Eagle Rock Entertainment has announced the April 12 CD, DVD, Blu-Ray, and 2LP vinyl release of Rory Gallagher’s “Irish Tour ’74.”
Captured at a time when Gallagher was voted the #1 guitar player by Melody Maker Magazine, Irish Tour is a brilliant showcase of his musical prowess. Award-winning filmmaker Tony Palmer followed Gallagher around Ireland as audiences appreciated Gallagher’s guitar playing night after night. The film—which enjoyed a successful run in theaters—has been restored and remastered from the original footage, and is making its Blu-Ray debut.
The two-hour DVD/Blu-Ray features nine jams—“Walk On Hot Coals,” “Tattoo’d Lady,” “Who’s That Coming,” “A Million Miles Away,” “Going To My Home Town,” “Cradle Rock,” “As The Crow Flies,” “Hands Off” and “Bullfrog Blues”—as well as bonus home movie footage from Gallagher’s Japanese tour of the same year. Also on the DVD/Blu-ray is the 1972 RTE (Irish television network) half-hour documentary “Rory Gallagher: Music Makers.” Highlights on this rare gem include “Toredown,” “Laundromat,” “Pistol Slapper Blues,” and “Don’t Know Where I’m Going.”
Regarded as one of the greatest live albums of all time, the Irish Tour CD/vinyl captures Rory’s exceptional playing, sans overdubs and studio fixes. The CD’s 10 tracks are “Cradle Rock,” “I Wonder Who,” “Tattoo’d Lady,” “Too Much Alcohol,” “As The Crow Flies,” “A Million Miles Away,” “Walk On Hot Coals,” “Who’s That Comin’,” “Back On My Stompin’ Ground” and “Maritime.” The vinyl is a double-album. Side A has “Cradle Rock,” “I Wonder Who” and “Tattoo’d Lady.” Side B has “Too Much Alcohol,” “As The Crow Flies” and “A Million Miles Away.” Side C has “”Walk On Hot Coals” and “Who’s That Comin’.” Side D has “Back On My Stompin’ Ground” and “Maritime.”
Rory Gallagher (1948-1995) is as popular now 16 years after his death as he ever was. His original band, Taste, in 1967, was a power trio that stretched the limits of what electricity could do to the blues. From his first solo album in 1970 throughout the rest of his tragically shortened life at age 47 due to complications of a liver transplant, his music has inspired millions with its refusal to pander to trends or even radio. Turning down an offer to join The Rolling Stones, Gallagher was passionately, religiously dedicated to his craft and his singular style. Artists as diverse as Slash, Brian May, The Edge, Glenn Tipton (Judas Priest), Janick Gers (Iron Maiden) and many others have cited him as a major influence. A feature documentary, Ghost Blues (2010 – Eagle Rock Entertainment), created even more interest in his career.
The April 12 multi-format release triggers a 2011 bonanza for the legion of Gallagher fans worldwide. Eagle Rock Entertainment plans a busy year for the restoration, re-release and re-mastering of Gallagher’s entire catalog.