The Incredible String Band

Be Glad for the Song Has No Ending/Liquid Acrobat as Regards Air

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This pairing of two Incredible String Band records from 1971 features principals Robin Williamson and Mike Heron with Rose Simpson and Licorice McKechnie. Be Glad for the Song Has No Ending, the first disc up, was issued in March of that year, but contained music from 1968 and 1969. It was also the last ISB recording produced by Joe Boyd. Boyd assembled this collection of leftover tracks from between the Wee Tam and I Looked Up offerings, with the intention of just getting the music out there. In fact, two cuts from the first half and all of the second half of the album were a soundtrack to Peter Neal's ISB documentary film of the same name -- the picture saw release in 1970, but was then shelved until its "rediscovery" in the mid-'90s and subsequent video release. The second half of Be Glad is all instrumental, composed no doubt as "incidental" or "serial" music. It's not one of the ISB's best efforts, but it does showcase the increased participation of Simpson and McKechnie and is pleasant, if quaint. Liquid Acrobat as Regards the Air, issued in October, was a new album proper. It was produced by the band and Stan Schnier, and featured new member Malcolm Le Maistre, who replaced Simpson. It's very distinctive in that it was the first ISB recording to really showcase electric instruments -- joining a slew of groups like Fairport Convention, Pentangle, Steeleye Span, Amazing Blondel, and Gryphon. This is a strange amalgam of cuts that is nonetheless musically innovative and even charming. Some of the "straightest" offerings by the ISB are found here.

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