Various Artists: Psychedelia: Original Album Series

A tenner buys five prog-related slabs of English psych.

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This bargain set brings you not only five full albums but also offers fans the chance of hearing the early musical forays of some of prog’s fledgling icons. Tomorrow were one of the earliest of England’s psychedelic bands, featuring future Yes man Steve Howe, Pink Fairies founder Twink and singer Keith West (of Excerpts From A Teenage Opera fame), the band’s 1968 debut is included here.

July featured Tom Newman on guitar and vocals, and – as any Mike Oldfield fan will tell you – he went on to produce albums such as Tubular Bells and helped build Richard Branson’s [then] Manor Studios in Oxfordshire. The Gods’ 1968 debut Genesis is here too – they featured future Tull bassist John Glasscock and future Uriah Heep men Ken Hensley and Lee Kerslake.

As for The Idle Race (their ’68 debut, The Birthday Party, is in here), not only was the album produced by future Yes/ELP producer Eddy Offord, but the band were an early vehicle for the vision of future ELO leader Jeff Lynne.

Released a year earlier than the other four discs here, The Yardbirds’ Little Games has a prog connection of its own, with singer Keith Relf later fronting an early incarnation of Renaissance.

Jerry Ewing

Writer and broadcaster Jerry Ewing is the Editor of Prog Magazine which he founded for Future Publishing in 2009. He grew up in Sydney and began his writing career in London for Metal Forces magazine in 1989. He has since written for Metal Hammer, Maxim, Vox, Stuff and Bizarre magazines, among others. He created and edited Classic Rock Magazine for Dennis Publishing in 1998 and is the author of a variety of books on both music and sport, including Wonderous Stories; A Journey Through The Landscape Of Progressive Rock.