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29 Reviews
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72 of 74 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A call to arms.
I'm going to start with a confession. My knowledge of the incredible string band is rather limited so you'll excuse me if I can't demonstrate the type of extensive background knowledge of the band displayed by other reviewers of this album. As a daughter of an original sixties child I have been influenced enormously by my father to whom my music taste is entirely...
Published on 13 May 2004 by misty may

versus
3.0 out of 5 stars Hippy type
Is okay but a bit dated I wouldn't but it if I had heard it in advance I find it s bit contrived
Published on 23 May 2013 by Terry


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5.0 out of 5 stars The Hedgehog's Song = this is a Really Brilliant Song!, 15 Oct. 2014
By 
PowLa (London, England) - See all my reviews
This review is from: The 5000 Spirits or the Layers of the Onion (Audio CD)
The Hedgehog's Song = this is a Really Brilliant Song!
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5 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars I Lived This Album, 7 Aug. 2001
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This review is from: The 5000 Spirits or the Layers of the Onion (Audio CD)
The First Girl That I Love still brings tears to my eyes because it always reminds me of my first girlfriend.We played it on an old Dansette.The greatest love song ever written and listening to Back In the Sixties makes me feel ancient.Best British sixties album.
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Listen with an open mind, 7 Sept. 2000
By 
colin.mills@bluewin.ch (Outside Geneva, Switzerland) - See all my reviews
This review is from: The 5000 Spirits or the Layers of the Onion (Audio CD)
Where are they now? What ever became of Heron and Williamson? As an owner of the original album, I would buy the CD to save wearing it out. Great lyrics, inspired instrumentals. Go for it!
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5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars, 12 Mar. 2015
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This review is from: The 5000 Spirits or the Layers of the Onion (Audio CD)
Takes me back to my youth.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars, 10 Nov. 2014
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This review is from: The 5000 Spirits or the Layers of the Onion (Audio CD)
Excellent. Many thanks
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24 of 42 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A materpiece for enlightened ears only., 16 Mar. 2006
This review is from: The 5000 Spirits or the Layers of the Onion (Audio CD)
Play any song from this album to anyone below the age of 40 and within a very short while the great majority of them will have their fingers in their ears. Play them to anyone below 20 and it would be a safe bet that 99% of them even with repeated playing would never or could ever enjoy this music.
Why? Well if you were aged 20 or below when this album was made you‘ll remember that from the mid to the late sixties the overriding requirement of music was that it had to be some form of intelligence behind it. The whole hippy thing was based on a theme of a higher dimension of reasoning and thinking and the music of the time reflected this.
Since those inspirational days, culture especially in Britain has declined in a fairly steady way. Nearly all modern music has only a few basic requirements. A thumping bass line, at least every line of its lyrics must contain the word "baby", and the singer must have shiny big muscles whether male or female.
It’s my belief that the cultural mind is set from the early teenage years and nothing later can really change this. Most people around 40 or below have hardly listened to a minute of classical or jazz, read a poem or even a book, leaving them to buy play and enjoy pop music written for children. Ok that is a big exaggeration but for the vast majority that's not too far from reality. Boiling it right down, the sixties was about the mind, today it’s all about the body.
5000 spirits is all about lyrics, able to fill the mind with images, colours and feelings.
There’s music too, mostly a fusion of folk, Indian and even blues, all played in a magical and captivating way, and every song easily different from each other.
To any one who hasn’t heard this album before, I would recommend they start from the 2nd track, as the first song is probably the hardest to get into. Chinese white has the most non musical air about it.
I love every song but if I have to judge The Mad Hatter’s song as the most complex and enjoyable. With it’s continually changing styles, it seems to be a compilation of all the styles of all the other songs on this album, moving from folk to superbly played and musical Indian sitar then on to blues and back to others that are completely original. Tempo changing from fast to slow, dark to light, all with lyrics that captivate. Utter bliss.
I would have to issue a small warning if you are the type whose emotional feelings are brought the surface when experiencing beauty, this album at some point will have tears welling in your eyes. I don’t think I have managed to listen through it without welling up, even if it’s just the shear brilliance that is within the songs and the mourning for the total absence of this creativeness that is so apparent in today’s hard world.
I have read that some people regard the Hedgehog song is somewhat “twee”. But surely the hedgehog is the feeling lack of self confidence that spikes most of us when we have to perform?
If you haven’t a tear by the time you reach “My name is death”, reach for a tissue.
Yes a masterpiece, one of the seven wonders of the modern musical world. Listen to this album before you die. It could change your life, or your future record collection.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars, 31 Mar. 2015
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This review is from: The 5000 Spirits or the Layers of the Onion (Audio CD)
Delightful.
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars disappointed., 3 July 2013
By 
A. Hall "Alan Hall" (Great Yarmouth, UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The 5000 Spirits or the Layers of the Onion (Audio CD)
bought this after glowing magazine report. Expected a slice of Psychedelic 60's folk rock . Mostly depressing dirges - sounds like Leonard Cohen being backed by Ravi Shankar - not for me !!
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Disappointed, 27 Dec. 2012
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This review is from: The 5000 Spirits or the Layers of the Onion (Audio CD)
Love the album and the cover but it's won't upload to iTunes and so I can't listen to it on my iPod. Disappointed.
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The 5000 Spirits or the Layers of the Onion
The 5000 Spirits or the Layers of the Onion by Incredible String Band (Audio CD - 1992)
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