Tattoo  125tattoo.JPG
Bill Mann,, in Montreal, previews the new RORY GALLAGHER album

RORY GALLAGHER: no singles

RORY GALLAGHER alighted from his plane here with a cardboard box clutched under his arm like it was the crown jewels. No suitcase or anything else; just the box.

Gallagher was here to play a date with Freddie King and John Paul Hammond, and to start a six week North American tour. And what was inside the box? “Test pressings. See, we just started the tour, and just as we were about to leave England, we got some test pressings.”

The album had been finished the last week in August, and it’s called “Tattoo.”

“Because of the tour here,” Rory explained en route to his hotel, “They’re releasing it in North America a little before England. They’re not waiting; they got it out to beat the band. Should be out about the end of the month here.”

“There’s no time lapse – they’re rushing it out. We won’t be touring England until October and November, and it’ll be new then.”

The album title comes from the first track “Tattoo’d Lady,” and the MM poll-winner says of the album, “It has a character all its own. It crosses the bridge that ‘Blueprint’ (his last) was aiming at.”

All nine songs on the album, recorded in London, are Rory’s. And, as usual, Gallagher doesn’t particularly want any of them to become singles, saying, “I’ve seen singles change people totally…”

Tattoo’d Lady, starts the album, a song “all about fairgrounds and travelling carnivals I saw in Ireland years ago,” Rory says. It’s a hard rocker, with a chugging beat that leads into a screaming guitar break.The second song is “Cradle Rock” a heavier tune with a slight J. Geils feel to it. Lou Martin plays Hammond organ on the cut.“20/20 Vision” is next, and Rory calls it “a song with a barrelhouse blues feeling.” Lou Martin’s honky tonk piano is a joy through-out. It’s a good-natured number that even causes the usually stole Gallagher to laugh on one lyric. Rory plays acoustic guitar, and de’Ath uses only a tom tom for percussion.“They Don’t Make Them Like You” features some new guitar sounds by Gallagher, and the song is the most unique on the album. “It’s not really jazzy,” Rory says, “But jazz-tinged.”“Livin’ Like a Trucker” closes the first side, a song about the open road with a little wah-wah clavinet thrown in. It’s a fairly low-key number, with Rory playing a couple of flashy little guitar runs.

Side II opens with probably the strongest cut on the album, “Sleep On a Clothesline,” definitely a hard rocker, and a song that boogies.This goes into “Who’s That Coming?” a song that opens with Rory on National Steel, using a slide. The song eases along for a minute, Gallagher showing a deftness of touch on the National, then goes into a repeating riff. Then the riff suddenly turns into electric slide guitar, and the guitar is double-tracked all the way home.“A Million Miles Away” follows, and this is Rory’s cosmic jaunt.“Admit It,” a heavy rocker, closes the LP.

The album taken as a whole is an enjoyable one, like “Blueprint” an album, you’ll listen to for many months. Rory is experimenting on this album, but he never strays too far from his original, gritty, no nonsense sound.

This artice comes from Melody Maker – September 22, 1973
Thanks to Brenda O'Brien for finding and typing this article!
reformatted by roryfan
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