|Studio album by Jethro Tull|
|Released||10 April 1978 (US)
21 April 1978 (UK)
|Recorded||January 1978 at Maison Rouge Studio, Fulham, London|
|Genre||Folk rock, progressive rock, hard rock|
|Jethro Tull chronology|
Heavy Horses is the eleventh studio album by Jethro Tull, released on 10 April 1978. It is considered the second album in a trilogy of folk-rock albums by Jethro Tull, although folk music's influence is evident on a great number of Jethro Tull releases. The album abandons much of the folk lyrical content typical of the previous studio album, Songs from the Wood (1977), in exchange for a more realist perspective on the changing world - as a clear mention to the title track, the album is dedicated to the "indigenous working ponies and horses of Great Britain". Likewise, the band sound is harder and tighter. The third album in the folk-rock trilogy is Stormwatch (1979).
Produced by Ian Anderson and recorded and engineered by Robin Black in London, Heavy Horses mark the last Jethro Tull studio album with full participation of bass player John Glascock. Anderson stated that the record of the album came in a moment where others artists would walk towards the new trends of music, and the band decision was not "to appear as if we were trying to slip into the post-punk coattails that were worn by The Stranglers or The Police [...] They were bands that were seen as being part of the punk world, but they weren’t". With the same line-up from the last album, Heavy Horses established, then, as the second record of the folk rock trilogy.
Musical style and themes
Heavy Horses bares more earthly and prosaic themes compared to its predecessor. Songs about the conformist view of daily life ("Journey Man"), or dedicated to Anderson’s dog ("Rover") and cat ("...And The Mouse Police Never Sleeps"), or even another one for his new son, James ("No Lullaby"). However, an element already present in Songs From The Wood, Heavy Horses served as a discourse on transience and disappearing worlds. The title track - one of two complex suites on the record - is compared by Anderson to an "equestrian Aqualung ". Other tracks, such as "Acres Wild" and "Weathercock", works as a plea for better days ahead. But, alongside the changes on themes, the music went much harder, too. The mini-epic of the title track flowing from a piano ballad to a fiddle-fest (of Curved Air's Darryl Way) to full gallop, is a great example of the album's style as a whole. "No Lullaby" rushes from a crushing Martin Barre riff as "Weathercock" starts full folk, to add progressive rock flavours. Barre declared that " Songs From The Wood and Heavy Horses are two of the best albums from my time in Jethro Tull".
Contemporary review of Rolling Stone give a positive overview, calling the instrumental arrangements lavish and stating that Heavy Horses and the folk genre, as a follow up to Songs From the Wood suite Jethro Tull perfectly.
AllMusic calls Heavy Horses one of the prettiest records of the band, praising both Martin Barre and John Glascock playings as Robin Black engineering and the special participation of Curved Air violinist Darryl Way.
|1.||"...And the Mouse Police Never Sleeps"||3:11|
|6.||"Rover" (The 2003 remastered CD has the string tracks removed for an unknown reason)||4:17|
|7.||"One Brown Mouse"||3:21|
|2003 bonus tracks|
|10.||"Living in These Hard Times"||3:10|
- Jethro Tull
- Ian Anderson – vocals, flute, acoustic and occasional electric guitars, mandolin
- Martin Barre – electric guitar
- John Evan – piano and organ
- Barriemore Barlow – drums and percussion
- John Glascock – bass guitar, backing vocals (uncredited)
- David Palmer – portative pipe organ, other keyboards and orchestral arrangements
- Additional personnel
- Darryl Way – violin on "Acres Wild" and "Heavy Horses"
- Shona Anderson - Back Cover, Photography
- Robin Black - Sound engineer
- James Cotier - Photography
- Eder, Bruce. Heavy Horses at AllMusic
- Bloom, Michael (21 September 1978). Heavy Horses, Rolling Stone
- "Jethro Tull Press: Melody Maker, 15 April 1978". Tullpress.com. 1978-04-15. Retrieved 2015-05-01.
- "Jethro Tull - Heavy Horses User Opinions". Sputnikmusic.com. Retrieved 2015-05-01.
- Bloom, Michael (1978-09-21). "Jethro Tull Heavy Horses Album Review". Rollingstone.com. Retrieved 2015-05-01.
- Bruce Eder. "Heavy Horses - Jethro Tull | Songs, Reviews, Credits, Awards". AllMusic. Retrieved 2015-05-01.
- Hannaleck, Keith (August 2003). Heavy Horses at Progressive World
- Porter, Eric (November 2004). Heavy Horses at Progressive World
- "UK chart history Jethro Tull Heavy Horses". www.chartstats.com. Retrieved 14 December 2011.
- Heavy Horses at Discogs.