Proto-Metal

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The combination of blues-rock with psychedelic rock formed much of the original basis for heavy metal.One of the most influential bands in forging the merger of genres was the British power trio Cream, who derived a massive, heavy sound from unison riffing between guitarist Eric Clapton and bassist Jack Bruce, as well as Ginger Baker's double bass drumming. Their first two LPs, Fresh Cream (1966) and Disraeli Gears (1967), are regarded as essential prototypes for the future style. The Jimi Hendrix Experience's debut album, Are You Experienced (1967), was also highly influential. Hendrix's virtuosic technique would be emulated by many metal guitarists and the album's most successful single, "Purple Haze," is identified by some as the first heavy metal hit. Vanilla Fudge, whose first album also came out in 1967, have been called "one of the few American links between psychedelia and what soon became heavy metal."

Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Proto_metal#Antecedents:_mid-1960s

Sub-genre collaborators:
  • voila_la_scorie

proto-metal top albums

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JIMI HENDRIX Are You Experienced? Album Cover Are You Experienced?
JIMI HENDRIX
4.51 | 45 ratings
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WISHBONE ASH Argus Album Cover Argus
WISHBONE ASH
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QUEEN Queen II Album Cover Queen II
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THE WHO Who's Next Album Cover Who's Next
THE WHO
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KING CRIMSON Red Album Cover Red
KING CRIMSON
4.37 | 100 ratings
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KING CRIMSON In The Court Of The Crimson King Album Cover In The Court Of The Crimson King
KING CRIMSON
4.36 | 97 ratings
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KING CRIMSON Larks' Tongues In Aspic Album Cover Larks' Tongues In Aspic
KING CRIMSON
4.35 | 91 ratings
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JIMI HENDRIX Axis: Bold As Love Album Cover Axis: Bold As Love
JIMI HENDRIX
4.43 | 33 ratings
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QUEEN A Night At The Opera Album Cover A Night At The Opera
QUEEN
4.25 | 67 ratings
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QUEEN Sheer Heart Attack Album Cover Sheer Heart Attack
QUEEN
4.06 | 54 ratings
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JIMI HENDRIX Electric Ladyland Album Cover Electric Ladyland
JIMI HENDRIX
4.03 | 36 ratings
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QUEEN Queen Album Cover Queen
QUEEN
3.95 | 49 ratings
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KING CRIMSON Live In Guildford, 1972

Promos, fans club and other releases (no bootlegs) · 2003 · Proto-Metal
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Warthur
It's unfortunate that whilst we have ample soundboard recordings from the Starless and Bible Black/Red eras of King Crimson, the same isn't true of the Larks' Tongues In Aspic-era band - distinguished by the presence of Jamie Muir on percussion alongside Bill Bruford.

The Guildford tapes reproduced here are a welcome exception - a soundboard recording from what sounds like a pretty decent gig, what little we have of it. The only complete songs we have here are (99% of) Larks' Tongues In Aspic, Book of Saturdays, and an improv - but on the plus side, the improv is a truly epic affair. If we only had the full set, this might be a five star release; as it is it's a four star taster of what seems to have been a magical night.

KING CRIMSON Live In Orlando, FL, 1972

Promos, fans club and other releases (no bootlegs) · 2003 · Proto-Metal
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Warthur
The sound quality of these King Crimson live releases from the Islands-era lineup can depend a little on whether new tapes have been recovered since the last rerelease and how much work on them has been done recently, and partly on the particular listener's sensitivities. As cassette recordings from the soundboard, they're never going to be perfect, but some people are more sensitive to some imperfections than others. For my money, the sound quality here is a step down from the Jacksonville recordings from a little earlier, at least in the latest editions of these live sets as put out in the Sailors' Tales boxed set.

KING CRIMSON Live At The Zoom Club, 1972

Promos, fans club and other releases (no bootlegs) · 2002 · Proto-Metal
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Warthur
When the Larks' Tongues In Aspic lineup of King Crimson was brought together, Robert Fripp decided to begin their live career the same way the Islands lineup started out: with a multi-date residency at the Zoom Club in Germany. Luckily, an audience member happened to record one of these sets, and the cassette recording has been tidied up and issued by Discipline Global Mobile in various formats; the most tidied-up version is available on the Larks' Tongues In Aspic Complete Recordings boxed set, or for download from the DGM website.

The sound quality is clearly below that of a decent reel-to-reel soundboard tape, but is actually pretty good for an audience bootleg - heck, there's reasonable separation between the instruments, you can understand what's being sung, you can tell the difference between Bill Bruford's conventional drum kit and Jamie Muir's bizarre array of kitchen implements, by these standards it's better than Earthbound. Don't get me wrong, this a rough, lo-fi recording - but the dark, chaotic music evoked by this lineup adapts better to a slightly muzzy recording than, say, the more delicate symphonic work of earlier lineups did.

In addition, this is an absolutely dynamite set. Perhaps one of the most astonishing things about it is that the entirety of the Larks' Tongues In Aspic album is here - sure, it's not quite all in the form it'd eventually be set down on in the studio, but each song and instrumental from the album is recognisably present in at least an early form. In addition, there's absolute tons of improvisation here, with a 44 minute improvised piece - dubbed in retrospect Zoom Zoom - which really takes the band through its paces.

The improvisational abilities of the mid-1970s King Crimson are rightly celebrated, and it's truly astonishing how quickly they were able to get this good - a surefire sign that the band chemistry was something special. If you are a fan of mid-1970s Crimson, you're likely to find this release a treat; I'd only recommend skipping it over if you already have the Larks' Tongues boxed set which includes it, or if subpar recording standards are an absolute dealbreaker for you.

KING CRIMSON Live In Hyde Park, 1969

Promos, fans club and other releases (no bootlegs) · 2002 · Proto-Metal
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Warthur
The Rolling Stones were playing Hyde Park in July 1969 and wanted to get a good set of support bands together and make a proper mini-festival out of it; word of mouth had reached them that this King Crimson lot who hadn't even put out an album yet were pretty good, and so Robert Fripp, Greg Lake, Ian McDonald, and Michael Giles stepped onto the stage and into the limelight - and that momentous event in the band's history is captured here.

The sound quality is, on an objective basis, only fair - but for a tape of a live band on a makeshift stage in an outdoor festival from 1969, it's pretty good, and provides more or less the earliest glimpse we have of their primal stages. Though much material will be familiar from the debut album (and the Mars section of In the Wake of Poseidon rounds out the show), other material here shows a somewhat more overtly psychedelic side to the band which was already fading away; that said, the concluding blast of Mars and the opening thunder of 21st Century Schizoid Man reveal that a band of rare power was already out here.

This was recently reissued on the Complete 1969 Recordings boxed set with about as much audio tidying-up as can viably be expected; if sound quality is a factor and you have deep pockets, and you are extremely interested in this period of the band, I'd recommend that set. The lone CD, if you can get it at a good price, may be more the speed for folk who don't need multiple live releases from the 1969 lineup of the band, but do want to have a listen to how they sounded before In the Court of the Crimson King came out and are interested in this specific performance due to the Stones connection.

KING CRIMSON Live In Detroit, MI, 1971

Promos, fans club and other releases (no bootlegs) · 2001 · Proto-Metal
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Warthur
This is one of numerous soundboard recordings out there of the Islands-era King Crimson lineup.

The usual caveat applies that if you really like this period of King Crimson enough to be interested in this release in the first place, you'll probably want to just get Sailors' Tales, which includes the most polished and tidied-up versions of this and numerous other similarly quality live recordings of the lineup among its many treasures at a fraction of the cost it'd take you to purchase each and every relevant Collector's Club release separately.

We know that in late 1971 the band were feeling increasingly unhappy together; the Earthbound tour of the US in 1972 was undertaken essentially as a contractural obligation job. This Detroit recording from November 1971, then, comes from around the time that the bubbling troubles in the background were about to come to the fore. (Note: the Collector's Club release of this live set lists the date as December 1971, but this is a mistake.)

Now, let's not sell the band short - musically speaking, they're pros, and they do a bang-up job on here, with most of the set captured well by the soundboard recording bar for the odd hiccup here and there (the most obviously noticeable one being that the tape runs out during the second encore piece, Lady of the Dancing Water). On that basis alone I'd give it a solid four stars.

However, the historically-minded Crimhead listening to the album can hear the various cracks appearing - as well as some surprising points of common feeling between the band members. For instance, the way he cracks up in laughter mid-delivery makes it clear that Boz simply can't bring himself to take Peter Sinfield's lyrics to Ladies of the Road seriously (and nor should he, it's a deeply misogynistic song which is in the running for some of Frank Zappa's crudest material when it comes to being cruel about groupies), and we know that not too long after this Sinfield and Crimson parted ways.

At the same time, whilst Robert Fripp over the years has gained a reputation for being grumpy and irritable about people demanding retired songs from the setlist (though in recent years Crimson has become much more accepting of some parts of their back catalogue than they'd been for quite some time), it's clear that in this instance, when the band are faced with the inevitable calls for Epitaph, Fripp is far from alone in his annoyance. (Based on Sailors' Tales, it doesn't seem like the Islands-era lineup ever included Epitaph in their repertoire.)

There's a pretty united front from the band on this point, in fact - and it's Boz, not Fripp, who expresses his displeasure in the rudest terms. For his part, Robert gently and patiently attempts to engage with the audience member in question and explain exactly why calling for songs like that is annoying to be band and gives a simple request that people cut it out. He's perfectly calm and polite about it all, but he's also adamant that it's important to the band's morale that they play the material they choose to play, rather than just running over the old numbers on demand, because otherwise what's the point?

The band as a whole get their own back on the nostalgia junkies, though - the first encore is a rendition of In the Court of the Crimson King... as a standard blues number! The band do an excellent job improvising this transformation of the track, with Fripp even cleverly working in some of his distinctive solos from the more familiar version into the rendition.

As well as displaying a prickly, almost Zappa-esque sense of humour in moments like that, this lineup also offers up some deep, extended improvisation. There's a Fripp solo in the middle which seems to be an early draft of a musical idea from Larks' Tongues In Aspic, which is interesting to hear; sadly, it's all too short, and taking its place is an Ian Wallace drum solo. I don't like drum solos in general - mostly because too many drummers overestimate people's attention span and mistake quantity for quality, dragging them out entirely too long when if they'd been a fraction of the length they'd have been more impressive. Wallace is exactly one of those drummers. Still, one whiff in as improv-heavy a set as this ain't that bad.

proto-metal movie reviews

BLIND FAITH London Hyde Park 1969

Movie · 2006 · Proto-Metal
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stefanbedna
Blind Faith -London Hyde Park 1969 dvd. An excellent concert.Quite simple concert.A beautiful day and a hundred thousand people in London´s central Hyde Park listens Blind Faith in their first big gig.Absolutely wonderful.For me the historic value of this concert.Rating 4,0 stars for me.Concert will be held 07/06/1969.Performers lineup eric clapton lead guitar,steve winwood phenomenal vocal and keyboards, rick grech on bass and of course phenomenal ginger baker on drums.This is an example of the unique combination of two large groups of Cream and Traffic rights in the Great introducetd in London´s Hyde Park.Really very interesting concert series watch it again on dvd.I highly recommend.

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