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Hard Rope & Silken Twine

Incredible String Band Audio CD
3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
Price: 10.32 & FREE Delivery in the UK. Details
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Hard Rope & Silken Twine + Earthspan / No Ruinous Feud + Be Glad For The Song Has No Ending / Liquid Acrobat As Regards The Air
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Product details

  • Audio CD (24 Jun 2013)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: BGO Records
  • Other Editions: Audio CD  |  Vinyl
  • Average Customer Review: 3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 44,162 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

1. Maker Of Islands
2. Cold February
3. Glancing Love
4. Dreams Of No Return
5. Dumb Kate
6. Ithkos

Product Description

Product Description

The Scottish folk/hippy band's last album for Island Records, dating from 1974. These recordings feature founder members Mike Heron and Robin Williamson. The band split for 5 years after the release of this record, but reformed briefly for a while. Both Heron and Williamson continue to gig and record. Digitally remastered and slipcased, and with new notes.

Product Description

Scottish folk/rock band's last album for Island Records, from 1974, newly remastered & slipcased with new notes

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Interesting and rewarding journey 28 Jun 2013
By Gra 53
Format:Audio CD|Verified Purchase
Waited a long time for a decent cd release of this album I bought on vinyl in 1974. This remastered edition is slip cased with reasonable booklet and has good sound quality but no bonus tracks. The opening 6 minute track is one of the most beautiful written by Mike and in contrast is followed by a typically haunting live track by Robin. The next is also an excellent track in the 'Earthspan' style by Malcolm. For those yearning for a return to earlier days we are treated to a sitar driven track written by Robin. What was the final track of side two is another live track in the lighthearted vein of 'Hirem Pawnitof'. Which brings us to the 20 minute 'Ithkos'. I liked this song when I first heard it in 1974 and now nearly 40 years later I like it even more. It embraces many styles including rock and I actually enjoy it more than some of their earlier lengthy pieces. Like most ISB fans I would direct newcomers to the essential first four albums which peaked with Wee Tam and the Big Huge yet ironically many may prefer the sound of this album and so may be a good place to start before tracing them back to their roots. Whatever direction you take it will be like this album - an interesting and rewarding journey.
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Cruelly under-rated 5 April 2013
Format:Audio CD
As somebody who adores the incredible string band's older output such as 5000 spirits,Wee tam and the Big Huge and Changing horses etc, I feel that the paucity of reviews on this album rather maligns it to a damaging degree for someone who is led to believe that it isn't worth approaching in any way shape or form.
Even if one were to sympathise with the view that "Ithkos" is an over-blown attempt at stadium rock and far too removed from the charm and innocent beauty of the incredibles earlier outings, it still fails to acknowledge the fantastic and really quite true to classic form of the first half of the album.

"Dreams of no return" is another melodic,hazy and spiritual Williamson classic,still imbued with the trademark Heron sitar of old.Lovely moods and a fine feel-good chorus at the end.

"Cold days of february" is yet another haunting Willimason track with some lovely penny-whistle flying high above.

"Dumb Kate" is the kind of jaunty country track reminiscent of the same vein as "Log cabin in the sky".

"Glancing love" all depends on our fond you are of Malcolm lemaistre's voice.
But there are certainly more of the french accordion tinged tracks on Earthspan and No ruinous feud that I find more offensive than this track.

Which leaves "Maker of Islands".I personally find it a very effecting track,both melodically and lyrically...though others may focus on the string section as being indictative of too slick a production,or again attempting to head into a more Ballad,or proggy direction.

"Ithkos" itself has many moods,both in terms of genre and percussive use and quite fragmented,but then lots of the interest of classic Incredibles was that they took abrupt left turns and kept things interesting!!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The ISB bow out with a stylish swan song 4 July 2013
By Greywolf TOP 1000 REVIEWER
Format:Audio CD
I'd better confess from the start that I am a massive fan of The Incredible String Band and have been since the 60s. They are an extraordinary mix of folk and Celtic roots, what we now call 'World Music,' and, especially on their later albums, pop/rock. This album is the final one before they split up in 1974 and is a pretty impressive last hurrah.
The album opens with one of Mike's finest ISB compositions, 'Maker of Islands,' which is just beautiful. The two Robin Williamson tracks are a delight. 'Cold February' is an impassioned and moving anti-war song, originally written as a despairing comment on the bloody, then ongoing, conflict in Northern Ireland that was euphemistically known as 'The Troubles.' Robin broadened the lyrics to refer to any and all wars and, sadly, they remain as relevant today as they were forty years ago when they were written. Robin's second offering, 'Dreams of No Return,' deals with the end of a relationship and features, for one last time, the utterly magical combination of Robin's acoustic guitar and Mike's sitar. By this time, Mike had been playing sitar for about seven years and was really rather good on it. It's a beautiful song, rendered even more beautiful by an uncluttered arrangement and brilliant musicianship.
Mike's longest composition fills the whole of side 2 of the LP (ask your parents), clocking in at over 19 minutes. This is the epic 'Ithkos,' which follows a mystical, mythical journey around the Aegean Sea and contains passages of great beauty and some of Mike's best lyrics.
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