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36 of 37 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An Extremely Special Album
Released in January 1978 and very similar in style to its predecessor Songs From The Wood, Heavy Horses to my mind represents the absolute peak of Ian Anderson's songwriting and lyrical genius. If you like brilliant tunes and superb earthy and rustic lyrics concerning amongst other things, Cats, Horses, Trains and little furry folk then this is the album for you. While...
Published on 13 Aug 2006 by Mr. D. J. Rudram

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3 of 74 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Kak
Aqualung was pretty hot , Thick as a Brick too .

This stuff is , like , second rate Fairport Convention .

Just listen to the samples ....

Uuuuughhhh......

Woodland weewee .
Published on 30 Jun 2007 by C. James


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36 of 37 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An Extremely Special Album, 13 Aug 2006
By 
Mr. D. J. Rudram "David J Rudram" (Great Britain) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Heavy Horses (Audio CD)
Released in January 1978 and very similar in style to its predecessor Songs From The Wood, Heavy Horses to my mind represents the absolute peak of Ian Anderson's songwriting and lyrical genius. If you like brilliant tunes and superb earthy and rustic lyrics concerning amongst other things, Cats, Horses, Trains and little furry folk then this is the album for you. While playing this album you can almost taste the countryside as pure and perfect Jethro Tull tumbles out from the speakers.

With many records there is often a need to only programme in certain tracks so as to avoid poor and tuneless filler material. With Heavy Horses there is no need to do this as it is a perfect set from start to finish.

As far as I am concerned all the songs on the album are tuneful classics. Lyrically though the track 'Journeyman' is extra special and concerns Ian Anderson's observations during a late night train journey. In the song he likens a commuter's black briefcase to a dog sleeping in the draft beside the carriage door. It's genius writing, which is so clever that you can almost believe that you are on that very train. The title track 'Heavy Horses' is also fabulous and builds up gradually to a fine Martin Barre guitar solo which gets things rocking very nicely. Is it Heavy Rock music? Is it Folk? I can't really say as it defies categorisation. Let's just say then that it's perfect Jethro tull of the very best vintage.

So there we have it. A brilliant album and an absolute must for anyone interested in listening to some extremely well crafted music.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars How can I be first?, 27 Feb 2004
I cannot believe that nobody has yet expressed their adoration of this album on here! Perhaps it just stands for itself.
Personally, I am buying the CD album because my audio cassette tape has worn out. It has been in my car(s) for some years and although I do not claim to play it constantly (Carlos Santana, Jimi Hendrix and The Stones would object to that infidelity), this is an album I never tire of hearing.
It may be odd to see Ian Anderson these days - not the hairy fellow of the days of yore - and indeed a member of Tull changed gender - so the band do embrace change, but some periods and albums define a band. "Heavy Horses" along with "Songs from the Wood" are to me the classic albums that do so for Jethro Tull. In my collection, I may have "Crest of a Knave" and other later Tull offerings, but whatever the good qualities of 'Steel Monkey' or 'Later that same evening' - it is the likes of "Heavy Horses" that get brought out to show what a band blessed with an ear for a good tune, a soupcon of style and a dash of wit can do. A sound apart from the studious folk-rock of Steeleye Span or early Fairport Convention, a uniquely British eccentricity runs through Jethro Tull. Listen to this album and the Heavy Horses of the title are poetically evoked, still there to take you back to a simpler age.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Return of the Native, 26 Jun 2009
By 
M. Blackwell - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Heavy Horses (Audio CD)
After the bucolic "Songs from the Wood" album, Tull returned in 1978 with another rural classic which could easily be the soundtrack to a Thomas Hardy novel. Close your eyes, and you are transported back to the Victorian countryside; the farm cat stalking its prey, the shire horses toiling in the fields, and the moths fluttering round the lantern, all under the gaze of the mystical,climate-controlling weathercock.

The two best things about this album are the music and the lyrics. Folk instrumentation a-plenty, but always with a hint of Tull's previous prog days, via Martin Barre's quirky guitar work, and Barriemore Barlow's frenzied percussion. This is particularly evident on the title track - a slow start which builds into a galloping middle section, taking you on a journey with the heavy horses as they finish their work and head home to the stable. As noted by several reviewers, "Moths" is a genuine joy. Acoustic guitar and flute embellished with orchestral passages, creating a sound totally in keeping with the bitter-sweet tone of the lyrics. You have to hear it.

Ah-the lyrics. No,actually, this is poetry. Just reading the words to these songs gives me goosebumps, conveying Ian Anderson's passion for all things rural. How about "In the dark, townsfolk lie sleeping /As the heavy horses thunder by/ To wake the dying city/With the living horesman's cry" (Heavy Horses). Or "Do you fight the rush of Winter/Do you hold snowflakes at bay/Do you lift the dawn sun from the fields/And help him on his way?" (Weathercock). Simple, beautiful, passionate words to accompany some of the finest music I have heard in a long time.

I bought the LP back in '78, and should really have added the CD to my collection a long time ago. So should you. Buy it.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The very best of Tull, 6 Sep 2007
This review is from: Heavy Horses (Audio CD)
This is absolutely brilliant folk/prog rock. Every track here stands up on its own and each complements the others forming a flawless whole. There is not one thing that could be improved on. As usual, Ian Anderson's songs are not just good tunes but intelligently worked melodic structures incorporating trademark Tull changes of pace and rhythm, and the band do them justice. The playing and interplaying is breathtaking. I know these people are rock virtuosos but I cannot believe this was put together without a huge amount of development and rehearsal - that is to say, hard work. Listen closely and you will be amazed at the number of parts on some of the tracks; tricky drum and bass patterns dovetailing seamlessly with honking guitar and growling flute on a bed of acoustic rhythm; this is a rock orchestra in action and Ian's inspiration, Ludwig Van, would have been hard pressed to score it better. The lyrics too are exceptional, charming pastoral images and metaphors but also some wry and poignant observations on more modern times.
This is far and away the best thing I have heard from Tull, or anyone else for that matter, and an album I would enter a burning building to save.
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12 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Classic rock with a folky touch, 1 Mar 2004
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This review is from: Heavy Horses (Audio CD)
Heavier than Songs From the Wood but still exploring pastoral themes, this is one of the defining albums from Jethro Tull.
Great lyrics, superb tunes.
If you like Tull you must own this.
If you like heavy rock but don't know Tull (?), its probably their best jumping on point.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Beautifully played folk rock with poetic lyrics, 30 May 2002
By A Customer
This review is from: Heavy horses (Audio CD)
One of Jethro Tull's best albums, "Heavy Horses" combines the simplicity of acoustic folk influences with the power of honest rock music. As usual, the lyrics are well-penned, from the fun of "And The Mouse Police Never Sleeps" or the exuberance of "Rover" to the slightly sinister "No Lullaby" and the sheer poetry of the title track. Tull have seldom put their hearts into an album as much as they have with "Heavy Horses" and the results show.
Like all Tull albums, "Heavy Horses" needs a few playings to fully appreciate it, but anyone who makes the effort will be well rewarded.
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39 of 44 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Tull's rural idyll still charms 30 years on, 1 Jun 2007
By 
Jonathan "deadmarlowe" (UK) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)   
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Heavy Horses (Audio CD)
It would be easy to take a negative view of this album. Released in 1978, with punk laying low the titans of prog rock, it emerged to widespread indifference. With the zeitgeist buzzing to songs of urban and suburban alienation, anarchy in the UK and the urgent realpolitik of the street, what were Jethro Tull doing? Living up to their early 70s song title and living in the past. As album concepts go, it just doesn't get any more conservative than this. The folk instrumentation without the protest lyrics of the folk music. Songs that sneer at the spiritual vaccuum of the cities and celebrate the medieval nobility of the shire horse, the farm cat and the field mouse. Even the back cover depicts the band as "squires of the manor". A couple of decades later, John Major's speech about old maids cycling to Holy Communion through the morning mist would come to define just how laughably out-of-touch the Tories had become, but "Heavy Horses" is _full_ of that sort of sentiment. It must have seemed to rock critics back in '78 that Tull were marching to irrelevance and extinction.

Nevertheless, I fell in love to this album in the spring of 1984. While Britain was reeling under the Miners' Strike and every punk dystopia seemed to be coming true, I was on a train travelling through France, watching the Gallic countryside sweep by, listening to "Heavy Horses". And in that moment, as an understanding of just how different, how intriguingly and profoundly alien France was to England, this album soundtracked my gentle culture shock and I understood I was listening to something utterly and unmistakeably English. I've never stopped listening to it since, but where are Arthur Scargill, the N.U.M. and the angry punk movement now? They have become history, while oddly "Heavy Horses" remains, as leaf-crisp and dew-fresh as the day the vinyl was cut.

This is in no small measure due to the outstanding quality of the material here. Ian Anderson's muse has never worked harder. These songs exhibit every Tull virtue, but none of the characteristic vices. Tracks like 'Heavy Horses' itself or the sinister 'No Lullaby' manage to be complex and portentous, without ever sounding smug or pretentious the way Thick As a Brick did. 'One Brown Mouse' and 'The Mouse Police Never Sleeps' are delightfully witty and whimsical, without descending into any childish nonsense about hares losing spectacles. 'Journeyman' casts a satirical eye on the gloomy lot of the evening commuter, but avoids sneering like the anti-God stuff on Aqualung, a genuine affection and compassion breathes forth. And 'Moths'... 'Moths' is quite simply the most beautiful song Jethro Tull ever wrote or performed, my all time Desert Island Disk.

Arguably, this album turned out to be something of a high watermark for Tull. They wisely distanced themselves from English folk motifs hereafter, to revisit them in diluted form in the Scottish and sepulchral Stormwatch, dallying with electronica on Under Wraps, before settling into the percussive prog-rock groove they'd perfected on Aqualung for all their subsequent output. At the time, this album may well have been a regressive step for Anderson & Co, retreating into a bucolic fantasy world in the face of musical and cultural changes that seemed overwhelming and threatening back in the late '70s. Yet, somehow, it drew forth their keenest expression. Like Spenser abandoned in Ireland by his English court or Malory doodling in gaol, to find solace in the timeless mystique of the hedgerow and the field, in a Faerie Queene or Morte D'Arthur, well that might just be the most quintessentially English thing of all.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Echoes from the rural past.........., 9 Nov 2009
This review is from: Heavy Horses (Audio CD)
This was the first Jethro Tull album I heard and for me it is still their finest work. It is pure poetry and social comment on the decline of the British countryside. Each song sits neatly within the general theme; which can be said of most Tull works, but I feel it is particularly true here.

The title track is is very poignant and shows a superb depth of knowledge of the subject, mourning the passing of the heavy horse and those that worked with them.It never fails to make me pause and reflect.

One Brown Mouse is another clever song, the imagery of us running in our daily treadmills is just so relevant and is perhaps even more so now in the 21st century than it was when Heavy Horses was first released.

There is not a track on the album that I would skip each one has a story to tell that is worth listening to.

Musically..

The quality of sound and production is superb and it is Jethro Tull at their very best both lyrically and instrumentally.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A superb folk-rock album, 27 Sep 2001
By 
This review is from: Heavy horses (Audio CD)
Not a duff track and hardly a duff moment. Buy it. This is Jethro Tull's folkiest album after 'Songs From The Wood' and carries on many of the pagan / rustic themes. Ian Anderson sings in a lower register than on other Tull albums (a throat saving exrecise, perhaps) and sounds pretty good for it. Slightly better packaging than many other Tull CDs - it actually has a booklet with a few photos (though only one from the same period as the album). The original LP had a lyric inner sleeve. Why not reproduce them in the CD booklet?
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars You'll never sleep., 2 Dec 2000
By A Customer
This review is from: Heavy horses (Audio CD)
My favourite four year period in Tull history has always started with this classic 1978 album, then "Stormwatch", "A" and ending with 1982's "Broadsword And The Beast". Anyway, there are so many cool things going on on this album, it's difficult to find a place to start. Think I'll start with (in my opinion) the strangest song; "No Lullaby". At first I actually hated it, but it's now become one of my all-time Tull favourites. -As with most great music, you really need to hear this one a couple of times but then you'll be hooked. "Journeyman" is another weird and wonderful track. "One Brown Mouse" is cool too. (-Ian's a cat fan, right ?. -So am I.) And I almost don't dare to say it, but I sense a little bit of disco beat on "Acres Wild", but hey, it's the late 70s. Not a lot of flute playing this time, but no weak tunes. Buy-buy !.
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Heavy Horses by Jethro Tull
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