Zero to 180 – Three Minute Magic

Discoveries of a Pop Music Archaeologist

“Loneliness”: Band’s Name Might Make You Laugh

I remember hearing this song in the late 1970s being played on rock radio in my mid-sized American city located somewhere in the Ohio Valley adjacent to Indiana and Kentucky (okay, Cincinnati, if you must know):


Horslips (1978)

LP musician credits

Bass & Vocals – Barry Devlin

Drums & Percussion – Eamon Carr

Guitar, Mandolin, Concertina, Fiddle & Vocals – Charles O’Connor

Guitar & Vocal – Johnny Fean

Keyboards, Whistle & Flute – Jim Lockhart

Recorded and mixed at Advision – Oct. 1978

Cover artUS


Cover artIreland

Horslips Records

Loneliness” is the kick-off track of this band’s 1978 album, The Man Who Built America – produced by Steve Katz of Blood, Sweet & Tears/Blues Project fame.  Around the time of release, I obtained a copy of the album and once played “Loneliness” for a friend.  My friend asked me the name of the band and then laughed when I told him:  Horslips.


Stay in School

Horslips on tour

According to Discogs

Horslips were the first “Celtic Rock” band in Ireland, releasing their first single in 1972.  They disbanded in 1980, with some of their members going on to high profile careers (Eamon Carr as a journalist, Barry Devlin as a screenwriter, and Jim Lockhart as a top Irish radio producer).  The original line-up has reformed in 2005.

By the way, 45Cat contributor, BEATLEJOHN, affirms that “Loneliness” (which also saw release as a 7-inch) got “considerable radio play in the States” despite not charting.  Cash Box‘s March 31, 1979 issue pegged “Loneliness” as a ‘Single to Watch‘ with these words:

“The first green vinyl shamrock-shaped record

Horslips have the ability to wed rock ‘n’ roll with the spirit and excitement of traditional Irish music.  This song from The Man Who Built America LP begins with an almost religious sounding organ intro and then blasts off into a rousing bit of progressive rock.  This is AOR rock at its finest and FM programmers should have a field day with it. 


Dick James Music

Loneliness - Horslips 45

Dick James – former Beatles publisher

Glad to see that the band is still active and will hopefully be touring your town sometime in the near future.

Ad in DC’s Unicorn Times

December 1979

Horslips - Unicorn Times

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