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Rory Gallagher: Irish Tour '74 [Blu-ray]
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26 of 26 people found the following review helpful
on May 11, 2011
Tony Palmer, the director of this film (and it is a FILM, not a video) was in 1974 the premiere director working in rock, especially in Europe. Previously Tony had worked with everyone from the Beatles to Cream to Pink Floyd. He chose to highlight Rory Gallagher's annual Christmas tour of Ireland at a time when "The Troubles" were at an all-time high. Rory was virtually the only rock musician of any stature who would play in Ireland during this time, AND he played both Dublin and Belfast. Yet such was his stature in his native country that Rory was considered 'off limits' to terrorist attacks.

Politics aside, this is a marvelous film. Rory was peaking and his performances, especially on "A Million Miles Away" and 'Bullfrog Blues", are incredible. The audiences are beyond ecstatic, and at times it reaches an almost religious fervor. Curiously, politics are never mentioned. Rory talks about growing up and his influences and demonstrates on his acoustic and his dobro. There is plenty of dressing room footage to show what a focused individual he was when it came to his music. And the music has Rory smoking, the absolutely best blues rock player ever on the planet.

In addition, the transfer is an improvement on the older DVD, and the sound pounds, as it should. There are some great extra features, including a wonderful and touching commentary by his brother and manager, Donal Gallagher, and his long time bass player Gerry McAvoy, the two individuals who knew him longest and best. A short 30 minute feature for Irish TV from 1972 is also included in spectacular quality, and features some more interviews and performances that are also high quality and worthy of inclusion. And there is some home movies from the Japanese tour from shortly after the completion of the film.

While Rory had a long and magnificent career, and the recent documentary "Ghost Blues" does an excellent job of covering that, "Irish Tour '74 highlights the bond between a committed artist and his rabid fans in a way hardly seen outside of Beatlemania, and does so in outstanding visual and audio quality. Nearly every performance of his is worth checking out, but if I had to pick only one, without a doubt this is the document that shows the magic Rory performed before an audience every night he performed.Ghost Blues: The Story of Rory Gallagher & the Beat Club SessionsRory Gallagher: Live at MontreuxRory Gallagher: Live at RockpalastRory Gallagher : Live In Cork
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18 of 18 people found the following review helpful
If you (like me) have the original release Rory Gallagher - Irish Tour 1974 and enjoy it .....this will be wonderful news. The picture is now in what seems to be its correct widescreen aspect ratio and dramatically improved....this is like comparing a remastered Beatles CD to one recorded through a pillow case...its that much better even on the standard DVD and the Blu-Ray is wonderful! There is also a bonus half hour documentary on Rory that features another batch of great performances...seriously this should be a no-brainer for fans of this gifted musician.

The question is...do I upgrade..YES!

If you love seriously wonderful electric blues..YES
If you are a fan of Rory Gallagher...what are you waiting for?

I do need to add that there are several great Rory Gallagher DVD compilations on the market now from Rockpalast to Montreux that have more performances than this film....but this is a film and an artistic one which really takes you into the sweaty clubs of '74 Ireland and backstage which is a treat. Of course the film maker is an artist and he does show sweaty faces instead of fingers and guitars and does add shots of Rory during songs that may make visual sense to him but are obviously NOT the song he is playing as his guitar is changed and the slide is missing etc...but its very creative and fun.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
on July 15, 2011
Thank God for Youtube and DVD reissues (like Irish Tour 74 and much more, available on Amazon), which means everyone can see all this stuff live, the intensity, the lyricality, the virtuouity, the joy, the humanity. The reactions are pretty much the same "Why did it take me 20 years to find this music? Why is no-one doing anything like this now?" I lost track of Rory after 1977, when we'd spent Thursday afternoons bunking school to play pool and listen to Irish Tour 74. Clearly the sad folk at Rolling Stone lost their way too, when they compiled their list of 100 great guitarists and somehow left Rory out!!! But in 100 years time, when the great guitarists are rollcalled, Rory will be up there with between Hendrix and Duane Allman and whoever else the gods bless and belabour like this.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on June 7, 2011
This DVD is a great look at an under appreciated guitarist. It shows Rory for what he truly was a man happy traveling the world and playing his music. Unlike musicians today with a vast line up of guitars. Rory is seen mostly playing a battered Fender. A guitar that has seen many a mile on it. Yet still performs every night much like Rory himself. There are scenes interspersed within of Rory and the band backstage pre- and post concert. Which shed a light on a different time in the music business and its technology. Included among the extras are some performances of Rory in Japan. Despite the language difference good musicianship is still universally appreciated as is caught on camera in the short bonus footage.
Well worth the price as an introduction to Rory's music a must if you are a fan!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on December 18, 2012
I liked the video very much, only reason I didn't give it 5 stars was the how the video begins with Rory playing "Walk on Hot Coals" towards the end so you don't get to see the song from the beginning which is one of my favorite songs and some of the best quitar playing of anyone. Listening to his music over the years I believe from 72-75 was his best music and there weren't many musicians better, seems like and video I've seen or Rory he's given 110% on every song, concert, etc.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on November 28, 2011
Rory Galagher Must Have! The Picture and Sound have all been upgraded and this is and absolute Must have Blu-Ray Disc.
The Price is right on a Classic Gem so what are you waiting for?
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on August 1, 2012
This is a glorious DVD. Being a 50-year-old geezer who is the self-appointed minister of rock culture in my house and family, I am forced to bludgen my son and his high school friends over the head with "the best music" that they missed out on due to their age. And when I do expose Rory Gallagher's catolog to the great unwashed, I am always asked, "Why wasn't Rory Gallagher popular here in the states?" I don't have the exact answer but it may have something to do with Rory not being a pop act the way Clapton was. Clapton was great at playing the blues but most of Clapton's successes were pop songs. Rory never went near the pop idiom; pure stripped-down blues rock. Same with Robin Trower. Neither of those guys turned out any pop turnes.

So enough of my silly rant! Pick this DVD up immediately and see a true artist!
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on May 13, 2014
Hearing Rory play anytime, anywhere is always a treat. Any version of ' A Million Miles Away or Tattoo'd Lady' I will listen to several times. 'Pistol Slapper Blues' and 'Bullfrog Blues' are two of his funniest songs & demonstrate, not only his extensive guitar playing, but that Rory had a whacky sense of humor. I see why Hendrix called him the greatest. It is a bloody shame that so many have never heard of him. I can add this one to Rory Gallagher: Live at Montreux. If you are a Rory fan, I recommend having both in your library.
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on February 21, 2013
Rory is an idol of mine, and seeing this fly-on-the-wall doc was a great way to see how he really might've been on the road. He measures up to be the humble but assured person all biographies claim him to be. There is of course NO shortage of great tunes on this either - I even picked up my instrument and played along during several parts.

If you're a blues fan, watch this movie. If you play guitar, watch this movie. It's a must-see.
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on September 23, 2014
Great to see what Rory Gallagher was like live. Never got to see him, so this disc is just what I wanted. The only downside to this disc are the non-music portions. Not that they aren't interesting, you just can't hear them. You'll need to turn it up to hear what's being said, but then be prepared to turn it down when the music comes back in.
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