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Top Priority 40 Years On!

September 16th, 2019

Rory's 10th album Top Priority was released 40 years ago today! Chrysalis Records executives had assured Rory that they'd make this album their 'top priority' so Rory named the album that to remind them of their promise.

Album review:

Lotsa new rock ‘n’ roll out and around these days. Which is fine for us jaded vinyl junkies who spend our time searching out new musical surprises, but what about the rockers who have paid their dues over the years, filling auditoriums with sound, sweat and cigarette butts? Do they deserve to be flicked aside as fickle fashions fade? I say no, as long as the music makes it.

No worries on that count about Gallagher, though; from the moment Rory roars into the opening bars of “Follow Me,” he lets us know he means business. He keeps his power chords full (but not fat), his leads lean and meaty, and most of his tunes to the point.

The thing that’s always kept Rory apart from the pack is his attention to detail, even when he’s charging straight ahead. He controls his tones mainly with his fingers, not a bank of effects, and after a decade on the boards, he can still make blues-based material come alive.

And unlike most rockers his age, Gallagher continues to push him­self. His decision last year to strip his band back to a trio put the load squarely on his shoulders and his music is better off for it. Never an anonymous boogiemeister, he tosses in electric sitars and dulcimers for variety’s sake and even a potentially bloated blueser, “Off The Handle,” is saved by his fancy fretwork.

I don’t mean to go overboard about the guy but his music really is better now than it has been in years; you don't have to worry about dinosaur droppings when this record's played, anyway.

Michael Davis, for CREEM Magazine





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