Now I’m going to skip right over some obvious choices because I’m sure you’ve got those covered. I’m thinking of course of Blue Cheer, MC5, Atomic Rooster, Arthur Brown, Coven, Attila, Lucifer’s Friend, Budgie, Cactus and Dust. And of course I’m also skipping some bands whose status as proto metal are up for debate but who I’m absolutely positive you already have covered like Deep Purple, Vanilla Fudge, Jethro Tull, Iron Buttefly, Uriah Heep, UFO ect ect. If for some bizarre reason you don’t have any of these covered, I take requests.
Now you might look at some of these bands and think, “Sean, bro, those aren’t proto-metal, those are heavy psych.” Or, “those are post-psych-prog” and so on. Truthfully, I wouldn’t necessarily argue with you. I would tell you to mellow out though. And as Gun says on track 6 of my favorite proto-metal album of all time, “when you come here, please be cool.”
Child - Child (1969)
Incredibly un-googleable, this record came out in 1969 on Jubilee records. “This short-lived outfit specialized in melodramatic cover versions of popular songs of the day. The album, which was recorded at Select Sound Studios, in New York, includes slowed down versions of classics like "Hold On I'm Comin'", "You'll Never Walk Alone", "Old Man River" and the instrumental, "Exodus". All come with lots of very heavy organ in the same mould as Vanilla Fudge.” Slowed down and melodramatic covers are my favorite. An excellent and extremely rare record. Here.
Bang - Mother/Bow to the King (1972)
Just look at that album cover. Just look at it. Look at those fucking weirdos. FUCKING EATING A PIE. Also, this band is from FLORIDA. Weird, right? Here’s a little 2 for 1 deal to get you acquainted. These guys play some riffs, get bummed, rock out again, get bummed, play some riffs and so on. Lots of great songs and memorable lyrics. I put this on when I’ve played out my Necromandus record. Here.
Asterix - Asterix (1970)
Heavy Metal journalist Ian Chiste referred to Asterix as “one of the forgotten strains of protometal”. That makes sense to me as it seems hessian dudes who dig proto-metal are prone to forgetting a lot of things. Also, this band later changed their name. To Lucifer’s Friend. This album cover reminds me of something, but I just can’t put my finger on it… Here.
The Gods - Genesis (1968)
Formed in 1965 by Mick Taylor (who went on to play in the Rolling Stones), John Glascock (who went on to play in Jethro Tull), Ken Hensley and Lee Kerslake (who went on to form Uriah Heep) and Greg Lake (of Emersion, Lake and Palmer, who split to Join King Crimson). Gods indeed. Another great album cover, another great band. Here.
Possessed – Exploration (1971)
Dig this: “Possessed were born out the thriving underground West Midlands Rock & Blues scene of the mid to late 60s. This was a scene in which band- leader, Vernon Pereira, had been a key figure. Indian-born Pereira was an original member of The Band Of Joy where he played alongside future Led Zeppelin stars Robert Plant and John Bonham. The trio remained close friends right up until Possesseds untimely end in a tragic road accident whilst returning home from a gig in Carlisle on October 21st 1976. Lost in this accident were the lives of Pereira, Reeves and then vocalist Terry Davies. The band were formed in late 1969 when Vernon teamed up with Mick Reeves, who had been playing in (amongst other bands) Sugarstack with Al Atkins. This was the band that would eventually evolve into being the first incarnation of Judas Priest. Mick had created a very unique instrument, which was basically a Gibson SG Guitar and Bass, both sawn in half & joined together. He also created his own octave divider, which will explain some of the more sonic frequencies that rip through Vernons complex riffing on this recording.” Crazy huh? This record was recorded in 71, but didn’t see the light of day until 2006. Remarkably similar to the first Priest record, this album sounds like it was recorded about 3 years before Rocka Rolla. It was. Here.
Rare Bird - Rare Bird (1969)
This is a great record. Drums shred, keyboards rip, the vocals are beefy and epic and song after song is solid gold. In a genre overflowing with fantastic lead singers, Steve Gould was one of the best. And furthermore this may be the best record of the six pack. Contemporary critics thought these guys were “art rock”. I think they’re a lot heavier than that. Although British, they had most of their success in Italy and France. This record lives up to its name. Here.
Pretty tossed from that sixer? Well man up. I'm going to swing by your pad next week with another one. So many downloads, it feels like you have homework.