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The Chelsea Sessions 1967

The Incredible String Band

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Album Review

These 13 demos were recorded in early 1967 shortly before the making of the ISB's second album, The 5000 Spirits or the Layers of the Onion (though the liner notes speculate that "God Dog" might date from later than the other tracks). Only six of these actually showed up on 5000 Spirits, albeit in different, more produced versions; in fact, most of Robin Williamson's compositions on this release are performed solo by the writer. This gives fans a chance to hear the tracks (including their most famous song, "The First Girl I Loved") in acoustic, folkier incarnations, with slightly different lyrics on a couple of tunes. Of the remaining songs, "Lover Man" was recorded by Al Stewart on his debut album, "God Dog" by Shirley Collins in 1969, and "The Iron Stone" by ISB themselves on 1968's Wee Tam and the Big Huge album, while the others are unique to this disc. This unused material (the fidelity throughout is good, by the way) is both stylistically consistent and aesthetically up to par with what the ISB were recording on their early albums, and thus recommended to fans of the group.

Customer Reviews

Whoosh back to my hippy roots

Can't stay in a bad mood listening to this band, incredible.


Formed: 1965 in Scotland

Genre: Singer/Songwriter

Years Active: '60s, '70s, '90s, '00s

One of the most engaging groups to emerge from the esoteric '60s was the Incredible String Band. Basically the duo of Mike Heron and Robin Williamson, its sound was comprised of haunting Celtic folk melodies augmented by a variety of Middle Eastern and Asian instruments. Heron was a member of several rock bands in England in the early '60s, while Williamson and Clive Palmer played as a bluegrass...
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