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Taste - The Best Of (1994)

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Taste - The Best Of (1994)

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1 Blister On the Moon /Gallagher 3:25
2 Born On the Wrong Side of Time /Gallagher, Traditional 3:55
3 Leavin' Blues /Leadbelly, Ledbetter, Lomax 4:10		play
4 Hail /Gallagher 2:37
5 Same Old Story /Gallagher 3:29
6 Catfish /Dylan, Traditional 7:59
7 I'm Moving On Snow 2:24
8 What's Going On /Cleveland, Gallagher 2:47
9 Railway and Gun /Gallagher 3:37				play
10 Eat My Words /Gallagher 3:45
11 On the Boards /Gallagher 6:02
12 It's Happened Before, It'll Happen Again /Gallagher 6:33
13 If the Day Was Any Longer /Gallagher 2:09
14 I Feel So Good, Pt. 1 & 2 [Live At the Montreux Casino] /Broonzy 7:36
15 Sugar Mama [Live At the Montreux Casino] /Traditional 8:09
16 Sinner Boy [the Isle of Wight Live Version] /Gallagher 5:29

Musicians:
Rory Gallagher /Arranger, Guitar, Harmonica, Sax (Alto), Vocals
Richard McCracken /Guitar (Bass)
John Wilson /Drums

 

If there was a band that defined what 70's rock was all about, it was Taste. They've often been called Ireland's answer to Britain's superstar band Cream. I think they were better than Cream in every way. With Rory Gallagher on guitar, John Wilson, formerly of Them on drums, and ex Spencer Davis bassist Charlie Mccracken, they were considered the hottest live act in Europe at the time. The big reason for this was Gallagher's improvisational abilities with the six string. There was nothing fancy about this band. They didn't wear matching suits or the psychedelic clothes that were the popular attire of the day. They were just a hard workin' blue collar band with Gallagher wearing his trademark red flannel shirt on stage with his lunch pail called a '61 Fender Stratocaster. Gallagher was different than the superstar guitar players of the time like Clapton, Page, and Peter Green, who got a lot of their influences from the Muddy Waters, Howlin' Wolf school of Chicago blues. Gallagher loved the southern rural/ country blues of Son House and Big Joe Williams. It shows here on the feelgood acoustic song "I'm Movin' On" and the equally wonderful "Hail" where he sings note for note with his guitar. The trademark sound of Taste though was blues rock. Gallagher has to be the most aggressive guitar player that I've ever heard in the blues rock genre. Good examples of this are the opener "Blister On The Moon" and "Born On The Wrong Side Of Town". But he can also get very creative, as on the catchy "Railway and Gun". A killer tune with it's numerous rhythm changes. He also shows his creative side on the jazzy "It Happened Before, It'll Happen Again", which is Taste's most experimental song. It really swings, and it's probably Gallagher's finest moment on the six string. The only knock I have here is the same as one of the other reviewers pointed out. He shouldn't have picked up an Alto Sax he was just learning to play and attempted a solo. But hey, it was the 70's. They did those things. Sometimes they worked, sometimes not. But that's the only knock that I have on this excellent Best Of collection. If you want to hear why Rory Gallagher was considered by many to be one of the alltime best guitar players, just check this album out. It should be on all lovers of classic rock wish lists. ---Patrick Earley

 

The Best of Taste compiles material from their 4 official albums released from 1969-72. The albums consisted of two studio albums "Taste", "On The Boards, and the two live albums "Live Taste", and "Live At The Isle Of Wight". This band was a power trio led by Rory Gallagher before he disbanded the group to embark on a successful solo career. The band led by Gallagher on vocals, guitar (electric, acoustic, & slide), harmonica, and alto sax specialized in hard hitting blues rock. The music has much in common with Cream. However, the Richard McCracken and John Wilson could not compete with the stellar musicianship of Jack Bruce and Ginger Baker. The undervalued Gallagher is an unsung guitar hero whose work compares favorably with that of Eric Clapton. Like Cream the band favored extended versions of tunes like "Sugar Mama" and "I Feel Good" included here. The music included here is varied. It ranges from the slow gut wrenching version of "Catfish" to the more acoustic cover of "Leavin' Blues". The cuts from "On The Boards" become more jazzy at times. Tracks like "On The Boards" and "It's Happenened Before, It'll Happen Again" highlight the band's more improvisational approach. Hard hitting tracks like "Eat My Words" spotlight Gallagher's outstanding slide technique. Two cuts I miss from this period which are not included here are "Dual Carriageway Pain" from "Taste, and "Morning Sun" from "On The Boards". The live concert favorite "Sinner Boy" provides a bridge to Gallagher's solo career as the studio version was included on his first solo album "Rory Gallagher". This anthology provides a great overview of the early work of Irish blues-rock guitar hero Rory Gallagher and his battered Stratocaster. It is even more essential as the four original albums are only available as imports. ---J.E. Fell

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Last Updated (Tuesday, 09 July 2013 14:59)

 

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