Incredible String Band - Relics Of The Incredible String Band
Format: 2 × Vinyl, LP, Compilation
Record: VG+ VG++
Textured Gatefold Cover: VG+ ringwear, cornerwear, minor wear to front
Genre: Folk, World, & Country, Rock
Style: Folk Rock, Psychedelic Rock, Folk
A1 Everything's Fine Right Now
Lead Vocals – Mike Heron 2:15
A2 October Song
Lead Vocals – Robin Williamson 4:00
A3 Painting Box
Lead Vocals – Mike Heron 4:00
A4 First Girl I Loved
Lead Vocals – Robin Williamson 4:50
A5 The Hedgehog's Song
Lead Vocals – Mike Heron 3:25
A6 Way Back In The 1960's
Lead Vocals – Robin Williamson 3:07
B1 No Sleep Blues
Lead Vocals – Robin Williamson 3:50
B2 Koeeoaddi There
Lead Vocals – Robin Williamson 4:41
B3 My Name Is Death
Lead Vocals – Robin Williamson 2:42
B4 A Very Cellular Song
Lead Vocals – Mike Heron 12:50
C1 The Minotaur's Song
Lead Vocals – Robin Williamson 3:13
Lead Vocals – Mike Heron 3:12
C3 Cousin Caterpillar
Lead Vocals – Mike Heron 5:13
C4 Job's Tears
Lead Vocals – Robin Williamson 6:36
C5 Log Cabin Home In The Sky
Lead Vocals – Mike Heron 4:00
Lead Vocals – Robin Williamson 9:20
D2 Big Ted
Lead Vocals – Robin Williamson 4:29
D3 The Letter
Lead Vocals – Mike Heron 3:00
D4 This Moment
Lead Vocals – Mike Heron 6:07
Art Direction, Design – Robert L. Heimall
Artwork By – Jacqueline Chwast
Engineer – John Wood
Producer – Jac Holzman, Joe Boyd, Keith Holzman
Produced at Witchseason Productions, London.
Barcode and Other Identifiers
Matrix Number: 7E-2004-A-2 [Cutters Insignia] SX 2
Matrix Number: 7E-2004-B-2 [Cutters Insignia] SX 2
Matrix Number: 7E-2004-C-2 [Cutters Insignia] SX 2
Matrix Number: 7E-2004-D [Cutters Insignia] SX 1
The Incredible String Band (sometimes abbreviated as ISB) were a psychedelic folk band formed in Scotland in 1966.
The band built a considerable following, especially within British counterculture, before splitting up in 1974. The group's members are musical pioneers in psych folk and, by integrating a wide variety of traditional music forms and instruments, in the development of world music. The group reformed in 1999 and continued to perform until 2006.
The Incredible String Band was founded in Edinburgh in 1965 by Mike Heron, Robin Williamson, and Clive Palmer. Their 1966 eponymous debut album was a pretty straightforward traditional British folk record. Most of the songs clocked in at two to four minutes, and the trio played them on guitar, banjo, violin, and mandolin. The sprawling fantasias with their exotic instrumentation would come later.
In 1967, right in the midst of the “Summer of Love,” the Incredible String Band released their second album, The 5000 Spirits or the Layers of the Onion. Folk music, British and American, remained the core of their sound. But Williamson and Heron’s growing interest in Indian and Arabic music was evident in the songwriting and the vocals, especially Williamson’s use of microtones, and in the instrumentation, with the duo and guest musicians on sitar, tamboura, oud and gimbri, as well as acoustic guitars.
“The Hedgehog Song”, “Painting Box”, and “First Girl I Loved” (covered by Judy Collins and Jackson Browne) proved that the Incredible String Band could turn out tunes as hooky as anything on the pop charts. “Way Back in the 1960s”, the musings of a 91-year-old about his youth in that epochal decade (“Yes, you made your own amusements then”) showed they had a sense of humor.
The new direction came to full fruition with 1968’s The Hangman’s Beautiful Daughter, whose centerpiece was the number that blew my young mind at the Fillmore East: Mike Heron’s “A Very Cellular Song”, But Heron’s “The Minotaur’s Song”, with its anthemic melody and whimsical lyrics (“His habits are predicta-bull / Aggressively relia-bull”), was a wonderfully weird homage to homegrown musical tradition: the comic operas of W.S. Gilbert and Arthur Sullivan.
The Incredible String Band hit their creative peak in 1968, following up Hangman with the double LP set, Wee Tam and the Big Huge . (The LP`s also were released separately in the United States.) Band girlfriends Rose Simpson and Licorice McKechnie were now full-fledged members, as singers and instrumentalists. Much of the Incredible String Band’s best material appears on these albums.
The contrasting writing styles of Williamson and Heron yielded catchy folk and country tunes (Heron) and long, epic ballads dense with Christian imagery and pagan mythology (Williamson). I prefer Heron’s more down to earth approach (“Log Cabin Home in the Sky” ),
The Incredible String Band at their best exemplified the virtues of the ‘60s counterculture, especially its creative daring and open-hearted spiritual yearning. They paved the way for “world music” by incorporating, with taste and intelligence, elements of non-Western musical cultures. (And, for better or worse, they paved the way for the “freak folk” movement.) At their worst, they could be twee and pretentious. And after 1969, when they embraced Scientology, the spirituality devolved into kozmic krapola. But their best work is pretty terrific, and thanks to producer Joe Boyd’s deft re-mastering, it sounds better than ever.
The Incredible String Band - Painting Box
Incredible String Band - This Moment (Woodstock '69)