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Stool Man View Drop Down
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Direct Link To This Post Topic: The Incredible String Band
    Posted: May 25 2013 at 14:18
Every topic about ISB has been locked, so I'm starting this new one.

I've enjoyed their music for some time, and read the excellent "Be Glad" book about them. Today I watched the Be Glad For The Song Has No Ending film, which is very good, and slightly daft.
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: May 26 2013 at 11:32
Hi,
 
In my book, much more progressive and experimental than most bands listed here that people listen to ... however, a lot of it, might be on account of the vocal styles between Mike Heron and Robin Williamson, and even later when the ladies were also a part of the vocal definition of the band, from the "commune" they were a part of.
 
Most prog folks can not handle the individuality in a lot of their work, and the fact that things are so different from one moment to another, that we lose the "average" definition of "folk music" in the process ... all of a sudden, the lyrics are not the only important thing ... there is an attitude with it, and an atmosphere that is quite different than the folk music standard that has a tendency to make the lyrics more important than everything else.
 
Robin states that they were experimenting with a lot of different things, and they adding theater to the music was not accidental, but very intentional, and the movie, which 40 years later looks daft and silly, was not that at the time, and in fact, it was a nice representation of the romantic side of the whole hippy community and way of life ... with a context that was more interesting than seeing a picture of you with flowers in your hair going to the Fillmore, getting stoned on the way to the loo, and getting laid coming out of the loo, and then forgetting the whole evening in some cacophony of sounds that you have no idea what they were!
 
AND, it became the blue print, that went on to create some theatrical music and work, of which GENESIS became an early user of, although mostly with simple images and masks, instead of a theater on the stage. By that time, many bands had been panned left and right and ridiculed for their attempt to make things more interesting and "classical", and these include Deep Purple, Pink Floyd, Emerson Lake and Palmer and many others ... none of which was totally successful, though ELP recouped some of their investment with album sales. PF was absolutely trashed, as was the dance group in Paris, whose funding dropped like a brick after it (Roland Pettit). BTW ... the cover of "Passion Play" is a commentary on all this ... that the old classical stuff was now DEAD! And so is the ballerina! This might give you quite another perception of Ian and the concept of Passion Play ... which is defined as ... go read it!
 
Later this style was thought to have been influenced by Kurt Weill and Jacques Brel, mostly because of the emotional and interpretational voice work of the lyrics, which kinda went with Mike and Robin anyway!
 
Sadly, this was one of the groups that bombed at Woodstock, and they never really recovered and no one took them seriously ... and the folks at Woodstock were so stoned and asleep, that they never saw the stage and a few folks dancing silently to some music medleys! And the movie gives out, and sticks strictly with the commercial bands so it could sell and make money! (And make sure no one understood or knew Janis Joplin along the way!)
 
All in all, I can not choose an album of theirs that I like better than the other, though EARTHSPAN is the one album that sticks with me more than any other, and its material is so progressive, compared to the repetitive nature of most bands listed here on the top ten ... that it gets passed right by everyone's ears!
 
Mike Heron went on to write several songs that made it into hits, by other folks, notably Manfred Mann's Earth Band, while Robin is quite happy being his silly self and selling just enough to support himself just fine, thank you! And his silly nature is sillier than ever, and you get the feeling that folks like him were even influenced by the gigantic influx of comedy in the 1950's in the radio waves of England! Complete with voices and character!
 
NP: Diamond of Dreams (still my favorite of all Mike Heron's albums!)


Edited by moshkito - May 27 2013 at 13:48
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: May 26 2013 at 17:31
The best ISB has aged quite well. Prolly the band most responsible for UK's late 60's/70's "ACID FOLK" boom. Some of my fave music. Thank you, ISB! 


Edited by libertycaps - May 26 2013 at 17:32
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: May 27 2013 at 11:06
Moshkito said:
All in all, I can not choose an album of theirs that I like better than the other, though EARTHSPAN is the one album that sticks with me more than any other, and its material is so progressive, compared to the repetitive nature of most bands listed here on the top ten ... that it gets passed right by everyone's ears!
Mike Heron went on to write several songs that made it into hits, by other folks, notably Manfred Mann's Earth Band, while Robin is quite happy being his silly self and selling just enough to support himself just fine, thank you! And his silly nature is sillier than ever, and you get the feeling that folks like him were even influenced by the gigantic influx of comedy in the 1950's in the radio waves of England! Complete with voices and character!
NP: Diamond of Dreams (still my favorite of all Mike Heron's albums!)
 
 
 
I still play Hangman and Wee Tam now and then (cd')....unique folk music to say the least.
I have an old vinyl copy of Earthspan and Heron's first solo one called Smiling men With bad Reps....time to give those a listen again.
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: May 27 2013 at 11:12
Originally posted by Stool Man Stool Man wrote:

Every topic about ISB has been locked, so I'm starting this new one.

I've enjoyed their music for some time, and read the excellent "Be Glad" book about them. Today I watched the Be Glad For The Song Has No Ending film, which is very good, and slightly daft.

You are supposed to ask for them to be reopened.
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: May 27 2013 at 13:57
Originally posted by dr wu23 dr wu23 wrote:

... 
 I still play Hangman and Wee Tam now and then (cd')....unique folk music to say the least.
I have an old vinyl copy of Earthspan and Heron's first solo one called Smiling men With bad Reps....time to give those a listen again.
Cool
 
I can play any of them easily enough. Of Mike's solo albums, "Diamond of Dreams" is kinda hidden and I can not wop him over the head to get that album out ... and it is more electric, than the others that are more folk oriented.
 
Robin had stated that Mike had come from a rock band, and he was comfortable with the electricity, so yeah ... that was fine ... it was MORE THAN FINE ... that is a a magnificent album! Electric or not!
 
Falls into the area of ... bad stuff and studio/record company garbage ... it was the same thing when Bob Dylan went western, and also went electric ... ohhh that heathen needs to get his head slapped in place! And Bob (and Mike) were saying ... I don't care! Mike might as well have said ... let Manfred Mann do it electrically!   Cool   Embarrassed


Edited by moshkito - May 27 2013 at 13:57
... none of the hits, none of the time ... now try finding your own mirror/art! www.pedrosena.com
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