Jethro Tull - Heavy Horses

Year of Release: 2003
Label: Chrysalis/Capitol
Catalog Number: 7243 5 81571 2
Format: CD
Total Time: 49:53:00

I consider this one a companion to Songs From The Wood in both style and substance. The cover art may contribute as much to how the music is perceived as the songs themselves. These two releases are often described using terms such as "rustic" and "folksy." Ian's acoustic guitar lays the foundation, running through almost every arrangement. What's interesting is how complicated the songs are musically. Ian fools us by creating melodic, sit-around-the-fire-telling-stories type songs, but the intricate detail contained within should not be ignored. The rhythm section of Barlow and Glascock provides some amazing interplay. Not to overstate, but at times you would think you are listening to Bach. Bach's music always has the most incredible bass lines, and with Glascock's playing, he is always providing a separate melody that does not disturb the song but works perfectly within it. Barlow's varied percussion also provides a spark; this is not just a guy spinning around the drumset, these are well thought out drum patterns. It is the mark of an accomplished drummer that one can take songs like this and make them as smooth as playing a simple 4/4, nothing is forced for the sake of complexity.

Songs such as "No Lullaby" and the title track are constantly changing time and dynamics. "Moths" and "One Brown Mouse" provide us with those beautiful acoustic treats that Ian is so good at, with Palmer adding some orchestration. Guest violinist Darryl Way (formerly of Curved Air) fits in perfectly, showcasing another instrument that could have been right at home in the Tull family. The addition of David Palmer expands the band, now using two keyboardists, allowing for a bit more orchestration. The title track seems to be a confession of Ian's love of country living, and the noble work of the farmer, but it is dedicated to a variety of working horses that are used for farming. An incredible tour de force of everything in the Tull bag of tricks, acoustic guitar, flute, incredible dynamics and musical muscle are flexed.

"No Lullaby" also has some terrific instrumental breaks that revolve around Martin Barre's guitar licks. "Rover" reminds me of how Gentle Giant often conjured up a medieval sound, with the keyboards, flute, and guitars accompanied by some orchestration, this is another monster musical track. Heavy Horses consists of short concise musical statements, with only two tracks going over five minutes, but there is a wealth of music to be heard. Another feather in the band's cap.

First released by Chrysalis (CHR 1175)

?And the Mouse Police Never Sleeps (3:12) / Acres Wild (3:24) / No Lullaby (7:54) / Moths (3:27) / Journeyman (3:57) / Rover (4:17) / One Brown Mouse (3:22) / Heavy Horses (8:54) / Weathercock (4:06) / Bonus Tracks: Living in These Hard Times (3:10) / Broadford Bazaar (3:38)

Ian Anderson - vocals, flute, mandolin, acoustic guitar, whistles
Martin Barre - electric guitar
Barriemore Barlow - percussion, drums
John Evan - organ, piano
David Palmer - keyboards, pipe organ, orchestral arrangements

This Was (1968)
Stand Up (1969)
Benefit (1970)
Aqualung (1971)
Thick As A Brick (1972)
Living In The Past (1972)
A Passion Play (1973)
War Child (1974)
Minstrel In The Gallery (1975)
M.U. The Best Of (1976)
Too Old To Rock 'N' Roll: Too Young To Die (1976)
Songs From The Wood (1977)
Repeat - The Best Of Jethro Tull Vol 2 (1977)
Heavy Horses (1978)
Bursting Out - Live (1978)
Stormwatch (1979/2004)
'A' (1980)
The Broadsword And The Beast (1982/2005)
Under Wraps (1984)
Original Masters (1985)
Crest Of A Knave (1987/2005)
20 Years Of Jethro Tull (1988)
Rock Island (1988)
Catfish Rising (1991)
A Little Light Music (1992)
The Anniversary Collection (1993)
25th Anniversary Box Set (1993)
Nightcap (1995)
Roots To Branches (1995)
J-Tull Dot Com (1999)
The Very Best Of (2001)
Living With The Past (2002)
The Jethro Tull Christmas Album (2003)
Classic Masters (2003)
Stand Up/This Was (2003)
Essential (2003)
Nothing Is Easy: Live At The Isle Of Wight 1970 (2004)
Aqualung Live (2005)
Jethro Tull/Ian Anderson (2005)
Extended Versions (2006)
Live At Montreux 2003 (2007)
The Best Of Acoustic Jethro Tull (2007)
Living With The Past/Nothing Is Easy (2008)
This Was (expanded) (2008)
Nothing Is Easy - Live At The Isle Of Wight 1970 (2004/2008)
The Anniversary Collection/A New Day Yesterday (2008)
Live At Montreux 2003 (2008)
Live At Madison Square Garden (2009)
Christmas Album (2009)
Live In Switzerland 2003 (LP) (2014)
A Passion Play - An Extended Performance (2014)
War Child - 40th Anniversary Theatre Edition (2014)
Minstrel In The Gallery - 40th Anniversary La Grande Edition (2015)

Living With The Past (DVD) (2002)
A New Day Yesterday: 1969-1994 - The 25th Anniversary Collection (VID/DVD) (1994/2003/4)
Nothing Is Easy - Live At The Isle Of Wight 1970 (DVD) (2005) Live At Montreux 2003 (DVD) (2008)
Jack In The Green - Live In Germany (DVD) (2008)
Live In Bethlehem, PA, 2003 (DVD) (2008)
Their Full Authorized Story (DVD) (2009)
Live At AVO Session 2008 (DVD) (2009)
Live At Madison Square Garden (DVD) (rec 1978, rel 2009)

Genre: Progressive Rock

Origin UK

Added: October 24th 2004
Reviewer: Eric Porter

Artist website:
Hits: 1942
Language: english


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