"Vertigo was set up by Phillips in 1969 to give a home to new progressive acts that were vastly different to the acts on the main roster and to compete with the new labels set up by EMI and Decca. At this time, rock was entering its golden age when the possibilities of rock music seemed endless.
The Beatles ‘Sgt.Pepper’ had shown that as much as 3-minute pop singles were good there was a growing demand for more experimental music. You could easily point to tracks such as ‘A Day In The Life’ as the blueprint for progressive rock. Couple that with what was coming across from America from the likes of Hendrix, The Doors, The Velvet Underground and Frank Zappa there was definitely a wind of change happening.
The major labels were quick to set up progressive labels in order to tap into this potentially huge market. EMI set up Harvest records and swiftly moved Pink Floyd, Floyd’s ex-frontman Syd Barrett and Deep Purple onto it whilst signing newer acts like Bakerloo, Quatermass and erm, Barclay James Harvest. Decca kind of missed the mark by putting The Moody Blues and Caravan onto their imprint Deram. But, then again Decca did turn down The Beatles.
Phillips however gave Vertigo the power to sign whoever they wished. Vertigo would just sign a bunch of bands, cut an album, throw it at the wall and see what sticked. Couple this gung-ho approach with an art department that had the luxury of most albums being granted gatefold sleeves to capture some amazing artwork meant that Vertigo had a really strong presence. Let’s not forget the wonderful ‘swirl’ logo on the record itself. Side A had the swirl that once it was revolving on your turntable at its 33 1/3 rpm’s and with you looking directly over it was aimed at inducing vertigo! Yay! Nothing better than messing with people’s heads eh?"
al_kennedy @ progarchives.com:
I can't recommend this album highly enough. For those of you with a record collection heaving with lesser known albums by Nucleus and Bob Downes, you probably won't find much to shout about with this album. However if you are familiar with Heep, Manfred Man and the more well trodden paths of 70's progressive rock, then this CD is a total treasure trove of sound bites and snippets from bands that you've never encountered in your rummage through your local second hand record store. But believe me you'll be rummaging a lot more closely after you've heard this!
Andy Votel's taken his favourite intro's, choruses and solos from a massive stock of Vertigo albums, many of which are not credited on the CD notes, and spliced them all together to produce one continuous flow of music. And the music you hear is some of the funkiest, jazziest, heaviest rock you've ever had the pleasure to discover.
After a few listens of this album, you'll find yourself going mad trying to pick out which clip relates to which artist, and then spending the next three months trawling the internet to find copies of their full length albums so you can hear what the rest of the song sounded like.
Essential listening - a masterpiece of progressive rock - you better believe it! (buy it)
Vertigo Mixed Track 2