Each of our vinyl record subscription deliveries come with a premium quality album, an exclusive compilation EP and a bonus gift. August 2020’s Irish choice is featured below.
Despite popular belief, Gallagher was born in Co. Donegal and after living in Derry for a short while, he was brought up in Cork - the county that proudly claims him as their own. At age nine, Rory received his first guitar and was encouraged to pursue music by his parents and began teaching himself, playing at small events and winning talent competitions. A few years of this allowed him to purchase his most famous instrument, a 1961 Fender Stratocaster - which legend has it, was the first of its kind in Ireland.
In his adolescence, he didn’t have access to records, so he relied on television and radio to get his fix for what would become his greatest influences. Discovering Muddy Waters, Buddy Holly, Woody Guthrie , Bob Dylan and other multi-genre artists are what progressed his musical knowledge and that can be heard when you experience early Rory Gallagher on vinyl records like Deuce. Still only a teenager, he taught himself the harmonica, slide guitar, bass, banjo and alto saxophone among other instruments, and also spent a few years touring with showbands in Ireland and abroad. In 1966, he returned to Ireland and formed The Taste (aka. Taste) where he really made waves in the rock and roll scene.
Despite an incredible debut album by the latter, it was the formation of the Rory Gallagher Band and his work in the 70s that took Gallagher to the heights of legendary status that he is remembered for. Over his career he recorded a staggering 15 albums and today has sold over 30 million albums - but at the time, Irish radio had little interest. It was his energetic and authentic performances in which he was adored for in Ireland and around the world. Gallagher sadly passed away in 1995, well before his time. However, his legacy has lived on in so many ways - with numerous musical tributes, statues, squares, streets and even festivals in his name. He is frequently mentioned in listings of ‘top guitarists of all time’, lead guitarist of Queen, Brian May, once said that he owes Rory Gallagher fo his own sound, Eric Clapton credited Gallagher as the one who got him ‘back into the blues’ and The Rolling Stones famously invited him to Rotterdam to audition for the band.
Following an organised and eclectic first solo album with the power trio that made up the band, Gerry McAvoy on bass and Wilgar Campbell on drums - they returned with the incredible ‘Deuce’ in 1971. Unlike their previous record, Deuce was Gallagher’s first attempt at magically embodying that feeling of a live performance in a recording session. The result? A transformative music experience that would become Gallagher’s signature.
That primal energy that comes through the speakers when you listen to Rory Gallagher on vinyl, is thanks to his unique recording method. The artist would often capture his music directly before or after an onstage performance. This album, considered one of Gallagher’s finest pieces of work, was recorded at Tangerine Studios in East London with very minimal production. Shortly after the release of ‘Deuce’, Gallagher landed first place in Melody Maker's ‘International Top Guitarist of the Year’ list, ahead of Eric Clapton. It’s easy to understand why he is honoured with such accolades, when you listen to this album by Rory Gallagher on vinyl.
His guitar riffs and vocals are second to none and each song is masterfully produced by Gallagher and engineered by Robin Sylvester. It is well known that Gallagher was influenced by Bob Dylan and lovely hints of this can be heard throughout. Keep an ear out for ‘Don’t Know Where I’m Going’ - the harmonica on this track is impossible not to love.‘There’s A Light’ and ‘Should’ve Learnt My Lesson’ are other superb tracks, but as Ireland’s true gift to the world of the blues - the whole album is enjoyable from start to finish.
Like the sound of this? If you’re already a member of our subscription club, you can choose to get Rory Gallagher on vinyl for your August delivery. If you’d like to order vinyl records online which will be delivered straight to your door, you can sign up to our online vinyl club here.