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Strangely Strange But Oddly Normal: An Island Records Anthology 1967-1972 Box set

4.3 out of 5 stars 41 customer reviews

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Audio CD, Box set, 25 May 2009
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Product details

  • Audio CD (25 May 2009)
  • Number of Discs: 3
  • Format: Box set
  • Label: Commercial Marketing
  • ASIN: B0027CASEW
  • Other Editions: Audio CD  |  MP3 Download
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (41 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 89,325 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)
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Track Listings

Disc: 1

  1. Supernatural Fairy Tales - Art
  2. Paper Sun - Traffic
  3. Harpsichord Shuffle - Wynder K. Frog
  4. Rainbow Chaser - Nirvana
  5. Pearly Queen - Tramlines
  6. Sunshine Help Me - Spooky Tooth
  7. Dusty - Al Stewart, John Martyn
  8. Meet On The Ledge - Fairport Convention
  9. A Song For Jeffrey - Jethro Tull
  10. The Carpenter - The Clouds
  11. I Keep Singing That Same Old Song - Heavy Jelly
  12. The Black Mass: An Electric Storm In Hell - White Noise
  13. Over The Green Hills - Free
  14. Worry - Free
  15. Giants - Quintessence
  16. Queen Of Scots - Amazing Blondel
  17. Feelin' Alright? - Traffic
  18. Sing Me A Song That I Know - Blodwin Pig
  19. A Sailor's Life - Fairport Convention

Disc: 2

  1. A New Day Yesterday - Jethro Tull
  2. No Time To Live - Traffic
  3. Three Hours - Nick Drake
  4. Lost In My Dream - Spooky Tooth
  5. Stormbringer - John Martyn
  6. Strangely Strange But Oddly Normal - Dr. Strangely Strange
  7. Notting Hill Gate - Quintessence
  8. Banks Of The Nile - Fotheringay
  9. Wild World - Cat Stevens
  10. Painted Chariot - The Incredible String Band
  11. The North Star Grassman And The Ravens - Sandy Denny
  12. Suite In C; Including Turnham Green, Here I am And Others - McDonald & Giles
  13. The Siege Of Yaddlethorpe - Amazing Blondel

Disc: 3

  1. Knife Edge - Emerson, Lake & Palmer
  2. Thunderbuck Ram - Mott The Hoople
  3. Northern Sky - Nick Drake
  4. Thru The Night - Alan Bown
  5. Dark Dance - Robin Williams
  6. I Am The Walrus - Spooky Tooth
  7. Glistening Glyndebourne - John Martyn
  8. Fire And Water - Free
  9. See My Way - Blodwyn Pig
  10. See The World - Vinegar Joe
  11. Peace Train - Cat Stevens
  12. Watercolour Days - The Clouds
  13. The Low Spark Of High-Heeled Boys - Traffic
  14. Song For Suzie - Heads, Hands & Feet

Product description

Product Description

This three CD set is a re-issue of the critically acclaimed Island anthology which was released back in 2005. Containing over three and a half hours of music from the legendary "pink label" period of the Island back catalogue (1967 to 1972) Strangely Strange features the best from the likes of Nirvana, Quintessence, Heavy Jelly, Free, John Martyn, Spooky Tooth, Traffic and many, many more. The 48-page booklet contains sleeve notes by Mark Powell, biogs and rare photographs.

Customer Reviews

4.3 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Audio CD
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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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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Format: 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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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 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?
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