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Warhorse Red Sea album cover
2.95 | 51 ratings | 6 reviews | 14% 5 stars

Good, but non-essential

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Studio Album, released in 1972

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. Red Sea (4:20)
2. Back In Time (7:49)
3. Confident But Wrong (4:46)
4. Feeling Better (5:33)
5. Sybilla (5:33)
6. Mouthpiece (8:43)
7. I (Who Have Nothing) (5;16)

Bonus tracks on 1997 & 2010 remasters:
8. Ritual (Live Version) (4:19)
9. Bad Time (Demo) (4:40)
10. She Was My Friend (Demo) (4:55)
11. Gypsy Dancer (Demo) (4:08)
12. House Of Dolls (Demo) (4:19)
13. Standing Right Behind You (Demo) (4:35)

Total Time: 68:56

Line-up / Musicians

- Ashley Holt / vocals
- Peter Parks / lead guitar
- Frank Wilson / organ, piano
- Nick Simper / bass
- Mac Poole / drums

Releases information

Artwork: Rick Breach

LP Vertigo ‎- 6360 066 (1972, UK)
LP Repertoire Records ‎- V111 (2014, UK) Remastered by Jon Astley (half-speed)

CD Repertoire Records ‎- RR 4056-CX (1990, Germany)
CD RPM Records ‎- RPM 175 (1997, UK) Remastered with 6 bonus tracks, including the original demos for their third album which was never completed.
CD Repertoire Records ‎- REP 5270 (2010, Germany) As above

Thanks to ProgLucky for the addition
and to Quinino for the last updates
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WARHORSE Red Sea ratings distribution

(51 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(14%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(29%)
Good, but non-essential (41%)
Collectors/fans only (14%)
Poor. Only for completionists (2%)

WARHORSE Red Sea reviews

Showing all collaborators reviews and last reviews preview | Show all reviews/ratings

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by Sean Trane
3 stars Warhorse's second album, also a famous Vertigo Swirl release like the debut is the logical follow-up (although they are slightly rougher sounding), but also fails to develop on an encouraging debut, although there was new blood at hand since Peter Parks now replaced Ged Peck on guitars and soon after this album the drummer will also leave.

Their sound oscillate between Deep Purple (obviously Nicky Simper is the reason for this, but it is also painfully clear that he never got over being fired from Purple along with Evans), some excellent Vanilla Fudge and a few other bands of the times. The Hammond-driven hard rock (sometimes hinting at The Nice with a guitar) is an immediate pleaser with me, and there are times when they show the willingness to experiment a bit but always back off when things are ready as if they were afraid to cross the line. Ashley Holt is really in excellent shape and he will enjoy more success in future musical adventures (notably with Wakeman in the 80's), but as there are some real fine tracks on the album, there is also one or two duds among which Mouthpiece plagued with a lenghty drum solo and the funky Sybilla. The last track is a little too reminiscent of The Moody Blues mating with Rare Bird to be honest on Shirley Bassey cover.

Although the band will survive until 74, no new album will come out since by that time recording contracts were becoming scarce for low-selling acts. I must say that both albums although developing a good and pleasant hard rock (I told you what they sound like above), they never really managed to have a sound of their own and always sound too derivative to have achieved stardom.

Review by Atavachron
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
3 stars Impressive second album by the highly talented if flawed Warhorse, a heavy progressive dynamo that threw together everything from Creedence, Zeppelin, and the Allmans to Tull, Wakeman, and ELP. There is also a Deep Purple connection as bassist Nick Simper was an early Purple bandmember. Much of the singing is not the best and the session would have benefited immensely from a Rod Stewart or even a Joe Cocker, but those vocalists were undoubtedly busy (as was Rick Wakeman evidently, as he failed to appear at Warhorse rehearsals so often he was replaced on keys by Frank Wilson) and this group did, as all struggling musicians do, the best with what they could find.

The title rocks with tough organ from Wilson, Simper and drummer Mac Poole's (later of Gong) firm groove, Peter Parks' sweet guitar harmonies and Ashley Holt's strained moaning. 'Back in Time' follows-up in stride, Holt's primal scream serving well and a reasonable guitar break from Parks culminating in a psych jam. The commercial 'Confident But Wrong' is typical but good Rhythm n' Blues with an organ interlude, but the soggy ballad 'Feeling Better' disappoints and 'Sibila' is classic early stoner rock with more sweet guitars. 'Mouthpiece' redeems them with a fabulous display of each player's abilities.

Why the band failed to take off in the way they might have is debated; bad timing, not enough promotion or record company support... but considering the period [how's this for an interesting perspective from Philip S. Walker's notes; "...Heavy Rock as a style grew out of Progressive Rock sometime in the early 1970s. The trend setters were Deep Purple and Black Sabbath"] 'Red Sea' may just not have been competitive or distinct enough an offering. But a very good prog album is in there somewhere and if you gravitate to this sort of early 70s amalgam of semi-classical organ power and gritty hard rockin', Warhorse were one of the most promising if unfulfilled groups of that era. Five extra demo cuts and a live track are included on the 1999 reissue.

Review by ZowieZiggy
2 stars This band released a damned good debut album a year prior Red Sea which is unfortunately also their last one.

The opening song and title track is fully Mark I oriented as if nostalgia was still very much present for Nick (he was sacked from Purple in 69). The overall sound of this album, is heavier than ever. In a way, a song as Back In Time can compete with Purple Mark II slow and heavy number like Bloodsucker or Into The Fire from the magnificent In Rock album.

It also has the defect of the time: an average guitar solo in the middle which might be a live asset but that is quite useless here. Self-indulgence is the word. Song writing is also less impressive on Red Sea. A song as Confident But Wrong only emerges thanks to the excellent guitar break for instance.

The bluesy Feeling Better and the below average lyrics is by no mean an improvement IMO. I have to say that this album is quite a deception so far. The heavy psychedelic Sybilla and its echoed vocals sounds pretty outdated and again, the bluesy mood is not much appreciated by yours truly.

Self indulgence also characterizes the long instrumental Mouthpiece. It is a showcase for each band member to prove his abilities; but again you could do so during concerts but not especially on a studio album. Even in the early seventies. All this drumming solo was not all that necessary in my opinion.

The closing number (I), even if on the mellow side, is my favourite of the original album. It is another trip into the Mark I repertoire. The organ work is excellent and at least each musician is performing for the whole unity of the band and not for himself. Vocals are rather powerful as well.

And that's it for this album.A major disappointment as far as I'm concerned.

The CD comes with an awful lot of bonus tracks (like their first album). There is a second live version of their very good Ritual from their debut; but another live version was already available as a bonus on their first CD re-release. So, I don' believe that it was necessary to have a second one. Anyway, this good song is welcome here.

All the other songs (five in total) are demos of unreleased tracks. None of them are highlights but they aren't bad either. The good rocking Bad Time has lost the heavy feeling that is mostly present on Red Sea.

She Was My Friend is a good rock ballad, again on a much smoother tone than usual but he funky/heavy Gypsy Dancer won't remain in the music history, I'm afraid. Surprisingly enough, an excellent is featured as a bonus track: House Of The Dolls. It is the only song that could compete with their excellent debut album. It is a fine and highly energetic piece of hard-rock music which could have easily fit onto a Mark II album: the best stuff available on this CD which closes on a more conventional and good heavy-rock song (Standing Right Behind You).

Two stars.

Review by Gatot
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
3 stars One thing I like about this vintage music is mostly the recording quality which actually not good according to modern standards. But if we look at the time when this album was released there is something peculiar that reminds me to the nuance of the 70s. Indeed, I like the sound very much. It's probably the recording technology that was truly analog recording that makes the listening experience enjoyable. For me personally, I need to mix my listening experience with the vintage recording like this to keep it balanced.

Musically, this second album by Warhorse is not bad at all even though it's not as good as the debut one. But it's alright as far as we do not expect something complex in its composition. From the opening track Red Sea (4:20) we can hear the sound of 70s with its simple straight forward composition in vintage rock style. There is no guitar solo as Deep Purple, for example, but it's quite OK overall. So is the case with the other tracks that follow after this. On thing that I always like listening to this album is the sixth track Mouthpiece (8:43) that is so nice instrumental composition using Hammond organ. The pop song I (Who Have Nothing) (5;16) sounds different here because it's sung in rock style. The other thing I love about Warhorse is the vocal quality of Ashley Holt - I always mentioned this on my reviews about the quality and style of Ashley Holt.

Overall, I like this album because of the music is quite simple and the recording quality is so vintage. Keep on proggin' ....!!!

Peace on earth and mercy mild - GW

Review by Conor Fynes
3 stars 'Red Sea' - Warhorse (61/100)

It was released over four decades from the time I've first listened to it, and still I find myself disappointed by Warhorse's second, final album. Following his last shows with Deep Purple, bassist Nick Simper went on to create a band and record of same name that possibly rocked even harder than anything Purple conjured in their early days. Warhorse stands as one of the strongest hard rock records I've heard from that genre, to the point where I might have said they deserved equally favourable mention alongside Captain Beyond, the better-known (and loved) by-product of Ritchie Blackmore's late 60s staff adjustments. Hell; I usually find myself bored stiff by the sort of fuzzy organ rock they were playing, but I was impressed by every song on that self-titled.

Red Sea, by contrast, is almost universally thought of as a lukewarm disappointment in hindsight, and for good reason. The album apparently came together in a hurry, adopting a more predictable take on hard rock that made them sound just like the bland legions their self-titled dared to set them apart from. With that said, I can't call Red Sea a bad album. It's average hard rock fare, perfectly average, in fact. I might even say, based on the album's more outlandish cuts like "Back in Time" and "Mouthpiece", that Warhorse were still distinguishing themselves here, albeit in milder ways. Nonetheless, I can't listen to Red Sea and feel the slightest bit reminded of how tight they were on the debut, and that's a damning consideration if ever there was one.

Warhorse pulled the reins back on their proto-metal here; the result of which is a record more closely tied to rhythm-and-blues tropes. "Red Sea" and "Confident but Wrong" are solid examples of the more conventional road the band were taking with this album. The guitar and organ alike have both recoiled a bit in the mix, giving extra room for Ashley Holt to strut his stuff. But I'm not hearing the sort of passion in his voice here I heard on "No Chance" or "Solitude"; his voice sounds wearier on Red Sea, though those looking for a confident vocal performance should be satisfied with the straightforwardly ballsy "Sybilla".

"I (Who Have Nothing)" is a great slower song to round off the record, and among the few that would have fit on the debut without a hitch. The lame balladry found in "Feeling Better" is enough to sour some of the album's positives, but Warhorse's two longer pieces may have actually hinted at a potential for better things. "Back in Time" is characterized by Ged Peck's fuzzy noodling, in the vague ballpark of what Page did in the mid-section of Led Zeppelin's "Heartbreaker". Best of all, without a doubt, is "Mouthpiece", a blues rock instrumental that aspires to greatness. This is the same Warhorse that impressed me so much with the debut, but a generally unmemorable set of songwriting keeps it from sounding anywhere near as enduring.

Red Sea isn't such a bad album overall, but the fact that it followed up such a tight record weighs heavily against it. Is that unfair to the music? It's possible. However, I don't think the album would be half as remembered by people today, had it not been heir apparent to one of hard rock's most underrated classics. For a band that rocked as hard as anything 1970 had to offer, Warhorse ended their career sounding remarkably... average.

Latest members reviews

2 stars WARHORSE "Red Sea" is the secound studio album from this British band, and in spite bring in his line-up at least two reasonable attractions - the bassist Nicky Simper (ex DEEP PURPLE) and Ashley Holt (future vocalist from Rick Wakeman's The English Rock Essemble) with his harsh and strong ... (read more)

Report this review (#1071240) | Posted by maryes | Sunday, November 3, 2013 | Review Permanlink

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