14/03/2007

The Incredible String Band - The Incredible String Band (1966)

One of my all-time favourites, The Incredible String Band were one of the most haunting avant-folk groups to emerge from the fertile ground of the late 60s UK scene. In retrospect, it can be said that they were amongst the pioneers of world music, since, especially from their second album (the famous The 5000 Spirits or the Layers of the Onion) on they began to incorporate Middle Eastern and Asian instruments and melodies in their basically hippy-Celtic sound (they were from Scotland). But let’s start from the beginning. The album I chose to post here is their 1966 debut, probably the most “orthodox” album in their career. Nevertheless, it’s a unique and highly rewarding record in its own right. Highly recommended!

«The debut release from the original Incredible String Band trio – Robin Williamson (violin/whistle/mandolin/guitar/vocals), Clive Palmer (banjo/guitar/vocals), and Mike Heron (guitar/vocals) – was also their most simple. It is this minimalism that allowed the natural radiance of the band's (mostly) original material to be evident in the purist sense, and likewise without many of the somewhat intricate distractions and musical tangents that their future work would incorporate. Immediately striking is the group's remarkable and collective prowess on seemingly all things stringed – hence, their apropos moniker. With an unmistakable blend of distinct instrumentation and harmony vocals, the Incredible String Band take inspiration from traditional music on both sides of the Atlantic. Their impish charm and tongue-in-cheek fairytale mythology also add to their folkie mystique. This first long-player – originally issued in 1966 – contains a bevy of songs that, while steeped in conventional folk music, are completely unique. This likewise holds true for the three traditional pieces, "Schaeffer's Jig," "Whistle Tune," and the rare Clive Palmer instrumental solo, "Niggertown." Palmer, formerly of the highly underrated Famous Jug Band, would exit the Incredible String Band after this record, and thus the perpetually rotating personnel that would guide the group for the remainder of its existence began, perhaps aptly, at the beginning. The original songs range from light and airy love ballads – such as the Williamson solo "Womankind" or the understated mischief of "Dandelion Blues" – to the high and lonesome sound of Mike Heron's mandolin-driven "How Happy I Am." There are likewise darker – yet no less poignant – tunes such as "Empty Pocket Blues" and the haunting "Good As Gone."» (AMG)

Link in comments


10 comments:

Radu said...

http://www.megaupload.com/?d=0055T70I

Anonymous said...

Unfortunately, they have already deleted the link.

Radu said...

The link is still working, please try again

John said...

Link worked for me. And I've been looking for this record to complete my ISB collection. As always, thanks for such a fascinating blog!

bruis said...

Link is working. Thanks I like Clive Palmer, who later did 'SOB' albums.

bruis said...

SOB? Sorry I think I meant COB of course. Something like that anyway!

Frits said...

Thanks for ISB. The Last record to complete my collection!

Anonymous said...

radu, gostaria que voce repostasse esse album pois nao conseguir fazer o download.
parabens pelo blog!!!
abraço

repost please...
thanks

raspberrysnotgobblingwizard said...

Thanks for this. Unaccountably I never really got into them first time around but with your help I'm remedying that.
Great blog.
Cheers

Radu said...

Alternative Link:

http://sharebee.com/06377703