Julian Cope presents Head Heritage

Robin Williamson
Myrrh


Released 1972 on Edsel Records
Reviewed by argyle_heir, 16/05/2004ce


By 1972 the magic was fading for the Incredible String Band- their creaky, shadowy masterwork "The Hangman’s Beautiful Daughter" was but a distant memory- now, after leaving Elektra and signing with Island, the band were doing the unthinkable, namely flirting with conventional rock song structures and instrumentation! Perhaps mourning the passing of the golden era, uber-talent Robin Williamson snuck away from his main gig and crafted this low-key record during December ‘71.

Surprisingly "Myrrh" turned out a 100% success. It features not only some of Williamson's most accessible material (the gorgeous country-flecked lament "Rends-Moi Demain", "I See Us All Get Home" and the brilliant "Sandy Land" with it's near-funk intro) but 5 utterly astonishing tunes which hark back to the String Band's glory days. The first three of these form the album's heart- "The Dancing Of The Lord Of Weir", "Will We Open The Heavens" and "Through The Horned Clouds". All rank highly on the awkward-o-meter at first but reveal their individual genius with patience just like "The Mad Hatter's Song" and "Waltz Of The New Moon" (Williamson compositions from the greatest String Band albums- "The 5000 Spirits...." and "....Hangman's...." respectively). The remaining two songs of this awe inspiring quintet are as stark as winter trees but undeniably beautiful- "Cold Harbour" and "Dark-Eyed Lady". If these songs fail to move you then you must be erm, frozen or something.

Mysterious folk rock classics, one and all.

A wonderful release- certainly something I will return to again and again, especially when the winter comes around again. Just a shame not that many people have heard it. Ah well.


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