Updated: Sep 6
All hail the Celtic Rock Warrior King!
To celebrate 50th anniversary of Rory's debut album, UMC is releasing a stunning 5 disc boxset that does credit to the ultimate musician's musician.
The new box set features an impressively clean new mix of the original album along with more goodies from the G Man's archives. Drool over previously unreleased BBC sessions and alternate takes, plus Rory’s first solo concert after leaving Taste, recorded for “Pop Deaux” in France. There's also a beautiful 32 page booklet that includes unseen photos by Barrie Wentzel, essays, interviews, and a host of treasures. Fear not there will also be a vinyl version of the set released for those who want to have a truly sonic Rory experience.
To say that Rory's influential album still stands up after 50 years sounds cliched, but it's the truth. His expressive and distinctive playing along with bluesy vocals has given lifeblood to guitarists that followed from Slash to James Dean Bradfield. 'Laundromat' and 'Sinner Boy' still sound as beefy now as they did then.
The alternate takes on offer give us a fascinating glimpse into the creative process, but also inspire discussions as to what take should have made the cut. The live sessions and the DVD are perhaps where the magic on this box set really lies, where we can see and hear the G Man in action. 'Just a Smile' from the John Peel session is a thing of wonder and demonstrates Rory's adroit skill as an acoustic guitarist. A rip-roaring version of 'Hands Up' on the DVD makes it pretty clear why he was much imitated and left such a huge vacuum in the music community when he passed away in 1995.
There's some epic stuff here, and the box set can be devoured and cherished in equal parts. Thanks to releases like this, Rory's legacy is secured for at least the next 50 years.
Rory Gallagher’s 50th Anniversary Box Set of his eponymous 1971 album “Rory Gallagher” is released by UMC on September 3rd. https://rorygallagher.lnk.to/50thAnniversary