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The Táin: Memories & Favourites
Everything will be alright
Joined:
07/01/08 23:30
From Southend-on-Sea
Posts: 371
Hi y'all, I'm looking to put something together (a video or an article of sorts) to commemorate November's 40th anniversary of The Táin's original release.

Please post your memories of first hearing the album and how it may have affected you, and let us know what your favourite Táin track is... and why.

Cheers
Mark

Posted on: 17/06/13 8:29
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Re: The Táin: Memories & Favourites
The Power and the Glory!
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19/12/12 5:25
From Near W.ford,Wxford + K.kenny.
Posts: 927
Great thread Mark- and brilliant idea. At the risk of repeating something I might have said on t'other place... here goes.

I never had the Táin on vinyl so while reading the notes 'concerning the Táin' on the way, so much of it made sense. Lyrics to songs were dotted along those notes,explaining the saga and the albums telling of the story to me in a way no history teacher ever could have.
On hearing it, it has instilled something in me which forbids me from ever listening to it in any other way except from start to finish- never just 'picking out tracks'.
But to answer your question Mark, Gae Bolga c/w Cuchullain's Lament for me (I know thats two...sorry!)
Think I mentioned in the other Táin thread, those two in particular are so so visual. The soundscape paints pictures. I can hear the belly spear going through poor Ferdia over and over with those powerful wild chords, seeing both faces as life drains, and seeing the Golden Haired boy hitting the ground.
What follows is lament and sadness illustated beautifully by Barry's vocals and Jim's flute and keys playing. You can feel it!
The album could easily be placed on a movie soundtrack (something which please God may still happen) without any altering and still tell the story with as much passion.
To mimic Bono on the Dancehall Sweetheartrs DVD " I'm getting a little carried away with myself, but after hearing the Táin (we) just went WOW!"

Posted on: 17/06/13 16:14
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Re: The Táin: Memories & Favourites
The Power and the Glory!
Joined:
08/01/12 3:02
From Dublin
Posts: 663
I have just been listening again and my absolute favourite bit of the Táin is from the beginning of Maeve's Court up to where the vocals begin on Charolais. I just love the way it starts out just with Charles on the concertina and how the sound builds as the various instruments join in and add to the richness of the sound.

I even prefer the original Táin album versions of these two tracks to the version from the gig with the Ulster Orchestra, which is not something I would say about the rest of the Táin where the orchestral arrangements really added to the sound.

John

Posted on: 18/06/13 0:18
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Re: The Táin: Memories & Favourites
The Power and the Glory!
Joined:
15/11/07 14:56
From New Zealand
Posts: 711
I remember the first time I heard this I felt as though I'd sat in a darkened theatre and watched an incredibly involving movie. The sounds painted pictures and the gradually shifting images moved from the "spearsprid of dawn fire" that is Setanta into the pastoral Knockeen Free and then the gradually more uptempo Charolais. It really did feel like a movie.

As for favourites, that's too hard; I love Silver Spear and The Morrigan's Dream (stunning fiddle on that track), but I suppose it's hard to go past Dearg Doom, although Time to Kill is the most underrated song they've ever done. Killer riff, stripped-to-the-bone lyrics and an almost brutal rhythm.

Posted on: 18/06/13 7:09
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Re: The Táin: Memories & Favourites
The Power and the Glory!
Joined:
05/01/10 4:07
From Pittsburgh,PA
Posts: 717
Hi All, Charolais definite favorite had it blasting driving to work this morning and even got a few deer approval ha. I also enjoy the last 3 or so minutes of Time To Kill. Whole album is fantastic really hard to come up with just one song. Cheers Envious of all you going to the launch should be terrific

Posted on: 18/06/13 15:18
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Re: The Táin: Memories & Favourites
Swaggerin' down the hall
Joined:
21/05/13 16:28
From Wilmington, Kent, UK
Posts: 129
What a brilliant idea this is Mark even if it is borderline impossible to pick just one track. Thank you for thinking of it.

First time I heard The Tain was in Easons on O'Connell Street in January 1974. It was a horrible wet and depressing day but the music soon sorted that out. I was totally blown away by More Than You Can Chew - the uileann pipe riff is insanely catchy - and the second I heard it I was up at the counter buying the album. Rushed back to Clontarf where I lived in those days and played it to death all evening. WAs supposed to go out later but couldn't drag myself away from the old analogue record player. The Walkman wasn't around in those pre-historic times never mind the ipod!

Thanks to a rather marvellous romantic encounter down in Arklow a few months later I developed a great fondness for Faster Than The hound - one of the Lipso's loveliest melodies, and - for me - one of their greatest 'overlooked' tracks. Even now - nearly forty years later - it can still stir up one or two beautifully bittersweet memories.

Halcyon days indeed....

Posted on: 19/06/13 3:33
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Re: The Táin: Memories & Favourites
The Power and the Glory!
Joined:
05/01/10 4:07
From Pittsburgh,PA
Posts: 717
GerardHennessy-Welcome to the forum. Yes the uileann pipes can be outright haunting. Maybe Mr. Lockhart will dig them out for the next event. Cheers

Posted on: 19/06/13 5:08
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Re: The Táin: Memories & Favourites
You speak in whispers of the devils I have slain
Joined:
28/11/07 5:56
Posts: 164
There is no way to pick a favorite track. That would be like picking a favorite Horslip:impossible! It's the whole ensemble...Eamon produces the rhythmic sounds of a poet;
Jimmy, Johnny, Charles & Barry each complete the composition. The Tain is poetry in motion...from the first listen to 40 years later. Brilliant!!!

Posted on: 19/06/13 10:46
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Re: The Táin: Memories & Favourites
Happy to meet
Joined:
24/04/13 23:06
From Chester, UK
Posts: 12
Being only 13 years old when the Horslips called it a day, and growing up in England, I never encountered their music first time around. Back in 1991, whilst living in Cambridge, I briefly dated a lass from Scotland, who had Irish ancestry. One night at her place she was playing some music tapes to me; about which I think I showed mild indifference. Challenged by this and knowing that I loved the music of Jethro Tull she said “You might like this band”. She slipped her cassette copy of ‘The Tain’ into the little tape machine. It whirred around past the opening blank section. Slowly I became aware of this weird swirling keyboard sound, emerging from the little speaker. The guitar followed, repeating a high riff until it built with the drums and bass guitar into a much lower, darker instrumental. My interest was hooked and I listened intently. Then, as soon as it had come, like a passing sudden storm, the music lulled, replaced by a solitary concertina playing a mournful tune. “What the hell is this”, I thought to myself, confused by the sudden stark contrast in the moods created. I listened on, saying nothing. Flute and guitar then came to the fore and a song emerged. It was different. It was like nothing I had heard before. I liked it. I liked it a lot. The whole album was played, with just the briefest pause to wind the tape forward and turn it over. I don’t remember much talking whilst we listened. By the end of side two I was hooked and was intrigued to know more about them. I asked to borrow the cassette to record my own copy. I subsequently played it incessantly, getting to know and love every nook and cranny of this album. But this wasn’t enough. I wanted more. I started to source my own copies of their albums – firstly on LPs from second hand record shops and record fairs; then later on CDs during my initial expeditions to Ireland on holiday in the early 1990s. The music of Horslips became very important to me and that album was my first connection. Despite my handle on here, Maeve's Court into Charolais remains my personal favourite and hearing this played by the guys live still makes the hairs on the back of my neck stand up.

Posted on: 26/06/13 21:29
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Re: The Táin: Memories & Favourites
The Power and the Glory!
Joined:
22/12/09 22:26
From The Mid West ( and I don't mean Wisconsin or Minnesota ! )
Posts: 1436
Great post Derek, welcome to the forum.

I'm of a similar vintage to yourself and only got to see them second time 'round - which was absolutely fantastic.

The Táin is a mesmerizing album, and can only really be appreciated when played in it's entirety in my opinion.
I wore my Táin t-shirt to the local one night during the good weather recently and it drew enquiries from a fellow who is from southern India originally, I filled him in on the mythology associated with it and he downloaded the album,.... it gets a major thumbs up from him.

Posted on: 26/06/13 23:29
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Re: The Táin: Memories & Favourites
The Power and the Glory!
Joined:
05/01/10 4:07
From Pittsburgh,PA
Posts: 717
Hi DerekDoom, Welcome and a fine choice also!! All of Horslips music makes my hair stand very emotional when I listen you can hear all of them pouring all of thier energy and hearts into every song. Still laugh when I remember meeting Charles for the first time in Killarney he looked at me and said you won't like us- He is correct I love the music and all of them are the greatest guys on the planet. Sad does not look like a US tour will be happening going to have to get my self over again some how. Cheers All Mick

Posted on: 27/06/13 0:40
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Re: The Táin: Memories & Favourites
I'm not a dreamer...
Joined:
27/09/08 6:48
From Williamsport, Pa. U.S.A.
Posts: 24
Mick we must get not only a US tour but a stop or two in the commonwealth of Pennsylvania! Yes pennsylvania is not a state but a commonwealth. If that fact alone is not enough to get a tour what is?

John

Posted on: 27/06/13 6:19
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Re: The Táin: Memories & Favourites
The Power and the Glory!
Joined:
05/01/10 4:07
From Pittsburgh,PA
Posts: 717
John, Sorry to say but I seriously doubt they will be coming. Logistics the main reason. Still a glimmer of hope but ya never know. They have a Celtic Classic in Bethlehem which would be terrific but not in the horizon. I still need to make it to your way for The Little League World Series one time. Cheers

Posted on: 27/06/13 17:04
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Re: The Táin: Memories & Favourites
One-hundred heads are so much better than One...
Joined:
29/09/10 2:21
Posts: 84
Apologies for the late reply Mark. First heard the Tain when the band played the old Northern Counties Hotel (now Ramada)in November 1973. It was a show promoted by the New University of Ulster in Coleraine where memory has it they played the entire album - a full two hour show with a 20 minute break half way in. In the words of Coldwinter "WOW" I was blown away and the rest is history - from that night the band has been part of my life. Favourite track is difficult as there are so many contenders - Maeve's Court, Charolais, Dearg Doom, More Than You Can Chew. If pushed then it's More Than You Can Chew - a magic track in my view - not often aired live unfortunately. In the day when it was released as a single in the spring of 1974 in the UK(RCA) was there not some uproar about the lyric content which resulted in an airwave ban - not sure but believe it to be true.

Posted on: 28/06/13 15:17
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Re: The Táin: Memories & Favourites
The Power and the Glory!
Joined:
15/11/07 14:56
From New Zealand
Posts: 711
Heh, Keith, not sure about any ban, but perhaps they thought someone was boasting in the second verse about the size of the "mouthful" he'd given her. Or perhaps I just have a filthy mind.

Posted on: 29/06/13 9:03
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Re: The Táin: Memories & Favourites
The Power and the Glory!
Joined:
10/09/11 2:41
Posts: 1074
Funny that Donnacha I was thinking on similar lines but then again I have been told that I do have a filthy mind,but those were also more innoccent times(or so people would like to think)and it took very little to have a song banned from airplay.I also believe Maeve could be very randy,those were the days before church took over control of the country and brought in things like morals.

Posted on: 29/06/13 14:05
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Re: The Táin: Memories & Favourites
One-hundred heads are so much better than One...
Joined:
30/11/09 18:28
From Maldon
Posts: 80
My introduction to the Tain and Horslips came in 1973 when I was at school. A friend who visited Ireland regularly was always going on about this group in Ireland called Horslips who I had not heard of. He arrived at my house with a 7 inch single by Horslips called Dearg Doom, and I cant remember how many times it was played. He would not sell or swap it as it belonged to his sister.
I then found the album, with probably the best album cover ever (rivalled at the time only by Alice Cooper schools out fold out school desk) and better than the Rolling Stones novelty trousers with real zip cover. Dearg Doom, Faster than the hound and the amazing More than you can chew were my stand out tracks. It was and is a brilliant album, and is my joint favourite Horslips album along with BOI and Dancehall Sweethearts.

My school friend who sadly is no longer with us also used to rave about a band called The Indians who were a local Irish band he saw in Ireland (No I am not mixing them up with the Chieftains) I have never heard of them since and he never had any records by them . Has anyone heard of them around 1972/74 probably around the Co Monaghan area.

I can't believe that it is 40 years since this album was released. It was the best £2.20 that I ever spent.

Looking forward to the book and I am sure you will let us know how I can get a signed copy by post

Posted on: 03/07/13 3:18
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Re: The Táin: Memories & Favourites
The Power and the Glory!
Joined:
15/11/07 14:56
From New Zealand
Posts: 711
Kev, I remember the Indians. They were a fixture on the showband circuit, used to dress up like native Americans. I'm pretty sure they were still going well into the 80s.

In fact, they're still going today: http://www.the-indians.com/gallery.html

Posted on: 03/07/13 3:27
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Re: The Táin: Memories & Favourites
One-hundred heads are so much better than One...
Joined:
30/11/09 18:28
From Maldon
Posts: 80
Donnacha
thanks for that. I saw the link and then found the wigwam wiggle on youtube.
I am still laughing. Thank God that Horslips went down the Native Irish road rather than the Native Indian one, I saw the line up and imagined Devlin, O'Connor, Fean, Lockhart and Carr dressed up in those outfits.

Posted on: 03/07/13 3:40
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Re: The Táin: Memories & Favourites
One-hundred heads are so much better than One...
Joined:
30/11/09 18:28
From Maldon
Posts: 80
Donnacha
thanks for that. I saw the link and then found the wigwam wiggle on youtube.
I am still laughing. Thank God that Horslips went down the Native Irish road rather than the Native Indian one, I saw the line up and imagined Devlin, O'Connor, Fean, Lockhart and Carr dressed up in those outfits.

Posted on: 03/07/13 3:41
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