A multi-instrumentalist and veteran of several U.K. beat-era groups, Mike Heron co-founded the psychedelic folk outfit Incredible String Band with Robin Williamson and Clive Palmer. Heron's first solo outing, Smiling Men with Bad Reputations, released in 1971 on Island Records, included such names as the Who and John Cale in the credits, but remained true to the spirit of his main band. After the Incredible String Band split in 1974, Heron formed Mike Heron's Reputation. This outfit followed a rock-oriented path, but released only one self-titled set on Neighbourhood Records. Heron went on to record many more solo albums on a variety of labels, although none has achieved the degree of success that his former association with Williamson brought.
In 1997, the two former colleagues reunited for select concert dates, one of which was featured on the excellent Bloomsbury 1997 release. Palmer came on board two years later for a series of Incredible String Band shows in the U.K. and Europe, and this lineup (with Williamson's wife Bina and Lawson Dando) continued to play on a regular basis until Williamson withdrew from touring to concentrate on solo work again.