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HORSLIPS

Prog Folk • Ireland


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Horslips biography
Founded in Dublin in 1970, this creative quintet is considered Ireland's most critically acclaimed folk-prog band ever and possibly the genuine purveyors of the term 'Celtic Rock'. At one point, they enjoyed a bigger fan base (domestically) than Rory Gallagher, THIN LIZZY and The BOOMTOWN RATS put together. Often likened stylistically to STEELEYE SPAN and FAIRPORT CONVENTION, they drew on their distinctly Irish roots to combine traditional Celtic mysticism with driving hard rock. They consisted of Barry Devlin (bass, vocals), Sean Fean (lead guitar, vocals) Eamonn Carr (drums, vocals), Charles O'Connor (violin, mandolin, vocals), and Jim Lockhart (flute, tin whistle, keyboards, vocals). As opposed to bands such as JETHRO TULL, for example, who were a vehicle for one performer's antics, no single member of HORSLIPS really dominated the group. Long after their break-up in 1980, they have (and still) maintain a strong cult following.

During the course of a decade, they recorded nearly a dozen studio albums and two live ones; numerous compilation LPs/CDs were also later released by various labels. Their first six studio albums are by far considered their best although the 5th one, "The Unfortunate Cup of Tea", was a bit of a disappointment; luckily, the following (and excellent) "Book of Invasions: A Celtic Symphony" amply made up for it. With the subsequent albums, however, their folk approach took a back seat to more mainstream rock and by the end of the 70's, each new album sank so low into commercialism that some of their material has been likened to that of John Cougar Mellencamp or Bruce Springsteen. The original cast has recently reformed for the release of "Roll Back" in 2004, an album featuring some old favourites getting a rich acoustic treatment while others, performed in the band's original style, are completely reinvented.

The first half of HORSLIPS' repertoire will definitely delight any serious Celtic folk prog fan. Highly recommended.

: : : Lise (HIBOU), CANADA : : :


: : : DISCOGRAPHY : : :
ALBUMS:
Happy To Meet, Sorry To Part (1972)
The Táin (1973)
Dancehall Sweethearts (1974)
The Unfortunate Cup Of Tea (1975)
Drive The Cold Winter Away (1975)
Live (1976)
The Book Of Invasions: A Celtic Symphony (1976)Aliens (1977)
The Man Who Built America (1978)
Short Stories Tall Tales (1979)
The Belfast Gigs (1980)

COMPILATIONS - LIVE - BEST - EP .
Tracks From The Vaults (1977)
...
read more

Horslips official website

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Buy HORSLIPS Music


Live at the O2Live at the O2
Import
Talking Elephant 2011
Audio CD$10.09
$21.54 (used)
Dancehall SweetheartsDancehall Sweethearts
Outlet
Audio CD$21.99
$14.86 (used)
Book of Invasioins: A Celtic SymphonyBook of Invasioins: A Celtic Symphony
Import
Polydor Japan 2008
Audio CD$16.49
$37.96 (used)
Greatest HitsGreatest Hits
Bci / Eclipse Music 2005
Audio CD$3.80
$10.55 (used)
Live With the Ulster OrchestraLive With the Ulster Orchestra
Zyx Records 2013
Audio CD$14.69
$21.68 (used)
TainTain
Wounded Bird Records 2008
Audio CD$9.25
$7.99 (used)
Very Best ofVery Best of
Import
Talking Elephant 2010
Audio CD$14.11
$12.29 (used)
Celtic Collections: HorslipsCeltic Collections: Horslips
K-Tel 1997
Audio CD$10.54
$0.99 (used)
Happy to Meet, Sorry to PartHappy to Meet, Sorry to Part
Wounded Bird Records 2008
Audio CD$13.98
$21.21 (used)
AliensAliens
Import
101 DISTRIBUTION 2010
Audio CD$12.29
$36.50 (used)
Right Now on Ebay (logo)
THIN LIZZY / HORSLIPS press clipping 1978 14x12cm (17/06/78) US $8.39 Buy It Now 1h 4m
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2 Horslips Record Albums Aliens Short Stories Tall Tales : US $4.95 Buy It Now 12h 40m
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HORSLIPS shows & tickets


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HORSLIPS discography


Ordered by release date | Showing ratings (top albums) | Help Progarchives.com to complete the discography and add albums

HORSLIPS top albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

3.37 | 31 ratings
Happy To Meet, Sorry To Part
1973
4.18 | 45 ratings
The Tain
1973
3.78 | 20 ratings
Dancehall Sweethearts
1974
3.02 | 13 ratings
The Unfortunate Cup Of Tea
1975
3.04 | 13 ratings
Drive The Cold Winter Away
1975
4.08 | 51 ratings
The Book Of Invasions: A Celtic Symphony
1976
3.26 | 17 ratings
Aliens
1977
3.12 | 15 ratings
The Man Who Built America
1978
2.02 | 10 ratings
Short Stories - Tall Tales
1979
3.45 | 8 ratings
Roll Back
2004

HORSLIPS Live Albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

4.39 | 10 ratings
Horslips Live
1976
2.85 | 8 ratings
The Belfast Gigs
1980
4.00 | 2 ratings
Live At The O2
2010
3.00 | 1 ratings
Horslips and the Ulster Orchestra at the Waterfront, Belfast
2011

HORSLIPS Videos (DVD, Blu-ray, VHS etc)

4.00 | 1 ratings
The Return of The Dancehall Sweethearts (A film by Maurice Linnane)
2005
0.00 | 0 ratings
The Road To The O2 - A Film About Getting To The Gig
2010

HORSLIPS Boxset & Compilations (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

2.67 | 7 ratings
Tracks From The Vaults
1977
4.00 | 2 ratings
The Best Of Horslips
1982
0.00 | 0 ratings
Horslips History Vol.1 (1972-1975)
1983
0.00 | 0 ratings
Horslips History Vol.2 (1976-1980)
1983
3.00 | 1 ratings
Folk Collection
1984
1.50 | 3 ratings
The Horslips Story: Straight From The Horse's Mouth
1989
2.05 | 2 ratings
Celtic Collections
1997
0.00 | 0 ratings
Best Tracks
2000
0.00 | 0 ratings
Greatest Hits
2001
0.00 | 0 ratings
Treasury - The Very Best of Horslips
2009
0.00 | 0 ratings
The Essential Recordings
2010
2.00 | 1 ratings
Biography
2013

HORSLIPS Official Singles, EPs, Fan Club & Promo (CD, EP/LP, MC, Digital Media Download)

0.00 | 0 ratings
Johnny's Wedding / Flower Among Them All
1972
0.00 | 0 ratings
Green Gravel / The Fairy King
1972
0.00 | 0 ratings
The High Reel / Furniture
1973
4.00 | 1 ratings
Dearg Doom / The High Reel
1973
0.00 | 0 ratings
Nighttown Boy / We Bring The Summer With Us
1974
3.00 | 1 ratings
King of the Fairies / Phil the Fluters Rag
1974
0.00 | 0 ratings
(If That's What You Want) That's What You Get / The Snakes Farewell to the Emerald Isle
1975
0.00 | 0 ratings
Daybreak ( Excerpt from a Celtic Symphony ) / Oisin's Tune
1976
4.00 | 1 ratings
Warm Sweet Breath Of Love / King Of Morning Queen Of Day
1976
0.00 | 0 ratings
Exiles / Speed the Plough
1977
3.00 | 1 ratings
Sure the Boy was Green/Exiles
1977
0.00 | 0 ratings
The Power and the Glory/Sir Festus Burke
1977
0.00 | 0 ratings
Tour - A - Loor - A - Loor - A - Loor - A EP
1978
0.00 | 0 ratings
Guests Of The Nation - Excerpts From Short Stories/Tall Tales
1979
0.00 | 0 ratings
Horslips presents Horslips The Man Who Built America
1979
0.00 | 0 ratings
Loneliness
1979
0.00 | 0 ratings
The Man Who Built America / Long Weekend
1979
0.00 | 0 ratings
Rescue me / Rescue me
1979
0.00 | 0 ratings
Shakin' all Over / Shakin' all Over 12 Promo
1980
0.00 | 0 ratings
Dearg Doom
2002

HORSLIPS Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 Biography by HORSLIPS album cover Boxset/Compilation, 2013
2.00 | 1 ratings

BUY
Biography
Horslips Prog Folk

Review by SouthSideoftheSky
Special Collaborator Symphonic Team

— First review of this album —
2 stars A singles collection

Being a fan of Horslips, I was immediately intrigued when I saw that there is a new release out from the band. When I realised that it is just another compilation, not a new studio disc, I was of course disappointed. However, given that it includes a few tracks not previously available on CD, there is a least some reason for a fan like me to rejoice. Biography is a slightly misleading title though, "Singles Collection" would have been a more appropriate title, since this is exactly what we have here. It is a two-disc set with the first disc containing single A-sides and the second disc holding the B-sides.

Four of the tracks on disc one are different from their studio album versions, and two of these are not just edited version, but single "remixes". The latter two, More Than You Can Chew and The Power And The Glory, are worth hearing for serious fans, but most people will be just fine with the original album versions. In no case do we have something here that is better than what is contained in the band's regular studio output.

The real interest lies on disc two. Here there are a few tracks that have not been previously released on CD, including Sir Festus Burke, a medieval-styled, harpsichord instrumental; Bridge From Heart To Heart, a rather mundane rocker, and Red River Rock (live); a throwaway instrumental that we frankly could have been without.

Biography is a much better compilation than the incoherent Tracks From The Vaults, but still it offers little new for someone who already owns the band's studio (and live) catalogue. The music contained within Biography's two discs is mostly excellent, but it is generally better heard on the original studio albums.

For fans only. Anyone else should begin with the regular studio (and live) albums (which are generally worthy additions to any Prog Folk collection)

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 The Book Of Invasions: A Celtic Symphony by HORSLIPS album cover Studio Album, 1976
4.08 | 51 ratings

BUY
The Book Of Invasions: A Celtic Symphony
Horslips Prog Folk

Review by sinslice

4 stars It is a continuous work well basted. No deliberate instrumental expressions, but rather contribute to a product group. So be exhibiting trumpets, flutes, whistles, with ubiquitous acoustic guitars, mandolins sometimes, and good keyboard parts.

Irish folk rock music would be a good description, incorporating progressive dose here and there. The main melody is repeated at times and unifies well the different sections. Is a uniform piece in which no parts protruding in a projecting manner, but there is no filler parts.

The sound is crisp and clear. While there are musical variety and color, with repeated listening becomes monotonous, but it is a classic that innovated at the time by his audacity.

3.5 stars really

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 Tracks From The Vaults by HORSLIPS album cover Boxset/Compilation, 1977
2.67 | 7 ratings

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Tracks From The Vaults
Horslips Prog Folk

Review by SouthSideoftheSky
Special Collaborator Symphonic Team

1 stars In the grip of motorway madness

By its very nature, Tracks From The Vaults is a release for completionists and hard core fans and collectors. The contents is a mixed bag of old b-sides and out-takes that showcases the several of Horslips' many faces. As such, we get some pure Folk, some pure Pop, and some straightforward Rock 'N' Roll. Notably absent is the progressive attitude that so successfully shaped their best albums. The collection opens with Motorway Madness, a dull, middle-of-the-road rocker. This one later re-appears (among the four CD bonus tracks) in an every bit as unexciting live version. Familiar songs such as Dearg Doom and King Of The Fairies appear here in demo-versions inferior to the later album versions. Instrumentals such as The High Reel and Johnny's Wedding too can be found in better versions elsewhere (as on Horslips Live).

The silly Beatles tribute songs Beatles Come Back and Fab Four-Four (released under the name of Lipstick) are the real low points here.

Among the tracks not available elsewhere, there are some rather nice folky tunes. Some of these could have worked fine as link-pieces on some of the band's albums, but hold limited interest in their own right. These are interesting for a fan like me to hear once or twice, but are not really enough to make Tracks From The Vaults a worthwhile experience as such.

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 The Belfast Gigs by HORSLIPS album cover Live, 1980
2.85 | 8 ratings

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The Belfast Gigs
Horslips Prog Folk

Review by SouthSideoftheSky
Special Collaborator Symphonic Team

3 stars Trouble with a Capital "T"

During the period between the release of their first live album in 1976 and this, their second, live album in 1980, Horslips had gradually degenerated from Prog Folk to straight Rock. This transformation was taken to its logical extreme on 1979's Short Stories - Tall Tales, the band's final studio release and also their worst. Thankfully, only one track from that album is featured here in the decent Guests Of The Nation. The other three studio albums that had been released since Horslips Live was recorded are however not bad at all. The title track from 1978's The Man Who Built America, another decent rocker, represents that album here. Somewhat disappointingly there is not a single number from the often overlooked Aliens from 1977, however. Finally, the excellent Book Of Invasions - A Celtic Symphony is represented with Trouble With A Capital "T", The Warm Sweet Breath Of Love, The Power And The Glory, and (as a bonus track on the CD version) Sword Of Light. It is primarily the latter songs together with older classics like Blindman, King Of The Fairies, and Dearg Doom that prove that Horslips never strayed as far away from their roots in the live arena as they did in the studio setting. As a live band they still remained true to their past, at least to a larger degree.

The out-and-out Rock 'N' Roll number Shakin' All Over is the only real disaster here. This awful boogie could easily have been replaced by something more interesting (by a track from Aliens, for example). Other drawbacks of this live album is it's short running length and the fact that three of the nine songs had already been featured on Horslips Live. Still, The Belfast Gigs constitutes a much more fitting ending to the band's career than the poor Short Stories - Tall Tales (though, the end was not final as the band has recently reformed).

Compared to the two other live albums I've heard from Horslips (Horslips Live and the recent Live At The O2) the present one is clearly inferior. Make sure you get those others, as well as most of the band's studio albums, before turning to this one. But The Belfast Gigs is nonetheless a decent, though certainly not essential, addition to a comprehensive Horslips collection.

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 Horslips Live  by HORSLIPS album cover Live, 1976
4.39 | 10 ratings

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Horslips Live
Horslips Prog Folk

Review by SouthSideoftheSky
Special Collaborator Symphonic Team

4 stars Mad Pat's on the road!

This was Horslips' first live album, recorded and released right in the middle of the best and most progressive period of their career. At this time they had a handful of studio albums under their belts already, including the excellent concept album The Tain. Horslips Live showcases a somewhat rockier side of Horslips than can be found on their studio albums from this period. It contains lively and energetic performances of a good selection of tracks from their early albums and as such it is an excellent addition to any Prog (Folk) collection. Some people would perhaps prefer this over the studio albums, while others would have the opposite preference. Personally, I like both for slightly different reasons, and I think they have different virtues. I would say that Horslips Live is an excellent complement to the band's studio albums, but it is by no means an accurate replacement for the studio albums.

There are several sections of continuous music with songs that flow into each other and Prog fans will take note of a 15 minute version of Furniture. Compared to the band's other live albums, the present one is in my opinion not quite as good as the recently released Live At The O2, but certainly better than The Belfast Gigs.

Highly recommended!

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 The Book Of Invasions: A Celtic Symphony by HORSLIPS album cover Studio Album, 1976
4.08 | 51 ratings

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The Book Of Invasions: A Celtic Symphony
Horslips Prog Folk

Review by Epignosis
Special Collaborator Eclectic Prog Team

3 stars Though I call myself an ardent lover of Celtic rock, I find this album too much a part of its time. Only a few of the songs are progressive rock- most of this is Irish rock from the 1970s. The vocal melodies and chord progressions are uninteresting, but the instrumentation is quite lovely.

"Daybreak" Inspiring harmonics introduce a pleasant electric-based song that is centered on a dual lead guitar harmony, followed by a flute and organ duet.

"March into Trouble" The lively clavichord runs around the acoustic guitar before lively flute enters.

"Trouble with a Capital "T" Vocals mimicking the flute similar to Camel's stunt on The Snow Goose ends abruptly when a singer bursts in sounding very much like John Wetton. Speaking of which, there's excellent bass playing. The main theme sounds like what my favorite Celtic rock band Seven Nations would do.

"The Power and the Glory" Keyboards lead into a grungy rhythm. This is a simple rock and roll song with deceptive fiddle and synthesizer.

"The Rocks Remain" Surprisingly, this sounds like Boston. It is more folky and has a slide guitar.

"Dusk" Beginning with an electric guitar and organ reprise, this brief interlude has Celtic violin bursting in.

"Sword of Light" Integrating elements that came before into something consistent, "Sword of Light" gives way to the Wetton-like vocals. This is a very lively track that is among the most progressive here.

"Dark" The opening harmonics remind the listener of the opening track, but lead right into a full-bodied piece of music. The woodwind and organ are there close behind, followed by a more grandiose rendition.

"Warm Sweet Breath of Love" After a concertina introduction, a piano-based boogey ensues. The guitars, from the dual leads to the quickly picked acoustic, are nice.

"Fantasia - My Lagan Love" Channeling Carlos Santana in both style and tone here, there is a sprightly piece run by lead guitar, electric piano, and lively drums.

"King of Morning, Queen of Day" This is a lively, quasi-medieval styled song. It is electric piano-based with some nice guitar and bass things happening.

"Sideways to the Sun" Lovely electric guitar, violin, and harmonics set the listener up for a simple Three Dog Night-like song.

"Drive the Cold Winter Away" Acoustic guitar and concertina move swiftly through a cold chord progression.

"Ride to Hell" The final track is a disjointed one, with calming acoustic guitar that moves quickly into busy organ, cowbell, and heavy rock music. The chorus is happy, hippy dippy 1960s music. The bass playing and the organ lead are both stellar, as is the violin solo. The ending cadence sounds so much like Echolyn.

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 Aliens by HORSLIPS album cover Studio Album, 1977
3.26 | 17 ratings

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Aliens
Horslips Prog Folk

Review by Zuidema

5 stars If you look at the discography of Horslips, over time there is a clear shift from traditional folk to folk-rock to, finally, just plain rock. The album Aliens finds it somewhere in the middle, and in my view, on this record they got the mix down just perfect. The songwriting has never been (and would never be) more tight and consistent. It is hard to point out highlights, as this album from beginning to end is one tour de force. I can say this is one of my all-time favourite records, and I'm quite surprised it got some so-so reviews here. Possibly it has to do with the fact that a lot of long time fans (and I'm one of them) consider this from a folk-purist standpoint, and they were disappointed at the increase of the rock element. But if you look at this album on its own merit, you'll find one of rock's undiscovered gems.

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 Live At The O2 by HORSLIPS album cover Live, 2010
4.00 | 2 ratings

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Live At The O2
Horslips Prog Folk

Review by SouthSideoftheSky
Special Collaborator Symphonic Team

4 stars They've still got the power and the glory!

Horslips is one of the very best Prog Folk bands, and this double live album from 2010 runs like an extended greatest hits collection performed live. The impressive set list is chockfull of classics from the band's nine studio albums released between 1973 and 1979, including many selections from the two highly regarded concept albums The Tain and Book Of Invasions - A Celtic Symphony. Other numbers that you might remember are King Of The Fairies, Mad Pat, and Flirting In The Shadows. Like on their studio albums, Horslips here play a plethora of stringed acoustic instruments as well as flutes and whistles in addition to the standard Rock instruments of electric guitars, organ, drums and bass. This is Prog Folk that really rocks, without sacrificing any of the folksiness. An all-acoustic section showcases the more subtle side of the band and keeps the set varied.

Judging from this great live recording, it seems that the band has lost little of their power and glory since their 70's heyday. They have no new material to draw on as they haven't recorded anything in the studio since the late 70's (except an album of acoustic remakes of older songs called Roll Back that was released in 2004), but the staying power of the band more than justifies this live album. I hope that they will now consider recording a studio album of new material in the style of their classic output. The vocals here are not perfect, but the evident passion and energy makes up for it. They audience certainly seem to be appreciative as well, and rightly so.

The Tain and Book Of Invasions remain the most essential Horslips albums, but this live album is an excellent addition to any Horslips collection and indeed to any Prog Folk collection

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 The Horslips Story: Straight From The Horse's Mouth by HORSLIPS album cover Boxset/Compilation, 1989
1.50 | 3 ratings

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The Horslips Story: Straight From The Horse's Mouth
Horslips Prog Folk

Review by BarryGlibb

1 stars Don't get me wrong, most of the songs here are first class but I should warn everyone that if you come across this CD do not buy it.

Reasons: 1. This compilation was released without the band's consent and they did not receive one cent in royalties. 2. The recordings are atrocious. The quality of almost all recordings is way below standard. I should know as I bought it over 20 years ago but got rid of it as soon as I could.

For completists only. Well, not even for completists, as I am a Horslips completist and I don't want this one! So half a star. Has anyone given a half a star before?

BTW. If you are looking for a great Horslips compilation then buy the "Treasury" 2CD compilation released in 2009 or 2010. The band got back the rights to their catalogue and "Treasury" is truely a great snapshot of their work.

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 The Best Of Horslips by HORSLIPS album cover Boxset/Compilation, 1982
4.00 | 2 ratings

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The Best Of Horslips
Horslips Prog Folk

Review by Bobkin

4 stars Horslips: The Best Of' (Edsel Records MEDCD 700) This is a 29 track, 2 CD set drawing from all their studio albums released between 1972 and 1979 - and what a fantastic range we have! All tracks remastered at Abbey Road and the quality shines through - here we have the gestation of Celtic Rock by a good Irish Rock Band (contemporaries of Thin Lizzy with a similar rocking music bed) and multi-instrumentalists to boot! Their music is a fusion of Celtic themes, folk and good old 70s rock and if you're looking into the genealogy of the likes of Blue Horses, Mostly Autumn, Karnataka and Iona - one could argue you should start here. 'Sideways To the Sun' a fascinating track about fairies that will haunt you ' oh itwill, itwill, itwill, itwill. 'Speed The Plough' with a good guitar duel, 'Sword of Light' ' the type of track you keep replaying in the car whilst shaking your head (as if to Queen). 'Come Summer' - is that Jethro Tull? ' No, I didn't think so, but it came close!

Anyway my brother is into bands with violins, for it was he who introduced me to Mostly Autumn (in return I gave him Flock - poor deal), So to make up for that ' Andy, get your aural teeth into this one! Its damn fine like a good wine (you lot go and listen too ' this is a quality Best Of).

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