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S. F. Sorrow > Pretty Things, The

Artist: Pretty Things
Label: EMI Columbia
Catalog#: SCX 6306
Format: Vinyl
Country: United States
Released: 1968-12
Strawberry Bricks Entry: 
An original member of the proto-Rolling Stones, bassist Dick Taylor hooked up with singer guitarist Phil May at London Central School of Art in 1963 to form The Pretty Things. Moving to London, their R&B-influenced rock was an instant success. In June 1964, "Rosalyn" b/w "Big Boss Man" scored the group the first of many hits in the UK, while their self-titled debut album, released in early 1965, would rise to No. 6.

Shine On Brightly > Procol Harum

Artist: Procol Harum
Label: A&M Records
Catalog#: SP 4151
Format: Vinyl
Country: United States
Released: 1968-09
Strawberry Bricks Entry: 
Procol Harum's second effort starts off predictably: Gary Brooker's monochromatic wail over Matthew Fisher's swirling Hammond chords on the title track offer elegance, while the pitter-patter of the following "Skip Softly (My Moonbeams)" gives way to something deeper. "Wish Me Well" even attempts some blues, obviously at guitarist Robin Trower's suggestion. Although the first side of the record could have easily come from their debut, the second side, containing the epic "In Held ‘Twas in I," is the real accomplishment here.

Caravan > Caravan

Artist: Caravan
Label: Verve Forecast
Catalog#: FTS-3066
Format: Vinyl
Country: United States
Released: 1969-01
Strawberry Bricks Entry: 
Caravan's history begins as half of The Wilde Flowers, the original hotbed of musical proclivity that originated in Canterbury, Kent in 1965. Soft Machine, of course, was the other half. With its members drifting both in and out of the band, The Wilde Flowers ranks were constantly revolving. At some point, the reins were left to guitarist/singer Pye Hastings, drummer Richard Coughlan and organist Dave Sinclair. Adding Dave's cousin Richard Sinclair on bass, they became Caravan in early 1968.

This Was > Jethro Tull

Artist: Jethro Tull
Label: Reprise Records
Catalog#: RS 6336
Format: Vinyl
Country: United States
Released: 1968-10
Strawberry Bricks Entry: 
The story of Jethro Tull begins with the John Evan Band in Blackpool during the mid-60s. Like most other bands from the era, they played soul covers before moving on to the blues. The summer of 1967 brought Ian Anderson and Glenn Cornick to London.

Hawkwind > Hawkwind

Artist: Hawkwind
Label: Liberty
Catalog#: LBS 83348
Format: Vinyl
Country: United States
Released: 1970-08
Strawberry Bricks Entry: 
In 1969, guitarist Dave Brock, guitarist Mick Slattery and drummer Terry Ollis gathered saxophonist Nik Turner and synthesist Michael "Dik Mik" Davies; and after a few name and personnel changes, they launched the ultimate underground band, Hawkwind. The band came to the attention of Doug Smith of Clearwater Productions (via DJ John Peel) after opening (as "Group X") for High Tide at a gig Smith organized at All Saints Hall in Notting Hill. Demos were then recorded at EMI Studios (as Hawkwind Zoo), and Huw Lloyd-Langton then replaced Slattery.

X In Search Of Space > Hawkwind

Artist: Hawkwind
Label: United Artists Records
Catalog#: UAS 5567
Format: Vinyl
Country: United States
Released: 1971-10
Strawberry Bricks Entry: 
Hawkwind quickly earned a reputation as “the people’s band” from playing free concerts in and around London, and from the counter-culture (Friends magazine, drugs) associated with those events. One of Hawkwind’s most notable free gigs was in late August 1970, at Canvas City, an inflatable “bubble” tent outside the gates of the Isle of Wight Festival. With Thomas Crimble on bass, the band played for hours, but the experience proved too much for Huw Lloyd-Langton, who suffered an unsuspected spike of acid.

The Cheerful Insanity Of Giles, Giles And Fripp > Giles, Giles & Fripp

Artist: Giles, Giles And Fripp
Label: Deram
Catalog#: SML 1022
Format: Vinyl
Country: United States
Released: 1968-09
Strawberry Bricks Entry: 
This was by no means a major release; these are, however, the first recordings from guitarist Robert Fripp, and as such, of interest to the timeline. The band came to London from provincial Bournemouth, on England's south coast. Brothers Peter Giles and Michael Giles, bass and drums respectively, had spent the last seven years as a rhythm section together, performing mainly R&B covers. In London, they managed to secure a deal with Deram Records, who released two singles and the album, The Cheerful Insanity Of Giles, Giles & Fripp.

Music In A Doll's House > Family

Artist: Family
Label: Reprise Records
Catalog#: RS 6312
Format: Vinyl
Country: United States
Released: 1968-08
Strawberry Bricks Entry: 
Family centered on the talents of guitarist John "Charlie" Whitney and vocalist Roger Chapman, and found early acceptance in the London underground scene. The pair was originally in the Leicester-based Farinas, along with sax/flute player Jim King and bassist Ric Grech. American producer Kim Fowley gave them their name, a reference to their "mafia" appearance. Rob Townsend then arrived on drums, and after recording one single for the Liberty label, they were signed by Reprise Records.

Fairport Convention > Fairport Convention

Artist: Fairport Convention
Label: Polydor
Catalog#: 583 035
Format: Vinyl
Country: United States
Released: 1968-07
Strawberry Bricks Entry: 
Fairport Convention got its start in the same London underground as their more psychedelic counterparts and eventually became England's first (and finest) electric folk band. Fairport too was absorbing their influences, here considerably West Coast (e.g. The Byrds) with the requisite Bob Dylan and Joni Mitchell covers. Their debut is a pleasant and gentle affair that showcased the talents of guitarists Richard Thompson and Simon Nicol. "Sun Shade" and "The Lobster" both portend the King Crimson debut in some respects-except of course there's no Mellotron.

The Crazy World Of Arthur Brown > Crazy World Of Arthur Brown, The

Artist: Crazy World Of Arthur Brown
Label: Track Record
Catalog#: SD 8198
Format: Vinyl
Country: United States
Released: 1968-06
Strawberry Bricks Entry: 
Another stanchion of the London underground scene, Arthur Brown had huge success with the single "Fire" b/w "Rest Cure." Released in June, it rose to the top of the UK charts, while reaching No. 2 in the US that September. The single was a tough act to follow, perhaps even overshadowing the rest of his career. But let's not sell the man short. Brown's real contribution to rock music was theatre: his on-stage antics-from fire helmet to crucifixion-set the standard for most every act to follow.