February 17, 2020
If you’re a Gary Moore fan like I am, the news of a new album from Gary is a welcome treat. Released on January 31, almost nine years to the day of his passing on February 6, 2011, Gary Moore Live from London contains virtually all of Gary’s most well-known songs from his blues period which began in 1990. The album came on the heels of the auction of a lot of Gary’s gear that he acquired over the years (see the results here.) Available on CD, MP3 or vinyl, the album contains 13 songs. I picked up the Limited Edition CD, which came in a presentation box along with such neat little goodies as two pub drink coasters – the front with the album cover image of Gary and the back, showing one of Gary’s Les Pauls and a road case. Also included was a postcard featuring another well-known picture of Gary, a four-inch square sticker, four guitar picks featuring Gary in a perforated credit card-shaped plastic media that you would push the picks through to get them out (though I doubt anyone would) and the CD, which came in a deluxe tri-fold slipcase with liner notes. I was pretty impressed with this limited edition, considering it only cost a little more than fifteen dollars (US) on amazon.com.
All of these goodies would be meaningless if the recordings did not shine, and shine they do! Right out of the gate you hear all the passion and fire that is Gary Moore on “Oh Pretty Woman.” He gets the groove started, teases us with a melodic first solo then unleashes during the second solo with his classic flurry of pentatonic notes at lightning speed that from any ordinary guitarist would come off as excessive but from Gary, are dazzling. He followed up “Oh Pretty Woman” with “Bad for you Baby” and the sizzling Texas shuffle “Down the Line” followed by the hit; “Since I Met You Baby.”
Not being afraid to take it down a notch (slightly), “Have you Heard” is a slow blues number as Gary laments over lost love. He plays a slowed down version of his take on Otis Rush’ “All Your Love” and a touching rendition of Al Kooper’s “I Love You More Than You’ll Ever Know.” His classic “Still Got the Blues” is played to perfection; Gary’s singing guitar tone giving the song its melodic beauty.
All of Gary’s best known blues numbers are on this album – from his classic renditions of blues standards like “All Your Love” and “Walking by Myself” to his own compositions such as “Still Got the Blues” and his classic “Parisienne Walkways.” Sandwiched in between are up-tempo numbers such as “Mojo Boogie” and “The Blues is Alright.” – all performed memorably, in a perfect blend of ferocity and taste. The finale – “Parisienne Walkways” is a fitting end, with all the sonic fireworks of the fourth of July, closing out the set.
There truly isn’t a bad track on this album and if you haven’t listened to Gary in a while, you might have forgotten how good he really was. It’s hard to pick favorites from this release; all of them are so good. I would have to say the aforementioned “Oh Pretty Woman”, “All Your Love” and “Still Got the Blues” but really, it depends on how you feel that particular day. I had goosebumps for half the time I was listening to this album.
Recorded in December of 2009, sadly Gary would leave us a scant thirteen months later. This album recaptures all of the things that made Gary Moore great and for which he will never be forgotten. Other well-known guitarists have tried to capture his magic since his passing but none have come close. Gary was all about passion and fire and it poured out of him whereas the others merely tried to repeat what he did but without his mojo. The light may have dimmed but as long as we remember him, it will never be extinguished. If there is a video of this performance I hope we get to see it sooner rather than later.
The full track listing contains:
1. Oh, Pretty Woman
2. Bad For You Baby
3. Down The Line
4. Since I Met You Baby
5. Have You Heard
6. All Your Love
7. Mojo Boogie
8. I Love You More Than You’ll Ever Know
9. Too Tired / Gary’s Blues 1
10. Still Got The Blues
11. Walking By Myself
12. The Blues Is Alright
13. Parisienne Walkways
Read more about the career about Gary Moore here.
What’s your favorite Gary Moore album/song?