The Incredible String Band and The Hangman's Beautiful Daughter

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Read an exclusive extract from Wire's editor-at-large Rob Young's new book published by Faber & Faber and out this week.

The Incredible String Band and The Hangman's Beautiful Daughter
Extract from Electric Eden: Unearthing Britain's Visionary Music by Rob Young
Published by Faber And Faber, 5 August 2010. {via}

For more information go to:, which happens to be a very good read as is The Wire.

In the summer of 1967 The Incredible String Band's Robin Williamson and Mike Heron traveled to the United States to perform at the Newport Folk Festival. Passing through Elektra's New York offices on their way back, they helped themselves to as many LPs as they could carry from the famous Nonesuch International Series, which was part of Jac Holzman's record-company empire.

In the wake of Alan Lomax's pioneering Columbia World Library, Nonesuch was one of the first off the block to market the indigenous music of non-Western cultures with professionalism and integrity. Their world-music releases had been available for a few years, but in 1967 producer David Lewiston and field recordist Peter K. Siegel initiated the Nonesuch Explorer Series, recordings from far-flung regions marketed at a sophisticated younger listenership assumed to possess the intelligence to join the aural dots between ancient ethnic musics, modern folk and psychedelic rock.

Robin Williamson and Mike Heron walked away with albums of kabuki theatre from Japan; of Bulgarian choirs; Greek bouzoukis; an album of guitarists from the Bahamas – Brucie Green, Frederick McQueen and Joseph Spence; and one of the first widely available glimpses of Balinese gamelan, Music from the Morning of the World.

Steadily imbibed along with hallucinogenics over the following autumn, this grand bazaar of non-tempered noises would play its part in steering the direction of the album The Incredible String Band created in December 1967. It's the album that remains their best known, one that took them to a high placing in the British charts: The Hangman's Beautiful Daughter. {via: arthur newsletter}



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