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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

4.48 | 915 ratings
ABBEY ROAD
Beatles, The
4.50 | 529 ratings
QUADROPHENIA
Who, The
4.39 | 834 ratings
REVOLVER
Beatles, The
4.34 | 1085 ratings
DEEP PURPLE IN ROCK
Deep Purple
4.34 | 945 ratings
SGT. PEPPER'S LONELY HEARTS CLUB BAND
Beatles, The
4.31 | 1096 ratings
MACHINE HEAD
Deep Purple
4.36 | 516 ratings
WHO'S NEXT
Who, The
4.31 | 597 ratings
THE DOORS
Doors, The
4.17 | 736 ratings
THE BEATLES [AKA: THE WHITE ALBUM]
Beatles, The
4.24 | 453 ratings
STRANGE DAYS
Doors, The
4.26 | 399 ratings
THE JIMI HENDRIX EXPERIENCE: ARE YOU EXPERIENCED
Hendrix, Jimi
4.13 | 669 ratings
MAGICAL MYSTERY TOUR
Beatles, The
4.02 | 422 ratings
L.A. WOMAN
Doors, The
3.92 | 650 ratings
RUBBER SOUL
Beatles, The
3.93 | 502 ratings
TOMMY
Who, The
3.96 | 350 ratings
THE JIMI HENDRIX EXPERIENCE: ELECTRIC LADYLAND
Hendrix, Jimi
3.84 | 737 ratings
BURN
Deep Purple
3.99 | 269 ratings
THE JIMI HENDRIX EXPERIENCE: AXIS - BOLD AS LOVE
Hendrix, Jimi
4.13 | 163 ratings
TWELVE DREAMS OF DR. SARDONICUS
Spirit
3.91 | 301 ratings
NOW WHAT?!
Deep Purple

Latest Proto-Prog Music Reviews


 My Generation by WHO, THE album cover Studio Album, 1965
2.91 | 154 ratings

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My Generation
The Who Proto-Prog

Review by BigDaddyAEL1964

3 stars That debut album by the Who was just another Britpop - rock album... kinda.

Listening carefully, you can see the signs if their lyrical intelligence and their compositional skills. Paying tribute to their influences was an essential back then (with James Brown's "Please Please Please" and the classic Bo Diddley's "I'm A Man"), but the y struck gold with their on hit single too, "My Generation", on of the most well known songs of the 60s.

Absolutely no prog here yet, but an album worth owning for historical as well as musical reasons.

3 stars by me, for a significant effort that helped built a storied career.

 Shades Of Deep Purple by DEEP PURPLE album cover Studio Album, 1968
3.28 | 492 ratings

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Shades Of Deep Purple
Deep Purple Proto-Prog

Review by martindavey87

2 stars Going into this album, anything I knew of Deep Purple's music was centered around all the hits they released during their MKII and MKIII eras. Meaning, of course, I knew 'Highway Star', 'Smoke on the Water', 'Burn', and all the other classics that are featured on countless compilations that all have the exact same tracklist. So I was intrigued to get started from the beginning. To head back to 1968 and check out the album that kicked off the career of one of rock music's most legendary bands.

"Meh".

Compared to the material the band would later release, this album is pretty boring, with no sense of identity. It just completely lacks that instantly recognizable Deep Purple vibe. It sounds like any generic rock album from the late 60's. It's not terrible. There's a few catchy hooks here-and-there, but the album as a whole just doesn't do anything for me. It's no wonder these songs are usually neglected from all the compilations. In fact, the only song that really even gets any recognition these days is their cover of Billy Joe Royal's 'Hush'. It says a lot about a bands material when the best song on the record is a cover.

So yeah, that's Deep Purple's debut. It was probably an incredible, ground-breaking game-changer in 1968. But this isn't 1968, and these songs have not aged well at all. I'll give it two stars because it's not awful, it's just not really very good, either.

 Valleys Of Neptune by HENDRIX, JIMI album cover Studio Album, 2010
3.20 | 51 ratings

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Valleys Of Neptune
Jimi Hendrix Proto-Prog

Review by AZF

5 stars This album is the closest we've had commercially released of The Jimi Hendrix Experience (Until the excellent West Coast Seattle Boy) than could be thought of as The Beatles Anthology. Or even the closest to the recent Pink Floyd studio boxset. It contains three tracks of Mitch Mitchell and the legend Noel Redding overdubbed in 1987, under the watchful eye of Chas Chandler. It predates "Free As A Bird" by many years and is more satisfying than the final two Beatles singles made from Lennon's gifted tapes. Possible legalities negated as all the personnel involved are no longer on this planet to hear the 'Valleys Of Neptune" as it was released in 2010.

12 tracks and excluding the three tracks not mentioned as in introduced, there is enough material of the Experience that together with some of the highlights of the second disc of "West Coast Seattle Boy" would have made an impressive stop gap and final word on the band had it been compiled and released in 1969 and what an insight into Jimi's perfection the album is. And what an oversight of management my fantasy outtakes album never happened in 1969.

One interesting part of the album for me are the time snaps of Noel Redding in 1969, sounding flippant and bored with yet another play through of a life staple "Hear My Train A'Coming". My preferred version is the BBC version if not his single acoustic filmed. Despite how bored Noel sounds, Hendrix paints a canvas and sounds so relaxed but confident. Compare that to the post-9/70 Redding on the final track "Crying Blue Rain". A snapshot of Jimi recorded in London self produced that in June the 5th, Noel and Mitch added their parts that not just pick up from where they left off with the slow blues, they keep up and follow Jimi as he has an instrumental freakout of chord sequences. Leaving the album and listener left alone in the stratosphere to descend back to your lives.

Although some material was reworked by the driven Jimi, the fact that Ezy Ryder got the riff means we were robbed of "Lullaby For The Summer" being associated with the greatest way the band could have bowed out of.

It sounds great listened to in full on these bright warm nights, the studio take of Red House is better than the version on the US Are You Experienced?. But it sounds more lived in. You can hear the fact Hendrix wanted to get the sound bigger. You can hear the band having everything they could possibly do just give expert performances that make the wrong notes and off beats hard to notice at first.

As excellent the recent live CDs of Hendrix have been, this studio album is as essential as First Rays Of The New Rising Sun and even Axis : Bold As Love. (Despite it being recorded after Electric Ladyland). When he lets the guitar do the taking there really is no other. Stripped away from the endless retakes and attempts intended to be optimum, Jimi's messages still sound like they could have been made today.

5

 Surrealistic Pillow by JEFFERSON AIRPLANE album cover Studio Album, 1967
3.61 | 186 ratings

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Surrealistic Pillow
Jefferson Airplane Proto-Prog

Review by siLLy puPPy
Collaborator PSIKE & JR/F/Canterbury Teams

3 stars After a turbulent start JEFFERSON AIRPLANE tried but fell short for "Take Off" on their debut despite the positive affirmations present in the album title. While the band got their feet wet in the gigging circuit and were a local cult favorite in the San Francisco Bay Area, the band was unsuccessful in making a dent further abroad however soon after the debut was released there were a few developments which sent the band in new directions and accidentally landed them in the worldwide spotlight as "The Summer Of Love" descended upon the Haight-Ashbury neighborhood in San Francisco. The original female vocalist Signe Anderson left the band only two months after "Jefferson Airplane Takes Off" was released because of her recently born daughter taking focus away from the band. Secondly drummer Skip Spence was sacked due to an unannounced vacation to Mexico but would go on to found Moby Grape. Spencer Dryden was recruited to fill the drummer's shoes.

The female vocalist role was, of course, filled by the prodigious contralto vox box of Grace Slick, whom the band had already known from her former band The Great Society which had played with JEFFERSON AIRPLANE on many occasions. Just a little trivia: Grace Slick is lineally descended from passengers of the Mayflower! The classic lineup of JEFFERSON AIRPLANE was complete and in early 1967 the band released their second album SURREALISTIC PILLOW just in time for the Beat Generation inspired movement of the "turn on, tune in, drop out" youth who were reinventing society and of course they needed a new soundtrack for a totally new way of thinking! JEFFERSON AIRPLANE were poised to be first in line to fill this new unforeseen need and soon they would find a pot of gold where no rainbow yet touched the ground!

In many ways SURREALISTIC PILLOW continues the sound laid down on the debut album. Although described as psychedelic rock by many, album number two primarily consists of Byrds inspired folk rock that take the influences of other contemporary artists like The Mamas & The Papas, Bob Dylan, The Yardbirds, The Beatles and Kingston Trio and added a touch of psychedelia to become one of the biggest hits of the entire year. The band's distinct sound of the combo vocal effect of Slick and Marty Ballin was the extra boost of mojo they needed to finally get their AIRPLANE flying high in the friendly skies. The album was released in February 1967 and shot up to number 3 on the Billboard charts in only a month and a half where it stayed for over a year and provided the only two top 10 hits of their entire career as a band. "Somebody To Love" and "White Rabbit" both hit the top 10 and became two of the biggest anthems of the entire 60s music scene not to mention the band's best known tracks.

SURREALISTIC PILLOW is one of those albums that divides my senses. On the one hand, this album is absolutely essential for a complete understanding of the hippie scene and The Summer Of Love in 1967. It is an inextricable part of a unique place and time in history and therefore has earned that mandatory placement in my music collection. However from an artistic point of view, i have never been blown away by this one. Personally i find only six of the eleven songs to be interesting and the rest are sort of throwaway tracks that do little for my senses. Secondly i find the album to be horribly paced with no rhyme or reason as to how the tracks are placed. Some of them sound like leftovers from the earlier album sessions. The album starts out quite strong with the catchy semi-psychedelic rock opener "She Has Funny Cars" which instantly shows how the band had improved over the debut as Grace Slick rocks the house with her magnetic charisma accompanied by the rockin' rhythms and fuzzed out bass. It is immediately followed by the excellent "Somebody To Love" which was actually recorded by Slick's brother-in-law Darby Slick for her previous band The Great Society." Somehow the song jumped ship with Slick and the rest is history!

Unfortunately the album derails from then on as "My Best Friend" sounds like a very bad attempt to imitate The Mamas & The Papas" which JEFFERSON AIRPLANE wasn't quite equipped to pull off. It only gets worse as the rest of the album is littered with forgettable folk ballads like "Today" and "Comin' Back To Me." Of the remaining tracks i only find "3/5 of a Mile in 10 Seconds," "White Rabbit" and "Plastic Fantastic Lover" to be interesting. Of course, someone could write an entire novel about "White Rabbit" which really is one of the best songs ever written and its larger than life Summer Of Love spirit completely overwhelms anything else on the album and was incidentally the only track completely written by Slick herself. Considering that the two best tracks on the album were written by humans with the last name Slick, i wish that Ballin and Kantner would have given the Queen of Acid a bit more free reign in both the lyrical contributions as well as the songwriting.

For me SURREALISTIC PILLOW somewhat lives up to its name, not for the fact that the music is trippy as hell but more for the fact that it creates the cognitive dissonance of being an album that is utterly essentially as someone interested in the peace and love hippie era but leaves me cold when listening to as a whole. It's one of those albums that someone apparently had to be there at the time to appreciate in its proper context but for someone like me who wasn't around to see the movie to which the soundtrack was playing, it just doesn't hold up very well. Musically speaking other 1967 albums ranging from "The Doors," "Sgt. Pepper's," "Are You Experienced?" and "The Piper At The Gates Of Dawn" are much more suitable to my imagined Summer Of Love experience. So as an album for listening pleasure i only find SURREALISTIC PILLOW to be a good album for the six tracks and nothing more and personally find this album woefully overrated. Still though, it contains a few of the greatest tracks not only of JEFFERSON AIRPLANE's entire career but also in all the history of rock music and for that it deserves to be heard by all. For me this is only a 3 star album but i'll add an extra half star for its cultural significance but not here so rounded down!

 Takes Off by JEFFERSON AIRPLANE album cover Studio Album, 1966
3.17 | 64 ratings

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Takes Off
Jefferson Airplane Proto-Prog

Review by siLLy puPPy
Collaborator PSIKE & JR/F/Canterbury Teams

3 stars As we celebrate the 50th anniversary of the 'Summer Of Love,' one of San Francisco's most spontaneous, yet enduring movements where up to 100,000 disillusioned youth descended upon the Haight-Ashbury neighborhood forever changing the city's politics, demographics, fashion statements and most of all musical scene, it's a good time to reflect on all those great bands of the past who have been put on the shelf in the ensuing decades as musical flavors have broadened and diversified but never truly forgotten, of course. Of all the contributor's to the counter-culturally fueled San Francisco Sound including Janis Joplin, the Grateful Dead, Quicksilver Messenger Service and Santana, it was really JEFFERSON AIRPLANE who launched the whole psychedelic scene with their huge hits 'White Rabbit' and 'Somebody To Love' off their 1967 classic 'Surrealistic Pillow.'

All that would come soon but not before Grace Slick and Spencer Dryden would join the band and form the band's classic lineup which would finish off the 60s, the band started out much more in the folk rock arena primarily inspired by The Byrds, The Beatles, Weavers and Kingston Trio. After a few years of unsuccessful endeavors, the band was founded by guitarist Marty Ballin and would soon hook up with Paul Kantnor and David Freiberg. Soon thereafter they would discover Signe Toly Anderson and invite her to sing in their new group. It wouldn't take long for the band to release their debut album JEFFERSON AIRPLANE TAKES OFF which in a commercial sense really did just that. The band was virtually unknown outside of the San Francisco Bay Area and RCA only pressed 15,000 copies but the band's reputation found them instant success in the area where over 10,000 copies were sold alone thus prompting the label to repress immediately and found the album going gold without any successful singles and instead setting sail via word of mouth alone.

JEFFERSON AIRPLANE TAKES OFF is very much a product of its time. Although associated as one of the primary movers and shakers of the psychedelic scene, there is nothing on this debut release to prognosticate where they or the world would lead in only a year's time. This album is very much a folk rock album that encapsulates the jangle folk rock guitar sound of The Byrds, blues inspired riffs as heard on the opener 'Blues From An Airplane' and an attempt at a Mama's & Papa's male / female vocal interchange (but not nearly as harmonically successful). While the majority of the tracks are originals with shared writing credits from the Ballin / Kantner songwriting team, there are three covers as well. The excellent rendition of the Clay Warnick song 'Tobacco Road' first recorded by John D. Loudermilk in 1960, Dino Valente's 'Let's Get Together' and a rare lead vocal performance by Signe Anderson doing an energetic performance of the famous Memphis Minnie tune 'Chauffeur Blues' (originally released under the title 'Me And My Chauffeur Blues.')

Universally accepted as a true feel-good album of sorts, JEFFERSON AIRPLANE TAKES OFF does deliver a consistent feel of no nonsense 60s folk rock, however despite every track being a pleasant listen, the AIRPLANE doesn't really have much of an identity at this point either. While all songs are perhaps nice sing-alongs, they don't really stand out from the crowd of imitators who would follow despite JEFFERSON AIRPLANE having created a very unique sound for the day with a slightly countrified take on bluesy folk rock. I feel the Byrds influences are too strong and Anderson isn't allowed to shine as a vocalist enough despite her vocals not having the power of Grace Slick whose contributions would eclipse anything heard on this album. Unfortunately in an artistic sense, this debut album took off in name only. JEFFERSON AIRPLANE would in reality sit idol in the runway until Grace Slick made it through the check-in lines and handed in her boarding pass. The soundtrack for the hippie scene would have to wait a little longer.

 InFinite by DEEP PURPLE album cover Studio Album, 2017
3.50 | 65 ratings

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InFinite
Deep Purple Proto-Prog

Review by siLLy puPPy
Collaborator PSIKE & JR/F/Canterbury Teams

3 stars An unbelievable half century, yes that's correct, 50 years(!!!) since the seeds of the group were sown in their first incarnation called Roundabout, the band that became DEEP PURPLE just a year later has defied the odds of surviving far into the following century. Almost as if giving a sign of their intent to stay around forever, they release their 20th studio album INFINITE (which cleverly depicts the initials DP forming the infinity sign that has been broken into ocean ice floes by the icebreaker USCGC Healy of the US Coast Guard) in 2017 although the first single "Time For Bedlam" was released as a teaser in Dec 2016 and caught my attention as it signaled that the band were aiming for their classic early 70s sound when they were hitting high notes with "In Rock" and "Machine Head." Despite the classic Mark II sound, this is the same DEEP PURPLE lineup that has been consistent since 2003's "Bananas" album with longtime members Ian Gillan, Roger Glover and Ian Paice alongside newbies Steve Morse filling the shoes of the classic Ritchie Blackmore and Don Airey taking over the keyboard duties of legendary Jon Lord. Despite the newer lineup, everyone successfully channeled their inner early 70s zeitgeists and create one of the most retro albums of their career with INFINITE.

After an unusual monk like chant accompanying a droning synthesizer the band jumps right into their classic business on the opener "Time For Bedlam" which contains all of the elements that made the classic period so damned good as they check off each and every one of them. All those classic guitar riffs and melodic solos? Check. Magical organ runs that provide ample amounts of atmosphere and exquisitely designed classical workouts? Check. Catchy hooky melodies that make memorable sing-alongs? Check. Percussive drive with all the rhythmic breaks and appropriate pauses? Ditto. Even Ian Gillan sounds the same although it's somewhat obvious at times that he has passed his prime but at the age of 71 his voice has held up quite well. The only time i feel he's woefully substandard is on the Doors cover track "Roadhouse Blues," but then again who could possibly fill Jim Morrison's shoes?!!!

INFINITE delivers exactly what you would expect from a retro sounding album that somewhat makes the listener wonder if the album was actually created in the early 70s and the band have just finally gotten around to it as every aspect including lyrical content brings one back to a more care-free era of energetic hard rock and free love at its creative peak. While DEEP PURPLE released a fair number albums of this type in the 70s, the songwriting has always been a bit hit and miss on some of their lesser knowns but on INFINITE they manage to conjure up a whole album's worth of catchy hard hitting tracks that for the listening time suspend all belief that the most members are well into their 70s and the youngest band member, Steve Morse is 62! Perhaps my favorite aspect of this album is the letting-it-loose keyboard skills of Don Airey who unleashes his playing prowess in myriad forms. Not only does he emulate Jon Lords rhythmic key riffing of the past but dishes out some seriously quickened and individualized solos and really fills Lord's shoes in every possible way while adding his own touches that fit in with the intended retro sound so well.

If a totally retro DEEP PURPLE album appeals to you then you are in for a treat. The album is particularly strong in the songwriting department and will truly tinkle your ivories with riff and after riff reminding you of the good old days however this album is not without its flaws. My main gripe is with the horribly compressed production which sounds too flat and tinny for its own good. Perhaps they were trying too hard to sound authentically retro but ultimately this is the biggest impediment for enjoying the album despite the great tracks. Ultimately this is a decent comeback album that follows the direction initiated by 2013's "Now What?!" with a return to bluesy hard rock with that classic keyboard sound but for an album that is released in 2017 i would expect a more robust engineering job in the studio even if the final desired product was to be as 1972 as possible, i mean even albums FROM 1972 sound better than this. As for the music itself, i personally think this is the best DEEP PURPLE album since 1984's "Perfect Strangers" as i've always found the three decades of material that came after to be fairly stagnant and well,,,, boring! INFINITE finds DEEP PURPLE realizing they needed to move away from their less than exciting experiments they've engaged in and revert back to what they have always been the best at, namely crank out the classic keyboard driven hard rock gusto that made them a household name in the first place and with INFINITE they more than prove that they don't need Blackmore or Lord to revisit those glory days.

3.5 but i can't seem to let myself round this one up

 The Jimi Hendrix Experience: Are You Experienced by HENDRIX, JIMI album cover Studio Album, 1967
4.26 | 399 ratings

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The Jimi Hendrix Experience: Are You Experienced
Jimi Hendrix Proto-Prog

Review by SteveG

5 stars The initial US release of Are You Experienced featured "Purple Haze", "Hey Joe" and "The Wind Cries Mary" replacing "Redhouse", "Can You See Me" , and "Remember" from the UK version released earlier. And the album was all the better for it. Combined with psych rock classics like "Manic Depression", "Foxy Lady", "May This be Love" along with the studio manipulated space rock classic titled "3rd Stone From The Sun", made the album a musical, as well as a cultural statement, that rock was never going to be quite the same again. There was no pretending that Hendrix was an American rock pioneer like Chuck Berry, Elvis and all else who preceded him, which was far from the case with so many copycat British artists. Hendrix ironically reclaimed rock from the hands of the Brits and simply showed how it should be done, after starting off his brief but ultimately cataclysmic career in the UK before heading back to the US and forever cementing his guitar god status.

But what is incredibly missed is the appreciation of Hendrix as a songwriter. All the screaming guitar notes drenched in feedback would be nothing more than noise without solid catchy songs to be attached to. And Hendrix's chart rivals were no slouches at song craft and included the Beatles, The Who, Bob Dylan, Simon and Garfunkel, et al.

Heavily influenced by the Beatles' studio craft of vari speed tape effects, flanging, phasing, etc., it is the only thing that dates some of Hendrix's songs. Even jazz inflected drummer Mitch Mitchel and bassist Noel Redding elevated their playing to complement and, frankly, not to be overpowered by Hendrix's guitar assaults, while also being able to mellow out sufficiently on Hendrix's quieter reflective moments and provide lush backing..

There's really noting more that I can say about a group of songs, or an artist, so well known except this. Are You Experienced in it's former US released format on CD, with omitted UK's issued songs added in as bonus tracks, is still a refreshing mind blowing listening experience that is still as enjoyable and as ground breaking today as when Are You Experienced was first released in 1967.

 The Who Sell Out by WHO, THE album cover Studio Album, 1967
3.51 | 206 ratings

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The Who Sell Out
The Who Proto-Prog

Review by DamoXt7942
Forum & Site Admin Group Avant, Crossover & Neo Teams

3 stars Another impact like a musical collision in 1967. This greatly sensational concept album released in the same year as The Beatles' "Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band" is quite impressive and addictive through kinda fictitious radio show with some fictitious advertisements. As a concept album, this one could be felt "so-called theatrical" sorry, but their incredible intention to follow The Beach Boys' "Pet Sounds" should be enough understandable. Each track was positively and acceptably composed and produced (and appropriate for the pop chart!), although entangled musical / melodic phrases or cynical footprints are here and there ... maybe Pete's unique and hilarious idea was breathed into this creation.

Above mentioned, every "leading" song between jingles is pretty pop and catchy flooded with light rhythm bases and mid-60s psychedelic keyboard-based ornaments. We can say it could not connote "so-called progressive" essence in itself. An important point is that quirky jingles like an old-fashioned Radio London programme or fantastic advertisements like "Heinz Baked Beans" or "Odorono" are very innovative and play the momentous role to consolidate a radio fantasia together all around the album. Easily guess they had created and produced this funny radio programme guide with laughing out loudly, and composition with serious appearance. Yes they made sure to "sell out" the concept (in a sense) album, we can mention here after listening to "Sell Out".

Anyway let me emphasize this funky sleeve pics completely explain the content in this funky sleeve. Enjoy the inside and outside.

 Live At Leeds by WHO, THE album cover Live, 1970
4.02 | 135 ratings

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Live At Leeds
The Who Proto-Prog

Review by Guillermo
Prog Reviewer

3 stars This review is about the original LP release from 1970.

"The greatest live album of all time". Well. In my opinion, it isn't. I expected great things from this album after I read that it was considered by many people as a great live album. Maybe if I have listened to this album when I was a 13-15 year old teenager maybe I could consider this album as "the greatest live album of all time". But now...

Anyway, it is an energetic live album, with "raw" and spontaneus performances by a young band. But even with all these things being considered, I still think that there are better performances of some of these songs in other live albums. For example: the live version of "Young Man Blues" which was released in "The Kids Are Alright" soundtrack album in 1979 is better than the live version which was included in "Live at Leeds". The live version of "Summertime Blues" which was included in the "Woodstock" film is also better than the live version which was included in "Live at Leeds".

"My Generation" in "Live at Leeds" is a long version which also has a lot of improvisation from the band, also including some parts from other songs like "See Me, Feel Me" and "Sparks" from the "Tommy" Rock Opera. It is too long (15 minutes in duration) and it is not very interesting for me. The song "Magic Bus" has never been one of my favorite songs from the band, and this live version is not so good.

Anyway, "Live at Leeds" includes very energetic performances from the band, which are good but not better than other live recordings from the band, with Keith Moon's "hyperactive" drums playing, Pete Townshend's heavy guitar playing, John Entwistle's "thunderfingers" bass playing, and Roger Daltrey's very good lead vocals. But the original "Live at Leeds" album from 1970 also showed some mistakes in their playing and singing. Maybe due to this, it could be considered as an "honest" and "raw" live recording from this band, with the later expanded editions from this album being released with "corrections" done in the recording studio. So, the original LP release of "Live at Leeds" has it merits due to the more spontaneous playing and singing. Also, the cover design was a very good idea, with it being like a parody from a bootleg LP.

Good but not- essential, at least for me.

 H.P. Lovecraft by H.P. LOVECRAFT album cover Studio Album, 1967
3.33 | 46 ratings

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

Review by Progfan97402

4 stars I've been aware of H.P. Lovecraft since 1995, ever since I bought a copy of the Goldmine Price Guide to Collectible Record Albums (1994 edition) (too bad the book fell apart since). Ironically I knew this group before I knew the horror author/poet the band took their name from. This book obviously focused on American pressings only, so don't expect to find entries for Museo Rosenbach or Il Balletto di Bronzo, for example (if you want to see such, check Hans Pokora's Record Collector Dreams series of books). Everything from well known acts like the Beatles, Stones, Dylan and Elvis, to hyper rare and expensive like the New Tweedy Brothers. Groups like the Ultimate Spinach and H.P. Lovecraft are included. They gave a list of two prices, what each title was worth, near mint, and in good condition, in 1994 (some have really shot through the roof since then, others have stayed much the same). It's only recent that I finally acquired the first two H.P. Lovecraft LPs. Never regretted my purchases, although I realize later versions of the band (as Lovecraft and Love Craft) with only drummer Michael Tegza in common, are apparently to be avoided. Without a doubt their second album, H.P. Lovecraft II is clearly the best album. On their debut it's obvious their origins as a folk rock group, as they take on "Motherless Child" (they also took on "High Flying Bird" on their second album that Judy Henske is most famous for). Think of the debut as a bit in the league of Jefferson Airplane Takes Off, more folk rock, less psych, although the psychedelic elements are still there, this album was released in the fall of 1967, after Sgt. Pepper. How many version of Dino Valienti's (Chet Powers) "Let's Get Together" exist? H.P. Lovecraft did a version. The Airplane did one on Takes Off, and most notably the Youngbloods, who had the biggest hit with their version of it. The Kingston Trio recorded the earliest version of it in 1964. "I've Been Wrong Before" shows a bit of a Byrds influence, while "That's the Bag I'm In" reeks "'60s groovy", right down to the dated lingo. I really get a kick off this song. Despite I was born in 1972, I never related to the Gen-X lingo, never mind the current Millenial, although I always refrained from using the word "groovy" for the reason of embarrassment. "The White Ship" seems to be most liked, there's a bolero beat, almost as if the band had "White Rabbit" in mind and tried a similar approach. I'll be up front, and I'm not alone on this: "Time Machine" was a mistake. What's up with all this ragtime and vaudeville? There's one short organ break that I really like because, but that's it. Luckily I really love the lounge jazz of "That's How Much I Love You, Baby". The last piece is them doing a Gregorian chant. To me, with the exception of "Time Machine", this is a very good album, but I always felt their next one is better, but you still want their debut because it's still worth getting.
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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
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IT'S A BEAUTIFUL DAY United States
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MÁQUINA! Spain
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