U (album)

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Studio album by The Incredible String Band
Released 1970
Genre Psychedelic folk, folk rock
Label Elektra / WEA
Producer Joe Boyd
The Incredible String Band chronology
I Looked Up
Be Glad for the Song Has No Ending
Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
Allmusic 2.5/5 stars [1]

U is a double album by The Incredible String Band released in 1970 on Elektra Records.

The music on the album is taken from the Incredible String Band's live mixed-media show of the same name, for which the band had just concluded performances when they recorded the album. The "U" show, which involved pantomime-like dancing along with music, had failed financially. Therefore, in an effort to recoup some of the losses, producer Joe Boyd booked the band for a mere two days in a recording studio to record what became a double album's worth of material. Despite the time constraints (literally 48 hours in which band members switched off in shifts between recording and napping) the album still contains (characteristically) rich overdubbing.

The letter "U" represented a transition from a high level of spiritual awareness to a low, then returning to a final peak of awareness and communication. The material on the album was meant as an expression of their understanding of Scientology practices and principles, as the band had recently converted to the religion.

Track listing[edit]

All songs written and composed by Robin Williamson except as noted. 

Disc 1
No. Title Writer(s) Length
1. "El Wool Suite"   Mike Heron 8:31
2. "The Juggler's Song"     3:13
3. "Time"     3:58
4. "Bad Sadie Lee"   Janet Shankman 3:49
5. "Queen of Love"     8:37
6. "Partial Belated Overture"   Heron 2:56
7. "Light in Time of Darkness/Glad to See You"   Heron 10:16
8. "Walking Along With You"   Heron 3:59
9. "Hirem Pawnitof/Fairies' Hornpipe"   Traditional, arr. Heron 6:20
10. "Bridge Theme"   Heron 2:18
Disc 2
No. Title Writer(s) Length
1. "Bridge Song"   Heron 8:49
2. "Astral Plane Theme"     4:52
3. "Invocation"     4:49
4. "Robot Blues"     4:09
5. "Puppet Song"     6:16
6. "Cutting The Strings"     5:10
7. "I Know You"   Licorice McKechnie 3:24
8. "Rainbow"   Heron 15:41


Chart Entry
Weeks charted
UK Albums Chart[2] October 31, 1970 34 2
The Billboard 200[3] January 23, 1971 183 3


  1. ^ http://www.allmusic.com/album/r605108
  2. ^ Chart Archive - Incredible String Band(Link redirected to OCC website)
  3. ^ Whitburn, Joel; Joel Whitburn's Top Pop Albums, 1955-1996; p. 366. ISBN 0898201179

External links[edit]