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Thread: Strawberry Bricks, Revised and Expanded Edition

  1. #51
    Member wideopenears's Avatar
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    I've had a chance to spend a bunch of time with the book, and I love it. I haven't seen the first edition, so can't compare, but for me, at age 51, I was familiar with about 1/3 of the albums discussed--I listened to Yes, Crimson, ELP, Floyd, Rush, etc. in my early teen years, though this was the music of my friend's older brothers. Lots of blues rock, and psychedelia, as well.

    Since the internet, PE, and Gnosis, I've rounded out my collection over the last decade plus, but there are still some gems to discover, and this book has pointed me in some new directions. I also appreciate the interviews, and the whole premise of "the Right Time" and the sort of confluence of factors that allowed progressive music to arise. My tastes, for a long time, have leaned more toward jazz-flavored stuff like fusion and jazz rock, and less toward the symphonic rock of my youth, but I still spin that stuff regularly, too. Canterbury, and the whole "Krautrock" scene, were fairly new to me, as was, believe it or not, Genesis, who my friends listened to, but I coudn't stand the post Hackett music I heard at the time. I discovered the Gabriel and early Post Gabriel albums, and Duke too, not so long ago.

    My first honest-to-god rock concert was Asia, after their first album dropped. Frankly, having spent years listening to Yessongs, and Wetton-era Crimson, and Welcome Back my Friends, they were a huge let down. They really were the end of the ProgRock time, though of course there are still plenty of great bands making progressive music. They're just not "mainstream" anymore, for the most part.

    I think this is an essential read for prog fans, and really for anyone who wants a good window into the rock and roll of the late 60's to early 80's.
    "And this is the chorus.....or perhaps it's a bridge...."

  2. #52
    Here's a great picture of the book, from Pye Hastings!

    pyehastings.jpg
    "Always ready with the ray of sunshine"

  3. #53
    "Always ready with the ray of sunshine"

  4. #54
    Quote Originally Posted by strawberrybrick View Post
    Hey Charles, love the book and would like to read the review. Do you have it, are you able to copy/past the review here? You have to be a Team Rock member to get past the first few sentences on your link.

  5. #55
    Here's a few encapsulations from very recent reviews of The Strawberry Bricks Guide to Progressive Rock, Revised and Expanded Edition (2017):

    “In this updated edition of his 2007 book, an idea of the kind of depth Charles Snider goes into can be gleaned from the revised artwork, an electron-microscope image of the grooves of Minstrel In The Gallery. It’s a heck of a project, and his dedication and breadth of choice is to be applauded. Snider’s summaries are intensely fact-packed but academic – this is still an enthusiast’s mothership.”
    --Jo Kendall, Prog Magazine

    “[H]is time-centric genre definition cite[s] supportive data from various sources and suggest[s] that progressive rock is/was music created by a generation of men born roughly between 1944 and 1950 (median birth year 1947): Fascinating, and persuasively explained in the context of his premise.
    Where “guide” books of this ilk sink or swim lies in how convincingly the author makes his/her case for inherently subjective viewpoints and conclusions. Snider deserves credit for tackling this head-on. The Strawberry Bricks Guide to Progressive Rock is an informative, enlightening read that’ll keep you occupied for hours and certainly get you thinking. Snider supports his [opinions] with considerable research/study. This book offers valuable perspective on where “prog” came from historically, in one handy (hefty) volume.”
    --John Collinge, Progression Magazine

    “I don't often use the word massive, but this book is, in fact, massive. At over 600 pages, The Strawberry Bricks Guide to Progressive Rock is a sort of bedside reader for prog fans of all stripes. Author Charles Snider taps his deep knowledge of the genre for a fascinating read.
    It's a strong piece of work. Snider makes his points well and writes in a smooth conversational style. We don't share the same views on every release, but who does? The Strawberry Bricks Guide to Progressive Rock is very honestly the most enjoyable book on progressive music I've read to date! I must now seek out several albums I never even knew existed before I read this book!”
    --John Wilcox, Progsheet
    "Always ready with the ray of sunshine"

  6. #56
    If you don't mind, a bump as the holiday season is upon us.

    A very recent review from Amazon.com

    "A well written collection of reviews pertaining to the Progressive Rock genre which has revealed me to bands I might have otherwise never heard. Also, this reference provides a healthy context in relation to artistic achievement, musical influence and lasting contribution. Lastly, this book is a must have for those of you interested in the development of this highly entertaining musical genre as the author, Charles Snider imparts his love for the music with remarkable aplomb."
    "Always ready with the ray of sunshine"

  7. #57
    That's Mr. to you, Sir!! Trane's Avatar
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    Fairly few books merit the name of a "brick", but this one does: not only because of its name, but also its format that comes close to a real clay brick, though the book's cover is neither strawberry or clay colour like. Despite its foundational reference book nature, it is a brick which you shouldn't place at the bottom of your library's foundation, because you will probably pull it out repeatedly to verify some info on an album's place in progressive rock's history.

    Though a lot of encyclopedian music books follow some kind of chronology, Charles Snider has a different concept than most music books, who either go through the history of a musical movement either year by year, group by group. In the present case, he goes one further by respecting a more strict chronology, going through the year's releases month by month, which is as far as I know the first time this has been done. Aymeric Leroy has done this to some extent on his Canterbury School recent book, but if that other (thicker) brick does review somewhat the albums released, it is not its main goal.

    Indeed, this monthly release notion is relatively important in understanding as to whom influenced whom and eventually on on which album. Most other books will present a given year's output on the same pedestal with no chronological order, unless a band/artiste has put out more than one album that year.

    This monthly release notion is not only an important one, but a sometimes complicated task, as the information is not necessarily easily available/ Most records will give the recording date, but never the actual release date, though one can extrapolate that it would normally be marketed roughly six to 15 weeks after the recording sessions, though there is no rule at all. In some case, the author did not manage to find a more precise date, so he will give "Autumn 71" (which is still fine) or "Sometime in 73" (which means that the author's search for additional info failed)

    Of course the book doesn't fully manage to translate Snider's excellent website of the same name, as the actual timeline is simply unformattable (read practically impossible) onto paper, unless using the foldable leporello format, but even then I doubt the result will be very practical. Though still focusing on the late-60's until the late 70's, this 2.0 version of Strawberry Brick book sees the timeline extended to the early 80's, and he gives us a rapid overview of decades to come as an epilogue. As another "bonus", a series of lengthy and fascinating interviews of some of the key actors - no superstars, but some essential artistes – are very welcome.
    my music collection increased tenfolds when I switched from heroin-addicts to crazy ones

  8. #58
    To celebrate the one year anniversary of the new edition, Thomas Hatton of Proglodytes did an interview with yours truly. Thank you Thomas!

    "Charles Snider’s The Strawberry Bricks Guide to Progressive Rock is essential reading for any fan of classic Progressive rock. The book is over 600 pages worth of prog rock history, interviews with fundamental and important progressive artists, and hundreds of concise, excellent album reviews. I first heard of Charles Snider when I cited him heavily in a paper I wrote in college on progressive rock, and I’ve been a fan ever since. I had the honor of asking him a few questions about his book."

    https://proglodytes.com/2018/04/19/i...gressive-rock/
    "Always ready with the ray of sunshine"

  9. #59
    Nice interview! I didn't know (or didn't remember) that both of our introductions to prog was Roundabout. I was sitting in the car on my high school's parking lot when the song came on the AM radio. I was stunned! I had never heard anything like that in my life. I think the bass and keyboard playing amazed me the most, but the song in totality was stunning. It still is to this day!

    P.S. I built a crystal radio set too. I remember hearing McCartney's "Uncle Albert/Admiral Halsey," Cher's "Gypsies, Tramps and Thieves," and Rod Stewart's "Maggie May" right after building it. That was pretty amazing too.
    Amazon Marketplace - http://www.amazon.com/shops/A3UJ306B3ZDWF4
    Many hard to find CDs (mostly prog)

  10. #60
    Roy, I think that whole timeline format was during our Prodigy days... you still have your poster?
    "Always ready with the ray of sunshine"

  11. #61
    Yes, I still have the poster. Yeah, I think that's when you developed it - early to mid '90s?
    Amazon Marketplace - http://www.amazon.com/shops/A3UJ306B3ZDWF4
    Many hard to find CDs (mostly prog)

  12. #62
    Just FYI, but the Revised and Expanded Edition will be out of print towards the end of April 2019. Thank you to everyone that purchased a copy!
    "Always ready with the ray of sunshine"

  13. #63
    Member since March 2004 mozo-pg's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Trane View Post
    Fairly few books merit the name of a "brick", but this one does: not only because of its name, but also its format that comes close to a real clay brick, though the book's cover is neither strawberry or clay colour like. Despite its foundational reference book nature, it is a brick which you shouldn't place at the bottom of your library's foundation, because you will probably pull it out repeatedly to verify some info on an album's place in progressive rock's history.

    Though a lot of encyclopedian music books follow some kind of chronology, Charles Snider has a different concept than most music books, who either go through the history of a musical movement either year by year, group by group. In the present case, he goes one further by respecting a more strict chronology, going through the year's releases month by month, which is as far as I know the first time this has been done. Aymeric Leroy has done this to some extent on his Canterbury School recent book, but if that other (thicker) brick does review somewhat the albums released, it is not its main goal.

    Indeed, this monthly release notion is relatively important in understanding as to whom influenced whom and eventually on on which album. Most other books will present a given year's output on the same pedestal with no chronological order, unless a band/artiste has put out more than one album that year.

    This monthly release notion is not only an important one, but a sometimes complicated task, as the information is not necessarily easily available/ Most records will give the recording date, but never the actual release date, though one can extrapolate that it would normally be marketed roughly six to 15 weeks after the recording sessions, though there is no rule at all. In some case, the author did not manage to find a more precise date, so he will give "Autumn 71" (which is still fine) or "Sometime in 73" (which means that the author's search for additional info failed)

    Of course the book doesn't fully manage to translate Snider's excellent website of the same name, as the actual timeline is simply unformattable (read practically impossible) onto paper, unless using the foldable leporello format, but even then I doubt the result will be very practical. Though still focusing on the late-60's until the late 70's, this 2.0 version of Strawberry Brick book sees the timeline extended to the early 80's, and he gives us a rapid overview of decades to come as an epilogue. As another "bonus", a series of lengthy and fascinating interviews of some of the key actors - no superstars, but some essential artistes – are very welcome.
    ^This, and Charles commend on the end is nearing has me, almost, ready to push the button. Still, it's over $50 Canadian so I have to think about it for a few days. I do own the original.

  14. #64
    Quote Originally Posted by mozo-pg View Post
    ^This, and Charles commend on the end is nearing has me, almost, ready to push the button. Still, it's over $50 Canadian so I have to think about it for a few days. I do own the original.
    For me to ship a copy to Canada, it's $24 for shipping alone. It has made it impossible for me to ship outside the USA.

    For the third and final iteration, I'm going to remove The Portraits section (it will be on the web, and eventually another book altogether), add a few more albums to the timeline (to reach 500!, they will also be on the website), and probably go back to the original cover. This will lower cost, and shipping.

    Thank you to all who have purchased, and of course, for the overwhelming positive response!
    "Always ready with the ray of sunshine"

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