lördag 8 oktober 2016

Rory Gallagher - Live in Europe (Klassisk UK Bluesrock1972)

250:- (24-Bit Limited Remaster Edition. Mycket svår att hitta. Det här exemplaret är det 2:a sedan 2009 som jag fått tag på. Rory Gallagher's i mitt tycke bästa album ✪✪✪✪✪.)

Live in Europe is an album released by Irish blues guitarist Rory Gallagher in 1972. It is a series of live recordings made by Gallagher during his European tour. Unusual for a live album it contains only two previously released songs ("Laundromat" and "In Your Town"). All the other songs are either new Gallagher songs or Gallagher's interpretation of traditional blues songs.

Live in Europe was released at the end of the British "blues boom" that began in the 1960s. Sparked by bands such as the Rolling Stones, Yardbirds, and Cream fans and musicians were fascinated by authentic Chicago blues artists such as Muddy Waters. Gallagher had an extensive knowledge of this kind of music. Although he tended to play down arguments about what was "pure" blues. In an interview at the time he said:

"If there was one fault with the boom in the 1960s, it was that it was very straight-faced and very pontificatory, or whatever the word is. It used to annoy me that there was an attitude of 'Thou shalt not play the blues unless you know who played second acoustic guitar behind Sonny Boy Williamson the first on the B-side of whatever.' That kind of thing gets music nowhere, it’s like collecting stamps. I mean, I buy books on the blues and I check out the B-sides and I know who plays on what records and that’s fine. But then you’ve got to open that up to the rest of the people. Because that kind of snobbery defeats the purpose; it kills the music."

Rather than live versions of his most popular songs there are only two songs on the album that were previously recorded by Gallagher in the studio, "Laundromat" from his first album and "In Your Town" from his Deuce album. All the other songs are Gallagher's versions of classic blues songs. The album starts with what was to become a signature song for Gallagher, Junior Wells' "Messin' With the Kid". The song "I Could've Had Religion" was Gallagher's salute to what he called the "redemption style blues" of Reverends Robert Wilkins and Gary Davis. After hearing the song on this album Bob Dylan expressed interest in recording it and assumed it was a traditional blues number rather than an original song by Gallagher. Blind Boy Fuller's "Pistol Slapper Blues" is next. Gallagher then shows his versatility, swapping his Stratocaster for a mandolin and performing without the band the song "Going to My Home Town" with the audience stomping their feet and cheering in response as Gallagher sings "do you want to go?". The finale is the straight ahead hard rocking "Bullfrog Blues" written by William Harris. Gallagher switches back to the Stratocaster and the full band and gives bassist Gerry McAvoy and drummer Wilgar Campbell, a chance to solo. With the CD release two additional blues songs were added: "What in the World" and "Hoodoo Man".

Most critics agree that Live in Europe is one of Rory Gallagher's finest albums. It was his highest charting album to date reaching 101 in the Billboard 200 for 1972. The album was his first major commercial success and provided his first solo top ten album. It won him his first Gold Disc. In the same year of 1972 he was Melody Maker's Guitarist/Musician of the Year, winning out over Eric Clapton.

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."

After two critically acclaimed but commercially disappointing solo studio albums, Rory Gallagher unleashed this raging live disc in 1972 at the age of 23. It not established him in the States, where he had toured only once previously (with his first band Taste, opening for Blind Faith on their brief tour), and was a worldwide hit. Gallagher blasts through rearranged versions of three Junior Wells songs ("Messin' With the Kid," "I Could've Had Religion," and "Hoodoo Man") and Muddy Waters' "Bullfrog Blues," a holdover from his Taste days, like his fingers are exploding. Even on acoustic tracks like "Going to My Home Town" where Gallagher strums his mandolin with such ferocity it sounds like the strings are going to pop, he attacks with the intensity of a talented young man with something to prove.

The songs average about six minutes, but Gallagher and his two-piece never let the energy flag. More crackling than even his best studio work, you can hear the electricity in the air as the Irishman shoots solos scorching with vitality and precision. The 2000 reissue includes two slow blues cuts, "What in the World" and "Hoodoo Man" where the guitarist pulls out his slide tricks, both are worthwhile additions. 

01. "Messin' With the Kid" (London) (6:25)
02. "Laundromat" (Gallagher) (5:12)
03. "I Could've Had Religion" (Trad. Arr. Gallagher) (8:35)
04. "Pistol Slapper Blues" (Blind Boy Fuller) (2:54)
05. "Going to My Hometown" (Gallagher) (5:46)
06. "In Your Town" (Gallagher) (10:03)
07. "What in the World"* (Trad. Arr. Gallagher) (7:40)

Bonus Tracks
08. "Hoodoo Man"* (Trad. Arr. Gallagher) (6:02)
09. "Bullfrog Blues" (Trad. Arr. Gallagher) (6:47)