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Horse Stories

Dirty ThreeAudio CD
4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (15 customer reviews)

Price: $12.55 & FREE Shipping on orders over $35. Details
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Amazon Price New from Used from
MP3 Music, 9 Songs, 1996 $8.91  
Audio CD, 1996 $12.55  
Vinyl, 2008 $21.37  

Amazon's Dirty Three Store


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Image of Dirty Three


Melancholy instrumental trio Dirty Three formed in Melbourne, Australia in 1992, led by classically trained violinist Warren Ellis, who began writing and performing music for art openings and plays and also tenured in the groups Blackeyed Susans, Paranoid, and the Nursing Mothers. After enlisting Blackeyed Susans guitarist Mick Turner and drummer Jim White -- veterans of Melbourne bands ... Read more in Amazon's Dirty Three Store

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Horse Stories + Ocean Songs + Whatever You Love You Are
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Product Details

  • Audio CD (September 10, 1996)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Touch & Go Records
  • ASIN: B0000019LR
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (15 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #75,500 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

1. 1000 Miles
2. Sue's Last Ride
3. Hope
4. I Remember A Time When Once You Used To Love Me
5. At the Bar
6. Red
7. Warren's Lament
8. Horse
9. I Knew It Would Come To This

Editorial Reviews

Product Description

Though they're a small band--with only three members, that is--Australia's Dirty Three play music about big things. Are these songs really, as the title suggests, horse stories? (For that matter, was Ocean Songs really about the sea?) Well, the tunes don't gallop, or even canter. What they do is swirl and gouge and slope and crash, in part because guitarist Mick Turner has an impeccable sense of his instrument's mood-setting powers, in part because violinist Warren Ellis cuts through the air with long, thick-toned phrases, and in part because drummer Jim White holds the band together with sensitive, swishy percussion here and banging chaos there. This is proof positive of the jazz axiom that instruments can tell a story at least as well as language. And while this isn't equine stuff, generally, it's sure got the snort and the kick and the pull and the dogged strength of any four-legged wagon-pulling pal on earth. --Andrew Bartlett

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
19 of 20 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars My all-time favourite instrumental album December 6, 2001
Format:Audio CD
Only a lucky few will have heard of this Australian phenomenon so if your reading this, consider yourself blessed and don't delay in securing yourself a copy of this incredible album. The Dirty Three is a ground-breaking instrumental group consisting mostly of violin, guitar and drums. Their music is haunting, melancholy and brooding. 'Horse Stories' is their most intense album. The tracks typically start out slow and melancholy and build up into an intense frenzy of the wildest most emotional violin playing you ever heard. Nick Cave fans may be familiar with this band as Warren Ellis has plays with Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds and the Dirty Three have supported them on tour. All of their albums are brilliant and worth owning but if I had to pick my favorite, it would be Horse Stories.
(By the way, don't let the review below where thy are equated to the Grateful Dead put you off. As far as I'm concerned, that's complete nonsense, Dirty Three sound nothing like the Grateful Dead. I cannot stand the Greatful Dead but Dirty Three have become one of my favorite bands.)
And finally, if you ever get a chance to see them live, DON'T MISS IT! It's a truly unique experience.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Best October 10, 1999
By A Customer
Format:Audio CD
This album means more to me than I can probably express. For a long time I preferred it over Ocean Songs, but then I realized that the concept behind the albums are different; Horse Stories is oriented towards each song, while Ocean Songs is only able to be comprehended as an entire album. (To this day, I still don't remember the names of the songs in the middle...) In any case, Horse Stories is incredible... each song is poingant and touching... from Hope's message of pain and redemption, to Sue's Last Ride, a story about suicide. Listen, absorb.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars the power of dirty three March 31, 2003
Format:Audio CD
This is my first Dirty three recording and I am enchanted by the melodies Dirty three bring out. There is alot of communication between these three and they have a very gentle way of bring there music to a climatic state of bliss. I am a huge Mogwai fan and I am glad I found the Dirty three.I feel they have A greater understanding of the true spirit of music. If you like soft guitar melodies, tight drumming, and hypnotic violin playing this is for you.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Buy this one now. March 28, 2002
Format:Audio CD
It screeches, it whispers, it is a musically unique expression of the most well worn sentiments of the human heart and mind. It is not always pretty, sometimes majestic, spiritual without a drop of new age schlock. Pull up a chair and watch a lightening storm blow through, crank this up & have a night you won't forget. A power trio of sorts with violin, guitar and drums. Sounds unlikely, but... maybe Nirvana meets the Rev. Heat? I don't know, but I love it.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars THE post-rock album? May 6, 2006
Format:Audio CD|Verified Purchase

That was my first thought upon finally getting around to throwing Horse Stories (my first Dirty Three album) into my stereo. I had heard some good things about these guys, and they struck me as a must for Godspeed You! Black Emperor fans, but I wasn't prepared for something this stirring, this unique, this...staggeringly brilliant. I think I'd even have to go so far as to call this my favorite post-rock album at the moment, as it seems to boast all of the genre's strengths with none of its weaknesses. The work of Mogwai and Explosions in the Sky, while certainly quite pleasant, doesn't boast the dynamic range that this does, and Godspeed You! Black Emperor's output (with the exception of the Slow Riot For New Zero Kanada EP) has become a bit formulaic over the course of their career, generally feeling rather unfocused and meandering in comparison to the Dirty Three's dense wash of sound. The closet analog I can think of to the Dirty Three would actually have to be ex-fellow Touch and Go outfit Slint, partly in sound but more in terms of overall approach and songwriting ability--much as with Slint (especially their classic Spiderland), even at Horse Stories's quietest and most minimal moments there's always a sinister intensity lurking beneath the surface, and you can never be quite sure when it's going to explode.

Much as with Slint, everything here is a bit off-kilter--Warren Ellis's violin playing isn't exactly perfectly in tune; Mick Turner's guitar hardly ever plays any actual riffs, and Jim White's drumming doesn't keep too many straight beats--but that's all part of the album's messy, off-the-cuff charm. Unlike with many post-rock bands (and most bands period, come to think of it) the whole in this case is much more than the sum of its parts.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Incredible May 6, 1998
By A Customer
Format:Audio CD
Dirty Three pack more emotion into a single song than most albums do. This album is swings from delicate love songs to grinding, weeping, tragic stories of loss. And all without words....only violin, drum, and sparse guitar. This is one of the finest albums I've ever heard.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
Format:Audio CD
Few instrumental albums outside Miles Davis' electric period are as captivating and original from start to finish, and "Horse Stories" is the perfect snapshot of the Dirty Three in all their ragged glory. Lead electric violin player Warren Ellis alternately croons or cries with his violin, never uttering a word but taking you with guitarist Mick Turner and drummer Jim White, on faraway emotional journeys to heights of intensity rarely reached in instrumental music or any music of any sort these days. The sound is so full, cathartic and boundless that you need to stop reading this review and go hear this "classically" inspiring album. Excellent and liberating! They are also incredible live as I saw them steal the show from Sonic Youth and Pavement on different tours.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars Mystery debris for three
Raw, rugged beauty through the ears of a distorted but pure trio of guitar, drums, and violin. It is the obvious equality of the latter that gives the group such a memorably unique... Read more
Published on December 8, 2008 by IRate
To imply anything but an attenuated and meaningless connection b/w the Dead and the Dirty Three is to embody the very heights of pedantic stupidity. Read more
Published on July 16, 2007 by J. Billings
5.0 out of 5 stars Intoxicating...
I bought this CD a few weeks before seeing the band live for the first time in their home city and have since listened to it dozens of times. Read more
Published on October 22, 2006 by Timothy Chmielewski
5.0 out of 5 stars amazing
The Dirty Three do something with music that can only be described as magical. I am truly fortunate that an amazing DJ by the name of Kim Sorise in Louisville, KY turned me on to... Read more
Published on June 5, 2005 by Vincent E. Pinnick
5.0 out of 5 stars The lonely hunter
Like all of The Dirty Three's recordings I really didn't like this record on first playing. Then one day it made me noitce it. Read more
Published on November 29, 2002 by Michel Farmer
5.0 out of 5 stars Pure Emotion in Music
I recently purchased the Ufkuko EP and was astonished with the barren beauty of this music. I then listened to Horse Stories for two days and was compelled to write. Read more
Published on April 19, 2001
2.0 out of 5 stars Deadheads
Dirty Three are in essence the Grateful Dead, squashed down to a trio. The formula is the same: modal jamming on a simple riff, build to a climax, and let it die out. Read more
Published on October 7, 1999
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