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miércoles, 12 de agosto de 2015

Jethro Tull - Heavy Horses (1978)


Artista: Jethro Tull
Álbum: Heavy Horses
Año: 1978
Género: Folk progresivo
Duración: 42:40
Nacionalidad: Inglaterra


Lista de Temas:
1. ...And The Mouse Police Never Sleeps
2. Acres Wild
3. No Lullaby
4. Moths
5. Journeyman
6. Rover
7. One Brown Mouse
8. Heavy Horses
9. Weathercock

Alineación:
- Ian Anderson / flauta, guitarra acúsitca, guitarra eléctrica ocasional, mandolina, vocales
- Martin Barre / guitarra electrica
- Barriemore Barlow / tambores, percusiones
- John Glascock / bajo
- John Evans / piano, órgano
- David Palmer / órgano de tubos portátil, teclados, arreglos orquestales
Músico invitado:
Darryl Way / violin en tracks 2 and 8



Otro aporte tulliano de Carlos el Menduco, siguiendo la cronología de la banda, llega el "Heavy Horses" de la gran banda del loco de la flauta, con toda su teatralidad e histrionismo a cuesta...


Heavy Horses es un álbum publicado por Jethro Tull el 10 de abril de 1978. Uno de los últimos discos en mostrar el auténtico sabor rural de la banda. Segundo de la trilogía acústica que reivindica la vida bucólica del campo (junto con Songs from the Wood y Stormwatch).
Fue un álbum muy aclamado por los críticos, especialmente en su puesta en escena, y al que se le concedieron diversos premios.
Puede notarse en él también un claro cambio en el estilo vocal de Ian Anderson respecto a los álbumes anteriores.
En 1978 el grupo sacó un videoclip promocional del tema "Heavy Horses", que da título al álbum, en el que puede observarse a la banda cantando en un pajar.
Wikipedia


Una obra maestra con una lírica impresionante. Es emotivo, es nostálgico, y que quizás entre en el podio de los mejores trabajos de la banda y de los más representativos. Los reyes del folk progresivo avanzan así en su carrera y en su derrotero , que por suerte hay documentación al respecto y podemos dirigirnos a ella, por ejeplo la siguiente:


Después de "Songs of the Woods" se publicó el recopilatorio "Repeat: The Best of Jethro Tull" al cual siguió este disco. La banda es la misma que llevaba tocando desde '76 funcionando como un reloj bien ajustado. Siendo considerado al paso de los años por mucha gente como una segunda parte de "Songs from the Wood" el sonido es distinto por la falta de sintetizadores que fueron sustitudos por las orquestaciones y arreglos de David Palmer, aún más barrocos si cabe el término. Gran cantidad de instrumentos tanto acústicos como eléctricos más una pequeña orquesta de cuerdas y tres o cuatro teclados hacen que la música esté llena de timbres distintos, como los diversos sonidos que se pueden escuchar en un bosque, timbres que Robin Black se encargó de mezclar sin que ninguno resalte sobre los demás. Las letras tampoco tienen el aire evocativo de Songs from the Woods, hablan de la vida en el campo de Inglaterra solo en partes, al principio en "...And the mouse police never sleeps" y la primera mitad de "Acres Wild" (la segunda parte habla claramente sobre un ambiente urbano en contraste, de hecho esta canción habla más sobre el desarraigo que sobre la vida en el campo: "Northen father's Western child") y solo hasta el final en "Heavy Horses" y "Weathercock". los versos ofrecen imágenes en un lenguaje cotidiano tratando temas mucho más mundanos que en el album anterior, pero por supuesto estas letras dicen mucho más que su significado literal si se las lee con atención.
El album abre con un ligerísimo ronrroneo y un pasaje de dos guitarras acústicas, bajo, batería y flauta tocando todos a contratiempo. Si bien el primer corte habla del campo solo tangencialmente (los gatos de ciudad no siempre cazan ratones o lo hacen a escondidas, no se los traen muertos al dueño a que los vea como hacen en el campo: "Eats but one of every ten, leaves the others on the mat"), "Acres Wild" sí menciona los mismos rituales de fertilidad del album anterior, pero con un corte abrupto para marcar un traslado del primer verso: "Te haré el amor en los lugares adecuados, bajo montañas obscuras, en lugares abiertos..." al segundo: "te haré el amor en callejones angostos con las ventanas cerradas y crujientes chimeneas". Un ritual con el que el autor quisiera hacer florecer el pueblo maltratado que en la canción llama Acres Wild.
Todas las letras en el album son una metáfora de algo más. Es como si Jethro Tull usara todos los recursos tanto musicales como literarios que habían aprendido a lo largo de 10 años y los colocara todos juntos, esto explica que una sola canción, la siguiente en el disco, pueda presentarse como una muestra representativa de toda la música producida por esta formación, pieza que utilizarían precisamente para abrir sus conciertos durante la gira posterior. 'Lullaby' significa 'Canción de cuna' así que "No Lullaby" es una "no canción de cuna", dedicada a un niño pequeño, acaso el propio hijo de Ian Andreson que tenía tres años en esa época, pero no para arrullarlo sino al contrario. Tras la apertura con la guitarra eléctrica, bajo y la batería simulando una tormenta que se acerca la voz comienza con una advertencia:
"Mantén los ojos abiertos y atentos los oídos,
libera tu grito más alto.
Hay gente que te haría daño allá afuera
así que no te cantaré canciones de cuna.
Hay un candado en la puerta, una cadena en la ventana y un perrazo en el salón.
Pero hay dragones y bestias en la noche esperando pillarte cuando caigas"
Las cuerdas tocan en lejanía (esta vez no les se les dá crédito a los músicos pero sí a los caballos que aparecen en la portada); la flauta hace la transición a la segunda parte que es tan natural que hay que poner mucha atención para apreciar en qué momento exactamente comienzan las frenéticas notas punteadas del bajo y los redobles de la batería que sostienen esta sección debajo de las guitarras dobladas y las arengas de Anderson, con su voz también doblada en tres, una de ellas en un registro bajo bastante fantasmal. El solo de guitarra usando una distorsión similar a la utilizada en "Benefit" con partes de flauta y teclados que en la versión remasterizada se oyen cláramente Y para que el niño se lo aprenda se repite todo desde el principio para terminar con los relámpagos de la batería que ahora se alejan dejándonos con la calma de "Moths", una balada que sería bastante rutinaria si no fuera porque está dedicada a las polillas y se expresa en modo alegórico y en tono poético.
"Journeyman" es la canción de este disco que más se parece a las antíguas del grupo, los efectos de la guitarra de Martin Barre por ejemplo son lo mismos de "Aqualung", el órgano de John Evan suena igual al de "Sweet Dream". El tema de esta canción tampoco es diréctamente la vida en el campo, habla sobre todos esos pasajeros anónimos que todos nos hemos topado alguna vez en los viajes largos de tren.
La cara B viene a ser la cara del Reino Animal, aunque no de los animales salvajes ni necesariamente de los animales del campo. "Rover", con un tempo muy vívido como el de una cabalgata marcado por una marimba o xilófono está dedicada a un perro y "One Browm Mouse" a un ratón en una jaula (basada en un poema de Robert Burns que es parcialmente recitado en la compilación "The Best of Acoustic Jethro Tull").
El corte más largo, "Heavy Horses", es la canción que resume el modo en que probablemente Ian Anderson veía a su propio grupo en ese momento: orgulloso, noble, fuerte y condenado a desaparecer en el corto plazo. Los arreglos de David Palmer aunque correctos comienzan a sonar anticuados posiblemente de manera deliberada ya que ésta es la canción más nostálgica. Es como si Anderson viera el futuro acercarse como una Locomotora (o como un tractor desbocado), deja la voz rasposa y adopta un estilo más afin a un conjunto coral de colegio pijo, con lo que da la sensación de estar narrando lo que ve desde fuera, o como si leyera un cuento de hadas.
En una nota aparte, dicha visión pudo tener algo de premonitoria pues el final de esta formación se dió durante la misma gira por USA a los pocos meses de una manera trágica. John Glascock alcanzó a grabar tres pistas del siguiente album pero durante la gira vio su condición cardiaca congénita agrabada por una carie mal atendida que acabó originando un daño irreversible en sus válvulas cardiacas. En la gira fue sustituido por el bajista Tony Williams mientras era intervenido de urgencia. Le fue injertada una válvula artificial que su cuerpo rechazó y eventualmente murió el 17 de Noviembre de 1979 a los 28 años de edad.
Finalmente Ian Anderson ante un panorama tan pesimista en la canción anterior pide consejo a un oráculo igualmente anacrónico, el gallo de la veleta, en "Weathercock":
"Danos indicaciones, con tus mejores intenciones
llévanos a los vientos lejanos.
Cantanos suavemente canciones vespertinas
cuéntanos lo que te ha dado el herrero"
El mismo "Weathercock" que apareció como personaje en los versos finales de "...And the mouse police Never Sleeps" cierra así el círculo y no deja con cierta sensación de incertidumbre por el futuro, la cual había de explotar en el siguiente LP.
Este es el típico ejemplo del disco que suena distinto dependiendo de dónde se le oye dada su riqueza instrumental. Cuando lo escuchaba en mi viejo estereo Panasonic la línea del bajo sonaba muy por debajo de la voz y la guitarra eléctrica, por lo que adquirí la costumbre de subir el potenciómetro de Bajos a lo máximo para escuchar más claramente las milimétricas notas y el timbre peculiar del Fender Jazz de John Glascock (lo cual es curioso pues el equipo que usaba- bajos Fender Jazz y Fender Precision con amplificadores Marshall- no tenía nada de extraordinario) , costumbre que mantengo aun. Contra la concepción general de que se trata de un album de folk rock, concepción a la que contribuye en gran medida la misma página oficial del grupo, tiendo a pensar que el folk no es más que uno de sus elementos y no necesariamente el dominante en lo musical. Eso explicaría que en un país donde hay docenas de violinistas de folk el violinista invitado sea Darryl Way quien más bien tocaba jazz rock. Clasificar este disco como folk rock británico está bien para las estanterías de las tiendas pero no alcanza a describirlo por completo. Aquí hay tanta influencia de música celta como de flamenco, pero además en "Weathercock" hay hasta algun atisbo de música árabe y en "One Brown Mouse" de música griega acentuado por el uso de las mandolinas. "Heavy Horses" es un album hecho con mucho cuidado en tiempos difíciles como los ilustrados en los bonus tracks "Hard Times" y "Broadford Bazaar", de los que al paso de los años le quedrían al grupo solo el recuerdo de su logros que no fueron pocos: en plena efervesencia del Punk y la música Disco Jethro Tull se las arregló para conseguir cinco Discos de Oro consecutivos en USA tocando rock sinfónico. Los cambios que las letras sugieren afectarían no solo a la campiña inglesa sino al mundo entero y muy pronto de todo ello solo nos quedará la música.
Pantagruel


Jethro Tull's 11th studio album, Heavy Horses, is one of their prettier records, a veritable celebration of English folk music chock-full of gorgeous melodies, briskly played acoustic guitars and mandolins, and Ian Anderson's flute lilting in the background, backed by the group in top form. This record is a fairly close cousin to 1977's Songs From the Wood, except that its songs are decidedly more passionate, sung with a rough, robust energy that much of Tull's work since Thick as a Brick had been missing, and surpassing even Aqualung in its lustiness. "No Lullaby" is the signature heavy riff song, a concert version of which opened Bursting Out: Jethro Tull Live. Anderson sings it -- and everything else here -- as though they might be the last lines he ever gets to voice, with tremendous intensity. The band plays hard behind him throughout, with lead guitarist Martin Barre (most notably on "Weathercock") and bassist John Glascock showing up very well throughout. Anderson's production and Robin Black's engineering catch their every nuance without sacrificing the delicacy of his acoustic guitar and mandolin playing. "Acres Wild," "Rover," "One Brown Mouse," "Weathercock," and "Moths," the latter featuring some of David Palmer's most tasteful orchestral arrangements, are among the loveliest songs in the group's entire repertory. Curved Air's Darryl Way plays violin solo on the title track -- a tribute to England's vanishing shire horses, which doesn't really take off until Way's instrument comes in on the break, with a marked tempo change -- and on "Acres Wild."
Bruce Eder

After the very strong SFTW, Tull needed to confirm their return to form from the previous SFTW, and the least we can say is that this album certainly came in handy in proving so. Not that Tull was about the become the once mighty beast it once was with Aqualung and Brick, but HH was a real excellent album that proved they still had something to say and saying eloquently. And the pastoral feeling of their predecessor was still lingering on this album (still full of folklore), although both SFTW and HH cannot be really called folk rock either, especially so that this album was their first recorded in Anderson's London personal studio, filled with modern-day technology.
One of the heart-warming things about this album is the return of longer tracks as outside Minstrel, there were none (bar Pibroch on the previous album) since War Child, included. With the opening Mouse Police (cats in barns), the album starts rather fast, brilliantly with a very fiendish ending. The following Acres Wild (self explanatory Scott celebration) and the almost 8-min No Lullaby (fear of pastoral spirits) are both high-calibre, but fail to send you through the roof from joy. The short sarcastic Moths closes off the first side in style.
The self-explanatory Journeyman and the average Brown Mouse (them again ;-) are proving a little arduous, while the delightful Rover (one of the highlights of the album) provides a little breathing space. The slow-developing but lengthy title track is the other highpoint of the album, followed by the very acoustic Weathercock make the album as strong a finisher as it was a starter. A little sour note is that the middle of the album mat appear a little weaker when listened in the Cd format.
Although not as strong as SFTW, this album suffers a bit from the new studio (IMHO, they still had to get used to the new technology) and slightly less exhilarating songs, the album appears less cohesive and cooperative, but still is a quite fine and definitive Tull statement. While HH may not come that easily to its listeners, but a little perseverance will reward the tenacious proghead.
One of the weirder things about this remastered version of the album is that the credits are completely absent from the booklet; something I hope will be repaired in further pressings. As for the two bonus tracks, both are of the usual quality of all the Tull remasters. Both Hard Times and Broadford Bazaar (especially the beautiful later) are tracks that fit the album as they were never bonus tracks. But again this mighty strong album needed not such a help to remain essential and very representative of mid-70's Tull works.
Sean Trane

"Heavy Horses" and "Songs From The Wood" are the 2 TULL album which sound the most alike. So "Heavy Horse" is a prog folk rock album. But there are less percussions here, and instruments are more conventional, despite the presence of violin on couples of tracks. I find ANDERSON's vocals a bit more in the background here, but still excellent. The keyboards are in the background too and I find them a bit shy. Martin Barre seems to use a bit more his electric guitar, but the mandolin and acoustic guitar are still omnipresent. The electric bass is very well played and is rather complex. I prefer slightly "Songs From The Wood".
Greenback

An autumnal record, resplendent as the mosaic of leaves that met me in the woods this morning. Though it seldom gets its due, "Heavy Horses" is arguably the most musically complex of the TULL albums, the fruition of their progressive folk/rock fancies. Similar in scope to "Songs From The Wood", we've entered the dark part of the forest here, the sweet decay of dying leaves thick around us. While tinged with melancholy, "Heavy Horses" is ultimately a resilient effort, celebrating life in the midst of death. We're immediately put on guard with the opening ".And The Mouse Police Never Sleeps", invoking the image of the weathercock and the heavy weather ahead. The two themes -- nature and inhospitable weather -- bridge their last album and their next, Stormwatch, which has always suggested a trilogy to my mind. The songs that follow are as ambitious as anything in their catalog, all hands on deck tending to their musical ministrations, suggesting a unique mixture of independence and teamwork. In a more modern setting, the players could be seen as individual gears that mesh and separate at intervals, all the while driving the music as a great engine. The unconventional rhythms and seemingly disjointed sounds might be initially daunting, but it soon yields to bedazzlement after a few sittings. "Acres Wild", "Journeyman" and "Rover" adopt an irregular gait at first, but this technique allows the listener to pick apart different rhythms and weave them together into a cohesive fabric.
Few TULL albums reward introspection and attention as well as "Heavy Horses" ("Thick As A Brick" and "Minstrel In The Gallery" come to mind). There is a softer side to this record, from the beautiful and bittersweet "Moths" to the warm "One Brown Mouse". At the other end of the spectrum, "No Lullaby" is nearly terrifying in effect, a feat TULL would repeat on Stormwatch's "Dark Ages". The album closes with one of my personal favorites, "Weathercock", which closes this collection of stories much as "Fire At Midnight", on an intimate and optimistic note. Anyone enrapt by the Elizabethan exploits of "Minstrel" and "Songs" would do well to hitch their fortunes to "Heavy Horses". It's one of my favorite albums from JETHRO TULL, which in the parlance of these parts is high praise indeed.
Dave Connolly

Although prog bands were dying in droves with the onset of punk and greedy record moguls JT released a gem with Heavy Horses. For me there was no sign of their music waning in terms of quality and some of the songs on Heavy Horses are some of their best ever. From the riveting ' ..and the mouse police never sleeps'. The tightly woven melodies of ' Acres wild', the persistant pulsing of ' Journeyman' to the classic title track ' Heavy horses'. Why can't bands nowadays sing about real stuff like this. Well few could lyrically and musically. Heavy Horses is excellent and a very complete offering.
Chris S.

A small movement towards the modern compared to "Songs from the Wood", yet retaining the earthy, archaic JT roots. If you're a fan of the classic Tull elements, you'll find plenty to satisfy you: Anderson's inimitable voice and flute, ringing acoustics, tastefully savage electrics, pithy keys and tumbling, unexpectedly adventurous percussion. Glascock's bass seems more integral than usual, turning almost Squire-like for such songs as "Journeyman". In retrospect, this was the actual "crest", the culmination of everything before and more satisfying than anything after.
Occasionally, there's some similarities with the preceding release which are almost too close for comfort; "No Lullaby", while excellent, reminds me strongly of "Pibroch", and "Weathercock" echoes "Songs from the Wood" and "Pass the Cup". This is a darker album, however...while "Jack in the Green" was an ode to nature's resilience, "Heavy Horses" laments increasing industrialization, "No Lullaby" warns of worldly dangers, and "Moths" reflects on mortality. It's not all bad news, however; Anderson still finds ample room to honor simple joys and simpler times ("One Brown Mouse", "Weathercock"), and as a song of passion "Acres High" is more devoted than "Hunting Girl", if less bawdily archaic.
The music is more driving and less lush than "Songs", hearkening back (and forward) to more stripped-down mixes- but only relatively, as there is still more than enough texture in which to lose oneself. The band sounds more focused and disciplined than ever before, every note and rhythm precisely placed. Anderson's voice is also in perfect form, although not quite as prominent in the mix as in earlier releases.
It is difficult to rank Jethro Tull albums; many become favorites for different reasons. "Heavy Horses", however, is one of the clear contenders for their greatest achievement. While I prefer other releases slightly, no single one is as consistently excellent or as perfectly realized as this gem.
James Lee

1978's HEAVY HORSES, as many fans will agree, was the last truly great album from Ian Anderson and company, and remains one that I play more often than many other Tull efforts. Track for track, like the massive equines of its title, HEAVY HORSES stands head and shoulders above its lesser brethren that followed. To further extend the metaphor, some of the later entries may well run faster, but they just can't match the pull and staying power of this very strong -- but often gentle -- and beautiful beast of noble lineage.
Each of the nine songs is quite enjoyable (those who enjoy the folkier strains of SONGS FROM THE WOOD should be particularly pleased), but some are especially great. The rollicking "Acres Wild" with its lusty lyrics, catchy rhythms, ringing mandolins, and joyous drums, is a genuine toe-tapping treat.
"Moths" is a lovely showcase for Anderson's considerable lyrical powers and sprightly strumming acoustic, with David Palmer's "spot-on" strings lifting the listener to lofty heights on "powdered (or is it rosined?) wings."
"Rover" is another standout, with great vocals and trademark flute from Anderson, and more superb orchestral accents from Palmer.
"One Brown Mouse" is simply one of my all-time favorite Anderson compositions -- a truly beautiful, uplifting, sparkling little gem of a song: "Smile your little smile -- take some tea with me a while. Brush away that black cloud from your shoulder.... Behind your glass you sit and look, at my ever-open book -- one brown mouse sitting in a cage." Yes, this quaint tribute to friendship and simple pleasures can often make this sentimental old soul a bit misty-eyed....
Finally, the title track has it all. Within its near nine-minute length, we get diverse, engaging musical sections, fine Martin Barre lead, tight bass and drums from Barriemore Barlow and Martin Glascock (who really shine on the entire disc) and more exquisite, gilt-edged Palmer orchestrations. The thought-provoking, powerfully poetic lyrics look to the return of the old ways, in an inevitable post-petroleum future: "Bring me a wheel of oaken wood, a rein of polished leather / A heavy horse and a tumbling sky, brewing heavy weather."
Very highly recommended! If you're a Jethro Tull fan, you should own a copy of HEAVY HORSES -- you certainly won't regret the purchase!
Peter

JETHRO TULL continued on the same path as "Songs From The Wood" with yet another solid release titled Heavy Horses in 1978. On this remastered version with two bonus tracks ("Living In These Hard Times" and "Broadford Bazaar") the songs get a new life and spark that was not present before. As Ian ANDERSON mentions in his liner notes, "In 2003 we hear at last on CD the sparkling detail of the original master tapes." It makes you wish all recorded music was like this right from the start and the technology was available to keep the original sound intact regardless of the transfer process. Oh well, we can dream.
Ian ANDERSON continued with strong and affecting vocals telling tales of living in the countryside. He sings with dry wit and honesty like an old-fashioned back woods Englishman would, yet in a way that only he could spin an account.
Although the Celtic/Medieval/Folk ambiance remained strong, I found this album had more straight-ahead rock influences than its predecessor. A lot of the acoustic guitar layers and strings that were used before are removed and replaced by the unparalleled guitar licks of Martin Barre and ANDERSON's excellent mandolin, flute and acoustic guitar playing. The outstanding production qualities have become richer and clearer from beginning to end on this album, thus there were neither disappointments nor flaws apparent anywhere. This is another classic JETHRO TULL album very worthy of the remaster treatment. I wait impatiently for the next set of remasters!
Keith Hannaleck

".Bring me a wheel of oaken wood, a rein of polished leather, a heavy horse and a tumbling sky, brewing heavy weather.".
The album - released in 1978 - continued the themes explored on the previous album with the same mixture of folk/prog-influenced acoustic pieces and heavy rock. Traditional rock sounds of electric guitar are more prominent. With Heavy Horses Jethro Tull offer also a more contemporary and pragmatic set of lyrics. Many of the songs are about animals and the lyrics continue much of the rustic tradition of its predecessor. The album is a bit darker however, with more references to modern civilization but lacks the lightness and humour the previous album.The general tenor of the album is the reality of the country-side living, rather than its myth.
.And The Mouse Police Never Sleeps speaks about the feral behaviour of the farm's cats: they think only of "mouse-and-apple-pie"! Acres Wild is the description of the wilderness of the north of Scotland; No Lullaby is a strong hard/rock/folk/prog song which had the honour to open, the same year, the live double album Bursting Out. Moths romanticizes the life of the "Moths" - creatures of the dark that die flying to the flame-light. One Brown Mouse, following the words of Ian in Bursting Out, is inspired by a poem of Robert Burns: 'Ode To A Mouse'. Heavy Horses is a 9 mns long and about the working horses of great Britain, who find themselves no needed with the advent of mechanized farm machinery.
The 2003 remastered edition contains two extra tracks: the good Living In These Hard Times (did not appear in the 'Heavy Horses' album, probably because the content of the song just didn't fit precisely in its concept) and the acoustic pearl Broadford Bazaar. What a soft and deep voice from Ian!
Still great contribution by all the Tull members, with the help of Darryl Way, ex-Curved Air violinist. Essential!
Andrea Cortese

Tull is really back on track!
Yeah, when this album was released I smiled and laughed at loud because I was so happy that finally Tull is back with another masterpiece album "Heavy Horses". No epic, no long track but . this is a great album at par excellent with the band classics like "Aqualung", "Thick As Brick" and even "A Passion Play" even though the music is different with all the classic albums. Welcome back, my friend, with classic Jethro Tull music!
With the same line-up as its predecessor "Songs From The Wood" this time Tull reduces the heavy use of organ / synthesizer and make the combined acoustic guitar and flute works more obvious, plus powerful choirs. The opening track ".. And The Mouse Police Never Sleeps" proves the stunning combination of acoustic guitar, flute and choral line. Powerful opening. Next is one of my favorites: "Acres Wild"! Its combination of guitar and flute in fast tempo and energetic style have made this track is attractive to my ears. Orchestral arrangement by David Palmer makes this track very solid. "No Lullaby" is a true rocker with great electric guitar solo and tight structure. It reminds me to the classic "Aqualung" album. This track I used to play as "wake-up call" in the morning because it has powerful drum strokes which cast great energy and elevate my spirit in the morning. The melody is also very strong.
"Moths" demonstrates stunning acoustic guitar work, "Journey Man" leans the music flow with the use of tight bass lines by Glasscock and flute shots. Martin Barre plays great electric guitar work here. "Rover" is another excellent track with tight structure and catchy melody. "One Brown Mouse" has become live favorite. The album title track "Heavy Horses" is very memorable for me because this was the first track that I heard the first time I listened to this album. It has powerful composition and solid structure and melody. One must listen to this track if wanting to learn great music of Tull. "Weathercock" is really great and one of my Tull favorite tracks.
For those of you who are new to the music of Jethro Tull, you can start with this album which will give you a full picture of the Tull's sound. It's a great album to start, really. Highly recommended. Keep on proggin' ..!
Gatot Widayanto

Their most underrated masterpiece, this title track...
Some claim it to be Thick As A Brick (I gave it 5/5 stars too), others to be A Passion Play. I say: HEAVY HORSES. It can give you in about 8 or 9 minutes what Thick or Passion do in 45: fast and slow tempos, intensity, multiparts and an additional classical touch enhanced with string arrangements. About the overall album, it's just your average JT prog-folk album. about 5 of the 9 songs here talk about animals in the country side (6 if you include Journeyman), and there's a couple of great bonus tracks that I thought could had fit in the LP in it's full length of about 51 or 52 minutes (Foxtrot is 52 minutes long).
The album starts with a faster pace than "Songs From The Wood": "... And The Mouse Police Never Sleeps" welcomes you to the country side, with even spanish folk influences (it reminds me of Carmen in some parts). A great opener with a catchy and somewhat freaky finale (ends with a cough, that'll give you an idea of how Ian strained his good ol' vocal cords).
Then we get to the danceable "Acres Wild", with a very disco beat. It introduces the first string arrangements of the album since the "Too Old To Rock 'N Roll..." record.
"No Lullaby" works as a more blues-rocker sequel to "Pibroch", with some guitar harmonies at the C segment (I think) that work nicely.
"Moths" is one of Ian's Balladeerings, and is certainly an emotional songs with beautiful string arrangements by Mr. Palmer.
"Journeyman" is very forgettable though, but not a bad song at all; just not up to the rest of the album. It's another western folk ditty which just happens to have an irresistable bass riff.
"Rover" is also very western, but with very effective marimbas and string arrangements.
"One Brown Mouse" reminds me of lots of the "Too Old To Rock 'N Roll.." songs, with more folkish arrangements. It's another pleasant ditty in the vein of Jack-in-the-Green.
Well, at this point the masterpiece of the album sets off: amazing from intro to outro, lush strings, emotional singing, the amazing bridge with horse pace and what a chorus!!!, this is an example of strange yet beautiful.
"Weathercock" is the sequel to "Fire at Midnight", but with more emotional arrangements and great rocking ending... there's no better way to end an album of this caliber.
Of course the bonus tracks are charming as well: "Living In These Hard Times" was included on the "20 Years Of Jethro Tull" CD kit, while "Broadford Bazaar" featured on "Nightcap". The former has a very christmasy feel in the same approach as "Ring Out, Solstice Bells".
Tull's utter masterpiece.
Jesus Brea

What happens if you take the folkish good nature of Songs From the Wood, the hard rock and calm acoustics of Aqualung, and the dry art of Minstrel in the Gallery, toss ‘em all in a blender and hit “puree?” Well, you get a heaping pile of plastic dust, that’s what! Not to mention the fact that you’ve just nuked about forty dollars worth of music there...honestly, why do I even bother?
Of course, if you did all that in a figurative sense, like you were supposed to, well, you’d probably get an interesting mess. But it would sound an awful lot like Heavy Horses.
Heavy Horses is a funny sort of album (heh, heh, Heavy Horses). Initially, I didn’t like it. Certainly not the title tune (too slow! Too boring!). I compared it to Songs, most obviously, which I considered to be God’s greatest invention since the seed drill. Later on though, I realized that it was good, and Horses and Songs entered into Mortal Kombat deep in my brain over which one was better. And, oddly enough, Horses won out.
We start out with the gentle sound of cats purring. This very quickly (in a “blink and you’ll miss it” sort of way, only audio-ically, of course) turns into a mighty, organ based rocker. This is “The Mouse Police Never Sleeps,” which is just about the most perfect song ever written. I’m kidding of course, but I love it. It’s insane, it’s hilarious, and the coda with the repeating “the mouse police never sleepsthemouse police never sleeps” chant is great. Although it does piss off the occasional listener...
Anyway, “Acres Wild” is a jolly jig with a great backing of bass and drums, not to mention fun flautistry and mandolin banging (sounds like a community arts class). The lengthy rocker “No Lullaby” kind of lets me down though; the tune itself is decent enough (I especially love at the end where it speeds up), but it’s just too damn long.
However, “Moths” earns everything back. It’s the best shot at effortless beauty that Jethro Ian has handed us since “Cheap Day Return,” easily, complete with a haunting acoustic guitar line, and equally haunting vocal delivery.
“Journeyman” is just a good old bloozy number, with buzzy fiddle, crunchy guitar and an amazing bassline. “Rover” is a folk rocker, but unlike the stuff from Songs From the Wood, the emphasis is more on the folk than the rock, so it comes off as lighter. Not that that’s a bad thing; the song is really good. I don't see why everyone thinks it's about escaped convicts though; I think it's about misplaced love.
“One Brown Mouse” is not my favorite track, but not for the reason you might be thinking. Some people don’t like it because it’s based on a nursery rhyme, so it’s not the most serious of numbers. I have nothing wrong with the lyrics, I’m just not one hundred percent crazy about the arrangement (it comes off much better live).
Anyway, all this has been good, don’t get me wrong. But “Heavy Horses,” the majestic miniature epic of a title track, is the best thing on the whole album. And I didn’t even like it to start with, so it must be good! The introduction is amazing: it’s this painful, heavy guitar line courtesy of Mr. Barre, that fades into soft piano and Ian singing about the decline of the heavy horse...don’t pay too close attention to the lyrics, it’s the angry, post-apocalyptic melody that lurks underneath it that counts, and when it rears it’s head, you’ll now. And post-apocalyptic it is, as the tune speeds up and becomes a spooky, folksy, jig...of doom! Yep. The horses come back, and they’re pissed. Or something. Still not sure.
Anyway, “Heavy Horses” eventually fades into “Weathercock,” a medieval styled rocker about, well, uh, birds forged from iron that predict weather. Or so we speculate. “Medieval styled rocker” is the best description, as the instrumentation includes the trusty flute ‘n mandolin, as well as extensive portative pipe organ and electric guitar soloing.
So, what makes Heavy Horses so damn great? I don’t know. Maybe it’s guest violinist Darryl Way of Curved Air fame, whose buzzy fiddle is welcome on “Acres Wild” and “Heavy Horses” (and...JOURNEYMAN perhaps? Hmm?!? Thought you’d slip that past me).
Maybe it’s that the band really, I mean REALLY gels here. The songs flow (even “No Lullaby”) perfectly from start to finish, and flow into each other just as well. Martin is perfectly balanced between the heavy and light traits of folk and rock. He even plays some cool, real watery guitar ("Acres Wild," "Moths"), which we haven't heard since...I dunno, Benefit? Johnny Glascock never played better (“Acres,” “Journeyman”). Barrie and John Evan play like their lives depend on it, and David Palmer’s personal additions are never intrusive (“Weathercock”). And Ian. The flute and guitar are great, as always, but his voice is amazing. He sings like he’s a kid again (no offense, of minstralic one), with a youthful, energetic, yet knowing and dark tone.
In fact, maybe it is the tone that sets the album; it’s darker than Songs ever was (which is where the Minstrel in the Gallery connection comes in for me). Only something like “Acres Wild” or “Rover” could have really fit on Songs weight-wise, and both of those are kind of dark anyway, lyrics-wise at least (coincidentally, the only song on Songs worthy of Horses is "The Whistler"). Even “Moths,” beautiful as it is, is really cold and sad; it’s about suicide, get it?!? Moths? Flame? Aw, forget it...
But maybe what makes Horses so great is that sad fact that it’s is the last great Tull record. It’s the last true classic Tull record anyway, the last time this lineup would play as a unit. And you can feel the stony chill in the rising introduction to “Heavy Horses,” as if they all knew that this was the last time. Sniff. Kicks the crap outta “Aqualung” even.
Yeah, what the hell. I’ll go out on the proverbial limb here; it would be too easy to declare an Aqualung or a Thick as a Brick to be the greatest of Tull albums. I hand that honor off to Heavy Horses; you see, THIS was the album Ian had to make. We've always known he was a folkie, proggy though he may be, and Songs was just training. THIS is the serious record, perhaps the first truly serious record Ian's ever made. Even with "Mouse Police." It’s not quite Thick as a Brick, but hey, what is? Get it. Get it now. Why haven't you gotten it yet?
(Oh yeah, the Horses remaster comes with two bonus tracks. The first one, “Living in These Hard Times” is okay, but kind of dopey. The title suggests something along the lines of what would become Broadsword’s “Fallen on Hard Times,” but it’s more like the Stormwatch outtake “A Stitch in Time.” Oh well, it’s not as good as either of them anyway. But the second track, “Broadford Bazaar,” is a gorgeous folk melody. It’s just Ian overdubbing his ghostly lyrics over pounding acoustic guitar and lifting flute lines (as usual). As only he can, of course. That’s probably a really bad description, but trust me, it’s a nice song. Not nice enough to raise the overall album rating, but still nice.)
The Whistler

Y así siguiendo, no se preocupen que a (casi) todo el mundo le gusta este disco.
Disfrútenlo!




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