The Best Prog Bands You’ve Never Heard Of (Part Sixteen): Elizabeth

Although this Philadelphia-based band debuted during the reign of a certain Queen with the same name, Elizabeth never enjoyed the success or the tenure of that estimable lady. Formed by Steve Weingarten (lead guitar and vocals), Bob Patterson (guitar and vocals), Jim Dahme (guitar, flute, and vocals), Steve Bruno (organ and bass), and Hank Ransome (drums), Elizabeth released one eponymous album in 1968 before calling it a day shortly thereafter.

The album itself is filled with accessible, “radio-friendly” songs. Here are a few of the standouts:

“Not That Kind of Guy,” the opening number, is a catchy song with an early Beatle-esque sound (similar to “Taxman”).

“Mary Anne” is a lovely jazz song with some elements of folk sprinkled in. Think of it as a less tragic version of “Eleanor Rigby.”

The fifth song, “You Should Be More Careful,” is the true highlight on this album. A cautionary tale about picking up strange girls at bars, this song is a force of nature that never lets up. Weingarten, employing a “fuzzy” guitar sound, breaks out into a twisted guitar solo that is worth listening to several times over.

“Alarm Rings Five” is a gentler tune that features some solid organ work courtesy of Bruno and beautiful flute courtesy of Dahme.

With elements of jazz, folk, and psychedelia, Elizabeth‘s sole album fits nicely into the proto-prog/acid rock music of the late ’60s. The music and lyrics will not necessarily captivate all listeners, but this album is worth a listen for psychedelic or jazz rock aficionados.

Stay tuned for number seventeen!