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Latest news: Please note that the book is officially out of print. I am preparing a second edition of the Strawberry Bricks Guide to Progressive Rock, due not before late 2015. 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 that has made a purchase!

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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, in the south coast of England. Brothers Peter and Michael Giles, bass and drums respectively, had spent the past 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: 1968-07
Strawberry Bricks Entry: 
Family centered on the talents of guitarist 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 Rick Grech. American producer Kim Fowley gave them their name, a reference to their “mafia” appearance. Rob Townsend arrived on drums and after recording one single for the Liberty label they were signed by Reprise.

Fairport Convention > Fairport Convention

Artist: Fairport Convention
Label: Polydor
Catalog#: 583 035
Format: Vinyl
Country: United States
Released: 1968-06
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-rock band. Fairport too was absorbing their influences, considerably West Coast (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. In particular, "Sun Shade" and "The Lobster" portend the King Crimson debut in some respects - except of course, 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". Released in June, it rose to the top of the UK charts, while reaching No. 2 in the US that September. Like Procol Harum's debut, 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 everyone to follow.

A Saucerful Of Secrets > Pink Floyd

Artist: Pink Floyd
Label: Tower
Catalog#: ST 5131
Format: Vinyl
Country: United States
Released: 1968-06
Strawberry Bricks Entry: 
With Syd Barrett's unpredictability on stage reaching the point of embarrassment for the band, Pink Floyd forged ahead into 1968 with fellow Cambridge guitarist and friend David Gilmour in tow. Driven by pressure from EMI for another hit, they first released a single, "It Would Be So Nice" b/w "Julia Dream" in April, but it was mostly throwaway. The album, A Saucerful of Secrets, however fared much better.

Tomorrow > Tomorrow

Artist: Tomorrow Featuring Keith West
Label: Parlophone
Catalog#: PCS 7042
Format: Vinyl
Country: United States
Released: 1968-02
Strawberry Bricks Entry: 
Originally together in the In Crowd, bassist John "Junior" Wood and singer Keith West had middling success, but after teaming with guitarist Steve Howe and drummer John "Twink" Alder, they ditched the R&B slant and launched straight into psychedelia. Highly regarded as a live act, Tomorrow was part of the original scene of London's underground. They missed out as the house band in Michelangelo Antonioni's cult film "Blow Up" (the Yardbirds got it instead), but ended up signed to EMI.

Elegy > Nice, The

Artist: Nice
Label: Mercury
Catalog#: SR 61324
Format: Vinyl
Country: United States
Released: 1971-04

Five Bridges > Nice, The

Artist: Nice
Label: Mercury
Catalog#: SR-61295
Format: Vinyl
Country: United States
Released: 1970-06

The Thoughts Of Emerlist Davjack > Nice, The

Artist: Nice
Label: Immediate
Catalog#: IMSP 016
Format: Vinyl
Country: United States
Released: 1967-12
Strawberry Bricks Entry: 
Taking their name from Steve Marriott's (of The Small Faces) euphemism for being high, The Nice originally formed as a back-up band for Immediate label soul singer, P.P. Arnold. But the group's infatuation with Hendrix-like stage antics, in particular Keith Emerson's keyboard histrionics, led them quickly away and into London's limelight. Guitar heroes had been around for years already, but Emerson lashed out as England's first keyboard showman.

Nice > Nice, The

Artist: Nice
Label: Immediate
Catalog#: Z12 52022
Format: Vinyl
Country: United States
Released: 1969-08
Strawberry Bricks Entry: 
Upon review, The Nice's third self-titled record is certainly not their strongest effort, failing to offer any progress on the band's prior two releases. In fact, it contains little new studio material at all. The album opens with "Azrael (Revisited)", but Keith Emerson's piano is no substitute for David O'List's guitar that featured on the original single.