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First Battle

(Guerssen; US: ; UK: Import)

In the wake of England’s progressive rock renaissance at the cusp of the’ 70s, the success of bands like Genesis, Jethro Tull, King Crimson and Yes inspired groups all across Europe to invest in Moog synthesizers and copies of The Lord of the Rings trilogy. One of the finest outfits of the heavy prog persuasion to emerge from this movement of odd-metered boogie was Belgium’s Waterloo. Originally released in 1970, the album First Battle is where the wispy psych-folk of Incredible String Band meets the organ-heavy bombast of early Uriah Heep, and it was long considered to be one of the greatest European prog-rock albums. Original copies of its first pressing on the Vogue label are said to go for incredible sums of money on eBay. This single-disc, expanded edition of that LP, from the Spanish label Guerssen Records, adds six bonus tracks of previously unreleased session outtakes and newly penned liner notes, and is definitely worth checking out if you have a hankering for obscure Euro prog.


Ron Hart is currently enjoying his 11th year as a professional music journalist. In addition to PopMatters, he has also written for such publications as CMJ,,, The Village Voice, Gear, Paper, SHOUT NY,, Blender, Yellow Rat Bastard, Good Times, Paste, and among others. He is also the editor and publisher of the Interboro Rock Tribune, a free NYC music zine now in its 6th year in print. Please give us traffic on our website at

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