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Customer reviews

4.7 out of 5 stars

on 15 February 2014
It would have seemed inconceivable, back in the late sixties, that the introduction of the flute to rock ‘n’ roll, where howling guitars and crashing drums dominated, could have been achieved successfully and without some eyebrow-raising scepticism. Yet, this is what Ian Anderson did with some style, as the frontman of Jethro Tull, giving the band a sound which is unique in the world of rock music. It could be argued, though, that The Moody Blues were the first to use the instrument in a rock music setting, but it is fair to give that credit to Ian, as he uses it in a more prominent role.
Heavy Horses’ faultless production, shows how the flute can, in the right hands, be successfully integrated in rock music, with beautifully sounding results.
From the “and the mouse police never sleeps” to “Broadford Bazaar”, this album is full of pastoral gorgeousness. Country living, was clearly the inspiration behind most of the songs, where cat-loving Ian depicts the feline behaviour of moggies on his farm, moth’s suicidal blind attraction to light and laments the loss of the shire horse to the inevitable technological progress. The album has a certain degree of eclecticism, featuring elements of rock, progressive and celtic music. Some of the songs are deceptively simple in structure, but on careful listening, they reveal the tightness and complexity of the arrangements. A string section is used on no fewer than three songs – “no Lullaby”, “Moths” and “Heavy Horses”. Barriemore Barlow’s highly inventive drumming can be heard on “Rover” and “Heavy Horses”and shows what a fabulous drummer he was. The latter song and title track, the longest of the album, features a great guitar intro by Barre, before Ian joins on the flute, amid Barlow’s complex drum fills. Halfway through, a violin introduces a change in rhythm and tempo, before the song returns to the beginning; “iron-clad feather feet pounding the dust”. Lyrically and musically brilliant.
The cd version contains two extra tacks, not included in the original vinyl record, which are outstanding in their own right – “Living in these hard times” and “Broadford Bazaar”. The former featuring some great flute playing and the latter being a rather poignantly beautiful song.
Heavy Horses should be essential listening to any music lover and no Jethro Tull fan’s record collection, in particular, should be without it.
3 people found this helpful
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on 1 February 2018
The semi acoustic and woodland sounding Jethro Tull. Much happiness is to be had, and heard, by all. What a fantastic album. Try and buy the original mix version if you can as they seem to have messed around with BB drumming and other bits to the songs detriment.
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on 14 May 2013
Heavy Horses was the first Jethro Tull album I ever heard and while I wouldn't say it was his best it definitely rates a listen. The title track alone makes owning the album worthwhile and combined with the remaining tracks, motivated me into listening to more. Tull remains one of the most original bands of any decade and Ian Andersons sometimes whimsical, sometimes amusing lyrics pull the listener in to his unique brand of story telling. Any lover of folk or folk rock should give this one a go.
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on 8 November 2016
It's been many years since I last listened to this album and for me it was like I'd heard it for the first time. Took me back to a happier time when I had never heard of or cared who Clinton or trump were.
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on 24 August 2015
great band and really brilliant songsI have been looking all over the place for this album on cd thank You Amazon
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on 10 November 2001
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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on 24 June 2014
What an album, had it on LP and tape the words and the music never leave you, something will alway bring them tumbling back into your head.
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on 13 April 2013
As soon as I put this on to play it took me back to my teenage years. Oh my, there must a little hippie inside of me. There isn't a track on this album I don't like. Perfect mindworms.
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on 2 January 2015
This was just filling a gap in my collection, and is exactly as expected - superb.
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on 6 January 2016
very good
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