Prophet 5 – a great analog synthesizer from the eighties

Prophet schmophet… well, in one of our previous articles we discussed one of the most popular digital synthesizers of the 80s, the Yamaha DX7. But what was the most used analog synth in that decade? Well, there are couple of contenders, but the Sequential Circuits Prophet 5 surely comes out on the top of that list.

The prophet among synths

Prophet 5 Rev 3.3 synthesizer

This polyphonic, monotimbral synth – produced from 1978 to 1984 – is all over 80s records, be it all kinds of pop or rock music. It almost goes the way that you name an eighties artist and as quickly as you just did that, you can name a tune or two with some Prophet 5 sounds on it.
It’s a good sounding, well liked synth, even to this day. Now let’s check out some of those tunes.

Phil’s prophetical take

One of the most famous song with a Prophet 5 on it, Phil Collins‘ hit from the early 80s has a subtle, mellow pad and a lead riff appearing later in the tune. The rest is history.

Phil Collins – “In The Air Tonight”

Level 42’s prophecy

While the following band is probably more well known for its virtuoso bassist named Mark King, they also have an extremely musical keyboard player, Mike Lindup. His synth of choice was (and is) often the Prophet, as you can hear and see in this video, from 1:30 on:

Level 42 – “Sandstorm”

Synth bass with style

Ok, but can the Prophet 5 do bass? You betcha it can! You can hear a great example on this infectious disco funk tune:

Midnight Star – “Operator”

Mellow synthetic low end

It can also do soft bass, of course. The mellow, fretless bass kind of example on the following pop ballad proves it nicely:

Cyndi Lauper – “Time After Time”