of the day. From the bluesy origins of the british boom he took the bold step into territory rarely tread before him. Mad as a hatter, obviously, but equipped with the most focused of minds, visionary and brave he set forth digging out a piece of the musical world that belonged to him and him alone.

The first album was a sort of compromise between blues and progressive rock which turned out really well. I suppose the album made quite an impact with it's theatrical vocals and scary, to be frank, compositions. Yet I cannot feel that the album was anything but a compromise where Brown constrained himself beyond his strength to make an album that would appeal to parts or any of the audience. Why? Simply because the next album he recorded, yet never saw released back then, was a chaotic piece of musical tapestry far beyond any normal mind. The album was in fact abnormal. The only sane thing about it is it's title, Strangelands, which encapsulates everything the album is. Strange and set in a strange land.

To listen to this album you need to be prepared for something beyond complex. There are no songs or epics in the normal sense. What you get is a bunch of musicians painting a canvas of distorted, twisted and deranged motives, with colours able to scare you. Sort of like a horror movie twisting your brain. You will not find structure. Well, that's not completely true. I will explain.

The Arthur Brown band of 1969 is the equivalent of modern day Mayhem, the norwegian black metal band. The reason for this statement is the immaculate ability to walk the ever so thin line between utter chaos and some sense of structure. Buried between the chaos you do find traces of order, proof of the true visions and musical skill possessed by the band, or both bands in this case. That is the scary part, the slight presence of order in a chaotic setting. Sort of like a workplace for orchs, really. Amidst all that chaos and devestation they do manage to build something that's both functional and impressive, given the circumstances.

With all that said, I must bear witness and let my personal feelings fly high, which, all things concerned is the purpose of reviews, and proclaim that this is not particularily enjoyable. I find it intriguing and interesting but not enjoyable. There are no real paths to follow and no real songs to endear me. The only real reward is after the album is over is the feeling of being impressed by how anyone is able to produce something like this. That is impressive but does not transform the music into anything other than noise, albeit with a sugar coating. (Though the coating must have gone off.)

I recommend you, if you like Arthur Brown, to give it a spin or two since it is a sort of progressional phase. "Galactic zoo dossier" was totally different and "Kingdom Come" (my favorite) is a sort of blend between the latter and "Strangelands". Purely an interesting note in the annals of Brown.

Conclusion: I'll give this album two stars, based only only on the fact that it is an impressive piece of work. That's all.

 When We Rock, We Rock, and When We Roll, We Roll by DEEP PURPLE album cover Boxset/Compilation, 1978
3.18 | 11 ratings

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When We Rock, We Rock, and When We Roll, We Roll
Deep Purple Proto-Prog

Review by Chicapah
Prog Reviewer

3 stars Sometimes it's refreshing and rejuvenating for me to go far back in time when I would rely on music to inspire me and remind me that things weren't so bad after all. Being a child of the 60s who came of age during the early 70s I grew up in a world that was in absolute chaos on most every front so the groups and artists that helped me cope with so much hate and uncertainty will always be special to me. Deep Purple is one of the bands that kept me going when things got tough because they didn't seem to care much about politics or international detente at all. They just wanted to knock walls down with their sledgehammer music and let everyone else decide what to do with the resulting rubble. Even a cursory glance at Deep Purple's lengthy discography will reveal that there are hundreds of compilations of their studio work and live concert recordings to choose from so I'll admit up front that "When We Rock, We Rock, and When We Roll, We Roll" isn't anything to crow about in particular. What it is, however, is a fair exposition of how incredibly strong their presence was in the music industry from day one and how their influence permeated rock & roll immensely.

"Space Truckin'" is a gem from when the stars and planets aligned perfectly for the group and they at last realized their vast potential while making their historic "Machine Head" album. Tight and powerful, this song sizzles and pops like an egg in hot bacon grease. Of particular note is the highly underrated contribution of Ian Paice on the drums. In this day and age when most percussionists are encouraged to "keep it simple" it's invigorating to hear a stickman attack his tubs the way Ian does here. "Kentucky Woman" is next and I find its inclusion questionable except that it accentuates how the band garnered widespread interest in the late 60s by taking a lame Neil Diamond tune and rocking it so hard it sounded original. Jon Lord's Hammond wails like an angry Banshee. "Hard Road (Wring That Neck)" follows. It's another from their formative years but one that efficiently showcases their cohesiveness and undeniable blues roots. It's a hearty instrumental with no weak spots or filler segments to be found and it displays Ritchie Blackmore's unorthodox guitar playing style exquisitely. For those of us who'd grown used to Clapton, Beck, Hendrix and Page at the time his brittle, stinging motif and classical overtones were significantly different.

"Burn" is the aptly-titled cut that loudly announced to their legion of fans in 1974 that the departure of Ian Gillian and Roger Glover from the fold didn't signal a softening of their approach to their craft. Blackmore shreds like a madman and the Baroque-tinted instrumental movement is pure genius. It's one of my all-time favorite DP cuts. They surely could've found a better track than "Woman From Tokyo" to insert at this juncture but since it still gets so much airplay to this day I guess I must be the only one who doesn't care much for it. It's definitely the low point of the set, though. It's always felt forced and way too formulaic. "Hush" harkens back to when no one knew who they were. Their fiery cover of Joe South's minor hit was the first we Yanks had heard of this rebellious outfit from the UK and it got our attention immediately due in no small part to Lord's growling B3 organ. This collection ends with two live recordings, starting with the landmark "Smoke on the Water." Ritchie's guitar kills throughout this rendition and the band as a whole exhibits great energy and enthusiasm. "Highway Star" captures the raw power Deep Purple could generate night after night in their prime that was a wonder to behold if you were lucky enough to see them (like I was). Blackmore and Lord both shoot blazing bullets of electricity into the audience during their respective solos.

Compiled by staff members at Warner Brothers Records in 1978 in an attempt to sell some more records after the band had dispersed two years earlier, "WWRWR&WWRWR" still functions splendidly as a quick fix for those of us who need a little Purple to get our blood flowing and our mood brightened. The cover, while it has nothing whatsoever to do with the group's image or the album's moniker, is still an eye-catcher that deserved better than to be relegated to gracing a greatest hits package. Shusei Nogaoka did a great job on it. There's nothing out of the ordinary I can report to draw you to this disc over the others but I have to say I did feel better about civilization in general after listening to it. 2.5 stars.

 Spirit by SPIRIT album cover Studio Album, 1968
3.37 | 63 ratings

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Spirit
Spirit Proto-Prog

Review by aapatsos
Special Collaborator Prog Metal and Heavy Prog Teams

2 stars In Good Spirit

This debut certainly has a 'feel good' spirit about it. Almost simultaneously with the start of the legal battle against Led Zeppelin (for apparently ripping off Spirit's "Taurus" to create "Stairway to Heaven") some 40+ years from Zep's "IV" release, I was presented with the first five albums of this band as a treat. And let me say the 'spirits' in this release can go high (but also low)...

To the untrained late 60's listener (such as myself), this may sound as a fusion of Brit psych pop in the vein of the more cheerful aspects of The Beatles and The Moody Blues (e.g. "Uncle Jack") with an intermittent injection of jazzier elements and the 'looseness' of some The Doors compositions - see for example the intriguing jazzy middle sections of "Fresh-Garbage" and "Gramophone Man". It appears to me that the album tilts more towards psych-pop than psychedelic rock and builds more on accessibility rather than mature song-writing. There are exceptions to this with the highlight "Mechanical World", a dark, slow, captivating composition with serious progressive leanings, a memorable solo and epic use of background keyboards. "Taurus", which follows, is a nice atmospheric interlude with a melody ahead of its time (as it has been proven to be!!).

The long "Elijah" is potentially the most innovative piece, which reminded me of The Doors in its main theme. Unfortunately, the jazzy improvisations derail the whole composition and the numerous returns to the main theme don't do much to save it. The rest of the album flows in a rather pleasant/ok mood but somehow 'directionless', with naive, albeit catchy at times, melodies.

Potentially ahead of its time, but seldom convincing for its potent, Spirit's debut may be a pleasant listening experience for the late 60's fans but somehow fails to maintain consistency and make a mark in my books. 2.5 stars.

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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
THE ARTHUR BROWN BAND United Kingdom
THE COLLECTORS Canada
COVEN United States
THE CROME SYRCUS 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
HANSSON & KARLSSON Sweden
HAPSHASH AND THE COLOURED COAT United Kingdom
JIMI HENDRIX United States
IRON BUTTERFLY United States
IT'S A BEAUTIFUL DAY United States
JEFFERSON AIRPLANE United States
KALEIDOSCOPE / FAIRFIELD PARLOUR United Kingdom
MÁQUINA! Spain
THE MASTERS APPRENTICES Australia
THE MOVE United Kingdom
NIRVANA United Kingdom
PAN & REGALIZ Spain
PÄRSON SOUND Sweden
THE PRETTY THINGS United Kingdom
QUIET WORLD United Kingdom
SALAMANDER United Kingdom
SILVER APPLES United States
SPIRIT United States
SPOOKY TOOTH United Kingdom
SWEETWATER United States
TOMORROW United Kingdom
TOUCH United States
THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA United States
VANILLA FUDGE United States
THE WHO United Kingdom

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