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Wee Tam & Big Huge

Incredible String BandAudio CD
4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (17 customer reviews)


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Wee Tam & Big Huge + Hangman's Beautiful Daughter + The 5000 Spirits or the Layers of the Onion
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Product Details

  • Audio CD (April 13, 2010)
  • Original Release Date: 2010
  • Number of Discs: 2
  • Label: Fledg'ling UK
  • ASIN: B0037TRVDA
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (17 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #90,793 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Disc: 1
1. Job's Tears
2. Puppies
3. Beyond the Sea
4. The Yellow Snake
5. Log Cabin Home in the Sky
6. You Get Brighter
7. The Half-Remarkable Question
8. Air
9. Ducks on a Pond
Disc: 2
1. Maya
2. Greatest Friend
3. The Son of Noah's Brother
4. Lordly Nightshade
5. The Mountain of God
6. Cousin Caterpillar
7. The Iron Stone
8. Douglas Traherne Harding
9. The Circle Is Unbroken

Editorial Reviews


Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
30 of 30 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars O, I REMEMBER IT ALL FROM BEFORE... November 15, 2002
Format:Audio CD
When Elektra's US division released this recording in America in late spring/early summer of 1968, they were unsure that it would be marketable as a two-record set, so it was issued as two separate lps. Given the unpredictability of the music market, this was probably a prudent decision -- but I'm glad to see that Hannibal has honored the ISB's original intent and made it available as a reasonably-priced double cd. The two albums should definitely be considered as a whole.
This was the first release I bought by the ISB -- and I was hooked immediately on the exotic melodies, the instruments gathered from all corners of the earth...and the lyrics. I was attending college at the time, and I showed some of the lyrics to my English professor -- he instantly recognized them as songs, but he was very impressed with the quality and depth of the poetry. The songs address a wide variety of topics -- life, love, spirituality, mankind's place in the scheme of things -- and do so with intelligence, insight and gentle wit.
The arrangements on this set are decidedly less complex -- but, I think, just as adventurous -- as those on the preceding recording THE HANGMAN'S BEAUTIFUL DAUGHTER (which came out just 4-5 months earlier). They are perfectly suited to the season of the year -- lighter, less complicated than the darker mood of the prvious album. The lyrics are allowed to dominate.
I think I was a fan from the opening bars of 'Job's tears', the first track. I was mesmerized by the beauty and depth of these songs. Yes, I was at an impressionable age (I was 18) -- but as the years have passed under the bridge, I've found that I can return to these recordings (and, indeed, most of the ISB's work) again and again, still spellbound by the wonder of the music found here. The work has aged well.
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30 of 31 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars "Wee Tam/Big Huge" Endures September 15, 2003
Format:Audio CD
A short 10 years ago, none of the ISB's catalog was available in the compact disc format. We should be greatful that a number of boutique labels have seen fit to release the music of this talented, but magnificently unsucessful band. There are now about 30 releases including the studio records, the live albums and the anthologies. "Wee Tam" and the "Big Huge" is the beginning of the most enduring and sucessful partnership in the band's history: Robin Williamson, Mike Heron, Licorice McKenzie and Rose Simpson. To say that "Wee Tam/Big Huge" is a personal favorite of mine, goes against the convential wisdom that "Hangman's Beautiful Daugher" or "5000 Spirits" is the ISB's best work. Orginally, a double album was chopped as two separate releases, in the United States: "Wee Tam" was released in 1968 and "Big Huge" was released in 1969.

It's confusing but germaine, because no one in the United States heard the unified "Wee Tam/Big Huge" double disc until nearly 25 years after it's initial release. It is the equivalent of chopping Bob Dylan's "Blonde On Blonde" into two separate albums. The point I'm trying to make with all of this labored chronology, is a marketing decision by Elektra Records took precedence over the ISB's creative vision.

In the late Sixties, ISB's label Elektra Records was making a huge and sometimes painful creative transition from a small independent traditional folk music label to a highly successful label that showcased daring and innovative rock bands of the day. ISB wasn't part of the American folk music revival that produced Elektra artists like Tom Paxton or Judy Collins nor was the ISB in the same category as one of Elektra's vanguard of underground rock bands like the Doors and Love.
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18 of 18 people found the following review helpful
Format:Audio CD
`The Big Huge' and the `Wee Tam' are nominally two different albums by The Incredible String Band (TISB) when actually; they were released simultaneously in 1968 as if they were a double album where you could buy the two disks independently. The sense with which the two titles can be combined as `The Big Huge Wee Tam' is one small sign of how these two albums were always supposed to be seen as a single work, in much the same way as Dylan's `Blond on Blond' and the Beatles' `white album' are two phonographs in a single album.

It is due to this title combination that I always considered `The Big Huge' as the first of the two recordings. The second reason is because the first cut on this album, Williamson's `Maya' so completely captures the style and spirit of both albums. It also clearly connects TISB with the style of Donovan Leitch as exemplified in his song `Atlantis'. There must be some name for this kind of song in song writing circles, and I wish I knew it, as it is so distinctive in construction. Basically, it enumerates between eight and twelve things, generally people, in a group where each type serves a particular person or fits a role in the whole. The simplest example of such a song might be the `Do-Re-Mi Song' from `The Sound of Music'. Both `Maya' and `Atlantis' are much more complicated, but fit the same basic pattern.

`Maya' is doubly interesting in that it is almost certainly based on the famous illustration on the frontispiece of Thomas Hobbes' great work `Leviathan' on political philosophy, where the head of the sovereign sits on a body composed of smaller bodies.

This pair of albums may have been the high point of the TISB recording career.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
2.0 out of 5 stars Overwrought
I was a hippie too, and in that era I listened to and loved a lot of music, from the Weavers and Joan Baez to Led Zeppelin and Leon Russell. Read more
Published 7 months ago by Jill V. Svoboda
5.0 out of 5 stars "In The Golden Book Of The Golden Game, A Golden Angel Wrote My Name."
I had a late introduction to the Incredible String Band. I missed their first incarnation in the late 1960s and first heard them off a compilation album released by Electra Records... Read more
Published 11 months ago by Chip Kaufmann
5.0 out of 5 stars Incredible String Band at its best!!
If you are a fan of the Incredible String Band, then I am sure you know this album. Being a child of the 60's...well, I love them!!! Read more
Published 19 months ago by Alice in Wonderland
1.0 out of 5 stars Should be zero stars -- These guys can NOT sing at all
I have heard about this group throughout the late sixties and early seventies, but never actually heard their "music. Read more
Published 22 months ago by StephenDvd
5.0 out of 5 stars Divine madness
this is certainly an acquired taste, Psychedelic hippy folk music with old english and northern Indian carnatic raga mixed in. great spiritual comedy. Read more
Published on September 10, 2012 by Allan K. Betz
5.0 out of 5 stars so darn different and cool
I wasn't really convinced the Incredible String Band was in a distinct category of psychedelic folk rock even after hearing their two masterpiece albums the Hangman's Beautiful... Read more
Published on April 9, 2012 by B. E Jackson
4.0 out of 5 stars Spiritual Bloopers and the Creative Process and how they mitght be...
It's an axiom you are better off not knowing what cannot be done. This might have been a guiding light for the blossoming of the Incredible String Bands thought, words and deeds. Read more
Published on May 17, 2011 by A. dale
5.0 out of 5 stars Another hidden gem from ISB
The Incredible String Band continue to intrigue and inspire me with their simple but beautiful songs and melodies. Wee Tam & The Big Huge (Typical weird I.S. Read more
Published on August 6, 2010 by Bring_back_the_60s
5.0 out of 5 stars Old Timey Head Music
Only the 60's could produce the amazing amalgamation of roots folk and psychedelia. The Holy Modal Rounders were overtly militant, while The Incredible String Band sneaks in... Read more
Published on May 12, 2010 by Heavy Theta
5.0 out of 5 stars SOME OF ISB'S BEST MADE BETTER STILL
While the remastering is expert and reveals even more of the human warmth of this work, it's difficult to write about the music of Robin Williamson and Mike Heron for the simple... Read more
Published on August 5, 2006 by Hank Napkin
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