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Gary Moore: Live From London - Album Review

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by Steven G (subscribe)
Too much tertiary education... Former performer/wrestler...Former teacher... Scientist... Published author... Father... Want to be a writer if I grow up...
Published February 7th 2020
Great music and that's all you need to know
When I do album reviews, I tend to avoid greatest hits albums or live albums. They really are just a snapshot representative of an artist and are designed to cater more to the casual fan than anything else. It's not like I avoid them; I have bought more than my fair share of greatest hits and live albums over the years… and have come to realise that they can be surprisingly hit or miss.

However, a live album was released just recently (January, 2020) that finally reached me from the UK (I pre-ordered it) that I am about to wax lyrical about.

That album is Live From London by Gary Moore (2020).
Gary Moore, Live From London, CD, album, music, blues, rock, guitar

Gary Moore passed away in 2011, and with his passing, the music world lost a blues guitar legend. This concert, from 2009, was spoken of by fans as one of the greatest live blues shows in maybe decades. I'd heard a bootleg recording of one track and it sounded fantastic. Well, quite out of the blue, Mascot/Provogue have released the concert, or highlights thereof. I am not sure. Really, it does not matter.

Because what we have is one of the best live albums ever released. Now, if you're not a fan of the blues, or guitar-based rock, then this is probably not for you. But if, like me, you love classic rock, then this release is something you should simply go out and buy.

And here's the track rundown:

'Oh, Pretty Woman'. Let's start with something that rocks hard. The four-piece band sounds tight from the word go, and Moore's guitar work is just incredible. I think I'm going to be saying that a lot here. There are three guitar solos in four and a half minutes. Really, if you don't like the electric guitar, this is probably not an album you're going to enjoy.

'Bad For You Baby'. Hard blues track up next, and Moore's voice actually sounds really good. The guitar solo is different as well – this is not a guy just retreading the same licks over and over.

'Down The Line'. He introduces this one as "country blues", and, well, it is. Maybe a little harder than usual, but we are talking a decent, fast number with a great organ pumping away in the background behind a blistering guitar run.

'Since I Met You Baby'. Now we hit blues rock, although one with positive lyrics. This would not have been out of place in the blues explosion of the late 1960s. And another great guitar solo thrown in to boot.

'Have You Heard'. We go into slow blues territory now, with a John Mayall track, and the first of the extended workout session, clocking in at almost 10 minutes. But this is blues guitar playing at its finest. After the rock and speed of the previous tracks, this showcases the touch that Moore could utilise when playing the guitar (as exemplified on his track 'The Loner'). This is a wonderful piece of musicianship.

'All Your Love'. We stay in the blues for this track again and this continues where the last left off, though the guitar is rendered with a different sound through (I'm guessing) use of pedals. The solo is a wild highlight and, once more, the organ playing just highlights everything as the tempo picks up.

'Mojo Boogie'. Staying with the blues, but this is the faster rock blues and the organ is really given a chance to shine here as Moore's guitar just grinds and pumps away with an almost Ry Cooder feel about it.

'I Love You More Than You'll Ever Know'. And we slow down again for the second of the CD's extended sessions, this one clocking in at close to 12 minutes. Then, at about 9 minutes, the solo kicks in… holy cow! Just… wow.

'Too Tired/Gary's Blues 1'. Speeding up a little, and then a little more, and then into the blues jam at the end with Moore flying over the strings with such mastery, leading into the 'Gary's Blues 1' section of the song.

'Still Got The Blues'. One of the few Moore songs to actually gain traction in popular culture, here it is a 7 minute workout of blues guitar playing at its finest. His voice sounds so smooth and impassioned and the guitar work is sublime. Beautiful. (This is the track I heard the bootleg of, by the way.)

'Walking By Myself'. One of my favourite Moore songs, this is just amped up so wonderfully in this live setting, with the crowd getting into it as well. Just fantastic.

'The Blues Is Alright'. This felt like a sort of pop blues track from the late 60s, early 70s, but it was rescued from being "just okay" by some decent guitar playing.

'Parisienne Walkways'. Another absolute classic Moore track, mentioned in passing because my son loved this track as a kid, here it is given an extended workout, coming in at close to 9 minutes of guitar goodness. Just when you thought there was no way the guitar playing on this CD could be topped, they saved the best for last. The sustained notes, the cleanness of the playing, the emotion he wrings out of an instrument. Wow… I mean… yeah. Just wow. I have a few live versions of this track – this is the best of them all.

What an awesome, incredible, mind-stunning album! Yes, it is a live album, almost a greatest hits album, but the guitar work and the singing are amongst the best I have heard Moore deliver. I can see now why this concert was so highly praised. This has instantly entered the pantheon of my favourite live albums ever. It is that good. And because of this, two other new release albums I should be listening to and probably writing about have been put on the back-burner. This is amazing.

I also bought the deluxe set, which came with drink coasters, guitar picks, stickers, a postcard and a poster. Yes, I am a fan. Why?

Thoroughly recommended. This is what real music sounds like…

Gary Moore, Live From London, CD, album, music, blues, rock, guitar
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