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After the break-up of Taste, Gallagher toured under his own name, hiring former Deep Joy bass player Gerry McAvoy to play on Gallagher's self-titled debut album, Rory Gallagher. It was the beginning of a twenty-year musical relationship between Gallagher and McAvoy; the other band member was drummer Wilgar Campbell. The 1970s were Gallagher's most prolific period. He produced ten albums in that decade, including two live albums, Live in Europe and Irish Tour '74. November 1971 saw the release of his album, Deuce. In the same year he was voted Melody Maker's International Top Musician of the Year, ahead of Eric Clapton. However, despite a number of his albums from this period reaching the UK Albums Chart, Gallagher did not attain major star status.
Gallagher played and recorded what he said was "in me all the time, and not just something I turn on ...". Though he sold over thirty million albums worldwide, it was his marathon live performances that won him greatest acclaim. He is documented in the 1974 film Irish Tour '74, directed by Tony Palmer. During the heightened periods of political unrest in Ireland, as other artists were warned not to tour, Gallagher was resolute about touring Ireland at least once a year during his career, winning him the dedication of thousands of fans, and in the process, becoming a role model for other aspiring young Irish musicians. Gallagher himself admitted in several interviews that at first there were not any international Irish acts until Van Morrison, Gallagher, and later, Phil Lynott and Thin Lizzy grew popular during the 1970s. The line-up which included Rod de'Ath on drums and Lou Martin on keyboards, performed together between 1973 and 1978.
However, he eventually dropped down to just bass, guitar and drums, and his act became a power trio. Other releases from that period include Against the Grain, Calling Card, Photo-Finish and Top Priority. Gerry McAvoy has stated that the Gallagher band performed several TV and radio shows across Europe, including Beat-Club in Bremen, Germany and the Old Grey Whistle Test. He recorded two Peel Sessions, both in February 1973 and containing the same tracks, but only the first was broadcast. Along with Little Feat and Roger McGuinn, Gallagher performed the first Rockpalast live concert at the Grugahalle, Essen, Germany in 1977.
Gallagher collaborated with Jerry Lee Lewis and Muddy Waters on their respective London Sessions in the mid-1970s. He played on Lonnie Donegan's final album. He was David Coverdale's second choice (after Jeff Beck) to replace Ritchie Blackmore in Deep Purple. Gallagher chose to perform in his own band.
In the 1980s he continued recording, producing Jinx, Defender, and Fresh Evidence. After Fresh Evidence, he embarked on a tour of the United States. In addition he played with Box of Frogs—a band formed in 1983 by former members of The Yardbirds. Becoming obsessive over details and plagued by self-doubt, Gallagher nevertheless retained a loyal fanbase. During this period he stated "I agonize too much".
Notes From San Francisco, an album of unreleased studio tracks and a San Francisco 1979 concert was released in May 2011.
Jack Bruce 80's and 90's:
By 1979, Bruce's drug habit had reached such a level that he had lost most of his money. In that year he married his second wife, Margrit Seyffer. Bruce contributed as a session musician to recordings by Cozy Powell, Gary Moore and Jon Anderson to raise money. By 1980 his career was back on track with his new band, Jack Bruce & Friends, consisting of drummer Billy Cobham, guitarist Clem Clempson, and keyboardist/guitarist David Sancious.
After releasing an album, I've Always Wanted to Do This at the end of 1980, they undertook a long tour to support the record, but it was not a commercial success and they disbanded. In the early 1980s, he also joined up to play with friends from the Alexis Korner days in Rocket 88, the back-to-the-roots band that Ian Stewart had arranged, and Bruce appears on the album of the same name, recorded live in Germany in 1980. They also recorded a "live in the studio" album called Blues & Boogie Explosion for the German audiophile record label, Jeton. That year he also collaborated on the Soft Machine album Land of Cockayne (1981).
In 1981, Bruce collaborated with guitarist Robin Trower and released two power trio albums, BLT and Truce, the first of which was a minor hit in the United States. By 1983 Bruce was out of contract with the major record companies, and he released his next solo album Automatic only on a minor German label, Intercord INT 145.069. A European tour followed to promote the album enlisting Bruce Gary from The Knack (who had also played in Jack Bruce's 1975 band) on drums and Sancious from his 1980 band (Jack Bruce & Friends) on guitar and keyboards. In 1982 Bruce played with a short-lived ensemble "A Gathering of Minds" comprising Billy Cobham, Allan Holdsworth, Didier Lockwood and David Sancious at Montreux. In 1983 he sang on tracks 5–6 of the Allan Holdsworth album 'Road Games'.
In 1983 Bruce began working with the Latin/world music producer Kip Hanrahan, and released the collaborative albums Desire Develops an Edge, Vertical's Currency, A Few Short Notes from the End Run, Exotica and All Roads Are Made of the Flesh. They were all critically successful, and in 2001 he went on to form his own band using Hanrahan's famous Cuban rhythm section. Other than his partnership with lyricist Pete Brown, the musical relationship with Hanrahan has been the most consistent and long-lasting of his career.
In 1985 he sang lead and played blues harp on the song "Silver Bullet" with Anton Fier's Golden Palominos. It appears on the album "Visions of Excess". In 1986 he re-recorded the Cream song "I Feel Free" and released it as a single to support an advertising campaign for the Renault 21 motor car. A solo album, Something Els, recorded in Germany between 1986 and 1992, reunited him with Eric Clapton, and brought belated, but widespread critical acclaim.
In 1989, Bruce began recording material with Ginger Baker and released another solo album, A Question of Time. Baker and Bruce toured the United States at turn of the decade. Bruce played at the Montreux Jazz Festival in 1990, and was invited by Irish blues rock performer, Rory Gallagher (who had a long-standing relationship with Bruce, having supported Cream's farewell concert in the band Taste in 1968) to perform a couple of songs together onstage. In 1993 Baker appeared, along with a host of former Bruce band colleagues, at a special concert in Cologne to celebrate Bruce's 50th birthday. A special guest was another Irish blues-rock guitarist Gary Moore.
(Taste - Rory Gallaghers 1st Album 1969)
(Taste - Rory Gallaghers 1st Album 1969)
The concert recordings with Moore were released as the live double album Cities of the Heart. On the back of this successful gig Bruce, Baker and Moore formed the power trio BBM, and their subsequent (and only) album Around the Next Dream was a top ten hit in the UK. However, the old Bruce/Baker arguments arose again and the subsequent tour was cut short and the band broke up. A low-key solo album, Monkjack, followed in 1995, featuring Bruce on piano and vocals accompanied by Funkadelic organist Bernie Worrell.
Bruce then began work producing and arranging the soundtrack to the independently produced Scottish film The Slab Boys with Lulu, Edwyn Collins, Eddi Reader and the Proclaimers. The soundtrack album appeared in 1997. In 1997 he returned to touring as a member of Ringo Starr's All-Starr Band, which also featured Peter Frampton on guitar. At the gig in Denver, Colorado the band was joined on stage by Ginger Baker, and Bruce, Baker and Frampton played a short set of Cream classics. He continued to tour with Ringo through 2000.
'Rock Life With Jack' (Westwood WWD-017/18)
Venue: Musikhalle, Köln, Germany
Date: 17 October 1990
♫♪ Rory Gallagher: Guitar - Vocals
♫♪ Gerry McAvoy: Bass
♫♪ Brendan O'Neill: Drums
♫♪ Mark Feltham: Harmonica
♫♪ Geraint Watkins: Keyboards
♫♪ Jack Bruce: Bass - Vocals (Disc 2: Tracks 6 - 8)
01. Continental Op
02. Don't Start Me To Talkin'
03. Mean Disposition
04. Kid Gloves
05. Middle Name
06. King Of Zydeco
07. Out On The Western Plain
08. Empire State Express
01. The Loop
02. Garbage Man
03. My Baby, She Left Me
04. Shadow Play
05. Shin Kicker
06. Born Under A Bad Sign
07. I'm Ready
Part 1: Link
Part 2: Link
Part 1: Link
Part 2: Link