Wednesday 1 October 2014

Sony Music / Legacy Recordings Release 40th Anniversary Expanded Deluxe Edition Release of Rory Gallagher's Legendary "Irish Tour '74" Album ‏ 

Rory Gallagher
Irish Tour ‘74

October 20th 2014 will see the 40th anniversary expanded deluxe edition release of one of Rory Gallagher’s most celebrated recordings.
Sony Music / Legacy Recordings is proud to announce the release of Rory Gallagher’s legendary Irish Tour ‘74.  The most expansive edition to date, of this landmark album.  Featured for the first time on record, all three shows.  Packaged in a special deluxe edition 8 disc 10” boxset and including 43 previously unreleased tracks, remastered audio, photos, extensive liner notes, feature length documentary, memorabilia and more.

By 1974 Rory Gallagher had already established a formidable reputation as one of the finest recording artists and exciting live performers of his generation.  He was four years in to a successful solo career following his departure from his critically acclaimed outfit, Taste.  1970 to 1974 had produced five albums and an almost continuous schedule of touring, Rory had gone from strength to strength.  He was mid way in to what would be the most prolific decade of his career and was at the absolute top of his game.  By sad contrast, Gallagher’s homeland and his beloved adopted city, Belfast in particular had taken a battering.  The political climate of Northern Ireland in the late 60s/early 70s saw Belfast ripped apart by some of the most devastating violence in the country’s history.  By 1973 and the winter of Gallagher’s landmark tour, Belfast was on its knees.

Roy Hollingworth, a journalist for Melody Maker in attendance at the Ulster Hall show would describe the city as a shattered, deserted and frightened place. The live music scene was non-existent with all but Gallagher willing to tour during the height of the Troubles tearing the country apart.  While his contemporaries turned their back on the city, it was Rory’s refusal to do so that forever won him the hearts of thousands of fans across the country.  “I see no reason for not playing Belfast. Kids still live here,” said Gallagher of his decision to repeatedly play in Belfast.  And so, Rory and his band, Gerry McAvoy (bass), Rod De’ath (drums) and Lou Martin (keys) returned again in the winter of 1973 for what would become the celebrated Irish Tour.

Acclaimed filmmaker Tony Palmer was drafted in to document the tour.  Palmer had first met Gallagher six years before in 1968 when Taste supported Cream at their famous farewell show at the Royal Albert Hall.  Palmer has been on hand to record the super groups’ final performance but hadn’t failed to notice the extraordinary standout talents of the young Gallagher.  When asked to accompany Rory on the Irish tour in the winter of 1973, Palmer seized the opportunity.  More than aware of the socio-political situation in the North of the country at the time and Rory’s refusal to be drawn on either side of the argument, Palmer knew ‘this [was] a very interesting proposition’.  ‘Rory was at pains to point out he wasn’t active in any sense politically’ Palmer tells us, but felt very strongly that he should be allowed to play both Northern Ireland and the Republic.  ‘I don’t want to make a movie with any political content but it will be self evident’ said Gallagher.

Both the Dublin and Cork shows also feature heavily on the subsequent documentary but it was Rory’s dignified but defiant impartial stance in Belfast that helped make this recording such a watershed moment for Rory’s legions of devoted fans.
Irish Tour ’74 was a world class, matchless, blistering live performance.  It is one of the greatest live albums of all time.  No studio trickery, no overdubs.  A truly live album. The stuff of legend.  This new deluxe edition features, for the first time on record, each of these iconic shows. Seven albums worth of fully remastered audio including 43 previously unreleased recordings, plus the Tony Palmer directed feature length documentary and large full colour booklet.  All presented in deluxe packaging.

“Only he could play the guitar off the fucking planet.” Tony Palmer

“Rory Gallagher brought hope and musical inspiration to his war-torn spiritual hometown of Belfast.”
“It was within the walls of the venue on ‘bomb alley’ that the tender-hearted, soft-spoken, dogged determination and captivating presence of Ireland’s guitar warrior poet and people’s hero found its fullest flowering.”
“While Ulster teetered towards the brink, Rory’s rock hit with righteous affirmation” Gavin Martin for Blues Magazine

“I've never seen anything quite so wonderful, so stirring, so uplifting, so joyous as when Gallagher and the band walked on stage. The whole place erupted, they all stood and they cheered and they yelled, and screamed, and they put their arms up, and they embraced. Then as one unit they put their arms into the air and gave peace signs. Without being silly, or overemotional, it was one of the most memorable moments of my life. It all meant something, it meant more than just rock n' roll, it was something bigger, something more valid than just that.”  Roy Hollingworth for Melody Maker

“Rory loved Belfast.  Just loved it.  Anytime we hit the stage after 1971 you were aware that, apart from the odd cabaret turn at the Abercorn (site of a 1972 bomb blast killing two and injuring 130), none of the bigger bands would come back to play Belfast, it was starved of music. Obviously after The Miami Showband tragedy it just got worse. We’re professionals. We play as well as we could wherever we played but it was a special situation in Belfast, something you could never acquire or attain at any other gig.”  Gerry McAvoy

Disc 1 & 2
Cork (5th of January 1974)
1.       Messin’ With The Kid*
2.       Cradle Rock
3.       I Wonder Who
4.       Tattoo’d Lady
5.       Walk On Hot Coals
6.       Laundromat*
7.       A Million Miles Away
8.       Hands Off*
9.       Too Much Alcohol
10.    As The Crow Flies
11.    Pistol Slapper Blues*
12.    Unmilitary Two-Step*
13.    Bankers Blues*
14.    Going To My Hometown*
15.    Who’s That Coming
16.    In Your Town*
Disc 3 & 4
Dublin (2nd of January 1974)
1.       Cradle Rock*
2.       Tattoo’d Lady*
3.       Hands Off*
4.       Walk On Hot Coals*
5.       Laundromat*
6.       Too Much Alcohol*
7.       A Million Miles Away*
8.       As The Crow Flies*
9.       Pistol Slapper Blues*
10.    Bankers Blues*
11.    Unmilitary Two-Step*
12.    Going To My Hometown*
13.    In Your Town*
14.    Bullfrog Blues*
Disc 5 & 6
Belfast (29th of December 1973)
1.       Messin’ With The Kid*
2.       Cradle Rock*
3.       I Wonder Who*
4.       Tattoo’d Lady*
5.       Walk On Hot Coals*
6.       Hands Off*
7.       A Million Miles Away*
8.       Laundromat*
9.       As The Crow Flies*
10.    Pistol Slapper Blues*
11.    Unmilitary Two-Step*
12.    Bankers Blues*
13.    Going To My Hometown*
14.    Who’s That Coming*
15.    In Your Town*
16.    Bullfrog Blues*
Disc 7
City Hall in Session (3rd of January 1974)
1.       Maritime (The Edgar Lustgarden Cut)
2.       I Want You  / Raunchy Medley*
3.       Treat Her Right
4.       I Wonder Who*
5.       Too Much Alcohol*
6.       Just A Little Bit
7.       I Can’t Be Satisfied*
8.       Acoustic Medley*
9.       Back On My Stompin' Ground (After Hours)
10.    Stompin’ Ground (Alt version)
Disc 8 (DVD)
The Tony Palmer directed documentary Irish Tour ’74
(courtesy of Eagle Rock Entertainment)

* Previously unreleased

Irish Tour ’74 Expanded Deluxe Edition is available to pre-order now at

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