Thursday, 27 September 2012

“Jinx” by RORY GALLAGHER. A Review Of His 5th Studio LP For Chrysalis Records From 1982 - Now Newly Remastered And Reissued Onto CD In 2012.



RORY GALLAGHER is part of my Series "SOUNDS GOOD: Exceptional CD Remasters 1970s Rock And Pop" Download Book available to buy on Amazon to either your PC or Mac (it will download the Kindle software to read the book for free to your toolbar). Click on the link below to go my Author's Page for this and other related publications:

                       http://www.amazon.co.uk/-/e/B00LQKMC6I

 "...You Got Me Jumpin’ Like A Man With The Voodoo…."

 *** THIS REVIEW IS FOR THE 2012 CD REISSUE ***

Here is a link to Amazon UK to buy the right issue:
http://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B008KH8XOK

"Jinx" is one of five new 2012 CD, Download and Vinyl reissues covering Rory Gallagher's 'studio' album period at Chrysalis Records between 1975 and 1979. His Polydor Label years (1971 to 1974) were released in full in January 2012 (see list below). The next set of studio and live album reissues are due in early 2013 - all supervised by Donal Gallagher - his brother, tour manager and keeper of the flame.

So what's different? In a nutshell - cheaper price, restored artwork with upgraded packaging and 2012 remastering from the original tapes. Here are the finite details...

Released 24 September 2012 in the UK (9 October 2012 in the USA) - "Jinx" is on Sony/Capo/Legacy 88725461432 and comes in a card digipak rather than a jewel case (50:45 minutes total playing time). The original vinyl album was released April 1982 in the UK on Chrysalis CHR 1359 – it was self-produced and was Rory's 5th and last studio LP for the British label (distributed on Mercury SRM-1-4051 in the USA).

SOUND:
When "Jinx" was first re-issued on CD by Da Capo in February 2000 - the tapes were 'completely' remixed and remastered by Tony Arnold - giving it a sound some found a little shrill. That first reissue also altered the original artwork in a not so complimentary way.

This time the original tapes have been returned to by ANDY PEARCE and MATT WORTHAM and remastered as 'untampered' versions in August 2012 at Wired Masters Studios in London - and they've done a fantastic job. Right from the opening weird noise and guitars of "Signals" - the sound is full of power and wonderful clarity - and stays like that all the way to the end...

A NOTE ON THE TRACK LINE-UP and BONUS TRACKS:
The 1st CD reissue of "Jinx" in February 2000 shuffled the track running-order around considerably - starting the LP with "Big Guns" when it should have been "Signals" and slotting in the two previously unreleased bonus tracks in-between titles rather than placing them at the end. All that mucking about has been rectified with this 2012 version – we now have the proper running order (Tracks 1 to 5 are Side 1 -  Tracks 6 to 9 are Side 2) with the two bonus tracks correctly placed at the end as numbers 10 and 11 ("Nothin' But The Devil" and "Lonely Mile").

PACKAGING:
The dreadfully garish altered artwork that blighted the 2000 reissue has thankfully been replaced with a repro of the original album cover and a newly laid-out 12-page booklet (in fact all 5 of the gatefold digipaks are gorgeous to look at). The CD itself is a picture disc - and priced at roughly a fiver-sterling - this is a classy little reissue for not a lot of wonga.

MUSIC:
The album featured a line-up of new and old musicians - GERRY McAVOY on Bass (who'd been with him since "Blueprint" in 1973) - with newcomers BOB ANDREWS on Keyboards and BRENDAN O’NEILL on Drums. Rory covered everything else - Vocals, Guitars and Harmonica.

The 9 LP tracks are all Rory Gallagher originals except "Ride On Red, Ride On" which is a Louisiana Red cover version. It opens well with "Signals" and the Eddie Cochran rockabilly feel to "The Devil Made Me Do It". But I absolutely loose it for "Double Vision" - it's the kind of Rory album gem that I love. "Double Vision" is a slow boogie slide guitar workout that feels like Foghat meeting ZZ TOP – and his soloing as the track fades out is hair-raising (lyrics from it title this review). Then comes one of the album’s other gems – the bluesy and slightly heartbroken "Easy Come, Easy Go" – it sounds like the kind of killer ballad Lynott would dash off for Lizzy. Side 1 finishes in barnstorming style with a huge fan favourite – "Big Guns" – once again his guitar work fantastic and his anger at big business and the corporate machine he'd been fighting all his life creeping through the words.

Side 2 opens with "Jinxed" which is a clever departure for him – sounding more like Robin Trower in a soulful mood. It’s very, very good. Back to rocking with "Bourbon" and the singing-slide style he championed comes out in the anti-racist song "Ride On Red, Ride On". "Loose Talk" is hard-hitting too if not a little underwhelming (despite the unusual sitar sound to the guitar). In fact I always found Side 2 disappointing – but what rescues this CD is the two truly ace 'bonus tracks'. They’re fully-fledged studio outakes - a dirty-stringed National Steel ditty called "Nothin' But The Devil" written by Gerry West and a rocking full-band gem called "Lonely Mile" about insomnia walks he would take when he couldn't sleep. They truly are proper discoveries and if you haven't heard them before, you're in for a treat.

Rory was sadly lost to us in 1995 through liver failure - and it still hurts to think that this most unassuming and brilliant of guitar heroes is gone.  

To sum up - like the other 4 titles in this second phase of reissues – I whole-heartedly recommend "Jinx". There are nuggets on here I know I'll be returning too for years to come…

Pride of all Donegal! God bless you mate – and we miss you.

PS: the titles in this 2011/2012 CD, Download and LP reissue series so far are:
1. "Rory Gallagher" (originally UK released in May 1971) - REVIEWED
2. "Deuce" (November 1971) - REVIEWED
3. "Live! In Europe" (May 1972)
4. "Blueprint" (February 1973)
5. "Tattoo" (November 1973) - REVIEWED
6. "Irish Tour '74" (July 1974) [2LP set on 1CD - Sides 1 to 3 are Live - Side 4 is Studio Jams]

7. "Against The Grain" (October 1975) - REVIEWED
8. "Calling Card" (August 1976) - REVIEWED
9. "Photo-Finish" (October 1978) - REVIEWED
10. "Top Priority" (September 1979) - REVIEWED
11. "Jinx" (April 1982) - REVIEWED

1 to 6 released January 2012 on CD and Download. 180-gram vinyl versions of each were also made available 27 February 2012 on the "Music On Vinyl" Label

7 to 11 released September 2012 on CD and Download. Limited Edition 180-gram vinyl versions of each will be made available 22 October 2012 on the "Music On Vinyl" Label

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