ON THIS DATE (41 YEARS AGO)
May 23, 1971 – Rory Gallagher: Rory Gallagher is released.
# ALL THINGS MUSIC PLUS+ 4.5/5
# Allmusic 3/5 stars
Rory Gallagher is the eponymous debut solo album by Rory Gallagher, released on this date in May 1971.
Rory Gallagher was a musician like no other. He was, and still is, one of the world’s greatest guitarists, singers, song writers and live showmen. His music lives on through generations of today’s hottest guitarists including Slash, Joe Bonamassa, Brian May, Johnny Marr and The Edge.
After releasing two critically acclaimed albums with his first band, Taste, and playing the Isle of Wight in 1970, Rory left the band to pursue a solo career. He formed his own band, performing under his own name, with two Belfast musicians; drummer Wilgar Campbell, and bass guitarist Gerry McAvoy.
by Hal Horowitz, allmusic
Rory Gallagher’s solo debut picks up where On The Boards left off – it’s a solid, but significantly less raucous, blues rock outing with ten original tunes that were far more than skeletons for his incisive Strat picking. “Laundromat,” “Hands Up,” and “Sinner Boy”‘s distinctive riffs were early concert favorites, but the album’s ballads were some of Gallagher’s strongest. “For the Last Time,” “Just the Smile” and the acoustic “I’m Not Surprised” mixed strains of Delta blues with strong melodic sensibilities into songs of rare poignancy, especially for an artist who was best known for his scorching leads. In this respect Gallagher was an early model for Eric Clapton, whose solo career followed a similar path. Interestingly, Gallagher seems rather restrained throughout his debut, holding back the fret-burning in favor of strong songs. He opens up on the album’s jazzy, seven-minute finale “Can’t Believe It’s You” which even features an alto sax, an instrument Gallagher all but abandoned on later albums. 2000’s reissued, remastered version of the disc includes two additional tunes, Muddy Waters’ slow Delta blues number “Gypsy Woman” and Otis Rush’s fast Chicago shuffle “It Takes Time,” both cut at the same sessions. “Gypsy Woman”‘s slashing slide guitar and vocals sound as impassioned any other track; shuffle “It Takes Time” isn’t quite as impressive but still shows how comfortable Gallagher is with straight blues. Brother/compiler Donal Gallagher’s track notes are short but illuminating, and the remastered sound, although not as vibrant as on later reissues of Gallagher’s catalog, is a big improvement over any existing version of this consistently superb album.
All songs written by Rory Gallagher except where stated.
“Laundromat” – 4:38
“Just the Smile” – 3:41
“I Fall Apart” – 5:12
“Wave Myself Goodbye” – 3:30
“Hands Up” – 5:25
“Sinner Boy” – 5:04
“For the Last Time” – 6:35
“It’s You” – 2:38
“I’m Not Surprised” – 3:37
“Can’t Believe It’s True” – 7:16
CD bonus tracks
“Gypsy Woman” – 4:02 (Muddy Waters)
“It Takes Time” – 3:34 (Otis Rush)