Pink Floyd and The Incredible String Band.
The Incredible String Band.
In about June 1966, Joe Boyd took the group to London to record their first LP, which was eponymous, so it is always known as “The Incredible String Band” by The Incredible String Band.
The recording budget was just £150, a paltry sum even in those days. It is believed that it was recorded in a single afternoon with little of the then available technology. Clive does not appear much, and of the 16 tracks the whole band only appears on 3 of them.
I did not really know of the existence of this record until the second term of my time at Pembroke College, Oxford, in 1975. At school, which I had left 14 months earlier, I had bought “U” and “Changing Horses”, and my school chum with the hip elder brother had told me of a double album called “Wee Tam And The Big Huge”; I knew of no other ISB stuff. In Oxford, however, there was a really cool record store on Little Clarendon Street, which majored on US imports. It was there that I bought, brand new, a copy of the LP, which had been released some 9 years previously. It was a stereo version, and was of course an American issue:
Many years later, I was able to buy a mono pressing of the English release, probably dating from 1966, and the English packaging was very different:
Between those times I had got the CD version, but in common with all the ISB albums, the CD has no bonus tracks.
Immediately after the band had got paid, it split up!
Clive disappeared into the Himalayan foothills. Robin had teamed up with a girl known only as Licorice and went off with her to Morocco, vowing never to return. Despite all this, the band, or at least Mike and Robin, did reunite; but before we get on to that, there is much to say about this brilliant debut LP.