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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

annemayard
Tears
annemayard
Years in my eyes RIP
I am a huge Gary Moore fan, but its quite obvious that the Live At Montreaux 2010 album was not produced to the same level we have come to expect from Gary. Listen to his other live albums and the mix is so much better, the guitar clearer.. Maybe in a rush to get it released after his untimely death the label should have taken a little more time and listed to his ealrier recordings to give this legend a truly beautiful sounding final album.
great skill...nice sound ...a musician speaks to musician
I love that song,but no-one has done it better than Donnie Hathaway. His guitar playing is exceptionabl e , i t s just so sad that many great artist have passed on but lm glad they left timeless classics behind.
jbailey649
Peter Green and Gary Moore share the crown as far as electric blues goes. Eric wil have to carry the guitars...
Saw him live twice in the early 80's when he was into his hard rockin' phase. One of the all-time greats, period.
Midnightzzz with the Bluzzz 3m 14y
Saw him for the first time , tribute to the Stratocaster concert
boywonder194 9
What a talent!! Just amazing to listen to and he never disappoints!
Just soooooo good!!
yikes. how did I miss this guy all these years?
Excellent Blues!
The still got the blues is my heartfelt sound, miss you but you left some great blues.
will miss ya budddy
Take a Texas Flood and mix it with Dazed and Confused and some old school Jimi and this is what you might get. Best slow blues I've heard in a while.
vegaschevygu y
Always makes me feel better when I listen to him.
Greatest blues guitarist even.
Like this blues music of his far better than Thin Lizzie. Great blues voice and guitar.
belkat
Heavenly blues
wheeew awesome guitar
GARY MOORE.... AMONG THE BEST AND ALL OF THE BEST STILL PAYING TRIBUTE... PLAY IN PEACE BROTHER AND KEEP ON JAMMIN' MY MAN...
Shaucypher, I have just one question for you - do you like your meatloaf with ketchup or gravy?

Shaucypher: All I want out of life is a woman that gets this guy and can make a meatloaf.
Thank you Pandora, without you I would have never found Gary Moore. You made me Amazon his career and I purchased Best of The Blues, 2 cds, One live the other studio cuts. Love his songs and playing. Few people can make a Gibson les paul sound that damn good. RIP Gary.
I have tried, but I cannot listen to G. Moore without closing my eyes. Maybe it is so I can better enjoy the chills slowly running down my body.. Seriously what is there not to love?. Sweet.
Great licks, seems difficult to find words to describe. Sooo very beautiful , to listen to. Gary Moore lives on.With every song.
Thismans Music, is truly good for the Human soul. Such a good listen.
His music hits me down in the gut! Feeds my soul. In love! If not for Pandora would have missed on Gary Moors.
boywonder194 9
Each time I listened to His music it brings my soul to rest and awe. Just so damn good!!!!
SORRY I
MISSED THIS GUY. GREAT LICKS. ALSO A PETER GREEN FANS
F**king epic
nickdav0
In the process of searching for and downloading several hundred blues tracks from iTunes I would often see the name Gary Moore come up as a similar or influenced by artist. For months I neglected to click on the name because the only Garry Moore I could visualize was a radio/TV game and talk show host in the 50s, 60s and 70s. When I finally ran out of names I selected Mr. Moore. The sensation reminded me of how listening to music in the late 60s felt on acid. Unbelievable ! .
suzieqskis
I thought the same thing until I saw who it was. He's fantastic! More like Jonny Lang with an occasional touch of Gary Moore. Gary's voice has a certain sound that's only his but the guitar sounded a little like Gary's & now here's Jonny...lol. . . y o u can tell the difference hearing all three of them in a row. WOW is right! Love them All~! ';D
kevin_meyer5 0
wow
GM is in the top 5 of fastest hands of all time.mix that with his soulfulness, y o u have one hell of a player. thanks gm for the tunes.YOU ARE MISSED...... . J C
93inches
Such a shame the good die young....... . .
eleckrik blues incarnate, gary moore can be soft and soulful and then take your face off with shreddin licks, I bow my head to him, he is fn awesome. power speed and soul, every song is an epic journey, example,, still got the blues
kvons1
Evil Love----best damn blues song on the planet.
myrgstr
sad bio. I like his music.
kvons1
Way back from the good ole' days of Thin Lizzy with Phil Lynott----G. M was great then and right up to the very end. A truly great artist & sorely missed (amongst others) RIP: G.M.
Gary Moore was a sublime blues musician. Every time I hear him and often when others play his music, I know it is Gary Moore. Say what you will about his vocal chops, Gary brought his heart and soul to the experience. If that ain't blues, I don't know what is...
Excellent blues guitarist very talented but as far as a SINGER? No not really...... . . . . too Irish to know the real bluesy VOICE it calls for ...Great
guitar player very heartfelt how he learned to stretch those strings note
for note.. His high pitched tones connote his Irish passion for the blues...
Thanks Gary R I P You are missed by alot of people my friend!
Will be missed a lot. This man could make a guitar catch fire. Excellent!
royaldmd
AWESOME!
sad day. blues Society lost a great blues mastet and rocker . R.I.P. MOORE
I wish he was here to make more music! I know it would be great stuff!
R.I.P. GM
bvanneng
This guy was as good as many of the guitar legends and better than some of them.
kvons1
Losing these greats when they're all around my age gets scary! RIP: G.M.
2 years ago today we lost a great man. RIP Gary!
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