Pink Floyd and The Incredible String Band.
The Incredible String Band.
Side 4 has just 3 tracks, all of which are completely different, and all of which are absolutely brilliant.
Track 1 is “Cutting The Strings” (5.03 minutes). It is a typically weird Williamson composition with a really eerie start, but goes on to be quite rousing. It is one of the most cheering and uplifting songs I have ever heard, oddly enough. Robin sings lead and plays guitar, mandolin, gimbri, fiddle and flute. Licorice provides backing vocals and Mike plays sitar.
Track 2 is “I Know You” (3.22 minutes). Uniquely it is a Licorice compostion, her surname being McKechnie. She is the solo contributor to the song, singing and playing guitar. It is a hauntingly beautiful thing, and utterly unlike anything ever recorded by anyone else.
Track 3 is a truly magnificent cadence to the album, an epic song called “Rainbow” (15.22 minutes!). It is a Heron compostion, and an absolute masterpiece. Mike does lead vocal and plays piano, organ, guitar and bass. Robin does the backing vocals and plays drums, soondri, fiddle, flute and mandolin. Licorice also provides backing vocals and drums. Rose also provides backing vocals and bass. It really is a huge joint enterprise, and not just by the band. Mal and Malcom, members of the dance group Stone Monkey, join in with more backing vocals. It comprises many different sections, ranging inter alia through rock’n’roll, gospel, folk, jazz and ballad. It is sheer joy and ecstasy from beginning to end.
There are some credits at the foot of the back cover:
“Sleeve photography by Francis Loney, Phil Franks, Jon Bloom / Sleeve design by Bob Heimall: co-ordination Graphreaks / Costumes by Jane Mock of Skin, Los Angeles / Front Cover painting and set design by Janet Shankman / Dances by Stone Monkey / Engineering by John Wood / Produced by Joe Boyd, Witchseason Productions Ltd. / Manufactured by Polydor Records Ltd., London / Sleeve made by MacNeill Press Ltd., London, S.E.1.”
And in closing on “U”, this is the right side of the inside of the cover:
On any view of the matter, this “surreal parable in song and dance” is monumental in the truest sense of the word.