Pink Floyd and The Incredible String Band.
The Incredible String Band.
Side 2 of this truly amazing LP opens with A Robin Williamson composition called “Blue For The Muse”. This is a very lively little ditty, with Robin taking the lead vocal and playing guitar, with Mike on support vocals and harmonica, and of course the ubiquitous Danny Thompson on bass.
Track 2 is arguably the most celebrated of Mike Heron’s whimsies, this being “The Hedgehog Song”. The tune is extremely jaunty, and the lyrics concern a hedgehog who runs up to the singer at pivotal moments in his life repeating each time advice about him knowing the words and tune but never quite learning the song.
Track 3 is undoubtedly the most “sampled” song on the LP, in the sense that it turns up in many folky-type compilations. I am sure it is very much liked by many people, but for me it is insipid, and the weakest track on the album. It is very unusual for an ISB song in that it is almost entirely conventional; it is titled “First Girl I Loved”, and does indeed concern the lady in question, dripping nostalgia in a way that verges on the soppy. It is a Robin Williamson composition on which he sings solo throughout and plays guitar, accompanied only by Danny Thompson on bass. I have never cared much for this track, mainly because it just doesn’t really fit in the ISB canon. I have to admit that there is also a sort of selfishness at work here; if I want nostalgia about old girlfriends, I have plenty of my own to look back on.