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Horslips The Unfortunate Cup Of Tea album cover
2.81 | 24 ratings | 3 reviews | 8% 5 stars

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Studio Album, released in 1975

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. If That's What You Want (That's What You Get) (7:10)
2. Ring-A Rosey (4:35)
3. Flirting in the Shadows (5:43)
4. Self Defence (6:12)
5. High Volume Love (5:34)
6. The Unfortunate Cup of Tea (1:14)
7. Turn Your Face to the Wall (6:28)
8. The Snakes' Farewell to the Emerald Isle (5:30)
9. Everything Will Be Alright (5:19)

Total Time: 47:25

Bonus tracks on 2010 reissue:
10. High Volume Love
11. Locomotive Breath

Line-up / Musicians

- Charles O'Connor / fiddle, mandolin, concertina, vocals
- John Fean / guitar, banjo, vocals
- Jim Lockhart / keyboards, concert flute, tin whistle, Uileann pipes
- Barry Devlin / bass, vocals
- Eamon Carr / drums, percussion, bodhrán

Releases information

Artwork: Tom Griffin with Ian Finlay (photo)

LP Oats ‎- MOO 8 (1975, Ireland)

CD Outlet ‎- MOOCD 008 (1989, Ireland) Remastered (?)
CD Edsel Records ‎- EDCD 664 (2000, UK) Remastered by Peter Mew, new cover art
CD Horslips Records ‎- MOOCCD008 (2010, Ireland) Remastered, with 2 bonus tracks

Thanks to ProgLucky for the addition
and to Quinino for the last updates
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HORSLIPS The Unfortunate Cup Of Tea ratings distribution

(24 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(8%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(21%)
Good, but non-essential (50%)
Collectors/fans only (21%)
Poor. Only for completionists (0%)

HORSLIPS The Unfortunate Cup Of Tea reviews

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

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by Chris S
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
3 stars Great to finally see Horslips on the site, The Unfortunate Cup Of Tea is not a bad album although unusually ' Light' in layered sound compared to other releases of 1975. Even if you had to compare it to Book Of Invasions.However in saying that listen out for gems like ' Flirting in the Shadows' ( really nervy), the instrumental title track and ' The Snake's Farewell To The Emerald Isle'. All in a solid piece of music and undeniably celtic in origin. If you are looking for a slid progressive introduction to Horslips then check out the classic Book Of Invasions from 1976.
Review by Tony Fisher
3 stars Don't get me wrong: this is a perfectly good album. Many other bands would have been proud to turn it out. But this is Horslips, and Horslips do not do just OK. As one of the band said in retrospect, "it wasn't released, it just sort of escaped". There are a few gems, such as Flirting in the Shadows (redone even better 30 tears later on Rollback!) and If That's What You Want, but other tracks show the result of pressure to release an album a year whilst touring incessantly. The songs just aren't as strong and refined as on other albums and there's less emphasis on traditional cores to the tunes. Nothing is unpleasant and it's perfectly competently played, but this is one of their two poorest albums. With more time to refine and develop the songs further, it could have been a very good album, but it isn't. The cover is pretty naff too. They returned to form on the next one - and how!!!!
Review by kenethlevine
2 stars Among aficionados, some of the lesser works of established artists can be victimized by the harsh judgments that plague the overly familiar. A specific "yardstick album" becomes that against which all other offerings are compared, and these rank and file releases may suffer more by unfair comparison than by "objective" lower quality. In the case of Irish legends HORSLIPS, the standard bearers would be "The Tain" and "The Book of Invasions", although their debut might also qualify. "The Man Who Built America" would exemplify a worthwhile alteration of their sound that has not always been judged by its own considerable merits. Conversely, "The Unfortunate Cup of Tea" receives more praise that it warrants, as even measured against conventional rock albums of its day it is remarkably pedestrian; when factoring in the band's legacy, it's best ignored.

The previous "Dancehall Sweethearts" had already veered uncomfortably into undistinguished hard rock on a number of tunes, somewhat balanced by a few outstanding tracks, but here the trend is extended, and so are the worst songs. The seven minute (!) dumbed down hard rock of "If that's what you want", the 6 minute "Self Defense" and the five and a half minute "High Volume Love" all signify a band with a dearth of inspiration and a surprise studio booking. Luckily, "Flirting in the Shadows" suggests they did have a few ideas in the can, as it's an eerie and progressive ballad that tackles the mundane with imagination. The closing instrumental "The Snakes Farewell to the Emerald Island" demonstrates that they were capable of parlaying conventional blues rock into a captivating instrumental, which only accentuates the enfeebled attempts elsewhere. Luckily, the stain left behind by "The Unfortunate Cup of Tea" was dispensed with the following year.

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