The Best Of Rory Gallagher ft. Jerry Lee Lewis Album Review by Chris High
Twenty-five years gone and still as fresh sounding as ever. That’s the magic of Donegal’s William Rory Gallagher. Innovative, emotive and energised, this collection of the late guitar maestro’s gargantuan offerings is a must have.
It isn’t difficult to see why so many others have been influenced by Gallagher’s style. Gary Moore, The Edge, Joe Bonamassa, Alex Lifeson and Brian May have all cited Gallagher as an inspiration, although this is a list that is no way exclusive to these. A whole generation of Blues/Rock legends owe so much to the man from Ballyshannon.
So what is it that makes Rory Gallagher’s music so timeless? Well, this double album extenuates all that is wonderful about his playing. With songs from his first band, Taste, right up to his final recording, Fresh Evidence in 1990, the whole gamut of his career is offered for savouring. There is even an outtake from a session with Jerry Lee Lewis: a cover of The Rolling Stones I Can’t Get No Satisfaction from the 1973 London sessions.
The power Gallagher could summon from his Stratocaster is immense. Take a listen to Shadow Play from 1978s Photo Finish album and Follow Me from the following year’s Top Priority and revel in the mercurial talent on offer.
Of course the sound isn’t Gallagher’s alone. Long standing bassist Gerry McAvoy has a huge part to play, too, but that said, it is Gallagher’s charisma that this album fully appreciates. His blistering live performances are stuff of legend. His dedication to improving and reinventing the wheel something to behold.
All Around Man is Blues at its finest, with the grooving-funk fest that is Tattoo’d Lady juxtaposing the genres in a way only Gallagher could. This is a mere specimen of his sublime control. To see others gain fame and fortune while he struggled and strove for excellence must have been a source of constant frustration. You’d never know. His generosity of spirit, his pursuit of perfection, is mapped out here like an Ordinance Survey guide to excellence. Yet Loanshark Blues perhaps gives a nod towards his consternation.
This double CD package is a sheer delight. Thirty tracks spanning twenty-one years of brilliance, Rory Gallagher: The Best of (Deluxe) is a musical cavalcade that itches to be played and replayed over and over. A perfect starting point for those new to Rory Gallagher and the ideal collection to have as a handy “On The Go” assortment of genius songs played imperiously by the man known rightly as the Guitarists Guitarist.
1 What’s Going On
2 Shadow Play
3 Follow Me
4 Tattoo’d Lady
5 All Around Man
6 I Fall Apart
7 Daughter Of The Everglades
8 Calling Card
9 I’m Not Awake Yet
10 Just The Smile
11 Out Of My Mind
12 Edged In Blue
14 It’s Happened Before, It’ll Happen Again
15 Crest Of A Wave
1 Bad Penny
2 Walk On Hot Coals
3 Blister On The Moon
4 Loanshark Blues
5 Bought & Sold
6 A Million Miles Away
7 Wheels Within Wheels
8 Seven Days
9 Ghost Blues
10 Cruise On Out
11 (I Can’t Get No) Satisfaction
12 They Don’t Make Them Like You Anymore
“The Best Of Rory Gallagher” is out on Friday 9th October 2020. The album will be available to pre-order HERE.