Pink Floyd and The Incredible String Band.
This was actually the very first Pink Floyd record I ever acquired. It was the early months of 1971, nearly a year after the release of the LP, when I was able to buy a second hand copy for just over £1. The cover was striking and unusual, to say the least:
Nowhere in the packaging are any pictures of the group, nor are the members of it named, except as surname credits for the composers of the tracks.
The title track takes up all of Side 1 of the album, and is truly extraordinary. It is a unique piece of music. According to the cover, it comprises six sections, although it is not easy to discern the divisions among them:
(a) Father’s Shout
(b) Breast Milky
(c) Mother Fore
(d) Funky Dung
(e) Mind Your Throats Please
This work features a full orchestra and choir. The orchestra is not named, but it is just possible to make out the identity of the choir as the John Aldiss Choir.
The track opens with a few faint electronic sounds, followed rapidly by the main theme, which is a majestic and dramatic classical march with the full orchestra and choir; marvelous stuff. This is repeated about three quarters of the way through. The rest of the piece contains a variety of interludes, including choral sections (with a bit of chanting and whooping here and there), and some very pretty instrumental parts relying on Rick Wright’s organ as the main contribution.
This is a remarkable one-off, and a truly wonderful way to fill a side of an album.