The Incredible String Band

First Girl I Loved: Live in Canada 1972

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While a live disc, this doesn't all come from a single Incredible String Band concert. The majority of the tracks date from 1972, but "Ithkos," which would appear on their final studio disc, dates from a 1974 BBC show. It captures the band at an odd point in their history, still pushing outward, but with not as much vitality as they'd shown earlier -- for example, they reimagine "First Girl I Love" in a Brazilian fashion, which does the song's fragility few favors. However, there is a live version of "My Father Was a Lighthouse Keeper," and the traditional "Black Jack David" makes another appearance. There are some tracks from the then-unreleased No Ruinous Feud, and, to finish it all off, the sprawling "Ithkos," which sprawls even more live than in the studio version. While many live albums are fascinating, offering insights into the way the material could change on stage (and this does have its surprises, like "Giles Crocodile" and "Catwalk Rag"), this seems to end up a little less than satisfactory.

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