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The Incredible String Band

Prog Folk

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The Incredible String Band Wee Tam album cover
3.43 | 33 ratings | 3 reviews | 15% 5 stars

Good, but non-essential

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Studio Album, released in 1968

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. Job's Tears (6:40)
2. Puppies (5:30)
3. Beyond the See (2:16)
4. The Yellow Snake (2:04)
5. Log Cabin Home in the Sky (4:00)
6. You Get Brighter (5:44)
7. The Half-Remarkable Question (5:01)
8. Air (3:12)
9. Ducks on a Pond (9:17)

Total time: 42:44

Line-up / Musicians

- Robin Williamson / acoustic guitar (1,2,4,7,9), gimbri (2), sarangi (4), violin (5), harpsichord (6), piano (9), bass (2,3), whistle (3), flute (8), kazoo (9), percussion (2,7), bass drum (9), vocals (1,4,7,9)
- Mike Heron / acoustic guitar (2,5,6,8), sitar (2,4,7), bass (2), organ (3,8), harpsichord (3), washboard (5), percussion (9), harmonica (9), vocals (2,5,6,8)

- Christina "Licorice" McKechnie / backing vocals
- Rose Simpson / violin (5), backing vocals

Releases information

Artwork: Diogenic Attempts

LP Elektra ‎- EKL 4036 (1968, UK) Mono audio
LP Elektra ‎- EKS 74036 (1968, UK) Stereo audio
LP Elektra ‎- EKS 74036 (1968, US) Different cover art
2xLP Elektra ‎- EKL 4036/37 (1968, UK) Mono; Bundled with "The Big Huge" album, only for Europe
2xLP Elektra ‎- EKS 74036/37 (1968, UK) Stereo; Bundled with "The Big Huge" album, only for Europe

CD Elektra ‎- 7559-60914-2 (1992, Germany)
2xCD Collectors' Choice Music ‎- CCM-290-2 (2002, UK) Bundled w/ "The Big Huge"; New cover
2xCD Fledg'ling Records ‎- FLED 3079 (2010, UK) Remastered (?); Bundled w/ "The Big Huge" album
2xCD Hannibal Records ‎- HNCD 4802 (2010, US) Bundled with "The Big Huge" album

Thanks to ClemofNazareth for the addition
and to Quinino for the last updates
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THE INCREDIBLE STRING BAND Wee Tam ratings distribution

(33 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(15%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(42%)
Good, but non-essential (30%)
Collectors/fans only (12%)
Poor. Only for completionists (0%)


Showing all collaborators reviews and last reviews preview | Show all reviews/ratings

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by Sean Trane
2 stars Originally released as a double album Wee Tam & The Big Huge for some reasons gets commercialized as two separate Cds, the first called Wee Tam and the next being The Big Huge. Again the Boyd/Elektra connection is present, the pastoral setting of artwork (both albums photos taken from the same shoot (same clothes) and the group was at its apex

This Cd reissue of Wee Tam should read side 1 & 2 of the double vinyl issue Well no matter how you look at it, ISB's better moment had turned with Hangman (which remains one of the Acid Folk reference. Indeed both Wee Tam and Big Huge are direct successors of that album, but turn out to be flawed, Wee Tam, being a quieter album, with rather standard songs between 2 minutes and less than 7, a short organ- lead instrumental and an almost "epic" Ducks On A Pond (and its dumb kazoo solo). The moods range from a harmonica-laden Log Cabin with intrusive Dylan influences, to the Indian-laced Yellow Snake with its sitar or almost country-esque in the closing Ducks, etc.. Actually Wee Tam is either soporific or downright irritating (the singing can get to you if you're not ready for it), but the songs never get tense or solemn like it used to sometimes on 5 000 Spirits or Hangman.

We are far from a Pentangle, a Comus or even a Spirogyra, were the song cast a spell, haunting you with its dramatic ambiances minutes after the needle left the vinyl. Nope Wee Tam leaves you with an empty vacuous mind, as no songs were really able to stand to attention.

Review by Eetu Pellonpaa
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars Both "Wee Tam" and "Big Huge" were released as a double album and separate albums similarly. In my opinion these records succeed better in the adventurous approach than the previous "The Hangman's Beautiful Daughter", where these elements were pioneered.

First song "Job's Tears" contains some quite repetitive sequences and the rhythm alters freely, sounding little incoherent to my ears, though the children-song styled end part is quite nice. After this the music start to get even better, "Puppies" has curiously whispering instruments summoning a really pretty psychedelic folk hymn, which has also a playful sequence written to it. A really fine song in my opinion, shimmering sacred beautifulness and ability to love. "Beyond the See" is shorter nice impressionistic vision with harpsichord, flute, bass and keyboards. Hazily progressing fine "The Yellow Snake" is euphoric folk song dominated by singers and a sitar. "Log Cabin Home in the Sky" is then driven by acoustic guitar, violins, accordion and singing, relying to Irish-sounding strong melody. "You Get Brighter" is calm folk song with clear structure and beautiful harmonies. Next "The Half- Remarkable Question" is a really half-remarkable song, also performed in the Julie Felix show. Good contemplative lyrics enrich the classical hippie sound built by sitar and acoustic guitar within a clear and melodically beautiful composition. "Air" is organ and voice driven gospel hymn, leading to "Ducks on a Pond", the longest track here. It flows quite spontaneously, mostly calmly and very care-free, though having some serious elements in it too.

Though the first song of the album is not very good in my opinion, but otherwise this record presents the fine qualities of this group in quite fine manner! The experimentation do not seem to be present only for creating a "far-out" record, but natural parts of the songs, which are pleasant to listen and thought provoking. If you are open for raw, sincere, spiritual and mystic folk music, test this one.

Review by Warthur
4 stars The Incredible String Band followed up The Hangman's Beautiful Daughter with a double album (Wee Tam and the Big Huge) which was also released as two single albums - again following a trail blazed by Donovan, who'd taken a similar marketing route with A Gift From a Flower To a Garden.

Whereas on The 5000 Spirits the String Band had gone absolutely wild for the sort of Indian influences that had been popularised in psychedelic circles at the time, whilst The Hangman's Beautiful Daughter had a sense of playful whimsy to it, on Wee Tam the duo of Heron and Williamson (plus extended family of guest musicians) seem to have mellowed out somewhat, playing a placid, gentle style of psychedelic folk; if 5000 Layers was an acid trip album, this Wee Tam business is more of a gentle toke of grass, or perhaps a soothing glass of smoky whiskey - soothing and relaxing, whilst also having a meditative tone to it, and the odd sitar and call to Krishna here and there suggesting that spiritual ideas were still strong on their mind.

In general, both halves of the double album are more or less on a par with each other; shortly after recording the material the String Band would go on the fateful US tour during which they would be introduced to Scientology, prompting a shift in their worldview which coincided with a shift in their artistic approach and more mixed results.

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