F2 21175 Heavy Horses
Produced by Ian Anderson
Released on April 10, 1978
UK CHART POSITION #20 . . . US CHART POSITION #19 . . . GOLD RECORD
Find it at GEMM
F2 21175 cover
[high resolution scan]

A n autumnal record, resplendent as the mosaic of leaves that met me in the woods this morning. While it seldom gets its due, Heavy Horses is arguably the most musically complex of the Tull albums, the ultimate 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. Though 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. Ian’s voice (like the leaves around us) has grown rougher and drier since Songs From The Wood, but the playing may actually be tighter. The unconventional rhythms and seemingly disjointed sounds, initially daunting to my ears, soon yield to bedazzlement after a few sittings. “Acres Wild,” “Journeyman” and “Rover” might 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,” echoing the same optimistic note as the earlier “Fire At Midnight.” 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.

CHR 1175 front cover CHR 1175 back cover CHR 1175 lyric sleeve
CHR 1175 front cover CHR 1175 back cover CHR 1175 lyric sleeve

TRACK LISTING

  1. ...AND THE MOUSE POLICE NEVER SLEEPS    3:11
  2. ACRES WILD    3:22
  3. NO LULLABY    7:54
  4. MOTHS    3:24
  5. JOURNEYMAN    3:55
  6. ROVER    4:14
  7. ONE BROWN MOUSE    3:21
  8. HEAVY HORSES    8:57
  9. WEATHERCOCK    4:02

    CD reissue bonus tracks
  10. LIVING IN THESE HARD TIMES
  11. BROADFORD BAZAAR

    All songs composed by Ian Anderson

CREDITS

IAN ANDERSON -- vocals, flute, acoustic and occasional electric guitars and mandolin
BARRIEMORE BARLOW -- drums and percussion
MARTIN BARRE -- electric guitar
JOHN EVAN -- piano and organ
JOHN GLASCOCK -- bass guitar
DAVID PALMER -- portative pipe organ, other keyboards amd orchestral arrangements
Darryl Way -- solo violin (2,8)
Robin Black -- engineer
James Cotier -- front cover photography
Shona Anderson -- back cover photography

return to JETHRO TULL discography

REGION RELEASE DATE LABEL MEDIA ID NUMBER FEATURES
UK/US/CAN April 10, 1978 Chrysalis LP/CS CHR 1175 tactile cover, lyric sleeve
ARG 1978 Chrysalis LP 6012  
AUSL/NZ 1978 Chrysalis LP/CS L-36542/C26542 lyric sleeve
BRA/COL/GER/POR 1978 Chrysalis LP 6307 622  
JPN 1978 Chrysalis LP WWS-81065  
MEX 1978 Chrysalis LP LPR 29015  
NET 1978 Chrysalis LP 511175  
US 1983 Pair 2LP CRPDL2-1018 repackaged w. STORMWATCH
GER   Chrysalis LP 202666 reissue
UK   Chrysalis CD CDP32 1175  
US   Chrysalis CD/CS F2/PVT-21175  
RUS   CD-Maximum CDX CDM-272 repackaged w.
THE BROADSWORD AND THE BEAST
UK April 14, 2003 EMI CDX 581571-2 digital remaster w. bonus tracks
US May 23, 2003 Chrysalis CDX 81571 digital remaster w. bonus tracks
JPN June 23, 2003 EMI/Toshiba CDX TOCP-67186 digital remaster w. bonus tracks
NET 2003 EMI CDX 538516 digital remaster w. bonus tracks
JPN 2005 EMI CDX TOCP-67675 digital remaster w. bonus tracks

 

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