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BeatTips MusicStudy: Samuel Prody, Top-Notch Blues-Rock

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This Contemporary Of Led Zeppelin Could Have Been A Contender

By AMIR SAID (SA’ID)

Regular readers of BeatTips.com know how much of a fan of Led Zeppelin that I am. Zeppelin has—and always will—play a major role in my understanding of and approach to music. For this reason, I’m sensitive to Led Zeppelin “knock-off” bands. Can’t stomach them at all. Still, who could blame anyone for trying to emulate Zeppelin’s style?

But emulation, followed by one’s own imagination or innovation is one thing; “wannabe” duplication is something entirely different. Fortunately, Samuel Prody—a band who’s sound closely mirrored Led Zeppelin—had enough individual imagination to carve out there own sound and avoid being dismissed as another Led Zeppelin knock off band.

Truth be told, Samuel Prody were contemporaries of Led Zeppelin. However, this status was short-lived, as the band’s only album, Samuel Prody, was released in 1970. But had Samuel Prody kept it together and recorded more, the similarities (and differences) between them may have gotten plenty of air time. In fact, the band’s lineup matched-up rather well against Led Zeppelin.

Samuel Prody’s lead singer Tonny Savva could have perhaps been every bit as dynamic as Zeppelin’s front-man Robert Plant. Prody’s bassist Stephen Day had a style that was nearly equal to the bluesy style of Zeppelin’s John Paul Jones. John Boswell, Prody’s drummer, maybe wasn’t a match for John Bonham, but then again, who was? Still, Boswell was damn close (check out his drumwork on “Time Is All Mine,” included below); and he was certainly much better than most drummers of the time. Finally, Samuel Prody’s lead guitarist Derek Smallcombe was not only formidable, he was imaginative and bluesy; although not to the degree of Led Zeppelin’s Jimmy Page. But we’re talking Jimmy Page, here.

So all things considered, in 1970, Samuel Prody was poised to maybe give Led Zeppelin a run for their money, most likely setting up a rivalry situation similar to that of the The Beatles and The Rolling Stones. But even though that never took place, Samuel Prody still stands for me as the band who came the closest to Led Zeppelin’s sound—without completely “knocking it off,” while also creating a sound that was just as engaging. For that, and because their music did indeed cook, I salute Samuel Prody.

The music video below is presented here for the purpose of scholarship.

Samuel Prody – “Woman” (1970)

Samuel Prody – “Time Is All Mine”


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About Author

Amir Said (aka Sa’id) is the founder and Editor-in-Chief of BeatTips. A writer, publisher, and beatmaker/rapper from New York, Said is the author of a number of books, including ‘The BeatTips Manual,’ ‘The Art of Sampling,’ ‘Ghetto Brother,’ and ‘The Truth About New York.’ He is also a recording artist with a number of music projects, including his latest album 'The Best of Times.' Follow him on Twitter at: @amirsaid and @BeatTipsManual