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Progressive Rock



London, UK

1969 to 1971

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Artist Biography
Quatermass was a British progressive rock band formed in London, England in September 1969. Lauded as a band of the future[by whom?] on the release of their debut album and supplementing single, "Black Sheep of the Family", major commercial success eluded the band throughout its brief duration.

The trio consisted of bass player and vocalist John Gustafson, keyboardist Pete Robinson and Mick Underwood on drums, all well-established and previously distinguished musicians who had met while playing in Episode Six. As Quatermass, these musicians strove for a distinguished organ-tinged sound, with swinging rock coupled with striking ballads. Their first and only album sold itself through "...compactness, wealth of ideas, forceful lead vocals and complicated arrangements, enriched by pianist Robinson's tasteful use of classical strings which are on display along with spacious keyboard passages at their height in the mold of The Nice." One track, Laughin' Tackle, includes 16 violins, 6 violas, 6 cellos, and 3 double bass. The strings were arranged by Robinson. This track also includes the requisite drum solo by Underwood. In 1994, Underwood, and Nick Simper joined in a project titled Quatermass II. Gustafson contributed two songs on their eventual album, Long Road (1997), which also involved Gary Davis and Bart Foley on guitars, with Don Airey on keyboards.

The band took its name from Professor Bernard Quatermass, a fictional scientist who had been the hero of three science fiction serials produced by BBC Television in the 1950s.

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