Rory Gallagher


Band members                              Related acts

  line up 1 (1971-72)

- Wilgar Campbell -- drums, percussion 
- Rory Gallagher (RIP 1995) -- vocals, guitar, mandolin, 

  harmonica, sax 
- Gerry McAvoy - bass 

 

  line up 2 (1972-78)
NEW - Rod De'Ath (RIP)  -- drums, percussion (replaced 

  Wilgar Campbell)
- Rory Gallagher (RIP 1995) -- vocals, guitar, mandolin, 

  harmonica, sax 

NEW - Lou Martin  (RIP 2012) -- keyboards, guitar
- Gerry McAvoy - bass 

 

  line up 3 (1978)

- Rory Gallagher (RIP 1995) -- vocals, guitar, mandolin, 

  harmonica, sax 

- Lou Martin (RIP 2012) -- keyboards, guitar
NEW - Ted McKenna - drums, percussion (replaced  Rod De'Ath) 
- Gerry McAvoy -- bass 

 

 

  line up 4 (1978-81)

- Rory Gallagher (RIP 1995) -- vocals, guitar, mandolin, 

  harmonica, sax 

- Ted McKenna -- drums, percussion 
- Gerry McAvoy -- bass 

 

  line up 4 (1981)

- Rory Gallagher (RIP 1995) -- vocals, guitar, mandolin, 

  harmonica, sax 

- Lou Martin -- keyboards, guitar
NEW - Brendan O'Neill -- drums, percussion (replaced Ted McKenna) 
- Gerry McAvoy -- bass 

 

  line up 5 (1992-94)

NEW - Mark Felham -- harmonica

- Rory Gallagher (RIP 1995) - vocals, guitar, mandolin, harmonica,

   sax

NEW - Jim Liverton -- replaced (Lou Martin)

NEW - Richard Newman -- drums, percussion (replaced Brendan O'Neill)

 

 

 

 


- Crayon Angels (Rod De'Ath and Lou Martin)

- Downliners Sect (Lou Martin)

- Killing Floor (Rod De'Ath and Lou Martin)

- Ramrod (Rod De'Ath)
- The Sensational Alex Harvey Band (Ted McKenna)
- Taste (Rory Gallagher)
- Tear Gas (Ted McKenna)


 

Genre: blues rock

Rating: *** (3 stars)

Title:  Rory Gallagher

Company: ATCO

Catalog: SD 33-368

Country/State: Ballyshannon, Ireland

Year: 1971

Grade (cover/record): VG/VG+

Comments: minor ring wear

Available: SOLD

catalog ID: SOLD 4697

Price: SOLD $10.00

 

A unique, if grossly under recognized figure in modern rock, the late Rory Gallagher spent the majority of his adult life touring (though seldom in major venues). Steadfast and uncompromisingly preaching the blues, over some twenty years he released a large catalog of material, establishing a sterling reputation within the business (The Rolling Stones were interested in recruiting him as a replacement for Mick Taylor) and as a longstanding critics' favorite. Ironically, prior to his death in 1995, Gallagher never came close to enjoying any true measure of commercial success.

 

I was lucky to see him twice.  The first time at an odd free show and several years later at a club.  Living in Brussels, Belgium one cold Winter night in 1976 or 1977  a friend by the name of Mark Funk and I were walking down a street in the city's shopping district when Mark noticed a large crowd gathered around someone playing blues tunes.  That wasn't anything special since Brussels was full of street performers.  Checking it out Mark discovered Gallagher was playing a free Christmas concert.  We rushed around the corner to get a couple of beers (Belgium = beer) and when the bartender wouldn't put our Stella Artois into plastic cups (he apparently didn't have any), I seem to remember we somehow convinced him to let us take these big glasses of beer out with us (I think I still have my glass).  I remember it was bone chillingly cold and thinking whoever this band was, they better be good 'cause my butt was cold.  At the time I didn't know who the world Gallagher was (Mark always had better musical tastes than I did), but decked out in his trademarked plaid shirt and backed by a crack band, the guy simply sizzled.  I remember him playing an  beat up old strat that looking like sh*t; not it hardly mattered since he somehow managed to coax an amazing array of effects out of that instrument.  What a show ...  thirty years onwards I still have fond memories of the cold evening.  Wonder if I got any of the details right.  Wherever he is, Mark probably remembers it better than I do.  (Geez, I hope it was Gallagher and not some lame-butt pop band.)

An accomplished performer by the time he was eight, Gallagher was playing professionally by age 15. Certain that his future lay in music, at eighteen he joined the Fontana Showband with whom he spent three years performing on the Irish dinner party circuit. Frustrated by the Showband's conservative repertoire and his inability to play the blues, Gallagher and fellow Showband members Eric Kittringham and Norman Damery tendered their notices in 1965. As Taste (see separate entry), they spent the next six years touring non-stop; attracting rave reviews, but meeting with marginal commercial and financial success. Frustrated by their continuing lack of success, the trio broke up in early 1971, leaving Gallagher to strike out on his own.

 

Signed by Polydor (ATCO acquiring US distribution rights), 1971's cleverly-titled "Rory Gallagher" set the standard for what was to come.  Featuring ten Gallagher originals (Gallagher also handled production chores), anyone familiar with Taste will be comfortable with this album.  Like the former band, the predominant influence here is the Delta blues, though on material like 'I Fall Apart' and 'I'm Not Surprised' Gallagher showcased a surprisingly likeable voice.  While minor, my only real complaint with the debut stemmed from the fact save 'Heads Up' and 'Sinner Boy' (spotlighting his stinging slide playing) Gallagher's dazzling strat was under-represented throughout the set.  Personal favorite; the catchy closer 'Can't Believe It's True'.  Not my favorite Gallagher solo effort, but a consistent and enjoyable debut.

 

"Rory Gallagher" track listing:

(side 1)

1.) Laundromat  (Rory Gallagher) - 4:38

2.) Just the Smile  (Rory Gallagher) - 3:40

3.) I Fall Apart  (Rory Gallagher) - 5:10

4.) Wave Myself Goodbye  (Rory Gallagher) - 3:27

5.) Hands Up  (Rory Gallagher) - 5:24

 

(side 2)

1.) Sinner Boy  (Rory Gallagher) - 5:30

2.) For the Last Time  (Rory Gallagher) - 6:34

3.) It's You  (Rory Gallagher) - 2:38

4.) I'm Not Surprised  (Rory Gallagher) - 3:35

5.) Can't Believe It's True  (Rory Gallagher) - 2:15

 

 

 


Genre: blues rock

Rating: **** (4 stars)

Title:  Deuce

Company: Polydor

Catalog: 2383 076

Year: 1972

Country/State: Ballyshannon, Ireland

Grade (cover/record): VG/VG+

Comments: UK pressing; minor edge and corner wear

Available: 2

Catalog ID: 5542

Price: $20.00

 

Also available:

US pressing ATCO SD 7004

$20.00

 

 

1972 saw Rory Gallagher and company return with the self-produced "Deuce" (I've always been surprised that a major label would let such a young and unproven act produce himself).  Anyone expecting to hear a drastically different sound was probably disappointed by the collection since material like the opener 'Used To Be', 'Should've Learnt My Lesson', 'In Your Town' and 'Whole Lot of People' (the second half solo alone was worth the price admission),  marked a continuation of Gallagher's Taste-styled blues-rock.  That said, there were a couple of startling exceptions. The acoustic flamenco-influenced rocker 'I'm Not Awake Yet' stood as one of the prettiest melodies and most commercial things Gallagher ever recorded, while 'There's a Light' and 'Maybe I Will' (the latter sporting a nifty jazzy solo), would have made wonderful FM hits. As always, Gallagher's guitar proved the star. Of the ten tracks, the only one that struck me as forgettable was the straightforward country-blues number 'Don't Know Where I'm Going'.  Not bad, just dull.  Forget fancy effects, Gallagher simply didn't need 'em. Possibly the best slide player around (check out the solo on 'Crest of a Wave'), the man had chops to spare.  Equally surprising, while not the most gifted singer you'd ever heard, Gallagher knew how to make the most of his talents.  A top-40 hit in England, the LP did little in the States. For what it's worth, while there were no bells or whistles on this collection, that stripped down sound may be one of the reasons it's one of my favorite Gallagher releases.

 

And thanks to YouTube you can see a couple of these songs in live performances:

 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cYp2VOAR-rQ

1972 date in Limerick, Ireland - 'Don't Know Where I'm Going'

 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=75aJIDqTYsQ

'In Your Town'

 


"Deuce" track listing:
(side 1)

1.) Used To Be   (Rory Gallagher) - 5:06
2.) I'm Not Awake Yet   (Rory Gallagher) - 5:38
3.) Don't Know Where I'm Going   (Rory Gallagher) - 2:45
4.) Maybe I Will   (Rory Gallagher) - 4:13
5.) Whole Lot of People   (Rory Gallagher) - 4:54

(side 2)

1.) In Your Town   (Rory Gallagher) - 5:43
2.) Should've Learnt My Lesson   (Rory Gallagher) - 3:34
3.) There's a Light   (Rory Gallagher) - 5:59
4.) Out of My Mind   (Rory Gallagher) - 3:00
5.) Crest of a Wave   (Rory Gallagher) - 5:52

 

 



Genre: blues rock

Rating: **** (4 stars)

Title:  Rory Gallagher Live! In Europe

Company: Polydor

Catalog: PD

Year: 1972

Country/State: Ballyshannon, Ireland

Grade (cover/record): VG/VG

Comments: some noticeable crackling on a couple of tracks; minor ring, edge and corner wear

Available: 1

Catalog ID: not listed yet

Price: $10.00

 

 

With Polydor assuming American distribution duties, 1972's "Rory Gallagher Live! In Europe" marked the artist's third release in twelve months. Recorded before enthusiastic crowds at various early 1972 European dates, the self-produced collection offered up a mixture of blues covers and bluesy originals. Simply said, the album captured Gallagher, Campbell and McAvoy in prime form. Pure blues; extended rave-ups such as "Messin' with the Kid", Gallagher's own blazing "Laundromat" and the stark and haunting harmonica and slide-guitar driven "I Could've Had Religion" weren't exactly fancy, but more than compensated for the raw sound with their driving enthusiasm. Electric blues simply didn't get much better than the nearly ten minutes of "In Your Town", or the mandolin-powered "Going To My Home Town". Peaking at #101, the album also provided Gallagher with his first taste of American commercial success.  In Europe the collection earned  platinum sales and Melody Maker's "Musician of the Year" Award.  Shortly after the album's release, the line up underwent it's first major change; drummer Campbell replaced by Rod De'Ath. Gallagher also expanded the line-up with the addition of keyboard player Lou Martin.

"Rory Gallagher Live! In Europe!" track listing:
(side 1)

1.) Messing with the Kid (Wells) - 6:24
2.) Laundromat (Rory Gallagher) - 5:08
3.) I Could've Had Religion (traditional - arranged by Rory Gallagher) - 8:28
4.) Pistol Slapper Blues (Blindboy Fuller) - 3:00

(side 2)

1.) Going To My Home Town (Rory Gallagher) - 6:13
2.) In Your Town (Rory Gallagher) - 9:48
3.) Bullfrog Blues (traditional arranged by Rory Gallagher) - 6:46

 

 



Genre: blues rock

Rating: *** (3 stars)

Title:  Blueprint

Company: Polydor

Catalog: PD-5522

Year: 1972

Country/State: Ballyshannon, Ireland

Grade (cover/record): VG+/VG+

Comments: --

Available: 1

Catalog ID: not listed yet

Price: $20.00

 

To be honest, it took a bit of effort to warm up to 1972's "Blueprint".  That's kinda' curious since musically the set's not a major departure from Gallagher's earlier releases.  Starting out with the blazing "Walk On Hot Coals" (one of his toughest rockers), the collection found Gallagher and company opting for a slightly more rock-oriented sound.  In case longtime fans were concerned, there was still plenty of blues ("Banker's Blues"  erroneously credited as a Gallagher -penned effort, "Unmilitary Two-Step" and the breath taking "The Seventh Son of a Seventh Son").  By the way, until we heard "Hands Off" we didn't know Gallagher played the sax.  To our ears it's a solid, if slightly under whelming release.

 

"Blueprint" track listing"

(side 1)

1.) Walk On Hot Coals (Rory Gallagher) - 

2.) Daughters of the Everglades (Rory Gallagher) - 

3.) Banker's Blues (Rory Gallagher - Broonzy) - 

4.) Hands Off (Rory Gallagher) - 

 

(side 2)

1.) Race the Breeze (Rory Gallagher) - 

2.) The Seventh Son of a Seventh Son (Rory Gallagher) - 

3.) Unmilitary Two-Step (Rory Gallagher) - 

4.) If I Had a Reason (Rory Gallagher) - 


Genre: blues rock

Rating: **** (4 stars)

Title:  Tattoo

Company: Polydor

Catalog: PD-5539

Year: 1973

Country/State: Ballyshannon, Ireland

Grade (cover/record): VG+/VG+

Comments: original textured cover

Available: 2

Catalog ID: 5626

Price: $20.00

 

 

While you couldn't call it a major change in musical direction, 1973's "Tattoo" benefited from an expanded line up in the form of ex-Killing Floor drummer Rod De'Ath and keyboardist Lou Martin.  Now expanded to a quartet (rounded out by bassist Gerry McAvoy), the added manpower provided Rory Gallagher with a fuller rock-oriented sound that was surprisingly impressive.  With Gallagher again handling production duties the band sounded enthusiastic and full of confidence simply blowing their way through the all original collection.  Gallagher's allegiance clearly remained with the blues, but that didn't stop him from taking full advantage of the new rock edge on material like 'Tattoo'd Lady', the blazing 'Cradle Rock' (be sure to check out his screeching staccato solo on the latter), and 'Livin' Like a Trucker'.  Always somewhat of a reluctant vocalist this time out Gallagher seemed to have lost much of that former shyness.  Anyone doubting that man's vocal chops needed only check out the acoustic blues number '20:20 Vision', or the unexpectedly jazzy 'They Don't Make Them Like You Anymore'.  Personal favorites this time out were the chugging 'Sleep On a Clothes Line' and the blazing 'Who's That Coming' - the latter showcasing Gallagher's amazing slide guitar prowess.  All told it made for one of his most consistent and satisfying releases.  Given Gallagher's expansive recording catalog this would certainly be one of the places to start if you were merely curious, or simply a casual fan.

"Tattoo" track listing:
(side 1)

1.) Tattoo'd Lady   (Rory Gallagher) - 4:40
2.) Cradle Rock   (Rory Gallagher) - 6:15
3.) 20:20 Vision   (Rory Gallagher) - 3:58
4.) They Don't Make Them Like You Anymore   (Rory Gallagher) - 4:04
5.) Livin' Like a Trucker   (Rory Gallagher) - 4:20

(side 2)

1.) Sleep On a Clothes Line   (Rory Gallagher) - 5:18
2.) Who's That Coming   (Rory Gallagher) - 7:12
3.) A Million Miles Away   (Rory Gallagher) - 6:54
4.) Admit It   (Rory Gallagher) - 4:20

 

 

YouTube has a bunch of great live performances of material from the LP:

 

"Tattoo'd Lady" drawn from a 1975 "Live At Montreaux" performance:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uezV4zn8tvI

 

'Cradle Rock' also from the Montreaux set:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-k4iocWURPk

 

1974 television performance of 'They Don't Make Them Like You Anymore':

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=T0f6QUXYJWM

 

'Who's That Coming' pulled from a performance during his 1974 Irish Tour:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hq0ENt1sHP8

 

'A Million Miles Away' from an October 1994 performance at the Interceltic Festival Lorient:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fO6DtPDwc1c

 

 

 


Genre: blues rock

Rating: **** (4 stars)

Title:  Irish Tour '74

Company: Polydor

Catalog: PD2-9501

Year: 1974

Country/State: Ballyshannon, Ireland

Grade (cover/record): VG+/VG+

Comments: double album set; minor ring and edge wear

Available: 1

Catalog ID: not listed yet

Price: $20.00

 

 

"Irish Tour '74" was a double album live offering. Self-produced, the collection found Gallagher and expanded band tearing their way through a first-rate mixture of acoustic and electric blues-rock. While live takes on tracks such as "Cradle Rock", "Tattoo'd Lady", and "Too Much Alcohol" were suitably enthusiastic, they didn't add much to the original studio versions. Still, spurred on by partisan Irish audiences (the set recorded at various dates in Belfast, Cork, and Dublin), the band came off in prime form, serving as an excellent introduction to Gallagher's stinging guitar style ("Wonder Who's (Gonna Be Your Sweet Man)"). Once again, Martin's keyboards continued to fill out the group's otherwise thin sound. Elsewhere "Back On My (Stompin' Ground)" and "Just a Little Bit" were less impressive, amounting to little more than extended jam sessions. Supported by strong reviews, the set proved a surprisingly strong seller, hitting #110. Originally released with a gatefold sleeve, Polydor deserved an award for the lavish cover ... Sadly the set was quickly dropped and is now extremely difficult to find. 

"Irish Tour '74" track listing:
1.) Cradle Rock (Rory Gallagher) - 
2.) I Wonder Who
3.) Tattoo'd Lady (Rory Gallagher) - 
4.) Too Much Alcohol
5.) As the Crow Flies
6.) A Million Miles Away (Rory Gallagher) - 
7.) Walk On Hot Coals
8.) Who's that Comin (Rory Gallagher) - 
9.) Stompin Ground
10.) Just a Little Bit

 

 

 


Genre: blues rock

Rating: **** (4 stars)

Title:  Calling Card

Company: Chrysalis

Catalog: CHR 1124

Year: 1974

Country/State: Ballyshannon, Ireland

Grade (cover/record): VG+/VG+

Comments: --

Available: 2

Catalog ID: 1812

Price: $15.00

 

Rory Gallagher's second album for Chrysalis and you got the feeling the label was beginning to bring pressure of the man to add a certain degree of commercialism to his sound.   

 

Released in 1976, "Calling Card" was co-produced by Deep Purple's Roger Glover and Gallagher; marking the only time Gallagher came close to working with a mainstream producer.  The pair had met when Gallagher opened for Deep Purple on some  American  tour dates.  Against that backdrop, the result was one of Gallagher's most diversified, yet engaging albums.   The voice and blazing guitar remained instantly recognizable, but exemplified by 'Moonchild' and 'Secret Agent', Glover seemingly managed to push Gallagher to at least play with a more rock oriented sound.  'I'll Admit You're Gone' was a lovely acoustic ballad - one of the prettiest things he'd ever writtenElsewhere, 'Jackknife Beat ' was  one of the album highlights, showing Gallagher's ability to blend multiple genres into a sum-is-more-than-the parts masterpiece.   Not to make it sound like this was a sellout collection, as blues remained Gallagher's prime forte - 'Do You Read Me', 'Country Mile', and the title track.   I can see where some of Gallagher's hardcore blues fans may have been put off, but song-for-song this was his most accessible and enjoyable collection and serves as a great place for a casual fan, or a curious newbie to start checking out Gallagher's catalog,

"Calling Card" track listing:
(side 1)

1.) Do You Read Me   (Rory Gallagher) - 5:20

Anyone who thought Gallagher was simply too hardcore bluesy will want to check out the leadoff 'Do You Read Me'.   Yeah, it was bluesy, but in a highly commercial, almost hard-rock fashion.  Sure,  Lou martin's synthesizer touches sounded a bit dated, but this tune simply rocked like there was no tomorrow.   Chrysalis should have tapped it as a single.  YouTube has a number of live performances of the song.  Probably the best of the lot is this 1979 version from the BBC program "Rock Goes To College": https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8ClvqM6dj7M     rating: **** stars

2.) Country Mile   (Rory Gallagher) - 3:18

Not nearly as commercial as the opener, but a bruising performance that showcased his killer slide work and the song's enthusiasm was winning.  Once again, YouTube has a wealth of live Gallagher material, including several versions of 'Country Mile'.   Here's a link to a 1976 live performance for the German RockPalast television show: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=52yQ7OFDSYQ  rating: **** stars

3.) Moonchild   (Rory Gallagher) - 4:48

As mentioned, the album was co--produced by Deep Purple's Roger Glover.  While Glover's impact was limited, the blazing rocker was one of the exceptions.   Close your eyes and it wasn't hard to imagine this one being in the Deep Purple's mid-'70s performance list.  Yeah, blues purists were probably appalled by the tune's blatant commercialism, but I've got to tell you I loved it.   here's s a toughened-up, live version of the tune: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gyHymAxUVrc   The song was actually tapped as a single for the Dutch and German markets:

 rating: **** stars

4.) Calling Card   (Rory Gallagher) - 5:24

The bouncy title track was blues for folks who didn't really like the blues.  Nice example of Gallagher's ability to meld blues and jazzy moves.  Always liked Gerry McAvoy's bass pattern on this one.  Here's a live performance from a 1976 performance on the German Rockpalast show:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ctm7bdg-eqY     rating: **** stars

5.) I'll Admit You're Gone   (Rory Gallagher) - 4:25

Beautiful acoustic ballad with some stunning dobro working.   rating: **** stars
 

(side 2)

1.) Secret Agent   (Rory Gallagher) - 5:45

Another stab into rock territory.   Killer tune that again reminds me a bit of mid-'70s ear Deep Purple.   Wonder what Purple would have sounded like had they recruited Gallagher, rather than Tommy Bolan.  Another Rockpalast performance that's worth checking out just to see and hear some of his blazing slide moves:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xomS2NqHmME    ...   rating: **** stars

2.) Jackknife Beat   (Rory Gallagher) - 7:04

And then you get to 'Jackknife Beat'.   Showcasing a melody that was equally funky (there was almost a disco feel to the opening), slinky, jazzy, and bluesy, the tune showcased Gallagher's mesmerizing slide work and bassist Gerry McAvoy's wonderful moves.   Another album highlight and one of those songs you wish was even longer.  Speaking of which, there's an extended Rockpalast performance on YouTube at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R8oW0ZFaQxc    rating; **** stars

3.) Edged In Blue   (Rory Gallagher) - 5:31

Another stunningly pretty tune that displayed that special tone that seemingly only Gallagher could get out of a Strat.   Chrysalis executives apparently wanted to release the tune as a single, only to have Gallagher refuse.  rating; **** stars

4.) Barley and Grape Rag   (Rory Gallagher) - 3:39

Raw country blues ...  I'm just not a fan of the genre so this one doesn't do much for me.   rating: ** stars

 

 

After a supporting tour Gallagher fired drummer Rod de'Ath and keyboardist Lou Marti.

 

 

 

 


Genre: blues rock

Rating: *** (3 stars)

Title:  In the Beginning An Early Taste of Rory Gallagher

Company: Emerald Gem

Catalog: GES 110

Year: 1974

Country/State: Ballyshannon, Ireland

Grade (cover/record): VG/VG+

Comments: minor ring wear; UK pressing

Available: SOLD

Catalog ID: SOLD 5614

Price: SOLD $20.00

 

1974's "In the Beginning An Early Taste of Rory Gallagher" was released by the small English Emerald Gem label just as Gallagher was beginning to attract critical praise and recognition. Compiled and produced by Mervyn Soloman, the set was credited as a Gallagher solo effort, but actually captured the guitarist's initial studio recording sessions as a member of Taste (see separate entry). Recorded in mid-1967, Gallagher-penned originals such as 'Wee Wee Baby', 'How Many More Years' and 'Take It Easy Baby' were somewhat raw and under-produced, but served as a surprisingly effective vehicle for Gallagher's tasty guitar and bluesy voice (image Clapton after a weekend of solid smoking and drinking). This was straightforward, unadorned blues-rock, but if you were into the genre well worth looking for ...  The man could sure play guitar !!!  Well worth looking for ...  The US Springboard subsequently repackaged and released the set in the States as "Take It Easy".

"In the Beginning An Early Taste of Rory Gallagher" track listing:
(side 1)

1.) Wee Wee Baby   (Rory Gallagher) - 2:45
2.) How Many More Years   (Rory Gallagher) - 3:24
3.) Take It Easy Baby   (Rory Gallagher) - 7:08
4.) You've Got To Pay   (Rory Gallagher) - 3:55

(side 2)

1.) Worried Man   (Rory Gallagher) - 2:30
2.) Norman Invasion   (Rory Gallagher) - 3:01
3.) Pardon Me Mister   (Rory Gallagher) - 2:44


Genre: blues rock

Rating: *** (3 stars)

Title:  Take It Easy Baby

Company: Springboard

Catalog: SPB-4056

Year: 1974

Country/State: Ireland

Grade (cover/record): VG+/VG+

Comments: minor ring wear; US pressing

Available: 2

Catalog ID: 5613

Price: $15.00

 

The New Jersey Springboard label was renown for releasing quickie sets that capitalized on early career and miscellaneous materials from big name acts.  "Take It Easy Baby" was nearly identical to the 1974 Irish compilation "In the Beginning An Early Taste of Rory Gallagher."  The only differences I could spot came in the form of a new cover and the seven tracks were slightly re-sequenced.  In typical fashion the Springboard set included virtually no liner notes or performance credits.  From the original Irish release I can tell you the set was compiled and produced by Mervyn Soloman.  Credited as a Gallagher solo effort, the seven tracks actually captured the Gallagher's initial studio recording sessions as a member of Taste (see separate entry).  Recorded in mid-1967 when Taste was coming to fruition, Gallagher-penned originals such as 'Wee Wee Baby', 'How Many More Years' and the title track' were somewhat raw and under-produced, but served as a surprisingly effective vehicle for Gallagher's tasty guitar and bluesy voice (image Clapton after a weekend of solid smoking and drinking). This was straightforward, unadorned blues-rock, but if you were into the genre well worth looking for ...  The man could sure play guitar !!!

 

For whatever reason Springboard subsequently reissued the collection with the correct Rory Gallagher and Taste credits:

 

 

"Take It Easy Baby" track listing:
(side 1)

1.) Wee Wee Baby   (Rory Gallagher) - 2:45

1.) Worried Man   (Rory Gallagher) - 2:30

2.) Norman Invasion   (Rory Gallagher) - 3:01
2.) How Many More Years   (Rory Gallagher) - 3:24

(side 2)

3.) Take It Easy Baby   (Rory Gallagher) - 7:08

3.) Pardon Me Mister   (Rory Gallagher) - 2:44
4.) You've Got To Pay   (Rory Gallagher) - 3:55

 

 


Genre: blues rock

Rating: **** (4 stars)

Title:  Rory Gallagher Live

Company: Polydor

Catalog: 2384-079

Year: 1977

Country/State: Ballyshannon, Ireland

Grade (cover/record): VG+/VG+

Comments: UK pressing

Available: 1

Catalog ID: 6224

Price: $15.00

 

From a marketing standpoint "Rory Gallagher Live" was kind of an odd release given it simply served to repackage previously released material.  In this case the seven live tracks were cherry picked  from 1972's "Live! In Europe" (three songs) and 1974's "Irish Tour 74" (four songs).   True fans already owned both of those albums so this release had limited utility for them.  If you were a casual fan the album provided a concise overview of Gallagher's live charms, but you were still better off with either of those other concert sets.   Still, pretty much any Gallagher album was worth owning and this one focused on Gallagher's up-tempo rock catalog -  always a good thing.  The other thing that makes Gallagher's live output so good stems from the fact these performances captured the man's essence.  Most acts struggle to replicate their studio sounds in a live setting.  Not the case for Gallagher who actually had the opposite problem; trying to capture his live energy in a studio environment.

 


"Rory Gallagher Live" track listing:

(side 1)
1.) Cradle Rock   (Rory Gallagher) - 

Pulled from the "Irish Tour 74" album, 'Used To Be' kicked the album off in blazing fashion.  Gallagher and company at their roughest, this one showcased everything that made Gallagher so good - a rough hewn voice just made for rock and that instantly recognizable Strat sound - who else can scat sing on a stratocaste ....  Clearly a final candidate for rock's best guitarist ...   rating: **** stars

2.) Tattooed Ladty  (Rory Gallagher) - 

"Tattooed Lady" captured Gallagher at his most commercial.  Hard to believe this one wasn't a massive radio hit for the man.   rating: **** stars

3.) Pistol Slapper Blues  (Blindboy Fuller) - 

Admittedly, I've never been a fan of Gallagher's hardcore country-blues catalog so his cover of Blindboy Fuller's 'Pistol Slapper Blues' wasn't a highlight for me.  I actually can remember seeing him perform this one - just Gallagher and acoustic guitar ...    rating: ** stars

4.) I Walk On Hot Coals   (Rory Gallagher) - 

As Gallagher himself said "we're going to get the tempo back up" and that's exactly what 'I Walk On Hot Coals Does'.  Another blistering rocker, this one's always impressed me in that it allowed keyboardist Lou Martin a rare opportunity to actually share a bit of the spotlight with Gallagher.  This one includes one of Gallagher's all time best solos ...   rating: **** stars

 

(side 2)
1.) In Your Town   (Rory Gallagher) - 

Gallagher's best 'revenge' song ...  Any crusty blues man worth his salt proud would have been proud to perform 'In Your Town'.    rating: **** stars

2.) Who's That Coming?   (Rory Gallagher) - 

Overlooking the fact it was one of the highlights in Gallagher's live repertoire, 'Who's That Coming?'  was worth the admission price just to hear the opening slide guitar segment.     rating: **** stars

3.) Messing with the Kid   (Wells) - Though 'Messing with the Kid; slowed things down a bit, the spotlight clearly remained on Gallagher's amazing chops.  One of the best performances in terms of displaying the full range of his arsenal.     rating: **** stars

 

Again, not the perfect Gallagher concert documentary - get the double LP "Irish Tour 74" if you're only going to invest in one release, but this serves as kind of a nice abbreviated 'best of' effort.


 

 

 

 

 


Genre: blues rock

Rating: *** (3 stars)

Title:  Sinner ... and Saint

Company: Polydor

Catalog: PD-6510

Year: 1975

Country/State: Ballyshannon, Ireland

Grade (cover/record): VG/VG

Comments: minor ring and edge wear

Available: 1

Catalog ID: 2600

Price: $10.00

 

While there's no such thing as a needless Gallagher album, "Sinner ... and Saint" came close - not that the music was bad, rather fans already owned it. With Gallagher having already signed a deal with Chrysalis Records, former label Polydor acquired rights to Gallagher's two ATCO efforts, pulling together ten tracks from his first two ATCO releases (five selections from both 1971's "Rory Gallagher" and 1972's "Deuce"). At it's most charitable the effort could be seen as a rather transparent attempt to squeeze a couple of additional dollars out of Gallagher's fan base ...  On the other hand, if you couldn't find, or afford  the original albums (they are beginning to get expensive), this wasn't a bad way of seeing what you'd missed. Given it was released to compete with Gallagher's Chrysalis debut, the collection sold well, peaking at #158.

"Sinner ... and Saint" track listing:

(side 1)
1.) Used To Be (Rory Gallagher) - 5:06
2.) Sinner Boy (Rory Gallagher) - 5:30
3.) For The Last Time (Rory Gallagher) - 6:34
4.) Hands Up (Rory Gallagher) - 5:24
5.) Just the Smile (Rory Gallagher) - 3:40

 

(side 2)
1.) Crest Of A Wave (Rory Gallagher) - 5:22
2.) I'm Not Awake Yet (Rory Gallagher) - 5:38
3.) There's A Light (Rory Gallagher) - 5:59
4.) I Fall Apart (Rory Gallagher) - 5:10
5.) Don't Know Where I'm Going (Rory Gallagher) - 2:45


Genre: blues rock

Rating: *** (3 stars)

Title:  Between Belfast and Dublin

Company: Pickwick

Catalog: U/80055

Year: 1975

Country/State: Ballyshannon, Ireland

Grade (cover/record): VG/VG+

Comments: UK pressing

Available: 1

Catalog ID: 5153

Price: $15.00

 

 

Released by the cheapo Pickwick reissue label, this is a weird one in that it doesn't appear on any of the Rory Gallagher discographies I've seen - not even the one maintained by Gallagher's brother.  It's also strange in that the liner notes read like they were translated by someone with extremely limited English proficiency ... "Further Rory Gallagher can say of himself that he as a musician who always performs in battered jeans and with equally battered guitars, in spite of it became a great Rock-Star with an individual image."

 

The title was certainly misleading in giving you an impression this was a live set (perhaps related to the "Irish Tour 74" collection).  Instead "Between Belfast and Dublin" served as a weird compilation pulling together an odd mixture of early and mid-career Gallagher studio tracks.  (As far as I can tell, most of the ten tracks seem to have come from 1972's "Deuce" and 1975's "Sinner .. Saint".)  Mind you there was nothing wrong with the ten tracks and hearing Gallagher's killer guitar and overlooked voice on material like 'Used To Be', 'For the Last Time' and 'Just the Smile' was certainly a treat.  So ... while it isn't an essential Gallagher album, any self- proclaimed Gallagher fan will want to have it in their collection (and the liner notes are a gas). 

 

"Between Belfast and Dublin" track listing:
(side 1)

1.) Used To Be   (Rory Gallagher) - 5:02
2.) Sinner Boy   (Rory Gallagher) - 4:02
3.) For the Last Time   (Rory Gallagher) - 6:29
4.) Hands Up  (Rory Gallagher) - 5:20
5.) Just the Smile   (Rory Gallagher) - 3:35

(side 2)

1.) Crest of a Wave    (Rory Gallagher)- 5:29

2.) I'm Not Awake Yet   (Rory Gallagher) - 5:27

3.) There's a Light   (Rory Gallagher) - 5:52

4.) I Fall Apart   (Rory Gallagher) - 5:08

5.) Don't Know Where I'm Going   (Rory Gallagher) - 2:43

 

 


Genre: blues rock

Rating: *** (3 stars)

Title:  The Story So Far

Company: Polydor

Catalog: PD-6519

Year: 1975

Country/State: Ballyshannon, Ireland

Grade (cover/record): NM/NM

Comments: still sealed

Available: 2

Catalog ID: not listed yet

Price: $10.00

 

Having already released one retrospective ("Sinner... and Saint"), in the wake of Gallagher's defection to Chrysalis, Polydor management sought to recoup some of it's investment with the release of 1976's "The Story So Far". Pulling a representative cross section of his catalog, the eight tracks represented material drawn from five of his six American Polydor albums ("Bullfrog Blues" was pulled from the European-only "Live In Europe" set). Musically the results provided an adequate, if limited retrospective. While one could argue over the track line up, for casual fans and the curious, it was one of the sets to buy ... (Nice to see Polydor spending so much on the classy cover art.) 

"The Story So Far" track listing:
(side 1)

1.) Laundromat (Rory Gallagher) - 
2.) Cradle Rock (Rory Gallagher) - 
3.) Walk On Hot Coals (Rory Gallagher) - 
4.) Who's That Coming (Rory Gallagher) - 

(side 2)

1.) In Your Town (Rory Gallagher) - 
2.) Hands Off (Rory Gallagher) - 
3.) Too Much Alcohol (Rory Gallagher) - 
4.) Bullfrog Blues (live) (traditional arranged by Rory Gallagher) - 


Genre: blues rock

Rating: **** (4 stars)

Title:  Against the Grain

Company: Chrysalis

Catalog: CHR 1098

Year: 1975

Country/State: Ballyshannon, Ireland

Grade (cover/record): VG+/VG+

Comments: --

Available: 1

Catalog ID: 1407

Price: $20.00

 

 

At least to my ears 1975's self-produced and aptly-titled "Against the Grain" was a major surprise.   For a guy who had always prided himself on his non-commerciality (I'm guessing that was the inspiration for the title), the album came off as quite slick and well produced.  That's not to imply this was Gallagher's sell-out album.   Remember we're talking about Rory Gallagher so anyone picturing faceless AOR material was simply way off target.   Still, unlike earlier releases, this time out Gallagher largely steered away from tradition blues, instead focusing on a more blues-rock oriented sound.  His blues roots were still clearly there, but the album sounded like Gallagher and company had put considerable time and effort into capturing their accumulated strengths.  With three years of steady touring under their collective belts, Gallagher, keyboardist Lou Martin , drummer Ted McKenna, and bassist  Gerry McAvoy were one of the tightest bands on the road.   Lots of highlights on this one including virtually the entire first side, the melodic 'Lost At Sea', and my favorite number - 'At the Bottom'.   

 

"Against the Grain" track listing:

(side 1)

1.) Let Me In   (Rory Gallagher) - 4:03   rating: **** stars

Anyone who knew Gallagher has a hardcore blues artist was probably going to be surprised by the boogie-styled 'Let Me Go'.   Maybe not quite top-40 material, but surprisingly commercial and accessible.   YouTube has a clip of Gallagher performing the tune for a 1975 episode of Don Kirshner's Rock Concert.   It's worth watching just to see a somewhat stiff Kirshner reading the introduction off of cue cards.   You had to wonder if Kirshner had a clue as to who Gallagher was:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y2a9w3NPBj4    

2.) Cross Me Off Your List   (Rory Gallagher) - 4:26   rating: **** stars

If 'Let Me In' was a surprise, 'Cross Me Off Your List' was a major shocker.  Opening up with almost a jazzy feel, the tune soon morphed into a rocking platform for Gallagher's overlooked voice (he seldom sounded as good) and his incredibly nimble fretwork.  Kudos to drummer Rod De'Ath on this one.  

3.) Ain't Too Good   (Rory Gallagher) - 3:54    rating: **** stars

Simply one of the prettiest tunes Gallagher ever wrote and in the right hands it could have provided him with radio airplay.   YouTube has a clip of the band doing the song from a 1975 concert performance featured on Don Kirshner's Rock Concert.  The video quality is a bit shaky, as is the performance itself:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9Rlc6CtnUOg  

4.) Souped Up Ford   (Rory Gallagher) - 6:24   rating: **** stars

Guitar, guitar, guitar ...if you had to pick one Gallagher tune for a mix tape, this would be a good choice.  It's also a great tune to see what your speakers are really made of.  Can they handle Gallagher's awe-inspiring slide guitar?  Many will fail the test.  Makes you wish you could play slide guitar.    It became a staple in his live show and YouTube has a couple of concert performances.  The best of them is this 1977 clip from a German television RockPalast show: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fUYC5Q-bqgY   

5.) Bought and Sold   (Rory Gallagher) - 3:24   rating: **** stars

Ironic give it may have been inspired by his frustration with the music industry, the rollicking 'Bought and Sold' was one of the most tuneful things he ever recorded and another track that had distinct commercial possibilities.  Another stunning 1977 RockPalast performance:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ELHxrxXmRoY    

 

(side 2)

1.) I Take What I Want   (David Porter - Isaac Hayes - Teenie Hodges) - 4:22    rating: *** stars

Nice cover of the Sam and Dave Stax classic, though you won't forget the original  ... The live 1977 RockPalast clip is even better than the studio version.   Probably should be mandatory viewing for anyone interested in performing blues-rock:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PNe75UXomNo  

2.) Lost at Sea   (Rory Gallagher) - 4:06   rating: **** stars

Another atypical tune that blended a wonderful melody with some of Gallagher's patented stratocaster moves.     

3.) All Around Man   (Bo Carter) - 6:14   rating: *** stars

Reflecting Gallagher's longstanding affection for the The Mississippi Sheiks, 'All Around Man' was one of the album's few straightforward blues numbers.  Some nice slide guitar moves, but hardly one of the standout performances.    Another one where there are numerous live clips.  This 1976 performance on the BBC's Old Grey Whistle Test strikes me as being the best of the lot:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=og2XJjg2uCs

4.) Out On the Western Plain   (Huddy Ledbetter) - 3:53   rating: **** stars

The opening scat moves have never done a great deal for me, but when the song got moving, Gallagher's overlooked vocals came to the forefront.   Wonderful sound quality on this one which also showcased Gallagher's talents on acoustic guitar.  YouTube has a nice 1980 RockPalast perfomance:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=q5JO-BTP1SE   

5.) At the Bottom   (Rory Gallagher) - 3:19   rating: **** stars

My favorite performance on the album - a near perfect combination with another great melody; Gallagher's fantastic voice, and some of his most tuneful lead guitar.  The little country riff at the end always makes me smile.   

 

         

I have absolutely no idea why, but when the Buddah and Capo labels reissued the collection in CD format in the late 1990s, they elected to have Tony Arnold remaster the album with what I'd argue was an inferior mix.  The reissue package did include two bonus tracks - the instrumental 'Cluney Blues' and the rockabilly-influenced 'My Baby, Sure').   They also slapped on an inferior, alternate cover.  Go for the original release. 

 

Buddah catalog number 7446599686 2

Sony/Capo/Legacy catalog number 88725461492

 

 

 

 

 


Genre: blues rock

Rating: **** (4 stars)

Title:  Calling Card

Company: Chrysalis

Catalog: CHR 1124

Year: 1976

Country/State: Ireland

Grade (cover/record): VG/VG+

Comments: cut corner; original inner sleeve

Available: 1

Catalog ID: not listed yet

Price: $20.00

 

Having produced himself for the last umpteen years, 1976's "Calling Card" saw Gallagher taking advantage of his contract with Chrysalis (and the company's substantially larger budget), to record his second LP for the label in Munich, Germany with Deep Purple alumnus/bass player Roger Glover handling the boards.  Glover' influence was fairly obvious, the collection standing as one of Gallagher's most rock-oriented releases.  Penning some of his most impressive material,  Gallagher and company sounded calm, confident and as if  they was having a great deal of fun.  The album again benefited from the added flexibility allowed by a four piece line up.   Want to hear a Gallagher song with synthesizers?  Check out the opener "Do You Read Me".   Interestingly, while "Jackknife Beat", "Country Mile" and "Secret Agent" were two of his best out-and-out rockers, the ballad "I'll Admit You're Gone" and the stunning "Edged In Blue" were the two highlights.  On a regular basis we debate Gallagher's best all-around LP.  Ignoring some of the live efforts, this studio set comes up more often than not.

 

"Calling Card" track listing:

(side 1)

1.) Do You Read Me   (Rory Gallagher) - 

2.) Country Mile   (Rory Gallagher) - 

3.) Moonchild   (Rory Gallagher) - 

4.) Calling Card   (Rory Gallagher) - 

5.) I'll Admit You're Gone   (Rory Gallagher) - 

 

(side 2)

1.) Secret Agent   (Rory Gallagher) - 

2.) Jackknife Beat   (Rory Gallagher) - 

3.) Edged In Blue   (Rory Gallagher) - 

4.) Barley and Grape Rag   (Rory Gallagher) - 

 

 

 

 


Genre: blues-rock

Rating: **** (4 stars)

Title:  Photo-Finish

Company: Chrysalis

Catalog: CHR 1170

Year: 1978

Country/State: Ireland

Grade (cover/record): VG+/VG+

Comments: cut top right corner; original inner sleeve

Available: 1

Catalog ID: 2602

Price: $15.00

 

 

1978's "Photo-Finish" was recorded after a shake up to Rory Gallagher's backing band.  After several years touring as a quartet,  Gallagher's seventh album saw the departure of keyboardist Lou Martin.  Anyone expecting a major change in musical direction might have been a bit disappointed by this.  On the other hand, anyone who was a true Gallagher fan saw this as another stellar addition to the catalog.  Co-produced with Alan O'Duffy, the sound was still blues oriented, but to my ears tracks such as the roaring 'Brute Force and Ignorance' (one of his most tuneful compositions), and 'Cruise On Out' made the album looser and more varied than some of his earlier releases.  While tracks such as the boogie-rocker Shin Kicker', 'Last of the Independents' and the driving 'Cloak and Dagger' showcased Gallagher's trademark blazing strat, material such as 'Shadow Play' and 'Overnight Bag' (a wonderful ballad) underscored the often forgotten fact that Gallagher was an accomplished vocalist. Gifted with a deep, soulful voice (check out his delivery on 'The Mississippi Sheiks'), Gallagher's performances were miles ahead of Alvin Lee and frequently on a par with the likes of Steve Gibbons and Frankie Miller (two of my favorites). The overall results made this one of my favorite Gallagher releases ...

"Photo Finish" track listing:
(side 1)

1.) Shin Kicker (Rory Gallagher) - 3:57   rating: **** stars

The opener 'Shin Kicker' found Gallagher taking a stab at a more boogie-oriented sound than normal.   Have to admit it didn't immediately resonate with me, but after a couple of spins I'm full in.   There's so much live Gallagher on the net, the problem is to find the best of the lot.  I'll go with this 1979 performance on the German Rockpalast television show: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=L90EDfyFIn8  
2.) Brute Force and Ignorance (Rory Gallagher) - 4:23  
rating: **** stars

For folks who think Gallagher was nothing but hardcore blues, I'd suggest checking out the glorious 'Brute Force and Ignorance'.  I've hear the tune was inspired by a Sex Pistols show he attended, but who knows if that's nothing more than urban legend.  Musically it was one of his most tuneful numbers with a rollicking melody.  Always loved the slide solo on this one and the backing mandolin.   Again, lots of live clips to pick from, but here's one from a 1980 perfomance in Zurich: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JTondN4LLV4  
3.) Cruise On Out (Rory Gallagher) - 4:42  
rating: **** stars

I remember being dumbfounded the first time I heard 'Cruise On Out' - a Rory Gallagher song you could dance to ...  Seriously, if you can sit still through this one, you might want to check your pulse to see if you are still alive.  And as good as the studio version was, Gallagher just destroyed it on this 1979 performance for the BBC's Rock Goes To College television show (check out his dance moves) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=h4u0p4XWZ-A  
4.) Cloak and Dagger (Rory Gallagher) - 5:18  
rating: **** stars

'Cloak and Dagge' was another tune for folks who thought Gallagher was simply too bluesy for their tastes.  Okay, maybe blues-rock, but the emphasis was on rock.  The tone Gallagher got on this song is amazing, as was the chorus.  How was this not a single?    
5.) Overnight Bag (Rory Gallagher) - 4:35  
rating: **** stars

As commercial as 'Cloak and Dagger' was, 'Overnight Bag' was even better.  The song had one of those melodies that you can't shake out of you head and Gallagher's playing was entrancing.

(side 2)

1.) Shadow Play (Rory Gallagher) - 4:46   rating: **** stars

The pounding 'Shadow Play' was the perfect song to hear how tight Gallagher, drummer Ted McKenna, and bassist Gerry McAvoy were.   The tune's always reminded me a bit of Thin Lizzy rocker.   Always wondered it that was the reason Chrysalis tapped it as a three track EP for the Irish and UK markets:

 

 

 

1978's 'Shadow Play' / Brute Force and Ignorance' b/w 'Souped Ford' (Chrysalis catalog number CHS 2261)   Not where this 1978 clip was filmed, but this television performance was pretty impressive.  Guess the audience was dead.:

  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_izHVJw-XEo  

 

 

 

 


2.) The Mississippi Sheiks (Rory Gallagher) - 6:06  
rating: **** stars

I'm not a big blues fan, but 'The Mississippi Sheiks' was a blues song for folks who didn't like the genre.  The song's always left me dumbfounded by what an enormous sound Gallagher and company made as a trio.   Wonder how many fans know Gallagher wrote this as a tribute to Bolton Mississippi's Chatmon Family (The Mississippi Sheiks).    Another live performance from the BBC Rock Goes To College show: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kuVemZgudUc 
3.) The Last of the Independents (Rory Gallagher) - 4:01 
rating: *** stars

The first tune that didn't knock me out - love the guitar refrain, but otherwise I found 'The Last of the Independents' kind of routine and predictable.   1980 television performance with Gallagher and company speeding up the song's original tempo: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wTFrt_w5g5Y 
4.) Fuel To the Fire (Rory Gallagher) - 6:16  
rating: **** stars

' Fuel To the Fire' was one of his most beautiful and stunning performances.  This would be one of the songs I'd like played at my wake.   Another live performance from the BBC Rock Goes To College show: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SbswM3lPC8A  

 

 

 

 



Genre: blues rock

Rating: **** (4 stars)

Title:  Top Priority

Company: Chrysalis

Catalog: CHR 1235

Year: 1979

Country/State: Ireland

Grade (cover/record): NM / NM

Comments: minor corner wear; has original inner sleeve

Available: 1

Catalog ID: not listed yet

Price: $20.00

 

 

With Gallagher continuing his extensive touring schedule, he began to garner significant press attention, particularly in the States.  More than will to cash in on the publicity, Chrysalis rushed Gallagher back into the studio.  Continuing his relationship with producer Alan O'Duffy, 1979's "Top Priority" (reportedly named after Chrysalis' promise to support the album), stood as Gallagher's most mainstream rock effort.  That wasn't to say Gallagher sold out the blues.  Virtually every one of the nine tracks was underscored by a blues base, however tracks such as "Wayward Child", "Keychain" and "Bad Penny" were among the most mainstream and commercial things he'd ever penned.  Perhaps because of its interesting lyric and strong melody, to our ears the standout track was "Philby" (how often do you hear a song about an infamous British spy?).  A close second, the scorching "Just Hit Town".  As a minor footnote, our copy of the album has a slightly different cover (we were too lazy to take a digital image).  Same photo of Gallagher, but centered and surrounded by a white background and a red "Top Priority" stamp.)

 

"Top Priority" track listing:

(side 1)

1.) Follow Me   (Rory Gallagher) - 

2.) Philby   (Rory Gallagher) - 

3.) Wayward Child   (Rory Gallagher) - 

4.) Keychain    (Rory Gallagher) - 

5.) At the Depot   (Rory Gallagher) - 

 

(side 2)

1.) Bad Penny   (Rory Gallagher) - 

2.) Just Hit Town   (Rory Gallagher) - 

3.) Off the Handle   (Rory Gallagher) - 

4.) Public Enemy No 1   (Rory Gallagher) - 

 

 

 

 


Genre: blues rock

Rating: *** (3 stars)

Title:  Stage Struck

Company: Chrysalis

Catalog: CHR 1280

Year: 1980

Country/State: Ireland

Grade (cover/record): VG+/VG+

Comments: promotional stamp on back cover; original inner sleeve

Available: 1

Catalog ID: not listed yet

Price:  $15.00

 

In a curious marketing move (perhaps not so curious given Gallagher was leaving for a new label), 1980's "Stage Struck" saw Chrysalis reaching into the archives to pull material from a 1979/80 world tour (material was drawn from Australian, French, Irish and American dates). Given there were already two live sets (1972's "Rory Gallagher Live!" and 1974's "Irish Tour '74"), you couldn't exactly claim this release was a necessity. On the other hand the self-produced set was interesting for switching the focus from blues to Gallagher's rock and boogie catalogs. Backed by bassist McAvoy and drummer McKenna, material such as "Wayward Child", "Brute Force And Arrogance", "Moonchild" and "Floow Me" made it clear Gallagher had all the talents required to take on his more successful 'guitar god' contemporaries. (Any Whitesnake fans out there? This simply shreds those imitators to shreds). Once again, Gallagher proved a surprisingly accomplished vocalist. In the meantime, tired of the constant touring, McKenna quit. He was quickly replaced by Brendan O'Neill.

"Stage Struck" track listing:
(side 1)

1.) Shin Kicker (Rory Gallagher) 
2.) Wayward Child (Rory Gallagher) 
3.) Brute Force And Arrogance (Rory Gallagher) 
4.) Moonchild (Rory Gallagher) 

(side 2)

1.) Follow Me (Rory Gallagher)
2.) Bought and Sold (Rory Gallagher)
3.) The Last of the Independents (Rory Gallagher) 
4.) Shadow Play (Rory Gallagher)

 



Genre: blues rock

Rating: **** (4 stars)

Title:  Jinx

Company: Mercury

Catalog: SRM-1-4051

Year: 1982

Country/State: Ireland

Grade (cover/record): VG+/VG+

Comments: minor ring, edge and corner wear

Available: 1

Catalog ID: not listed yet

Price: $15.00

 

 

Ending his longstanding business relationship with Chrysalis (7 years and 5 albums), 1982's "Jinx" found Gallagher and company signed to Mercury. The change seemed to reinvigorate Gallagher, who turned in his strongest set in years. Self-produced, material such as "The Devil Made Me Do It", the bluesy "Easy Come, Easy Go" and "Signals" found Gallagher turning in a scorching set of originals. In contrast to recent releases, not only was Gallagher's guitar playing breathtaking (check out the slide-propelled "Double Vision"), but his craggy voice had seldom sounded as good. Personal favorite; the atmospheric "Jinxed". Among the few missteps, in spite of a blazing guitar solo, the pedestrian "Big Guns" sounded like a Phil Lynott and Thin Lizzy outtake. Tell ya' what, this is a good place for the uninitiated to start ...

"Jinx" track listing:
(side 1)

1.) Signals (Rory Gallagher) - 4:31
2.) The Devil Made Me Do It (Rory Gallagher) - 2:54
3.) Double Vision (Rory Gallagher) - 4:48
4.) Easy Come, Easy Go (Rory Gallagher) - 2:54

(side 2)

1.) Big Guns (Rory Gallagher) - 3:25
2.) Jinxed (Rory Gallagher) - 5:10
3.) Bourbon (Rory Gallagher) - 3:52
4.) Ride On Red, Ride On (M. Levy - H. Glover - T. Reid) - 4:17
5.) Loose Talk (Rory Gallagher) - 3:50


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