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31 of 31 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Re-Issue of the Year?
Wow! This remastered version of the Incredibles' crowning achievement is far better than expected. It is simply magnificent & sounding as fresh as the day it was first minted. The job was done by Simon Heyworth, supervised by the original production team of Joe Boyd & John Wood, and all three of them deserve a round of applause for this. The tonal balance is exquisite and...
Published on 6 April 2010 by Harvey Randall

versus
0 of 4 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars we painted ourselves into a box
I do think some of this bands output output was
Enjoyable lyrically and musically for a period of time
But with the themes of their songs always had the feeling they were painting themselves into a box they would eventually want to get out of alright for a listen
When in the mood I suppose but keep your exit door key
Folks.
Published 12 months ago by c rider


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31 of 31 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Re-Issue of the Year?, 6 April 2010
This review is from: Wee Tam & the Big Huge (2CD) (Audio CD)
Wow! This remastered version of the Incredibles' crowning achievement is far better than expected. It is simply magnificent & sounding as fresh as the day it was first minted. The job was done by Simon Heyworth, supervised by the original production team of Joe Boyd & John Wood, and all three of them deserve a round of applause for this. The tonal balance is exquisite and the clarity immediately impressive- so much so that it makes me wonder what on earth everyone else has been up to until now. Spot on! I've yet to hear the other 3 re-issues but if they are up to this standard then they have to be essential purchases. This one, however, ought to be snapped up immediately as it cost me the same for a double disc as the others, which are single discs. It is also the high spot towards which the three forerunners were leading: a creative peak which could not be equalled by anything that Robin Williamson and Mike Heron attempted in its wake. The albums that followed all had their special moments but none matched this for consistency of performance and composition. For psychedelic folk anchored in ancient roots (step forward the wonderful 'Log Cabin Home In The Sky' as the most obvious example), this cannot be bettered. For many long years the Incredible String Band have sounded impossibly dated to these ears but I swear that this sounds brand new! This is remastering at its very best and I urge anyone with even a hint of interest in this music to buy it without delay. I very much doubt whether this year will witness another re-issue to top this. Staggering.
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14 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Enter another world, 25 Nov 2005
By A Customer
This review is from: Wee Tam/the Big Huge (Audio CD)
I think this is one of the most perfectly cohesive albums I have heard - absolutely one of my 20th century favourites. I bought it in the early 70s, updated to CD when the time came and still listen to it on a regular basis. Incidentally, I cannot agree with 'theblackferret' (previous reviewer) that Maya is a long drag - I find it a continual pleasure to listen to, even after 30-odd years. If you want to chill out, relax and escape to another place, give it a listen.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars 2 slices of Heaven in a sandwich, 16 May 2007
By 
Jm Leven (London) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Wee Tam/the Big Huge (Audio CD)
'The circle is unbroken' is the real Scottish national anthem - what 'Stairway to Heaven' is to a generation of English. But don't feel excluded. This is essential for everyone, and essential to have as one double album as it was intended. I notice that this hasn't attracted as much attention from reviewers as their other classic albums - maybe because it's been released as 2 separate albums also, the reviews are split between a few versions. I must quibble with one reviewer - this is not post-hippy; this is the real thing! Everything the punks hated - talent, inspiration, musicianship, intelligence! (I know I'm not going to offend any punk fans because they mostly can't read). Some of it goes on a bit, but I wouldn't change a note. Take your time with it and there's value for money here - you will find new things in it for years, for ever! And real poetry too. Real modern poetry in the tradition of the beats and black mountain poets etc FOR PEOPLE rather than for English professors to pontificate on. People forget that the hippy thing(that's a debate in itself) grew out of the 50s beatnik and folk culture with its fondness for literature- the marriage(brief) of that with pop music and electric blues guitar. It had roots. The Incredible String band however had the best-dyed roots ever - you can sort of see where it comes from but not how! And that doesn't do them justice.

If you don't know this and you're thinking that there must be more to life than corporate crap, you're right! This is it!
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25 of 26 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars I looked back, 3 Jan 2003
By 
Mr. C. L. Bradley "bradlo" (Wantage, UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Wee Tam/the Big Huge (Audio CD)
It would be a crying shame if the only people who buy this album are replacing an ancient vinyl copy (like me).
The unbridled imaginations of Mike Heron & Robin Williamson are given full range here, in a staggering display of multi-instrumental virtuosity. The lyrics which are deeply suggestive of myth, legend and pagan spirituality formed the soundtrack to most of the enjoyable psychodelic experiences of my youth.
I hope I can encourage a new generation to embrace this joyous sound.
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Remastering OK but ....., 20 April 2010
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This review is from: Wee Tam & the Big Huge (2CD) (Audio CD)
As with all these ISB reissues to date, there are no extra/alternate tracks on this version - which is fine as the original Album was brilliant as it was. The music itself is as it always was - and you like it or you don't, for me it is 5*. The dropped star for this reissue is because I found the re-mastering a little disappointing, better than on Hangman's, but still not the jump in clarity and detail which now seems to be the norm with re-mastered stuff from this era - I guess they were constrained by the original source material. The packaging is great with all the lyrics printed in the booklet ( nearly ) as the original cover - the participants/instruments on each track are omitted for some reason. If you don't have a copy or are looking to replace vinyl/cassette, then this is the version to go for, but if you have one of the previous CD issues, perhaps listen first to see if you think the enhances sound is worth it.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars best concept album of all time, 10 April 2010
This review is from: Wee Tam & the Big Huge (2CD) (Audio CD)
'What is it that we are part of, and what is it that we are?' - that's the concept, or as Robin Williamson puts it, the 'half-remarkable question' around which this astonishing work is created. Christian and pagan, Hindu and hippy, time-travelling meteorites and headless shamen, from Job's tears to the puppies having their little breakfast, from the lowly caterpillar to the mountain of God - the puzzles of identity and meaning are teased from different angles, the perspectives shifted in a kaleidoscope of scale and colour.
The musical landscape is as various as the subject-matter: the hypnotic drone and clang of the sitar, the ecstatic gimbri and sarangi, the swirling organ chords and angular piano and harpsichord arabesques, echoing harp, shimmering flute and glancing fiddle, the otherworldly peels of the penny-whistle, the meshing, glinting guitars, the sometimes-delicate, sometimes-dense living layers of percussion, and above all the marvellous complementary voices, whether in solo or ensemble acrobatics.
This double-album delivers a true journey of the imagination, one whose every passing moment is limpidly restored in this fine re-issue.
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17 of 18 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A magical mystery, 15 Feb 2004
This review is from: Wee Tam/the Big Huge (Audio CD)
This (double) album has a very different 'feel' to its predecessor (The Hangman's Beautiful Daughter, which of course signified Death), and also to the other two previous albums. It's hard to say in words exactly where it differs, but it somehow flows more easily, it's less jerky, being more in a kind of 'hippy Donovan' style rather than a 'bearded folkie' folk-club sort of thing. That said, the earlier albums are superb.
To me, this album is a unique work which captures a 'feel' of the immediate post-Flower Power period that almost no other recording does. It's a sort of acid-folk, in a way, but it's really nothing to do with chemical substances at all - for it's simply poetic imagination, set to music. There are religious themes in it, but it really goes beyond the describable. Whatever it was that they somehow managed to capture here, one thing's for sure: they didn't have it before, and they didn't have it after. Maybe it's a sort of English/Celtic magic? Yes, that's probably what it was...
The band achieved much greater popularity after this album, becoming more of a kind of hippy/pop band, and I lose interest in their music after this point in their career. If you're thinking of buying it, take my advice and order it. I think that, after hearing it a few times, you'd wish you'd bought it ages ago.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Music is so much less..., 21 Oct 2007
By 
M. D. Zukor "mzukor" (england) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Wee Tam/the Big Huge (Audio CD)
Someone wrote thet their previous album "The Hangmans Beautiful Daughter" was a conventional folk album... for the first 15 seconds. I dont know that this album manages even that. Its hard now to convey the impact they had back then but this album remains a staggering achievement of musical inventiveness and lyrical intelligence.
The themes here are in a very broad sense religious or perhaps spiritual is more accurate and the tone is impassioned, a tad confused, searching and dont forget humour... and doesnt that sum up life really? Who else could combine musing on the Crucifixion with quotes from Groucho Marx. No blasphemy here - just compassion and wisdom about this trap we`re all in. And there they went making music to uplift, question and surprise, to invite us to acknowledge the weird beauty of this gift of life...
Oh and if all that sounds too serious then you could always just waltz along to Log Cabin Home In The Sky!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars "In The Golden Book Of The Golden Game, A Golden Angel Wrote My Name", 9 Dec 2013
By 
Chip Kaufmann (Asheville, NC United States) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Wee Tam & the Big Huge (2CD) (Audio CD)
I had a late introduction to the Incredible String Band. I missed their original releases in the late 1960s and first heard them off a compilation album released by Electra Records called RELICS OF THE INCREDIBLE STRING BAND that I purchased in a pawn shop for $1. That was in 1971. This gave me a taste of their unique use of an incredible array of instruments, their stream of consciousness lyrics and their even more unique vocals which people either love or hate. Working in the theatre and being exposed to a variety of performing styles and having been a voracious reader since childhood, I was immediately captivated by what I heard and the lyrics I interpreted. I got their 2 previous albums THE HANGMAN'S BEAUTIFUL DAUGHTER and 5000 SPIRITS OR THE LAYERS OF THE ONION but had trouble locating WEE TAM & THE BIG HUGE. It didn't matter that much as several of those songs were on my RELICS collection.

Since their original breakup in 1974 the ISB's albums have gone in and out of print with numerous reissues taken from less than ideal source materials. If it says "BEST OF..." or "GREATEST HITS" then you would be wise to avoid it for sonic reasons. Fortunately Fledg'ling Records has gotten together with Carthage Records, who own the rights to the original recordings, to produce a remastered series of CDs from the band's first and greatest period (1965-1968). Original member Clive Palmer split after the first album and then ISB became comprised of co-founders Robin Williamson & Mike Heron along with their girlfriends Rose Simpson & Licorice McKechnie. The double LP set WEE TAM & THE BIG HUGE came at the end of 1968 after the highly praised THE HANGMAN'S BEAUTIFUL DAUGHTER. It marks their high point and the beginning of the end. WEE TAM is still full of the fragile mystical magic that was uniquely theirs but by the end of BIG HUGE the delicate balance was going. It was also their last album supervised by legendary folk producer Joe Boyd.

WEE TAM contains several of my favorite ISB songs. Two of them DUCKS ON A POND and JOB'S TEARS (the source of this review's title) encapsulate the band's sound. They will tell you whether or not the ISB will be to your liking. Other favorites include the old timey music pastiche LOG CABIN HOME IN THE SKY and the simple and haunting AIR. Moving on to THE BIG HUGE, in the beginning this album didn't work as well for me. The songs didn't seem to gel the way the previous albums did. MAYA goes on forever and some of the titles didn't engage me. After awhile though I got the hang of it with LORDLY NIGHTSHADE and THE MOUNTAIN OF GOD becoming my favorites. This is a quintessential set from the world's most original ensemble and it's absolutely fantastic to have all the original albums available in high quality sound with booklets containing background information and even the lyrics to the songs which comes in handy.
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars astonishing but..., 26 April 2010
By 
Mr. R. Forrest "Robert" (strathaven) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Wee Tam & the Big Huge (2CD) (Audio CD)
This is one of the best British albums of the sixties, which I suppose makes it one of the best albums of all time. Mike Heron and Robin Williamson, in the four LPs culminating in this one produced some of the most extraordinary music - songs, playing, singing, audacity, humour, seriousness - you or your children and grandchildren are ever likely to hear. I remember when I fist heard Chinese White, track 1 on 5000 Spirits - in those first few bars my life changed forever. And these remastered versions of those wondrous 4 albums are magnificent,essential. The packaging is excellent - but it's one aspect of the packaging on this album I must question. Wee Tam and the Big Huge is an album - it is a collection of work under that title. It is not 2 albums. But the discs are titled (1) Wee Tam and (2) Big Huge. This is nonsense. I am a Scottish person - wee Tam is mankind (and womankind) and the big huge is the universe. (What is it that we are part of, what is it that we are?) The booklet reproduces the original sleeve - but it's altered. Again it calls LP 1 Wee Tam and Lp 2 Big Huge. If you look at the double Lp sleeve, which I was surprised and delighted to discover I still have!, it says only Wee Tam and the Big Huge. That is the (one) title of one of the most extraordinary albums ever made.
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Wee Tam & the Big Huge (2CD)
Wee Tam & the Big Huge (2CD) by Incredible String Band (Audio CD - 2010)
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