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.
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!
Another excellent album. I would recommend buying all of his main albums rather than the numerous greatest hits if you want the best of his works unduplicated. Without exception this is a brilliant album. Favourite tracks: "Philby" and "Off The Handle".
It all seems so old school now doen't it? You know, bands.Bands that played instruments.And were good at it.And, you know, write songs.Proper songs.Like Wayward Child, and Follow me,good solid driving songs with cracking guitar work from The G Man. Another reviewer mentioned control and ability and that is exactly it.(He also mentioned pyrotechnics, and Rory aint too shabby there either)Its the difference between good rock, and great rock and that dear reader is what this album is. It's great Rock.Buy it play it savour it.It's an album to be enjoyed not admired. It's fun too. Try resisting steering wheel guitar on wayward child.You can't can you? can you? Thought not.
Bought original cd, then the apparently definitive remaster a few years ago, and now this new remaster. I feel like a milked cow. Just as well the music is blinding-but value for money depends a lot on what system you play through. Your bog standard high fi will show naff all difference between the two remastered versions.