Be Glad for the Song Has No Ending
vividly encapsulates the intensity of The Incredible String Band in the late 60's. Live sequences show the band at the height of their powers, casting a spell on the audience with their unique blend of theatrical and musical metaphysics. A sense of magical mystery pervades the film, from the opening ritual naming of instruments through to the final hallucinatory death and rebirth ritual in the fantasy fable The Pirate and the Crystal Ball. We are treated to The Incredible String Band at work and at play, talking about themselves and their music.
Originally destined for the BBC's Omnibus arts programme, Be Glad for the Song Has No Ending was never broadcast, but it enjoyed an independent cinema release in Britain and the USA. The film vividly captures their unique qualities, the aura of spirituality that pervaded their music, their early experiments in communal living, their cross disciplinary approach to performance and above all, their astonishing stylistic diversity.
Their influence on the rock music of the psychedelic 60's was profound, and their recordings, for Elektra and Island, were best sellers. A 1968 recording, "The Hangman's Beautiful Daughter," was a top 5 hit, and all subsequent Incredible String Band albums also charted. They filled concert halls on both sides of the Atlantic, headlined festivals, appeared at Woodstock and in Bill Graham's Fillmores East and West and made many converts. The Rolling Stones tried to sign The Incredible String Band and their label, and artists from Judy Collins to Van Morrison covered their songs, which were also praised by Bob Dylan, The Beatles, Led Zeppelin, Pete Townsend, Tim Buckley, Pet Shop Boys and many more.
Now, with each frame cleaned and enhanced, The Incredible String Band - Be Glad for the Song Has No Ending is released on DVD. A stunning document of the late 60's.
The acclaimed British folk outfit the Incredible String Band enjoyed a brief yet intense spell of success in the late 1960s. This film is a compilation which gives a sense of a talented band at the height of their success. Included are live performances, interviews, and other backstage material which manages to capture a group that is unique, theatrical, and spiritual all at once.