Saturday, 20 September 2014

Robot Blues : The Incredible String Band

The Incredible String Band hail from Scotland and are arguably one of the cornerstones of psychedelic folk. Their musical style is eclectic, eccentric and often exotic, drawing from African, Arabian and Asian influences as well as from traditional folk, blues and rock. The group began as a duo in 1965 consisting of Clive Palmer and Robin Williamson. With the addition of Mike Heron they became a trio and adopted the name The Incredible String Band before recording their self titled debut LP in 1966 which won critical acclaim.

However the group disbanded shortly afterwards when two of the three members decided to embark on the hippie trail. Palmer headed for India, Williamson headed for Morocco whilst Heron remained in Edinburgh. It wasn't long before Williamson returned with an armful of exotic instruments and the group reformed as a duo, soon became a four piece band, then a six piece before splitting again in 1974 after recording their twelfth studio album. But their legacy remains and The Incredible String Band did eventually retie the knot in the late 1990s.

Today's robot song is taken from their 1970 album, simply titled 'U'. Initially, 'U' was a live stage show mixing music and pantomime with reportedly disastrous results. The 'U' album was an attempt to recoup the financial losses of the live show and was recorded in a mere 48 hours. According to Wikipedia, the 'U' album is all about Scientology, to which the band had recently converted, however the song Robot Blues is all about robots, and here it is... (or 'was' ...the track video is no longer available, but the full album is. Skip to 1hour 13minutes to go straight to Robot Blues)




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