The 1968 release of The Hangman’s Beautiful Daughter, the third International String Band album, was met with wide acclaim, both critically and commercially, reaching # in the UK. Sitar, oud, panpipe, jaw harp, water harp, penny whistle, chananai, harpsichord and gimbri merged with traditional folk instruments in a multi-tracked musical extravaganza. This audacious aural experience proved to be heavily influential on the band’s contemporaries. The surreal imagery of the song lyrics and the group’s use of exotic instruments put bustles in many hedgerows, as Robert Plant attests: “The one thing we always wanted to do in Led Zeppelin was to finish off the show with the String Band’s ‘A Very Cellular Song’ (from THBD).” On standout tracks like Robin Williamson’s “The Minotaur’s Song” and Mike Herron’s afore-mentioned “A Very Cellular Song,” lyrics and instrumentation combined to create a unique listening experience. Again, as Robert Plant succinctly noted, “The Incredible String Band was tales from another place.” Now, over four decades after its release, the album continues to influence subsequent musical generations and can be recognized quite distinctly in the current freak folk movement. And what of the album’s mysterious title? Upon its release, Mike Herron explained, “The hangman is death and the beautiful daughter is what comes after. Or you might say that the hangman is the past twenty years of our life and the beautiful daughter is now, what we are able to do after all these years. Or you can make up your own meaning—your interpretation is probably just as good as ours."Sundazed Music is honored to present this seminal album reissue, sourced from the original Elektra analog tapes, pressed on audibly arousing high-definition vinyl and packaged in an exact reproduction of the LP cover artwork.
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