This is the first time Gary Moore's 13th solo album Back To The Blues has been released as a Double album on Vinyl with a nice gatefolds sleeve and one side of bonus tracks. Originally released in 2001 the album marked a return to Gary's roots after some more experimental dance music and Trip Hop records.
Gary hired a room at Music Banks Waterloo Sunset Studios for a month, set up his band and recording equipment and recorded a back to basic electric blues album. Where all the cover versions are taken from songs that John Mayall's Bluesbreakers played. His band were Peter Rees, Vic Martin, Darrin Mooney, plus a horn section featuring Martin Drover, Frank Mead, Nick Penterlow and Nick Payn.
The A-side opens with Gary setting out his stall on Enough Of The Blues from it's quiet acoustic opening, it then explodes into life, as Gary tells us he's had enough of The Blues, but the Blues Haven't had Enough of him as the guitars cascade across the speakers, the sound is scintillating.
The first cover on the album is You Upset Me Babe that's a straight up homage to B.B King with a blowsy brass section, that accentuates the bruised vocals and guitar theatrics perfectly.
Cold Black Night is heartbroken blues, as your baby has left you again, As Gary wails away his pain with immense solos, showing cataclysms of regret that sheÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s gone.
His take on T-Bone Walkers immortal classic Stormy Monday has a slow burning, yet kicking intro, as Gary gets down with his dark mood, while the sound echoes Otis Rush with a monster solo, as Gary begs the lord to have mercy on him once more.
Bile and anger rise to the fore on the cover of Jimmy Reeds Ain't Got You, he cries with pain, that he can have anyone he wants, but he can't have you, he hopes some blistering soloing will change your mind, he obviously doesn't believe you have a headache.
The B-side opens with Picture Of The Moon that's in the same vein as Parisien Walkways, as he pours his regrets out over neo-classical guitar, pained vocals, with gentle strings that allows Gary's guitar to sob softly into his whiskey.
Looking Back is an upfront, in your face take on Johnny Guitar Watsons classic love gone wrong blues, full of all the reasons he wanted her, with all the reasons it's over, plenty of bile in the playing and vocals.
The Prophet has some mystical organ and guitar on the meaning of Kahil Gibran's verses.
The C-Side opens with How Many Lies a rant against all the lying, cheating that's been going on, against a chugging beat that allows the guitars to show all the emotional pain, at the end of another relationship, getting more musically fractious.
The original album closed with Drowning In Tears that was recorded in one 9 minute plus take, it was the only time Gary and his band ever played the song. The atmospheric opening with his heartbreak front and centre, all the fighting, pushing each other over the brink, until she wants him no more, having run off with someone else.
The D-side features the three bonus tracks the first of which is the single edit of Picture Of The Moon that just has a shorter solo than the album version so feels more reined in.
The other two songs were recorded live for VH1 as part of a half hour 5 song set with an interview with Mark Ellen that can be found on Youtube. Cold Black Night is a more low-slung version, until you get to the monstrous guitar solo that's set to stun.
Before the album closes with the song that opened the VH1 set, a slow smoking gun take on Stormy Monday with a killer solo that is well worth watching the video of, although thankfully the album version doesn't cut it short like the tv broadcast did.
Find out more at https://gary-moore.com/ https://gary-moore.lnk.to/backtotheblues https://townsendmusic.store/product/121367