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Rory Gallagher

For a career that was cut short by illness and a premature death, guitarist, singer, and songwriter Rory Gallagher sure accomplished a lot in the blues music world. Although Gallagher didn't tour the U.S. nearly enough, spending most of his time in Europe, he was known for his no-holds-barred, marathon live shows at clubs and theaters around the United States.

Gallagher was born in Ballyshannon, County Donegal, Irish Republic, on March 2, 1948. Shortly after his birth, his family moved to Cork City in the south, and at age nine he became fascinated with American blues and folk singers he heard on the radio. An avid record collector, he had a wide range of influences, including Leadbelly, Buddy Guy, Freddie King, Albert King, Muddy Waters, and John Lee Hooker. Gallagher would always try to mix some simple country blues songs into his recordings.

Gallagher began his recording career after moving to London, when he formed a trio called Taste. The group's self-titled debut album was released in 1969 in England and later picked up for U.S. distribution by Atco/Atlantic. Between 1969 and 1971, with producer Tony Colton behind the board, Gallagher recorded three albums with Taste before they split up. Gallagher began performing under his own name in 1971, after recording his 1970 debut, Rory Gallagher for Polydor Records in the U.K. The album was picked up for U.S. distribution by Atlantic Records, and later that year he recorded Deuce, also released by Atlantic in the U.S.

His prolific output continued, as he followed up Deuce with Live in Europe (1972) and Blueprint and Tattoo, both in 1973. Irish Tour 1974, like Live in Europe, did a good job of capturing the excitement of his live shows on tape, and he followed that with Calling Card for Chrysalis in 1976, and Photo Finish and Jinx for the same label in 1978 and 1982. By this point Gallagher had made several world tours, and he took a few years rest from the road. He got back into recording and performing live again with the 1987 release (in the U.K.) of Defender. His last album, Fresh Evidence, was released in 1991 on the Capo/I.R.S. label. Capo was his own record and publishing company that he set up in the hopes of eventually exposing other great blues talents.

Some of Gallagher's best work on record wasn't under his own name; it's stuff he recorded with Muddy Waters on The London Sessions (Chess, 1972) and with Albert King on Live (RCA/Utopia). Gallagher made his last U.S. tours in 1985 and 1991, and admitted in interviews that he'd always been a guitarist who fed off the instant reaction and feedback a live audience can provide. In a 1991 interview, he told this writer: "I try to sit down and write a Rory Gallagher song, which generally happens to be quite bluesy. I try to find different issues, different themes and different topics that haven't been covered before...I've done songs in all the different styles...train blues, drinking blues, economic blues. But I try to find a slightly different angle on all these things. The music can be very traditional, but you can sort of creep into the future with the lyrics."

Gallagher passed away from complications owing to liver transplant surgery on June 14, 1995, at age 47. For a good introduction to his unparalleled prowess as a guitarist, singer, and songwriter, pick up Irish Tour 1974, Calling Card, or Fresh Evidence, all available on compact disc. ~ Richard Skelly
full bio

Selected Discography

x

Track List: Kickback City

Disc 1

1. Kickback City

2. Continental Op

3. Kid Gloves

4. Big Guns

5. Loanshark Blues

6. Secret Agent

7. B Girl

8. Slumming Angel

9. Barley & Grape Rag

10. Doing Time

11. In Your Town

12. Sinner Boy

13. The Devil Made Me Do It

14. Seven Days

Disc 2

4. Off The Handle (Live)

Disc 3
x

Track List: Notes From San Francisco

Disc 1

1. Rue The Day

2. Persuasion

3. B Girl

4. Mississippi Sheiks

5. Wheels Within Wheels

6. Overnight Bag

7. Cruise On Out

8. Brute Force & Ignorance

9. Fuel To The Fire

11. Cut A Dash

12. Out On The Tiles

Disc 2

1. Follow Me

2. Shinkicker

3. Off The Handle

4. Bought And Sold

5. I'm Leavin'

6. Tattoo'd Lady

7. Do You Read Me

8. Country Mile

9. Calling Card

10. Shadow Play

11. Bullfrog Blues

12. Sea Cruise

x

Track List: Live At Montreux

1. Laundromat (Live 1975)

2. Toredown (Live 1975)

3. I Take What I Want (Live 1977)

4. Bought & Sold (Live 1977)

5. Do You Read Me (Live 1977)

6. The Last Of The Independents (Live 1979)

7. Off The Handle (Live 1979)

8. Mississippi Sheiks (Live 1979)

9. Out Of The Western Plain (Live 1979)

10. Too Much Alcohol (Live 1979)

11. Shinkicker (Live 1985)

12. Philby (Live 1985)

x

Track List: Defender

1. Kickback City

2. Loanshark Blues

3. Continental Op

4. I Ain't No Saint

5. Failsafe Day

6. Road To Hell

7. Doing Time

8. Smear Campaign

9. Don't Start Me To Talkin'

10. Seven Days

11. Seems To Me

12. No Peace For The Wicked

x

Track List: Jinx

1. Big Guns

2. Bourbon

3. Double Vision

4. The Devil Made Me Do It

5. Signals

6. Jinxed

7. Easy Come Easy Go

8. Nothin' But The Devil

9. Ride On Red, Ride On

10. Lonely Mile

11. Loose Talk

x

Track List: Calling Card

1. Do You Read Me

2. Country Mile

3. Moonchild

4. Calling Card

5. I'll Admit You're Gone

8. Edged In Blue

10. Rue The Day

x

Track List: Tattoo

1. Tattoo'd Lady

2. Cradle Rock

3. 20:20 Vision

4. They Don't Make Them Like You Anymore

5. Livin' Like A Trucker

6. Sleep On A Clothes-Line

7. Who's That Coming

8. A Million Miles Away

9. Admit It

11. Just A Little Bit

x

Track List: Deuce

1. I'm Not Awake Yet

2. Used To Be

3. Don't Know Where I'm Going

4. Maybe I Will

5. Whole Lot Of People

6. In Your Town

7. Should've Learnt My Lesson

8. There's A Light

9. Out Of My Mind

10. Crest Of A Wave

11. Persuasion

Comments

Report as inappropriate
Jesters55, see a good audiologist. You can thank me later. Or, go back to listening to Hansen.
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boring, derivative hack...thumb s down, loser.
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corvettjd0.. . . . . . . . . . U r b a n Legend. It never happened.
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Back in the day Jimi Hendrix was being interviewed and was asked how does it feel to be the best guitarist out there. Jimi replied, you'd have to ask Rory Gallagher!
Wow that's some high praise.
Report as inappropriate
I was fortunate enough to see Rory live numerous times in the 70s. You're absolutely right a.lorton, an absolute a**-kicker live with a great band behind him too. He played and flew around the stage like he was on fire with that Strat that looked like he left it outside in the elements. RIP Irish Rocker!
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THE ONLY GUITARIST THAT COMPARES IS JIMI HENDRIX, BARELY!
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a.lorton
Saw Rory live in a club in 1984.Wow,tot a l l y kicked a** on guitar and the man had so much charisma,cro w d loved himGreat guy.Rest in peace Rory.One of the greatest.Che c k out the cd Notes from San Francisco ,disc 2 live.Dont think I ever heard better lead guitar playing than that.
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Wow bob i actually agree with you on this one. Old Heath comes off as a real duschy.
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roryos0
saw him follow Ted Nugent at 2 festivals in the early 70's ,,, that took some guts but he blew us away when we thought we were maxed out from ted
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Lost at sea and against the grain
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So sad,gone too early,like many! Such talent!
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kevin-burns9
I've seen Rory since 1975 unbelievable smokin!Hot Gem of a guitarist!19 9 5 is terrible loss!but he keeps rockin!tatto o d lady God bless Rory!!!
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mkeenan4561
Saw Rory live in 78-79 was the best. This discography is incomplete without Photo Finish, Top Priority, and Against The Grain. My favorite 3 albums by him.
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Heath Corpse ab one, dead guys are deaf!
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you don't even own a mirror
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Heath Corpse Mutilator, I wouldn't call anyone else a loser if I posted a selfie taken in a mirror
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Thumbs down loser haha ��™
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Oh and it's not plagiarism unless u have a TM or a rights reserved... Mr. Self appointed critic...of course u would b self appointed no one from Pandora would hire u anyway,u just mostly have negative comments on every artist u come across. Oh and by the way how do u come across so many artists when u only have 2 stations?! Especially artists like Suffocation! I know Suffocation doesn't pop up on Rory Gallagher radio haha
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Well bobonnit, with all of your negative comments on so many great artists,u will have an endless amount of bad karma!
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" When the blues comes calling with it's calling card....." !!
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It's 1969 and I'm living in England at the time when my mate bought me the first Taste album for my 20th birthday only problem the band broke up after the Isle of Wight festival. Went to see Rory in Liverpool 1970 and that started something that has lasted 47 years of the best blues music ever. Seen Rory many times live when living in England and twice since moving to Australia in 1972. Two concerts stand out for me. Unexpected when on holiday in Cornwall UK 1971 ,at Torquay Town Hall and Rory b
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Heath-Corpse Mutilator, plagarizing one of my commonly used comments and applying it to one of the greatest guitarists of the 20th century will bring bad karma upon you
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TRULY RIGHTEOUS TALENT GONE 2 SOON. YET NOT 2 SOON 2 B A BLESSING 2 THOSE WITH GOOD "TASTE". Ha !! How bout dat !! SHONUFF DA LAD REALLY GETS DOWN WIT DAT SLIDIN GUITAR. AMEN.
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Boring and pretentious, t h u m b s down loser!
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Against the Grain. First full Rory album I heard. I was hooked instantly. He still is a big influence with my own music. Miss seeng him.
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There is a good documentary on YouTube called Ghost Blues The Rory Gallagher Story. About 1.5 hours of interviews and footage.
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His records are very good and entertaining . Live...Rory was incredible! A consummate showman and - quite possibly - one of the greatest guitar vituoso's ever. If you never saw him live, buy Irish Tour '74. Then you will know.
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Saw him at Riverside Community College late 70's had his records from high school, blew me away, could make that guitar talk, a lot of music off the stage from drums,bass,k e y b o a r d and guitar.
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Back in the early 80s, a yuppie college friend asks me What's that crap you're listening to? Months later my friend's wearing jeans, flannel shirts, and buying every Rory lp he can find. And I agree, Rory was best live.
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Simply the best
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kevin-burns9
Persuasion rory gallagher !!!rock heaven amazingly fantastic jam!!!pkb45
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his records were good, some great (photo finish) but ya had to see him live to really get him! Really just check out some some of the stuff on you tube. i argude with fans of his for years till i saw him live, made a believer out of me!
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malibulane5
OK I DON'T DO COMMENTS ...... BUT I HAVE TO..... 1972 Vancouver, Canada. 3 bands, Fleetwood Mac, Deep Purple, and a little Irish boy named Rory Gallagher. So... 1st out Rory, what happens..... blows the crowd away!!!! Walk on Hot coals, Skate on razor blades, this kid played guitar soooooo good, and his band was tight. Went back to Seattle area and did everything I could to turn the Northwest onto Rory.
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kevin-burns9
Rory enjoy another great st Patrick day in heaven Miss u So Much master of Guitar I've enjoyed your live shoes in Chicago!!! As the crows flies go Rory on that acoustic great Guitar!!!Pkb 4 5
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nathanblack8
Pokey, what time period would that be? British invasion or a touch post? I was under the impression that was the greatest rock and roll mega era of all time with some intense innovation. Generic just doesn't sit right.
Report as inappropriate
Generic, sounds like everything else from that time period. bobonnit blows domes.
Report as inappropriate
I only got to see Rory once, in the spring of '73 but my friends and I still talk about that show and how he just about blew the roof off that night
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I had the pleasure of meeting him twice, firstly taking his photo and then coming back to have him sign it. A gentleman genius.
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Rock out!!!
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thin.lizzy.n e v e r had a no chance to catch up
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but no-hit smoking whisky, drinking cocaine?
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saw him,many,yea r s ago. Opened for.thin.Liz z y h e blew up the stage
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kevin-burns9
Rory the master wizard on the guitar hits!!anothe r home run million miles away awesome!!!lo v e u rory!!!peace in heaven say hello to Alvin lee!!!pkb45
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What a great talent! R.I.P Rory!
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kevin-burns9
Rory kick out another !classic !for the last time!!!man what a unbelievable guitarist!!E x t r a d i n a i r e ! ! ! God bless ROrY!!!pkb45
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kevin-burns9
Absolutely one of the finest rock and rol guitarist god bless rory say hi to alvin lee !!!pkb45
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milosdad
bebevan, have to give you props for the respectful way you state your opinion.
Report as inappropriate
Q for wegoweko: If RG died in 1994, was his corpse still as good in 2003? I'm sure you meant an earlier date. I saw Rory several times in the 70's as a headliner and supporting act but I would have missed the Rush show since I consider Rush the 2nd most annoying band in rock history right behind Led Zeppelin. Personal preference and taste, of course, and no offense meant for fans of those 2 bands.
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Wow Rory was one of, if not the best that ever done it..........
Report as inappropriate
Saw him in hole in the wall bar at Ohio State wearing faded jeans and worn out cowboy boots. He rocked our socks off.great player
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