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The Incredible String Band - Be Glad For The Song Has No Ending (OST) CD (album) cover

BE GLAD FOR THE SONG HAS NO ENDING (OST)

The Incredible String Band

Prog Folk


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Sean Trane
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR
Prog Folk
1 stars Maybe one of rock's biggest catastrophe happened well before Tull and The Who tried to translate their arts to film (but theirs were mostly financial problems), ISB made the first real blunder, and to top it all of, it was for their new label Island to pick up the bill. Indeed, I have rarely seen such a disastrously boring and irritating film than this interminable "ode to their pastoral ideals" aptly named Be Glad For The Song Has No Ending, (indeed it is overstaying its welcome by a good 90 minutes), with atrocious and really sub- par songs to go along. If you haven't seen the movie, picture the short already catastrophic footage of Jethro Tull's Hare Who Lost His Spectacles and remove whatever Monty Python absurd humour you find in it, modify the images from silly to gritty and sombre. Take the Beatles' Magical Mystery Tour film, take out whatever good songs you'll find in there and replace them with semi-dissonant growls and pluckings, take whatever few action there is in MMT and divide it by a factor of 100, and you'll get an idea of what this catastrophic film is all about. And to nail the coffin shut, they suckered the fans into buying the soundtrack.. Stayaya awayayayay from this one.

Report this review (#177065)
Posted Thursday, July 17, 2008 | Review Permalink
ClemofNazareth
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR
Prog Folk Researcher
2 stars I haven’t heard all the band’s albums, but of the ones I have this is easily the worst. ISB was always a bit uneven in their delivery, with even their best records spotted here and there with disjointed misses and sometimes useless noodling. With this offering the band succumbed to a level of self-indulgence that put off all but their most loyal fans. The joke went of course that the title should have read “By God This Song Has No Ending”, particularly when it came to the twenty-six minute rambling title track.

This is ostensibly a soundtrack to the film of the same name, and like John Phillips’ ‘Man on the Moon’ or Floyd’s ‘Tonite Let's All Make Love In London’ it benefits not at all from the lack of crisp engineering or recording restraint that a proper studio album would have. I’m a bit surprised the usually disciplined Joe Boyd actually produced this aimlessly wandering hour of drivel, a black mark in his otherwise quite impressive career. Of course, considering this was recorded in 1970 I suppose some provision must be made for the relatively lax standards employed by many artists at the time; but still….

Robin Williamson is his usual bard-like self, weaving abstract folksy poetry and acoustic strumming through oddly metered arrangements on tracks like “Veshengra” and “See All the People”, the only songs that even come close to meeting the standard set on the band’s sixties albums. But the lackluster opening “Come With Me”, combined with Licorice McKechnie’s often annoying vocals, as well as the endless and directionless meandering title track obviate any inclination to make any concessions to the band’s indulgences. By the time Heron gets done petering out Part 9 of the closing title song I’m more than ready to put this thing back on the shelf for another decade or so. You probably will be too, if you even bother picking it up in the first place. And unless you are an ardent completionist or just a hard-core collector of modern psych folk, I wouldn’t recommend you attempt this one anyway. Two stars only because the Incredible String Band still has some loyal fans and I would think they collected this one too, and also a little bit in consideration of the moderately decent “Veshengra”; otherwise this is a completely forgettable record that I’m not surprised hasn’t been reissued since Edsel saw fit to put out most of the band’s discography on CD back in the nineties. Not really recommended at all.

peace

Report this review (#229998)
Posted Tuesday, August 4, 2009 | Review Permalink

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