Rory Gallagher – Kickback City

December 14th, 2013
by Celtic Bob

Rory Gallagher
Kickback City
2013, Eagle Rock/Music On Vinyl
Rating: 5/5

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Several years back I discovered the wonderful world of Rory Gallagher music. I really enjoyed the releases that I heard then Eagle Rock started to reissue them along with some fantastic DVD’s. It was a great time to be a Rory fan. Last year the original mixes of Gallagher’s albums started to get reissued. As someone that only had the reissues this was welcomed once I read that the original mixes were far superior (aren’t they usually?) I had to buy the albums again. What a difference! The new ones are far superior to previous issues. Enter Music On Vinyl to release these original versions on LP and it gets expensive for fans.

KICKBACK CITY is a compilation set issued by Eagle on CD/Digital and Music On Vinyl for …vinyl. Being a Rory fan I had to go with the double LP set (as I am slowly picking up his catalog on LP). For this review I first heard the songs in this arrangement through  an online Press Stream. It was interesting to hear Gallagher’s Film Noir themed songs all put together like this. I am accustomed to hearing his music as he intended on the original albums so this shook it up a little. After a few listens my anticipation for the double gatefold LP was heightened. It couldn’t arrive quick enough.

The first LP is all studio material and it appropriately begins with the title track. As anyone that is either bit familiar with Gallagher knows that his upbeat style of Blues Rock guitar is unparalleled. This well put together collection is made up of songs from all over Rory’s career. From “ Sinner Boy” off his self titled debut to “Kid Gloves” from FRESH EVIDENCE and the title track from DEFENDER along with “Loneshark Blues” you get a few of his deeper cuts alongside some more popular ones. Hearing the songs laid out like this is refreshing and adds a bit more life to them. You hear them in a different context that you wouldn’t normally hear them. While listening to the album I found myself paying more attention to the lyrics to get the full effect of the crime/detective element. Definitely an enjoyable listening experience.

The second disc (or LP in my case) is a Live one. It has a couple of the same songs on it as the first one. Many say that Rory live is where it is at but I tend to disagree. I love his studio work more but he was definitely quite the performer and musician on stage. The live disc contains two of my personal favorite Rory tracks; “Tattoo’d Lady” and “Messin’ With The Kid”. Both of these are fantastic songs and these live versions are amazing to hear. Add in the live version of “Continental Op” and you cannot go wrong.

The third disc is a CD of Aiden Quinn reading THE LIE FACTORY book that is included in the package. An interesting concept of a short story inspired by Rory’s music. The song’s on KICKBACK CITY are the soundtrack to it and the one’s that made it all happen.

An extraordinary compilation! An original way to bring music to new fans and to get the old fans to buy it as well. With KICKBACK CITY there is something for all in that it is not a tired, boring, typical collection of songs. This themed piece is fun and adds a new spark to Rory’s legacy. Well done.

 

THE PHYSICAL PACKAGE:

DISC ONE:  STUDIO
Side A
1. Kickback City
2. Continental
3. Kid Gloves
4. Big Guns
5. Loanshark Blues
Side B
1. B Girl
2. Slumming Angel
3. Barley & Grape Rag
4. In Your Town
5. Sinner Boy
6. The Devil Made Me Do It

DISC TWO: LIVE
Side C
1. Continental Op
2. Tattoo’d Lady
3. I Ain’t No Saint
4. Off The Handle
Side D
1. The Loop
2. Messin’ With The Kid
3. Loanshark Blues

DISC THREE:
The Lie Factory narrated by Aidan Quinn

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