The Incredible String Band is the band’s eponymous debut album. Released in 1966, it is the only Incredible String Band album to feature the original trio line-up with Clive Palmer as well as Robin Williamson and Mike Heron.
The trio had been signed to Elektra Records by Joe Boyd, who had seen them play in Glasgow. They recorded the album at the Sound Techniques studio in London in one or two days in May 1966, with Boyd as producer. Boyd insisted on focusing on the group’s own self-written material, rather than the traditional songs and tunes which they had also been performing. This marginalised Palmer, who wrote and sang on only one track, and played on only four others.
The band’s imagery is less prevalent on this album than on their later albums, although the liner notes, by Heron, include a surreal tale of the band’s encounter with a magic blackbird. Unlike their later work, the instrumentation is relatively orthodox (mostly guitars, fiddle, mandolin and banjo), but the album does contain unconventional tunes and singing styles.