This is the third instalment, or fourth if you count the freebie given away with Prog Magazine, in the Prog Rocks campaign. This is a joint venture between the labels EMI, Inside Out and Prog Magazine. The aim is to highlight the wide range of artists which "fit" under the umbrella of progressive rock. The legacy side of prog is covered by EMI with the current scene represented by acts associated with Inside Out. Whereas the first two volumes of the Prog Rocks campaign were 2 CD affairs this year they have pushed things further with a 5 CD box set. Each disc is given over to a specific prog affiliated label. The first four volumes being EMI owned, namely Harvest, Charisma, Virgin and Liberty. The last volume covers Inside Out's roster.
These types of compilations are never going to be definitive as they either represent the personal taste of the compiler or are restricted by licensing issues. Here Prog Magazine's edition Jerry Ewing has done a fair job of mixing more familiar prog fair such as VdGG, Hawkwind and Steve Hackett with more obscure items by the likes of Machiavel, Slapp Happy and Beardfish which will keep the curious happy in searching further afield.
It's a well put together box. Each disc in a cardboard sleeve, all housed in a clamshell box. The booklet has essays by Ewing and Inside Out label head Thomas Waber. A nice touch is that each disc has the original LP classic label design recreated. I particularly like the Roger Dean colour Virgin logo.
By the way Jerry Ewing put together another pretty useful 4CD prog box set a few years back for Universal called "Wondrous Stories". Again this covered prog from the early days up to the present and included some of the big names of prog like Yes, ELP, Gentle Giant, Marillion and Rush. Nice book style packaging.