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Horse Stories

Dirty Three Audio CD
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)

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Melancholy instrumental trio Dirty Three formed in Melbourne, Australia in 1992, led by classically trained violinist Warren Ellis, who began writing and performing music for art openings and plays and also tenured in the groups Blackeyed Susans, Paranoid, and the Nursing Mothers. After enlisting Blackeyed Susans guitarist Mick Turner and drummer Jim White -- veterans of Melbourne bands ... Read more in Amazon's Dirty Three Store

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Product details

  • Audio CD (23 April 2007)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Bella Union
  • ASIN: B000KLQZ3A
  • Other Editions: Audio CD  |  Vinyl  |  MP3 Download
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 246,186 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
3 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars boss! 17 Mar 2004
By A Customer
Ok so you can't get it here, but try. It goes loud and raucus, then slow and spindly and sad, then dies on you. It's like a real horse! Nice violins!
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 4.7 out of 5 stars  15 reviews
19 of 20 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars My all-time favourite instrumental album 7 Dec 2001
By A. Curran - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Audio CD
Only a lucky few will have heard of this Australian phenomenon so if your reading this, consider yourself blessed and don't delay in securing yourself a copy of this incredible album. The Dirty Three is a ground-breaking instrumental group consisting mostly of violin, guitar and drums. Their music is haunting, melancholy and brooding. 'Horse Stories' is their most intense album. The tracks typically start out slow and melancholy and build up into an intense frenzy of the wildest most emotional violin playing you ever heard. Nick Cave fans may be familiar with this band as Warren Ellis has plays with Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds and the Dirty Three have supported them on tour. All of their albums are brilliant and worth owning but if I had to pick my favorite, it would be Horse Stories.
(By the way, don't let the review below where thy are equated to the Grateful Dead put you off. As far as I'm concerned, that's complete nonsense, Dirty Three sound nothing like the Grateful Dead. I cannot stand the Greatful Dead but Dirty Three have become one of my favorite bands.)
And finally, if you ever get a chance to see them live, DON'T MISS IT! It's a truly unique experience.
9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Best 10 Oct 1999
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Audio CD
This album means more to me than I can probably express. For a long time I preferred it over Ocean Songs, but then I realized that the concept behind the albums are different; Horse Stories is oriented towards each song, while Ocean Songs is only able to be comprehended as an entire album. (To this day, I still don't remember the names of the songs in the middle...) In any case, Horse Stories is incredible... each song is poingant and touching... from Hope's message of pain and redemption, to Sue's Last Ride, a story about suicide. Listen, absorb.
8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars the power of dirty three 31 Mar 2003
By D. C Fitzgerald - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Audio CD
This is my first Dirty three recording and I am enchanted by the melodies Dirty three bring out. There is alot of communication between these three and they have a very gentle way of bring there music to a climatic state of bliss. I am a huge Mogwai fan and I am glad I found the Dirty three.I feel they have A greater understanding of the true spirit of music. If you like soft guitar melodies, tight drumming, and hypnotic violin playing this is for you.
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Buy this one now. 29 Mar 2002
By Starhead - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Audio CD
It screeches, it whispers, it is a musically unique expression of the most well worn sentiments of the human heart and mind. It is not always pretty, sometimes majestic, spiritual without a drop of new age schlock. Pull up a chair and watch a lightening storm blow through, crank this up & have a night you won't forget. A power trio of sorts with violin, guitar and drums. Sounds unlikely, but... maybe Nirvana meets the Rev. Heat? I don't know, but I love it.
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars THE post-rock album? 6 May 2006
By Wheelchair Assassin - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Audio CD|Verified Purchase

That was my first thought upon finally getting around to throwing Horse Stories (my first Dirty Three album) into my stereo. I had heard some good things about these guys, and they struck me as a must for Godspeed You! Black Emperor fans, but I wasn't prepared for something this stirring, this unique, this...staggeringly brilliant. I think I'd even have to go so far as to call this my favorite post-rock album at the moment, as it seems to boast all of the genre's strengths with none of its weaknesses. The work of Mogwai and Explosions in the Sky, while certainly quite pleasant, doesn't boast the dynamic range that this does, and Godspeed You! Black Emperor's output (with the exception of the Slow Riot For New Zero Kanada EP) has become a bit formulaic over the course of their career, generally feeling rather unfocused and meandering in comparison to the Dirty Three's dense wash of sound. The closet analog I can think of to the Dirty Three would actually have to be ex-fellow Touch and Go outfit Slint, partly in sound but more in terms of overall approach and songwriting ability--much as with Slint (especially their classic Spiderland), even at Horse Stories's quietest and most minimal moments there's always a sinister intensity lurking beneath the surface, and you can never be quite sure when it's going to explode.

Much as with Slint, everything here is a bit off-kilter--Warren Ellis's violin playing isn't exactly perfectly in tune; Mick Turner's guitar hardly ever plays any actual riffs, and Jim White's drumming doesn't keep too many straight beats--but that's all part of the album's messy, off-the-cuff charm. Unlike with many post-rock bands (and most bands period, come to think of it) the whole in this case is much more than the sum of its parts. It's incredibly easy to get enveloped in the warm, inviting musical head-rushes contained on this album; it became somewhat of an obsession for me over time, prompting an almost unprecedented five listens over the last three days. If you're anything like me, you won't be able to stop listening until you've absorbed every detail.

Whether at its most slow and languid or its most blurry and intense, the music on Horse Stories is always expressive, emotional, and expansive, like the soundtrack to a Western that was never made. The lack of vocals is actually a major strength of this album, leaving the music open to interpretation, but whatever you feel listening to it--I mostly sensed regret and sadness with an undercurrent of hope and defiance--you'd all but have to be dead not to feel *something*. Sue's Last Ride and I Remember a Time When Once You Used to Love Me are two of the most moving and cathartic songs EVER, building from seemingly innocuous beginnings to high-speed maelstroms of frenzied strings and drumming that will have you banging your head as enthusiastically as any metal album. Red manages to maintain that level of ferocity for its full running time, actually sounding somewhat like a fight as Jim lays waste to his drum kit while Mick's eyebrow-singing anti-riffs clash with Warren's screeching violin. For its part, the beautifully shambolic Horse wavers and staggers like a drunk, with Warren's elongated notes swirling and ducking around Mick's shambolic guitar strumming and and Jim's lockstop beats. Even the songs that provide somewhat of a respite, such as the mournful, elegaic At the Bar and Warren's Lament, have a distinct edge to them that you're not going to get from groups like Tortoise or Rachel's.

To say Horse Stories is a great instrumental album would be selling it way short--this is a great album, period, with appeal well beyond its genre. Sure, the lack of vocals may initially be a stumbling block for some, but it doesn't take long to realize this album doesn't just say something through its music; it says a lot. Personally, I like to think the band were playing to express feelings to profound to express in words, pretentious though that may sound. Whatever the case, though, if you're a fan of individualistic alternative music of any sort, Horse Stories is easily a must-buy.
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