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Changing Horses / I Looked Up

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Product details

  • Audio CD (8 July 2002)
  • Number of Discs: 2
  • Label: COLLECTORS CHOICE MUSIC
  • ASIN: B00006BC51
  • Other Editions: Audio CD
  • Average Customer Review: 3.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 238,282 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Disc: 1
1. Big Ted
2. White Bird
3. Dust Be Diamonds
4. Sleepers, Awake!
5. Mr. And Mrs.
6. Creation
Disc: 2
1. Black Jet Davy
2. The Letter
3. Pictures In A Mirror
4. This Moment
5. When You Find Out Who You Are
6. Fair As You

Customer Reviews

3.3 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

20 of 20 people found the following review helpful By S. Connor on 13 Oct. 2002
Format: Audio CD
I have lived with these two albums since their first release 30 odd years ago.
There are some fine moments such as the traditional 'Black Jack Davy' and Mike Heron's quirky humour in 'The Letter' "I've never met her but she sounds sweet, like a flower growing on the rubbish heap".
There's Robin Williamson's weirdness with a song about Lord Randall being executed and waking up reincarnted as a baby. .
But then there's the epic 'The Creation' which goes on for a good 15 minutes and features Robin waxing lyrical about ancient Gods over a hypnotic chant of rising and falling vocals by the rest of the band, and finishing with kazoos, do-de-oh-dos, and a couple of false endings.
Yes it's weird, but it's more a journey of the mind than just a bunch of tunes.
You'll either love this stuff or hate it.
I love it. Guess that makes me weird.
"Dust be diamonds, water be wine. Happy, happy, happy all the time, time, time". If lyrics like that make you cringe then stick to the mainstream. Otherwise take a chance and get this CD. It may not change your life but on the other hand...?
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 17 Feb. 2004
Format: Audio CD
Mid period Incredibles with the girls firmly established now and with a bias towards very long songs, some of which outstay their welcome. Still there's some good stuff in there. Probably worth the admission price for "Big Ted" alone, as it contains surely one of the most beautiful song lines ever, "...he's gone like snow on the water" And a song about a pig at that!
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1 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Mr. Jonathan Higgins on 10 May 2011
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
I used to have the vinyl records in the 70's and remembered them fondly .The cds sound muffled with the vocals out of key and I at first thought they must be bootleg recordings not the originals ...this is not the case .
My wife said " turn that hippy rubbish off "
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 6 reviews
13 of 14 people found the following review helpful
It really starts with Blackjack Davey! 22 Nov. 2002
By K. Brown - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
SO GLAD to see the Incredible String Band CDs released again! The only potential drawback is nabbing two ISB albums, not always on the same level.
As much as I love The Incredible String Band, "Changing Horses" is one of those releases that I spun over and over, and each time it left me flat. While I wouldn't call it horrible music, it comes off as a long studio session in need of some quality editing. Songs like "Dust Be Diamonds" and "White Bird" ring like songs that start off with promise but wind up with nowhere to go.
"I Looked Up," on the other hand, is prime ISB! Blackjack Davey is an upbeat ballad that will spin through your head after just one sampling. On the other end of the mood spectrum, "Pictures In a Mirror," is the chilling narrative of Lord Randall awaiting and experiencing his execution in a hallowed jail. This is the perfect song to play to a room full of friends (friends who, preferably, are unfamiliar with the Incredible String Band!) during a late night blackout (a thunderstorm outside outside helps too!) I've tried it, and it creeps out my compadres without fail!
"I Looked Up" is a solid album all around. If you are new to The Incredible String Band, and want to pick up the best of these double-CD compilations, I recommend "The Hangman's Beautiful Daughter/5000 Spirits" combo.
Despite my lackluster opinion of "Changing Horses," this CD is worth the price for "I Looked Up" alone. And, in all fairness, The Incredible String Band went through a lot of phases; some fans like their earlier releases, some prefer the later albums that introduced electrical instruments into the band's repetoire. This combo is a good dose of two sounds of ISB. Who knows, maybe you will find something hep in "Changing Horses" that escaped me?
10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
Begging To Differ . . . 31 Dec. 2004
By The Devonian - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
I have just read the other review for this item and, sometime after the fact, thought I would put a completely opposite point of view. While I Looked Up is okay, and nothing more (neck and neck with No Ruinous Feud in the Least Enjoyable ISB Album Stakes), Changing Horses is a near masterpiece that pays repeated listening. It is obviously not in the same league as such monumental classics as Wee Tam & The Big Huge, Hangman's Beautiful Daughter, etc., but that does not diminish its plus points:

1. Big Ted: whimsical, amusing, take it on its own terms and be entertained.

2. White Bird: a prolonged joy. Not as rambling and unfocused as it seems if the original Indian music is listened to. Sheer beauty. So uplifting it's almost painful!

3. Dust Be Diamonds: more whimsy, slight but still enjoyable.

4. Sleepers, Awake!: I just love this song.

5. Mr. and Mrs.: the low point of the album but not as low as some critics would have you believe. Quite tolerable.

6. Creation: possibly Robin Williamson's finest ISB related hour. A masterwork without a doubt!
6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
Very musical 24 Jun. 2006
By Bruce P. Barten - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
Hopefully those who get these two CDs in a single set will be able to appreciate this music without worrying much about which song is on which CD. I am used to hearing some of these songs at the end of a 2-record set called `Relics of the Incredible String Band.' "This Moment" seemed like the perfect ending for that attempt to capture the joys of existence in songs. "I just want to tell each one of you that each note, it is different from any before it, each note, it is different, it's now." Getting more songs after that is like Richard Brautigan trying to come up with 186,000 endings per second for the novel A CONFEDERATE GENERAL FROM BIG SUR. "Fair As You" is a nice, soft, flutey ending, stating the impossibility of having a song which is as fair as you. The eleven minutes penultimately placed between those two songs provides the sentimental message, "`When You Find Out Who You Are' beautiful beyond your dreams." I think that message is sentimental, but my mood might be influenced as much by the spirit in which these songs are sung and float in my memory. Some of their themes might make you feel like you are in church, and if you like `Sleepers, Awake!' you should probably get up on Sunday mornings and see how the church choir is doing. Modern peer to peer filesharing habits are like the chorus of `Dust Be Diamonds:' "buy for a million and sell for a dime." These are the songs by the Incredible String Band that I heard first, because I did not discover the group until 1970, and everyone I knew then was moving so much, no one had a complete collection of anything. If you never heard the Incredible String Band, starting with this set might be good enough so you'll never forget them.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Not the Best ISB albums but Worthy Nonetheless 21 Sept. 2010
By A. Herrmann - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
I have been on an ISB purchasing spree lately replacing my complete vinyl collection. This CD provides two of their "middle period" albums for the price of one disc, jump on it before it goes out of print. Some critics feel there were no great ISB albums after "Wee Tam" and "The Big Huge". Perhaps so, but their later lesser works have more musical and lyrical creativity than any other group that comes to mind, then and now. Both "I Looked Up" and "Changing Horses" are full of splendid moments and have some excellent tunes. If you are being benchmarked against "Hangman's Beautiful Daughter" and the aforementioned double album, you are bound to fail. Those two early classics are among the best recordings of the 20th century, IMHO. Don't be deterred from exploring this marvelous band's full discography. True they changed as the band matured and maybe never had as consistently strong an album as the early gems (although "Earthspan" comes close), but they produced meaningful and edgy music the entire course of the band.
I love the Incredible String Band 15 Aug. 2013
By tatermusic - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
I got this collection for "Big Ted" on Changing Horses". The rest of the this collection requires patience to listen, not unlike a poetry recitation. Beauty in simplicity.
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