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Horslips Roll Back album cover
3.57 | 11 ratings | 5 reviews | 18% 5 stars

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Studio Album, released in 2004

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. Trouble (With A Capital T) (3:49)
2. The Man Who Built America (3:44)
3. Guests Of The Nation (3:36)
4. Faster Than The Hound (4:10)
5. Huish The Cat (2:29)
6. Mad Pat (4:05)
7. The Wrath Of The Rain (2:47)
8. Flirting In The Shadows (3:34)
9. Cúchulainn?s Lament (3:48)
10. Ace And Deuce (2:02)
11. Blindman (2:41)
12. Furniture (3:18)
13. The Power And The Glory (3:09)
14. Long Weekend (4:06)
15. My Love Is In America (3:00)

Total time 50:18

Bonus CD - Music From An Exhibition (Live At The Orchard Gallery, Derry City, March 20th 2004) :
1. Flower Among Them All (2:22)
2. Furniture (4:39)
3. The Musical Priest / The High Reel (1:35)
4. Trouble (With A Capital T) (4:16)

Total time 12:52

Line-up / Musicians

- Charles O'Connor / electric & tenor guitars, mandolin, violin, concertina, vocals
- John Fean / electric, slide & tenor guitars, tenor banjo, vocals
- Jim Lockhart / keyboards, piano, low whistle, vocals
- Barry Devlin / bass, vocals
- Eamon Carr / drums, percussion

- Aisling Drury-Byrne / cello (9,12)

Releases information

Re-recording of classic tracks spanning the band's whole career

Artwork: Charles O'Connor and Chris Ellis

2xCD Horslips Records - MOO 23 (2004, Ireland) Bonus Enhanced CD with Live recording from 2004, both in Audio & Video sections.

Thanks to ProgLucky for the addition
and to Quinino for the last updates
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HORSLIPS Roll Back ratings distribution

(11 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(18%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(36%)
Good, but non-essential (27%)
Collectors/fans only (18%)
Poor. Only for completionists (0%)

HORSLIPS Roll Back reviews

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

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by Tony Fisher
5 stars Absolutely not prog at all, but fabulous none the less. After 25 years away, ANYTHING is welcome from these boys, one of the most innovative, original and talented bands of all time. OK, there's no new songs here (except the instrumental Huish the Cat) but they are all reworked acoustically and totally different from the originals - the way they once thought about recording them. Some, shock horror, are even better than before - none more so than Flirting in the Shadows. (I recently spoke to Charles O'Connor at his shop in Whitby and he said they were hoping to tour soon and a DVD is coming soon - bliss!) Don't buy this (and you can only buy it in Ireland or on their website) if you haven't got an open mind; it's not The Tain or Book of Invasions or even a best of, it's a new concept and a very welcome one. The live reunion DVD of their first gig back together is a very worthwhile bonus, proving that they have lost nothing of their live magic.

Review by SouthSideoftheSky
2 stars An album that Fairport Convention or Steeleye Span would be proud of, but not the return to Prog Folk we were all hoping for

Like so many other bands, Horslips fell victim to the changing musical climate of the late 70's. Their last real album (so far?) was Short Stories, Tall Tales from 1979 and that album was a true embarrassment as far as I'm concerned. At least it did not fit in very well with what the band were known for; namely, their fusion of (Prog) Rock and Irish Folk music. I don't know exactly why they broke up after that misguided New Wave styled album, but they have so far never returned with an original album. They did, however, release this album with re-recorded, acoustic arrangements of some of their most well known songs from the 70's. This is not exactly what Prog Folk fans were hoping for perhaps, but it is very welcome to see any sign of life from the band. Let us hope that we will see a full blown comeback in the near future. After all, countless classic bands have reunited in recent years as the times are now much more favourable for classic and progressive Rock than in the 80's and 90's. I would love to see them play The Tain or Book Of Invasions live, or have a brand new album in the style of those classic albums.

The present album consists, as I said, of acoustic re-recordings of older material. This is not strictly speaking true, though, as there is some discrete organ on some songs. But the core of the sound of Roll Back is acoustic and there are no signs at all of any electric guitars or synthesisers. The songs are almost all very laid back and there are not really any up tempo jigs or reels or any kind of prolonged instrumental work. There are a few instrumental cuts, but the songs are primarily vocally driven. The sound and feeling is very different from Drive The Cold Winter Away, which was the band's previous attempt to make a pure Folk album. While that album was distinctively Celtic in its nature, this album is more Folk Rock sometimes even with a slight American Folk sound! I think this is a bit more enjoyable, but also more conventional in a sense.

Almost all of the band's albums are represented here with two cuts each from Happy To Meet, Sorry To Part, Dancehall Sweethearts, Book Of Invasions and The Man Who Built America and one cut each from The Tain, The Unfortunate Cup Of Tea, Aliens and Short Stories, Tall Tales. The remaining tracks are, to my knowledge, not available on other Horslips albums, though they are I'm almost certain traditional Folk tunes.

Some of these new arrangements are more successful than others. Guests Of The Nation, taken from that disastrous last album, is a definitive improvement over the original. The same must be said about Wrath Of The Rain, originally taken from the Aliens album. The same might also be said about The Man Who Built America, but it is less obvious. The songs taken from The Tain and Book Of Invasions had perhaps better been left as they were.

Overall, this is a very competent and professional recording and it is indeed a very pleasant listen. Traditional British Folk Rock bands like Fairport Convention and Steeleye Span would be pround of this album, but I fail to conjure up much enthusiasm over these acoustic arrangements. The songs are not only de-electrified but also de-Progified (but the songs chosen were not really progressive in the first place anyway). Roll Back is thus not at all the kind of album that people who come to this site will be looking for. Still, for fans and collectors of the band and of Folk Rock in general this album is a decent addition.

Primarily for fans and collectors

Latest members reviews

4 stars Putting Horslips' "roots rock" album back into perspective after ten years time. When Horslips announced their reformation and issuing of a "new" album in 2004, it shocked and delighted many that were caught off guard. Unfortunately, the reworking's of past classic songs into near acousti ... (read more)

Report this review (#1394897) | Posted by SteveG | Monday, April 6, 2015 | Review Permanlink

3 stars Roll Back is a collection of acoustic reworkings of songs, and some of them are excellent and very listenable, however for a die hard Horslips fan such a myself, it wasn't exactly what I was looking for. As the band had not been together for more than 20 years before this release, fans such a ... (read more)

Report this review (#34120) | Posted by | Friday, April 29, 2005 | Review Permanlink

4 stars An interesting reworking of a host of Horslips classics (although not, notably the 'greatest hit' of all, 'An Dearg Doom'). More bluesy than celtic, and resolutely slow-to-mid-paced rather than full on, it's perhaps an acquired taste for those of us brought up on the original versions (NB ther ... (read more)

Report this review (#34119) | Posted by | Friday, March 11, 2005 | Review Permanlink

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