Excellent addition to any rock music collection.
Of the records that the Incredible String Band recorded for Elektra, U is easily the strangest – even by the band's standards.
Be Glad for the Song Has No Ending is the eighth album by the Incredible String Band, featuring Mike Heron, Robin Williamson, Licorice McKechnie and Rose Simpson. It is the soundtrack for a film of the same name, and was released on Island Records 1970.
One of the most engaging groups to emerge from the esoteric '60s was the Incredible String Band. Basically the duo of Mike Heron and Robin Williamson, its sound was comprised of haunting Celtic folk melodies augmented by a variety of Middle Eastern and Asian instruments. Heron was a member of several rock bands in England in the early '60s, while Williamson and Clive Palmer played as a bluegrass and Scottish folk duo. Heron was asked to join as rhythm guitarist, and the trio named itself the Incredible String Band…
…While this album is a tremendous launch pad for potential enthusiasts, be aware that every Incredible String Band recording is also extremely individual and reflects the current membership of the group.
In the liner notes to these carefully packaged reissues, all four of the Incredible String Band principals– co-founder Clive Palmer, core duo Mike Heron and Robin Williamson, and Elektra records executive Joe Boyd– offer their insights in separate essays. Three of them mention the smell of patchouli. Such were the times, certainly, but the ISB are loved equally by avant-garde musicians, psychedelia enthusiasts, and those slightly dweeby young gentlemen who hang around music shops on college campuses. The reissue of their first four albums probably put to rest any notion that the ISB were a properly great band, releasing just one true classic, but they were rarely anything less than brave, inspired, and profoundly weird.
U is a double album by The Incredible String Band released in 1970 on Elektra Records. The music on the album is taken from the Incredible String Band's live mixed-media show of the same name, for which the band had just concluded performances when they recorded the album. The "U" show, which involved pantomime-like dancing along with music, had failed financially. Therefore, in an effort to recoup some of the losses, producer Joe Boyd booked the band for a mere two days in a recording studio to record what became a double album's worth of material. Despite the time constraints (literally 48 hours in which band members switched off in shifts between recording and napping) the album still contains (characteristically) rich overdubbing.