Progarchives, the progressive rock ultimate discography


A Progressive Rock Sub-genre

From, the ultimate progressive rock music website

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 | 851 ratings
Beatles, The
4.50 | 502 ratings
Who, The
4.38 | 778 ratings
Beatles, The
4.33 | 1026 ratings
Deep Purple
4.34 | 885 ratings
Beatles, The
4.30 | 1034 ratings
Deep Purple
4.35 | 492 ratings
Who, The
4.30 | 564 ratings
Doors, The
4.18 | 683 ratings
Beatles, The
4.24 | 428 ratings
Doors, The
4.25 | 372 ratings
Hendrix, Jimi
4.13 | 622 ratings
Beatles, The
4.01 | 400 ratings
Doors, The
3.91 | 604 ratings
Beatles, The
3.92 | 474 ratings
Who, The
3.96 | 329 ratings
Hendrix, Jimi
3.83 | 686 ratings
Deep Purple
3.98 | 251 ratings
Hendrix, Jimi
4.12 | 152 ratings
3.91 | 273 ratings
Deep Purple

Download (Stream) Free Proto-Prog MP3

Open player in a new window

Download (Stream) Free Proto-Prog MP3

Latest Proto-Prog Music Reviews

 L.A. Woman by DOORS, THE album cover Studio Album, 1971
4.01 | 400 ratings

L.A. Woman
The Doors Proto-Prog

Review by DamoXt7942
Forum & Site Admin Group RIO/Avant/Zeuhl & Neo Teams

4 stars Wondering if Jim would have looked beyond upon recording this "last" album, and what he would have looked over the rainbow woman. Somebody says this album "L. A. Woman" should reveal Jim's thought upon life and death, or Jim's bloody shout could be heard in this stuff, but no I don't consider so ... his voices are really enthusiastic and simultaneously introspective, but sound as if he would have sung "with looking forward". Along with bluesy cool rock sounds produced by other three, powerful but sensitive voice waves come one after another, and this musical style can be thought as their origin or basis I imagine.

Their intention can be grabbed upon the whole A Side. Obvious deeply eccentric melodic collective is launched even in a typical blues rock. Rhythmic texture is not complicated nor bizarre at all and melody lines are so strict and sincere for blues rock authenticity indeed, but their excessive creativity cannot be called as "pop". We can dissected phrases even in the titled track which has climbed Billboard Hot 100 Chart up. Stream basis of their soundscape could be heard in a textbook of blues rock I guess, but mysterious melodious madness blended with Jim's sensuality could never be published lol.

Plenty of cynical phrases (both melodic and lyric) drive us crazy upon the B Side. Jim and Three Doorers might run through the five tracks at top speed ... but I cannot hear any goal line nor the end of (musical) life. "Riders On The Storm", that has cool, dry atmosphere of a tough guy's life, is apparently not "The End" but "Hard Cornerstone Of Life For Brilliant Future" I can realize. There is no despair, hopeless, nor tragedy. Jim's voice tone is a tad depressive (and so are instrumental parts) and I cannot deny their heavenly novel era imagined in their inner mind. This album is filled with hopeful hope, dreamy dream ... at least for me.

 Morrison Hotel by DOORS, THE album cover Studio Album, 1970
3.24 | 268 ratings

Morrison Hotel
The Doors Proto-Prog

Review by Progfan97402

4 stars To fans and rock critics alike, Morrison Hotel was considered a gigantic relief from The Soft Parade. No more horns, strings, or pop-oriented material on the lines of "Touch Me" and "Tell all the People". They returned to a more-blues based sound, but to be honest, I actually enjoyed Waiting for the Sun more than I did Morrison Hotel. Morrison Hotel is just a plain "overrated but still not bad" album, the kind I level at Pink Floyd's Dark Side of the Moon or the Who's Who's Next. Let's examine some of the songs: "Roadhouse Blues" is by far the most recognized song on this album, it seemed a bit too generic blues for my liking, but it's still a staple of classic FM rock stations. "Waiting for the Sun" is great, it's the Doors sound of old! Love that eerie organ and synth (I'm sure Paul Beaver was responsible for the Moog you hear here). It was mysteriously left off on the album by that same name, which I wished wasn't (if only "Yes, the River Knows" or "Wintertime Love" was replaced by that song, Waiting For the Sun, the album, that is, would be even better, but it's only those two songs I don't care for on that album). "Peach Frog" has a rather nice funky sound, and Ray Manzarek's organ certainly gives this great song character. The song segues into "Blue Sunday", which I felt was a rather sappy ballad. "Indian Summer" was an outtake from their debut and you can easily tell it's definitely an older song. It never made it on their debut, to be honest, I can see why: this song was never exactly a winner for me. It strangely has a similar structure to "The End", but MUCH shorter, and instead a love song instead of something much more disturbing. "Maggie McGill" is a nice bluesy number. So on this album there are only three songs I don't care for, the overrated "Roadhouse Blues", "Blue Sunday", and "Indian Summer", the rest is rather good, but as a "proto-prog" album it falls flat. But the blues-oriented material is something they'd explore even further on their next (and final album with Jim Morrison) L.A. Woman. Still worthy of a four star rating because of the musical quality overall, not how "prog" or "not prog" it is.

By the way, the front cover came from a real hotel in Los Angeles called Morrison Hotel, with absolutely no connections to Jim Morrison, and on the back a Los Angeles bar called The Hard Rock Cafe, which has absolutely nothing to do with the tacky chain we all know and love (or hate). The chain we know came from some Doors fans who gave them permission to use "Hard Rock Cafe" as the name of their joint, probably by that time, the original LA joint with that name was out of business.

 Other Voices / Full Circle by DOORS, THE album cover Boxset/Compilation, 2015
3.86 | 2 ratings

Other Voices / Full Circle
The Doors Proto-Prog

Review by Guillermo
Prog Reviewer

4 stars After a lot of years of being out of print in the U.S (since the mid-seventies), and apart from being available for some years only in Germany in the LP and cassette formats in the eighties-nineties, "Other Voices"(1971) and "Full Circle"(1972), the two albums that the remaining members of THE DOORS recorded after JIM MORRISON died, finally were re-issued worldwide in 2015. Both albums were re-issued as individual LPs (with their original cover designs, and with the cover design of "Full Circle" also including again the zoetrope which was only included in the first edition of the LP), and also in this 2 CD set which includes both albums plus a track called "Treetrunk" as a bonus track which originally was released as the B-Side of the "Get Up and Dance" single in the U.K. All this happened in September 4, 2015.

As I have both albums in the LP format, I didn't buy them again in the LP format. Instead, I waited to see the 2 CD set in the record shops of my city to buy it. It really took several weeks to this to happen, because the LPs were imported to be sold in the first place, taking advantage of the "new fad" to release some old albums and new albums of a lot of bands in the LP format, and also maybe to give to the old fans of the band the chance to buy them first with the original cover designs at more individual expensive prices than the 2 CD set, and later to also give to them the chance to buy them in this 2 CD set, if they wanted to do it. A marketing plan, I think. I knew that the 2 CD set was going to be released simultaneously because I follow the band's official page in Facebook. Anyway, the band announced there the release of the LPs first. It wasn't until me and other persons asked them the same day if they also were going to release the 2 CD set. So, their answer had to be "yes", too.

So, I bought the 2 CD set. I really expected a better packaging, because the cover design for this 2 CD set only has the front covers of both albums as "miniatures" in the front cover of the booklet, and nothing more. But the booklet has very good liner notes written by David Fricke (a writer from the "Rolling Stone" magazine) which are very long and informative about the recording of both albums, with quotes from John Densmore, Robbie Krieger, the late Ray Manzarek, the former Elektra Records boss Jac Holzman and others. The rest of the booklet gives information about the titles of the songs from both albums, but not detailed notes (track by track, as in the LPs original covers) about the guest musicians who played and recorded with the band in these albums. Anyway, at last the booklet gives detailed information about who really wrote the songs for "Other Voices", a thing which only happened in the first edition of the LP which had an inner sleeve with the lyrics, and this also happened in the labels of the LP of that first edition. In the original gatefold cover of the LP all the songs were credited to the three members (Krieger, Densmore, Manzarek) and this also happened in later editions of the LP, with the songs being also credited to the three members in the labels of the LP in later editions.

So, I think that the simultaneous release of the individual LPs and the 2 CD set had a marketing plan: "you can have both albums with their original cover designs in the LP format, but if you want, you can also have them on a 2 CD set, but without the original cover designs, but with very long and informative liner notes and better sound... plus a bonus track". I think that some old fans really wanted to have the albums in both formats, so they bought them.

Now, about the sound of the 2 CD set: both albums were remastered for the first time for CD releases by Bruce Botnick, who worked with the band as recording engineer for most of their albums (and also as co- producer with the band for their "L.A. Woman" and "Other Voices" albums). He really did a very good job. I previously had the chance to listen to a bootleg version of both albums on one CD which was released in Russia in 1999. I think that the sources of both albums for that one CD version were LP copies, so the sound was not very good and also the channels were inverted in comparison to the original LPs. With this official 2 CD set one finally has the chance to listen to very clear sound from both albums , and also to an official CD release of the previously very rare song called "Treetrunk", a song which previously one only could listen to from very used singles copies in youtube. I think that the band really wasted a lot of time to release both albums officially on CD because there also were other bootleg CD versions available which some old fans obviously bought. Now, all these bootleg versions are really of not importance anymore. It really took to the band a lot of years to finally release them on CD, and this even happened after Ray Manzarek's death in 2013.It seems that even the members of the band underrated both albums all this time. But I really like both albums, as I wrote in my individual reviews for both LPs here in Prog Archives some years ago. (You can read them if you want: "Other Voices" is in, and "Full Circle"is in . My review for the "Get Up and Dance"/ "Treetrunk" single is in ).

 Ten Commandments by SALAMANDER album cover Studio Album, 1971
3.12 | 25 ratings

Ten Commandments
Salamander Proto-Prog

Review by siLLy puPPy
Collaborator PSIKE Team

3 stars Now here's a forgotten little obscurity from the vaults of the early 70s British prog and psych pop scene. SALAMANDER was a short- lived outfit that managed to release this one and only album originally on the Young Blood label. THE TEN COMMANDMENTS is a concept album based on, you guessed it, the Biblical teachings that have been a staple of the Christian religion since JC himself walked on water and roamed the planet. This is a strange little beast that is rooted more in the 60s than finding its place in the 70s and makes me wonder if this was some forgotten anachronistic project from 1967 that just happened to find its way onto the market in 1971. The band consisted of Alister Benson (organs, vocals), Dave Chriss (bass), John Cook (drums) and Dave Titley (lead vocals and guitar). There was basically one track that covered each COMMANDMENT and was produced by Miki Dallon who help create a "Moody Blues" effect with orchestral arrangements and production values on many of the tracks.

And indeed "Prélude Incorporing He's My God's" begins very much sounding like it could have been a rejected track from The Moody Blues' 1967 landmark album "Days Of Future Passed." However, the album doesn't totally rely on their classic sound to get their Biblical messages across. The album sounds more of a generic mix between everything late 60s psychedelic pop and rock actually with everything from Jefferson Airplane to The Doors finding small influences on board along with many of the folk and rock sounds of the era.While the tunes are all somewhat catchy, nothing on here excels at being totally memorable either. While the Hammond organ cranks out some serious melodies and the guitar and bass work well with some powerful drum workouts, in the end the whole thing feels rather contrived and lackluster as it seems woefully inadequate to tackle the entire TEN COMMANDMENTS in a mere 35 minutes and 20 seconds. The tracks do stand out from one another and although there is the inevitable "Jesus Christ Superstar" comparison, it doesn't really sound much alike and doesn't even come close to the quality of its various renditions.

After all is said and done this is a decently performed obscurity that will definitely bring a certain era to mind as it very much exudes a very dated sound but it's a rather fun and carefree type of style that made the psychedelic pop music of the era so much fun. The lyrics are fun and the vocals are pleasant. What's really lacking here is outstanding songwriting skills and the ability to create a captivating narrative that doesn't sound cliché. While i would hardly call this one an essential relic from the past, it is quite a pleasant listen and one that shouldn't be totally forgotten. It has nice pleasant melodies, decent performances and some of the orchestrated tracks can be quite catchy albeit in a late 60s cheesy sort of way. I have to give these guys credit for trying to make a major concept album that covers some pretty tall subject matter, but at the end of the day, they just didn't have the chops to pull this off and it's quite understandable why a second album never emerged.

 Heavy by IRON BUTTERFLY album cover Studio Album, 1968
3.26 | 68 ratings

Iron Butterfly Proto-Prog

Review by Tarcisio Moura
Prog Reviewer

3 stars Through many years I was very curious about this debut album by proto proggers Iron Butterfly. Heavy was mentioned on the liner notes of the famous In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida, but was never released in Brazil. So only recently I had the chance to listen to the album, some 40 years after I had their second iconic LP. All I can say about it now that it was indeed quite a promising album. The band was already finding their own sound but not quite got it on Heavy: the first two tracks, Possession and Unconscious Power, they showed their real strength: heavy (for the time) guitar and organ interplay laced with Doug Ingle´s fine, dramatic vocals. Unfortunately they also had mediocre tracks like Get Out Of My Life, Woman and, worse, three tunes that are sung by Darryl DeLoach, a weak singer that was no match to Ingle.

Overall I liked the album. Although they were still finding their own sound and had yet to honey their songwriting skills in some ways, they did a pretty good job as a whole for a debut. Of curse the lesser tracks are just pastiches of other contemporary organ-led groups like The Doors and Vanilla Fudge. You can´t Win is another fine track that showed what would be the IB sound, along with the instrumental closing Iron Butterfly Theme. There are also some short interesting instrumental parts on the other songs, but as one can expect this is the famous case of hit or miss. And there were slightly more hits than misses. The lesson was learned as their next album would prove, even if at the expense of three original members.

Nice debut with a few promising ideas that, fortunately, would be developed on their following works.

Rating: 3 stars. Good, but non essential.

 Axis: Bold as Love by HENDRIX, JIMI album cover Studio Album, 1967
3.98 | 251 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 | 885 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
3.41 | 10 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
3.78 | 21 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 | 274 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.

Data cached

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

Copyright Prog Archives, All rights reserved. | Legal Notice | Privacy Policy | Advertise | RSS + syndications

Other sites in the MAC network: — jazz music reviews and archives | — metal music reviews and archives