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Latest news: I am finished with the second edition of The Strawberry Bricks Guide To Progressive Rock! I am now looking for the "celebrity introduction." The new edition features more additions to the timeline, interviews with musicians from all over the globe, and is edited, proofread and fact-checked! Due in April 2017. Thank you to everyone involved!

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The Strawberry Bricks Guide to Progressive Rock

Revised and Expanded edition, coming in April 2017!

Benefit > Jethro Tull

Artist: Jethro Tull
Label: Reprise Records
Catalog#: RS 6400
Format: Vinyl
Country: United States
Released: 1970-04
Strawberry Bricks Entry: 
Jethro Tull scored another two Top 10 singles in the UK with "Sweet Dreams" b/w "17" and "Witches Promise" b/w "Teacher" prior to the release of this, their third album. The flip side of the latter would later become an FM staple in the US. The success prompted their first headlining tour of America (with Yes in support). On Benefit, their bluesy jazz took some substantial refinement into what would eventually become the Tull sound. In came Blackpool mate John Evan on piano and organ, but more importantly, out came Anderson the raconteur.

Atomic Rooster > Atomic Rooster

Artist: Atomic Rooster
Label: B & C Records
Catalog#: CAS 1010
Format: Vinyl
Country: United States
Released: 1970-02
Strawberry Bricks Entry: 
Organist Vincent Crane and drummer Carl Palmer were first paired together in Arthur Brown's Crazy World. They split off during a US tour in 1969, returning to England to form Atomic Rooster. According to legend, it was during a psychedelic experience that Crane first envisioned the "rooster", and after which his subsequent psychiatric problems began to surface. Crane was a huge fan of James Brown, while Palmer was into Buddy Rich; that they both brought those influences to Atomic Rooster gave the band its unique character.

The Least We Can Do Is Wave To Each Other > Van Der Graaf Generator

Artist: Van Der Graaf Generator
Label: Probe/ABC
Catalog#: CPLP 4515
Format: Vinyl
Country: United States
Released: 1970-02
Strawberry Bricks Entry: 
After their debut album's release, careful manipulation from Tony Stratton-Smith released Peter Hammill from his contract with Mercury Records, allowing Van Der Graaf Generator into the Charisma stable. The band reformed permanently (enough): Guy Evans brought bassist Nic Potter from their interim gig in The Misunderstood, but with the arrival of sax player David Jackson, previously with Chris Judge Smith in Heebalob, all the pieces were in place. Thus, VDGG began in earnest with their second album.

Concerto For Group And Orchestra > Deep Purple

Artist: Deep Purple , Royal Philharmonic Orchestra
Label: Warner Bros. Records
Catalog#: WS 1860
Format: Vinyl
Country: United States
Released: 1970-01
Strawberry Bricks Entry: 
In 1968, Deep Purple scored some success in America with a cover of Joe South's "Hush", but their three albums for comedian Bill Cosby's Tetragrammaton label were patchy at best. Although the musicianship was high - Jon Lord's classically inspired organ breaks and Ritchie Blackmore's fast guitar runs - they had one awful vocalist in Rod Evans. Rocking-out Colosseum style, the instrumental "Hard Road (Wring That Neck)" from Book of Taliesyn was probably the best nugget from that period.

Those Who Are About To Die Salute You > Colosseum

Artist: Colosseum
Label: Dunhill
Catalog#: DS-50062
Format: Vinyl
Country: United States
Released: 1969-03
Strawberry Bricks Entry: 
The core of Colosseum first appeared together (according to rock cartographer Pete Frame) as Bluesbreakers #89, on John Mayall’s Bare Wires album. After Mayall broke up that short-lived line-up, drummer Jon Hiseman reunited with bassist Tony Reeves, organist Dave Greenslade and saxophonist Dick Heckstall-Smith, and guitarist/singer James Litherland was recruited after an extensive search. Reconstituted as Colosseum, Hiseman had assembled one of London’s first and finest jazz-rock hybrids. Their loud and powerful debut is an absolute stunner.

Family Entertainment > Family

Artist: Family
Label: Reprise Records
Catalog#: RS 6340
Format: Vinyl
Country: United States
Released: 1969-03
Strawberry Bricks Entry: 
After ending 1968 with the rockin’ single “Second Generation Woman” (again without chart success), Family enlisted IBC producer Glyn Johns for their next album, Entertainment. Best known for his work with the Rolling Stones, Johns striped back the production, bringing the rhythm section and Charlie Whitney’s guitar work to the fore. The record is still primarily an acoustic affair, but with a substantially greater rock-n-roll feel.

Volume Two > Soft Machine, The

Artist: Soft Machine
Label: Probe
Catalog#: CPLP 4505-S
Format: Vinyl
Country: United States
Released: 1969-04
Strawberry Bricks Entry: 
Following their second 1968 US tour supporting Jimi Hendrix Experience Soft Machine effectively broke up. Robert Wyatt stayed in the US (where he would record his first solo album), while Mike Ratledge and Kevin Ayers returned to London; the latter sold his bass and departed for Ibiza, from where he would eventually launch a moderately successful solo career. But a recording commitment to Probe Records prompted new sessions for the band, this time at London's Olympic Studios. Wyatt and Ratledge invited roadie Hugh Hopper to join up.

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.