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Gary Moore

One of rock's most underrated guitarists (both from a technical and compositional point of view), Gary Moore remains relatively unknown in the U.S., while his solo work has brought him substantial acclaim and commercial success in most other parts of the world -- especially in Europe. Born on April 4, 1952, in Belfast, Ireland, Moore became interested in guitar during the '60s, upon discovering such blues-rock masters as Eric Clapton, Jimi Hendrix, and perhaps his biggest influence of all, Fleetwood Mac's Peter Green. After relocating to Dublin later in the decade, Moore joined a local rock group called Skid Row, which featured a young singer by the name of Phil Lynott, who would soon after leave the group to double up on bass and form Thin Lizzy. Skid Row persevered, however, eventually opening a show for Moore's heroes, Peter Green and Fleetwood Mac, and making such an impression on the veteran group that Green personally requested their manager help secure Skid Row a recording contract with CBS (in addition, Green sold Moore one of his most-used guitars, a maple 1959 Gibson Les Paul Standard, which would become Moore's primary instrument).

Skid Row would go on to issue several singles and albums (including 1970's Skid and 1971's 34 Hours), and although the group mounted a few tours of Europe and the U.S., it failed to obtain breakthrough commercial success, leading to Moore's exit from the group in 1972. Moore then formed his own outfit, the Gary Moore Band (along with members drummer Pearse Kelly and bassist John Curtis), for which the guitarist also served as vocalist. But after the trio's debut album, 1973's Grinding Stone, sunk without a trace, Moore hooked up once more with ex-bandmate Lynott in Thin Lizzy. Moore's initial tenure in Lizzy proved to be short-lived, however, as his fiery playing was featured on only a handful of tracks. Moore then set his sights on studio work (appearing on Eddie Howell's 1975 release, Gramaphone Record), before joining up with a prog rock/fusion outfit, Colosseum II. But once more, Moore's tenure in his latest outfit was fleeting; he appeared on only three recordings (1976's Strange New Flesh, plus a pair in 1977, Electric Savage and War Dance), as Moore accepted an invitation by his old buddy Lynott to fill in for a Thin Lizzy U.S. tour, playing arenas opening for Queen.

Moore proved to be quite busy in 1978, as the guitarist appeared on three other artists' recordings -- Andrew Lloyd Webber's Variations, Rod Argent's Moving Home, and Gary Boyle's Electric Glide. The same year, Moore issued his second solo release (almost five years after his solo debut), Back on the Streets, which spawned a surprise Top Ten U.K. hit in May of 1979, the bluesy ballad "Parisienne Walkways," and featured vocal contributions by Lynott. Moore joined forces with his Lizzy mates once more in 1979, appearing on arguably the finest studio album of their career, Black Rose, which proved to be a huge hit in the U.K. (for a fine example of Moore's exceptional guitar skills, check out the album's epic title track). But predictably, Moore ultimately exited the group once more (this time right in the middle of a U.S. tour), as a rift had developed between Moore and Lynott. Undeterred, Moore lent some guitar work to drummer Cozy Powell's solo release, Over the Top, in addition to forming a new outfit, G Force, which would only remain together for a lone self-titled release in 1980.

During the early '80s, Moore united with former ELP guitarist/bassist/singer Greg Lake, appearing on a pair of Lake solo releases (1981's self-titled release and 1983's Manoeuvres), in addition to guesting on another Cozy Powell solo release, Octopuss. But it was also during the '80s that Moore finally got serious with his solo career -- issuing such heavy metal-based works as 1982's Corridors of Power, 1983's Victims of the Future, 1984's Dirty Fingers and the in-concert set We Want Moore!, 1985's Run for Cover, 1987's Wild Frontier, plus 1989's After the War -- establishing a large following in Europe, despite remaining virtually unknown stateside. The decade wasn't all rosy for Moore, however -- although he was able to patch up his friendship with Phil Lynott (appearing with Lizzy for several tracks on Life/Live, and teaming with Lynott for a pair of tracks in 1985, "Military Man" and "Out in the Fields," the latter a U.K. hit), years of hard living finally caught up with Lynott, leading to his passing in January of 1986. Moore would subsequently dedicate "Wild Frontier" to Lynott, and honored Thin Lizzy's former frontman on the track "Blood of Emeralds" (from After the War).

Fed up with the pressure to pen hit singles and tired of his metallic musical direction, Moore returned to his blues roots for 1990's Still Got the Blues, the most renowned and best-selling release of his career, as the album featured such special guests as Albert Collins, Albert King, and George Harrison. Moore continued in his newly rediscovered blues style on such subsequent releases as 1992's After Hours and 1993's Blues Alive, before forming the short-lived supergroup BBM along with Cream's former rhythm section -- bassist Jack Bruce and drummer Ginger Baker -- which lasted for a single album, 1994's Around the Next Dream. Up next for Moore was a tribute album for Peter Green, 1995's Blues for Greeny, which saw him put his own personal stamp on 11 tracks either penned or performed at some point by Green. Moore experimented with different musical styles on his next two solo releases, 1997's Dark Days in Paradise and 1999's A Different Beat, before embracing the blues once more on his first release of the 21st century, 2001's Back to the Blues.

Over the years, Gary Moore has been the subject of countless compilations, the best of the bunch being 1998's metal-oriented Collection and 2002's blues-based Best of the Blues, as well as Out in the Fields: The Very Best of Gary Moore, which was split 50/50 between his metal and blues excursions. Teaming with Skunk Anansie bassist Cass Lewis and Primal Fear drummer Darrin Mooney, Moore started work on much harder and alternative-influenced rock in the spring of 2002 and released the results as Scars. The powerful Live at Monsters of Rock from 2003 proudly declared "no overdubs used" while 2004's raw Power of the Blues featured nothing but the blues, as did 2006's Old New Ballads Blues on Eagle Records, 2007's Close As You Get (which featured some drum contributions from his old Thin Lizzy friend Brian Downey), and 2008's Bad for You Baby. This turned out to be Moore's final studio album, as he unexpectedly passed away of a suspected heart attack in the early morning hours of February 6, 2011, while vacationing in Spain. ~ Greg Prato, Rovi
full bio

Selected Discography

Comments

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This boy cant sleep at night, the dude was on fire! We all miss you....
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Should be in the Rolling Stone top 100 guitarist. Hope he is voted into the Rock n Roll Hall of Fame.
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Sad to hear he passed away. This man should have been given more attention. What is sadder is that others with no talent get attention.
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Nice
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I have never heard of him until today 5/9/15. Love his ax handling. He could play. Another one gone but not forgotten. R.I.P.
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Luv him, and miss anything new.. Jam on gary. and RIP
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Damn gone way to soon! Pandora I have to buy ..more hi-speed as long as I'm b**chin' where's Shuggie Otis.
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We Must Give Time for it to all to come to Together :-)
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Bad over the top
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Over the Hills and Far Away. The solo in that song resonates right up their with the best!
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cecoach3
Just simply one of the greatest! His feel, vibrato and tone second to none!
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i just stumbled across this dude can't undersyand why i not heard of him sooner f....ing blew me away
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cvccurtvc
Won tickets off radio probly 20 years ago last min. deal don't call unlessyou can leave in next 2 or3 hours.Seen lots of concerts over the years (iots) and nobody rocked harder! At the ti\me had not really heard of him. He was touring a live album I don't see here. What a long strange trip its been! KEEP ON ROCKIN
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Igo a**hole
You have NEVER picked up a guitar and learned how to play. you are a loser, in every sense of the word.
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Have you heard red house from the strat pack video
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AWESOME
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belkat
Jaysus, that guy can shred!
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What a tune. Very addictive.
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doit2itpruit t 4
cant get enough of this jam
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i like it a lot
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you can't fool the blues BBM
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Thank you Gary Moore for Black Rose:A Rock Legend!
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Thank you man. Sweet, sweet blues here .
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As a musician for many years, this man is a legend and will remain one. Maybe he never got the commercial success he so deserved, but true God given talent seldom does. The greatest guitar playing (voodoo chile) I have ever heard Period!
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it's a great thing that he left us all his all his recordings to be enjoyed forevermore. g o n e but not forgotten
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damn, what a awesome talent!!!!
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Lov it
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First heard Gary Moore on KNAC-FM on a show called Imports. I bought the album, Grinding Stone, in 1973. I was unaware he joined Thin Lizzy afterwards and felt his work with that band, though good, was not indicative of his talent.
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Jeez , Gary really rocks me man. I love PETER GREEN and why is Gary not on the freaking ROCK LIST? The absolute BEST. Rock on boyys
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guypfanz
Sorry it took so long for me to discover my favorite blues artist
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splinter993
Gary Moore's passion for the blues and his guitar can never be duplicated. He is sadly missed.
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like great chilli.It a little different every time
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jkinney2311
We will never see a guitarist with this magnitude and emotion.
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was one of the best axe men out there, r. I. p. gary
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This guy was magical
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ljmiam55
...u r missed...
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Still got the blues!!! RIP brother!!! The most awesome complete singer guitarist ever!!!����
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I agree dude. What a tone he got from his equipment, too. The perfect compliment to his melodies and wailing style!!
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jimbosc
RIP Gary
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Very underrated & under appreciated guitarist. Suggest checking out his cd catalog. Think you'll be quite surprised !
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georgiabe
wow it's like a woman talking
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AAAAaaaaaaaa a a a a w w w w w w . . . . . . . . . . : ' ( : ' ( : ' ( ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! !
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When you play blues from the heart its the cry we all know well on a level seldom understood or conveyed
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2 bad we lost this one so sad
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me to man
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The greats always seem to leave us too early. I think he really found his calling when he started playing the blues. I can't think of anyone I would really rather listen to. Fantastic guitar work and the perfect blues voice.
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He's definitely got a way of breathing New life into one of America's oldest art form, the BLUES... Excellent as his craft. Real fluid yet rude and sharp all in one progression. I think I like it
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charlesadams 1 5 t h
Charles, , I love the way garyplays,, helping to save the blues, play on
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he wales on that guitar... so fine...
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i've never seen gary moore live but I have a dvd of him live in canada, he reminds you of SRV, sweats like a
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