Rory Gallagher is often called the ‘guitarists guitarist’ but the truth is that there are millions of dedicated fans who have never picked up a guitar in their lives – maybe something to do with his obvious enjoyment at playing and singing that leaks through in every track he laid down.
In a stellar career and since his unfortunate death (can it really be 25 years ago!) he gathered fans who are utterly dedicated to his memory and thousands of guitar players – many of them with very successful careers of their own – who learnt their craft listening to Gallagher.

The list of guitarists who have praised Rory as a major influence includes Joe Bonamassa, Slash, Brian May, Joe Satriani, Johnny Marr – even Clapton and Jimi Hendrix credited him as the best.
There were dozens of times listening to this set where I thought “that sounds a lot like …” and then realised that what I was listening to were the originator & influencer and not the ‘influencees’.

There have been plenty of other ‘Best Ofs’ and ‘Collections’ over the years but this one has the feel of being the most comprehensive, covering tracks from Taste and all through his solo career from 1970 to 1995 and many of the tracks are going to be familiar to his fans but there is a feeling of progression on this set that is missing on most of the other collections and the addition of a previously unreleased track with Rory and Jerry Lee Lewis playing together on the Stones ‘Satisfaction’ is a bit special. What it makes clear is that Gallagher was not just a fiery soloist but also a brilliant guitarist/vocalist who actually played rhythm guitar as well as lead.

If you are new to Rory Gallagher this is an excellent place to hear the many sides and forms of his music and even if you know him well then this is a well constructed collection and well worth having.

The Best of Rory Gallagher is released on October 9th by UMC.
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