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Latest news: The new edition of The Strawberry Bricks Guide to Progressive Rock Revised and Expanded Edition (2017) is available to order direct from our publisher CreateSpace.com. Use $5 discount code 49XYXHPZ.

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The book is available directly from our on-demand publisher, CreateSpace.com, an Amazon company. It is also distributed via Amazon in the US, UK and throughout Europe. Book stores may order the book via traditional channels (like Ingram) or CreateSpace Direct using its ISBN: 978-0578189024. For bulk orders, or for signed copies, please use the contact form at the bottom of the page.

Those Who Are About To Die Salute You > Colosseum

Artist: Colosseum
Label: Dunhill
Catalog#: DS-50062
Format: Vinyl
Country: United States
Released: 1969-07
Strawberry Bricks Entry: 
The core members 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 lineup, drummer Jon Hiseman reunited with bassist Tony Reeves and saxophonist Dick Heckstall-Smith, adding childhood friend and organist Dave Greenslade, while guitarist/singer James Litherland was recruited after an extensive search. Reconstituted as Colosseum, Hiseman 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" b/w "Home Town" (again without chart success), Family enlisted IBC producer Glyn Johns for their next album, Family Entertainment. Best known for his work with The Rolling Stones, Johns stripped back the psychedelia, bringing both the rhythm section and Charlie Whitney's guitar to the forefront. The record is still a primarily acoustic affair, but with a more potent 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 the Jimi Hendrix Experience, Soft Machine effectively broke up. Robert Wyatt stayed in the US, while Mike Ratledge returned to London and Kevin Ayers sold his bass and departed for Ibiza, 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: 
Here begins the musical quest of Van der Graaf Generator. Led by the indefatigable Peter Hammill, he would divide his time between leading VdGG and a prolific solo career over the next decade; though where those lines separate could at times prove difficult to identify. The band had already been through a couple of iterations by the time it got around to recording The Aerosol Grey Machine. Hammill and Chris Judge Smith first 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: 1969-07
Strawberry Bricks Entry: 
By the time Jethro Tull got around to releasing their strong second effort, Martin Barre had joined on guitar. His addition was integral to the evolution of the band as his guitar playing would prove sympathetic to their burgeoning progressive style. Written by Ian Anderson to appease management's desire for a single, "Living in the Past" b/w "Driving Song" saw release in May. It soared up the UK charts, reaching No. 3. The album followed with even greater results. Stand Up features all original compositions from Anderson, except for a spirited interpretation of J.S.

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 painstakingly documented history of King Crimson begins with their birth on January 13th, 1969 in the basement of the Fulham Palace Café, London. The trio of Giles, Giles & Fripp had expanded a year earlier with the arrival of Ian McDonald. 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; Lake had previously been in The Gods.

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-recorded and constitutes the first release on EMI's new Harvest sub-label. Offering the first live document of the band, the first disc was culled from a series of concerts recorded in April and May. Here, "Careful with That Axe, Eugene," the archetype of their slow-building space rock, makes its first appearance on album.

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 Kevin Ayers's split from Soft Machine, manager Peter Jenner and a contract from Harvest coaxed him away from Majorca. Back in England, he quickly assembled his old Softs cohorts at EMI Studios to record his debut solo album, Joy Of A Toy. New to the fold was 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: 
In the 1970s, the Netherlands spawned groups ranging from the better-known Golden Earring, Focus and Kayak to the lesser-known Supersister and Alquin. On the latter end of the spectrum, Earth and Fire combined the talents of the brothers Koerts-Chris on guitar and Gerard on keyboards-with Hans Ziech on bass and female vocalist Jerney Kaagman. Their initial success was as a singles band; from the early-to-mid 70s, they consistently littered the Dutch record charts with their English-language hits.

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 Italian rock bands. Story has it the band was “created” by a music critic choosing an ideal lineup: guitarist Vittorio De Scalzi, vocalist (and guitarist) Nico Di Palo, drummer Gianni Belleno, keyboardist Mauro Chiarugi and bassist Giorgio D’Adamo were all fortunate enough to land a supporting spot on The Rolling Stones’ 1967 tour of Italy. After several successful singles (and two albums compiling them), the band collaborated with Argentinean composer Luis Enríquez Bacalov for Concerto Grosso per i New Trolls.