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4.6 out of 5 stars
4.6 out of 5 stars
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on 23 September 2013
A very welcome re-release of Gary's wonderful classic solo album Back On The Streets, with four bonus tracks - "Track Nine", the b-side to the single version of the title track, plus three versions of "Spanish Guitar" - one with Gary singing, one with Phil Lynott singing and one (another b-side) with nobody singing (although described as an "instrumental" it sounds like the backing track edited). "Track Nine" is a genuine instrumental - another jazz-rock number in a Colosseum II style, although not quite as polished as the three superb instrumentals on the original album. "Spanish Guitar"(complete with castanets) was a slightly dubious single following the surprise top 10 success of "Parisienne Walkways": some might think that 3 versions is about 3 too many but, for completists, it's great to have this record of what Gary released at the time. Despite the apparent commercialism, Gary thankfully put in a neat solo outro to rescue proceedings!

And as for the original album itself, it's a diverse collection of numbers, ranging from hard rock - jazz rock - blues rock - pop rock - and even soul. Although this wide range won't appeal to everyone, for others it's part of what made the album so enjoyable - from the opening riff of the blistering title track to the last fading notes of "Parisienne Walkways". Although keeping a foot firmly in the jazz rock camp, Gary clearly saw his immediate future in hard rock (he would soon record the classic Black Rose album with Thin Lizzy) but had the ability and confidence to record other styles. Gary really was on top form at this time, full of creative energy (check out The Old Grey Whistle Test performances of "Back On The Streets" and "Don't Believe A Word" on You Tube, if you haven't already!).

Gary Moore was, without question, a master of the guitar and to my ears a fine singer too. And what particularly sets this album apart from his others is that along with, perhaps inevitable, ferociously fast fretboard forays, there is space and subtle touches (especially on his slow bluesy version of Thin Lizzy's "Don't Believe A Word" and the sentimental soul of "Song For Donna"). This always was a great-sounding record, perfectly produced by Chris Tsangarides, and this latest remaster does justice to all concerned. The booklet notes by Malcolm Dome include memories from some of those involved (they clearly enjoyed making the album) and accompanying recording details and photos (the original artwork and more). So many years after it was originally released, Back On The Streets remains my favourite Gary Moore solo album and this expanded CD is the icing on the cake. Highly recommended. For me, it's 5*+.
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on 9 October 2013
The sleeve notes from 2011 and the remaster of the first 8 tracks are as good as it gets,good job. However there isnt so much deluxe about the rest of this release.

The sound quality on the bonus tracks is not good at all. The audio is compressed and at least Track Nine sounds like its sourced from an Acetate or a 7" and not from the masters. There are better sounding version of all the bonus tracks already available on various Japanese CD compilations like Spanish Guitar and Memorial Collection. Why Universal have used the better sounding version of the 4 bonus tracks remains a mystery.

This could have been a top notch release with the bonus tracks replaced and if Universal had included more material. For instance the US LP versions of several of the tracks and the tracks from the Old Grey Whistle Test in 1979 should have been included on this release for starters. In addition there a number of studio outtakes from these sessions in Morgan Studios which remains in the vault.

Hopefully Universal gets this release right the second time around.
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VINE VOICEon 10 December 2010
A lot of blues has passed under the bridge since Gary Moore made this album. At the time, he was most associated with Thin Lizzy and I wasn't aware then that he had played with Colosseum. I was surprised therefore when I heard the jazz rock fusion instrumentals which take up about half the playing time.

The first three tracks were more in line with what I expected, being straight rock numbers. The title track is the best of these, a lively opener. 'Don't Believe A Word' is a slow, slightly menacing version of the Lizzy hit; it's good, but I prefer the other one. 'Fanatical Fascists' is a Phil Lynott song that starts out sounding like a Tom Robinson Band tub-thumper before settling into a more familiar rock pattern. Lynott and Brian Downey both assist on these tracks.

'Flight Of The Snow Moose' is an obvious play on the title of one of Camel's best-known albums and its slow opening suggests something proggy, but it soon morphs into a fast, furious piece complete with lightning fretboard runs. Parts of this are breathtaking. The aptly-titled 'Hurricane' and 'What Would You Rather Be Or A Wasp' explore other facets of jazz rock, including some very funky grooves. All of this material is highly impressive.

The other two tracks are more mainstream, a ballad that doesn't suit Moore in my opinion, and the gorgeous melody of 'Parisienne Walkways' which The Shadows quickly pounced on when they recorded their 'String Of Hits' album the same year. 'Back On The Streets' represents something of a risk then, not being focussed on one approach, but it's a risk that pays off.
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on 14 April 2010
As a drummer I was first recommended this album for Simon Phillips' far-out drumming on three of it's fusion oriented tracks. It appears that after Colosseum II, Gary Moore gathered with Don Airy and John Mole with Simon Phillips replacing John Hiseman for one last fusion outing (like addicts in recovery almost) and the results are pretty good in my opinion. It does all sound a bit like Jeff Beck in places though. The basic melody in Flight of the Snow Moose is straight out of Beck's Scatterbrain, albeit in a 6/8 rather than 9/8 time signature. Hurricane can also be traced back to Billy Cobham's Spectrum album so no prizes for guessing what was on Moore's iPod (!!) in the 70s.

The rest of the Album features a collaboration with Phil Lynott and Brian Downey as they Jam around a mix of new stuff and a Lizzy cover. This includes the very well known Parisenne Walkways which as a fusion buff has always sent me to sleep, but I'm not knocking the achievement - it's one of the best known blues guitar licks of the last 40 years.

Not for everyone and probably one for egg-heads and hardcore fans, but if you like a bit of fusion, it's a guilty pleasure of an album you should not overlook.
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on 21 November 2007
Excellent album. I want it on CD because I fear for my vinyl and tape !!!!! copies. But be warned if you are looking for blues or rock alone this is not for you. Think 70s jazz fusion on guitar. Which is why I like it, as well as Back on the streets and the best arrangement of Dont Believe a Word, even though Lizzys version was excellent.
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VINE VOICEon 11 October 2013
The first Thin Lizzy album I ever bought. Or rather, as a poor butchers apprentice who couldn't afford to buy new albums, 1979 saw me raking through the bargain bins in Ezy Ryder records looking for stuff at 99p and under. And there it was. In a torn sleeve for 99p. "Back On The Streets" by Gary Moore. Now this was pre internet and music papers were for rich folk, but I knew enough to read the sleeve. Brian Downey and Phil Lynott. Well, that was enough for me.

And I played it to death for at least a year afterwards. Mind you, I only had about ten albums, so it didn't take a lot to get a record played. But some of this was stunning. Although, oddly enough, it wasn't the straight forward hard rock numbers that won me over. His version of `Don't Believe A Word', and songs like `Fanatical Fascists' were rather pedestrian. And don't start me on `Parisienne Walkways'. No, it was the spellbinding fusion of `What Would You Rather Bee or a Wasp', `Flight of the Snow Moose' and `Hurricane' that blew me away, and pointed me in the direction of Colosseum II, and a whole new world.

It's probably the last time that Gary Moore played from his heart, as he headed off into an eighties world of mundane hard rock, hairspray and eventually soulless blues, hunting for commercial success, but this reminds you of what an incredibly talented guitarist he was, and of what could have been, had he followed that path. With three quarters of Colosseum II on board, the musicianship is outstanding, and their contributions are worth the price of admission alone.

This comes with three previously available versions of the single `Spanish Guitar' (Lynott vocal, Moore vocal and instrumental), but does, handily, tag on the B side of the `Back On The Streets' single, the fabulous `Track Nine'. You get some dull as ditchwater sleeve notes from Malcolm Dome and some photos of memorabilia which the promo doesn't have.

Should you buy it. Well, yes, if only for the shining moments of fusion joy.
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on 21 August 2014
Fantastic album from legendary string-meister Moore. I'd say this is his best solo album by far (only 'Corridors Of Power' comes close) and that he was in his absolute prime on this recording. The playing on it is simply fabulous - tasteful, melodic, fast and fiery - a wonderful combination of technique and feel (his singing ain't bad either!)

Gary Moore was a musician with acres of soul, depth and talent and I believe that he was at his most creative and inspired on this album. The songs/compositions are excellent and cover a wide range of musical styles, ranging from rock/blues rock through to jazz fusion, funk and soul. It is filled with great melodies, superb solos (proper, extended solos that develop and build) and powerful, passionately performed riffs. The production is also excellent (Moore's guitar tone alone is stunning, along with his delivery!)

You can really hear that he (together with all the other musicians) was having a ball making this album.

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on 23 October 2004
My favourite Album by Gary Moore by some way. The album presents an excellent mix of the guitarist's influences and work, mixing his jazz and hard rock roots with the blues that he has subsequently explored and developed in his career. The title track, coupled with Parisienne Walkways and Don't Believe A Word are particular highlights.
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on 26 July 2014
Bought this on vinyl when it was released and I remember being overwhelmed by the virtuosity and versatility of Gary's playing. Paradoxically it was the ballads of supreme quality which I remember most, namely Song for Donna and a nice slow version of Don't believe a Word. The guitar playing on Snow Moose has to be heard to be believed. Many people have become masters of the guitar. Not many have fused that skill with the ability to write superb rock songs like Gary Moore.
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on 13 January 2014
I'd been waiting for this to be re-released for some time, having worn out my vinyl edition some years back (and having subsequently retired the turntable). It's very much a mixed bag but goes to show every aspect of Gary Moore's superlative playing. We get the full on-rocker (Back On The Streets), the balladeer )Song For Donna), the jazz-fusion maestro (Flight Of The Snow Moose, What Would You Rather Bee Or a Wasp)and the smoothest of blues in a none-better version of Thin Lizzy's 'Don't Believe A Word'. There's even the full throttle 'Hurricane', the tongue-in-cheek 'Fanatical Fascists' and, of course, the monster hit that is 'Parisienne Walkways'. With such a range of styles it would almost be too obviuous to say there is something for everyone but it does make for a slightly disjointed listen. The playing throughout is top-notch but could have done with being a bit more focussed. This would still be a 5 star album if it wasn't for the bonus material. Realistically it's only two songs and while both are excellent inclusions three versions of one just seems like laziness on the part of the compilers. Still, great album from one of the greatest.
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