Progarchives, the progressive rock ultimate discography
The Incredible String Band - The 5000 Spirits or The Layers of the Onion CD (album) cover


The Incredible String Band


Prog Folk

3.88 | 52 ratings

From, the ultimate progressive rock music website

5 stars In fact, this album should deserve five stars and it would have them had we been in or Actually, this is a seminal album. Its originality, novelty and absolute freshness would infect a host of folk musicians and bands. This album and the rebirth of The Incredible String Band after the leaving of Clive Palmer would set the rules and canon to a new genre, the Acid Folk.

Some may say there was also the contemporary The Pentangle, but they were more jazz/ blues based and asumed a different direction.

The Incredible String Band brought a new way of doing things to the average folk musician, both to writers or performers. The main influence was East and modal music, with its melismatic chant and a tight connection between text and music. But the Middle Ages were at hand, too. The sixties were the time when Ancient Music came up to find its place in the world of music and has never quitted since. Folk and Rock were not insensitive to that. Great musicians and investigators searched the old churches and colleges archives to find out what and how the music in the Middle Ages was. Names such as David Munrow, René Clemencic or Gregorio Paniagua are among the most important restorers of a genre whose patrimony has not ceased to grow since.

It is not strange that in this ambient people like Williamson & Heron, John Renbourn, Alan Stivell, The Chieftains brought a Renaissance of traditional music.

But what TISB made was setting it into the very core of the pop-rock music of the moment and that was: psychedelia. This, added to an open structure in the compositions; to a melodic line which fluctuates together with the emotions provided by the lyrics; to an oriental-oriented way of playing the string instruments, including the very oriental ones, mainly the sitar with its caracteristic sound; to an impressionist writing and arranging... makes of the TISB's music one of the most original artistic works

It is also true that, in spite of a long career, the quality of their production is not always at the same level but, because of their novelty and creativity, they deserve your listening, at least, to this 5000 spirits that lay in the layers of a both sweet and acid onion.

Four and a half stars or 9 out of 10.

Updated to the fifth star (17/07/2014)

ibnacio | 5/5 |


As a registered member (register here if not), you can post rating/reviews (& edit later), comments reviews and submit new albums.

You are not logged, please complete authentication before continuing (use forum credentials).

Forum user
Forum password


Social review comments () BETA

Review related links

Copyright Prog Archives, All rights reserved. | Legal Notice | Privacy Policy | Advertise | RSS + syndications

Other sites in the MAC network: — jazz music reviews and archives | — metal music reviews and archives

Donate monthly and keep PA fast-loading and ad-free forever.