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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