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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 | 1157 ratings
Beatles, The
4.50 | 676 ratings
Who, The
4.37 | 1073 ratings
Beatles, The
4.35 | 1324 ratings
Deep Purple
4.35 | 1195 ratings
Beatles, The
4.34 | 1324 ratings
Deep Purple
4.43 | 673 ratings
Who, The
4.33 | 781 ratings
Doors, The
4.25 | 604 ratings
Doors, The
4.18 | 862 ratings
Beatles, The
4.27 | 510 ratings
Hendrix, Jimi
4.16 | 953 ratings
Beatles, The
4.00 | 638 ratings
Who, The
4.02 | 564 ratings
Doors, The
4.05 | 448 ratings
Hendrix, Jimi
3.96 | 847 ratings
Beatles, The
4.02 | 359 ratings
Hendrix, Jimi
4.15 | 203 ratings
3.86 | 908 ratings
Deep Purple
3.93 | 376 ratings
Deep Purple

Latest Proto-Prog Music Reviews

 The Soft Parade A Retrospective by DOORS, THE album cover DVD/Video, 1991
3.81 | 7 ratings

The Soft Parade A Retrospective
The Doors Proto-Prog

Review by VianaProghead
Prog Reviewer

4 stars Review Nº 694

"The Soft Parade A Retrospective" is a DVD of The Doors released in 1991. It was also released and is still available now in the DVD format on "The Doors ? 30 Years Commemorative Edition" and on the Blue-ray disc format, which was released in 1999. That commemorative edition was released with two other live DVD's from the group, "Dance On Fire" that was originally released in 1985 and a short version of "Live At The Hollywood Bowl" originally released in 1987.

Directed by The Doors keyboardist Ray Manzarek, "The Soft Parade A Retrospective" features a mix of performance, rehearsal and beyond the scenes footage, as well as some historic interviews with The Doors band's members, Jim Morrison, Robby Krieger, John Densmore and Ray Manzarek himself. Despite being also an excellent DVD, this is probably the least interesting DVD of the all three, because probably there wasn't much more good footage left to be presented. The greatest weaknesses of "The Soft Parade A Retrospective" is probably because that Ray was forced to rely on footage of The Doors late parts of their musical career, when the bearded bloated Jim Morrison looked very little with the elegant rock'n'roll star in his leather pants who seduced all the audiences, especially the female auditions.

"The Soft Parade A Retrospective" has only seven tracks. The first track "The Changeling" was originally released on "L.A. Woman" in 1971. This version is a short film by The Doors in 1991, (The Doors Archives 67-68). The second track "Wishful Sinful" was originally released on "The Soft Parade" in 1969. This version is from the PBS TV Show Critique on 28 April 1969, (PBS and Private Archives). The third track "Wild Child" was originally released on "The Soft Parade". This version is from a recording studio session in 1968, (newly discovered Cinema Verité of the recording session). The fourth track "Build Me A Woman" was never released on any of the studio album of The Doors. It was originally released on "Absolutely Live" in 1970. This version is from the PBS TV Show Critique on 28 April 1969, (PBS and Private Archives). The fifth track "The Unknown Soldier" was originally released on "Waiting For The Sun" in 1968. This version is an Elektra promo clip released in March 1968, 5 July 1968 and 6 and 8 September 1968, (A dazzling new edit all existing performances). The sixth track "The Soft Parade" was originally released on "The Soft Parade". This version is from the PBS TV Show Critique on 28 April 1969, (PBS and Private Archives). The seventh track "Hello I Love You" was originally released on "Waiting For The Sun". This version is taken from a Frankfurt TV Show released in 13 September 1968, (The Doors Archives, Europe). This is the track that plays over the DVD closing credits.

This historic music video features The Doors as a mature band showing both their passionate rock'n'roll and their dark, and often less known work. It shows their true talent in the studio for coming up with the songs on the spot as well as lives. Additional material is drawn from The Doors' private archives. This video is a well assembled finale. It's an entertaining and rich ensemble of The Doors footage showing the wild side of Jim Morrison and how epic and crazy a The Doors concert footage can seems. As for the television appearance that is the highlight. This is very informative and interesting. It's interesting to see Jim Morrison giving his thoughts on music and poetry. Morrison is especially captivating while singing. "The Soft Parade A Retrospective" is a great tape for The Doors fans and rock enthusiasts.

"The Soft Parade A Retrospective" has also two bonus tracks. The first "Break On Through (To The Other Side)" was originally released on "The Doors". This version is from the live performance of The Doors at the Isle of Wight Festival in 1970. The second bonus track "The Ghost Song" was originally released on "An American Prayer". This version is made with images taken from a studio performance of this song after the dead of Jim Morrison as homage to him.

Conclusion: "The Soft Parade A Retrospective" is another excellent DVD of The Doors. It brings to us one of The Doors calmer and more laid back performances where we can clearly see sadness and devastation in Jim Morrison. We sense that he is suffering intensely in inside, and it's pretty obvious that on some level of his awareness he had realized that a good deal of his immense potential had gone down the drain as a result of alcoholism, drugs and fame, which somehow provoked a certain decadence. Probably he clearly knows that the 60's dream of liberation and freedom had completely failed, leaving him to live in a certain emptiness. Concluding, despite "The Soft Parade A Retrospective" be a very short DVD it represents a very important document of the last career of The Doors with Jim Morrison. This is an essential document for all fans of them, a nice look of thirty years after the legendary front man Jim Morrison's death.

Prog is my Ferrari. Jem Godfrey (Frost*)

 Live At The Hollywood Bowl by DOORS, THE album cover DVD/Video, 1987
4.74 | 19 ratings

Live At The Hollywood Bowl
The Doors Proto-Prog

Review by VianaProghead
Prog Reviewer

5 stars Review Nº 690

"Live At The Hollywood Bowl" is a DVD of The Doors and that was released in 1987. It was recorded on 5 July 1968 but was only released for the first time in 1987. From what I know, five versions of this live show were released. There are two CD versions and two DVD versions. In 1987 it was released a CD version with only seven tracks and it became The Doors shortest official release, with only about twenty-two minutes long. The 1987/2000 DVD version has thirteen tracks and has about sixty-five minutes long. This version of the video of the concert is still available, now in the DVD format on "The Doors ? 30 Years Commemorative Edition" and on the Blue-ray disc format, which was released in 1999. That commemorative edition was released with two new live DVD's from the group, "Dance On Fire" that was originally released in 1985 and "The Soft Parade A Retrospective" that was originally released in 1991. In 2012 the full version of this live concert was released in CD, LP and DVD formats and it has the length of about seventy-one minutes long.

The version I'm going to review is the DVD version released in 1987. So and as I wrote before, this DVD version of "Live At The Hollywood Bowl" has thirteen tracks. The first track "When The Music's Over" was released on "Strange Days". The second track "Alabama Song (Whisky Bar)" was released on "The Doors". Originally this wasn't a song composed by The Doors but a Bertolt Brech and Kurt Weill song. The third track "Back Door Man" was released on "The Doors". Originally this wasn't also a song composed by The Doors but a Willie Dixon's song. The fourth track "Five To One" was released on "Waiting For The Sun". The fifth track "Moonlight Drive" was released on "Strange Days". The sixth track "Horse Latitudes" was released on "Strange Days". The seventh track "A Little Game" and the eighth track "The Hill Dwellers" are two small extracts taken from their piece "The Celebration Of The Lizard". "The Celebration Of The Lizard" is an epic piece written by Jim Morrison and composed as a series of poems, which includes several sections, spoken verses and passages of allegorical storytelling. The entire piece was intended to be released as one full side of one of the band's studio albums. Despite the group attempt to record the full piece for several times, they abandoned the idea because they were always dissatisfied with the final result. A complete performance of "The Celebration Of The Lizard" can be heard on their live album "Absolutely Alive". The first entirely recorded studio version was released on their compilation "Legacy: The Absolute Best". The ninth track "Spanish Caravan" was released on "Waiting For The Sun". The tenth track "Wake Up" is a small extract taken from "The Celebration Of The Lizard". The eleventh track "Light My Fire" was released on "The Doors". This is an edited extended version. The twelfth track "The Unknown Soldier" was released on "Waiting For The Sun". The thirteenth track "The End" was released on "The Doors".

The band is in a great musical shape despite Jim remains very staid, rarely moving and dancing around in his famous Indians' dance. Even today the music still remains powerful and intense. If you fancy a look at when bands were real bands then this DVD is certainly for you. This DVD delivers a pleasant concert experience. The audio is well handled and clean. Basically this is a fine live recording with no nasty clicks or hisses. The sound is really perfect. The music sounds as full of life as, presumably, it did back then. The entire concert was recorded using several cameras and is one of only two professionally recorded live performances of the band in colour. The picture on this DVD is a bit dark, due to the conditions it was filmed and it's a bit blurry and grainy. This is due that this is a 32 year old live recording and obviously you have all the technical problems of actually filming in such a dark place and the restrictions on what you can film. However, it's fairly free from dust and scratches but it shows its age especially in the grain department.

Conclusion: "Live At The Hollywood Bowl" is a great DVD. Despite this live version being an incomplete version of the entire concert, it documents a great live performance from The Doors. I expect very soon put my hands on the full concert brought to us on the DVD "Live At The Bowl' 68". Returning to this DVD, it has some incredible great musical moments. To me, the highlights of this DVD are "When The Music's Over", "Light My Fire" and of course "The End". It's strange to hear "When The Music's Over" as the opener and not the grand finale of the show. However, when they have "The End" to perform live, it seems to be normal and logical to finish the live show with "The End". Finally, the live performance of "Light My Fire" became absolutely unforgettable. The entire band is great and Ray Manzarek shows why he always was the successes' key of The Doors' sound. Despite some low quality image, it deserves to be bought.

Prog is my Ferrari. Jem Godfrey (Frost*)

 Quadrophenia by WHO, THE album cover Studio Album, 1973
4.50 | 676 ratings

The Who Proto-Prog

Review by The Anders

4 stars Being their proggiest release, it should be no surprise that Quadrophenia is the most popular Who album on ProgArchives. The symphonic structure of many tracks obviously does the trick, and indeed Quadrophenia is a very well constructed suite, at least from a solely musical point of view. The album as a whole feels like a cohesive musical journey, and it may be one of their strongest efforts in that respect.

However, an album is the sum of all its parts, and - unfortunately for a concept album - the concept just isn't very interesting. For one thing, the story is set in the mid 60's mod culture in Britain, and that harmonizes very badly with the synth-driven and symphonic nature of the music. In fact, the only mod-like sound is the short glimpse of "The Kids Are Alright" at the beginning of "Is It In My Head?". Moreover, the story itself is a rather banal piece of social realism: Jimmy is the stereotype mod kid who tries to balance himself between the social norms of his parents and the group pressure of the mod environment. As I have never been a mod myself, and as I have never truly been able to relate to the macho ideals of such cultures, I can not really identify with the story, but of course this is a highly personal and subjective thing. Others might have different experiences.

Once you are familiar with the story, there is not much left to uncover. This is especially sad, because the concept of Tommy was much more universal, and it was more open to interpretation. I still uncover layers in Tommy, but I have never had that experience with Quadrophenia.

One aspect of the concept, however, is very strong, and that is the idea of Jimmy's four-sided personality (hence the album title), each side reflecting the personality of the four members of The Who. They each have their own theme: Roger Daltrey as the tough guy ("Helpless Dancer"), John Entwistle as the quiet romantic guy ("Is It Me For A Moment?"), Keith Moon as the lunatic ("Bell Boy"), and Pete Townshend as a self-declared hypocrite ("Love Reign O'er Me"). The themes each pop up on several occasions during the album, like Wagnerian "leitmotifs", and, with the exception of "Is It Me?", they all have their own song.

And this leads me to the music itself which is by far the strongest part of the album. The symphonic element is of course very dominant, for instance in the instrumental tracks "Quadrophenia" and "The Rock" (both containing variations of the four themes), as well as in a song like "Doctor Jimmy", but overall there is a fine balance between these complex compositions and some more straight forward tracks like "I'm One", "Is It In My Head?" or "Cut My Hair". The tracks I enjoy the most are often the more emotionally intense ones. These include the two instrumentals as well as "I'm One", "The Punk and the Godfather" and especially "Is It In My Head?" - the latter is probably my favourite song on the album, especially as it also has a romantic sentiment to it.

Overall I think I enjoy The Who's 1960's recordings better. After Tommy, they moved towards stadium rock, and their sound became heavier. Whether one likes that or not, is of course a matter of taste, but I always felt that their 60's sound was a bit more subtle - the combination between, on one side, the aggressive playing, and on the other side a pop sensibility in the compositions, is a fascinating one, and that aspect somehow faded away as they turned the amps up to 11 and Daltrey became a hard rock screamer. Thus, I often find his singing rather tiresome, especially in the more macho-driven numbers, for instance "The Real Me", "Helpless Dancer", "5:15" and "Doctor Jimmy". The playing on the album is, as always, excellent, and for instance I think there's a lot of poetry in Keith Moon's drumming - he is not just showing off, he is actually communicating through his drums. And then of course there is a very creative use of synthesizers, even though they can become a bit too bombastic at times.

All in all, Quadrophenia is a strong album, at least musically, but it is not one that truly grips me anymore. I was crazy about it, when I first heard it as a teenager, but in recent years I have found myself listening to it less and less - whereas Tommy continues to fascinate me. I will give Quadrophenia 3,5 stars for its musical brilliance, but the other aspects prevent me from giving it a full house.

 Tangerine Dream by KALEIDOSCOPE album cover Studio Album, 1967
3.16 | 59 ratings

Tangerine Dream
Kaleidoscope Proto-Prog

Review by Prog Network

3 stars Kaleidoscope's "Tangerine Dream" invites listeners into a mesmerizing musical journey. The album blends psychedelic and folk influences, creating a captivating listening experience that shares the sound of various other bands of the time. The band's effective use of instrumentation, with vibrant guitar melodies, haunting vocals, and steady percussion, adds depth and texture to each track. The production quality is commendable when considering the time it was released, which enhances the overall experience. Kaleidoscope's songwriting showcases a thoughtful blend of introspection and whimsy, allowing listeners to get lost in their dreamlike world. While some tracks may be stronger than others, "Tangerine Dream" as a whole delivers a memorable and enchanting musical endeavor, making it a must-listen for fans of psychedelic music.
 Dance On Fire by DOORS, THE album cover DVD/Video, 1985
3.86 | 10 ratings

Dance On Fire
The Doors Proto-Prog

Review by VianaProghead
Prog Reviewer

4 stars Review Nº 660

"Dance On Fire" is a DVD of The Doors that was released in 1985. It was also released in the DVD format on "The Doors ? 30 Years Commemorative Edition" and on the Blue-ray disc format, which was released in 1999. That commemorative edition was also released with two other live DVD's from the group, a short version of "Live At The Hollywood Bowl" that was originally released in 1987 and "The Soft Parade A Retrospective" that was originally released in 1991.

"Dance On Fire" has sixteen tracks. The first track "Break On Through (To The Other Side)" was originally released on their eponymous debut studio album "The Doors", from 1967. The version on this DVD was taken from the original Elektra Promo Clip in November 1966. The second track "People Are Strange" was originally released on their second studio album "Strange Days", also from 1967. The version on this DVD was also taken from the original Elektra Promo Clip in September 1967. The third track "Light My Fire" was originally released on "The Doors". The version on this DVD was taken from the ED Sullivan Show on 17 September 1967. The fourth track "Wild Child" was originally released on their fourth studio album "The Soft Parade", from 1969. The version on this DVD was taken from a recording studio session at Elektra in October 1968. The fifth track "L.A. Woman" was originally released on their sixth studio album "L.A. Woman", from 1971. The version on this DVD is a new short film made by Ray Manzareck, in 1985. The sixth track "The Unknown Soldier" was originally released on their third studio album "Waiting For The Sun", from 1968. The version on this DVD was also taken from another original Elektra Promo Clip in March 1968. It was banned since 1968. The seventh track "Roadhouse Blues" was originally released on their fifth studio album "Morrison Hotel", from 1970. The version on this DVD has excerpts from "Feast Of Friends", the unreleased concert documentary originally filmed during the American tour made in 1968. The eighth track "The Wasp (Texas Radio And The Big Beat)" was originally released on "L.A. Woman". The version on this DVD was taken from a film made for the Danish Television on 18 September 1968. The ninth track "Love Me Two Times" was originally released on "Strange Days". The version on this DVD was taken from the same performance as the previous one. The tenth track "Touch Me" was originally released on "The Soft Parade". The version on this DVD was taken from a film made on "The Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour" on 6 December 1968. The eleventh track "Horse Latitudes" and the twelfth track "Moonlight Drive" were originally released on "Strange Days". The versions on this DVD were taken from a film of a live show made on "Jonathan Winters Show" on 4 December 1967. The thirteenth track "The End" was originally released on "The Doors". The version on this DVD is an excerpt of the performance made on the live concert filmed at The Hollywood Bowl on 5 July 1968. The fourteenth track "Crystal Ship" was also originally released on "The Doors". The version on this DVD was taken from a show made on the American Bandstand on 7 July 1967. The fifteenth track "Adagio" was originally a piece composed by Tommasso Albinoni. The Doors arranged the original piece and made their own version. This new version was recorded during "Waiting For The Sun" and played while home movies by The Doors are shown. The sixteenth track "Riders On The Storm" was originally released on "L.A. Woman". This is the track that plays over on the DVD closing credits.

On this DVD, The Doors are captured during their glorious heyday. "Dance On Fire" is a collection of live performances, promotional clips and rare behind-the-scenes film footage. No one could say The Doors were boring. Morrison himself was a complete mystery that became one of the most charismatic artists ever, especially due to his brief life. "Dance On Fire" contains fourteen songs drawn from television and concert appearances including "Light My Fire", "Touch Me", "Crystal Ship", "People Are Strange", "Break On Through" and "Riders On The Storm". It also has a riotous version of "Roadhouse Blues" from The Doors' 1968 summer concert tour of America and an original non-performance segment of "LA Woman" directed by Ray Manzarek. "Dance On Fire" has received widespread critical acclaim of fans and critics.

Conclusion: "Dance On Fire" is an excellent DVD of The Doors that covers all the group's musical discography when Jim Morrison was a band's member. It represents a very good and interesting musical document of one of the most important and charismatic rock bands that ever existed. This is undeniably one of the best collections from the group that contains some unique concert shots, immortal images of Morrison and his legendary band. There are also some very interesting music videos. Concluding, "Dance On Fire" is a good collection of great The Doors musical material and images. This is a must have for anyone who is interested in this style of music, especially for their hardest fans.

Prog is my Ferrari. Jem Godfrey (Frost*)

 Love by BEATLES, THE album cover Boxset/Compilation, 2006
3.04 | 96 ratings

The Beatles Proto-Prog

Review by almartinez

4 stars Usually, a theatrical performance that has a story strung together by songs from an artist or composer(s), but not performed by them, is called a jukebox musical.

Instead of other live performers, what if the original tracks are newly remixed for the story? You certainly would have a deconstruction of the "jukebox" part! This is the case with Love, the Cirque de Soleil presentation of the music of the Beatles.

Even the concept of a remix album has been reinterpreted here too. Mashups and digs through alternate mixes from the band's Anthology abound. This itself is significant, as remix albums can be a crapshoot. For every notable Lee "Scratch" Perry dub collection, there are at least several that can be each characterized, as was in a review in the former Island Ear of Billy Idol's Vital Idol, "a textbook case in studio self-indulgence." Rather, Love is a showcase for sound combinations that are pleasant and intriguing.

Some tracks are mashups with samples of songs interpolated into others. Sound effects of horse whinnies are borrowed from "Good Morning, Good Morning" to voice, so to speak, to Henry the Horse in "Being for the Benefit of Mr. Kite." (Hey, this is a circus soundtrack, you know!) This is besides the Sgt. Pepper track melding into "I Want You (She's so Heavy)," making it also one of several medleys here.

A precedent for this approach was "Beyond the Valley of a Day in the Life," a drop-the-needle sound collage by the Residents released in 1977 as one side of The Beatles Play the Residents and the Residents Play the Beatles. Another was, curiously enough, "A Medley of Beatle Tunes," an "a cappella" comedy routine by Father Guido Sarducci.

A second type of mashup for Love - vocals dubbed over a completely different track - also results in some intriguing listening. Check out "Because" featuring ambient sounds. Meanwhile, "Gnik Nus," which is a backwards "Sun King" laid over a tanpura drone, taking the band's penchant for backwards tapes to its logical conclusion!

If you are into that kind of mix, try if you can to locate a video for "Baby You're a Rich Man (Ecstasy Mix)," with the vocals laid over The Go! Team instrumental "Friendship Update."

Another kind of remix consists of highlighting certain parts that bring a different twist into the listening, such as a higher volume for John Lennon's voice in "Glass Onion" and the bridge of plucked strings emphasized in "Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds."

"Strawberry Fields Forever" takes this further exponentially, with John Lennon's unaltered voice and solo guitar from a demo version to lay it on top of the familiar instrumental. This may be the ultimate internal (same artist) mashup, featuring also horns from "Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band." Not to mention, on top of it all, "Penny Lane" and even the harpsichord from "Piggies" and the end of "Hello Goodbye."

The crowning medley moment is probably just of two tracks - "Tomorrow Never Knows / Within You Without You" - that weave tautly the energy and depth of both songs.

Recommended for: anyone open to Beatles remixes/mashups that strongly challenge those production notions.

 Bakerloo by BAKERLOO album cover Studio Album, 1969
3.62 | 62 ratings

Bakerloo Proto-Prog

Review by Mellotron Storm
Prog Reviewer

3 stars 3.5 stars. A tough one to rate because they were an influential band although short lived with one album to their credit. A power trio playing bluesy rock this was released in 1969 and featured guitarist Clem Clempson who would leave after this album to join COLOSSEUM and eventually he would end up in HUMBLE PIE. The drummer would go on to play on URIAH HEEP's "Salisbury" record. If my copy sounded better I might consider the fourth star just because this was the music I was into when I was in my 20s, that blues based rock where the singer and lead guitarist were everything. CREAM seems to be the standard because they came on the scene so early and also because they were so awesome! So many bands though from the early seventies like FREE, LED ZEPPELIN and on and on played in this style.

I like the jazz references on here too with the walking bass at times and more. They did mix it up a little for sure. What a display of talent though when it comes to the guitarist. He is all over this soloing at will. Funny how the jazz guys were so academic and keeping within themselves, no showing off while the blues guys loved to strut their stuff and had such an attitude. Jazz fusion is where jazz crossed that line in my opinion and why I love that sub genre so much. I always thought BAKERLOO seemed like a silly name before realizing it's the name of a subway line in London. The band originally called themselves the BAKERLOO BLUES LINE before shortening that title.

That opener is a tough one and the one song that on my copy that sounds off. The drums especially. We get that jazz bass here. The most straight up blues tracks are that cover "Bring It On Home" with harmonica and slide guitar along with "This Worried Feeling" which has very bluesy vocals and guitar along with piano. Some guest trumpet on "Drivin' Bachwards" as we get more jazzy moments. "Gang Bang" has a drum solo in it and is quite a heavy track with lots of guitar. Best track by far is that 15 minute closer "Son Of Moonshine", I mean this was my music back in the day and while this record is patchy just to have it for this track back then would have been special. Just a light show when it comes to the guitar.

Even sites that aren't prog call this bluesy progressive. For fans of COLOSSEUM and the like.

 Ob-La-Di, Ob-La-Da by BEATLES, THE album cover Singles/EPs/Fan Club/Promo, 1968
4.54 | 4 ratings

Ob-La-Di, Ob-La-Da
The Beatles Proto-Prog

Review by Boi_da_boi_124

5 stars Review #104!

Ha! Two polar opposites on the same 45. This single was released in 1968, after the release of "The White Album". On side one is 'Ob-La-Di, Ob-La-Da', one of the best story songs ever. One of the most fun and boogie-inducing track to exist in the modern era. This is followed by 'While My Guitar Gently Weeps', possibly the most beautifully composed Beatles song in their discography. And it was written by George Harrison! Thank God, because I don't think I could live without that guitar solo. A great single from a great (only?!) - sorry - absolutely freaking amazing band.

 Live in Japan by DEEP PURPLE album cover Live, 1993
4.32 | 81 ratings

Live in Japan
Deep Purple Proto-Prog

Review by alainPP

5 stars BACK TO THE FUTURE with an OMNI in D like DEEP PURPLE and a legendary concert, yes the P's will be waiting! In short I come across an album that I am advised to review, so I start ..; live on it, yes I do with the means at hand, I keep repeating it!, are you ready? a hidden chronicle!!!

1 'Highway Star' mixed applause, surprised to attend one of the most beautiful live concerts transcribed on an album before the hour; an announcing, premonitory title; everything is Jon's organ, Ian's minimal but oh so important drums, the bass don't forget Roger, he's the roar in the speakers, good Ritchie almost in the background and Ian still with his voice; yes, the hard rock which has the intro, the riff, the chorus and the solo...all the same with that sacred Ritchie which distills it, which smothers it in all winds; it was just diabolical and so present in your memory that you still murmur.... or that you hoarse during this chorus, the unstoppable introduction whatever one says about it 2 'Child In Time' paf I was talking about entry, take a look at this intro, what you don't know, you're trying to make me cry, the Kenzo ad is her, finally it's them, phew you me frightened; you see the low-cut dress, the color of the roses, Ian's cry, the walk on the tower, the sensuality of this perfume... no, the cry, this cry, this unacknowledged fantasy of this woman's orgasm, no you see this galloping horse, a white horse, no, it's Ritchie who lets loose, who shows the way of the superhero, look how he mistreats the handle; that's Nirvana, who hasn't secretly done the sovereign wiggle while brandishing the neck of the phantom guitar? Who? well we calm down there at 7'49 and not 7'43 which is hurting us at this singular political moment, so we calm down, this blank becomes music before resuming with notes; a roll of drums and let's go for the second phase, for those who have fallen into a trance, you have a second chance; climb, screams, violence, rape of instruments; say that I was talking about ecstasy this second rise is stronger, more sensual, we can even guess the emerging breast under the too perfect dress, we can guess that this piece will be able to appear on TV on MTV or in advertising, a shame. 3 'Smoke On The Water' represents the most famous minute of the rock era, if the riff that kills, name me a person who has never tried to do it; the very fat organ which says that the sound can be better with this... ah I no longer remember the name of this instrument with keys... help me; the bass Roger showed that the bass was an important bridge in a hard rock band, good the frenzied solos as the evolution of .... ah I forgot to name 'Smoke, smoke on something, the lake , the fire, true not true, this piece is unique, not orgasmic, just unique in the musical universe, one of those to keep in his coffin for a possible trip to hell. 4 'The Mule' still struggled with following a punched pouch in a friend's stomach at the airport; the title which leaves strangely like in the middle of another and then quickly, too quickly but the trap was there, Ian's solo direct without warning you and it's on, you won't see it again, you're just going to explore each corner of his threshing house, with cash register, bearings, Tournapull (yes the one that we saw small when creating the highway, the one that abraded the hills, the one that I dream of buying in a Majorette shop... c is for your grandson, I'm doing a gift package, no it's for me, vicious goes!!) and other cymbals; a moment that goes crescendo, with a few small tendrils and which also allows you to adjust your speakers; the guitar-organ return becomes almost a detail of musical history passing well after this epic moment, which was peed on while waiting for the end which did not come, in short this piece will establish the solos live.

The 2nd CD or the 1st side of the 2nd LP, you follow 1 'Strange Kind Of Woman' for one of the fastest intros on the market and you have a composition that does not look like much; a jerky, frantic rhythm, a devilishly adapted voice, soft, which can rise, which will rise, which hoots; a solo by Ritchie, perhaps, surely one of the most beautiful, the organ behind which already reminds you that there will be an internal squabble, musical rather between the progueux and those who listen to the zik; the zik is the one there, the one that piles up musical notes; shh, it's time for this manu manu between Ian and Ritchie, this fight, listen, u u uh uu uuh uuuhuuu!; how many times I got up, put the sapphire back just a little before to attend this Homeric duel; the moment I said to myself, well, you'll have to go to a concert, well, that's a change from studio LPs and K7s; in short my 1st live after the 'Life' of GENESIS it was him, aaaahhhhhh aaaaahhhhhhhh I love you. It's over.... no this cry again and again heyy, heeeyyyy, heeyyyyyyyyyyyy, ah how many times my father could shout after me on these fabulous 'notes'! 2 'Lazy' to rest, lazy and lazy little bands; the piece that I don't like; yes we can have an imperfect OMNI, like the very spatial intro, cinematic before its time, it looks like 'Flash'; well settle down, it's going to take off, whoever likes YES must have come here for this organ variation without toccata; it jams, it jerks, it grooves, it zik anyway; Was Jon a good keyboard player, I ask the question; bam we find ourselves in the middle of the title and it twirls everywhere, jazzy? ,bluesy?; purpleian certainly; 6 minutes and Ian intervenes on the voice, when I think of those who say that James from DREAM THEATER must bother during the improvised solos... or not it makes me laugh, come on a little harmonica, I feel the air of the cacti and the thorns of the road on the 66, oh there the rubber of the ZZ TOPmobile which will pass by there... a little later; John and Ritchie in battle there, it's going to rock, nay, this laughable tune that has gone around the world, a magnificent musical snub and the finale à la 'Woody Woodpecker', immense 3 'Space Truckin' ' or when I was talking about OMNI, there we have the title, we have the atmosphere, we have the pinnacle, the cream of the crop, this rhythm-riff, this intro which heats up; the long track that made me want to listen to 'Six Degrees' in one go when it was released; yes DEEP PURPLE represents the archetypal proto metal prog, come on, come on!! Yes there I'm going to let go, yes there I'm just going to re-re-listen to this over- boosted live where Roger shows the musical framework, where Ian throws his cymbals at whoever wants, hold a roll of pads for you; hold Ritchie over here, hold Ian with his belched voice, yes he knows how to shout, moreover that's what was declared in the cottages, no but you hear how he shouts, how Ritchie mistreats his guitar, it can't be program; good oriental break that comes suddenly, I had forgotten it, do you remember there yes when we are in the desert, a caravan passes, we are afraid that it is a mirage, we run after .... there you go Jon made me think of that, it's crazy huh! When I was young, I thought it was improvised, that it was easy to do, to reproduce; novice now I know that you have to have passed through the stars to grab the score without smoking the devil's weed and the little smoke; spatial, irrespectable, fusional sound; I'll let you listen to the end silently, it's free and so dreamlike that everyone has made their own story on it, right there yes after this battery decrescendo, shhh. Well you swooned over this dreamlike destructured crescendo, good. Well you needed an OMNI, start with 'Space Truckin' you will have the signature, you needed a live, the thing that you don't comment on, that you live, it will be you 'made in Japan' oh yes, we don't refuse ourselves anything ; DEEP PURPLE, LED ZEPPELIN and BLACK SABBATH are the 3 prog hard metal udders that should have their footprints on Zik Boulevard, without them nada no surfing, without them no explosion in concert, no innovative joy, just rehearsals; no DEEP PURPLE created and for having been in the stars, I had to give them back this trifle, Come On!!

 H.P. Lovecraft II by H.P. LOVECRAFT album cover Studio Album, 1968
3.72 | 62 ratings

H.P. Lovecraft II
H.P. Lovecraft Proto-Prog

Review by Mellotron Storm
Prog Reviewer

3 stars 3.5 stars. I have such a hard time with Proto-Prog albums and giving this 3.5 stars is a compliment for sure. I am very impressed with the vocals on this album for the most part and that they do get experimental at times instrumentally. Not so impressed with all the folky stuff or that they cover several songs here even though that was a "thing" back in the day. There's two tracks on here that I'm very glad I got to spend some time with and the fact this their second record was released in 1968 makes those two songs even more incredible. I'll get to those later.

A five piece out of Chicago with all five singing. They would eventually move down to California where all the action was and proceeded to burn themselves out with all the live shows. All five were big H.P. Lovecraft fans and they asked his estate for permission to use his name. Most of the music here just isn't my thing but "Electrallentando" is different with the creative sounds, and the vocals make this even better. And fairly long at 6 1/2 minutes, in fact the longest on the album.

And while the intro and outro for "At The Mountains Of Madness" shine bright the rest of the song is not my thing mostly because of the vocals this time. My other favourite though is "High Flying Bird" a song I liked right from the start. The lyrics and vocals and it's catchy. Not big on "Mobius Trip" just too folky for my tastes with harmonies. The closer might be my third favourite because of the passionate vocals. The 40 second track before it is funny, very psychedelic. Not into "Blue Jack Of Diamonds" again for being too folky and ballad-like. The opener "Spin, Spin, Spin" is very dated and the followup "It's About Time" has these expressive vocals that I like.

Hugues gave this 4.5 stars so keep that in mind, this just isn't my scene.

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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
FORD THEATRE United States
GATTCH Slovakia
GILES GILES & FRIPP United Kingdom
THE GODS United Kingdom
THE GUN 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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