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Horslips - Happy To Meet, Sorry To Part CD (album) cover




Prog Folk

3.39 | 37 ratings

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Prog-Folk Team
4 stars Entry into the exclusive club of "professional musicians" is often a gradual and painful process. Based on recorded documents, such was not the case with Horslips, who came to the game fully formed and ready to rock n reel. I'm sure they paid their dues in a live setting for years, even if that included weddings, funerals, and christenings, as off the cuff performing is often part and parcel of Irish culture. Whatever the case, "Happy to Meet...Sorry to Part" is a landmark celtic rock recording and a stunning debut, and this applies whether you are a celtic music fan, a progressive fan, a rocker, or any combination thereof.

Firstly, for celtophiles we have a number of spirited songs and instrumentals that transcend the sameness of a lot of traditional interpretation, and do not require visuals to work. The opening and closing title tunes herald and wrap up the effort, while "An Bratach Bán", "Flower Amang Them All", and "Ace and Deuce" all hold up that end of the bargain nicely. "Hall of Mirrors" and "Furniture" are full on progressive songs utilizing inventive drumming, organs and jammy lead guitars along with strong vocals. Then we have a host of tunes that blends the two styles, largely through the use of proggy time changes and instrumentation resting upon traditional structures, such as "The Clergy's Lamentation", "Bim Istigh Ag Ol", and "The Musical Priest".

While Horslips reached several career pinnacles after this debut, it is curious that they never really followed the formula proposed herein, which had perhaps only been so effectively implemented by early Alan Stivell albums. "Happy to Meet...Sorry to Part" simply glows with ethnic authenticity and a progressive sheen from a band happily occupying several musical worlds, whom you should meet and from whom you might never part. 4.5 stars.

kenethlevine | 4/5 |


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