ON THIS DATE (40 YEARS AGO)
May 14, 1972 – Rory Gallagher: Live in Europe is released.
# ALL THINGS MUSIC PLUS+ 5/5
# allmusic 4.5/5
Live! in Europe is an album released by Rory Gallagher on this date in May, 1972. It became Rory’s first gold album, and his second chart album success in the States. Live In Europe broke into the Top 10 of the UK albums chart, consolidating the success of his first two studio offerings.
Live in Europe is considered by many critics to be a landmark live recording, as it carefully blends the musicians with the crowd to create a gig-like atmosphere so craved by those who enjoy or produce live albums. Gallagher always insisted that his studio albums failed to capture the raw energy of his live acts and as a result released a number of live albums, many of which contain what are considered the “definitive versions” of some of his better known songs. Bob Dylan requested to record the song I Could’ve Had Religion that features on this album with Gallagher, but this recording never happened.
Rory’s high-octane blues-rock was well suited for the stage, a fact to which anyone who saw him in concert or has heard this or other live albums like Irish Tour ’74 and Stage Struck can attest. The set kicks off with two rockers, Junior Wells’ “Messin’ With the Kid” and the original “Laundromat”, before Gallagher slows down for “I Could’ve Had Religion” and Blind Boy Fuller’s “Pistol Slapper Blues”. The pace quickens for “Going to My Home Town”, a showcase for some fierce mandolin playing with enthusiastic audience participation, and the rocking boogie of “In Your Town”. “Bullfrog Blues” provides the finale during which the other two thirds of the power trio, bassist Gerry McAvoy and drummer Wilgar Campbell, get to solo for the appreciative crowd.
by Thom Owens
The live album Live in Europe/Stage Struck captures Rory Gallagher at his finest, as he tears his way through many of his very best songs. Though the performance quality is a little uneven, there are gems scattered throughout the record, including smoking versions of “Messin’ with the Kid” and “Laundromat.”
All tracks composed by Rory Gallagher unless otherwise stated.
“Messin’ With the Kid” (Junior Wells) – 6:25
“Laundromat” – 5:12
“I Could’ve Had Religion” (Trad. arr. Gallagher) – 8:35
“Pistol Slapper Blues” (Blind Boy Fuller) – 2:54
“Going to My Hometown” – 5:46
“In Your Town” – 10:03
“What in the World” (Trad. arr. Gallagher) – 7:40 *
“Hoodoo Man” (Trad. arr. Gallagher) – 6:02 *
“Bullfrog Blues” (Trad. arr. Gallagher) – 6:47