Pink Floyd and The Incredible String Band.
The Incredible String Band.
Track 4 on Side 1 is a truly remarkable Williamson composition called “The Mad Hatter’s Song”. At 5.35 minutes it is the longest track on the LP. Mike Heron does not feature at all in it, but Danny Thompson again plays bass; also present is one John Hopkins on piano. Robin sings solo throughout and plays guitar, Soma sitar and tamboura.
What is remarkable about this one is that it comprises 5 separate songs, each one wholly different from all the others, and each utterly brilliant. The styles include one blues song and one rocker, the other three being showcases of Robin’s various ISB personas. This unique drama deserves a medal.
Track 5 is “Little Cloud”, and it could not be more different from the previous one. This is a Mike Heron composition, where he sings lead vocal and plays guitar; Robin plays drums and rattles [!], and supplies additional vocals. It is indeed a pretty little ditty concerning a conversation with a cloud. The chorus includes these lyrics: “Ya-ta-ta-ta-ta-ta-ta-ta-tow-tow-ta-ta-tow-wow”.
Side 1 ends with Track 6, a Robin Williamson song titled “The Eyes of Fate”. Robin sings lead vocal and plays guitar, Mike plays lead guitar and sings; and for the first time on the album, “Licorice” also sings. This delightful lady was Robin’s girlfriend at the time and would soon become a member of the group. This is classic Williamson stuff with dramatic turns and suddenly soaring bits, and with a catchy refrain. Super stuff.