Rory Gallagher first formed the group in 1966, after a stint playing with the Fontanas in Germany. That particular Taste trio “went as far as it could go, and fizzled out”. Eric Kitteringham played bass and Norman Damery was on drums.
Take It Easy Baby was taken from the Taste demo sessions. According to liner notes, more tracks were recorded, but they were accidentally erased. These were never originally intended for release, but since Rory Gallagher became well known, someone scrounged in the vaults until they found something they could release.
Then Rory was joined by two Northern Irishmen, Richard (aka Charlie) McCraken and John Wilson, and they moved to London. They started working at The Marquee Club and have been expanding their circle of fans ever since. Rory played lead guitar, mouth harp and provided the gutsy bluesy vocals on their first LP, simply Taste.
Their style of blues/rock/jazz was on a level that rivaled such bands as Blind Faith, Traffic, and the Jimi Hendrix Experience for creativity and energy. Because of problems with managers and creative differences, Taste only produced two studio LP's Taste and On the Boards . Two other live LP's were produced later that captured Taste's great hard driving blues rock at live shows Live Taste and Taste - Live at the Isle of Wight.
Scandinavia voted Taste as the ‘best new group’ and in the Netherlands they topped Cream and Fleetwood Mac in a popularity poll. But just as all comparisons are odious, it is impossible to slip Taste into a category with Blind Faith, or Rory Gallagher in a bracket with Eric Clapton. For what Taste and Rory were doing was new and different. There all comparisons must end, and only the enthusiasm of their audience can be a measure of their ability to communicate.
Click on thumbnail to see larger image
The Evolution of Rory and his playing mates
Got a favorite Taste song? Click Here
Rory came alive when he played in front of an audience, as he said, "I love playing to people. The audience means a lot to me. It's not the whole thing, I love recording too, but I need regular and frequent contact with the people. It gives me energy"
In 1971 'Taste' were on the brink of international success. They had built up a loyal fan base (which included John Lennon), played the legendary Isle of Wight Festival and recorded two blistering albums, but to the surprise of both their fans and their contemporaries the band split due to managerial and musical differences.
Rory keen to utilize this new found musical freedom, returned to London's Advision studio's with engineer Eddy Offord whom Rory had worked with during the recording of the Taste album On the Boards. The resultant sessions became Rory's first solo album, the eponymously titled Rory Gallagher.
Donal Gallagher, London 1999
'Deuce' was the culmination of Rory's musical apprenticeship. He'd toured with an Irish showband, released acclaimed records with 'Taste' and played the Isle of Wight Rock Festival, but this was the first time he'd had the necessary level of control, self belief and technical ability to record the album he'd always wanted to.
In 1971 when he began working on 'Deuce', he decided on a different approach to the recording of his second album. His first album 'Rory Gallagher', had a precise, organized sound. Rory was keen 'Deuce' would capture the raw energy of a live performance. To achieve this, many of the sessions were recorded just before or immediately after gigs and production was kept to a minimum. The results were eclectic.
'Live in Europe' featured the cream of Rory's first two solo releases and became his sole UK Top 10 success.
'Blueprint' originally released in early '73, the cover features the circuit board of a Stramp "power-baby" amplifier which was custom designed for Rory in Hamburg. It was specifically designed to be compact enough to fit into the small luggage compartment of a VW "beetle" car, a particular Rory favorite.
Returning quickly to the studio in the Summer of '73 with his 'Blueprint' line-up, Rory was in a prolific and confident mood. Rehearsals for 'Tattoo' began at a rowing club in Cork City, which allowed Rory to develop the musical arrangements of his material at a leisurely, relaxed pace.
'Irish Tour '74' was taken from several live concerts all over Ireland in 1974. Rory and Co. played in Belfast, Dublin and Cork. (Back On My) Stomping Ground was taken from a jam session recorded during the tour on the Lane Mobile Unit.
'Sinner... and Saint' was released in 1975 by Polydor International as a compilation of 'Rory Gallagher' and 'Deuce'. It included a combination of ballads like "I Fall Apart" and "For The Last Time" and hard driving rock tunes like "Used To Be", "Hands Up" and "Sinner Boy". It also contained some jazzy and acoustic tunes. "Don't Know Where I'm Going" and "Just The Smile" are wonderful acoustic songs showing Rory's versatility in song writing and guitar playing.
Rory's seventh album catches him in sparking form. He had released the hugely successful 'Irish Tour' album a year earlier, recorded with the great Albert King at the Montreuxm Music Festival and had just negotiated a new deal with Chrysalis Records. Rory was now established as a major solo artist and was producing some of the best live and studio performances of his career. 'Against The Grain' perfectly captures the enthusiasm and emotion of the time.
"All Around Man" was written by Bo Carter, one of the original members of the Mississippi Sheiks, a band Rory greatly admired and pays tribute to on 'Photo Finish'. This inspired cover version features a great Lou Martin solo.
'Calling Card' was released in 1976 after the successful 'Against The Grain'. It contained many great songs including "Do You Read Me", "Secret Agent", "Jackknife Beat", "Edged in Blue", "I'll Admit You're Gone" and the namesake of this LP, "Calling Card".
Some of Rory's best work came from 'Photo Finish'. His "Fuel To The Fire" has some of the tightest harmonizing guitars and echo's of his earlier classic " A Million Miles Away". "Shadow Play" starts with a pile-driving classic Gallagher guitar riff, this self doubting song gives us an insight to Rory's double life, on and off stage, poetically described in the line -'A little bit of Jekyll, a little bit of Hyde'.
The year in-between the release of "Photo Finish" and "Top Priority" saw Rory touring extensively in the States and receiving great press in America and the UK. Chrysalis was keen to keep this momentum going and promised to make this new album their "top priority". In typical Rory style he named the album after their promise so that no one at the record company would be able to forget their guarantee.
As the title suggests, Rory had become quite frustrated with the way life was unfolding for him at this time and much of the material on these recordings could be deemed autobiographical. Posthumously, 'Jinx' takes on a new significance and has been picked out for some special attention.'Wheels Within Wheels" was released in the spring of 2003. Most of the songs are acoustic and previously unreleased. Many other artists are on this CD, from Juan Martin to Bela Fleck. Every Rory fan should add this CD to their collection. A different version of "The Cuckoo" with Roland van Campenhout, a well known European folk artist is one of my favorites on this CD. Bela Fleck is a huge bluegrass musician who plays with Rory on three songs; "Amazing Grace", "Walkin' Blues" and "Blue Moon of Kentucky". Irish folk hero and inspiration for Rory, Lonnie Donegan joined Rory in a rousing rendition of "Going to My Hometown".
Click on LP and find poll at bottom of each page
|Rory Links||Rory Lyrics||Rory Tabs||Rory Tributes||Taste||Taste Lyrics|
|Favorite Rory Gallagher LP/CD?|
|Free Web Polls|
Got a favorite Rory song? Email me here >>>>