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249 of 252 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Just a thought
Love this compilation to bits BUT
AN IDEA
Has Island thought about issuing the CD versions of all those wonderful compilations of 'You can all Join In'. 'Nice Enough to Eat', 'Bumpers' and 'El Pea'?
You could release them just like the 'Classic Album Series of artists with neat little reproductions of the sleeves in cardboard.

Think if all 5...
Published on 15 Aug 2009 by Glenn Cook

versus
57 of 62 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Eccentric selection
This is a somewhat eccentric selection, neatly skirting some of the best output from Island Records output in its independent period between 1962 and 1988, but including a reasonably representative selection from the artists who graced this label in the late 60s and early 70s. It is particularly strong on folk and the blues-based rock sound, championed respectively by Joe...
Published on 26 Jan 2006 by Nicholas Oatridge


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249 of 252 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Just a thought, 15 Aug 2009
By 
Glenn Cook (South Cave, near Hull UK) - See all my reviews
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Love this compilation to bits BUT
AN IDEA
Has Island thought about issuing the CD versions of all those wonderful compilations of 'You can all Join In'. 'Nice Enough to Eat', 'Bumpers' and 'El Pea'?
You could release them just like the 'Classic Album Series of artists with neat little reproductions of the sleeves in cardboard.

Think if all 5 were included it would sell like hotcakes.

Just look at re releases like the B52s, The Pogues, The Pretenders, Jefferson Airplane and their like.
Fools like me would buy and enjoy them and it would be a wonderful addition to the pension funds of some of those grate (sic) performers?
A little bit like Bob Monkhouse did with the Royalties for his TV show 'Mad Movies'. Lots of actors were on the breadline and he ensured that royalties were paid to the septuagenarians.

Just a thought... Please tick to say my review was of use and heck you never knows Island just might take heed watch this space!
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26 of 26 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Blast from the past still holds up, 19 Jun 2009
By 
Nicholas Oatridge (Basel, Switzerland) - See all my reviews
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This anthology covers the period between 1967 and 1972 when Island Records was transformed from an importer of reggae to an incubator for some of the more experimental fusions of folk, the classics, jazz, electronics and blues-based rock that were emerging at the time. With airplay dominated by the singles charts, one of the main vehicles for promoting these less commercially-oriented acts was the budget-priced sampler, and Island Records produced probably the most eclectic and engaging series of any record company. Bumpers arguably represents the most broadly-based example but by the time of the last of the series, El Pea, the underground sound was becoming more mainstream and in some ways less innovative.

Sadly the overlap between this anthology and the samplers is not complete - no reggae or jazz/rock - but most of the featured artists are represented and the ensemble captures very well the spirit of the original samplers and, probably more relevantly, the musical tastes of a specific market. Alongside great tracks from obscure artists like McDonald & Giles, Nirvana, Heavy Jelly and Heads, Hands & Feet, are strong tracks by Traffic, Nick Drake, Fairport Convention and others.

If you owned any of the old Island samplers you will probably love this anthology. If you are too young to have heard these songs first time round, you are in for a pleasant surprise. This collection not only captures the spirit of those original samplers but also demonstrates that the quality of those artists largely still stands up today.
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25 of 25 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Strangely good, if a little weird, 10 Nov 2005
By 
N. Mason (Taunton, Somerset United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Strangely Strange - But Oddly Normal - An Island Anthology (Audio CD)
Anyone who remembers buying the Island budget albums in the late 60's and early 70's such as 'Nice Enough to Eat' and 'Bumpers' will enjoy much of the music on this excellent value triple album. It has to be said that not every track is a classic by a long way but there is enough truly original music from the early 'progressive rock' years to keep everyone happy. There are some excellent examples from the early 'Island' catalogue and tracks such as 'Northern Sky' by Nick Drake make any album worth the money. It is good to see that, although there are repetitions from those early sampler albums there are lots of tracks that were not on those albums - highlights include tracks from Fotheringay, Jethro Tull, Mott the Hoople, Blodwyn Pig and a couple of superb Traffic tracks.
You may find yourself pushing the forward button occasionally but so many tracks for £12-99 you can't go wrong - great value
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106 of 108 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars From a time when music was magical., 25 Feb 2006
By 
This review is from: Strangely Strange - But Oddly Normal - An Island Anthology (Audio CD)
This 3 CD set is superb in every way. Thirty odd years ago I owned a double Island Sampler called "El Pea". I always regretted the fact that I no longer have a means of playing vinyl, but this box set has filled my need. It contains much of what was on El Pea and coming from Island, that most innovative of record labels, the music here is inventive and the true meaning of progressive becomes apparent. From a time when you had either singles or albums bands, most of the acts on this collection never ever had a hit recording. Most were big on the university circuit (oh those heady days). There are exceptions like Free, Emerson Lake and Palmer, Cat Stevens, Jethro Tull and Traffic, all of whom did enjoy singles chart successes. But what a joy to again hear the likes of early Mott the Hoople, Dr Strangely Strange, Quintessence and Heads, Hands and Feet. Stalwarts like King Crimson and Fairport Convention are also represented here as are the Incredible String Band and Spooky Tooth.
The box set comes complete with a well written booklet and, a touch I especially like cosmetic though it is, the CD's themselves look like the old record label, an idea that seems to be growing to my delight.
So I'm stuck in a time warp but who cares. When you have music of such quality I'm pleased to be a 50 something who still remembers "Sounds" and Radio One In Concert on a Saturday night fondly. The set covers Island acts from 1967 to 1972 and is a must for the discerning muci lover. Come back Chris Blackwell. We need you.
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56 of 59 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Nice Enough To Eat, 29 Aug 2009
By 
Totally agree with Glenn Cook (above), especially the first two, "You can all join in" and "Nice enough to eat" (the original, not the punk compilation). A number of the tracks from these appear in this compilation but those two compilations from forty years ago, along with the "Rock machine" CBS albums, formed the foundation of our listening for a whole generation of lovers of the underground. Island - you're sitting on a goldmine.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars An Odyssey of Prog, 7 Jun 2009
By 
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This review is from: Strangely Strange - But Oddly Normal - An Island Anthology (Audio CD)
Ha ha, this has to be a put on right? No?
A compilation of erstwhile proggers and trippers appearing on Island Records between 1967 and 1972 - a veritable golden age.

See, me being a complete expert on all things prog, I wouldn't really need a compilation like this, which is basically a luxurious sampler of a cruelly maligned rock sub-culture; packed as it is with excellent songs by the likes of Fairport Convention, Traffic, Jethro Tull, King Crimson and Mott the Hoople as well as lesser known but no less worthwhile turns such as Fotheringay, Vinegar Joe and Quintessence.
It's probably aimed at the prog novice, just finding his way through the minefield and not the seasoned creased participant..like your modest reviewer.

Defining itself by its huge length and pinkness; 'SSBON' is a cynics dream. Vast songs with loooong guitar solos, freaky titles, crazy lyrics; not forgetting the thick booklet of info which could quite easily pass as the current edition of 'Centre Parting Weekly'; each page crushed to the borders with splendid snaps of ravine-deep furrows.
A fantastic pic of The Alan Bown Set prods the meaningless observation that all 27 of them has C P's - even the bald guy (I think he paints his on)!
A lot of people think this is just childish, irrelevant and has nothing to do with music and that's probably true; but I can hardly press the keys for giggling, knowing as I do, I'm enforcing a stereotype I invented but has a definite basis in reality.
Bravo, by the way, to the singer from Heavy Jelly who has a bouffant! What a rebel!

It's all about aesthetics of course, which I think are vitally important when you're projecting a music.
How much less fun would we have if they were all skinheads?

Anyway, centre-partings to the side(!) 'SSBON' is THE place to start if you're thinking of setting out on the windy psychedelic journey to personal karma and peace.
The only provisions you need are a floral shirt, faded loons, some wacky-baccy and a comb with 4 inch teeth! Experienced campaigners will have most of the stuff here, but it's kinda nice to think of a nervous, wide-eyed postulant, just coming to the world-that-is-prog, kicking back and being transfixed by the sounds here.
You just know he won't be the same again...

Value wise (and I know how important money is to some of you!), there's over 3 ½ hours of music here (that's if you include White Noise 'Electric Storm in Hell' which I thought was 'Hull', and is Hammer Horror film racket), most of which, despite my follicle based ribbing - is genuinely and lastingly good.

No-one is taking themselves too seriously, the fun-factor is encouragingly high and the whole collection doesn't waiver in its mission to drive prog into the hearts and minds of vituperate disbelievers in all the corners of civilisation.

And it's not a massive leap to imagine people whistling 'Glistening Glyndebourne' on their way to work, or humming 'the Siege of Yaddlethorpe' while they're washing the car.
Strangely strange, but oddly normal indeed.

And wouldn't the world be a better place if it had more people called Wynder K. Frog in it?
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars No more cat food?, 14 Jan 2011
I have just looked again at my version of this box-set as I saw that the current version on the web site is a 2009 reissue of the 2005 release which I have. On checking the track listing of the current version, both King Crimson tracks, Cat Food & Groon have disappeared. Why? They are on the 2005 version.I don't believe less is more, so docked one star.

Also want to add my name to the list asking for the original 4 samplers to be reissued.I know there would be serious duplication of tracks, but mugs like me would buy them like a shot!
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57 of 62 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Eccentric selection, 26 Jan 2006
By 
Nicholas Oatridge (Basel, Switzerland) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Strangely Strange - But Oddly Normal - An Island Anthology (Audio CD)
This is a somewhat eccentric selection, neatly skirting some of the best output from Island Records output in its independent period between 1962 and 1988, but including a reasonably representative selection from the artists who graced this label in the late 60s and early 70s. It is particularly strong on folk and the blues-based rock sound, championed respectively by Joe Boyd and Guy Stevens. There are some very ordinary tracks here but also some stunning ones and a few that are nicely quirky.

Amongst the highlights are the sublime "Northern Sky" by Nick Drake, "Meet on the Ledge" by Fairport Convention, "Low Spark of the High-Heeled Boys" by Traffic and "Wild World" by Cat Stevens. The quirky include excellent tracks from Heads, Hands and Feet, the original Nirvana, McDonald and Giles and one-hit wonders, Heavy Jelly. King Crimson, ELP, Spooky Tooth, Mott the Hoople and Blodwyn Pig are reasonably well represented but the track selection for Free (including a 30 sec intro) and White Noise are unrepresentative, and it would have been good to see a better choice of tracks for Jethro Tull, John Martyn and Quintessence. Still, it's nice to find artists like Art, Tramline, Alan Bown, Wynder K Frog and Clouds make it out of the vinyl age onto a widely available CD, even if you can understand why they never appealed to a wider audience.

Missing? Well it woulh have been good to see Bronco here, and Renaissance. If also produced some outstanding jazz on Island too. Perhaps there were licencing issues that precluded their inclusion. The biggest weakness of this selection, however, is the omission of reagge. Jimmy Cliff and Bob Marley both released albums on Island around the period covered, and Chris Blackwell, Island's founder, originally made his name releasing reggae singles.

Minor quibbles, however. In fairness, Bob Marley never appeared on an Island sampler, and this anthology has, if anything, tried to recreate the tone of the classic Island samplers of 1969 to 1971. It is a shame that "Nice Enough to Join In", combining most of Island's first two samplers on one CD, is out of print. I also think a re-release of Bumpers or El Pea would probably have been a better ensemble piece, but what this collection lacks in consistent quality it makes up for in breadth.
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26 of 28 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Thank you Island !!, 15 Nov 2005
By A Customer
This review is from: Strangely Strange - But Oddly Normal - An Island Anthology (Audio CD)
For years I have been hoping that Island would re-release "Bumpers" on CD as my vinyl copy is full of scratches. This set has the same feel as "Bumpers"; it's lots of fun. There are a few rarities, like alternate versions of songs by Traffic and Mott the Hoople. Island, please re-release "Bumpers" and "El Pea" !!!
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12 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Just a thought!, 15 Aug 2009
By 
Glenn Cook (South Cave, near Hull UK) - See all my reviews
(HALL OF FAME REVIEWER)    (VINE VOICE)    (TOP 50 REVIEWER)    (REAL NAME)   
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Strangely Strange - But Oddly Normal - An Island Anthology (Audio CD)
Love this compilation to bits BUT
AN IDEA
Has Island thought about issuing the CD versions of all those wonderful compilations of 'You can all Join In' Bumpers and El Pea?
Fools like me would buy and enjoy them and it would be a wonderful addition to the pension funds of some of those grate (sic) performers?

If you look at the classic albums by artists such as Alice Cooper, The Pretenders, Jefferson Airplane, Argent and others. They have cheap as chips cardboard sleeves and sell by the 1000s.

A little bit like Bob Monkhouse did with the Royalties for his TV show 'Mad Movies'. Lots of actors were on the breadline and he ensured that royalties were paid to the septuagenarians.

Just a thought... Please tick to say my review was of use and heck you never knows Island just might take heed watch this space!
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