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Jethro Tull - Heavy Horses CD (album) cover


Jethro Tull


Prog Folk

4.04 | 1352 ratings

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4 stars The last amazing Tull album.

While Stormwatch would maintain much of the Tull sound found on this album, it is decidedly weaker. Heavy Horses is the last truly great Jethro Tull album made before they slowly changed their style and tried to adapt to the 1980s. This album for me has a warm feeling to it, and is more relaxed and mature, yet also a bit more quirky, than its immediate predecessors like "Songs from the Wood" and "Too Old to Rock'n'Roll...", and I have often enjoyed listening to it all the way through. The standout, and one of Tull's best-ever songs, is the title track "Heavy Horses", lamenting the shift away from equestrian-based farming and the rise of the tractor. A really musical track, but also one in which Anderson's lyrics are more human, more authentic and direct, and less heavy-handed or trying-to-be-clever, than on many other Tull songs. This is one of the tracks that cemented Tull's reputation as a "progressive folk" band, and furthered the linking of Tull to rural English ideals, even though they began as a blues-rock band. The other standout is the long "No Lullaby", a really excellent builder with some great guitar work from Martin Barre. The rest of the songs are shorter, and a bit more quirky than the typical Tull album. "And the Mouse Police Never Sleeps" and "One Brown Mouse" are interestingly both about mice - one imagines Anderson holed up in a rural cottage writing this music. Both of these are great tunes. "Moths", "Journeyman", "Rover", and "Weathercock" all reference English folk traditions, and relate to rural lifestyles, and "Acres Wild" relates to the latter. While the quality varies among these shorter tunes, the whole album is generally strong enough for continuous listens, although it is the two long tunes that clearly standout. I given this album 8.3 out of 10 on my 10-point scale, which translates to 4 PA stars.

Walkscore | 4/5 |


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