The Incredible String Band: No Sleep Blues (1967)

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The Incredible String Band: No Sleep Blues (1967)

In a recent interview with Elsewhere the great producer Joe Boyd spoke about the Incredible String Band whom he had worked with -- until they got into Scientology and then things went rather odd in the ISB camp.

From hippies to thrusting self-interested capitalists. Just like that.

And the music went a bit lousy too.

Boyd also noted that although had great success at the time, these days they sound . . . Well, a hard sell actually.

As he charitably noted with a laugh: "They were terrific performers and they toured a lot, all over the world, and America in the late Sixties. They got to be really successful, even more successful than you might guess by listening to their records which seem weird and hippie-ish and not exactly easy to get into these days.

"But they played Fillmore East four times in a year in '69 and the Royal Albert Hall where they played a couple of times. They got on the charts and sold lots of records . . . but now they are a very minority taste ".

Indeed.

This track from their album The 5000 Spirits or The Layers of the Onion captures them in al their Scottish eccentricity . . . and is one of their more straight-ahead songs.

After this they really got into faeries, mythology, Hinduism, Buddhism, Arthurian romance, The Bible . . . .

Rather a minority taste we might say. This is the surface-noise version for those who prefer to remember them that way.

There is more on the Incredible String Band here. Sort of the case for the defense

For more oddities, one-offs or songs with an interesting backstory use the RSS feed for daily updates, and check the massive back-catalogue at From the Vaults.

 

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