A well-chosen retrospective, mostly drawn from the band's two studio albums. Not in the upper echelon of British blues, but not far from that level either, showing Rory Gallagher capable of a wider compositional and interpretive range than some listeners may recall.
Gallagher's second album for Chrysalis – and last with his longstanding trio of Lou Martin (keyboards), Rod De'Ath (drums) and Gerry McAvoy (bass) – was a milestone in his career. Although Calling Card was produced by Deep Purple bassist Roger Glover and not surprisingly contained some of his most powerfully driving rockers, tracks like the acoustic "Barley & Grape Rag" and the jazzy, soulful, finger snapping title cut – a perennial concert favorite – found the Irish rocker not only exploring other musical paths, but also caught him on one of his most consistent songwriting streaks ever. Even "Do You Read Me," the muscular opening track, is a remarkably stripped-down affair that adds subtle synths to the rugged blues rock that was Gallagher's claim to fame. While "Moonchild," "Country Mile," and "Secret Agent" displayed catchy hooks, engaging riffs, and raging guitar work (the latter adds a touch of Deep Purple's Jon Lord-styled organ to the proceedings), it's the elegant ballad "I'll Admit You're Gone" that shifts the guitarist into calmer waters and proves his melodic talent was just as cutting on quieter tunes.
After releasing two albums in 1973 and a live, contract-fulfilling disc in 1974, Gallagher returned rested and recharged in 1975 with a new record label, Chrysalis, and a band with almost three years of hard touring under their belts. With its attention to detai, Against the Grain sounds more practiced and intricate than most of Gallagher's previous studio discs, but still includes some of his most powerful rockers. The supercharged "Souped-Up Ford," where Rory howls and wails, with his voice and smoking slide, and "All Around Man," an urgent blues rocker that begins with Gallagher screaming and crying together with just his electric guitar until the band kicks in with a stop-start blues rhythm, are two of the definitive moments. "Bought and Sold" adds congas to the mix to bring a more rootsy and even jazzy feel to Rory's table. But it's on the acoustic tracks where the guitarist and his band really lay into the groove.
Rory was never a man to sit back and let the world slip by. The 70’s saw him release 10 albums in as many years, work with a great many of his heroes and tour the world. Although his recorded output in the 1980’s was more sporadic he still toured constantly, playing some of the first rock gigs behind the iron curtain as well as cementing his live reputation in Europe and the US. ‘Defender’ his third album of the 80’s, was the first release on his own label. Capo offered him the complete artistic freedom he needed, enabling him to produce the music as he wanted. He admitted “I’m not that organised, but I want anything that I’m doing to be under control, and I want the final say on things”.
Japanese limited edition issue of the album classic in a deluxe, miniaturized LP sleeve replica of the original vinyl album artwork. Digitally remastered edition of the Irish guitar legend's 1976 album. Rory's eighth solo album, Calling Card was recorded during 1976 at the famed Musicland Studios in Munich. All of Rory's previous releases had been self produced, for this album he was keen to find a producer who had an affinity with traditional Rock values but who was open to new ideas. Roger Glover, Deep Purple's bassist, offered his services to Rory, seeming to be a perfect candidate to produce the album. The band, Gerry McAvoy on bass, Lou Martin on keyboards and Rod de'Ath on drums added the final element to the 'creative' mix. In the three years they had been performing together they had grown into a formidable band.
Irish Tour '74 is the sixth album by Rory Gallagher, compiled from live recordings made at concerts on an Irish Tour in January 1974 at Belfast Ulster Hall, Dublin Carlton Cinema and Cork City Hall. "Back on My Stompin' Ground (After Hours)" was taken from a jam session during the tour on the Lane Mobile Unit. Irish Tour '74 has sold in excess of two million copies worldwide. An article in a Belfast daily newspaper stated: "Rory Gallagher never forgot Northern Ireland, he returned throughout the '70s when few other artists of his calibre dared come near the place."
The Original Album Classics series, courtesy of Sony/BMG, packages together five classic albums from one of the most popular artists on the label's roster, housing them in an attractive slipcase. This set from the Irish guitar legend features the albums Deuce (1971), Calling Card (1976), Top Priority (1979), Jinx (1982) and Fresh Evidence (1988). 56 tracks.
The compilation Big Guns: The Very Best of Rory Gallagher is one of the ways assembling a retrospective should be done. This set offers a portrait of a true guitar hero and songwriter, one whose flash never outweighed his substance, one whose work is so utterly and dazzlingly fresh it not only stands the test of time, but transcends it…
Rory Gallagher sounds inspired throughout JInx, gamely leading new drummer Brendan O'Neill and keyboardist Bob Andrews through the blues-rock paces, even though the guitarist's personal fortunes were on a downslide from which they would never recover…
Guitarist Gallagher's third officially released live album (during his lifetime) captures him on a grinding world tour in 1979 and 1980, pumping out blues-rockers with requisite aggression, yet none of the charm and subtlety that made his previous concert recordings so essential…