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Latest news: The third edition of The Strawberry Bricks Guide To Progressive Rock has been published! The book is available for individual purchase through your country's Amazon website, including local shipping and Prime benefits: Amazon.com (US) | Amazon.co.uk (UK) | Amazon.ca (CA) | Amazon.de (DE) | Amazon.fr (FR) | Amazon.es (ES) | Amazon.it (IT) | Amazon.jp (JP)

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Reviews for the Third Edition

Reviews for the third edition of The Strawberry Bricks Guide to Progressive rock (will be updated).

"Each of the over 500 entries is lovingly annotated with insightful breakdowns of each subject, which resulted in me reacquainting myself with many albums I hadn't thought about in years. Whether you are the novice getting your cape dirty for the first time, or a seasoned veteran who enjoys a fresh perspective, this is your mountain to climb." - Eric Reidelberger, Ugly Things Magazine

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 in The Crazy World of Arthur Brown. They split off during a US tour in 1969, and returned to England and formed Atomic Rooster (1969 was the Year of the Rooster in the Chinese Zodiac). 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; bringing both influences to Atomic Rooster imbued the band with 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: 
Following the release of The Aerosol Grey Machine, careful manipulation from Charisma label founder Tony Stratton-Smith released Peter Hammill from his contract with Mercury Records, allowing Van der Graaf Generator the freedom to join the Charisma stable of artists. Hammill and Hugh Banton then reunited the band, with Guy Evans recruiting bassist Nic Potter from The Misunderstood. Yet the arrival of sax player David Jackson, previously with Chris Judge Smith in Heebalob, was when all the pieces fell into place for the band.

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 great success in America with a cover of Joe South's "Hush," but their three albums for the Tetragrammaton label were patchy at best. Although the musicianship was high, with Jon Lord's classically-inspired organ breaks and Ritchie Blackmore's arpeggio runs and big riffs, they had a 60s-sounding vocalist in Rod Evans. Rocking-out Colosseum style, the instrumental "Hard Road (Wring That Neck)" from Book Of Taliesyn was arguably 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: 1969-07
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: 1969-09
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.