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Top Priority


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Biography

In the years that have passed since Rory Gallagher’s death, aged 47 on June 14 1995, his true stature has become ever more clear. This soft spoken Irishman, characterised by his flowing locks and trademark working man stage clothes, was far from ordinary. Gallagher was a self taught virtuoso who forged a musical revolution in his native land, shunned the traps of fame and stardom yet ... Read more in Amazon's Rory Gallagher Store

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Frequently Bought Together

Top Priority + Photo Finish + Calling Card
Price For All Three: £30.18

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Product details

  • Audio CD (24 May 1995)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Demon
  • ASIN: B00000117F
  • Other Editions: Audio CD  |  Vinyl  |  MP3 Download
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (13 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 586,817 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Customer Reviews

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23 of 23 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 23 Aug 2002
Format: Audio CD
This is as good a collection of studio songs that the late, great Irish guitar maestro, Rory Gallagher has produced. Top Priority was Rory's final album of the Seventies and closes was what was a very successful decade for the guitarist in terms of album releases and live performances.
Top Priority features the nine original tracks released in 1979 plus two bonus tracks. All have benefited greatly from re-mastering. The sound is more powerful and decisive than its original vinyl counterpart. Many of the tracks, including 'Follow Me,' 'Wayward Child' and 'Off the Handle,' became vital songs in Rory's live repertoire. Indeed, 'Follow Me' opens the album and sees Rory kicking off at an energetic pace. Others on Top Priority also display a fast-paced Rory concentrating on shorter 'to-the-point' rockers. These include 'At the Depot,' 'Just Hit Town' and the blistering 'Wayward Child,' which features some of the most fluid and inventive soloing that the Irishman has committed to tape. 'Keychain' and 'Off the Handle' fly the flag for Rory's trademark slow blues numbers and, whilst there are no acoustic offerings on this occasion, consolation can be found in the poignant and melancholic delivery of 'Bad Penny.' Even the two medium-paced bonus tracks, 'Hell Cat' and 'The Watcher,' are very welcome additions to the album.
Top Priority is a fine collection of blues-based rock songs that any one new to the Irish guitarist will not find disappointing. Tightly produced with creative soloing makes the album a great introduction to the world of Rory Gallagher and those familiar with his work won't be let down either!
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Mark Barry HALL OF FAMETOP 50 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 24 Sep 2012
Format: Audio CD
*** THIS REVIEW IS FOR THE 2012 CD REISSUE ***

"Top Priority" is one of five new 2012 CD, Download and Vinyl reissues covering Rory Gallagher's 'studio' album period at Chrysalis Records between 1975 and 1979. His Polydor Label years (1971 to 1974) were released in full in January 2012 (see list below). The next set of studio and live album reissues are due in early 2013 - all supervised by Donal Gallagher - his brother, tour manager and keeper of the flame.

So what's different? In a nutshell - cheaper price, restored artwork with upgraded packaging and 2012 remastering from the original tapes. Here are the finite details...

Released 24 September 2012 in the UK (9 October 2012 in the USA) - "Top Priority" is on Sony/Capo/Legacy 88725461452 and comes in a card digipak rather than a jewel case (46:40 minutes total playing time). The original vinyl album was released September 1979 in the UK and USA on Chrysalis CHR 1235 (it charted at number 56 in the UK and Number 140 in the States). "Top Priority" was his 4th studio LP for the British label - continuing on from the blisteringly good run of "Against The Grain" in 1975, "Calling Card" in 1976 and "Photo-Finish" in 1978.

SOUND:
When "Top Priority" was first re-issued on CD by Da Capo in February 1999 - the tapes were remixed and remastered by Tony Arnold - giving it a sound some found a little shrill. That first reissue also altered the original artwork. This time the original tapes have been returned to by ANDY PEARCE and MATT WORTHAM and remastered as 'untampered' versions in August 2012 at Wired Masters Studios in London. They've done a great job - the sound is very clear and muscular - still full of piss and vinegar for sure but less showy than before.
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13 of 14 people found the following review helpful By Mr. Thomas Thatcher on 2 Jun 2006
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
Well, folks, you know that anything by Rory is going to be worth listening to, but if you are anything like me, you play the CDs to death for a year and then file them under "indispensible". What happened here is that my daughter, having seen Fall Out Boy live in Newport last Friday, grubbed about in the cars and the cupboards to see what was about from Dad's prehistoric era and came up with Top Priority. Fall Out Boy, with the relentless thrash and monochord banging, failed to ignite the senses, so to speak. They also left me deaf and numb from the ridiculous volume they played at - made Cream seem like Freddie and the Dreamers (RIP, Freddie).

I had forgotten just how accomplished this little-promoted collection is. My band used to perform Follow Me, and it's a great powerful surge to the record, with some quite extraordinary guitar pyrotechnics from Rory. It's actually got a very good tune, too, and it's fun to see Gerry McAvoy singing harmonies on the chorus on the Live At Cork video - with Rory and Gerry cracking up when they get the sequence wrong! Philby continues Rory's fascination with spies, molls and the underworld and then the whole album continues with a collection of Rory's usual interests, all performed well.

I gather that the collection was recorded in a very short time and occasionally the production values are not perfect. What is nearly perfect is the playing. Rory is on fire, and, as always, his faithfull band is exemplary. This CD is a timely reminder of just how exceptional Rory and his bands were, and the new wave of punk thrashers would do very well to listen to his control, dynamics, words and, it has to be said, incredible ability. They won't, of course, and will continue to deafen and batter their teeny audience into submission which is a great shame - because my 13 year old daughter is going around singing Follow Me and she is the winner.

A lovely CD. Not a duff moment, really.
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