1971 was a hell of a year in modern British music. Classic Rock saw releases that are still standards on Rock stations today and by names like Led Zeppelin, Rolling Stones, The Who, Deep Purple. But there was another scene that saw a massive breakthrough in 1971 – Progressive/Underground Rock saw more albums in the charts than ever before and a more diverse set of bands and styles than imagined only a couple of years before.

This 4 CD box set contains 54 gems, all totally individual and, for those around at the time, still ageless. As an introduction to Progressive Rock it is brilliant and for those that were there are the time there will be many, many, memories of the festivals, venues like The Roundhouse and the post-hippie, post-Woodstock musical generation.

A lot of the bands here had their fleeting moments in 1971 while others became the giants of Prog but there is a consistent quality all through this set even though many of the bands were experimenting with sounds and techniques.

The list of bands is incredible – Edgar Broughton Band, Family, Procol Harum, Jethro Tull, Hawkwind, Emerson Lake & Palmer, Yes, Lindisfarne, Pretty Things all feature on the first of the 4 CDs, along with lesser names such as Spring, Beggars Banquet & Audience. But the standard continues through all 4 CD sets bringing in perennial favourites such as Gentle Giant, Uriah Heep, Man, Traffic, Status Quo, Van Der Graaf Generator, Jack Bruce, Keef Hartley, Sandy Denny, John Martyn...

It isn’t possible to include everything from that breakthrough year, but it is a remarkable task to bring together bands from all the different labels into one set.

A stunning picture of the state of one of the most fascinating areas of British music in 1971 and, as usual, top quality remasters, brilliant packaging, and a fine and well researched booklet.