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Customer Review

18 of 18 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Rory, Irish bluesman, 1 Jan 2013
This review is from: The Rory Gallagher Collection (Audio CD)
I was lucky enough back in the sixties & seventies to see Rory Gallagher, often at my local pub venue the Black Bull in Whetstone, both as leader of Taste and under his own moniker. He was never less than great value, played guitar like he was born with one slung umbilically round his neck, sang like a fierce old Deep South blues barker, and generally seemed a thoroughly good bloke. By all accounts he was, and, according to Nigel Williamson`s excellent booklet notes, was much loved by everyone from Clapton and Dylan to compatriots Van Morrison and the Dubliners (with whom he played and whose alumnus Ronnie Drew was a pallbearer at Rory`s all too premature funeral - he died at 47).
Rory thought up some of the best record titles of anybody - Calling Card, Against The Grain, Fresh Evidence, Blueprint, Photo Finish...there are tracks here - 28 in all - from each of his post-Taste albums, not (I`m happy to say) in chronological order, and including five live ones. Rory G was always a tremendous live performer, his virtuoso guitar and modest yet forceful stage presence coming into its own, things which, it must be said, rarely came across adequately on record.
This generous 2-hour-plus compilation - though still leaving room for a few more tracks - is both a superb primer and a poignant reminder for Rory newcomer and fan alike. It`s not often I`m brought to actual tears by the blues, but remembering Rory in his denim-clad prime - and he was invariably in his prime! - I couldn`t help but feel overwhelmingly sad he`s no longer with us. He had his demons, one of them the bottle, but he never sold his hard-won fans short.
What is sometimes forgotten is just how protean a singer and songwriter Rory was. Naturally, he covered some of the classic blues numbers, but mostly he wrote his own `versions` of the blues. He is still somewhat underrated as a songwriter, or perhaps he has always been a tad neglected (having died so young, too) with little of the lustre of a Clapton, Page or Beck. He was never in a band like Zep or the Yardbirds. Rory simply kept touring and playing, doing what he loved.
The music? No need to highlight particular tracks. If you love the blues, if you love Rory, if you want to hear the most honest and unpretentious of all the British blues men, then get this wonderful 2-CD compilation, grab hold of your air guitar, let your hair fall into your face, and get a whole load of the indefatigable Rory Gallagher: the one everybody loved.
God, I miss him.
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Showing 1-5 of 5 posts in this discussion
Initial post: 18 Apr 2013 03:03:16 BDT
Bill Bloggs says:
Loved the review, Glyn. Many thanks.

In reply to an earlier post on 18 Apr 2013 09:38:34 BDT
GlynLuke says:
Many thanks to you, Bill.

Posted on 19 Apr 2013 18:52:11 BDT
Great review, but we need to encourage younger listeners to buy albums cd,vinyl or download so that they can discover the thrill we have of anticipating the tracks to come. Rory was both a superb musician and songwriter who toured and toured to bring the music to his audience. I miss him too Glyn he was a true frontman and solo accoustic musician

In reply to an earlier post on 19 Nov 2013 09:15:21 GMT
Rory has been part of the theme tune of my life from the age of 16 - saw him for the 1st time in 77' .... Reading 1980 .... and then again at the City Hall in Newcastle . A true giant with a beautiful personality to match his astonishing talent. His musical cannon is thankfully extensive - I envy anyone hearing the man for the first time. Gone but not forgotten.. great review...

In reply to an earlier post on 19 Nov 2013 10:06:25 GMT
Last edited by the author on 19 Nov 2013 10:11:15 GMT
GlynLuke says:
Thanks Andrew. Rory G, more than most, seems to inspire love in those who remember him. I played this again the other day & again it felt so good to hear the guy`s voice & guitar, something so genuine and honest about him. And, as you say, what a great live act he was.
By the way, the bit at the end of my review about letting your hair fall into your face is wishful thinking on my part - I`m totally bald on top (though with long hair sides & back) but it`s the thought that counts!
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GlynLuke
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Location: York UK

Top Reviewer Ranking: 141