Monday, 1 December 2008

Incredible String Band

This next is a bit of a rant.
While on the subject of "forgotten classics" or "cult" records, I recently bought The Hangman's Beautiful Daughter" by The Incredible String Band, appropriately in a charity shop.
Now I love weird music. The stranger the better. But this goes way past weird all the way back to - well, what exactly? They say there's a thin line between genius and madness, this record shows that there is a thin line between genius and not very good at all. I have read reviews praising the singers use of non-Western tones. I'm sorry, but to me it just sounds like me singing. Which, as anyone who has heard it will tell you, isn't singing at all. I can't listen to The Minotaur's Song without thinking of Monty Python's Lumberjack Song.
I'm sure there are people who will disagree, and point me at the stunning instrumental abilities (no arguments there) or the originality (well, maybe, but not every original idea is a good one). But the fact remains that this is just not a very good record.
Having said that, if I had to choose between this and the latest hillbilly backwoods boy maundering on about his life and how he has only one pair of dungarees for the road (Hayes Carll, you are guilty), I'd choose this one.

It's a Beautiful Day

On a whim, I looked up the US group It's a Beautiful Day on eMusic. I remember one of my school friends having one of their albums back in the early 70s. WOW! How have I managed to not have anything by this band all this time? Simply stunning. I only had vague memories of their classic song White Bird, but the rest of it is amazing as well. Suffice to say I ended up downloading everything that emusic had by them. And it is all brilliant. Sorry if this all sounds a bit gushing, but it isn't often that one makes a discovery (or, more accurately, re-discovery) like this.
And, yes, the introduction to Bombay does sound very like Deep Purple's Child in Time. Which, I believe, came later.