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Horslips Happy To Meet, Sorry To Part album cover
3.36 | 51 ratings | 9 reviews | 8% 5 stars

Good, but non-essential

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Studio Album, released in 1972

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. Happy to Meet (0:48)
2. Hall of Mirrors (5:29)
3. The Clergy's Lamentation (4:39)
4. An Bratach Bán (2:04)
5. The Shamrock Shore (4:34)
6. Flower Amang Them All (2:04)
7. Bím Istigh Ag Ól (3:43)
8. Furniture (5:13)
9. Ace and Deuce (3:35)
10. Dance to Yer Daddy (4:37)
11. Scalloway Ripoff (1:54)
12. The Musical Priest (4:33)
13. Sorry to Part (1:32)

Total Time: 44:45

Bonus tracks on 2011 reissue:
14. Hall Of Mirrors
15. The High Reel
16. Rakish Paddy/Johnny's Wedding
17. Furniture
18. Bim Istigh Ag Ól

Line-up / Musicians

- Charles O'Connor / electric & acoustic fiddles, electric & acoustic mandolins, concertina, vocals
- John Fean / electric & acoustic guitars
- Jim Lockhart / keyboards, concert flute, whistle, percussion, vocals
- Barry Devlin / bass, vocals
- Eamon Carr / drums, percussion, bodhrán

Releases information

Artwork: Eric Bannister

LP Oats ‎- MOO 3 (1972, Ireland)

CD Outlet ‎- MOOCD 003 (1989, Ireland) Remastered
CD Edsel Records ‎- EDCD 661 (2000, UK) Remastered by Peter Mew, new cover art
CD Horslips Records ‎- MOOCCD003 (2011, Ireland) With 5 bonus tracks

Thanks to ProgLucky for the addition
and to Quinino for the last updates
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Buy HORSLIPS Happy To Meet, Sorry To Part Music

HORSLIPS Happy To Meet, Sorry To Part ratings distribution

(51 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(8%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(41%)
Good, but non-essential (43%)
Collectors/fans only (8%)
Poor. Only for completionists (0%)

HORSLIPS Happy To Meet, Sorry To Part reviews

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

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by Sean Trane
3 stars 3.75 stars really!! Horslips 's debut is exactly what I expected, except for four surprises. The title of their debut is taken from the two short numbers that book ends the album.

First my expectations: sound Celtic-Folk music including jigs and other traditional songs that make up the Irish traditions. Horslips manages those tunes in a much more meticulous manner than say Amazing Blondel and Steeleye Span and reach for the Malicorne way of rpresenting an old tune in a truthful but actualized rendition.

Now for the surprises: Squished in betweenall these Celtic-folk tunes are four superb progressive tracks that although much different in the instrumentation do not stick out (or stay out of line) of the album. Hall of Mirrors , Furniture , Clergy's Lamentations and Musical Priests are actually such folk-tinged prog masterpieces , that most of us would have liked to have an albumful of those kind. For the album's sake , those particular tracks appear maybe too early (second and third )and too late (second last) in the the sequence of tracks , that small deceptions are around the bend during the next two or three tracks because one is disappointed not to have this kind of stuff anymore. This however should blind from listening to the whole album because it is quite worth it.

Review by ClemofNazareth
3 stars Horslips’ first studio album is said to also be the first true ‘Celtic rock’ album, although I suspect Christy Moore might argue that point. It is in fact quite Celtic in nature, full of jig arrangements on both ends of the record; and with instrumentation that included Uillean pipes, mandolin, flute, fiddle, harpsichord, celeste, banjo, acoustic guitar and tin whistles the album has all the right credentials for a Celtic folk recording.

While the album opens and closes with distinctly Irish jig ditties, many of the tracks in between are unmistakable progressive folk compositions with beautiful piano arrangements, pleasant and unusual tempos, and fanciful imagery. “Hall of Mirrors” may be the finest progressive folk song on the album, with a keyboard track and vocals that evoke some of the same emotions as Genesis’ ‘Wind and Wuthering’ that would come some years later. “The Clergy's Lamentation” is similar but not quite as distinctive.

But the band cannot stray from their roots too long, as the romping jig titled “An Bratach Bán” demonstrates. This is followed by the slower number “The Shamrock Shore” which sounds like it’s going to be an instrumental until nearly halfway through when Barry Devlin and John Fea break in with a soft, folksy duet accompanied mostly by pipes and acoustic guitar; followed by a very similar tune (“Flower Amang Them All”) that actually is an instrumental, and in which I believe a flute, Uillean pipes and a smallpipe are the main instruments.

“Bím Istigh Ag Ól” is another jig-like number but with some fairly heavy electric guitar and weird keyboards, while “Furniture” is about as close to a normal soft rock tune as the band would ever approach.

Jim Lockhart takes center stage on harpsichord for “Ace and Deuce”, a rather short instrumental that is understated and consists primarily of the harpsichord and acoustic guitar with a bit of violin coming in at the end. This is a prototypical Celtic folk number that previews the type of sound the band would become well known for throughout the early and mid seventies.

The rest of the album is largely heavy Celtic jigging music, although “The Musical Priest” shows a bit of a progressive bent in the guitar and violin tracks. For the most part though the last ten minutes or so will only appeal to big fans of strongly Celtic sounds.

I was never a big Horslips fan back in the seventies, although some of their music has grown on me over the years. Their epic rendition of ‘The Tain’ remains one of the finest Celtic folk albums ever recorded in my opinion. This one is a bit more uneven, to be expected of a band just starting out and considering the music here was collected from the band’s first couple years of existence and recorded rather unconventionally in an old mansion reputed to be haunted and in which the band employed hay bales and stage curtains for baffles and sound management. As a seminal Celtic rock album ‘Happy to Meet…Sorry to Part’ deserves a place on the shelf of just about any serious collector of progressive folk, and probably most fans of world music as well. I wouldn’t call this a masterpiece or anything, but it is quite decent and is worth listening to a few times if you get a chance. Three stars a mildly recommended.


Review by kenethlevine
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.

Review by Evolver
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Crossover & JR/F/Canterbury Teams
3 stars This band was recommended to me, and this album given to me, back in the seventies by an Irish friend of mine, who understood my love of prog rock. Back then, the album didn't capture my interest. But perhaps the years have mellowed my tastes. Now I appreciate the album much more. I'm still not much of a fan of celtic music, but I appreciate it's value.

The album is primarily Celtic folk rock, with a bit of prog thrown in. The band is certainly technically adept, and able to blend the styles well. The best prog tracks to my ears are Hall Of Mirrors and Furniture. And I also like the rock jig, The Musical Priest.

I'm still not sure if I'm ever going to pursue more from Horslips, but I'm glad I own this album.

Latest members reviews

3 stars Horslips' first album "Happy To Meet, Sorry To Part" is a nice precursor to their following prog opuses, mainly "The Tain" and "The Book Of Invasions-A Celtic Symphony", as it puts the listener both at ease as what to expect next and also apprehensive at the same time. That's mainly due to the b ... (read more)

Report this review (#1910223) | Posted by SteveG | Thursday, March 29, 2018 | Review Permanlink

4 stars Many believe this to be the first genuine celtic-rock album. Folk-rock fusion was certainly in its infancy in the early seventies. "Happy to Meet" is a debut by a band having a great craic discovering how fun it is to twist rock music up with traditional Irish. From the swirling psychedelic original ... (read more)

Report this review (#480929) | Posted by Frankie Flowers | Tuesday, July 12, 2011 | Review Permanlink

4 stars Horslips' debut album "Happy to Meet - Sorry to Part" is an excellent album and a long lost gem from the far away land of Ireland.. The music in this album is highly diverse. In a few songs you will find upbeat Irish folk jigs, another few sound like the Strawbs mixed with Oldfield, one would fit ... (read more)

Report this review (#111653) | Posted by OGTL | Sunday, February 11, 2007 | Review Permanlink

3 stars Horslips' debut album was released on CD twice. About a decade before the members of the band went to court to reclaim their rights to the music, Outlet Records had issued all of their albums on CD. These releases are now sometimes called bootlegs and are criticised for their supposedly bad so ... (read more)

Report this review (#75562) | Posted by LittleMan | Thursday, April 20, 2006 | Review Permanlink

3 stars Just start your CD player (or MP3 player, or whatever), and what you'll hear is this: >>cough cough<<, deedeleedee . >>cough<< >>ahh<< >>cough<< - deedeleedeedeleedum .etc., passing into "Happy to meet", which together with the last track "Sorry to part" encloses the musical pieces of this alb ... (read more)

Report this review (#37846) | Posted by annika | Monday, June 27, 2005 | Review Permanlink

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