This was by no means a major release; these are, however, the first recordings from guitarist Robert Fripp, and as such, of interest to the timeline. The band came to London from provincial Bournemouth, on England's south coast. Brothers Peter Giles and Michael Giles, bass and drums respectively, had spent the last seven years as a rhythm section together, performing mainly R&B covers. In London, they managed to secure a deal with Deram Records, who released two singles and the album, The Cheerful Insanity Of Giles, Giles & Fripp.
Another stanchion of the London underground scene, Arthur Brown had huge success with the single "Fire" b/w "Rest Cure." Released in June, it rose to the top of the UK charts, while reaching No. 2 in the US that September. The single was a tough act to follow, perhaps even overshadowing the rest of his career. But let's not sell the man short. Brown's real contribution to rock music was theatre: his on-stage antics-from fire helmet to crucifixion-set the standard for most every act to follow.
Over its near ten-year existence, The Incredible String Band revolved around the psychedelic folk of mainstays Robin Williamson and Mike Heron. In 1965, Williamson first teamed with Clive Palmer in Edinburgh, Scotland as a folk duo. The following year, they auditioned Heron and headed to London, where Joe Boyd signed them to Elektra Records. Their debut album was a traditional folk record, but earned accolades from Melody Maker. The trio then split.
Originally from the provincial town of Canterbury, the Soft Machine split off from The Wilde Flowers in 1966. And by the time the Softs got around to recording this album, they had already undergone substantial changes: Daevid Allen, St. Tropez and the London underground were well behind them. That version of the Soft Machine released one single "Love Makes Sweet Music" b/w "Feelin' Reelin' Squealin'", recorded some demos with Giorgio Gomelsky, and alongside Pink Floyd, had become one of the pillars of the London underground.