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Family

Prog forum folk like to argue interminably about which is the first prog lp.
Actually its rather ridiculous since the earliest all came out within half to a whole month of each other, so who cares if one group beat another to the stew by a couple days.

Anyways, someone on me forum puts forth that FAMILY - DOLL'S HOUSE is the first prog lp.

This would be remarkable since the Family lp is a over 14 months earlier than "Court of Crimson king. ( (July 19/68 compared to Oct 10/69).


Personally, I'm not buying it.

the horns & strings on Dolls House make this sound more like baroque pop. Songs like "Mellowing Grey" and "3Xtime" are mere ballads.

(Mellowing with its strings sounds in the vein of beatles "Yesterday".)


Okay - you have something that COULD be mellotron, but then you have accordion/harmonica not associated with prog. (Mr Policeman is just harmonica blues.)

"See Thru Windows" sounds like it could have come off Pretty Things SF Sorrow.


Some places call this lp psychedelic.
Again - not seeing it.

So then I want to pick your brains - and copy to my forum!


I want to pick your brains (and copy to my forum!)

Re: Family

Depends how you define prog, of course, but the debut Family album certainly isn't the earliest. I'd say the first Procol Harum album (late 1967), the Moody Blues 'Days Of Future Passed' (also late 1967) and the debut set from the Nice (early 1968) were all prog-anticipating albums that pre-dated Family's first LP by some months.

Re: Family

I think Justin's onto it. The albums he mentioned sweet to have touches of prog. King Crimson surely would have to be the first fully blown prog album, Procol Harum are often debatable as to being prog or not.
A couple of other late 60s candidates could be Eyes Of Blue and East Of Eden.

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Re: Family

Maybe a better way to look at is that the word "psychedelic" became unpopular/passe over a period and was replaced by progressive and as this was happening and musical styles were changing. In other words it was a continuum-a continuous sequence in which adjacent elements are not perceptibly different from each other, but the extremes are quite distinct.

Re: Family

Good answer Paul.

Re: Family

Procol first is clearly baroque poprock.

"Days of Future Passed" is not prog, but (as you say) prog-anticipating.



But that was not my question: I am asking do you see anything prog about the debut Family lp.

Re: Family

IMHO there is to much flux betwix psychedelic albums and progressive albums to give a definite answer altho the answer may lay in 'which group'became the first purely progressive music group.
Also in the mix is who decided on the moniker 'progressive'?
Wiki says this
Definitions[edit]
"Progressive rock" is almost synonymous with "art rock"; the latter is more likely to have experimental or avant-garde influences.[18] Although a unidirectional English "progressive" style emerged in the late 1960s, by 1967, progressive rock had come to constitute a diversity of loosely associated style codes. [nb 2] With the arrival of a "progressive" label, the music was dubbed "progressive pop" before it was called "progressive rock".[20][nb 3] "Progressive" referred to the wide range of attempts to break with the standard pop music formula.[22] A number of additional factors contributed to the label—lyrics were more poetic, technology was harnessed for new sounds, music approached the condition of "art", some harmonic language was imported from jazz and 19th-century classical music, the album format overtook singles, and the studio, rather than the stage, became the focus of musical activity, which often involved creating music for listening, not dancing.[23
Now there's a thought !

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Re: Family

The problem with answering your question, as has already been identified to a degree, is that it assumes there is a clear agreed definition of progressive rock, when there isn't. For example, I don't believe genuine progressive rock was made after 1973/4. Music made after that in a '70s prog' style is exactly that, and certainly not progressive rock as originally envisaged or as it should be defined. It is retro or conservative, the opposite of progressive.

So in reality, your question is 'is Dool's House the first prog LP by my definition of prog rock?'. Only you can answer that. My opinion is that Doll's House is post-psychedelic experimental rock and therefore is definitely progressive. I also think it is rock and not pop. Just because it displays some typical 1968 motifs doesn't mean it isn't progressive. It wasn't ever going to sound like 1970. It is similar to Second Hand's Reality from the same year, another LP that is really post-psych but yet to display the cliches of what became prog rock and therefore not generally considered a prog LP.

Another early contender is Nice's Thoughts Of Emerlist Davjack, actually very much a psychedelic LP, that just predicted some of prog's classical pretentions early and is therefore often considered.

Perhaps you should give us your definition of progressive rock?