I looked up
New remastered edition, originally issued in 1970, I LOOKED UP represents the end of the Robin/Mike/Likky/Rose period of the Incredible String Band. Later that same year would see te release of the 2-lp set U, which would introduce new faces and influences into the melting pot that was the 'sound' of the ISB.
Other than being the last album by this line-up, I LOOKED UP is notable for several other reasons -- for one thing, it was the last album they recorded that was mostly acoustic (I don't consider the occasional presence of a quiet electric guitar to be as poisonous as some might). It also contains two of Robin Williamson's most memorable compositions: 'When you find out who you are' is an insightful treatise on growing older and 'finding' onself -- something we all go through, whether we pay attention to it or not; and the simply amazing 'Pictures in a mirror', which takes Lord Randall through imprisonment, execution, death, darkness and ultimate rebirth, all in less than 11 minutes. Robin's works always tended more toward the mystical than Mike's (with some exceptions on both sides -- neither writer's scope was so narrow as to never wander...), and this song is a sterling example of his mind-stretching perceptions.
Mike Heron contributes some nice tunes as well, although not quite as 'deep', at least in this outing. 'Black Jack David' begins the album, a rousing fiddle tune -- it quickly became a concert favorite. 'The letter' is my least favorite track here, Heron's attempt at a pop song -- but his other two offerings in this set are excellent: 'This moment' is almost Zen-like in its view of reality-as-now; and 'Fair as you' is simply a touchingly beautiful love song, sung as a call-and-response duet with Likky McKechnie. Her child-like voice was one of the ISB's sweetest 'trademark' sounds during the period during which she was associated with the band.
Cat. number: 7559 62760-2