Alternative Music History Lesson #1: Proto-Punk Music

8.7 nuggets8.7 nuggets 2

Before I move on to the great alternative music of the Nineties, I have decided to put the brakes on before going into the commercial zenith of this great genre of music. Instead, I want to appease the frustrated History teacher in me by taking this week to look at the historical development of alternative music.

8.7 The_Kingsmen_1966
The Kingsmen

If you have any historical perspective to music, you will probably have noticed how much cross-breeding there has been in music. Much of what we call metal has its roots in the very same music that I will bring up today. Now, back in the early Seventies, then-music critic and future-Patti Smith Group guitarist Lenny Kaye compiled a double album’s worth of Sixties “punk” music, that was later renamed “proto-punk” music.

8.7 The_Electric_Prunes
The Electric Prunes

Back in the Sixties, after The Beatles hit the States, teenagers began picking out their instruments and joining up in garages across the country, playing amateurish rock music, with much power. But, many of these bands were only around for one song, as brilliantly depicted in the great movie That Thing You Do.

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Velvet Underground

Still, the lasting brilliance of these artists live on, if not on the radio, then in the musical DNA of any indie rocker today. So, let’s take a look at My 75 Favorite Proto-Punk Songs.

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The Stooges
  1. The Stooges – “Search and Destroy” (1973)
  2. Ramones – “Blitzkrieg Bop” (1976)
  3. The Kinks – “You Really Got Me” (1964)
  4. The Who – “My Generation” (1965)
  5. The Kingsmen – “Louie Louie” (1963)
  6. The Electric Prunes – “I Had Too Much to Dream (Last Night)” (1967)
  7. Bobby Fuller Four – “I Fought the Law” (1966)
  8. The Beatles – “Helter Skelter” (1968)
  9. Velvet Underground – “White Light/White Heat” (1968)
  10. MC5 – “Kick Out the Jams” (1969)
  11. David Bowie – “Suffragette City” (1972)
  12. The Stooges – “I Wanna Be Your Dog” (1969)
  13. Screamin’ Jay Hawkins – “I Put a Spell on You” (1956)
  14. The Strangeloves – “I Want Candy” (1965)
  15. The Runaways – “Cherry Bomb” (1976)
  16. The Shadows of Knight – “Gloria” (1966)
  17. Count Five – “Psychotic Reaction” (1966)
  18. The Troggs – “Wild Thing” (1966)
  19. The Outsiders – “Time Won’t Let Me” (1966)
  20. Alice Cooper – “I’m Eighteen” (1970)
  21. Love – “Seven & Seven Is” (1967)
  22. Blue Cheer – “Summertime Blues” (1968)
  23. Strawberry Alarm Clock – “Incense and Peppermints” (1967)
  24. The Easybeats – “Friday on My Mind” (1966)
  25. Death – “Politicians in My Eyes” (1975)
  26. Sam the Sham & the Pharaohs – “Wooly Bully” (1965)
  27. The Amboy Dukes – “Journey to the Center of Your Mind” (1968)
  28. The Premiers – “Farmer John” (1964)
  29. Blondie – “X Offender” (1976)
  30. The Dictators – “(I Live For) Cars and Girls” (1975)
  31. ? & the Mysterians – “96 Tears” (1966)
  32. The Human Beinz – “Nobody but Me” (1967)
  33. The Sonics – “Strychnine” (1965)
  34. The Amboy Dukes – “Baby Please Don’t Go” (1967)
  35. New York Dolls – “Personality Crisis” (1973)
  36. Them – “Gloria” (1964)
  37. The Castaways – “Liar, Liar” (1965)
  38. The Swingin’ Medallions – “Double Shot (Of My Baby’s Love)” (1966)
  39. The Music Explosion – “Little Bit o’ Soul” (1967)
  40. The Knickerbockers – “Lies” (1965)
  41. David Bowie – “The Jean Genie” (1973)
  42. The Music Machine – “Talk Talk” (1966)
  43. The Standells – “Dirty Water” (1966)
  44. Velvet Underground – “Heroin” (1967)
  45. The Shaggs – “Who Are Parents” (1969)
  46. The Sonics – “Psycho” (1965)
  47. Status Quo – “Pictures of Matchstick Men” (1968)
  48. The Seeds – “Can’t Seem to Make You Mine” (1965)
  49. The Leaves – “Hey Joe” (1966)
  50. The Beau Brummels – “Laugh, Laugh” (1965)
  51. The Barbarians – “Are You a Boy or Are You a Girl” (1966)
  52. Captain Beefheart & His Magic Band – “Diddy Wah Diddy” (1966)
  53. Paul Revere & the Raiders – “I’m Not Your Stepping Stone” (1966)
  54. The 13th Floor Elevators – “You’re Gonna Miss Me” (1966)
  55. Link Wray & His Ray Men – “Rumble” (1958)
  56. Frank Zappa & the Mothers of Invention – “Trouble Every Day” (1966)
  57. Pink Floyd – “Astronomy Domine” (1967)
  58. The Monks – “Shut Up” (1966)
  59. Velvet Underground – “Sister Ray” (1968)
  60. Blues Magoos – “(We Ain’t Got) Nothin’ Yet” (1966)
  61. The Lovin’ Spoonful – “Do You Believe in Magic” (1965)
  62. The Dictators – “Weekend” (1975)
  63. The Modern Lovers – “Roadrunner” (1976)
  64. Os Mutantes – “Bat Macumba” (1968)
  65. Sir Douglas Quintet – “She’s About a Mover” (1969)
  66. The Left Banke – “Walk Away Renée” (1967)
  67. Pink Fairies – “Do It” (1971)
  68. Paul Revere & the Raiders – “Kicks” (1966)
  69. Nazz – “Open My Eyes” (1968)
  70. New York Dolls – “Trash” (1973)
  71. The Move – “I Can Hear the Grass Grow” (1968)
  72. Pere Ubu – “Final Solution” (1976)
  73. The Doors – “Blue Sunday” (1970)
  74. The Pretty Things – “Midnight to Six Man” (1966)
  75. Max Frost and the Troopers – “Shape of Things to Come” (1968)
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MC5

That was the first group of songs that influenced the alternative and punk music of the Seventies, Eighties and beyond. Tomorrow we will look at the next genre of music that had a major influence on alternative music, bubblegum music…whhhaaaaaatttttt?!?!?! I kid you not!

Author: ifmyalbumscouldtalk

I am just a long-time music fan who used to be a high school science teacher and a varsity coach of several high school athletic teams. Before that, I worked as a medical technologist at three hospitals in their labs, mainly as a microbiologist. I am retired/disabled (Failed Back Surgery Syndrome), and this is my attempt to remain a human. Additionally, I am a serious vinyl aficionado, with a CD addiction and a love of reading about rock history. Finally, I am a fan of Prince, Cheap Trick, Tom Petty, R.E.M., Hall & Oates, Springsteen, Paul Weller & his bands and Power Pop music.

6 thoughts on “Alternative Music History Lesson #1: Proto-Punk Music”

    1. HERC, are you full of energy or what?!?! You are the best! Thanks for the support.

      I do have a question. Have you been reading the U.K. magazine ‘History of Rock’? Each month the folks from ‘Uncut’ mag releases a mag about a year in rock starting with 1965. Right now they are up to 1988. It’s a great series of NME & Melody Maker article reprints. Quite good.

      Like

      1. You read minds now, Keller, old bean?

        Somehow I’ve managed to miss just one issue and haven’t even checked into procuring it which is strange given my completist tendencies but I was fortunate enough to stumble upon the first issue (1965?) of The History Of Rock at Costco, of all places, a couple of years back.

        Would love to see something like this from the archives of defunct US music mags like Circus, Trouser Press, Creem, Spin, Star Hits, Vibe or even Rolling Stone.

        I’ve also been a reader of Link textClassic Pop since 2013. Not every issue is a winner but sometimes a single feature pretty much makes my day.

        Like

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