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PROTO-PROG

A Progressive Rock Sub-genre


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Proto-Prog definition

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

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

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

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

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

Iván Melgar - Morey

Proto-Prog Top Albums


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

4.49 | 1125 ratings
ABBEY ROAD
Beatles, The
4.50 | 652 ratings
QUADROPHENIA
Who, The
4.38 | 1044 ratings
REVOLVER
Beatles, The
4.35 | 1294 ratings
DEEP PURPLE IN ROCK
Deep Purple
4.35 | 1166 ratings
SGT. PEPPER'S LONELY HEARTS CLUB BAND
Beatles, The
4.34 | 1295 ratings
MACHINE HEAD
Deep Purple
4.42 | 655 ratings
WHO'S NEXT
Who, The
4.32 | 747 ratings
THE DOORS
Doors, The
4.24 | 573 ratings
STRANGE DAYS
Doors, The
4.27 | 493 ratings
THE JIMI HENDRIX EXPERIENCE: ARE YOU EXPERIENCED
Hendrix, Jimi
4.18 | 837 ratings
MAGICAL MYSTERY TOUR
Beatles, The
4.16 | 922 ratings
THE BEATLES [AKA: THE WHITE ALBUM]
Beatles, The
3.96 | 822 ratings
RUBBER SOUL
Beatles, The
3.99 | 621 ratings
TOMMY
Who, The
4.01 | 533 ratings
L.A. WOMAN
Doors, The
4.04 | 434 ratings
THE JIMI HENDRIX EXPERIENCE: ELECTRIC LADYLAND
Hendrix, Jimi
4.02 | 344 ratings
THE JIMI HENDRIX EXPERIENCE: AXIS - BOLD AS LOVE
Hendrix, Jimi
4.14 | 196 ratings
TWELVE DREAMS OF DR. SARDONICUS
Spirit
3.86 | 888 ratings
BURN
Deep Purple
3.94 | 365 ratings
NOW WHAT?!
Deep Purple

Latest Proto-Prog Music Reviews


 Surrealistic Pillow by JEFFERSON AIRPLANE album cover Studio Album, 1967
3.63 | 228 ratings

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Surrealistic Pillow
Jefferson Airplane Proto-Prog

Review by Progexile

3 stars The Airplane's second album and one that introduced Grace Slick and Spencer Dryden as their new singer and drummer respectively. Both were good acquisitions.

The cover once again (as per their 1st album) shows what looks like a group of college kids carrying odd instruments (nothing too" rocky") as if they were waiting for their music teachers to appear and had a photo taken to pass the time.

Slick brought with her the 2 best songs on this effort and the one that switched me on to this great band. More of that soon.

Again, Balin dominates this album with some of his best vocals (he was always better in the studio) and he co-penned the opener "She Has Funny Cars" with Kaukonen. This song opens with a Dryden drumbeat before Balin takes on the lead vocal with the choir backing him well.

But then comes the tune that first made me an Airplane passenger - "Somebody To Love". Driven by Cassidy's bass line Grace belts this out as if she means it - so much better than the version she used to sing with the Great Society. Kaukonen's guitar also excels.

"My Best Friend" is a twee little tune before Balin and Kantner's "Today" which quietens down the album at this point. Sadly, the closer on the original Side 1, "Comin' Back To Me" is an overlong dirge to my ears. I often feel that Balin's songs with the Jefferson Starship's backing were better arranged (Listen to "Miracles" or "Caroline"). This one loses me less than halfway through as it seems to have the weakest melody on the album.

"3/5 of a Mile in 10 Seconds" opened side 2 on the original and points the way for REM's wierd titles (The Airplane loved strange titles) years later. Not bad as are the next two tracks "DCBA-25" and "How Do You Feel", the latter showing a relaxed Caribbean feel to it that would later also show on their live version of "Fat Angel".

"Embryonic Journey" is a Kaukonen driven short instrumental and is the best track other than "Somebody to Love" and "White Rabbit" on the album.

Then comes the innovative and haunting "White Rabbit" with Grace again bringing this from her old band and making it an Airplane classic. Wonderful atmosphere created by Kaukonen and Cassidy allowing Slick's vocie to dominate an unusual tune - great stuff.

Balin's "Plastic Fantastic Lover" concludes the album solidly.

The instrumental side of the band was definitely more prominent than on their debut and the presence of 2 early Airplane classics makes this a good album to have but I feel the term "Not Bad" applies to too many items on it for it to be better than 3 stars.

The Airplane were to make better albums than this.

 Spirit of '67 by VANILLA FUDGE album cover Studio Album, 2015
2.74 | 14 ratings

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Spirit of '67
Vanilla Fudge Proto-Prog

Review by Mortte

2 stars Havenīt got any idea before this day also Vanilla Fudge made comeback and even four new albums! Of course it isnīt any surprise, because most of the old bands have done it. 1967 is one of my favorite music years, so I was curious, but also suspicious to hear this album. Vanilla Fudge was those bands whose album my brother had in his shelf in the eighties when I really started to listen music. "Near the Beginning" became soon one of my big favorites, so I bought also "Renaissance". I understood later, that Vanilla Fudge really created the base of heavy metal, specially those very high vocals were their invention, not Deep Purpleīs or Uriah Heepīs. As many bands in rock history, they were ahead of their time, so those others put to account their invention a bit later. Anyway band has returned many times from the eighties, but not still achieved lots of attention. In this album there were three original members, only bass player Tim Bogert left 2009 and his place was given to Pete Bremy.

At first it sounds to me Vanilla Fudge had decided to make funk versions of every piece in this album. What really irritates from the beginning is plashing drums, totally out of sixties spirit. In "I Heard It Through the Grapevine" you canīt recognise the song from anything else except lyrics. Itīs very boring groove piece. "The Letter" was originally unknown song to me, so I listened also The Box Tops version of it. Original wasnīt the greatest song in the world, but anyway it has good sixties sounds instead of pompous sounds in Fudge version. First it was pain to hear "I Can See For Miles" as funk version because itīs one of my favorites from the Who-songs. When first shock is over, this piece sounds decent and becomes the best one in this album. The Doors classic "Break On Through" starts promising. Itīs the first one that really has in the beginning psychedelic feeling. But of course there comes those plashing drums in the middle and in the end song is more Whitesnake than the Doors or anything from the 1967.

"The Tracks Of My Tears" is again unknown to me. Both Johnny Rivers and this album version are really mediocre, so you can wonder, why they pick this song. "Iīm a Believer" is the first one that has arranged in the same method as they did in 1967. But again they sound more Whitesnake than Vanilla Fudge. "Gimme Some Lovin" is made as rhythm and blues song. Not bad, but again it sounds like Coverdale and co. Finally in "For What Itīs Worth" they achieve something that made them interesting in the sixties. Their version of that really hippie song is really dark and all the way totally different song, reminding their great version of Donovanīs "Season Of the Witch". Sadly they return to "Whitesnake"-mood in "Ruby Tuesday". If they had done something to those plashing drums, their version of "Whiter Shade Of Pale" would have been decent. "Letīs Pray For Peace" is only own piece in this album, itīs sympathetic ballad with itīs universal message.

Itīs sad my suspicios were right. When thinking only music in this album, this really is only one stars album. But guys anyway play really good, so that rises it into two stars. I believe they had fun in the studio, but I think best solution would have been this had been never released. There are old artists like Faust, Roy Harper, Gong, Magma, Van Der Graaf Generator, King Crimson and Haikara, that has made really great albums after seventies. When listening this album I donīt think Vanille Fudge is. Not yet heard those other albums, I guess as old fan I have to listen them at least once. Anyway young people who havenīt got any idea of sixties music, donīt listen this album! Instead put on original albums of the Jimi Hendrix, the Doors, the Who etc. In this album there is no spirit of ī67.

 Please Please Me by BEATLES, THE album cover Studio Album, 1963
3.04 | 502 ratings

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Please Please Me
The Beatles Proto-Prog

Review by sgtpepper

2 stars The first Beatles album surprises by the maturity of the band despite using a lot of covers. Their own material is often equal if not better than the covers with the exception of "Twist and shout". Playing is OK if not distinguishable from other bands at the time and the biggest magnet are their vocals and harmonies. Let's forget the sheer joy that is typical for their first 4 albums. McCartney has a great range and passion while Lennon shows dexterity on songs like "Twist and shout". The three classics are "I saw her standing there", "Love me do" and "Please please me". Harrison does a decent job on the guitar; his vocals are pretty restrained but have interesting colour as heard on "Do you want to know a secret". "Boys" is a perfect song for matching Ringo's weak vocal especially in the beginning of the verse with a very simple melody. There's nothing particular for a progger to enjoy, so two stars, although it's a four-star pop/rock album.
 Purpendicular by DEEP PURPLE album cover Studio Album, 1996
3.67 | 415 ratings

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Purpendicular
Deep Purple Proto-Prog

Review by sgtpepper

3 stars Deep Purple came reinvigorated after the swap of their guitar player. Morse is a more versatile guitar player and brings some American elements into play such as country, Americana or 80's hard rock. This album brings memorable and solid songwriting, feeling of freshness and a certain willingness to experiment. Morse supplies technically demanding solos showcasing his great technique but he can also show tasty and emotional playing or heavy riffing. "Ted the mechanic" catches the attention by the updated hard rock sound that is closer to American hard rock than British. "Soon forgotten" has a riffing tandem of electric guitar and Hammond. The flagship song "Sometimes I feel like screaming" is one of the most memorable 90's Deep Purple songs. Very well composed and flowing slowly into a crescendo, you are frequently reminded of the fantastic guitar motive. Although I consider Gillan's voice just OK on the album, he excels here by even providing high-pitched chorus. The instrumental outro is Morse's walk. "Aviator" is a country-tinged ballad. I'm a bit sceptical towards the monotonous "The purpendicular waltz" but it will its fans also thanks to a blues-rock riff.

Overall, it's a very solid album - 4 stars for a hard-rock/pop fan, 3 stars for a progger perspective.

 A Collection (6CD) by DOORS, THE album cover Boxset/Compilation, 2011
4.12 | 6 ratings

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A Collection (6CD)
The Doors Proto-Prog

Review by VianaProghead
Prog Reviewer

4 stars Review Nš 567

"A Collection" is a very special compilation of The Doors and was released in 2011. This is a package that includes their six studio albums, "The Doors" and "Strange Days", both from 1967, "Waiting For The Sun" from 1968, "The Soft Parade" from 1969, "Morrison Hotel" from 1970 and "L.A. Woman" from 1971. All these albums were recorded when Jim Morrison was alive and was member of the band. It doesn't include their ninth very special studio album "An American Prayer", also featuring Jim Morrison, but recorded and released only after his dead, by the remaining band's members.

As I've already reviewed all these six albums previously on Progarchives, in a more extensive way, I'm not going to do it again. So, if you are interested to know, in more detail, what I wrote about them before, I invite you to read those my reviews. However, in here I'm going to write something about them in a more short way. So, of course, I'm not going to analyze them track by track, as I made before, but I'm only going to make a global appreciation of all those albums. "The Doors": "The Doors" is considered the great masterpiece from th e band, one of their most progressive albums. This is a perfect album with no weaknesses. Some of the songs included on this album, such as "Light My Fire", "Alabama Song (Whisky Bar)", "Break On Through (To The Other Side)" and "The End" are successes that have been immortalized by the band and who contributed to immortalize the band too. When we heard "Light My Fire" and "The End" we can see why The Doors is considered one of the most important bands to the foundation of progressive rock.

"Strange Days": Although not as good as "The Doors", "Strange Days" can still be considered a masterpiece. The album consists of songs that didn't make part of their debut album. "Strange Days" is a great album, well balanced and with great songs like "When The Music's Over", which follows the same musical formula of "The End" of "The Doors". It's a fantastic album if you enjoy their first album and it's also very special for people like me who love more their earlier musical works. "The Doors" and "Strange Days" are the best representative albums of the style of The Doors.

"Waiting For The Sun": After the first two very strong psychedelic albums, their third album appeared softer and full of ballads, which has been criticized by fans and critics. However and despite not be as good as "The Doors" and "Strange Days" are, it still is a great album, very well balanced and that maintain the same musical formula of the two previous albums. It's one of their best works and remains a perfect partner to their two first albums. All in all, it's a very good album, not up to the level of the two preceding ones, but still is a great piece of psychedelic, blues, jazz and rock.

"The Soft Parade": "The Soft Parade" is considered the weakest studio album of The Doors. A big change in the production didn't help the album's success, especially the addition of brass and string arrangements. It was much criticized and even be considered as a sellout commercial album. I can't agree with most of the critics about it. It's true that it's less good than their previous albums but it has a handful of good songs and quality enough to be seen as a good album of their psychedelic style. And I'm not pretty sure if "The Soft Parade" is weaker than "Morrison Hotel" is. "Morrison Hotel": After their more experimental previous work "The Soft Parade", which wasn't very well received, the group went back to their more traditional roots. On this album, there is a slight steer toward the blues, which would be fully explored by the band on their next studio album "L.A.Woman". Nothing complex here, but the arrangements are good, the same happens with the recording and the mixing. As I said before, I'm not sure if "The Soft Parade" is weaker than "Morrison Hotel" is. Anyway, "The Soft Parade" and "Morrison Hotel" are the weakest studio albums of The Doors.

"L.A. Woman": "L.A.Woman" is a great album and represents one of the best works of The Doors. It represents a clear change into their musical direction, from their earlier psychedelic musical period to a more blues/rock oriented style. Personally, I must confess that I'm not a great fan of blues. So, I prefer their earlier psychedelic period. However, "L.A.Woman" is an album full of great songs, especially "Riders On The Storm", which is a masterpiece. Though I prefer the earlier phase of The Doors, maybe here they were most inventive. It's their best album since "Strange Days".

Conclusion: "A Collection" is a very nice compilation album because it has all the six studio albums released by The Doors when Jim Morrison was in the band. So, it comprises all the essential works that you really must have from The Doors. But, if you already have all the six studio albums you don't need to buy this compilation, because it hasn't anything new to offer, like bonus tracks. Still, if you are a beginner with the band and you don't have all these albums yet, this is an excellent alternative to own all the essential discography from The Doors. If you aren't a great fan, how I am, and you don't need to buy the original albums, it's the better option, because you maybe save in money and space.

Prog is my Ferrari. Jem Godfrey (Frost*)

 Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band by BEATLES, THE album cover Studio Album, 1967
4.35 | 1166 ratings

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

Review by sgtpepper

4 stars This is another fine album by the Beatles, filled with non-conventional pop experiments (progressive for 1967).

Lennon delivers strong vocals, semi-progressive attempts and one filler song ("Good morning good morning"). McCartney balances between safe pop ("When I'm 64"), experimental pop ("Lovely Rita", "Fixing a hole"), his bass is quite audible and adds to the good feeling. His voice and overall contribution to the album are overwhelming. Harrison feels most distant than on any other Beatles album - only one contribution that seems to be out of place albeit good in its own merits; guitar playing is more in the background in favour of studio experimenting and other instruments such as organs or brass instruments. Starr, who delivered very decent drumming on Revolver, seems to be going through the motions here; obsolete drumming with little creativity; yet there is the "Day in the life" standout and his drive makes the reprise of the title track more bearable.

Let's review each song now. The first, title song, is a great melody and proto-hard-rock number with distinct McCartney voice. "With a little help from my friends" suits Starr's voice, bass playing is another highlight here as are vocal harmonies. The baroque and psychedelic pop is launched by "Lucy in the sky with diamonds". The 3/4 rhythm during the verse is seductive, otherwise there aren't that many more musical selling points. McCartney's mini-suite of 3 distinct songs starts with the optimistic "Getting better", organ-supported "Fixing a hole" with heart-felt singing and the best and only ballad on the album "She's leaving home" featuring a mini orchestra of violins and cellos. "Being for the benefit of Mr.Kite" is certainly less accessible than a usual Beatles song but contains excellent rhythm changes and psychedelic experimentation. Several keyboard instruments like Hammond, piano, Wurlitzer organ are featured to a great effect. "Within you without you" is the only Harrison's contribution and feels like out of a different unrelated world. Also, no other band members participated on its recording. Indian music was quite in a conflict with the psychedelic experimentation of the Sgtpepper however it can stand on its own. "Lovely Rita" feels first like a throwaway track until you hear McCartney bass during the chorus, the splendid piano solo and progressive instrumental outro. Sadly the good impression is ruined by the two next tracks of little ambition - the lightweight "Good morning good morning" and a short less formal version of the title track. The last track is probably the best one - the highly admired "A day in the life". The track consists of 3 parts in my opinion - sung by Lennon (main verse), then the typical melodic and charming McCartney's to be followed by the symphonic part with crescendo that sounded so avantgarde at that time. In the end, we hear the famous 40-second chord on three pianos which sound as majestic as some of the prog-rock outros a few year later. A major music achievement in 1967 and a solid/memorable album in the 21st century.

 Takes Off by JEFFERSON AIRPLANE album cover Studio Album, 1966
3.17 | 85 ratings

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Takes Off
Jefferson Airplane Proto-Prog

Review by Progexile

3 stars First, I am a self-confessed big fan of the Airplane from the moment I bought "Bless Its Pointed Little Head" their classic live album.

I didn't even know this album existed until a friend alerted me to it by which time it was deleted in the UK. When it was re-releasedin the early 70s I immediately bought it on vinyl.

Let's start with the cover which shows what looks like a bunch of college students standing in front of an old propeller plane. Typical cover for the 1st LP but showing no signs of the hippy darlings they'd become a year or so later.

Marty Balin formed the band as a vehicle for his songs and voice so his presence is much stronger here than on later albums when everybody in the band wanted to sing their own songs on each album. I love his studio voice which is great on this release but always felt that he tried too hard to outdo Grace Slick on live recordings.

His voice introduces track 1 "Blues From an Airplane" a strong opener in which Signe Anderson's voice provides good support. She was the original girl singer for the band but only featured on this release before leaving to have a baby. The song was cowritten by drummer Skip Spence who was really a guitarist who became a drummer short term.

The next 2 tracks "Let Me In" and "Bringing Me Down" were cowritten by Balin and Kantner who shared lead vocals before a pure Balin composition "It's No Secret" sung by Marty. The original album then ended Side 1 with "Tobacco Road" ( a rather limp version) and "Come Up the Years" a pleasant ditty about love for a younger (presumably underage) girl.

I haven't lavished praise on the 5 songs after the opener because they feel pleasant without being outstanding. However, side 2 picks up strongly after its opener "Run Around".

"Let's Get Together", a song written by Chet Powers (aka Dino Valente) is another real highlight as Signe gets her best chance yet to show her singing prowess. "Don't Slip Away" feels a bit twee but is really enjoyable.

"Chauffeur Blues" allows Signe to truly show the power in her voice on a fast blues well driven by the band before Balin sings "And I Like It" a lovely ballad. In all side 2 is stronger than side 1and makes this album more than a curiosity for collectors only.

The album shows early signs of musical prowess with Cassady's bass already shining through on most tracks, the powerful female voice, the choir-like chorusses on some tracks. Kaukonen would come through more strongly in the future. The band would go on to make much better albums with Grace Slick, who also brought some great songs to the band, replacing Signe.

Balin would slide down the pecking order for lead vocals and eventually leave the band he formed but this is his album really. Torn between 3 and 4 stars but, since i feel there are a few songs here not up to their usual high bar, it must be 3.

RIP Balin, Kantner and Anderson

 Essential Rarities (The Best of the '97 Box Set) by DOORS, THE album cover Boxset/Compilation, 1999
3.35 | 7 ratings

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Essential Rarities (The Best of the '97 Box Set)
The Doors Proto-Prog

Review by VianaProghead
Prog Reviewer

3 stars Review Nš 564

"Essential Rarities (The Best Of '97 Box Set)" is a compilation of The Doors and was released in 1999. It was released as part of the Box Set "The Complete Studio Recordings" which was released in 1999. "Essential Rarities" was released in 1999 as a single CD. It contains studio cuts, live cuts and demos taken from "The Doors Box Set" released in 1997.

So, all the tracks have been released on the 1997 Box set, with the exception of the bonus track "Woman Is A Devil", which was edited from the 1969 Elektra Studios "Rock Is Dead" sessions, and wasn't included in original the Box set. It has also some tracks that appear in a more complete form than their Box set versions. For instance, "Roadhouse Blues" has a thirty-five second musical section that was cut from the song and "Who Scared You?" has an extra verse.

"Essential Rarities (The Best Of '97 Box Set)" has fifteen tracks. "Hello To The Cities" represents the presentation of the band on a live show. It was taken from a live recording on Ed Sullivan Show in 1967 and at Cobo Hall, Detroit in 1970. It's a very short track with less than a minute, a presentation to all the cities. "Break On Through (To The Other Side)" was originally recorded on "The Doors". This version was recorded live at the Isle of Wight Festival, England in 1970. It's a great version because it has an extended introduction with a back and forth playing of the keyboards and guitar, and a lengthy guitar playing. "Roadhouse Blues" was originally recorded on "Morrison Hotel". This version was recorded live at Madison Square Garden, New York in 1970. This is another great version of the song. "Hyacinth House" was originally recorded on "L.A. Woman". This version is a demo recorded at Robby Krieger's home studio in 1969. This is a faster version, without keyboards and drums. It's a good version and is cool to have Densmore on the bongos. "Who Scared You?" was never released on any of their studio albums. This version was recorded at Elektra Studios in 1969. It's a bluesy song more focused on Morrison's vocals than any other instrument. It has a cool beat and a cool chorus too. "Whiskey, Mystics And Men" was never released on any of their studio albums. This version was also recorded at Elektra Studios in 1970. It's a nice song, one more bluesy song with a cool story. Probably, it was a leftover song of "Morrison Hotel". "I Will Never Be Untrue" was never released on any of their studio albums. This version was recorded live at the Aquarius Theatre, Hollywood in 1969. It's a slow blues song, that at sometimes can be funny due to its lyrics. "Moonlight Drive" was originally recorded on "Strange Days". This version is a demo recorded at World Pacific Studios in 1965. Originally, it's a very catchy song. On this version Morrison sounds a little bit different and the recordings aren't quite the best. "Queen Of The Highway" was originally recorded on "Morrison Hotel". This version is an alternative version that was recorded at Elektra Studios in 1969. It's another catchy song. This new version sounds like something you'd hear in a lounge singing room with a piano to a group of friends. "Someday Soon" was never released on any of their studio albums. This version was recorded live at the Seattle Centre in 1970. This song starts out slow but then starts to pick up higher. It's a good song that could be part of "Waiting For The Sun" or "Morrison Hotel". "Hello, I Love You" was originally recorded on "Waiting For The Sun". This version is a demo recorded at World Pacific Studios in 1965. It's a faster version and where we have a harmonica being played after every verse. It's very cool. "Orange County Suite" was never released on any of their studio albums. This version was recorded at Elektra Studios in 1970. It's a blues song that is slow and provides a good story. "The Soft Parade" was originally recorded on "The Soft Parade". This version was recorded live on PBS Television, New York in 1969. Originally it's a great song that goes through so many styles that it's mind blasting. But, this version was recorded on the television which means that it was recorded badly. Still, it's cool. "The End" was originally recorded on "The Doors". This version was recorded live at Madison Square Garden, New York in 1970. It's probably the most known, better and progressive song of The Doors. What I can say about this version? I can say that it's even lengthier. A version with about more six minutes extended.

"Essential Rarities" has an extra track "Woman Is A Devil" which was never released on any of their studio albums. It's the only track that wasn't on the Box set. This version was also recorded at Elektra Studios in 1969. This is a song very calm and reserved, which sounds like from it was played in a smoky pub with the wonderful guitar playing by Krieger.

Conclusion: "Essential Rarities (The Best Of '97 Box Set)" is a collection of rare demos and live tracks previously available only as a bonus disc in "The Complete Studio Recordings". It's a bunch of stuff that many hard core fans need, and that probably some have already purchased as part of the Box set or as bootlegs. If not, this is a good way to get a bunch of pretty good cuts, highlighted by the 1969 outtakes "Woman Is A Devil", and "Who Scared You?" and the 1965 demo "Moonlight Drive". Still, this is just for hardcore fans since there just isn't anything that is noteworthy for the casual listener, apart from possibly those three previously mentioned tracks. However, those are still specialized items.

Prog is my Ferrari. Jem Godfrey (Frost*)

 The Very Best of The Doors by DOORS, THE album cover Boxset/Compilation, 2007
3.31 | 20 ratings

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The Very Best of The Doors
The Doors Proto-Prog

Review by VianaProghead
Prog Reviewer

3 stars Review Nš 562

"The Very Best Of The Doors" is a compilation of The Doors that was released in 2007. It's a compilation with songs belonging to their six previous studio albums, the albums with Morrison. It has the same songs released on "The Best Of The Doors (1985)" with more 15 songs. The Wal-Mart edition, besides the two mentioned CD's, has also a DVD filmed during their European tour, in 1968. The DVD has five tracks: "Hello, I Love You" (it isn't a live version but a studio version played over footage), "Light My Fire", "Spanish Caravan", "Love Me Two Times" and "Unknown Soldier".

So, "The Very Best Of The Doors" has thirty four tracks. "Break On Through (To The Other Side)" is one of the band's most popular songs. "Strange Days" is a dark song with great atmosphere. It has the use of a synthesizer, one of the earlier examples. "Alabama Song (Whisky Bar)" is a song of "Hauspostille" of Bertolt Brecht with music by Kurt Weill. This is a great version. "Love Me Two Times" has a slight touch of blues, an usual thing in many of their songs. "Light My Fire" brought the fame and recognition, bringing The Doors as a symbol of the generation of the late 60's. "Spanish Caravan" is a flamenco song with the beginning riffs taken from "Asturias (Leyenda)" of Isaac Albeniz. The composition and arrangements are original and great. "The Crystal Ship" is a love song inspired by Morrison's first love. It has a mysterious and dark sound. "The Unknown Soldier" is Morrison's reaction to Vietnam War and the way the conflict was depicted in American's media. It's a classic protest song. "The End" was about the breaking with Morrison's girlfriend Mary Werbelow. It's one of their best and most progressive songs. "People Are Strange" is about the alienation, be an outsider and a loner person. It's a sad song with a dark atmosphere. It has ironic and sarcastic lyrics. "Back Door Man" is a blues song written by Willie Dixon and recorded by Howlin' Wolf. This version is a great cover. "Moonlight Drive" is one of the first songs written by Morrison. It's the song that Morrison sung to Manzarek in Venice Beach. It's a good song with a nice rhythm. "End Of The Night" is an obscure ballad with a dark atmosphere that makes of it a hypnotic song. "Five To One" is a heavy song, with energetic Morrison's vocals and the distorted guitar of Krieger. It's also memorable due to the lyrics. "When The Music's Over" grows in intensity, like "The End". It has a great climax and is one of their most progressive tracks. "Bird Of Prey" wasn't released in any studio album of the band. It was taken from "An American Prayer". "Love Her Madly" is a great rock song with nice lyrics and good performances. The guitar performance of Krieger is great. "Riders On The Storm" is a legendary track. It was their last song recorded, as well as Morrison's last recorded song. It was played live on their last live performance. "Orange County Suite" wasn't released in any studio album of the band. It was taken from "Essential Rarities". "Runnin' Blue" has a country style, with violin, brass and string instruments. Krieger shares the vocal duties with Morrison, a rarity in their career. "Hello, I Love You" is one of their most pop songs. It's a nice catchy song. I never understood the dislike of many fans. "The WASP (Texas Radio And The Big Beat)" is a great song, with good riffs, nice drumming and where Morrison recites lyrics. "Stoned Immaculate" wasn't released on any studio album of the band. It was taken from "An American Prayer". "Soul Kitchen" is a nice rock song performed with great energy. It's a tribute to restaurant "Olivia's" in Venice Beach, where Morrison and Manzarek met for the first time. "Peace Frog" has good lyrics and rhythm, nice guitar and good keyboard playing. "L.A. Woman" is a great song with a nice combination of the traditional rock with jazzy elements. It has a great vocal work by Morrison. "Waiting For The Sun" is a psychedelic song that changes from the quiet to heavy passages. It has a great work and a melodic vocal performance. "Touch Me" is notable for the extensive use of brass, string instruments and the saxophone solo by Curtis Amy. The orchestral arrangements accent Morrison's vocals. "The Changeling" is an obscure and strange song. It's a great song with good guitars by Krieger. The bass lines are great. "Wishful Sinful" is a good and nice ballad, one of the best ballads created by them. It has nice orchestral arrangements. "Love Street" is a nice and soft ballad with great piano and guitar arrangements, supported by the beautiful voice of Morrison. "The Ghost Song" wasn't released on any studio album of the band. It was taken from "An American Prayer". "Whiskey, Mystics And Men" wasn't released on any og their studio albums. It was taken from "The Doors: Box Set". "Roadhouse Blues" has lyrics about the lifestyle of many rock star musicians. It's a blues/rock song with great harmonica and piano works.

Conclusion: Of the so many compilations released by the band, "The Very Best Of The Doors" is really one of the best compilations of the band and the most complete of all compilations I know from them. Besides be well representative of the band, it has also some tracks that weren't released on any of their studio albums. It has also some iconic and progressive tracks, like "Light My Fire", "The End", "L.A. Woman" and "Riders On The Storm". So, if you don't know well The Doors career when Morrison was in the group, this compilation is probably the right place to start with them.

Prog is my Ferrari. Jem Godfrey (Frost*)

 Love Me Two Times by DOORS, THE album cover Boxset/Compilation, 2002
3.00 | 3 ratings

BUY
Love Me Two Times
The Doors Proto-Prog

Review by VianaProghead
Prog Reviewer

3 stars Review Nš 560

"Love Me Two Times" is a compilation album of The Doors that was released in 2002. It's a two disc compilation album consisting of some songs that belong to their six previous studio albums, the albums released before Morrison's death.

"Love Me Two Times" has twenty-five tracks. "Soul Kitchen", "The Crystal Ship", "Twentieth Century Fox", "Back Door Man", "I Looked At You", "End Of The Night" and "Take It As It Comes" are from "The Doors" of 1967. "Soul Kitchen" is a nice rock song played with energy. It's a tribute to the restaurant "Olivia's" in Venice Beach, where Morrison and Manzarek met for the first time. "The Crystal Ship" is a love song inspired by Morrison's first love, Mary Werbelow. It's mysterious and has a dark sound. "Twentieth Century Fox" is about a fashionable but unfeeling woman. It's a metaphor for the famous movie and TV Company. This is a light soft ballad, a song with a bit humour. "Back Door Man" was originally a blues song written by Willie Dixon and recorded by Howlin' Wolf. This version is a great cover. "I Looked At You" is a rock ballad, a light and soft song. The structure of the song is simple, but it's a nice and pleasant song to hear. "End Of The Night" is an obscure ballad with a dark atmosphere that makes of it a hypnotic song. "Take It As It Comes" is a beautiful pop rock song, well made, which still sounds fresh and young today. "When The Music's Over", "Strange Days", "Horse Latitudes", "Love Me Two Times", "Moonlight Drive", "My Eyes Have Seen You" and "You're Lost Little Girl" are from "Strange Days" also of 1967. "When The Music's Over" grows in intensity, like "The End". It has a great climax and is one of their most progressive tracks. "Strange Days" is a dark song with great atmosphere. It has the use of a synthesizer, one of the earliest examples of the use of a synthesizer in rock. "Horse Latitudes" is a spoken word by Morrison with noises in the back. It's a strange track, the weirdest thing they ever made. "Love Me Two Times" is about a sailor and his last day with his girlfriend before shipping out to the Vietnam War. It has a slight touch of blues, a common thing in many of their songs. "Moonlight Drive" is one of the first songs written by Morrison. It's the song that Morrison sung to Manzarek in Venice Beach. It's a good song with a nice rhythm. "My Eyes Have Seen You" is a short, simple and nice rock song with the dark, evil and impetus vein of some songs in their earlier days. It's a love and a perverse song. "You're Lost, Little Girl" has a nice atmosphere, especially provided by the guitar work of Krieger. It's a simple and nice rock ballad with beautiful lyrics that sounds fresh, even today. "Hello, I Love You", "My Wild Love", "Summer's Almost Gone", "Five To One", "Wintertime Love", "Spanish Caravan", "Not To Touch The Earth" and "We Could Be So Good Together" are from "Waiting For The Sun" of 1968. "Hello, I Love You", despite be considered one of their most pop songs, it's a great and catchy song. I never understood the dislike of many fans of it. "My Wild Love" is performed in a Cappella style. Morrison's vocals are backed up by the band's members vocals, performing different sorts of sounds. "Summer's Almost Gone" is a quiet soft ballad. It's a mellow, sensitive and sad song with the psychedelic sound of them in their early days. "Five To One" is a heavy song, with Morrison's vocals energetic and with the distorted guitar sound of Krieger. It's also memorable because the lyrics. "Wintertime Love" is a waltz performed in a soft style. It's a small song that represents a beautiful moment. "Spanish Caravan" is, basically, a flamenco song with the beginning riffs taken from "Asturias (Leyenda)" of Isaac Albeniz. The texture of the composition and arrangements are original and great, really. "Not To Touch The Earth" is a fragment taken from Morrison's poem, "Celebration Of The Lizard". It belongs to their earlier psychedelic sound and represents a real heavy moment. "We Could Be So Good Together" was recorded during the sessions for "Strange Days". It's a pop rock song, but isn't a great song. "Touch Me" is from "The Soft Parade" of 1969. It's a notable song for the extensive use of brass and string instruments and because of the use of a saxophone solo by Curtis Amy. The orchestral arrangements work well and accent Morrison's vocals. "Waiting For The Sun" is from "Morrison Hotel" of 1970. It's a psychedelic song that changes from the quiet to heavy passages, with an excellent work and a melodic vocal performance. "Love Her Madly" is from "L.A. Woman" of 1971. It's a great rock song with good lyrics, good performances, especially the guitar performance of Krieger is great.

Conclusion: "Love Me Two Times" is a strange compilation. Of the six albums released by The Doors, with Morrison, twenty-wo songs are taken from three of those albums. So, despite "Love Me Two Times" be a good compilation, it's an unbalanced compilation. It's true that the twenty-wo songs belong to three of their best studio albums, "The Doors", "Strange Days" and "Waiting For The Sun", but incomprehensibly, it has only one song from "L.A. Woman" that is one of their best studio albums. By the other hand, it lacks on it some of their icon songs, "Light My Fire", "The End", "Soft Parade", "L.A. Woman" and "Riders On The Storm". So, I cannot recommend it as one of the best compilations of them. I recommend "The Very Best Of The Doors" which is probably the best and most complete compilation from the band.

Prog is my Ferrari. Jem Godfrey (Frost*)

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