Sunday, September 16, 2007

Little Known Classics: Incredible String Band- The Chelsea Sessions (1967)

Among the many surprising musical hybrids that emerged during the late 1960s, the Incredible String Band had to be one of the strangest and most wonderful. The Chelsea Sessions consists of 13 pristine studio demos that Robin Williamson and Mike Heron recorded with Joe Boyd shortly before they laid down their landmark album, The 5000 Spirits or The Layers of the Onion. Included are alternate versions of six songs that made it onto 5000 Spirits, notably a solo take of Williamson's "First Girl I Loved" and a spry reading of Heron's "Little Cloud." The other seven tracks include the first ISB versions released of "Lover Man" (a vivid, ornate piece of pastoral chamber blues that Heron gave to Al Stewart for his first album) and "God Dog" (a spooky tome that Shirley Collins released, recorded here with her sister Dolly on pipe organ). Unlike many archival demo recordings, the tracks on The Chelsea Sessions are fully realized renditions of some of the duo's most compelling music and are essential listening for those who have fallen under the ISB's spell. -Michael Parrish
key tracks: Lover Man, First Girl I Loved
Get it here

(even if you've heard ISB's other stuff and didn't like it, give this a try. Its actually the only ISB album I like!)


zippy said...

Never heard this-have all of their albums-THANK YOU!!

Gabriel V said...

Great record; love "Little cloud". Thanks man.