Great Rock Albums, 1978: Rory Gallagher- Photo Finish
It was 1982 when I first discovered Rory Gallagher and then it was several months later before I learned his name. The encounter happened when I was on sea duty in the marines. The ship’ s onboard tv station would show anything that came to hand, the many reruns of the then popular sitcom “Alice” laid proof to that. One evening, when expecting the same, I saw a three piece band on the television, with most of the camera focused on the guitarist/singer. I didn’t know who they were and there was much speculation among my fellow marines, but what we all agreed was, these guys could jam. The guitarist especially was “bitchin’.”
A few months later, the mystery as to who had rocked us out was finally solved. While on liberty in Barcelona, Spain, we were in a bar that decorated its walls with album covers. I could amaze you with some of the great albums that were stuck on them, but I won’t. However, in amongst those albums was the “Photo Finish” album by Rory Gallagher. Fortunately, we weren’t drunk enough yet so we could all look and agree that the person on the front cover of the album was that guitar ace who had dazzled us a few months earlier. Unfortunately, I waited a month to when I went home on leave to purchase this album and being Sound Odyssey in South Jersey, they had no clue what I meant and said they couldn’t get it. (Probably weren’t bothered.) But there is a happy ending. Four years later, I came to the UK and saw that this album was still readily available. Needless to say, I purchased it there and then and haven’t regretted it since.
Not only should Rory Gallagher have been included in my “Great Guitarists of the 70s” post many months ago, he also is number one on my list of “Great acts who never made it in America.” Many Americans, although I am bracing myself for replies to the contrary, haven’t heard of Rory Gallagher and know what a great musician he was. I say “was” because his death in 1995 robbed the world of yet another great musician.
“Photo Finish” is proof in the pudding of what a great guitarist Rory Gallagher was. Each of the tracks on this album displays a unique riff coming from his talented hand and every track on it shines in its own way. Unlike a lot of albums, I can subvocalise most of the songs and am right now playing them in my head. Obviously some stand out more than others. My favourites are “Shin Kicker,” “Brute Force and Ignorance,” “The Mississippi Sheiks,” “Cloak and Dagger” and “Shadow Play.”
1. Shin Kicker
2. Brute Force and Ignorance
3. Cruise on Out
4. Cloak and Dagger
5. Overnight Bag
6. Shadow Play
7. The Mississippi Sheiks
8. Last of the Independents
9. Fuel to the Fire
10. Early Warning
11. Juke Box Annie
Rory Gallagher- guitar/vocals
Gerry McAvoy- bass
Ted McKenna- drums
For a classic blues based album, this is one of the best. It shows that Rory Gallagher deserves his place along with the greatest guitarists. For metal heads, there are some great rocking moments on it as well, another reason why it appeals to so many. “Photo Finish” is definitely, for many Americans anyway, a great undiscovered gem.
Next post: Patty Smith- Easter
To buy Rock And Roll Children, go to www.strategicpublishinggroup.com/title/RockAndRollChildren.html
Also available on Amazon, Barnes & Noble and Froogle
p.s. I have just learned from a friend that when Jimi Hendrix was asked in an interview at Woodstock what it was like to be the world’s greatest guitarist, he responded with “I don’t know, ask Rory Gallagher.”
This entry was posted on January 5, 2012 at 10:29 am and is filed under Heavy Metal, Music with tags Classic Rock, Guitarists, hard rock, Heavy Metal, Heavy Rock, Photo Finish, Rock And Roll Children, Rory Gallagher, The 1970s. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.