Horslips – The Man Who Built America (1979)

FrontCover1Horslips are an Irish Celtic rock band that compose, arrange and perform songs frequently inspired by traditional Irish airs, jigs and reels. The group are regarded as ‘founding fathers of Celtic rock’ for their fusion of traditional Irish music with rock music and went on to inspire many local and international acts. They formed in 1970 and ‘retired’ in 1980 for an extended period. The name originated from a spoonerism on The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse which became “The Four Poxmen of The Horslypse”.

Although Horslips had limited commercial success when the band was playing in the 70s, there was a revival of interest in their music in the late 1990s and they came to be regarded as one of the defining bands of the Celtic rock genre. There have since been small scale reunions including appearances on The Late Late Show and RTÉ’s Other Voices. The band reformed for two Irish shows in the Odyssey Arena in Belfast and the 3Arena in Dublin at the end of 2009, and have continued to play shows since then …


… In 1977 they toured Britain, Germany, Canada and the United States. The night they played the Albert Hall in London was described by one critic as the loudest gig there since Hendrix. The Man Who Built America, produced by Steve Katz of Blood, Sweat and Tears and Blues Project fame, concerned Irish emigration to the US and received considerable airplay but broad approval was missing. The heavier sound did bring some acceptance in America but they lost their folk base and their freshness. (wikipedia)


A concept album about an Irish emigrant who makes a success of himself in the US, this album is energetic and often engaging, with some excellent songs (“The Man Who Built America”) and some tepid stretches.


The Irish content is fairly subdued here, with the overall sound favoring rock songs built around moderately complicated hooks.(by Steven McDonald)

Indeed, not the best album … but still a pretty good one !


Eamon Carr (drums)
Barry Devlin (bass, vocals)
John Fean (guitar, vocals)
Jim Lockhart (keyboards, flute, vocals)
Charles O’Connor (violin, mandolin, concertina, vocals)

01. Lonelines 4.17
02. Tonight (You’re With Me) 3.21
03. I’ll Be Waiting 6.26
04. If It Takes All Night 3.34
05. «Green Star Liner» 3:24
Side toNr. Tittel Lengd
06. «The Man Who Built America» 3:36
07. «Homesick» 4:00
08. «Long Weekend» 3:46
09. «Letters from Home» 4:14
10. «Long Time Ago» 3:36

All songs written by:
Eamon Carr – Barry Devlin – John Fean – Jim Lockhart – Charles O’Connor



More from Horslips:

The official website:

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