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Thread: Rory Gallagher

  1. #1
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    Rory Gallagher

    I have no reason why, but I have never explored this guy over the years. After reading about the death of his old drummer a while back, I decided to take the plunge and picked up the 2CD "Essential" compilation album. Holy shit, this stuff is great! Where should I go from here?

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    Member Joe F.'s Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SteveSly View Post
    I have no reason why, but I have never explored this guy over the years. After reading about the death of his old drummer a while back, I decided to take the plunge and picked up the 2CD "Essential" compilation album. Holy shit, this stuff is great! Where should I go from here?
    Try his band Taste (all 3 albums)

    Solo Stuff
    s/t
    Deuce
    Top Priority
    Irish Tour

  3. #3
    An overlooked giant of a player.
    The White Zone is for loading and unloading only. If you got to load or unload go to the White Zone.

  4. #4
    I like his mid 70's albums, e.g Irish Tour, Against The Grain, and Calling Card. The late 70's records like Photo Finish and Top Priority are pretty good too. Really, he's one of those guys you can't go wrong with, no matter what you get. Irish Tour is one of the all time great double live albums.

    I read once that Rory was one of the few people who'd play in Northern Ireland during the 70's, because of all the IRA activity and such.

    Also, if you have a DVD Player that can handle Region 2 discs, I suggest you seek out the Rockpalast set. Rory appeared on Rockpalast several times, at least three or four, I think, and the good people at WDR have packaged them all into one set. I've only ever seen one of them, on a bootleg VHS back in the 90's, but Rory was an excellent live performer, so one reckons all the performances have to be pretty amazing. YOu might look for them on Youtube, as well.

  5. #5
    Member Jerjo's Avatar
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    I think Calling Card is the best studio album but Irish tour is a live classic. Tremendously under-appreciated player with the heart of a lion.
    I don't like country music, but I don't mean to denigrate those who do. And for the people who like country music, denigrate means 'put down.'- Bob Newhart

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    Quite apart from his excellent playing, one of the things I most appreciate about him compared with other blues rockers was his commitment to original material throughout his career. That to me is why he has grown in stature over the years where others have faded. I believe Bob Dylan was an admirer of his work.

    Perhaps the two live albums Live In Europe and Irish Tour '74 are his most representative. And I also appreciate the more refined approach of Calling Card (produced by Roger Glover). However even late-career tracks like 'Loanshark Blues' and the instrumental 'The Loop' are very strong.

    On this site I'd also recommend Taste's second album, On The Boards, which has some jazzier influences which were not so evident in his subsequent solo work, as good as it was. Their debut is a strong blues rock album but somewhat let down by its crude production, IMHO.

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    Pikachupacabra spellbound's Avatar
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    I feel very fortunate that a friend turned me on to Rory Gallagher back in the '70s when few on this side of the pond knew of his talents. I think everything he played on is great, so I don't have concise suggestions as to where to go next. But, welcome to the club. Live albums are a good place to start with Rory.

  8. #8
    One of the most gifted guitar players of all time for me - but not just that. I love him as a singer, and I love him as a writer of quality blues-rock music. His records were a bit uneven in my opinion, in the sense that one could find in there masterpieces of songwriting along with ordinary, casual songs of no great interest. Live in Europe and the Irish Tour are monumental, and of the studio works I vote for Deuce, which is probably his most consistent record. The Taste records are excellent too, and they show his eclecticism. On The Boards contains lots of raw jazz/fusion music that is not too faraway from the likes of Colosseum etc. This jazz background is maintained in his first solo albums.

    Why he didn't make it big? I think that his devotion to the blues took its toll here, the early 70's zeitgeist demanded the Zeppelin treatment, heavy guitars etc. Rory could be heavy as hell, but he always returned to the blues tradition, even in the same record. When he finally made the leap towards classic, heavy rock with Calling Card it was too late, the times were already changing. And this record - despite moments of insane greatness - is not representative of the artist in my opinion. You can feel something awkward in the overproduced material.

  9. #9
    If it's any consolation, in my country Greece, his status is no less than Blackmore or Hendrix, you can walk in stores in Athens and they have pictures of Rory on the wall. And rightly so.

  10. #10
    Member Jerjo's Avatar
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    Is there a decent compilation of Taste?
    I don't like country music, but I don't mean to denigrate those who do. And for the people who like country music, denigrate means 'put down.'- Bob Newhart

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    ^The track selection on this is good:

    https://www.discogs.com/Taste-The-Be...elease/3533455

    But they only had two studio albums and two live albums.

    Quote Originally Posted by Zappathustra View Post
    Why he didn't make it big? I think that his devotion to the blues took its toll here, the early 70's zeitgeist demanded the Zeppelin treatment, heavy guitars etc.
    He never made it into the big, Zeppelin-like league, but I'm not certain he'd have been too comfortable with it if he had been. In the early-mid 70s he was a consistent seller in the UK. That changed by the 80s. He probably could have re-emerged commercially in the blues resurgence with SRV, Cray etc., but again I don't think he would have made any MTV-style compromises. In any case his health was faltering by then.
    Last edited by JJ88; 02-01-2019 at 02:53 PM.

  12. #12
    This is just a small token of what Rory was doing when performing live...



    There is a well-known anecdote about Hendrix being asked of how does it feel to be the greatest guitar player of all time and he said:"I don't know, ask Rory."

  13. #13
    Quote Originally Posted by Zappathustra View Post
    There is a well-known anecdote about Hendrix being asked of how does it feel to be the greatest guitar player of all time and he said:"I don't know, ask Rory."
    Most likely apocryphal. Jimi also supposedly named Billy Gibbons, Phil Keaggy, and a number of other guitarists, depending on who's telling the anecdote. One of the guys from Chicago said that they were playing a show somewhere, and afterwards, he felt some tap on his shoulder and he turned around, and there was Jimi, who basically told him that Terry Kath was "better than me".

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    The thing I always loved about Rory was his raw energetic approach. Calling Card is my favorite of his studio albums and maybe Deuce second, but hey he did a lot of great music. Irish Tour is a must also.

  15. #15
    Quote Originally Posted by JJ88 View Post
    He never made it into the big, Zeppelin-like league, but I'm not certain he'd have been too comfortable with it if he had been. In the early-mid 70s he was a consistent seller in the UK. That changed by the 80s. He probably could have re-emerged commercially in the blues resurgence with SRV, Cray etc., but again I don't think he would have made any MTV-style compromises. In any case his health was faltering by then.
    Well, between in 1982 and 1987, he didn't release anything (between 1980 and 1990, he only released four albums, one of them being a live disc), so one suspects he may have had issues for awhile trying to secure a record deal where he wasn't being micro-managed by bean counters who didn't understand what he was trying accomplish. Or maybe, he was just tired of the "album/tour/album/tour" treadmill.

    I think another issue for Rory was that he developed what he called his "Buddy Holly complex" meaning he apparently had a fear of flying, which is why he didn't tour Stateside very often. And from the few interviews I've read/seen of him, I get the impression he was one of those guys who just dug playing music, and would rather be playing in a pub somewhere than in a big arena or stadium or whatever.

  16. #16
    Member Emeritus (A.M.P.) rcarlberg's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by GuitarGeek View Post
    Well, between in 1982 and 1987, he didn't release anything (between 1980 and 1990, he only released four albums, one of them being a live disc), so one suspects he may have had issues for awhile trying to secure a record deal where he wasn't being micro-managed by bean counters who didn't understand what he was trying accomplish. Or maybe, he was just tired of the "album/tour/album/tour" treadmill.
    He also was a very serious alcoholic. That's what did him in at age 47, after a liver transplant.
    Quote Originally Posted by Wikipedia
    In the later years of his life, Gallagher developed a phobia of flying. To overcome this, he received a prescription for a powerful sedative. This medication, combined with his alcohol use, resulted in severe liver damage. Despite this, he continued touring. By the time of his final performance on 10 January 1995 in the Netherlands, he was visibly ill and the tour had to be cancelled. Gallagher was admitted to King's College Hospital in London in March 1995, and it was only then that the extent of his ill health became apparent: his liver was failing and the doctors determined that, in spite of his young age, a liver transplant was the only possible course of action.[42] After thirteen weeks in intensive care, while waiting to be transferred to a convalescent home, his health suddenly worsened when he contracted a staphylococcal (MRSA) infection, and he died on 14 June 1995, at the age of 47.

  17. #17
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    Taste - On The Boards



    Imo he did'nt get better than this album. Booze and pills got him.

  18. #18
    Jazzbo manqué Mister Triscuits's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by GuitarGeek View Post
    And from the few interviews I've read/seen of him, I get the impression he was one of those guys who just dug playing music, and would rather be playing in a pub somewhere than in a big arena or stadium or whatever.
    The one time I saw him live, in 1976, it was indeed a big stadium show (sharing a bill with Jethro Tull, Robin Trower, and Starcastle). He was the antithesis of '70s glamour, up there in front of 30,000 people, dressed in jeans and a lumberjack shirt, rocking out on that famously beat-up Strat.

  19. #19
    On the Boards is absolutely outstanding; without question one of the most creative British blues-rock records I came across and right up there with the best of (early) Fleetwood, The Groundhogs and Steamhammer.

    I saw him live in Nygårdsparken in my (then) hometown of Bergen, Norway, back in May 1984. That is, I caught a handful of songs from outside the fence, as the park was full with some 14,000 spectators - the biggest concert event of all time in Bergen up to that point. I was 12 1/2 and Gallagher totally grabbed away.
    "Improvisation is not an excuse for musical laziness" - Fred Frith
    "[...] things that we never dreamed of doing in Crimson or in any band that I've been in," - Tony Levin speaking of SGM

  20. #20
    Rory was one of those great guitarists as at home with lead electrics as he was with acoustic guitar. And not every "great" rock guitarist had that ability....

    "And your little sister's immaculate virginity wings away on the bony shoulders of a young horse named George who stole surreptitiously into her geography revision."

    Occasional musical musings on https://darkelffile.blogspot.com/

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    Thanks for all of the suggestions. I will definitely be checking some of them out.

  22. #22
    Member Jerjo's Avatar
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    Prog connection: Rush opened for Rory and the band became friends with him. They returned the favor by having him open for them in the early 80s.
    I don't like country music, but I don't mean to denigrate those who do. And for the people who like country music, denigrate means 'put down.'- Bob Newhart

  23. #23
    It never got better for me than Taste’s Blister on the Moon. I think Gallagher’s lyrics on the track also spelled out his philosophy towards the music business. ‘Everyone is saying what to do and what to think, / And when to ask permission when you feel you want to blink. / First look left and then look right and now look straight ahead, / Make sure and take a warning of every word we’ve said. / Now you lay you down to sleep make sure and get some rest, / Tomorrow is another day and you must pass the test. / Don't try and think too different now, what we say is best, / Listen little man you're no better than the rest.’

  24. #24
    I'll second the preference for Taste's On the Boards. Saw him live in 1981 and he ripped the stage.
    Macht das ohr auf!

    COSMIC EYE RECORDS

  25. #25
    Quote Originally Posted by spacefreak View Post
    Saw him live in 1981 and he ripped the stage.
    Rory for this legendary concert:"the only time I feared for my life". It's still unknown how many attended, it must have been something over 30.000 people.

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