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Latest news: I am currently writing a second edition of the Strawberry Bricks Guide to Progressive Rock, due in the second half of 2016 or early 2017. The new edition will feature more additions to the timeline, interviews with musicians from all over the globe, and a good editing before publication. Thank you to everyone involved!

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The Aerosol Grey Machine > Van Der Graaf Generator

Artist: Van Der Graaf Generator
Label: Fontana
Catalog#: 6430 083
Format: Vinyl
Country: United States
Released: 1969-09
Strawberry Bricks Entry: 
Led by the indefatigable Peter Hammill here begins the musical quest of Van Der Graaf Generator. Over the next decade, he would divide his time between leading VDGG and a prolific solo career; though where those lines separate would at times be difficult to identify. The band had already been through iteration or two by the time it got around to recording The Aerosol Grey Machine. Hammill and co-conspirator Chris Judge Smith formed the band with organist Nick Pearne in 1968 while still at Manchester University.

Stand Up > Jethro Tull

Artist: Jethro Tull
Label: Reprise Records
Catalog#: RS 6360
Format: Vinyl
Country: United States
Released: 1969-09
Strawberry Bricks Entry: 
By the time Jethro Tull got around to releasing their strong second effort, Martin Barre had joined on guitar, as Mick Abrahams was off to start Blodwyn Pig. Barre's addition was substantial in the evolution of the band, his guitar style being more sympathetic to their burgeoning progressive style. Written by Ian Anderson to appease management's desire for a single, they released "Living In The Past" in May. It soared right up the UK charts, reaching No. 3. The album followed with even greater results.

In The Court Of The Crimson King (An Observation By King Crimson) > King Crimson

Artist: King Crimson
Label: Atlantic
Catalog#: SD 8245
Format: Vinyl
Country: United States
Released: 1969-10
Strawberry Bricks Entry: 
The painfully documented history of King Crimson informs us of their birth on January 13th, 1969 at the basement of the Fulham Palace Café, London. With the arrival of Ian McDonald, the trio of Giles, Giles and Fripp had expanded a year earlier. Lyricist Peter Sinfield, McDonald's songwriting partner, became the band's fifth member; this included the duties of road manager, light artist, resident hippie etc. Yet at Robert Fripp's persistence, fellow Bournemouth guitarist Greg Lake joined on bass and vocals, replacing Peter Giles.

Ummagumma > Pink Floyd

Artist: Pink Floyd
Label: Harvest
Catalog#: STBB-388
Format: Vinyl
Country: United States
Released: 1969-10
Strawberry Bricks Entry: 
Released after the varied (but commercially successful) soundtrack More, Ummagumma was intended to be a tour de force for Pink Floyd. The two-record set is half-live and half-studio, and the first release on EMI's new Harvest sub-label. The first disc was culled from a series of concerts recorded earlier in the summer, offering the first live document of Pink Floyd. Here, "Careful With That Axe, Eugene", the archetype of their slow-building space rock, makes its first appearance.

Joy Of A Toy > Ayers, Kevin

Artist: Kevin Ayers
Label: Harvest
Catalog#: SKAO 421
Format: Vinyl
Country: United States
Released: 1969
Strawberry Bricks Entry: 
After his split from Soft Machine, manager Peter Jenner and a contract from Harvest coaxed Kevin Ayers away from Majorca. Back in the UK he quickly assembled his old Softs cohorts at Abbey Road to record his debut solo album, Joy of a Toy. New to the fold is David Bedford, a classical composer by trade, offering his arrangement skills and doubling on keyboards. The album jumps off with the classic (if dated) psychedelia of "Joy of A Toy Continued". Bedford's arrangement augments "Town Feeling", but it's really all Ayers.

Song Of The Marching Children > Earth and Fire

Artist: Earth And Fire
Label: Polydor
Catalog#: 2925 003
Format: Vinyl
Country: United States
Released: 1971-10
Strawberry Bricks Entry: 
Offering its own take on progressive rock during the 1970s, The Netherlands spawned groups ranging from the well-know of Focus and Kayak, to the lesser-known Supersister and Alquin. One of the most successful, Earth & Fire combined the talents of the brothers Koerts, Chris on guitar and Gerard on keyboards, and Hans Ziech on bass. After adding female vocalist Jerney Kaagman, the band fell under the wing of Golden Earring. Their initial success was as a singles band; from early 1970 through the mid-‘70s, they consistently littered the Dutch hit parade with their English-language singles.

Concerto Grosso Per I New Trolls > New Trolls

Artist: New Trolls
Label: Fonit Cetra
Catalog#: LPX 8
Format: Vinyl
Country: United States
Released: 1971-8
Strawberry Bricks Entry: 
Hailing from Genoa, the New Trolls were one of the first original Italian rock bands (the other was the Anglo-Italian invention, The Trip). Story has it the band was “created” by a music critic choosing an ideal lineup: Guitarist Vittorio Di Scalzi, vocalist (and guitarist) Nico Di Paolo, drummer Gianni Belleno, keyboardist Mauro Chiarugi and bassist Giorgio D’Adamo were also fortunate enough to land a supporting spot on the Rolling Stones 1967 tour of Italy.

Dance Of The Lemmings > Amon Düül II

Artist: Amon Düül II
Label: United Artists Records
Catalog#: UAS-9954
Format: Vinyl
Country: United States
Released: 1971-06
Strawberry Bricks Entry: 
Amon Düül II’s second release, the double-album Yeti, appeared in November 1970. The improvisations here were more structured, hinting towards the direction the band would pursue. The hard rocking “Archangels Thunderbird”, also released as a single, points to the future. The cover featured an iconic collage of a grim reaper, in fact a tribute to Wolfgang Krischke, their soundman that died of hypothermia during an LSD trip. Another single was released, “Rattlesnakeplumcake” b/w ‘Between The Round”, again featuring the heavier aspects of the band’s music.

As Your Mind Flies By > Rare Bird

Artist: Rare Bird
Label: ABC Records
Catalog#: ABCS-716
Format: Vinyl
Country: United States
Released: 1970-11
Strawberry Bricks Entry: 
Rare Bird was part of the original Charisma Records stable of Tony Stratton-Smith. Formed in 1969, the original lineup was built around two keyboardists, Graham Field and Dave Kaffinetti, who added Steve Gould on bass and vocals, and Mark Ashton on drums. Their first self-titled album was released in late 1969 and featured classically-inspired organ rock, best demonstrated in the track “God Of War”. But “Sympathy”, released as a single, rose to No. 27 in the UK charts and sold a reputed million copies world-wide.

Barclay James Harvest > Barclay James Harvest

Artist: Barclay James Harvest
Label: Sire
Catalog#: SES 97026
Format: Vinyl
Country: United States
Released: 1970
Strawberry Bricks Entry: 
Originally from Oldham, Lancashire, guitarist John Lees, keyboardist Stuart “Wooly” Wolstenholme, bassist Les Holroyd and drummer Melvin Pritchard first turned professional together in 1967, drawing the names Barclay, James, and Harvest out of a hat. They released a pair of singles to some acclaim (notably John Peel), before being signed to EMI’s new Harvest label. Their debut album was produced by EMI’s Norman Smith, but its rich orchestration from “resident musical director” Robert Godfrey is certainly more characteristic.