The Incredible String Band

On Air

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Not to be confused with the BBC Radio 1 Live in Concert disc, On Air expands on the long out of print Peel Sessions release, which contained only "Black Jack Davy," "Jane," "Dreams of No Return," and "Dear Old Battlefield." Considering that the ISB played 13 sessions from 1967-1973, though, there was a wealth of material, and this disc does it justice, adding eight more cuts, including the great closing medley. To be fair, a good portion dates from the tail-end of the band's heyday, like "Rends-Moi Demain," and doesn't find ISB at their best. But even a sloppy, indecisive Incredible String Band offers more idiosyncrasies and lovely music than most other artists. In an ideal world, the sessions featuring the classic lineup of Mike Heron, Robin Williamson, Rose Simpson, and Licorice McKechnie would be available, but that's not possible, and these make a good substitute, a warts and all series of snapshots of the band as they were live.

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