Rory Gallagher: Irish rock pioneer
                                       by Dan Simone, Contributing Writer
             (The Spectrum, North Dakota State University student newspaper)

Irish guitarist Rory Gallagher was one of the most highly sought after acts of the seventies. He was a pioneer, being one of the first acts from Ireland to enter the rock and roll mainstream. At last count in 1998, he had sold over 30 million records worldwide.

Gallagher was the leader of Taste, a power-trio which formed in Cork, Ireland in 1967. In 1969, he formed a new version of the band and they began touring predominately in England and Germany. Taste was short-lived and broke up in 1970 after the famous Isle of Wight Festival. By then they had two albums under their belt, "Taste" and "On the Boards." They were touring Scandinavia, Canada, and the US with great success. Thankfully their electrifying final performance was recorded and released as "Taste: Live at the Isle of Wight".

Gallagher would spend the rest of his career as a solo artist. His shows were packed with raw energy and intense solos. Unfortunately, most of the albums from the early part of his solo career are unavailable and very hard to find on disk. The Taste albums are available from Europe. A few of his early solo albums are not available anywhere. Fortunately, "Live in Europe", "Irish Tour '74," and "Stagestruck" his three live albums from his solo career are available in America despite being hard to find. These three albums are very strong portraits of Rory's electrifying live shows. He was primarily a bluesman, and often played classic acoustic slide numbers during his shows between blistering electric guitar sets.

Gallagher's studio albums such as "Deuce", "Calling Card," and "Top Priority" are all worth a listen, despite the fact that Rory tended to be a lot more restrained in the studio. There are a couple bootlegs that occasionally will surface at record shows and they sell rather quickly. Artists such as Gallagher have limited bootlegs, and loyal fans will say that hunting them down are well worth the effort. The American audience is limited to "The Best of Taste" compilation and a portion of his solo albums.

Rory Gallagher toured right up to his untimely passing in 1995. Taste was one of the essential classic rock power-trios. Their albums are filled with lost classics. Gallagher released over 15 solo albums during a career that ended prematurely. Its hard to believe that American radio has overlooked such a tremendously gifted blues rock guitarist. Rory Gallagher was a true pioneer of Irish Rock.

Note: Fortunately the mention of the difficult availability of Rory's albums is a thing of the past and hopefully we'll have more to look forward to.         roryfan

Thanks to Keith Whalen for sending this article.
reformatted by roryfan
background is a donman capture, mutated by roryfan
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